Full marijuana growing guide
From potent cannabis seeds to high quality yield
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Forget what you
- Cannabis is a plant
- General info about cannabis
- Risk factors
- Rips, tips and
your own big mouth
- Number of plants
- Odor control
- Power consumption
- Where to start
- Choosing a space
- AC primer
- Lighting requirements
- Soil and containers
- Growth cycle
- Cloning and sprouting
- Sex and sexing
- Limiting factors
- Carbon dioxide
- Potency, maturity, harvesting
- When to harvest
- Harvesting, manicuring and
Welcome to The Home Cannabis creator. Congratulations on your
excellent taste in subject matter.
This is a straightforward compilation of the collective experience
of a successful co-op of Seattle-area growers known as the Snohomish County Cannabis Creators (S.C.C.C.). Founded with the planting
of a seed in 1991, the S.C.C.C.'s mission is to make information
and high quality clones available to anyone interested, so that
they can have the know how and the genetics to produce world-class
sensimillia. Membership is then gained by selling this product
well dried for a reasonable price, so that it will always remain
widely available for the sick, the stressed and the silent lovers
of the cherished herb.
This guide is intended specifically for people who wish to create
cannabis indoors, using lights, for personal use or on a small
commercial to large commercial scale. It is geared for the novice
or unsuccessful, because if you are experienced and successful
you have established what works for you, and that is the system
that I recommend most highly. I have known too many happy growers
that made the mistake of buying one of those 300-plus page grow
textbooks after growing successfully for a period of time. Usually
they are horrified when they discover that the "official"
book tells them that they are doing something, or everything,
The methods described here are certainly not the only way to
create large amounts of high quality cannabis; in fact, it seems
to me that there are as many ways as there are growers. What
it all boils down to in this school is how to have the greatest
success, productivity and satisfaction, while spending the least
amount of time, energy, and money in the process. It boils down
Also included is my personal favorite part, the dispelling of
a persistent list of local tall tales that cause many current
cannabis creators unnecessary stress or confusion and cause some
people not to grow at all.
If you do grow, but are not producing the quality or quantity
of cannabis that you desire, or if you have been unsuccessful
in the past, I suggest that you read on with an open mind, as
if you hadn't ever attempted to grow before. Without change,
things will only remain the same- so the first rule still applies
to you- forget what you know. Start fresh. Don't try to improvise
with your old supplies, methods, equipment, or anything else
if it's a compromise from what is described. Be aware that large
gardens are a full time job. A large garden won't necessarily
produce more buds than a small garden unless you spend proportionately
more time tending it.
Vast amounts of information have been left out for simplicity's
sake. Cannabis is certainly one of the most complex subjects
that one could hope to ponder, and you will find your career
as a cannabis creator to be a continuous learning experience,
for however long you pursue it.
A. Forget what you know
The very first and most damning mistake a novice cannabis creator
can make is stubbornly sticking to anything that you think that
you already know about creating cannabis. Many people who decide
to grow do so after years of being what I call "cannabis
enthusiasts". That is to say, that you have already had
much experience with cannabis, seeing, smelling, distributing
and of course tasting, and thus of course, it probably has been
the subject of many animated conversations in your life. But
talk is cheap. Ask yourself this- "Have any of my friends
confided in me that they were producing large amounts of high
quality cannabis, and did they actually let me assist in the
process from start to finish?" If the answer is yes, then
you don't need this book. If your friend grows and trusts you
that much, have them set you up. If the answer is no, I implore
you to forget everything that you have ever heard about it, because
99.9% of all stories circulating about successful cannabis creators
are completely false. The reason for this is simple: successful
cannabis creators don't talk about their operations. I cannot
count the number of ridiculous stories that I have heard from
people (usually at a party or bar, after a few drinks) concerning
this mysterious grower-friend and their even more mysterious
Common tall tales include the guy that has 500 (or more!) 8 foot
tall Christmas trees in his basement (hopefully nobody with 500
plants would tell this blabbermouth, and by my calculations,
this basement would have to be about 50 x 100 feet). Or the guy
who hung his plants or buds upside down so that "the resins
would 'drain' into the buds" (resins don't 'drain', period).
Or their friend who sprayed the buds with (pick one) water, fruit
juice of any kind, sugar water, or anything else to give them
crystals or make them look, taste or smell better.
The next time that someone tells you "this is 39th generation
bud!" ask them what a generation is.
I still hear about Mylar on the floor and/or ceiling, or multiple
layers of Mylar to avoid infra-red detection (this story was
spread by a narc who happened to have a business selling Mylar).
My personal favorite is the amazingly common story that someone
is actually growing their plants upside-down- buckets in the
air, lights on the ground. ("Uh... whatever.")
For our purposes; for the normal Joe or Jill who just dreams
of smoking the kind freely, (as in for free), or maybe slightly
bigger dreams of quarters and pounds available, these kinds of
stories represent total ignorance, whether or not they are based
on truth. Furthermore, anyone who alleges to be growing "the
UW" is probably misinformed at least. The University of
Washington did have a medical research program, but only for
two years, 1978 and 1979. Then came the war on drugs, and research
was banned by any independent non-government laboratories. (Hmmm).
I am highly suspicious of "U.W." stories because I
have seen every different kind of bud referred to as "the
U.W.", no two ever alike.
As far as the person who got busted when the power company or
the police helicopter "detected" their grow lights,
most of these tales are ones that the fascists would be happy
to have you believe. As for power consumption, many residences
use lots of electricity for many different reasons including
cannabis creation. There is no way that anyone can detect anything
through the power lines. As far as the Infra-red thermal imaging
(heat sensing) technology that a minority of law enforcement
have available, this device can only measure the temperature
of an outside surface like the roof or a wall. High powered lights
get quite hot so they tend to make warm spots, but if your lights
are in any well insulated space like a basement, they may not
even show up at all. Also if there is attic space above the grow
room, the outside roof temperature would not be affected because
the air in the attic acts as an insulator. One notable exception
to this rule would be any warm exhaust air flowing out of the
room directly to the outside. On a heat-sensing device this would
appear as a large fountain. This can be avoided by exhausting
into another room (attic, garage, etc.) or up a chimney, instead
of directly to the outside.
But listen carefully, students, this is the twist that they want
you to miss- In either case, it is a moot point because if they
are using these techniques on you, then you are already under
investigation. If you are already under investigation, it probably
wasn't anyone who you don't know that "detected" you,
I think that this concept is the underlying point and theme of
this whole book. It cannot be stressed or understood enough that
your main problem as a smart grower will definitely not be law
enforcement figuring it out by themselves.
Jails are chock full of people who would give up their own mothers
to get out. Police forfeitures generate lots of money that they
can use to encourage criminals on the outside to be narcs. Tip
lines ring off the hooks, deluged with calls from people brainwashed
with drug-war hysteria, who think they heard a rumor or smelled
something just slightly out of the ordinary. Cops bust naive
kids with a pipe or a bowl, and then threaten them with anything
that will get them to squeal. These are just a few of the ways
that modern law enforcement tries to deal with the responsibility
of having to find and imprison otherwise normal Americans for
something as common and benign as eating donuts. The fastest
ways. The least expensive ways. The easy ways.
Another good tip is that anyone who claims to have the best pot
definitely doesn't. So don't believe what you've heard.
