The word homegrow is apt to draw two simultaneous reactions: intrigue and confusion. With more patients and adult-use consumers choosing to grow their own cannabis, there is no shortage of interest in this area. That intrigue, however, is often overshadowed by doubt: how does one even go about growing their own cannabis?
The answer isn’t easy. With cannabis being one of the hardest crops on the planet to successfully produce, it isn’t surprising that homegrow comes with a set of its own specific challenges. Of course, most of these can be circumvented with a little education. Particularly, one will need to apply five elements – genetics, location, substrates, fertilizers and basic plant maintenance – to the process.
Finding good genetics
The very first thing homegrowers must consider when looking to start a crop is genetics. Cannabis genetics can come in the form of a clone, usually sourced from the mother plant of a trusted cultivator, or seed. Because clones are often tricky to procure, many growers start from seed. Cannabis seeds can be purchased online or in many head shops. Once germinated, these seeds can be propagated and serve as the first step to setting up a grow.1
Choosing a location
Where the environment permits, cannabis can be grown nearly anywhere. This explains why cannabis cultivars have evolved in places where the plant grows well and wild. Most homegrows can easily be set up outside, though this is not the best way to mitigate variables like pests and pathogens. To minimize these factors, many homegrowers find a place inside – a room or closet – to grow. But one of the most popular options is a grow tent, which will allow one to hang lights and feed their plants without creating a mess, or a risk to a home investment.
Selecting a substrate
After genetics are procured and a location is picked out, the next thing homegrowers need to figure out is what medium, or substrate, to grow in. These options span from the simple, like soil, to the incredibly complex, like aquaponics. For the most part, homegrowers use a substrate made of coco, hydrocorn, a mix of the two, or some formation close to that. Other growers, still, use more traditional substrates like rockwool, which remains popular in this day and age.2
Fertilizers and feeding
Equally confounding as substrates for most homegrowers is choosing a fertilizer and learning to feed the plants. Many fertilizers, or nutrients, come in two or three-part solutions that typically include a vegetation and bloom feed. There are quite literally hundreds of fertilizers available to homegrowers, and it does take some trial and error to determine what nutrients work best for the environment, and what the feed schedule and cycle for the plant looks like.3
The last thing that needs to be factored in when starting a homegrow is plant maintenance. After the genetics have been procured, fertilizer and substrate selected, and an ideal location to grow has been found, plants can now begin sprouting. One need only take care of the plants’ watering, feeding and pruning, to attain a successful crop. But, again here, a little trial and error may be needed to dial in best practices.
1. “Why are cannabis genetics important?” https://zenpype.com/why-are-cannabis-genetics-important/
2. “Substrates for growing cannabis.” https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/substrates-growing-cannabis/
3. “How to use cannabis nutrients.” https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-how-to-use-cannabis-nutrients-n329
The history of cannabinoids is full of intrigue. For decades now, scientists and researchers of all stripes have marveled at the cannabis plant’s rich chemical tapestry – one loaded with hundreds of properties, from the psychoactive to the analgesic. Where culture and industry have unquestionably failed science is in the simplistic categorization of the plant, and its many concentrates.
The history of tinctures is rich in texture. Humans have been using tinctures since 1000 AD when alcohol was first distilled by the ancient Egyptians. After distilling alcohol became common practice, using the mixture to preserve plants and create plant-based medicine soon followed. For therapeutic reasons, cannabis infusion has over time become one of the most popular tinctures.
The times have most certainly changed. Long gone are the days when a curt answer will suffice to address the questions and potential concerns children have about cannabis. With more adults consuming the plant and its many concentrates for both medical and recreational reasons, the importance of safeguarding kids from the potential harms associated with the practice have never been more pressing.
Like its precursor, cannabis oil has many faces and a host of applications. In fact, the increasing popularity of cannabis oil can almost certainly be attributed to both the potency and efficacy of the product, but the sheer number of different oils available, and unique ways they can be consumed, which has also greatly increased their popularity.
Insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are but a few of the ills that fall under the category of sleep condition. Though not quick to receive much attention from the healthcare community, the threat associated with sleep conditions – from obesity to cardiovascular disease – is stark.
