How to Grow Marijuana: The Ultimate Guide

Growing marijuana indoors is gaining widespread popularity, as enthusiasts worldwide uncover the delights of nurturing their cannabis plants. Whether you're a medical user in need of a steady supply or a passionate cannabis aficionado eager to delve into home growing, this all-encompassing manual on how to grow marijuana will equip you with vital know-how and methods for achieving a thriving cannabis garden.

Starting with grasping the legalities and creating your ideal cultivation area, and then nurturing your plants across every growth stage, we'll plunge into every facet of the marijuana growing process. Within this guide, you'll gather invaluable insights and advice that will help you nurture top-notch cannabis right in your home.

Is It Legal to Grow Marijuana in Your Area?

is it legal to grow marijuanas?

Regulations around cannabis cultivation have eased up in recent years, whether for recreational or medical purposes. But here's the deal: the guidelines for growing cannabis at home can be totally different depending on which state you're living in.

That's why it's always crucial to be aware of your local regulations and stay within the legal boundaries. Getting caught growing marijuana outside the legal lines can lead to some seriously bad times—picture major fines or even ending up in some legal hot water.

Before you kick off growing, you can delve into our comprehensive guide on marijuana growing regulations for the US, Canada, and Australia.

Top 6 Factors Affecting Your Marijuana Growing

how to grow marijuana_6 factors

Every cannabis plant needs the following things in order to survive and thrive:

1. Light: Regardless of what you're using, cannabis grow light or sunlight, you must know there're different spectrum and intensity required in different growth stages. Cannabis plants love more blue light with low to mid intensity during the veg stage, whereas they prefer red light with higher intensity while flowering.

2. Air: For the best result, you may need a space that has good air circulation and a mild breeze.

3. Growing Medium: That is the place where your grow the weed plant. Soil-based growing is very common, but hypodronics system brings higher yields.

4. Temp: Remember, if it's too hot or cold for you, your cannabis plants are feeling the same way. Don't throw them in any environment with extreme temperatures.

5. Water: Every life form needs water to live, and there's no exception for your weed plant.

6. Nutrients: Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three basic cannabis nutrients that the plants require during its growing process. You can purchase pre-made cannabis fertilizers.

Expert Growing Guidance

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Which Cannabis Strains Should You Choose?

Indica sativa hybrid strains.jpg__PID:26324008-8a1b-4eff-94af-cedb56a5a46c

When it comes to how to grow marijuana, choosing the right cannabis strains is crucial for a successful cultivation journey. The selection of strains ranges from sativa to indica and hybrids, each offering unique characteristics and effects that are essential to consider when growing marijuana.

Sativa strains, known for their energizing and invigorating properties, can be beneficial for increasing focus and appetite. Indica strains, on the other hand, are renowned for their relaxing and calming effects, which can potentially aid in managing issues such as anxiety, depression, and pain.

flowers of different cannabis strains in hey abbyhow to grow weedflowers of different cannabis strains in hey abby 1

flowers of different cannabis strains in Hey abby

Hybrid strains combine the qualities of both Sativa and Indica, providing a balanced experience that can vary depending on the specific genetics.

Wondering where to find your preferred strain? Take a peek at Seed supreme, known among Hey abby growers for its reliability and broad range of strains.

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Growing Marijuana Indoors vs Outdoors

Indoor Marijuana Growing

Benefits

1. Control: Indoor cultivation offers precise control over environmental factors such as light, temperature, humidity, and airflow. This control allows for year-round growth regardless of external conditions;

2. Strain Variety: Indoor growing allows you to cultivate a broader range of cannabis strains that might not thrive in your local outdoor climate;

3. Privacy: You'll enjoy enhanced privacy and security, keeping your cultivation away from prying eyes and potential theft;

4. Pest and Disease Control: Growing marijuana indoors reduces the risk of pests and mold, helping you maintain a healthy crop.