B. Cannabis is a plant
The concept of cannabis creation can be understood most easily
by keeping one simple fact in mind- cannabis is a plant. A very
highly evolved plant for that matter. Plants were not designed
to grow indoors. So in order to have a happy thriving garden
indoors, you must fool the plants into believing that they are
in fact outdoors. It is your job to re-create or simulate to
the last detail, The sun, the wind, the rainfall, climate and
soil conditions of the perfect outdoor plot in say, northern
California, Thailand, or Hawaii. In this environment cannabis
is the fastest growing plant on the planet. It processes the
suns light (photosynthesizes) more efficiently than any other
fast growing plants such as bamboo, corn or kenaf.
C. General information about cannabis
Cannabis is a dioecious woody herbaceous annual. Dioecious means
that each plant will have distinct male or female characteristics,
woody refers to the consistency of the stem, herbacious means,
yes, pot is an herb, and annual means that outdoors, if left
wild, it will complete its entire growth cycle, from seed to
maturity (seed) in a single season and then die. This is perfectly
The main active ingredient in cannabis is THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannibinol.
The THC is concentrated in the resins of the mature female flowers
and to a much lesser degree in the leaves and male flowers. These
parts of the plant are simply dried and then smoked or eaten
to obtain the desired effect.
In over 5000 years of documented medical history, from ancient
Chinese and Babylonian cultures right up to today in the United
States, there has never been a reported overdose or death from
ingesting this substance. It has been estimated that one would
have to consume at least seven pounds of medium quality cannabis
in a short period of time just to produce a "toxic effect"
in the human body. Every modern governmental study in the world
convened to examine the issue, including studies by the U.S.
Army, the Jamaican coptic study, Nixon's 1968 La Guardia Commission
and more recently the Republican governor of California, George
Dukemajens' Shaffer Commission, have all recommended decriminalization.
In 1988, the drug enforcement agency's (D.E.A.'s) own administrative
law judge, Francis L. Young wrote, in an over 60 page long ruling
that "it has been clearly shown [in this court] that cannabis
is far less toxic than many foods that we commonly consume"
(like potatoes) and that "it is unreasonable, arbitrary
and capricious" that this substance is placed in "schedule
one", the United States federal governments' category of
drugs that includes PCP and heroin, not even available for prescription
There are three important varieties of cannabis that you should
know about. Cannabis indica is generally a short (two to six
feet) bushy plant well suited to indoor growing with chunky ripened
flowers that can range in potency from okay to mind-blowing.
Cannabis sativa is generally a wild unruly vine indoors, and
outdoors has been known to reach heights of 16 feet or more,
yielding pounds of slender, flavorful buds that can range in
potency from okay to messing with the space-time continuum.
The majority of good seed stock and clones available to todays
indoor grower are pure indicas and lots of indica\sativa hybrids
(crosses, or blends) usually leaning towards the indica side.
Cannabis hemp is by far the most important variety of cannabis.
Its flowers would not interest you, in fact they have earned
this plant the nickname "ditch weed". The impressive
part of the hemp plant is its stems, which can provide a stunning
array of important and biodegradable products, such as a natural
fiber for papermaking, textiles and to replace timber products
and therefore clear cutting, and cellulose, an industrial feedstock
used to make plastics, chemicals, fibers, non toxic fuels for
heating and generating electricity, and clean burning ethanol
to run cars. Its edible weed seeds are also impressive, a highly nutritious
food containing critical unsaturated fatty acids as well as more
edible protein than soybeans, and can be used for producing high
grade biodegradable oils that can form the base for paints or
lacquers or be used for lubrication. For endless information
on this subject and enlightenment on the meaning of life on earth,
I highly recommend reading "The Emperor Wears No Clothes"
by Jack Herer.
For today we will concern ourselves with only the first two varieties
of cannabis; hemp is deserving of its own book.
Although there are technically only these two classifications
of high THC varieties, indica and sativa, cannabis must be thought
of on a much broader scale. An easy way to think of the countless
different pure and hybridized strains of cannabis is to compare
them to dogs.
When talking about dogs, hybrids are called mutts, but everyone
knows that mutts can have more character and charm. Like dogs,
pure lines can only come from pure parents. Also, a dog may be
a german shepard or a chihuahua, but just because a dog fits into
a category like that doesn't mean that every shepard or chihuahua
is the same as the next. In fact, it's just the opposite.
All living things have DNA which help determine all of their
physical characteristics. DNA is what insures that no two people,
dogs or cannabis seedlings will ever be alike. Even identical
twins are different. For our purposes, DNA is the code that contains
every bit of information as to how a plant will grow, how it
will look, it's potency and every possible trait that it could
ever have. To further the dog analogy, the DNA and thus all physical
features come 1\2 from the female parent and 1/2 from the male
parent, resulting in offspring (marijuana seeds or seedlings) that should
somewhat resemble their parents.
Unlike dogs, cannabis can be "cloned". It is very important
to understand the simple basic difference between a seedling
and a clone. A seedling is a plant that was sprouted from a seed
that was the product of sexual reproduction between a male and
a female. Approximately one-half of these cannabis seeds or seedlings
will be female, and approximately one half male. Each and every
one, regardless of its sex, will be different.
A clone was never a seed. A clone starts out as a growing tip
of a larger established plant (a seedling or a clone) which was
cut off, treated with a rooting hormone, put into its own small
container, sprouted roots, and is now a separate plant, although
potentially identical in every way to the plant that it was taken
from. As its name implies, it is an exact genetic duplicate.
As far as the plant is concerned, it is the same plant. It never
died, the DNA stayed intact, so that clone will always be the
same sex, and have the same growth traits as well as the same
potential potency, flavor and high.
This is very handy for the cannabis creator, because all you
have to do is obtain one good clone and every bit of cannabis
you create can be exactly the same, technically never increasing
or decreasing in potency. Any potency variations in a mono-clonal
(one clone) sinsemillia (seedless-no boys=no pollen=no seeds)
garden are related to environmental factors and conditions, maturity,
drying techniques, and the presence of a perceptive, consistent,
hard-working grower. (Or the lack thereof).
2. Risk factors
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A. Rip-offs, tip-offs and your
own big mouth
Reading a chapter entitled "risk factors" of cannabis
cultivation in the United States, one might automatically assume
that the subject of that chapter would be law enforcement. After
all, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year by
various anti-plant life agencies around the country on the ferocious
war to exterminate this harmless and helpful species. However,
despite the normal paranoia that is a byproduct of the current
system, law enforcement actually only represents about 2% of
the problems that face modern American freedom fighters. Law
enforcement techniques like reducing mandatory sentences for
squealers and placing anti-cannabis ads with 1-800-GROW police
hot lines are vivid proof of exactly how clueless these people
are when it comes to where to start looking for the cunning grower.
Any estimate given by the authorities relating to the percentage
of cannabis seized in a particular time period or area is fabricated.
The truth is that they have no idea how much of the crop was
uncovered, because the remainder went undetected.
By far, the number one risk facing the modern cannabis creator
is thieves. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Rip-offs
don't answer to anybody. They don't care about your civil rights.
They don't follow any rules at all.
In my opinion, people who steal are really at the bottom of the
food chain, period. But people who steal cannabis, especially
from the growers, endangering their freedom, have got to be the
saddest, lowest, most pathetic and most thoughtless (devoid of
thought) individuals on this earth. And they are abundant.
