There’s a lot of discussion on the particulars of “how to grow weed?” However, regardless of the debate-friendly details, there is a process that should be followed, and this document will provide valuable information that can help you learn the ins and outs of growing cannabis.
Growing weed has a fairly defined and undisputed process. It really starts before you plant the seed, and it is done after you harvest. Here is a brief summary of the process and considerations:
- Picking a Space
- Chose your Marijuana strain
- Purchase your Cannabis Growing Gear
- Prepare your space
- Marijuana Seeding
- The Vegetative State of Weed
- Packing and Storage
- Space Cleaning
1) Choosing your Best Marijuana Growing Space
It is a myth that you need a huge space to grow quality marijuana. A small-scale grower can start in a tent, a closet, or even a designated area in a spare room or unused corner of the house is sufficient! Here are a few helpful tips to get started.
A few plants are enough to get you started and learning the basics of growing cannabis. You can start with just one or two plants. There’s a learning curve when growing weed indoors and you want to minimize the cost of the mistakes you will be making.
It shouldn’t take long to get the hang of things and start producing some great quality flowering cannabis plants, but you’ll need to make room as your plants grow. From the first Flowering buds, a plant will double or even triple in size by the time of harvest.
This means if you have a marijuana grow tent sizes 2’x4′, 4’x4′, or 5’x5′, and are planning to have your whole grow in this tent, you wouldn’t want to get more than a plant to start, and understand its full-grown size, under your particular cannabis growing conditions.
Based on the number of plants you want to grow, you will need a specialized growing tent or a separate room. It is highly recommended to buy a high-quality tent that is both durable and highly reflective. The high reflectivity of the inner layer allows plants to receive almost 100% of the emitted light. As said earlier, the more received energy from light results in enhanced photosynthesis and higher yields. The outer canvas should be thick and made of high-quality material to prevent leaking. The tent that prevents the leaking of gases is ideal for the efficient addition of carbon dioxide because otherwise, the gas would constantly leak. With gas leaking, you will never reach the optimal CO2 concentration. Also, the exterior canvas acts like an insulator, so it should conduct minimal heat. With all being said, buying a more expensive high-quality tent is a wise long-term investment for efficient marijuana growth that will result in high yields. It is important to note that you should avoid buying tents with plastic poles since they are not designed to withstand the burden of heavier objects that you will hang. The bars should be made of metal since you will need to hang cannabis lights, carbon filters, inline and oscillating fans on them.
How to grow cannabis in a room?
Pick an insulated room to minimize the effects of the external atmospheric conditions, whether high or low temperatures. This will help reduce the heating/cooling costs significantly. If you’re worried about privacy during your grow, keep these in mind:
- You don’t need to have visible ducting outside of the room for air exchange.
- The excessive smell you can sense during the flowering stage is no longer the issue. That smell released by compounds called terpenes is easily neutralized using carbon filters, which will be discussed later.
If the chosen room has windows, you will need to cover them to prevent sun rays illumination. Cover the windows and walls with one of the highly reflective materials.
- Latex paint for walls
Latex paint is a great and cheap solution for larger growing areas. It has a reflectivity of over 85%, which makes it a highly efficient option. There are few things you should keep in mind if you choose to proceed with latex paint. Firstly, the wall areas should be very smooth. Otherwise, the light will get trapped, and reflectivity will be reduced significantly. Second, always choose flat white rather than gloss white color. This is because gloss reflects less light than flat paint colors. Lastly, make sure to prime the surface properly before painting walls with white latex. That will save you from having to do multiple coats of paint.
- Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil was one of the first reflective materials used for growing weed, but not many growers knew back then that it has just 55% to 60% light reflectivity. Nowadays, it is rarely used due to its small reflection ability and insufficient durability. Many growers have put many efforts into wrinkling the foil and making more uneven areas to enhance reflection. However, results couldn’t compare with ones produced by more reflective materials. So, this should be your last choice.
- Panda plastic film
Panda plastic films are polymers with black color on one and white color on the other side. They can reflect near 95% of the illuminated light but have some drawbacks, so most growers avoid using them. The panda plastic films produce a significant amount of heat, so the growers must use HVAC systems excessively to remove it, or plants get at risk of experiencing abiotic stress.
Also, the plastic is not heat resistant which means that areas near the lights that emit a lot of heat, such as HID, are in danger of getting melted.