Considerations

1. Cost: Setting up an indoor grow space for weed plants requires an initial investment in equipment. The two leading options for indoor growing are grow tents and automated grow boxes. For tent growers, they'll also need to separately arrange for lights, fans, and ventilation systems;

2. Energy Consumption: Indoor growing consumes more energy due to artificial lighting and climate control systems.

Outdoor Marijuana Growing

Benefits

1. Natural Sunlight: Outdoor cultivation benefits from the full spectrum of natural sunlight, leading to potentially larger yields and richer cannabinoid profiles;

2. Cost: Growing marijuana outdoors is generally more cost-effective as you don't need to invest in a set of equipment;

3. Size Potential: Outdoor weed plants can reach larger sizes, potentially leading to higher yields if you have sufficient space;

4. Sustainability: Growing marijuana outdoors has a lower carbon footprint as it relies on natural sunlight and doesn't consume as much energy.

Considerations

1. Climate Restrictions: Outdoor cultivation is limited by your local climate and seasonal changes;

2. Pest and Disease Risks: Plants grown outdoors are more exposed to pests and diseases, requiring proactive measures for prevention.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Weed?

how long does it take to grow weed

When it comes to how to grow marijuana indoors, one common question that arises is, "how long does it take to grow weed?" The duration of indoor marijuana cultivation can fluctuate due to a range of factors, such as the strain of the plant, growing conditions, cultivators' skills, and the desired quality of the end product. On average, the journey from seed (only feminized seeds turn into plants that produce buds) to harvest spans roughly 10 to 14 weeks. However, this timeline is just an estimate, and it can be influenced by the aforementioned factors.

Furthermore, different strains have varying growth rates and flowering durations when growing marijuana. Some strains mature faster, allowing for a shorter cultivation period when you grow weed plants indoors, while others require more time to reach their peak. As growers learn how to grow marijuana, it's essential to explore and comprehend the unique needs of their chosen strain to ensure optimal care and outcomes.

Recommended Temperatures, Humidity & pH Level

When you grow marijuana using the Hey abby hydroponics growing system, we suggest aligning your cultivation environment with the following guidelines.

  • Seed: 60-110°F; no restriction for humidity and pH level
  • Vegetative: 70-90°F; 40-60% Relative Humidity; 5.5-6.4 pH
  • Flowering: 70-90°F; 35-55% Relative Humidity; 6-6.4 pH

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Manage RH, Temperature and pH Level Effortlessly in the APP

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Stages of Growing Marijuana Indoors

Stage 1: Germination & Seedling

marijuana seedlings
cannabis seedlings

The germination & seedling stage typically lasts for 7-10 days, during which you'll observe the seed sprouting and transforming into a marijuana seedling. During this stage, the light will be on for about 18 hours at a low light intensity, which will keep your plant safe.

We recommend using the Hey abby seed kit which greatly increases your chance of successful germinating. The seed kit also makes sure you easily transplant the seedling into your grow box kits. Check out our detailed tutorial on how to germinate seeds if you're new to this.

Stage 2: Vegetation

hydro weed
hydroponic cannabis

During the weed vegetative stage, growers can utilize various techniques such as topping, pruning, Low Stress Training (LST), SCROG, and lollipopping to shape the plant, control its size, and limit its height to increase yields. The aim is to develop 8-12 robust branches that fit the size of the grow box. The branches should be at roughly the same level, not exceeding 10 inches in height.

These techniques ensure even growth and prevent the plant from becoming too bushy, which could limit airflow and light penetration in the lower sections of the plant. LST is also beneficial in spreading out the branches, allowing for more light exposure and an even canopy. By carrying out these techniques during the vegetative stage, growers can create a robust and healthy plant that is ready for a productive flowering stage.

The length of the vegetative stage is usually around 4 weeks, but it can vary depending on factors such as the plant's strain, genetics, and unique condition.

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Stage 3: Flowering

cannabis flowering stage
cannabis blooming

The flowering stage is a critical phase in the development of cannabis buds. During this stage, it's important to change the water and nutrient solution more frequently, ideally every three days, to provide your plant with the necessary nutrients.

For best results, it's recommended to maintain the pH level around 6.0~6.5, which will enhance the plant's ability to absorb calcium.

