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How Long Does It Take to Grow Cannabis?

Bjorn Dawson May 04, 2020

Necessary Things We Need to Keep in Mind during Cannabis Harvest

You can develop your cannabis growing skills over time with a lot of practice. The process may not seem to be very complicated but you probably might have to struggle quite a bit to master the art. Yes, you read that right, it is an art indeed! A lot of patience, practice, and time have to be invested in growing cannabis.

Top Things to Keep in Mind While You Grow Cannabis

Selection of Seeds for Cannabis Harvest


● The proper selection of cannabis seeds is the key to getting better yields, therefore this stage is a very crucial part and requires mature decision making.


●  Preference for feminized seeds. When it comes to growing cannabis, we have to keep in mind that we should prefer feminized seeds because these are the ones that make newer buds. 
If we select seeds on our own, there are chances of bringing in more male seeds than the feminized ones. It is therefore wise to buy specialized, feminized seeds from the stores.
However, male seeds are also required because they produce pollen grains, required for the process of pollination.
●  Recognizing healthy seeds is very important! Healthy seeds are mainly the ones that are darker in colour and harder in texture. The green ones and the ones with softer texture are advised not to be used.
●  Patterns Distinguishing Seeds. Indica seeds are larger, have a striped pattern, and give a faster yield, whereas Sativa seeds come in a single colour and produce a better yield than the former. 
●  Best of the Lot. There are other types of cannabis plants like the Ruderalis or the plants that allow faster growth and are the auto-flowering plants. These plants have the ability to constantly absorb light and therefore grow faster. They are often crossed with other types of plants to create hybrids. They are mostly rich in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the principal psychoactive component of marijuana. 

Selecting a Proper Growing Medium 

When it comes to cannabis harvest, we have to be very sure about the quality of the soil more than anything else. 


The important aspects that the soils should have to grow cannabis are :


●  Facilitating drainage: Able to drain excess water with a somewhat loose texture and can retain the amount of water necessary.

●   Appearance: The soil should be dark in appearance and rich in nutrients.

●  Necessary nutrients: Some good cannabis soil ingredients are sandy loam, dolomite lime, and perlite (very light, airy, white rocks that aid drainage and circulate oxygen). Some other organic nutrients are coco coir (coconut husks which also help in water retention but maintain the light weight of the soil), worm castings, etc. 

Other useful methods: Nowadays, indoor cannabis growers are also opting for the hydroponic method because it helps to uptake nutrients quicker and provides better yields. This is a soil-less method that requires feeding the roots with concentrated solutions of mineral salt nutrients by the process of osmosis.

Maintenance of a Proper Growing Space 

The growing space for the plants can be set up anywhere but it has to have suitable requirements. 


●  Cannot be directly exposed to the sun. We have to keep in mind that the seeds cannot be directly exposed to the sun and need to be kept in a dark space. Additionally, if the space is smaller, it is more pocket-friendly and is much easier to monitor.

●  Too much moisture can be harmful. The seeds cannot be kept in a moist place; they have to be kept dry for a proper yield. Therefore, a cool and dry area with ready access to cool air needs to be chosen rather than a warm and humid area to grow the plants. 

●  Temperature. Too hot or too cold temperatures can prove to be harmful to the seeds. They all need to be placed at room temperature.

● Cleanliness is important. The place where the seeds are placed needs everyday cleaning to keep it sanitized. Proper monitoring of the plants is also very necessary for a proper yield. 

Setting up Cannabis Grow Lights

Planning to grow cannabis indoors? Well, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.


A proper cycle of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness is necessary for cannabis plants to grow whether we grow them indoors or outside. We also have to keep in mind that the amount of light and the quality of it in the grow room is a responsible factor for the growth and quality of cannabis. Some significant cannabis harvest lights are:


●  HID: Though HID (high-intensity discharge) lights are costlier compared to fluorescent lights, they are the industry standard mainly known for their efficiency. There are two types of HID lights used for this purpose, the first being metal halide, which produces a bluish-white light useful for vegetation, and the other being high-pressure sodium, which produces reddish lights, more useful during the flowering stages. 

●  Fluorescent lights: These are quite preferred by small-scale cannabis growers because they are comparatively cheaper and they don’t need to be cooled because they don’t generate as much heat as HID lights. 