The mylar is made of polyethylene terephthalate(PET), and its reflectivity goes up to 97%, making it one of the two best reflective materials. In addition, the mylar surface has a specific texture that not just provides a high level of light reflection but also makes it highly resistant to scratching. Standard Mylar comes in a thickness of 1mm or 2mm. The thicker one is more durable, so you should preferably use it although it is more expensive.
Foylon has approximately equal reflectivity as mylar, and it is made of fiberglass and aluminum. The foylon is specifically made to absorb UV light besides visible light spectrum, which means that it is compatible with UV lights some growers use. In addition, the foylon doesn’t absorb heat; it reflects it in the same manner as it reflects the light, which is a highly beneficial feature for indoor growing weed.
2) Chose your strain
What to consider when deciding which strain of cannabis to grow:
- Taste and aroma. A strain’s terpene profile can produce subtle or intense flavors and aromas. Depending on your personal preferences, you can choose a strain that provides that flavor and aroma at the intensity that seems appealing to you.
- Physical effects. Everyone reacts to cannabis differently, and there’s no guarantee that a strain will produce any particular effect. You can, however, try strains with a cannabinoid and terpene profile that are likely to produce your desired effect. For example, if you want to experience intoxicating effects, it would make sense to go with something with a higher THC content. If you were looking for a more relaxing experience, you might try a strain containing linalool, a terpene with stress-relieving properties.
- Potency or strength. Depending on the concentration of cannabinoids, particularly THC, strains will be more potent than others and the level of potency you’re after can help you determine which strains to go for.
- Growing Space. Growing indoor or outdoor can be a decisive factor on your strain. Make sure you inform yourself what best suits your marijuana growing methods.
- Medical benefits. Cannabinoid ratio or terpene profile, is likely to vary the medicinal properties of your plants. If you suffer a specific medical condition, talk to a professional to find out which strains may be best to treat it.
- Budget. There are strains for every budget. Make sure you consider it when choosing your strain to grow weed
3) Chose your Gear
The most important and expensive gear you need are lights and an HVAC system, so choose them wisely. We prepared a detailed tutorial about features that particular equipment should have and an equipment sizing tutorial so you can source your gear easily.
Choose the best light for indoor growing-LEDs
People often get lost when it comes to choosing lights for cannabis growing because of how much information is out there. Choosing the LED can be the best decision a grower can make as long as they properly source the one they need. There are three essential features that you need to check while seeking suitable LEDs. So let’s check them out!
As you can see in the diagram above, standard LEDs without lenses emit most of the rays in and near to central axis, creating hot spots at the canopy. On the other side, you can see the gaps between two LEDs where rays do not penetrate, leaving that parts of the plants or even a complete plant without the light. Needless to say, this configuration is far from efficient.
Now we come to our patented technology. Applying a unique secondary lens and positioning the LEDs at the ideal distance between each other in the lighting fixture enabled us to achieve the evenness of the distribution of the light beam across the complete growing area, which was truly unimaginable a few years ago. The difference between standard LEDs and Scynce LEDs is why our growers choose our technology every time.
After years of R&D and experiments, we came up with two distinct solutions that fit different growing approaches—the 120 degrees lenses for near canopy applications and 70 degrees lenses for farther from canopy applications. Our team developed the one-of-a-kind Dragon Alfa for growing rooms, greenhouses and, high bay applications where a more significant distance between canopy and lighting fixture is needed. The light from the Dragon Alfa is pushed out at 70 degrees in the long axis and 120 degrees in the short axis, making an even beam intensity across a complete growing area positioned from 24 to 72 inches from the lighting fixture. The Linear 70 is a name for this innovative secondary optics technology that solved most of the issues previously related to the indoor rooms and high bay lights while simultaneously producing maximum yields.
2. PPFD – Know the needed light intensity in each stage of cannabis growth
The Photon Flux Density is an essential lighting parameter that the grower should check before buying lights. Photon Flux Density is a measurement of the number of photons passing through a particular area per second. It only counts photons going through the growing area and is usually expressed in micromoles of light per square meter per second, or μmol/m2/s.
Our recommendations for photosynthetic photon flux densities
Vegetative stage: 400-700μmol/m2/s.
Flowering stage: 900+μmol/m2/s.
3. Light Spectrum to grow cannabis
Yes, we know. Everyone has favorite wavelengths during the different stages of cannabis growth. For curious ones, our Full Power Spectrum Tuning II article covers one lighting cycle that we created. There you can see the astonishing ability of our lights to simulate outdoor sunlight from sunrise to sunset as well as recommended colors in each part of the day.