Moreover, it's important to lollipop the plant in the early flowering stage (week 1-4) to redirect the plant's energy towards the upper canopy where the buds are developing. The technique also helps to improve airflow and thus reduce the risk of moldy weed.

The duration of the cannabis flowering stage typically lasts between 8 to 12 weeks, but it can vary depending on several factors such as strain, genetics, and the plant's overall health.

Spot & Solve Plant Issues In Time

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Assessing Readiness

The flowering stage usually takes 8 to 12 weeks depending on the strains, genetics, and plant condition, etc. After completing 8 weeks of the flowering stage, you can begin assessing whether your cannabis plant is ready for the flushing stage and soon for harvest.

To determine if your cannabis buds are ready for flushing, follow these steps:

  • Check the Trichomes: Use a magnifying glass, microscope lens or jeweler's loupe to inspect the trichomes on your buds. When the trichomes appear milky white or opaque, it's a sign that the buds are reaching their peak potency and it's time to start flushing;
  • Check the Pistils: Examine the pistils, or hairs, on the buds. If the majority of the pistils have turned from white to brown or orange, it's another indication that the buds are reaching maturity and are ready for flushing.
cannabis flower trichomes

Once you have determined that your buds are ready for flushing, it's recommended to flush the plant with pH-balanced water for at least 3-7 days before harvesting. This will help to remove any excess nutrients from the plant and improve the overall taste and quality of the buds.

Stage 4: Flushing

The flushing process typically lasts for 3-7 days, during which you should stop adding nutrients to your plants and provide them with only pH-balanced fresh water. This allows your plants to absorb any remaining nutrients in their system. Proper flushing improves the quality of your smoking experience.

To assess if your buds are ready for harvest, look for the following signs:

  • Leaf Color: The fan leaves will then start to fade, which indicates that it is ready to harvest.
  • Trichome Color: Trichomes are the small, crystal-like structures on the buds. When they turn from clear to cloudy, it is a sign that the buds are reaching maturity. If you want a more relaxing effect, wait until the trichomes turn amber.
healthy weed plants

Tips:

  • The peak THC content in cannabis buds is typically reached when the trichomes have turned from clear to milky. On the other hand, more mature trichomes that have turned from milky to amber may indicate higher levels of CBD, which can lead to a "harsher" smoke characterized by more coughing.
  • Use a magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe to inspect the pistils and trichomes closely. This will help you see the color and clarity of these structures more clearly.

Once you have completed the flushing process, it's time for harvest!

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Stage 5: Harvest & Drying

Harvest

harvesting cannabis

Harvesting cannabis buds is a delicate process that requires patience and attention to detail. Follow these steps for a successful harvest:

  • Prepare your tools: Gather sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears, gloves, a drying rack, and paper bags or glass jars for storage.
  • Choose the right time: Look for signs that the buds are ready for harvest, such as the color of the trichomes and the fading of the fan leaves. It's important to harvest at the right time for the best results.
  • Protect your hands: Wear gloves while trimming cannabis to avoid your hands getting covered in sticky resin.
  • Cut the branches: Use your scissors or pruning shears to cut the branches just above the main stem of the plant. Be gentle and try not to damage the buds or the plant itself.
  • Remove the fan leaves: Once you have cut the branches, remove the large fan leaves. This will make it easier to see the buds and improve airflow during the drying process.
  • Trim the buds: Use your scissors or pruning shears to carefully trim the buds from the branches.

Drying

When you're starting to dry cannabis buds, you have 2 options: either placing them and sugar leaves onto the cannabis drying rack, or using traditional hang-drying method. The drying process typically takes 1-2 weeks, but the exact duration may vary depending on the strain and plant size.

cannabis drying on drying rack
hang drying weed inside hey abby

drying cannabis in Hey abby grow box

It is important to avoid exposing the buds to direct light during the process, to prevent the quality of cannabinoids and terpenes from degrading. Besides, we recommend keeping the relative humidity of your drying space at around 60%, and a temperature range of 60-70°F (15-21°C).