The number one way to get busted is when the ripoffs come to
steal your crop and somehow the cops get called. This may be
simply the concerned neighbor who calls when they see prowlers,
or a concerned passer-by who only witnessed you violently pummeling
a would-be intruder with a bat, or someone who heard gunshots
when you shot the scumbag, (not recommended) or the shots of the
scumbag shooting you (less recommended). (It is a serious legal
complication to have a gun at the marijuana growing
The second most common way to get busted is through your girl/boyfriend
or your roommate/grow partner, (love and money are both by nature
de-stabilizing) or anyone else who has knowledge. No matter how
much you trust someone, they might end up telling just one other
person, who "they trust". This person has nothing to
lose and will undoubtedly tell just one other person who "they
trust" and who you might not even know. The cannabis creators'
credo should be "for every one person you tell, that's
too many." It can be good to have a partner if you have
a large garden, because cannabis creation can be a lot of work,
but this person should have just as much to lose as you do. This
is the best incentive for both of you to keep your mouths shut.
Realistically, a small commercial operation (5KW or less), in
a good location, with a good odor control system that only two
trusting people know about is virtually unbustable. You peek
out of your blinds for months, always expecting to see the cops,
but the bust only comes when a Cessna has engine failure and
crashes through your roof. In my experience, I have never seen
any cannabis creator get busted because the police figured it
out by themselves. It is true that the slightest hint may get
them on your trail, but it is inversely true that without that,
you should be getting away with your wildest dreams.
B. Number of plants
Under the law, a cannabis creator is judged by one factor and
one factor only; the number of plants in a single residence.
A plant is defined as having roots, so unrooted clones do not
count. The cannabis creator must also learn to distinguish between
state and federal law. Washington state has some of the most
leiniant cultivation laws in the country, but this country has
some of the harshest, most evil and draconian penalties on planet
earth. According to state law, the categories are 1-99, 100-299
and 300 or more. Federal law adds a 50-99 category. It is hard
to say exactly what determines whether a given case will go to
state or federal court. Most cases below 100 plants go to the
state because theoretically, the feds only want the big fish,
but this simplistic analogy cannot explain the arbitrary methods
of our warped and corrupt federal government. In fact the whole
theory of saying that a large number of plants equals a large
amount of cannabis is fundamentally flawed. 300-plus plants could
potentially fit under a 400 watt lamp and yield 6 or 8 ounces
of dried product, or 300 plants could fill a vast outdoor plot
or greenhouse and yield one or more pounds per plant, a considerable
difference. So, we find that living in this state of unreasonable
and illogical laws, people learn to turn the laws around and
use them against their oppressor. Case in point:
A first time offender (no prior felony convictions) will almost
never receive jail time in Washington state court on a case of
1-99 plants, and certainly no more than 30 days. The maximum
penalty is 90 days. This is very good to know considering that
in an average sized basement, converted to a 3 to 5KW grow facility,
99 plants or less can easily yield two to four or more pounds
of dried, manicured cannabis each month. When you have achieved
that, and you still aren't meeting your economic goals, you can
easily afford to rent another house or apartment and install
99 more units to stay within the one-hundred or less prosecution
C. Odor control
There are many common ways to reduce the fragrance of pungent
cannabis flowers, including ionizers (negative ion generators),
charcoal filters, air scrubbers, and chemical sprays. Unfortunately,
reduce is the key word here. None of these methods will do much
to eliminate any smells except from the smallest room or the
least stinky garden. There are some strains of cannabis that
are known for their lack of the trademark pot smell, and are
perpetuated for that reason. I realize that you're more likely
to find a charcoal filter than any particular clone, but I am
trying to emphasize that basically, you should be prepared to
deal with the beautiful smell of fragrant cannabis flowers.
Here is a brief overview of how these devices work. Ionizers
work by generating negatively charged ions and dispersing them
into the air. When these negative ions come in contact with positively
charged particles floating in the air like dust or pollen, they
change the particles' charge to negative, causing the particle
to "precipitate", or to fall to the ground. This results
in cleaner air, and dirtier floors and walls.
Another kind of ionizer is called a "collector ionizer".
These incorporate some disposable filter and either a positively
charged surface which attracts the ionized particles, or a small
fan that moves the air through the filter (which usually also
contains activated charcoal) and then injects the ions into the
outgoing airstream. Charcoal filters are similar to these but
use only the fan and activated charcoal, and are usually slightly
more heavy duty, and seem to work about as well, as long as you
keep the charcoal fresh by changing the filter regularly.
Air scrubbers consist of a large barrel of water with your exhaust
piped into it, like a giant bong, and then to the outside. Pine
cleaner and/or liquid smoke are added to the water to taint the
smell. I have never personally built one of these but the theory
makes sense, except that it seems awkward and I don't think it
would work with high-powered exhaust blowers.
Chemical sprays are used in hospitals and kennels to deal with
very harsh odors. They work, but I personally find the artificial,
chemical odor overwhelming to the point of nausea. I do not recommend
these sprays because they are impractical to use on a continuous
basis, and frankly if its gonna stink, I'd rather have it stink
If you can't find or afford any of the above, a simple trick
is to buy a box of urinal deodorizers from a janitorial supply
store, or maybe car deodorizers, and put one or two next to your
exhaust blowers' intake.
Now aside from the above described odor reduction devices there
are two more things that I will recommend for this task. The
first one is called an ozone generator. This mighty device generates
ozone, an unstable oxygen molecule that actually changes the
molecular structure of stinky particles that they come into contact
with. This results in total odor elimination. The proper way
to use an ozone generator is piped into your outgoing exhaust.
(The generator has its own small blower built in.) Of course,
like everything, there are trade-offs for this amazing performance.
Ozone can be harmful to plants, animals or people in too high
of a concentration. The only way to use it safely is by using
it to treat the exhaust that is going outside. Also, ozone generators
are quite expensive. The three models that I am familiar with
run around $750., $1350., and on up to $2600., with this most
expensive model being quite adequate to de-stinkify the 5000
C.F.M. exhaust of a large warehouse (25KW) full of stinkiness.
(Yummy!) It seems to most people like a lot to spend, but in
some situations, it can be your saving grace. I recommend ozone
for all commercial growers. If you are interested in this device,
try calling indoor grow supply stores with ads in the little
nickel or yellow pages.
The second, most practical and most effective method of odor
control is your exhaust system itself. You will learn later in
this book that a good exhaust system is just as important to
happy plants as light or water, and although this won't actually
make the outgoing air less stinky, it allows you to control where
the stinky air goes. For example, lets say you live in a third
floor corner 2 bedroom apartment. One bedroom is your bedroom,
the other is your grow room. A properly installed exhaust system
can solve two odor problems at the same time. One, inside the
living space of your apartment. By leaving your exhaust blower
running 24 hours a day, there will always be "negative pressure"
inside the grow room. This simply means that air will constantly
be flowing into the grow room through every possible crack and
opening, and when fresh air is constantly flowing in, no smell
gets out. Two, outside your apartment. By cleverly routing the
exhaust pipe into your unused chimney pipe, or out of the far
back corner of your attic, the smelly air will end up where there
are no noses to smell it- either 4 stories off the sidewalk or
parking lot (and heading up) in the chimney pipe example, or
on the backside of your building where there are no stairs and
where nobody hangs out. (If a bud reeks in the city, but there
are no noses to smell it, did it ever really smell at all?) Another
thing to consider in apartment cultivation is that even if you
can smell the weed out in the parking lot, there is no way to
tell which apartment it is coming from. It sounds crazy, but
'round these parts it happens all the time. Smells pretty good,
D. Power consumption
I was reluctant to even include a section about power consumption
because I thought that it would just breed paranoia. Residences
all around use large amounts of power for all kinds of things,
including cannabis cultivation, and there is no way for grow
lights to be "detected" by the power company. However,
I do have a list of power saving tips for the power conscious.
