Continuing our ultimate list of cannabis terms and definitions, we’re tackling words that you should know when growing cannabis indoors. Here are 21 must-know terms and supplies if you'll want to know when growing herb indoors.
Growing Equipment Terms
Aeroponics - The process of growing plants in an air or mist environment, without the use of soil or aggregate medium.
Aquaponics - The combination of aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, or prawns in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. The waste produced by aquatic animals supplies nutrients for the hydroponic plants. In turn, these plants purify the water for the animals.
DWC (Deep Water Culture) - A type of hydroponics system where plant roots continuously sit in a highly oxygenated water and nutrient solution.
Ebb & Flow - A type of hydroponics system. In this process, plant roots sit in a coarse growing medium for support, while a water and nutrient solution flows past the roots on a set time schedule. This allows for the aeration of the roots, while automating the job of watering the plants by hand.
Hydroponics - The method of growing plants without soil. Instead, plants grow in a mixture of liquid nutrients and water. The Grobo One Automated Grow Box is a great example of a system that uses hydroponics.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) - An energy-saving light that produces little heat. Only good for a plant’s seedling stage as it is not very strong. For further reading on CFLs.
HPS (High Pressure Sodium) - The gold standard in cannabis lighting and is favoured to use for the flowering stage. Has a great color spectrum and ability to penetrate a canopy of plants. However, the light uses a lot of electricity and produces a lot of heat that must be vented from the grow area. For further information on HPS.
HPS light with reflector
LED (Light Emitting Diode) - A highly efficient lighting solution. The light produced consumes less energy and produces less heat, making it ideal for indoor growing. For further reading on LEDs.
MH (Metal Halide) - Another very hot and high energy using light. Can produce blue light and is used during the vegetative growth stage. For further reading on MHs.
Grow Box - An enclosed chamber for raising plants in small spaces. Contains built-in lights, watering system, and ventilation system to create an ideal indoor growing environment. Examples of grow boxes include Grobo One and iDro.
Grow Tent - A large, enclosed chamber created using fabric. It creates an ideal indoor growing environment. Similar to a grow box, but normally larger and built with less permanent materials and can be easily setup and dismantled. Learn more about options for growing chambers.
Nutrients (nutes) - Plants need nutrients to survive and grow. The primary nutrients are composed of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium).
In cannabis growth, a higher amount of nitrogen is used during the vegging and early flowering stages, as it is the main component for growth. During flowering, nitrogen amounts are reduced, and a higher phosphorus-to-fertilizer ratio is used. Not covered by the NPK-to-fertilizer ratio are micro-nutrients. These are the trace elements provided by most soils, but will need to be added manually when using a hydroponic grow system.
Propagation Materials - Seeds or cuttings used to start your garden.
pH (Potential of Hydrogen) - A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of your water or soil. Having the optimal pH in your growth medium is important as pH greatly affects your plant’s ability to take in nutrients.
PPM (Parts Per Million) - A measurement of a mass in a liquid, similar to TDS. This is a way of determining the concentration of something in water or soil. This is used for very small concentrations of particles in solutions, as one ppm equals to 1 milligram of something per liter of water (mg/l).
TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) - Another way to measure how many solids are in your water solution. Similar to PPM. Dissolved solids can be organic sources such as leaves, plankton, sand, or salts. It could also be materials such as nitrogen, calcium, sulfates, or other minerals.
Flowering - The stage where buds start to appear at the nodes of the plant. Requires 12 straight hours of darkness to trigger this stage.
Seedling - A young plant that has been grown from seed
Sprouting/Germination - The beginning stage of a plant’s life where it begins to grow (or sprout) out of the seed and establish its roots.
A seed sprouting
Vegetative Stage (Vegging or Veg) - The growth stage of the plant life. After its roots are established, 18 - 24 hours of light per day enable the plant to grow bigger and taller.
Photoperiod - The period of time when plants receive light. In indoor growing, a 12 hour photoperiod is used to trigger flowering in cannabis plants.
Already started growing?
Check out these 10 cannabis growing techniques to get the most out of your grow.
Did we miss anything?
Is there an important cannabis term that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below so that we can all learn more!