There are endless reasons to growing organic cannabis for yourself – far too many to count, so we’ve compiled a handy list of what we feel are the most fundamental reasons to grow your own cannabis.
And first, why should you consider growing your own in the first place?
Is it really worth it?
#1) Cost Advantages
Growing your own cannabis is cheaper than buying it, in almost every scenario.
Even if you choose the most state-of-the-art hydroponic system, the trendiest nutrient line and the most elite genetics out there, you can be almost 100% sure you’ll pay LESS per gram when you grow your own.
Look at it this way – legal, commercial cannabis outlets are required to pay hefty taxes on their products, as well as paying fees to testing facilities to ensure safety.
On the other hand, illegal cannabis sellers generally charge a hefty markup over cost, as they are taking a legal risk and they often have captive markets to sell to.
When you grow your own, you don’t have to pay any taxes or fees, and you don’t have to charge yourself a markup based on illegality!
On top of that, if you make sure to use low-impact methods (grow organic cannabis outdoors, use home-made organic compost, etc) you can keep your costs incredibly low.
Leafly has published a great resource on the costs of growing cannabis compared to buying – according to their research, outdoor cannabis costs $0.60 to $1.19 per gram to produce, while indoor cannabis costs $1.95 to $4.70 per gram.
#2) Know What’s In Your Cannabis
Do you know what’s in your cannabis?
Growing organic cannabis is an important standard for both quality and health reasons.
Some of us may be lucky enough to have a solid, reliable supplier who informs their customers about what’s in their cannabis.
However, many of us remain at the mercy of commercial suppliers (both legal and illegal) that are NOT transparent about their cultivation methods, and who are prepared to cut various corners to make their profits!
On top of this, doubts have arisen about the reliability of lab testing for cannabinoids, terpenes, pesticides and pathogens.
Most worryingly, commercial samples of cannabis are routinely recalled due to excess levels of pesticides or pathogens.
If you grow your own cannabis, you ensure that you know exactly what’s inside it, as you make all the decisions on soil choice, nutrient supply, supplements and additives.
You also have full control of your environment, so you can micro-manage your grow conditions to prevent pathogens such as powdery mildew from taking hold.
#3) Get Away From The Street
On a similar note, growing your own cannabis reduces reliance on the black market, for those of use unfortunate enough to live in illegal or restricted areas.
While it’s perfectly possible to obtain reasonable or good quality cannabis from illegal suppliers, you can never be entirely sure what’s inside it, and you can be sure that illegal producers don’t stick to the same guidelines as legal producers.
On the street, you take your chances with unflushed, poorly-grown cannabis, waiting hours in inconvenient or unsafe places for untrustworthy dealers, getting ripped off and even suffering violence.
Growing your own cannabis avoids a lot of the risk and hassle of buying on the street.
However, if you live in an illegal or restricted area, you obviously need to exercise caution when growing your own cannabis, and you’ll have to do so at your own risk.
Green Flower is not in any way advising you to break the law. We do however encourage citizens to help change laws they don’t like.
#4) Fair Trade All The Way!
Just because a cannabis-growing operation is legal, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ethical.
Disturbing reports from the Emerald Triangle point to a culture of workplace sexual harassment on some farms, with female workers reporting assault on an alarmingly regular basis.
As well as this, there are reports of generally poor working conditions on farms, trimming facilities and dispensaries. Trimmers may work for months but receive no pay, sometimes in unsafe conditions; dispensary workers may be subjected to low pay and poor treatment.
While the vast majority of legal cannabis operations are run according to sound, ethical principles, there are a healthy proportion that aren’t.
If you want to avoid any potential moral pitfalls, you can do so by growing your own cannabis!
#5) Choice Of Strain
When you grow your own cannabis, you have the first and final choice on which varieties of cannabis to grow. Of course, there are hundreds of strains of cannabis on offer in legal dispensaries.
But when you get to know the ins and outs of the trade, you start to see how limited the selection can be, compared to the true diversity out there.
Much of the time, commercial growers stick to reliable strains that yield consistent harvests and don’t take too long to flower.
This is why “indica” strains are so important for commercial cannabis cultivation – they are easy to control in terms of size and growth rate, and they finish flowering in around eight weeks.
In comparison, some pure sativa strains may take twelve weeks or more to flower. Some equatorial strains may even flower for six months or longer!
If you have the time and patience to experiment with the strains you grow, and you don’t have worldly concerns about turnover and profit, you can open the door to a magical world of cannabis biodiversity.
#6) Learn About Selection & Breeding
Once you start to get into choosing strains according to your specific taste, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll start to think of selecting certain phenos for their specific characteristics.
For example, you may love a certain strain, but find that it’s not always consistent when you grow out the seeds. In that instance, you can keep cuttings of the best phenos, turn one or two into mothers and ensure a consistent supply of identical clones for years to come!
If you’re growing from regular seeds, you’re going to encounter male plants along your cannabis-growing journey. For the most part, you may wish to just kill those males straightaway so that your precious females don’t get seeded.
However, you may also wish to keep some of those males and save their pollen, particularly if they are strong, healthy and fragrant. You can then fertilize female flowers to create seeds!
If you breed a male with a female from the same population, you can ensure new generations of the same strain. If you breed a male with a female of a different strain, you can create interesting new crosses – and if you cross and backcross the offspring, ultimately you could create a whole new true-breeding strain!
#7) Treat Your Specific Illness
In recent years, research into cannabinoid and terpene profiles for specific illnesses has started to take off.
The idea of being able to match a strain to a specific illness is not new, but it’s actually fiendishly difficult to accomplish at this stage.
We simply don’t know enough about all the different variations in diseases, or how individual genetic makeup comes into play.
Furthermore, we’re only scratching the surface of understanding how cannabinoids and terpenes work in combination in the body.
With dozens of different terpenes and terpenoids, and over a hundred cannabinoids, the combinations are essentially innumerable.
So you can’t ever be sure that the strain of cannabis you’re using is the best choice for your illness.
But using existing information, you can at least make informed choices on varieties that contain cannabinoid and terpene profiles thought to be advantageous for your condition.
One service that could assist you in this is PotBot, an app that records your health information and matches it with existing scientific data to recommend specific medicinal strains. Using its recommendations, you could discover strains to grow that will help your illness significantly!
#8) Use The Whole Plant!
If you grow your own cannabis, you have access to the whole plant, from root to leaf tips.
Furthermore, you have access to fresh plant material, which opens the door to all kinds of interesting techniques.
For example, you can use cannabis roots to make medicinal balms and ointments.
You can juice fresh cannabis leaves to make a bright-green, refreshing liquid that may have various health benefits.
Stems and sticks are often coated with resin, which you can make into topicals or even hash.
When you are growing organic cannabis for yourself and the people around you, you open up a world of possibilities, and you are sure to spend many happy years exploring them!