Now we come to the critical part which separates the best-LED manufacturers from others.
The issue with spectrum adjustment with many LEDs manufacturers is the power limit for some spectrum parts. Pay attention that many manufacturers claim that the power input of their light is, for example, 900W, but when it comes to photons emission from some parts of the spectrum, the actual power that light consumes is 450W. So, what is going on here? The electric circuit design doesn’t allow those particular LEDs to consume the designed power. Consequently, those LEDs emit half of the designed PPF, which is a serious drawback that reduces plant development.
And that is where we come in. Our specially designed lights offer a full power adaptive spectrum. What does that mean? It means that you can choose any available colors/wavelengths or their mixtures, and you will have maximum power consumption. Why is that important? Only in the case of full-power consumption, the measured PPFD is equal to one stated in the specification sheet, which is the one your plants need.
HVAC system stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. There are various design types in terms of the fan, carbon filter, and ducting positioning. Learning the principles and final goals of the HVAC system in the cannabis grow room in this section will enable you to bring the best decisions for your particular growing area.
There are no rigid rules about needed wattage and airflow generated by oscillating fans depending on room size and the number of plants. The most widely used fans are 6 and 8 inches in size, and you will never make a mistake if you buy one of those. The fans should be mounted at a lower level below the canopy and slightly above it to create light wind. The wind actually disperse carbon dioxide molecules through the room, making it available for every single plant that uses it during photosynthesis. The wind shouldn’t be too strong since it can hurt leaves.
The primary goal of ventilation is to exchange complete air from the growing area within 1 to 2 minutes.
Ventilation in non-sealed environment
Many growers use fans connected to ducting to extract the hot air from the room and another inline fan to bring fresh air to the room. In this type of equipment assembly, the fans are mounted on the opposite side of the room/tent. Their sizing is described in the section below. The airflow of both fans must be the same. Otherwise, the vacuum or high pressure could occur in a tent/room, which is not desirable. When you are mounting ducting, the ultimate goal is to use as few bendings as possible to avoid large pressure drops and insufficient airflow.
Ventilation in sealed environment
First of all, if you choose to add CO2 to your grow space, you will need a sealed environment. In a sealed environment, the fan’s primary purpose is to make airflow through the carbon filter that removes all organic compounds to neutralize the bad smell. There is a pressure drop of air during its passage through the carbon filter, and that is why you should multiply the calculated airflow by 1.15, meaning that you added an extra 15% due to carbon filter inclusion.
You need to calculate the volume of your growing space by multiplying its length, width, and height in feet. Divide that value by two, and then you will get the required airflow of the fan expressed in the cubic feet per minute. If your grow room is large, you can achieve the required airflow by using multiple fans.
Air conditioner and dehumidifier
The air conditioner is used in the sealed rooms. Suppose anyone doubts the plants’ need for fresh air. In that case, it is an excellent reminder that cannabis plants need three things in a controlled environment: specific concentration of carbon dioxide, precise temperature, and specific humidity. The carbon dioxide is artificially added, so there is no need for fresh air uptake from the atmosphere to establish ideal conditions for plant development.
The lights are the main source of heat in the growing rooms. In the light specification sheet, you can find how much heat it releases in BTU per hour or kW. The air conditioner must have a larger cooling capacity than the sum heat rate generated by lights within the room.
There are numerous dehumidifiers at the market, and they also have fans within their construction. The fan should fulfill the exact requirement as the exhaust/inline fan, and the dehumidifier must be able to generate relative humidity in the range of 40 to 70%.
Here are the temperature and humidity requirements in each stage:
Seedlings: 70% relative humidity 77 degrees Fahrenheit
Vegetative stage: 50% relative humidity and 86 degrees Fahrenheit Flowering stage: 40% relative humidity and 86 degrees Fahrenheit
The lower temperature limit during the lights off periods is 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
4) Prepare Your Space
The first thing to do is make a plan. You should find a room that is suitable for cannabis growing. The basement or cellars should be your first choice so you can decrease your heating and cooling costs.
The basement is insulated well since the ground surrounds the walls. You want to ensure your room is well insulated to lower the cost of your HVAC system uses. You can mount Rockwool, which is an excellent insulator, on your inner walls. Rockwool is costly, but it pays off in the long term in most cases, so you should keep that in mind.