If you're using Hey abby, just activate the drying mode. This mode turns off the grow light and sets the exhaust fan to a low speed, as suggested by the Abby algorithm. It allows for a slow and gentle drying process that prevents the buds from becoming overly dry or crumbly, which could result in a harsh smoking experience.

To check if your buds have been dried properly, perform the bending test. Take a small branch and bend it. If it snaps, your buds are ready to go.

Stage 6: Curing

cannabis curing
cannabis curing

Curing cannabis is the process of preserving and improving the flavor, aroma, and potency of buds after they have been dried. Proper curing can also extend the shelf life of buds for up to two years without a significant loss of potency.

The process involves storing the buds in an airtight container at a specific humidity level of 55-65% RH for 1-4 weeks. Burping the container is necessary to prevent mold growth when humidity levels rise above 65%. After curing, it is best to store buds in a cool, dark place to avoid mold and mildew growth and buds can last for two years with potency.

Hydroponic vs Soil Cannabis Growing

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cannabis soil grow with Hey abby grow box soil edition.jpg__PID:fd4e420b-56f3-41b2-8bbe-74f3fd572e4e

Hey abby's hydroponic system vs soil grow system

There are two main methods for growing weed: hydroponics vs. soil. Hey abby offers various models to accommodate both methods. You can consider the pros and cons of each approach before choosing the right Hey abby model for your needs.

Growing cannabis in soil usually appeals to purists and those who prefer a simpler and more natural approach. Soil provides a natural buffer and interaction with living organisms, which many believe leads to superior results and cleaner flowers. If you prefer soil, opt for the Hey abby Soil Edition.

On the flip side, hydroponics offers a soilless method using nutrient-rich water for plant growth. It's all about control, efficiency, and faster growth, making it attractive to growers aiming for precision and maximum yields. If hydroponic cannabis growing is your preference, consider Hey abby's 420 Edition, OG Edition, or Black Edition. We've compared all 3 hydroponic grow cabinets to help you find the right one.

No matter which model you choose, all of Hey abby's grow boxes offer a hassle-free and efficient solution for those interested in how to grow marijuana. With no setup required, 24/7 automated control, 1-on-1 expert support, and detailed growing tutorials accessible through the Hey abby app (IOS/Android), you'll have everything you need to grow successfully.

What is the Average Yield in a Hey abby Grow Box?

hey abby grow box cannabis yield

With OG model, pro version of Hey abby hydroponic grow system, you can expect a yield of up to 8oz of dried buds per harvest over a three-month growth cycle. If you're a bit more ambitious, go for the Black Edition for up to 8oz+!

The beginner-level Hey abby 420 Edition & Soil Edition, on the other hand, yields up to 6oz of dried buds. Regardless of the version you choose, your first harvest will cover the investment costs.

Such a size of yield is attributed to the scientific formulation of the Hey abby fertilizer and the intelligent algorithm used in the grow box. The Hey abby grow box is designed to be user-friendly and suitable for novice growers, making it easier for individuals with limited experience to achieve similarly satisfying cannabis yields. With its automated features and optimized cultivation system, the Hey abby Grow Box aims to deliver efficient and productive results for home growers.

Final Thoughts

We're hornored to have a community of knowledgeable and empowered growers, who are passionate about cultivating cannabis at home, and sharing their tips and experience. Join us on Discord and Facebook Group to connect with these fellow growers!

We understand that learning how to grow marijuana can be a complex process, and we are here to assist you every step of the way. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced grower, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and resources you need to succeed.

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Grow Tent vs Grow Box: which growing system is best for beginners?

Small Grow Tent

Grow Tents are made up of collapsible material (usually nylon or polyester) that are fitted to frames, creating a large space for your plant to grow. The tent comes with holes and fittings that enable you to attach lights, fans and filters. This combines to help your plant grow inside of its pots on the ground, essentially creating an electronic indoor greenhouse.