Having a working understanding of the myriad accessories available to patients is a good start to being able to properly medicate using cannabis. Equally important to the conversation of what products there are, is knowledge of how to use those accessories. Where some cannabis accessories, like papers, are quite basic, others, like vaporizers, can be a little harder to figure out.
With cannabis concentrates now available in nearly every form, it’s a wonder people still consume whole flowers. The fact is, while products like oils, edibles and tinctures have become increasingly popular over the last number of years, patients continue to unequivocally side with whole flowers as the choice method of medicating with cannabis.
Like accessories, devices can be a nuanced topic in the discussion about how best to incorporate medical cannabis into a therapy. Oftentimes, these products – particularly the traditional tools – don’t come with a user’s manual. Newer products, like oil pens and pre-loaded vape cartridges, have their own set of idiosyncrasies. Understanding the similarities of, and differences between, cannabis devices is a solid starting point to properly medicating with cannabis.
As more people around the world are prescribed (and self-prescribe) cannabis, there is a pressing question deserving of deeper analysis: Is cannabis addictive?
Though no products yet exist that will eliminate the unwanted effects of cannabis paranoia, there are certainly cultural tips, adopted as truths, that are reported to be able to help. In case you ever find yourself up against that rare, but scary, menace, we’ve outlined a number of tools you can use.
The decision to adopt cannabis as a treatment option is, like most significant changes in life, very personal. Whether you’ve decided to incorporate medical cannabis into your routine to treat chronic pain, sleep issues, cancer symptoms or social anxiety, you’ve likely done so primarily for one reason: to feel better.
As it has been established, medical cannabis doesn’t need to simply be smoked or baked to be incorporated as part of a healthy routine. There are also concentrates, topicals and edibles on the market that have started to pique the interest of recreational consumers and medical patients. Many of these products have helped to open the door to the full potential of the cannabis plant and its extracts.
Can cannabis cure cancer? To date, there is no scientific evidence to back the theory that cannabis kills cancer cells. In fact, most responsible cannabis professionals – leery of a culture of misinformation – will caution patients to ignore that claim.
There are few experts, if any, on the research and development side of the cannabis conversation that deny the holistic efficacy of THC. Despite there being a common misperception that the most popular and notorious of all the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant is only responsible for a good time, there is a wealth of scientific data that refutes this assertion. In fact, insiders have known – long before medical cannabis became an acceptable adjunct treatment option – that THC has profound therapeutic benefits.
As cannabis legalization ripples across Canada, some Canadians may be tempted to consume cannabis and get behind the wheel of their car, perhaps thinking a cannabis high won’t disrupt their driving behavior compared to drinking a few beers. But such assumptions can be dangerous, if not lethal.
Incorporating cannabis into your daily routine can, unquestionably, come with a set of light challenges. Chief among those is perhaps understanding the lexicon associated with ancillary cannabis products. When getting started with treatment, the difference between a paper and vape, or pipe and bong, may be unclear.
The list of sophisticated new cannabis products lining product shelves of this new space is extensive, and impressive. More often than not, these products serve as a responsible introduction to medical cannabis. Where pipes and bongs have a tendency to lend stereotype to any conversation of cannabis therapy, new delivery methods like oils, edibles and topicals tend to have exactly the opposite effect.
Something of an enigma, cannabis oil is a term that is tossed around loosely, and often misunderstood. Likely because an understanding of cannabis oil is contingent on both the process and product, confusion seems to follow the conversation. For this reason, it’s important that consumers and patients gain a basic knowledge of both before deciding if medicating with oils is an appropriate treatment option.
What is cannabis treatment? Cannabis treatment is the use of the cannabis plant, or any of its components, as a therapeutic agent. Specifically, treatment involves the consumption of all or some of the plant’s matter, cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, to achieve a desired therapeutic result.
Inhaling the vapours of marijuana concentrates as a way to medicate has been in fashion for at least a decade, but advanced hash oil extraction methods have led to a flood of cannabis concentrates with which to medicate.
Cannabis treatment is a moot therapy option without a firm grasp on how to dose. This very fact has perhaps been best illustrated by the fact the medical community, until recently, has shied away from throwing full support behind the plant and its potential. However, as new products develop, and fresh ways of dosing have become available to patients, so too have the means of dosing surfaced. As a result, more and more practitioners have started prescribing cannabis- based concentrates.