The number one power sucker in your home is the hot water heater.
Most of these units use between 3500 and 7000 watts. Turning
off this unit at the circuit box will dramatically reduce your
power bill (not to mention the length of your showers, ha ha).
Number two would be your baseboard heaters. These are the most
wasteful power suckers. A 4-foot long baseboard unit can draw
1000 watts or more. A small apartment usually has several of
these. Turn them off at the box. Plug-in electric space heaters
usually consume 1000 to 1500 watts. Cold? Hang out with the ganja.
(I have seen electric internal forced air heating systems in
large homes that consume as much power as ten or more 1KW grow
lamps. These are ideal grow houses because by turning off the
heat, your bill may not be any higher than the previous residents).
Tied for number three are your dishwasher and clothes washer.
Both of these units use lots of hot water, and the dishwasher
even super-heats the already hot water. The clothes dryer is
also a major culprit. Use paper plates and go to the Laundromat.
At number four we have the refrigerator and freezer. Most people
won't want to try and live without these, but try putting gallon
jugs of water in the empty spaces (if any) of both. Water retains
its temperature more efficiently than air, so your fridge will
use less energy. Also, a lot of people seem to have this thing
about leaving all the lights in the house on all the time. Remember
to turn off lights you're not using. Use low wattage bulbs. If
no one is living at the grow facility, all of these appliances
should be turned off at the box and you should be growing a lot
3. Where to start
A. Choosing a space
Any space is a good space to create cannabis. Ceilings should
be a minimum of about 6 feet. Attics, crawl spaces, alcoves,
closets, sheds, barns and extra bedrooms are good. Basements
are the best unless you own property and happen to have a backhoe
and an extra school bus or storage container to bury. Anything
underground is very good. If you need to maximize your square
footage in a small bedroom, take the closet doors off and use
that space just like a part of the room. The space will need
a good power supply (for 2KWs or more, the range or clothes dryer
plug will provide 240v power) and access to water (trash barrels
filled with a garden hose are common in spaces that don't have
a nearby bathtub or work sink) and somewhere to vent your exhaust.
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I. AC primer If you don't know
anything about household electricity, and don't want to learn
by say, checking a book out from the library on basic household
wiring, then I recommend trying to stay under about 2KW (two
thousand watts) of power use to minimize the risk of fire on,
or the electrocution of, your person. Always keep extension cords
off the ground and keep cord runs as short as possible. Wrap
cord connections in duct tape. If you can't plug your 1KW lamps
directly into the wall socket, use extra heavy duty cords, and
never ones over 25 feet long. Never use splitters or power strips
on outlets or cords running 1KW lamps. Never run more than one
1KW lamp on a single household circuit (15 amp breaker). Only
run circuits at 70 percent of their rated amperage for a safety
margin. The formula to calculate amperage is watts divided by
volts equals amps. (Example: 1000 watt lamp at 120 volts = 8.33
amps). (120 volts is standard American household wall socket
If you plan on using more than 2KW, then you should use a "power
drop" or "power board". This is essentially a
breaker box that wires directly into a heavy-duty (240 volt)
power source in your residence and is installed nearby or in
the grow room so that you can safely power multiple 1KW lighting
systems. Boxes designed specifically for this purpose are available
at indoor grow supply stores and incorporate a heavy duty timer
that will put up to 8 1KW, 240 volt systems on a timed cycle
of your choice. They can also provide stout supplies of 120 volt
power if necessary for high amperage, low voltage accessories such
as exhaust blowers, fans or heaters. These outlets can be on the
timer also, or can be wired for continuous power. Good indoor
grow supply stores will custom make the board that you want.
These boards should have "pigtails" (short fat cords
with molded 240 volt plugs adaptable to your dryer or range outlet).
Alternatively, the board can be purchased without the pigtail
and "hard wired" to a compatible plug or directly to
the circuit box with heavy gauge Romex cable (10 gauge solid
copper wire) by someone who surely knows what they are doing.
It's not too complicated, but it can be very dangerous. Be smart.
II. H.I.D.'s H.I.D. stands for High
Intensity Discharge. H.I.D. lamps that are commonly used for
cannabis creation include metal halides (M.H.), high pressure
sodiums (H.P.S.), sodium conversions, balanced spectrum sodiums,
Metal halides are the most common variety of H.I.D. lamp for
indoor horticulture. They also have the shortest service life.
Their light output will drop to 50% of new in only about 6-9
months of regular use, and your yields will drop accordingly,
so only new metal halide lamps are suitable.
H.P.S. lamps are substantially brighter than M.H.'s and last
longer, but emit most of their light in a narrow red-orange color
band, as opposed to the M.H.'s full spectrum (all colors), sun-like
Sodium conversions are a retro-fit replacement lamp that run
in a M.H. system but use slightly less power and emit light in
a more balanced color spectrum than regular H.P.S. lamps. They
also retain their intensity about ten times longer than M.H.
lamps, but are quite expensive.
Balanced spectrum sodiums were developed by the Dutch specifically
for their world-renowned greenhouses. They started with a H.P.S.
to achieve maximum efficiency and service life, and then tweaked
the ingredients in the lamp to increase the amount of blue light
in the light spectrum. The 430 watt son-agro lamp by Phillips
was the first balanced spectrum sodium to hit the market in the
U.S., and remains the most efficient (most light per watt) 400
watt class lamp available. Recently, I have seen Dutch 600 watt
balanced spectrum sodium systems available to American growers.
Although they are incompatible and unfamiliar, These systems
warrant a very close look. They claim to produce 90,000 to 100,000
lumens, or about 80% of the output of a new 1000 watt M.H., using
only 60% of the electricity. In a large garden, this efficiency
increase could increase yields significantly.
fluorescents are bulky and relatively inefficient, but do provide
a good color spectrum, generate very little heat and have soft,
even light distribution. These characteristics make them very
suitable for rooting clones or for growing very small plants
(under 12 inches). They are also amazingly inexpensive. A four-foot,
two-tube shop-lite fixture is only about ten dollars at your
local hardware store. Many different kinds of tubes are available
to put into these fixtures, some fancy models costing up to 15
dollars or more per tube claiming better growth, but they aren't
any brighter, and that is what the cannabis plant cares most
about. "Cool white" tubes are the smart choice if using
fluorescents. They are the most common, very inexpensive, usually
less than a dollar each, and have a similar color spectrum to
the M.H., good for vegetative growth. The "watts per square
foot" theory applies to flourescents also. (See "Lighting
requirements", below) fluorescents use about ten watts per
foot per tube, so a four-foot two-tube unit would consume about
80 watts, and would be suitable to light four square feet at
20 w.p.f.2. (Minimum vegetative requirement). These lights do
not even compare to the light output of M.H. or H.P.S. lamps.