Besides thermal insulation, of course, you need to lightproof the room. Logically, the windows are the main issue, and mounting a soundboard or plywood is a simple solution that permanently solves the issue. Another thing to keep in mind, especially in dealing with a sealed environment, is doors. Regular doors just can’t seal the space, which is why we recommend mounting zipper doors. Zipper doors keep an airproof and lightproof plastic layer over a doorway while allowing you to access the growing room.
The room should have the following:
- Sufficient number of sockets
- Enough space for plants and all equipment
- Nearby water supply
Once you pick your ideal room, it’s time to start drawing a plan. Put dimensions of your room on paper and then write down the positions of the light, HVAC system, and electrical supplies. Leave some space so you can enter the room as well as do manual labor comfortably. Keep in mind that plants will double in size from vegetative to flowering stage. So make sure that the roof is high enough to accommodate the grow lights and plants.
Pick the right growing medium for you
Your growing medium is where your plants will develop their root system. It’s important for you to understand the different types of mediums when growing marijuana.
1. Soil-based or compost
As the most popular growing medium for cannabis plants, soil or compost is a natural, easy, and widely available option. The soil you use should have essential nutrients that can feed the plant for the first few weeks. Also, it is highly recommended to use soil with 20 to 30% of perlite that provides excellent drainage and the ability of soil to maintain higher amounts of air, resulting in enhanced respiration.
The cannabis growth in the soil-based medium is slightly slower than in coco or hydro, but many growers confirmed that soil-grown buds have a stronger taste. Also, you can grow marijuana successfully using either bags or pots, and we will leave that choice up to you.
2. Soilless mediums
Soilless mixtures are composed of ingredients like Rockwool, perlite, vermiculite, and coco coir. One of the best soilless mediums for beginning growers is a 50/50 percentage of the coco coir and perlite mixture. The soilless mediums are generally used either in hydroponics and aeroponics systems. Remember that those mediums do not possess any nutrients, so nutrient addition in the irrigation system is necessary from the early beginning of the growing cannabis process.
3. Directly in water
It is possible to grow cannabis successfully without using any medium. The special plastic pots with openings for roots are used in this case. The great benefit of growing cannabis in such a system is significant root development that improves nutrient absorption and plant development.
Directly in water and soilless growing types need irrigation pipes, water tanks, and pumps. These need control systems so that growers can adjust the water flow through different stages of growing marijuana. So, make sure that your pump’s designed flow rate is larger than the water requirement of all plants in your grow room in the flowering stage. Also, choose the tank with dimensions large enough to ensure the water doesn’t run off quickly. If those systems seem challenging to you, we recommend soil-based mediums for beginners.
Install and test your gear
You want to make sure your room is completely operational before planting. Make sure to set up your grow room and test all of your equipment.
We previously described which options you have regarding the reflective materials, but how to stick them to the walls? Easily. Use double-sided tape to attach the reflective material to the wall, and that’s it.
Your grow lights are heavy and need firm support. So, if you have joists, you can hang your lights on them easily using cable ropes. If that is not the case, you will need to install toggle bolts at appropriate places that you will use as support to hang your lights. The third solution is to install metal poles in your room similarly as they are used in the grow tent.
As said earlier, there are various design types for the HVAC system. So here are some rules to remember. Place the inlet and extraction fans at opposite sides of the room if you use them. Use aluminum ventilation ducts with steel wire to connect fans with the outer space. Find a good place to mount ducting and use as small bendings as possible. Use an airtight duct collar to connect ducting with fans and with pierced holes at walls if you have them.
Once you have all equipment set up it’s critical to test it and check whether it operates appropriately.
5) Marijuana Seedling
Cannabis seeds are very sensitive and need specific conditions to grow successfully. Otherwise, they can fail to germinate. Marijuana seedling is the most critical part of growing weed for a reason, and that is why all actions in this stage should be performed with particular attention.
Medium choice and preparation
The grower should choose the appropriate medium. The medium should possess from 20 to 50% perlite to enhance soil aeration and nutrient retention. In addition, the suitable pH of the soil should be in a range from 6.3 to 6.5. To avoid seeds damping-off caused by fungi such as Pythium, Botrytis, and Fusarium, the growers should sterilize soil by baking it in the oven until it reaches a temperature of 85°C.
The cannabis seed loves a wet environment, which is why you need to provide it with an abundance of water, while the relative humidity of the air should be around 70%. Still, remember to water just around the stem of your seedlings, and only once the soil has completely dried out. Our tip is to give 200 to 400 ml of water to each plant every 2 to 4 days for beginner growers.