The tent is often larger than the Grow Box and requires more space, but this gives you the option to grow more. The Grow Tent is usually not suitable for all home environments due to its size and non-discreet design. It is more suited to a garage, basement or spare room. The grow tent doesn’t come pre-assembled and requires the user to fit the components together, including the frame, lights and fans. 

The best grow box for beginners

Grow Box

Grow Boxes are self-contained ecosystems for your plant that include lighting, fans, and feeding docks. They come pre-assembled so there is no set-up required. Everything a plant needs to grow is built within the device. Growers are free to customize their Grow Box as they wish, but this is completely optional and not necessary for a successful harvest. This makes the Grow Box ideal for beginners and those looking for low-maintenance growing.

The Grow Box is usually a lot smaller than the Grow Tent, enabling growers to grow plants in any home space. With a design similar to that of an air purifier or cabinet, the Grow Box can blend into the home environment discreetly. A Grow Box focuses on one plant at a time, providing a bespoke experience to that one particular plant. Due to their compact design, plants growing inside a Grow Box will require more purning and low-stress training, in order to maintain the plant's wellbeing. Grow Boxes use hydroponic technology removing the need to use soil. 

Grow Tent

abby

Assemble

Pieces to assemle

15+

Plug and play

Setup time

2-3 hours

5 minutes

Eco-System

Lighting Schedule

Manual

Auto with algorithm

Airflow

One set

Auto with algorithm

Environment Monitoring

Add on different meters

Built in sensors

Water Flow

Manual Setup

Built-in water pump and airstone

Growing

Switch Period

Manual Switch

One click switch

Nutrients

Measure and mix

Pre-measured and packed

Change Water

Manual

Built-in water pump

Grow Guide

No

1 on 1 expert support

Time Spend

2-3 hours/wk

5 minutes/wk

Smart home Features

Smart App

No

Hey abby app

Connectivity

No

Wifi + Bluetooth

Safety

Children Lock

No

Yes(in hey abby app)

Sight Protection

No

Auto-dim when door opens

Odor Control

Manual setup ventilation

Easy to replace carbon filters

Should I begin growing with a clone or seed? 

Growers have two options when growing a plant: they can germinate a seed or they can use a clone, which is a replica of a Mother Tree. Both of which can be purchased from local dispensaries. Seeds will take longer to produce their yield, making clones the more efficient choice for those seeking faster results. It takes approximately 2-4 weeks less for clones to harvest. Seeds are also not contaminated from poor growing conditions, making them a pure beginning that the grower can control. 

The clone has the potential to retain poor growing conditions from previous plants, so sourcing depends upon your trust in the dispensaries and that they are a reputable company. There are both male and female seeds. When purchasing seeds, make sure that the seeds are feminized, as these are capable of producing the sticky cannabinoid-rich bud. If you use male seeds, they will not produce any bud. You can use multiple seeds and pick the best seedling, but this can be costly, so many growers prefer to germinate one at a time. 

Different types of seed: Photo vs Auto

There are two main types of seeds: photoperiod and autoflower. Both are capable of producing cannabis and providing quality yields. However, both have their own unique advantages as well which may impact which seed you prefer as a grower. 

Auto seeds grow at a far higher speed and are generally easier to cultivate. However, while photo are slower to grow they do produce higher yields. This difference is based on how the plants initiate the flowering stage. Auto will flower automatically using the light schedule, using 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.

Photo will require a different lighting schedule when flowering, with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. This must be done manually inside of a Grow Tent, but with the Hey abby Grow Box it is done automatically for you. Auto seeds are also smaller and don't require as much pruning. This makes them more ideal for beginners. 

Different types of strains: Sativa vs Indica

Most people classify cannabis into two main strains: Sativa and Indica. 

Indica

Indica usually grows in cold, high climates. They require less time to harvest and develop bushy and short yeilds. They are said to provide a more relaxed experience when smoked. 

Sativa

Sativa provides a more energized experience. Designed more for warm climates, sativa takes longer to harvest. They also grow long and thin, which doesn't make them ideal for growing in Grow Tents and Grow Boxes. We advise growing indica strains as they grow more ideally for indoor growing.