You should not try to grow tall plants with fluorescents, because
the lower branches will basically be in the dark, due to the
lack of light intensity over about one foot away from the tubes
themselves. M.H.'s, sodium conversions, and balanced spectrum
H.P.S.'s are the choice of serious cannabis creators for their
All of these H.I.D.'s work on the same principal. They all have
"ballasts" that plug into the wall, and transform the
low voltage household current (120v or 240v if you are using
a power board) into high voltage (480v) to run the lamp. When
you turn it on, a capacitor in the ballast builds up a huge bolt
of energy, which is sent to electrodes at either end of a gas
filled tube inside of the lamp itself (the arc tube). This burst
of energy causes an arc of electricity to jump through the gas
and the arc is then maintained by the high voltage, generating
very intense light as a reaction, thus their name, High Intensity
M.H. and H.P.S. lamps come in various wattages, but I mostly
only recommend 1KW (1 Kilowatt, or 1000 watt) lamps for flowering
rooms, or the occasional 400 watt for a very small space. Smaller
ones such as Flourescents or 150, 250 and 400 watt H.I.D. systems
can be utilized in vegetative areas with young plants, but if
you plan on growing them above about 14 inches tall in the vegetative
room I still recommend using 1KWs for best results.
These systems consist of: Power cord. Plugs into wall or power
board, supplies ballast with low voltage 120 or 240VAC (Volts
AC). Ballast. Essentially a transformer. Converts the low voltage
to high voltage. Lamp cord. This is a long non-detachable cord
that carries the high voltage from the ballast to the socket
assembly. The socket assembly is where the lamp screws in and
also where the hood attaches. The hood is a large reflective
piece that focuses the light downward. The lamp is a vacuum sealed
glass sphere that contains the gas filled tube which emits the
light. All of this usually comes in a package deal for around
There are two main types of hoods, vertical and horizontal. Both
refer to the orientation of the lamp. A vertical hood holds the
lamp vertically, with the socket side up and the tip of the lamp
pointing downward. A horizontal hood holds the lamp horizontally,
with the socket on one side and the lamp sticking out sideways.
Vertical systems seem to be more practical because they are less
expensive, less complicated to assemble and, as long as all the
walls are lined with Mylar, they distribute more direct light
III. Mylar After you have gone to
considerable trouble and expense to achieve proper lighting in
your space, it only makes sense to be aware that to get the maximum
light levels (i.e. fat buds) out of your system, the plants need
to be surrounded (four sides) with a highly reflective surface.
Other things have traditionally been used such as tin foil or
space blankets, but these are totally ineffective, even compared
to flat white paint, which is a better alternative.
Mylar is a highly reflective plastic sheeting used to bounce
light back on to the plants. Using mylar is the most effective
and economical way to increase the critical light levels in any
indoor garden. It is by far, the most reflective material available
to line your grow area, so that your precious light is directed
onto and absorbed by your plants, and not the surfaces of the
area surrounding them. It comes in rolls that are generally about
4 feet wide, in thicknesses of 1 or 2 mil. (Thousandths of an
inch). 2 mil. is about 40% more expensive, and both thicknesses
reflect equally, but the 1 mil. tends to be hard to work with
and wrinkles easily, whereas the 2 mil. goes up more like a mirror
and is easier to re-use. It should be hung on all walls that
face the plants, and lightweight, movable barriers can be made
for the sides that open to the room using foam insulating board,
cardboard, or frames built from 1x2's, and covered using duct
tape and staples. To prevent staples from tearing the mylar it
is a good idea to put a piece of duct tape over the spot where
you are going to staple it, then staple through the tape several
times. Adhesive caulk can be used to hang it on concrete or brick
IV. Lighting requirements As far as
lighting requirements for a given space, try to think on a watts-per-square-foot
basis. If you learn to do this from the beginning, you will find
that it is an easy and consistent way to relate the relative
brightness of any grow area. (Also, yield-per-square-foot is
a good way to track production). You will also find a direct
link between this brightness and the growth habits, bud density
and overall yield of your plants. To calculate the square footage
of your area, multiply (L)ength times (W)idth. Then divide the
square feet into the total watts of all the lamps. This figure
is your watts per square foot (w.p.f.2). A minimum of about 20-30
w.p.f.2 will be adequate for the vegetative area and 30 to 40
w.p.f.2 or more is recommended for highest yields and vigorous
growth during flowering.
Outdoors, plants are exposed to constant fresh air, so they are
supplied with an unlimited amount of carbon dioxide. Indoors,
the air is mostly stagnate, so the cannabis creator uses high
powered exhaust fans to simulate the outdoor fresh air environment.
The growers ventilation system actually serves many purposes.
By constantly removing hot, humid air out of the grow space,
the exhaust serves to reduce high humidity levels caused by water
evaporation [from wet soil or reservoirs] in the room, and to
control the substantial heat created by 1KW H.I.D. systems. As
the stale air is removed, fresh air flows into the room to take
the place of the old air, which will be depleted of carbon dioxide
by fast growing cannabis plants. This fresh air contains lots
of fresh carbon dioxide for the plants to breathe. Also, as discussed
earlier, your exhaust system is your most obvious and effective
means of odor control. These are reasons why for the serious
indoor horticulturist, ventilation is not an option! It is mandatory.
Ventilation is just as important as adequate light or water.
This means that you not only need to exhaust a lot of air out
of the room, but vigorously circulate the air inside the room
as well. 16-inch oscillating fans and 20-inch box fans are good
to place inside the room for blowing fresh air around the plants.
Except in the case of very young plants that are not yet established
or not growing quickly, generally more is better, especially
in flowering. Plants that have been exposed to vigorous air circulation
grow much sturdier and more vigorously than plants that have
Exhaust blowers, (also called squirrel cage fans) are rated by
C.F.M. (cubic feet per minute). Good ventilation means having
a blower that will keep your average temperatures around 78 degrees
and your relative humidity at about 50%. If you have no idea
what to get, start with about 150 to 250 C.F.M. per 1KW H.I.D.
lamp and ballast. Common sizes include 100, 265, 465,745 and
980 C.F.M.. The fart fan in your bathroom is usually rated at
about 55 C.F.M..
Four inch dryer duct is only adequate for up to 100 C.F.M.. Above
that you should use 7, 8 or 10-inch aluminum flex-duct for up
to 1000 C.F.M.. Keep the run as short as possible and avoid sharp
turns for maximum airflow.
Connecting exhaust blowers to the ducting used to be a labor
intensive task involving razor blades, several cardboard boxes
and an entire roll of duct tape. Today, your local hardware store
carries an amazing new product called spray insulating foam.
Try some. Apply liberally.
D. Soil and Buckets
Although any prepackaged potting soil will do, For production
purposes, I recommend Pro-Mix. It comes in bales, is fairly easy
to find and consists primarily of Canadian peat moss and perlite.
This provides proper ph levels, does not pack down easily and
won't remain soggy, allowing the roots to "breathe"
(healthy roots need a good balance of oxygen and water) and therefore
also allowing you good control over the watering/fertilizer regimen.
It is also very inexpensive as compared to other options.
Although the hand watering and appearance of the media may make
you think that this is a soil-based system, it is actually a
quasi-hydroponic setup in which the medium provides the optimum
water-to-oxygen ratio, and not the nutrients to the roots (plant).
All nutrients are provided by regular fertilization with a high-quality,
full-spectrum, hydroponic formula which is dissolved in the water
at watering time.
Normal potting soils and other heavier soils can be amended with
about 2 or 3 parts peat moss and perlite and/or vermiculite to
one part soil to decrease water retention. Heavy, soggy soils
create unhappy root conditions. A simple test for any soil is
this: take a handful of wet soil and squeeze it into a ball in
your fist. When you open your hand it should fall apart or fall
apart with a slight poke. If it becomes a solid ball after you
squeeze it, it is probably not suited for your purposes. When
filling the buckets, do not pack the soil down. Break up any
chunks. The consistency of dry soil should be light and fluffy.
