Growing your own cannabis plant is a popular choice for cannabis consumers in California because it offers naturally grown flower without unknown origins, pesticides, or additives. It allows the consumer to control what is and isn’t added during their cannabis plant’s germination and development. Clients don’t have to wait until harvest to enjoy the rewards of cultivating cannabis. Many of our clients find that the patience and discipline that this endeavor requires is a therapeutic, meditative practice in its own right because it forces them to take a pause and let nature run the show.
If you would like to experience the benefits of growing your cannabis in the comfort of your home, please don’t hesitate to check what seeds we have in stock on our online menu or stop by one of our six dispensaries in Central California. To speak with us directly, please call (888) 354-0139.
Understanding The Red Tape
If you live in California, chances are you already know someone who grows their own cannabis. They might have a grow tent set up in their apartment, or a hemp plant blooming in their flower garden. The question that often comes up when someone says they grow their own cannabis is, “Don’t you need a permit?” Well, according to Proposition 64, not if the cannabis is grown for personal use. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act passed on November 9, 2016, legalized the personal use and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 years of age or older. While there are limits to the personal cultivation of cannabis, Californians are entitled to grow up to 6 plants at one time on private property. However, it is also important to check your county’s laws on this matter as laws differ across California.
Selecting Your Seed
The first step on this journey is picking out a favorite strain at one of our Medallion Wellness locations. Be sure to ask a budtender what seeds we have available or, if this is your first grow, for any recommendations. Some strains grow differently than others and need to be harvested uniquely. For example, some sativa strains need to flower longer and in more intense heat than some indica and CBD-dominant strains. Understanding these nuances in your chosen strain will help ensure an optimal yield during harvest. While it might be tempting to stick with seeds to grow your stand-by strain, there’s no better way to find a new favorite than nurturing a new favorite. You’ll get to understand the colors, aromas, and unique personalities intimately after spending time with your new best bud.
An Indoor or An Outdoor Grow
Choosing between an indoor or outdoor grow will depend upon how much space you have and the timing of your grow. Cannabis plants can take anywhere from 3-8 months to grow from seed to flower. If you are interested in an outdoor grow, you will need to begin the process in the springtime to ensure a late-summer, early-fall harvest. If you continue to grow into colder months your plant might not survive due to the cooler temperatures and lessening sunlight. However, with an indoor grow, you can grow your seeds at any point in time during the year. All you need is a:
- A grow tent
- LED grow lights
- Humidifier or Dehumidifier
- An oscillating fan
Preparing The Seed
Upon receiving your seeds, place them in a jar of water and store the jar in a dark, warm place. Once the seeds have sunk to the bottom of the jar, you know they are ready to be taken out. This should take around 18-24 hours. Next, pour the saturated seeds out onto a cushion of paper towels and spread them out. Wrap the seeds in the damp paper towel and store them again in a dark, warm place. Be sure to keep the paper towels damp. In about two days or so, the seeds should have tiny roots poking from their bottoms that are ¾ to an inch in length. This is the time to get your starter pot ready.
Be sure to choose a nutrient-rich soil as your medium. If you need help deciding on soil or other nutrients to infuse your plant’s water with, be sure to ask a budtender which ones they recommend. Soil is known to control a plant’s uptake of macro- and micronutrients so controlling the pH level of your soil is vital. You will need to keep your soil at a neutral pH balance of 7 to enhance your plant’s overall growth and reproductive performance. Different products will help raise or lower the acidity or alkaline levels in your soil. Ask a budtender if we have any of these products in stock.
Once you have your soil picked out and your nutrients on hand, put the soil in a starter pot for your plant. Make sure the soil is in the pot firmly but not compact. If the soil is too dense, the cannabis roots won’t be able to spread through. Next, with the saturated seed in hand, make a small divot in the soil, then place one seed in the hole. Be sure to designate one seed per pot. Cannabis plants are quite expansive when fully matured. Cover the plant with more soil. Be sure to give the plant 16 hours of light during this stage. As the roots spread out in the soil, a fragile stalk will poke out from the soil. Towards the end of the germination phase, a tiny leaf or two will unfold from the stalk.
During the seedling stage, the plant is delicate. This is the stage when newer growers make fatal errors that include overwatering and excessive humidity. To avoid these common mistakes, only water the plant when the soil is noticeably dry. The roots are small at this point and don’t require much water to remain healthy and supple. Like in the germination stage, seedlings also require 16 hours of sunlight. Towards the end of this stage, a mature cannabis plant will have between five and seven blades per leaf. The seedling stage can last between 2-3 weeks.
After the seedling stage, your plant is ready to be transplanted to its final pot. Pour the soil into a large 3-gallon pot and make a little divot for the plant and its roots to burrow in. Next, carefully move the plant from one pot to the other. This relocation is very traumatic for the plant as the roots will have to readjust to their new home. It will take a couple of days for the plant to adjust to acclimate, but once it does, you will see the most plant growth during the vegetative stage. As the stalks grow higher, be sure to train them. This means you need to tie the stalks to a straight object like a strong wire to keep them growing straight upwards. During this phase, you will also need to expose the plant to 16 hours of sunlight, but only 6 hours of direct sunlight. Because the plant is growing, be sure to increase the amount of water you give it. And when you water, don’t pour the water directly at the base but pour it around the edge of the pot. This encourages the roots to spread out in the nutrient-rich soil. This stage can take anywhere from three to sixteen weeks.
If sown in the spring, a plant’s flowering stage occurs around the autumn equinox. This means the plant will naturally receive less sunlight gradually outdoors. For indoor growers, reduce the amount of light your plant receives to 12 hours a day. During this time, you will see pistils on the leaves start to blossom. Pistils are those little white hairs that grow out from infant buds. These pistils are your sign to begin lollipopping!
Lollipopping is an industry term for pruning. By cutting away lower branches on your plant the upper, fuller branches receive all the water and minerals, which will then go straight to the budding flower at the top of the plant. This process provides richer buds when harvest time comes around. During this phase, you will notice more buds sprouting up and, if trained properly, your plant will be well stacked. As the buds continue to grow, be sure to secure the other branches to a trellis beam that hangs overhead. This will help the blossoming branches not succumb to the weight of the buds. After about six weeks from first noticing the pistils, the plant will get very sticky. This, and the color of the pistils, will be your sign to harvest. Some sativa strains will take longer, but a good rule of thumb is to harvest when the pistils are 60-70% brown or red. At last, you’ll have your own, personally-cultivated cannabis!
Cannabis Seeds at Medallion Wellness
At Medallion Wellness, we know the satisfaction our clients receive when they successfully grow their first plant. The path from seed to smoke is not always easy but definitely rewarding. That’s what each of our six dispensaries in Central California, we are proud to offer a line of cannabis seeds to get your green thumb started. To find out which seeds we have in store, please check out our up-to-date online menu or stop by our showroom to consult with one of our expert budtenders.
- Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Marijuana Act – criminal_justice_prop-64. (2016). Ca.gov. https://www.courts.ca.gov/prop64.htm
- What’s legal – Department of Cannabis Control. (2021). Department of Cannabis Control. https://cannabis.ca.gov/consumers/whats-legal/
- Gentili, R., Ambrosini, R., Montagnani, C., Caronni, S., & Citterio, S. (2018). Effect of Soil pH on the Growth, Reproductive Investment and Pollen Allergenicity of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01335