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The evolution of cannabis as a natural part of modern life is still in progress. No matter the reason, many people are finding comfort and support in the use of hemp or cannabinoid products for wellness and wellbeing. The cannabis market has become far more accessible since legislative support has come into effect. That being said, many people are opting to grow their own cannabis or hemp in an effort to both save money and better control their end products, however they may choose to consume it. As with all new horticultural endeavors however, it can be quite disarming and overwhelming when you realise exactly how much information you need to go through, especially for those that are new to gardening. Here are some guidelines that should help you on your journey to (pardon the pun) personal growth

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Since different strains produce different results and have different growing needs, having an overview of the various strains available is a good place to start when deciding what you would like to grow. The first thing to note is there may be genetic differences and discrepancies in seeds, even when they are sold under the same name. This is less frequent with the less common names or seeds sold under a specific strain identity. Having a good quality source for the seeds is essential and should have some consistency throughout their products, though not everyone responds the same way to cannabis and results may vary.


Based on anecdotal evidence, here are some examples of what you could expect from the various strains. For pain relief, Sour Diesel, Northern Lights, or Afghan Kush may be the right selection for you. White Widow boosts creativity and invigorates. For relaxation, look into strains such as Blue Dream, Fruity Pebbles, or Pineapple Express. You would also want to consider whether you want to grow a plant with lower THC levels ie. hemp. The general rule (though it has many exceptions and each strain should be evaluated individually), is that Indica types (Hindu Kush or Granddaddy Purple for example) are more calming and Sativas (examples include Panama Red, Durban Poison, and Acapulco Gold) are more energizing.



How To Decide What To Plant

You can decide which variant to go with based on the effect you are looking to produce as well as the needs of the plant. Look into your chosen strain with greater detail once you have an idea of what you would like, to cross-reference against any side effects or adverse reactions you may want to avoid, looking specifically at any contraindications to medications you may currently be taking. Always consult with a professional whenever possible, especially your health practitioner in the event of the cannabis being intended for medicinal or therapeutic use.



Gardening Basics

When it comes to actually growing cannabis, it is important to note the breeding aspect of good horticulture. Cannabis produces both male and female plants and you will end up with a split of both, unless you opt for a ‘feminized’ variety. The female plants produce the fat flower buds while the males produce spindly thin flowers. You will need to learn how to identify and cull the male plants in order to avoid the male pollen resulting in female buds full of seeds. You could also look into clones ie. cuttings from female plants that are rooted, much like buying seedlings versus the starter seed. Cannabis plants require excellent drainage, air circulation, ample irrigation, and at least six hours of sun to flourish. Nutrient-rich soil is also highly recommended – treat your soil a month or so before you start planting for best results.



Outdoor Versus Indoor

The main difference between choosing to grow indoors or outdoors is the level of control you will have over the temperature, water levels, lighting, and external elements such as pests and disease (though they do still happen if you aren’t diligent). For some, the higher cost and effort that goes into indoor growing is simply not worth it, for others, it allows both privacy and enjoyment – it’s part of the fun! If you have less patience, indoor growing is probably your best bet though it is a time-consuming endeavour overall. Outdoor growing is not completely void of time spent either since these plants generally require more trimming and exposure management.


Wellness Benefits

When you look at the advantages of growing your own plants remember to consider the fact that the actual act of gardening is also therapeutic and being surrounded by plants does wonders for your overall health – feeling energized, stress reduction, and the sense of passion and accomplishment that comes with gardening.


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