As far as buckets go, a simple rule of thumb is about 2 gallons
of capacity per foot of the height of the finished plant. Too
small of a container can definitely restrict growth and cause
watering problems. Most growers I know transplant rooted clones
into 2 gallon containers for vegetative growth, and then transplant
them into 7 gallon containers for flowering. Gro-bags are convenient
for getting stealthily in or out, as they make a much smaller
package than a stack of buckets. Their squat, squarish shape
is also well suited for indoor growing.
Hydroponics is Latin for "working water." The concept
is very simple. Instead of growing plants in soil that is naturally
rich in organic nutrients (like compost or various poop), the
plants grow in a media that provides the roots (plant) only with
physical support, and a supply of oxygen to the roots that is
unachievable in normal soil based systems. Rockwool, the most
popular hydroponic medium, with its near-perfect oxygen to water
retention capabilities has been the home of some of the healthiest,
fastest growing, most vigorous plants I have ever seen. The nutrients
are provided solely when the media is periodically flushed or
soaked in water that has the necessary nutrients dissolved in
it. This is usually accomplished with a simple set up of pumps
and sequence timers, which deliver the solution out of a reservoir
to each plant using drip-emitters that water each container individually,
or ebb and flow techniques that fill and then drain trays or
tables. This is called "active hydroponics" where the
water is actively moved around. The Pro-mix based system described
in this book is essentially a "passive" (no pumps,
no timers) hydroponic system, because the media doesn't provide
the nutrients, they are provided dissolved in the water at watering
Unfortunately, As with many simple concepts, hydroponics doesn't
necessarily translate easily to reality. Most hydroponic media
leave little room for error, and one mistake can spell disaster.
I recommend full blown hydro set-ups only to the experienced
grower who has a keen sense of all of the needs of his or her
4. Growth Cycle
This is the part about how you make your clones or seedlings
(that is to say, small young plants that consist only of stems
and leaves) into plants with big, fat, juicy buds.
In the wild, male and female cannabis plants sprout in the spring,
and grow side by side through the summer. At some point in the
summer, they begin their flowering cycle. Shortly after that,
the males' flowers start to mature, shedding their pollen into
the air, pollinating the females' adolescent flowers, which then
grow multitudes of marijuana seeds. When the frost comes, the plants die
and the cannabis seeds are scattered around the surrounding area. Some
marijuana seeds may be eaten by birds or other animals and may be passed
through the animal and dropped in another location, nature's
way of spreading it around. Then comes winter, the rain and/or
snow come, and some of these pot seeds get covered with a layer of
composted leaves and/or soil or dung, in the animal case, and
soon the cycle begins again. Spring comes, sun shines, and behold
a seedling- or a whole generation of seedlings.
When the cannabis seeds sprout, it is early in the spring and the days
are much longer than the nights. The advanced cannabis plant
actually has the ability to measure the length of each night
(thus photoperiod, or a photoperiod determinate plant). As long
as the nights are short enough, the cannabis plant will grow
only stems and leaves (vegetatively). About halfway through the
summer there comes a point where the days and nights are equal
length (equinox) and it is about this time that most varieties
of cannabis begin their flowering cycle. First stem and leaf
production will suddenly accelerate; some varieties will double
in size during the first 10 days or two weeks. Then upward growth
slows, in some cases, stopping altogether, and the tedious slow
process of flower production begins. This continues, buds building
on buds for the rest of the summer until they are ripe. If the
males are removed before they shed their pollen, the females
will continue to flower, hoping for some pollen to float by.
As long as it doesn't, you will eventually have a crop of ripened
Indoors, this cycle is very simple to replicate. You must have
two separate areas for growth. A vegetative area with 24-hour
continuous or 18 hours on, 6 hours off "short night"
light for clones, seedlings and plants that are still to small
"to put into flowering", and another, usually much
larger space in which the light(s) are on a timer (12 hours on-12
hours off every day). It is important that during the dark cycle
you do not interrupt your plants' "sleep." Even a small
amount of light reaching the plants for a short period of time
during the dark cycle can substantially interfere with the flowering
cycle, causing the plants to be set back a week or more by causing
what is known as photoperiod shock, when a plant can't figure
out what season you are trying to duplicate. It should be pitch
dark in the flowering room for 12 or even 13 hours every night,
and then damn bright for the rest of the time. Usually after
45 to 60 days of this, if you have all females, you will be able
to recognize your goal.
Most indoor varieties will double or triple in size from the
time when you put them on this 12-hour cycle until the time they
are done. For example, a plant that is put into flowering when
it is one foot tall may only reach a finished height of two or
three feet, but a plant that is two feet tall when you begin
flowering it could grow to be four to six feet tall and quite
a large bush. Larger plants yield more buds, but take up proportionately
more space and take a longer time to grow to the desired flowering
size than small plants.
This is why I say that your yield is based more on the amount
of light in your room, not the number of plants, their size,
or the amount of space they are in. (Light is usually the 'limiting
An easily achievable goal should be 1 pound per 1KW per crop
cycle. One pound may come from two monsters that each take up
half the space under a 1KW light and yield a half-pound each,
or 1 pound might come from 32 1-foot tall plants that each yield
only ½ ounce each but will finish in a relatively shorter
time and also take less time to grow in the vegetative stage
to the desired flowering size, perhaps only 6 or 8 inches.
Larger yields can easily be achieved per crop utilizing certain
varieties with longer flowering periods, (up to 90 days or more)
but over time, your total yields will probably be about the same,
because you could of had two crops of a faster, lower yielding
variety in the same time. It is a trade-off no matter how you
do it, it just depends upon your own ideas about what you want.
It is important just to remember that assuming all environmental
factors are as described, your overall yield will be determined
primarily by the amount of light and also to some extent the
variety or strain you happen to have.
B. Sprouting and Cloning
I assume you have already read the section entitled "Cannabis
is a Plant." If you have not, then do so now!
Sprouting cannabis seeds is a simple matter. Before you plant
your marijuana seeds in the soil, you should germinate them by placing
them between two paper towels soaked with distilled water, placed
on a plate and covered with plastic wrap. Kept in a warm, dark
place, the cannabis seeds should sprout in about 3 to 7 days. Gently put
the seedling, sprout-end up, about one-half to one inch below
the pre-moistened soil.
Cloning is a much more complicated matter. It requires either
some skill, or a green thumb, or fanatical attention to detail,
or a lot of trial and error, or possibly all of the above. I
think of cloning as an incubation process and have decided that
maintaining a constant warm temperature (75-80) is the key factor.
This is the concept. Cut a small piece from an existing plant
that is in the vegetative growth stage or one that has been in
flowering for less than 2 weeks, (the key here is that is should
not have any flowers on it) about 3 to 4 inches long. This piece
must be a growing tip of the plant, not a leaf, (though a clone
may have a number of leaves on it), but a piece on that new growth
has been apparent at its tip. This does not mean that it has
to come from the top of the plant, because on any healthy, well-established
plant there should be many, or perhaps dozens of growing tips
all over it. Handle this piece gently, and using a new razor
blade, cut a small piece just about 1/16th of an inch from where
the first cut was made, at a 45-degree angle. This exposes the
moist, tender inner portion of the stem. For larger clones you
may want to cut off one set of the lowest leaves also, leaving
approximately 1/16th-inch stubs of the leaf stems. The razor
blade can also be used to very gently scrape some of the outer
skin off the lower portions of the stem that will be under the
soil, again, for the purpose of exposing the tender inner portion
of the stem. This should all be done as quickly as possible.