Once you start germinating seeds in the soil, keep the soil temperature in the 65 to 70ºF range. To achieve that soil temperature, you have to set the air conditioner accordingly, but more importantly, use small 4 inches pots for the seedling stage. The soil conducts the heat, and having less soil will make it easier for you to reach the target temperature. You can check the temperature by using a soil temperature meter to determine when your soil is ready for seed placement.
Planting of the cannabis seed
Most seed packets have planting instructions, but if that is not the case, the rule of thumb is to plant a seed at a depth equal to two to three times its width. Remember that planting seeds too deep may lead to germination failure.
It takes 3 to 10 days for a cannabis seed to germinate when it becomes a seedling. The seedling stage lasts for 2 to 3 weeks, and plants produce leaves during that period. Once you notice that cannabis plants have 5 to 7 blades per leaf or even more, that is a sign it entered into the vegetative stage of growth.
6) Vegetative state of weed
Depending on the conditions in the growing room, the vegetative state of weed may last somewhere between 4 to 8 weeks. During this stage of marijuana growing, the plants should form healthy and large leaves that can carry on efficient photosynthesis in the flowering stage.
As soon as the vegetative stage starts, you want to transfer your plants to pots not smaller than 2 gallons. At this stage, plants need more water, so you should feed your plants with 300 to 600 ml of water accompanied by the proper nutrients every 2 to 4 days. The approximate concentrations of macronutrients in this stage are 300 ppm N, 200 ppm P2O5, and 200 ppm K2O. Remember that one ppm is equal to 1mg of the nutrient per 1 liter of water. Therefore, you can buy either liquid or dry NPK fertilizer with a 7:5:5 ratio and dilute it in water.
Preparation of nutrient solution
First, you should take a water container of a suitable size and fill it with water. Then pour the nutrients into the water and stir it up to ensure that nutrients are adequately mixed. Make sure that your water to nutrients ratio is correct to get the right concentration of the nutrients. Then, check the pH of the solution using a pH meter. Throughout all stages of cannabis growth, you want to have a nutrient solution at a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5. Based on the determined value, you should use either acidic or basic solution to correct the pH if needed. There are many commercially available pH up and pH down solutions. The pH down solution is regularly composed of 35% phosphoric acid, while the pH up solution contains 35% potassium hydroxide. So, you can even make pH solutions easily by mixing the powder form of mentioned compounds with water in the correct ratio.
7) Cannabis Flowering
All growers are aware of the importance of the correct macronutrients ratios for maximum plant development. The flowering stage is different. At this stage, the cannabis plant needs micronutrients such as calcium, boron, and magnesium to develop strong plants with heavy buds and spread the root system additionally. Those micronutrients are found in regular cannabis fertilizers and tap water that most growers use, so there is often no need for their extra addition. But, the growers that use reverse osmosis or filtered water must include boron within their nutrient solution. Otherwise, their plants have a higher chance of experiencing boron deficiencies.
Watering and fertilization in the early flowering period
The early bloom period is considered from the first flower appearance to approximately 35 days after. At this phase, the amount of all macronutrients should be equal, while their concentration should be between 200 to 250 ppm. During this period, each plant needs 600 to 800ml of water every 2 to 4 days.
Watering and fertilization in the late flowering period
Five weeks after the start of the blooming period, nitrogen concentration should be reduced to 125ppm. Contrary, phosphorus and potassium concentration should be between 300 and 350 ppm. Since nitrogen is responsive for vegetative growth we want to minimize it at this point of growing pot. On the other side, higher concentrations of potassium and nitrogen enhance flowering, which is our primary goal. Therefore, the needed NPK ratio of the fertilizer is 1:3:3. Another compound that we recommend during the late bloom stage is potassium silicate. Application of this compound significantly increases buds’ mass and THC production. You can find it in the form of powder, and you should put 0.3 grams of it per 4 liters of water. During solution preparation, remember to firstly add potassium silicate into the water and add remaining nutrients after that. Potassium silicate is cancerous if inhaled. So you should wear a proper dust mask when using or mixing powdered silica.
Finally, at this stage of growing weed, each plant wants 800 ml to 1.5 liters of nutrient solution every 2 to 4 days.