●  Induction lights: These lights are a bit costly and difficult to find but are efficient in some ways. These are also called electrodeless fluorescent lamps. They are a more efficient and longer-lasting version of the fluorescent bulbs.

LED (light-emitting diode): These are very efficient lights for indoor growing. Although these lights are much costlier than HID lights, they last for a very long time, create less heat, use less electricity, and help in yielding better quality cannabis.


Necessary Nutrients for Cannabis Harvest: 

There are a wide variety of nutrients that the cannabis plants need for a better yield. Although it can be very hectic for us to remember all the necessary nutrients, we definitely have to keep at least a few of the major ones in mind. Some of the non-mineral elements derived from air and water are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. 


The mineral elements which are considered to be macronutrients necessary for cannabis plants are:


Nitrogen: This nutrient is very necessary during the growing stages of cannabis. It is an important part of chlorophyll, without which the plants cannot turn sunlight into energy.


It is also an important part of amino acids, which are building blocks for proteins in plants. 


In addition, it creates nucleic acid and is an essential ingredient in DNA and RNA without which the cells wouldn’t be able to multiply.


Calcium: Calcium helps in keeping the structure of the cell walls of the marijuana plants together. The deficiency of calcium will make the plants stunted, produce rusty spots on the plants, and result in the leaves getting curled up.

Phosphorus: It is very necessary for large and healthy buds of cannabis. The key role of phosphorus is to make the nutrients available to the plants. 


The early signs of phosphorus deficiency are purple hues in the veins of the leaves. A deficiency of phosphorus will result in underdeveloped roots and no flowering signs. 


Magnesium: A deficiency of magnesium will result in less glucose production in cannabis plants. Magnesium helps in metabolizing glucose in order to help the plants grow. Lack of magnesium will lead to leaves getting yellow or discolored.

Potassium: This nutrient has a huge role in osmoregulation, the passive regulation of salt and water concentration in plants. It also triggers the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which works to store energy in the plants. Without potassium, cannabis plants wouldn’t be able to successfully regulate the exchange of CO2, H2O, and oxygen.

●  Some other micronutrients necessary for the cannabis plants are zinc, iron, manganese, cobalt, silicon, chlorine, boron, copper, molybdenum, etc. 




Giving Fresh Air to the Cannabis Plants 

Obviously, like you and me, cannabis plants also need a steady stream of fresh air flowing to thrive.


A constant light breeze strengthens the plants, prevents molds from growing over them, and drives the flying pests away. It is very important for us to ensure that the temperature in which our plants are growing is 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. The tolerance of temperature and the necessity of fresh air depends on the species of plants. 


If we are growing our cannabis plants indoors, we can provide air to the plants with the help of exhaust fans or wall-mounted circulating fans. The size of the fans depends on the growing space and amount of heat generated by the lights. However, pointing the fans directly towards the plants can cause windburn.


Alternatively, the use of air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and a supplemental CO2 system can be made to create a sealed, artificial environment. However, it can prove to be quite expensive for those who are new to the business.


Proper Monitoring and Watering of the Plants 

Needless to say, proper monitoring of marijuana plants is very important.


However, if you are reluctant to spend a lot of time with your cannabis plants, you can set up a hygrometer or a thermostat in the growing area. It helps in keeping a check on the humidity, temperature, etc.


It is also necessary to keep a regular check on the pH level of water. Cannabis plants generally prefer a pH between 6 and 7 in soil and between 5.5 and 6.5 in the hydroponic medium. 


Regular watering of the plants should also be done for good yields. We should keep in mind that overwatering plants never helps because it makes the cannabis plants more susceptible to fungal root diseases.

On a Concluding Note

It is estimated that the cannabis plant takes about three to five months to grow depending entirely on the way of cultivation and the strain that you’ve chosen to grow. However, it takes one or two months more for the drying and curing process.


Feminized seeds take a longer time to be harvested whereas autoflowering strains take less time. Indoor crops also take less time (3-4 weeks) than the outdoor crops (8-9 weeks) to become ready to harvest.


Patience is the greatest tool in the cultivation of cannabis as it has to cross several stages, i.e., germination (changing of seeds from seed to sapling), the vegetative phase (growth period), flowering, drying, and curing. Cannabis production needs a lot of restraint and it is of the utmost importance that we keep all the essentials and the growing stages in mind and act accordingly for the best results. 



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