Then using rooting hormone, such as Rootone Powder or Dip-n-Gro
liquid (diluted 13 parts water to 1), dip the lower part (the
part that has been cut and scraped, the part that will be under
the soil) of the clone into the hormone and then carefully place
it into a hole that was pre-poked in the media using a nail or
You can use paper, plastic or Styrofoam cups (always poke holes
in the bottom) or small buckets (less than one-half gallon) to
hold the soil, or Jiffy-7 peat [moss] pellets, which are small
discs that when soaked in water, expand into a cylinder that
is basically just peat moss in a tiny nylon sack. These work
well for larger batches because of their small size. Place the
whole unit inside of some kind of humidity tent or dome, maybe
a plastic Ziploc bag for one or two clones in party cups, or
a 11x21 inch propagation tray for larger batches for example,
to retain the moisture. Small pots evaporate quickly, and since
the clone has no roots with which to draw up water, it needs
to be kept in a high humidity atmosphere or it will dry out and
Absolutely the most important factor is not to over saturate
the soil, it should barely feel moist to the touch. Remember-
for roots to grow, they need oxygen just as much as they need
water. It is as easy to kill a clone with too much water as it
is to kill it by letting it dry out. Spray bottles work well
to mist the clones. Place the newly planted clones under fluorescent
lights on a continuous 24-hour per day light cycle. fluorescents
should be kept within about a foot or less from the clones for
maximum effectiveness. "Cool white" tubes work very
well and are very inexpensive. They generate very little heat
and have soft, even light distribution. A 4-foot "shop-light"
fixture can be purchased at the hardware store for less than
$10 and two tubes to fit it should run about $1 each. This is
sufficient light for two 11x21 inch (standard size) propagation
trays. Each tray can hold up to about 25-30 clones in Jiffy-7
pellets. Keep the temperature steady and warm, and after about
one week, if you are doing well, or two weeks if you need improvement,
roots will suddenly sprout directly out of the stem and the clone
will start to grow. As soon as this happens, it should be taken
out of the dome, transplanted if necessary, and moved into the
vegetative area, not too close to the light, not too close to
C. Sex and sexing
The only way to tell the sex of a cannabis plant is after it
has been flowering for at least two weeks. Examine the internodes,
or the place where two stems meet. Two little white hairs in
a "V" are a female flower, while strange-looking bunches
of grape like flowers indicate a male. Make sure to cut the males
as soon as they show their sex unless you want a batch of marijuana seeds
with your female buds, in which case cut all the males except
for the best one (you judge) and then cut it as soon as the little
grapes (pollen sacks) start to pop open. The branches of these
males can be placed in water and put in a sunny window. The pollen
sacks will continue to pop open for several days and you can
carefully collect an apply the pollen to just the females you
want to seed. Remember that there is enough pollen in a single
male flower to pollinate thousands of female flowers. If you
grow only females the results will be sinsemilla (Spanish word
for seedless or without seed).
5. Limiting Factors
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There are five limiting factors to plant growth. Any green plant
needs all five of these things to be available to it or growth
will slow or stop. Each one is just as important as the others,
and more or too much of one will absolutely not make up for lack
of any other. Limiting factors are each a link in the chain.
The weak link is the one that is slowing the plants down. If
you think you have a problem, it is most likely one of these
Plants need water. All residential water supplies are treated
with chlorine which is not good for plants. Evaporate the chlorine
out of the water by leaving it in open containers such as milk
jugs or barrels for 24 to 48 hours before using.
The proper way to water an established plant is to saturate the
soil, then do not water again until the soil feels dry at the
tip of your finger poked into the soil, and the container feels
light. You can tell just by watching the plants. Experienced
growers who are intimate with their plants can tell that they
will need to be watered 2 or even 3 days before they do simply
by looking at them. Lower leaves may lose their turgidity, and
the whole plant, though seemingly unaffected, may actually seem
to shrink. The moment they start to droop you have waited too
long. Overwatering is a most common mistake. Usually, the plant
is not growing satisfactorily due to another limiting factor,
and the hapless cultivator tries to give it more and more water
and/or fertilizer, essentially drowning the roots and killing
People who are not familiar with the 1KW lighting systems that
are commonly used in northwestern grow rooms are often shocked
at the blinding light intensities that they can generate. Sometimes
I like to turn the lights off and point out to them how dark
it is without them. No man made light source will ever match
the intensity of the sun. Without adequate light or light in
the correct [color] spectrums, green plants will not grow. Cannabis
is arguably the most light-loving plant species on the planet.
A cannabis plant that does not get enough light will be sad and
spindly with small leaves and buds and a lot of stem. If you
follow the directions in here under 'lighting', you should not
have a problem. Don't be surprised if it seems bright, it's supposed
to be. In fact, I have taken to wearing mountaineering sunglasses
with side panels and U.V. protection whenever I am in my grow
rooms, due to the fact that I have noticed my vision deteriorate
over the years, undoubtedly from constant exposure. These type
of shades also have rubber hooks that go around the backs of
your ears to keep them on your head when you are looking down
all the time.
Chemical fertilizers are the easiest way to maintain the nutrient
needs of a large garden. These should not be associated with
strange tasting or "chemical" tasting buds. Many of
the best soil growers use high quality, mass produced, full spectrum
nutrient formulas to produce top quality cannabis. Also the vast
majority of all hydroponic gardens use full spectrum chemical
fertilizers due to a lack of completely water soluble organic
liquids. The only thing you can do to blow it is to overfertilize.
Follow directions. Your plants will tell you when they need fertilizer.
A well-fertilized plant will be dark green and vigorous, while
a plant that needs fertilizer will be a slightly pale green and
have yellowing leaves and slow growth. You know you fertilized
at the right time if they are back thriving in the next few days.
Always remember that more fertilizer won't help if any of the
other limiting factors are not taken care of.
However, there is another group of people that insist that only
organic nutrients, such as various guanos (a.k.a. turds), blood
meal, bone meal, various seaweeds, or organic composts etc. be
used to provide the nutrient needs for the very most premium
flower production. I have experimented with organics and had
great results, with increases in resin production (not necessarily
THC production), and overall health, and also a slightly more
pungent smell and sometimes slightly enhanced taste, but I believe
that for the most part, these differences are extremely subtle
and noticeable only to the connoisseur. For production purposes,
I always end up coming back to the "grow juice" as
it's called, just because it's easier. Actually, it smells better
Only the plant's roots need oxygen. They absorb it in the same
way that leaves absorb carbon dioxide, and use it to build sugars
and carbohydrates (grow). Oxygen is the main component of the
air we breathe. This is the reason why over watering is a problem.
As the soil dries out the roots are exposed to oxygen. If the
soil remains saturated, the roots are starved of oxygen, suffocating,
E. Carbon Dioxide
The leaves of all green plants absorb carbon dioxide out of the
air, use the carbon, and transpire the leftover O2, or oxygen,
into the air. This absorption is the equivalent of our breathing,
except that humans and animals absorb oxygen and exhale carbon
dioxide as a by-product. One theory of why plants like you to
talk to them is that they are being bathed in a stream of carbon
dioxide-rich air. For cannabis, this must be similar to a pro
athlete breathing from an oxygen tank.
