More and more countries around the world are allowing cannabis to be used for medical purposes. If you have a prescription for the use of medical cannabis but are unable to find a source, or you would simply rather save the money you may be considering growing cannabis for yourself. You can buy cannabis seeds from a cannabis seed bank and grow them yourself for medical use.
Picking Your Seeds
The first step in growing your own cannabis for medical use will be to decide which strain you want. The different strains include Indica, Sativa and a range of hybrids too. Each of these are beneficial to treat different illnesses due to the different ingredients we have. Some of the different ingredients include THC, Cannabidiol and more. They have different smells, tastes and potencies, which will all appeal to different people with different wants and needs.
If you are not an avid gardener, then you may want to consider autoflowering seeds. These buds in flowers contain active ingredients which produce a high, so getting your plants to flower is vital. Normal cannabis requires 24 hours of light to grow and 12 hour light cycle to flower, autoflowering plants flower with 24 hours light which means faster flowering.
You could also purchase feminized seeds which will maximise your yield. Cannabis plants come in male and female varieties, but only the female plants produce the buds that yield high amounts. This means the more female plants you grow the more cannabis you will have. Please do be aware though that female plants can sprout male plants if they are under stress, so keep your plants in a low stress environment.
Setting Up The Perfect Environment
If you do not want to set up an entire room you can set up a tent or a grow box. Grow boxes come in a range of shapes and sizes holding up from 8 to over 200 plants. They allow space for easy hookups for your grow lights, they are waterproof and provide an exhaust point too. Many of these boxes are sold with all of the equipment with them making them the perfect setup for beginners.
If you do have a room you would like to dedicate to this you will have to clear it out. Cannabis plants need a warm and humid environment to prevent growth, mold and also keep out pests and insects. You will want to remove all of your chairs, carpets, curtains and clothes as if left in there they could quickly become mouldy.
Things you will need to consider is if you have an electrical outlet for your lights as well as easy access to water. You will need to choose a room where you can maintain the temperature with ease, too many windows can make the room too hot while a basement might be too cold, so hitting the right balance is key. You will also want a room with concrete flooring as if there is a spillage of water and soil the clean up will be easy.
When considering a room you will need to think about what you will do when your plant is going through it’s dark period. One part of your plant’s growing process will need complete darkness, otherwise they could become stressed and a hermaphrodite which simply means male flowers which contain no THC and therefore reduce your yield. Cover the windows and seal light leaks with opaque tape.
During the light period that you plant will need, the more light the better they will grow if you cover your walls and ceilings with a reflective material that will help the light and speed up the growing time. Reflective material you should consider using includes, mylar, white paint or aluminium foil.
Choosing The Perfect Lights
Choosing the lights that you will use to grow your cannabis is really important. To grow your plants you will need lights that provide a full spectrum of light which is not the same as your average household light. The different lights that you have the option between include CFL (Compact Fluorescent) , HPS (High Pressure Sodium) , ML (Metal Halide) and LED (Light Emitting Diode).
If you plant auto flowering seeds, you won’t need to worry about turning the lights on and off. Otherwise, you will need to keep turning the lights off every twelve hours to initiate flowering. Having an electrical timer, this will take stress away from you and will help you out in case you forget or are away from plants.
When you are growing medical cannabis you will need to have a good flow of circulation in your room which will draw away excess heat from your crops, to ensure that your plants get enough CO2 and to control humidity levels. If you do not have a ventilation system you will automatically have smaller yields and risk losing your plants to diseases.
You will need to find a way for new air to come in while old air is blown away. This is especially important if you are growing your plant in a tent or in a box. The outlet will have to be 3-4 times bigger than the exhaust hole. If the intake hole is smaller, you will want to use an intake fan to avoid putting too much stress on the exhaust fan.
Growing Your Seeds
First step when growing your seeds will be to germinate them. We believe that the easiest way to germinate your seeds is to place the seeds in a starter cube tray. Another popular way to germinate seeds is via the paper towel method.
After this will come the vegetative stage. Young growing cannabis plants grow fastest when the temperature is a bit warmer than a comfortable room temperature around 20-30 degrees. As long as it doesn’t get freezing cold or burning hot, your plants should be able to grow in a wide range of temperatures. In this stage your plant will focus on getting big and strong. Buds and flowers are not part of the plant’s vocabulary yet.
Next will come the flowering stage which is when your plants start to bud. This stage will last until you have to harvest. This is getting to the exciting part! During this stage your plant will go through it’s equivalent of puberty and this is when you find out whether the plant is a boy or a girl. Keep your fingers crossed that you have a female!
Harvest Your Weed
Wait until your buds stop growing new, white hair. By this point, your buds should be fragrant, plump and filled out. You should wait until at least 40% of the white hairs have changed have darkened and are curling in. This marks the beginning of the harvest window. Buds harvested now will have more of a speedy effect and are not at fully potency. To harvest cannabis all you have to do is get a sturdy pair of scissors and cut the plant down in the most convenient way possible and that is literally it.
What Can Medical Cannabis Be Used For?
- Pain Relief – Cannabis has been proved to reduce pain pathways in the brain. It can be used for treatments that cause chronic pain including endometriosis, migraines, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
- Lung Capacity – Smoking cannabis can increase lung capacity rather than causing them harm.
- Improving Circulation – Cannabis can help to regulate and prevent diabetes by lowering blood sugars, lowering blood pressure and improve circulation.
- Inflammation – CBD can reduce inflammation which could therefore benefit inflammatory conditions including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and even diabetes.
- Skin Condition – Cannabinoid products also have the potential to treat a range of skin conditions including acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and even more. It can help to restore dehydrated skin and have an improved texture. It can help to relax stressed skin.
- Mental Health & Neurological Disorders – Cannabis can affect the limbic system and can be used to help mental health and neurological disorders such as anxiety, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD and tourette syndrome too.The relaxing effects can also help sleeping disorders including insomnia, if you are in pain cannabis can also help you sleep better as it will help to relieve the pain.
Marijuana Without The High
Least controversial is the extract from the hemp plant known as CBD because this component of cannabis has little if any intoxicating properties. THC is the chemical that causes the high that comes with cannabis consumption. There are different ways of consuming cannabis with or without the high.
The beauty of cannabis is that you have it however which way you like with or without the high. The most common use for cannabis is for pain control but it has many benefits which could help you in the future. Growing your own cannabis gives you the freedom to medicate yourself in your own home, this will allow you to get your medication in the comfort of your own home without going to the pharmacy.