Flushing of plants before harvest – The last stage of growing marijuana
The flushing technique is used by growers that proceed with soil-based mediums. At the ninth week of the blooming period, most growers cease with nutrient addition and irrigate plants with clear water without fertilizers. During the flushing period, the roots absorb all remaining nutrients from the soil. The plants should be watered at the same frequency as during the blooming period but with 10 to 20% more water. For successful flushing, the water pH must be in the range between 6 and 7.
Possible issues during the flowering stage and their prevention
The transpiration rate is highest during the flowering stage, and that brings new challenges. Water evaporates from the leaves carrying various substances, either by-product from the plant physiological processes or residues from foliar fertilizers. As a result, the cheaper LEDs often suffer from clogging and corrosion. Corrosion prevention could be partially suppressed by daily cleaning of complete lighting fixtures. And yes, it would be really annoying to clean your LEDs every day. Also, if you are adding carbon dioxide in your room, inhalation of high CO2 concentration is everything but not healthy. So, dustproof and chemical resistant lights such as our ScynceLED products are the solution you need. Our products are one of a kind since they are waterproof, meaning that you can dip them in water, turn them on, and they will still work perfectly.
8) Cannabis Harvesting
When is the right time to harvest cannabis?
One parameter tells you that buds reached the highest THC potency: Trichomes color. For those who don’t know, the trichomes are sticky glands that cover the flowers and some small leaves of the cannabis plant.
To enable yourself to see trichomes clearly, we recommend using a magnifier.
- Still early
In the beginning, the trichome heads look clear and glassy. At this point, buds are not very potent, and you shouldn’t harvest them.
- Perfect timing
As time goes by, the trichome heads turn to milky white, while the “hairs” get brown color. Once most of the hairs darkened and curled in, that is a sign that buds reached the highest level of THC and CBD. So now is a perfect time for harvest.
- Harvest time for ones that want more relaxing effects
Once white trichome heads start turning to golden color, that is a sign of overmature buds. At this point, the THC level is reduced, but those buds provenly produce stronger relaxing and anti-anxiety effects, which some consumers want.
How to harvest cannabis
Here is the list of the equipment you need:
- Big pruning shears: which are handy for cutting thick branches and tough stalks.
- Trimming scissors: You need them for trimming buds and the smaller leaves around buds.
- Gloves: The buds are sticky due to the abundance of resin. So, wearing gloves keep your hands clean and makes your harvest much easier.
- Rubbing alcohol: Every once in a while, you will need to wipe up pruning shears and trimming scissors from resin residues.
- Containers: You need some containers such as cooking trays or bowls. It’s handy to have a few of them— one for the branches you cut off, one for final trimmed buds, and one for all the other trimmings you remove.
- Air-tight glass jars: You need a way to keep your buds fresh and prevent the smell from overtaking your storage or travel containers.
There are two types of cannabis harvest: wet and dry trimming. There are pros and cons for both methods, and the grower won’t make a mistake choosing any of those two. Trimming is done before cannabis drying in the wet trimming method.
- In wet trimming, growers cut down the plant and remove all buds off branches. After that, the buds are dried in one sitting.
- Dry trimming is a more widely used technique since it enables growers to dry buds more efficiently after the harvest. The growers cut down the plant and hang it to dry for several days.
9) Cannabis Trimming
Cutting the branches
There is no particular rule about appropriate cutting branches. The aim is to cut from your plant the branches that have buds. So, the good advice is to cut off the branches in manageable size so you can approach all buds easily without hurting any of them.
Firstly, you should cut off the large fan leaves. After that, a more sophisticated activity comes into play, trimming off so-called sugar leaves. Those are the small leaves that stick out of buds. Everyone has their trimming preference, but the fact is that the complete removal of sugar leaves makes bud less harsh. Some growers prefer to leave half of those leaves to get nicely balanced buds. We will leave it to you to discover the way you love the most.
10) Cannabis drying
For efficient cannabis drying, you need a dark place since light causes the degradation of THC. The drying area should be windy, and you can use oscillating fans to generate wind and improve the drying process that way. The optimal temperature range in the drying room is 65 to 75 Fahrenheit, while relative humidity should be 45 to 55%.
One of the best ways to dry your buds is by placing them in a herb drying rack. The drying rack swings along the wind direction, enabling air and bud contact from all sides. In that way, the drying process occurs equally throughout the whole bud’s surface.
The drying process can usually last between 3 to 7 days, and it depends on the starting level of the water within the buds and drying efficiency.
To have tasteful buds with a nice flavor the moisture level should be reduced to 12% or less.