If the air in the room is stagnant the plants will quickly use
up the carbon dioxide and stop growing. Adequate carbon dioxide
levels can be maintained with good ventilation and by having
vigorous air circulation around the plants. Carbon dioxide enrichment
systems are available, but they were the first thing to go when
I edited for simplicity. I'll leave them to the adventurous.
I personally think that if mother nature doesn't need it, neither
do I. However, I should mention that if you are using a hydroponic
rockwool-based system, by adding CO2 enrichment, you have essentially
eliminated four out of five of the limiting factors, water, nutrients,
oxygen and CO2. Using extremely high light levels in addition
to this setup can result in what can only be described as "super-charging".
6. Potency, maturity, harvesting
A. When to Harvest
The single most important factor in the potency of your crop
of cannabis is the plants themselves. Any given clone or seedling
has a pre-determined, genetically set, potential potency in its
DNA. Once you have finished, dried and sampled a certain healthy,
mature bud, a clone of that plant will only vary about 5 to 10
percent in potency no matter what techniques are used to grow
it. Good buds are born, not made.
The second most important factor is the maturity, or ripeness
of the buds. As the buds get bigger and bigger, you will notice
that some of the hairs (pistils) on the buds which were all white
to begin with, will start to wither and turn red. When about
65 to 75 percent of the all the hairs on the buds have turned
red and new growth seems to slow (usually after about 45 to 60
days in the flowering cycle for most pure indicas and 50/50 hybrids),
the buds should be ripe for harvest.
Something else to watch is the crystals, which should appear
under a magnifying glass like tiny clear mushrooms of resin.
If they begin to tint amber or yellow, it is a sign that the
THC (which is concentrated 95 percent in these crystals) is starting
to degrade into two less psychoactive byproducts: CBD and CBN.
If you notice this happening the plant has already reached its
maximum potential and should be harvested immediately unless
it is very large, possibly in which case individual parts of
the plant may ripen before others. Once again, every one of the
infinite number of cannabis varieties is different, and with
"faster" strains, (that is, varieties that finish sooner),
you have to be more careful about this over-ripening, whereas
some strains seem to continue on flowering forever without ever
ripening as it is described here. You just have to watch and
use your good judgment. If you aren't sure, then wait. The last
few weeks is the time when buds are bulking up the most weight-wise,
and with a good sized crop, days can turn into extra ounces.
When you have waited this long, you can wait a little longer.
B. Harvesting, Manicuring and Drying
Harvesting is easy. Cut the plant into manageable sections and
trim all the large multi-fingered leaves off of the buds. Single-fingered
leaves that stick out of the thick part of the buds should be
trimmed to the circumference of the bud. These trimmings, when
properly dried, make good joint rolling material.
When you are manicuring, you may find yourself with an unbelievably
sticky coating on your fingers and scissors. This is almost pure
resin, otherwise known as finger hash. If you start out with
clean hands and clean scissors, you can collect this substance
by gently rubbing your fingers together in small circles. Do
not try to use heavy pressure between your fingers. This stuff
is so sticky I have seen it take skin off. You might not mind
losing a bit of skin but smoking it is no fun. Instead gentle
circles will produce little tiny pieces that look like the dust
from a pencil eraser. These pieces can be rolled together into
small BB sized balls. Scissors can be scraped in a process a
lot like pipe scraping. All of these little pieces together can
add up to hours of quality entertainment for a room full of stoners,
if you know what I mean. It is best to use a small piece of bud
underneath these resin balls (a green screen) because like pipe
resin it melts when a flame touches it and will go right through
a screen. Extra stickiness comes off your fingers effortlessly
with a little butter or margarine (don't try to smoke this).
Hang the manicured buds on some hemp twine (like clotheslines)
in the drying room. The idea of hanging is to facilitate even,
thorough drying. Although they can be laid out on newspapers,
I found that this leaves unsightly flat spots on the buds and
they can remain wet for longer because the air cannot circulate
around all sides. Keep temperatures moderate, around 75 and around
50% humidity. You may need to use a ventilation system to reduce
humidity if your drying room is particularly crowded (I hope
you have this problem!), or a heater if it is too cold. I recommend
placing a small fan in the room to circulate the air, especially
if using a heater. Usually in about seven days, your buds will
be ready to smoke. Do not be fooled if after three or four days
the buds feel dry to the touch. If put into bags, the moisture
that remains on the inside will transpire into the outer dry
parts and will result in an unacceptable degree of wetness.
Now, I've really tried to keep the commentary to a minimum here,
and pot knows, it's hard when you are the writer, editor and
publisher, BUT, this rant I must have.
Improperly dried pot is unacceptable for smoking and useless
for enlightenment purposes. One of the reasons that pot is commonly
sold wholesale, to smiling customers, for as much as the going
rate for gold, is because the grower has had to dry it out before
selling it. This drying cannot be viewed as losing money. No
one should ever have to pay this amount of money for water. Drying
is merely the process of evaporating water, purifying the buds
down to just the essence of their remarkable existence.
As the buds dry, chlorophyll breaks down into more simple, easy-burning
sugars. Harsh smoking characteristics such as a green or shakey
taste diminish. The true unadulterated flavor can come through.
The THC itself evaporates a water molecule, making the THC psychoactive,
giving the high a greater feeling of spaciousness, enhanced perception
and appreciation of beauty, as well as seemingly miraculous medical
The buds attain a level of combustibility such that you will
be able to crumble them into a firm, lip-smacking, even burning
spliff of Rasta revelry, or receive a prompt flow of thick, cool,
flavorful smoke from your favorite waterpipe, as soon as the
flame touches the bud.
Needless to say, the disappointment to the consumer of not being
able to get stoned after finally acquiring the desired object,
a bag of weed, at great time and expense to all, is definitely
severe. This is compounded when you are one of the ever growing
number of people who use this substance to relieve pain and suffering
incomprehensible to healthy people. Dry pot is the balm of the
sick, a miracle cure-all. Ask them.
Every stoner knows that kind, dry buds are probably the single
greatest gift to mankind ever. If you do not plan on thoroughly
drying the buds you grow with every bit as much care as you took
growing them, then you shall not be worthy of the title "cannabis
creator" and I should now beg and implore you to: (A.) give
this guide to someone who will, or (B.) burn this guide. Why?
Because I wouldn't want anyone thinking that I was associated
with you. Selling undried buds, even at wholesale prices is a
definite karma no-no, and smoking them is totally defeating the
I know there are money hungry people out there- it's even considered
normal in our materialistic consumer based society. Thats the
greatest thing about this occupation- you can set your own salary
by growing as much pot as you want- but the way for a righteous
non-greedy cannabis creator to estimate yields (and therefore
profits) is simply, only on a dried basis, Thank you.
This concludes The Home Cannabis creator, everything you ever
wanted to know about cannabis creation but were afraid you would
be detected by the power company. Good luck and a happy high!
FIVE DAYS IS NOT TOO LONG TO WAIT FOR A GUN
FIVE DAYS IS NOT TOO LONG TO WAIT FOR A GUN
FIVE DAYS IS NOT TOO LONG TO WAIT FOR A GUN
FIVE DAYS IS NOT TOO LONG TO WAIT FOR A GUN
Bart Simpson on chalkboard in episode 1F20