Contributor: Kent Clemens
We all love marijuana. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t. We live in an amazing time where cannabis enthusiasts, like us, aren’t persecuted or judged for incorporating this natural medicine into our daily lives. The therapeutic benefits of cannabis are numerous, and there has been a spike in acceptance (and purchasing) of marijuana with various states and regions finally coming to their senses and legalizing this amazing plant.
With legalization comes cannabis clubs and companies, and boom, seemingly overnight, an entire industry was born. And, not for nothing, but the cannabis industry is (by far) the most profitable one this country has seen in decades. With that being the case, there are a few brands that tend to put profit over product.
Which is just a short way of saying, they charge a ton for their buds. To be fair, if it is a top-shelf strain, it is hard to argue against an elevated price point. Such a financial minimum doesn’t always sit well with the more budget-friendly stoners, such as myself. We simply can’t afford the strains and flowers we want, which leaves us forking over hard-earned money for inferior products.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
In states that have legally approved marijuana, and its usage, they have also legally allowed people to grow bud for themselves. Well, in most situations, anyway. Yes, there is always going to be a restriction on how much one can cultivate on their own, but at the end of the day, as long as you break even financially, that is all you really need, in my personal opinion. That is probably why more and more cannabis enthusiasts have started to dive headfirst into home grows of their own.
Growing one’s own marijuana isn’t necessarily a “simple” process, by any means. One can’t just toss a few seeds in some dirt and hope for the best. No, a ton of research and “homework” has to be done in order to properly grow potent cannabis. But, if your heart is really into it, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
At least, that was the case for me.
Before you can head on over to your local dispensary for some seeds or a clone, you need to make one of the biggest decisions of all: Will it be an outdoor or an indoor grow?
There are positives and negatives to each route, to be completely honest. It really all comes down to personal preference and “real estate” at the end of the day. If you properly weigh the pros and cons of both options, chances are you will be making the right decision for your specific situation that will result in a high yield of bud.
First, let’s look at the facts.
Long before there was even any sort of indoor growing options, farmers had been successfully growing cannabis outside. And not just since the 60’s. This sort of gardening has been going on for thousands of years. So, an outdoor grow is absolutely nothing to sneeze at.
The natural sunlight provided with an outdoor approach to growing cannabis is incredibly advantageous. Also, while many would assume the chances of bugs and insects messing with the crops would be too much to deal with – they often forget that the insect world is full of predators, as well. These little critters serve as a great natural defense to any bugs that may harm your burgeoning plants. But that is not necessarily guaranteed.
In home grows, say, in a closet, for example – the chances of attracting only harmful insects is through the roof. Which means a lot of other, more drastic measures must be taken in order to protect your crops from these hurtful creatures. However, there is more opportunity to be successful in doing so, as you can completely control the environment.
Speaking of, with a home grow, one can utilize one of the many LED lighting systems and reflective surfaces that are on the market today, to completely control the amount of light (through lighting cycles) that would be optimal for your buds. Like everything else indoors, there is a ceiling – a.k.a “height restriction” – and it greatly affects the final yield of a crop. Which is something the outdoor route has going for it, as the sky is (literally) the limit for how high a crop can grow outside.
That said, regardless of how tall these plants get outdoors, they may not be getting as many nutrients as they need to reach their full potential. Also, the weather is only getting more and more unpredictable as the years go on. So, the more control one can attain during a grow cycle – the better. Which is most easily achieved with an indoor operation. Also, with an indoor grow, people rely on a feeding schedule. One that is chock full of needed nutrients, and that often produces far more potent buds than its outdoor counterparts.
Also, when growing outdoors, you only have so many opportunities to even try to grow buds. These are called grow seasons. With an indoor operation, you can hop right into another batch once one finishes up. That sort of versatility is often deemed as the main deciding factor when it comes to choosing a specific route on how to grow marijuana at home.
At the end of the day, it really all comes down to your living situation and personal diligence. If you live in an apartment and like having a steady schedule of feedings and light cycles, than an indoor grow is the way to go. However, if you have access to a garden or backyard, hopefully with some high fences, and consider yourself more of a leisurely gardener, an outdoor grow may be the route you want to take.
But one glaring aspect needs to be mentioned.
If you choose an outdoor grow, it is great for the buds to receive natural sunlight and whatnot – but it also makes it far easier for any ne’er-do-wells to steal your crops. Not only would that be damn near impossible for indoor buds, but people would likely never even know about your tiny in-house grow in the first place. Which, to me, is a big deal when it comes to this sort of discussion.
Personally, I feel like if you really want to grow your own bud, you wouldn’t mind the extra diligence needed to complete a successful grow indoors. In fact, you would probably start to look forward to the detailed schedule of feedings and lighting cycles.
To be completely honest, there is no wrong way to go about growing your own marijauna – just different ways, that is all. Regardless of the path you may choose to cultivate your own batch of cannabis, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment one feels once they spark up that first bowl (of many) full of homegrown goodness.
With technology always evolving, I am sure we are only months away from a new innovation that will ultimately make the entire process of growing marijuana at home that much easier. Just know going into this, it will require a lot of knowledge, patience, and discipline.
Sure, you may want to smoke some homegrown buds as fast as possible, but if this delicate process is rushed, it will only hurt the overall crop – and nobody wants that.