How to check a moisture level in the buds
Take one bud and measure its weight using an accurate balance. Next, put the bud in the oven, set the 180 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, and leave it there for 2 to 3 hours. After that, measure the dried bud. Divide the weight difference with the weight of the original sample, and you will get the bud’s moisture content as a percentage.
You can also find affordable bench-top moisture analyzers that are actually small ovens with scale, so you can constantly observe the change of the sample’s mass over time. Once mass reduction is neglectable, that means that moisture is completely removed from the sample.
11) Cannabis Packing and Storing
So much effort was put into growing cannabis appropriately, and now it’s time to maintain bud’s quality to its consumption. Once the buds have dried, storage is extremely important. If stored improperly, some essential compounds tend to evaporate, reducing the bud’s quality over time. You can never know how long you will store your buds, so there is a need for a permanent storage solution.
- Temperature. The storing temperature should be below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At higher temperatures, thermolabile compounds could start evaporating.
- Moisture. The optimal moisture of the storing environment is in the range between 59% and 63% relative humidity.
- Darkness. Light and especially the UV portion of the spectrum, can cause THC degradation after harvest. So, it’s essential to keep your buds in the dark place.
There are various storage containers where you can pack your buds. We will recommend here one type that we are fond of.
The airtight glass jar is a great solution since it is electrically neutral and it doesn’t interact with precious compounds within buds. On the contrary, the plastic tends to have a static charge that will make trichomes fall off the buds and stick to the sides of the container. The airtight glass jar prevents air entrance and the rise of moisture that destroys buds. Most importantly, the jar preserves the terpenes for long periods, ensuring that the weed does not lose its aroma.
12) Space Cleaning
Congratulations! We covered the ”how to grow weed” question in-depth, but what now? The pests are sneaky, their reproduction is exponential, and you don’t want to notice them while your marijuana grows. So, now it’s time to sterilize your grow room. Here is how!
After harvest, you probably don’t control the moisture and temperature in the growing room anymore, which is the perfect time for pests and diseases to spread out. So, immediately after harvest, you want to remove dead leaves and stems from the floor and get them out of the growing room.
Before cleaning, turn off all the equipment in the growing room, besides the extraction fan, which should be running, especially if you use bleach or any other strong-smelling products.
Cleaning the floor
Start with removing all pots, containers, and any other components placed on the floor from your growing room. Next, sweep the area, remove the first layer of dirt, and then use a vacuum cleaner to clean it in detail.
If you had some issues with pests in the growing cycle, we recommend using the insecticidal bomb. It is a strong but beneficial asset that kills all pests. Before applying an insecticidal bomb, you should turn off the extractor fan. After application, close all windows and doors to keep the growing area sealed for one day. After 24 hours, turn on the extractor fan for 15 minutes before entering the room.
Make a 5% bleach solution and wipe down the floor with it using a brush. Let the solution dry out for five minutes, and then mop it with hot water.
Cleaning the gear
Now, when you are done with the floor, it’s time to clean your gear. Clean up the lights and ballasts using a soft cloth. Also, gently clean cables using alcohol wipes. Clean LEDs using a soft cloth moistened with 3% vinegar in water solution. After that, wipe them again with another cloth before moistured in distilled water. We recommend distilled water to avoid calcium salts deposition on your LEDs.
Now, the pots or fabric containers are left to get cleaned. You will need to brush dirt and debris using 10% bleach solutions. In case you are using fabric containers, many of them can be cleaned in the washing machine. So set a washing temperature as recommended by the manufacturer for efficient cleaning.
Now You’re Ready To Grow
In the end, we hope that we elaborated in-depth on all aspects of one of the broadest questions: How to grow pot?
There are many factors that you should take care of during growing cannabis. Still, growers are usually most concerned with lightning parts since improper and insufficient lighting intensity can seriously affect the yields and slow down plant development. Many growers find the adjustment of emitted colors and lightning schedules are incredibly complex, but they are entirely wrong. Remote lighting control has never been easier by using our lights integrated with the user-friendly THEIA app. There is no need for complex wiring or the addition of electronic components. You just need to plug your lights into our Echo wireless control hub, connect with it via the app and follow our tips. The Wireless communication protocol, along with the state-of-the-art cannabis growing lights, enables you to remotely provide the perfect growing environment to your plants at any moment. Trust us, and your plants will be grateful to you more than ever. Happy cannabis growing!