Cannabis seeds: how to grow your own cannabis plants from cannabis seeds

Here's your 6-step how-to for taking your cannabis seeds from start to finish

photo-1416816901131-9e5eab64c1c1-min

Have you ever wanted to grow your own cannabis from cannabis seeds?

Whether you are a recreational user or a medical cannabis patient, you don’t have to rely on dispensaries to get the cannabis flower you want to enjoy. You can actually grow it yourself from cannabis seeds!

(Of course, you should obey the marijuana laws in your state before buying cannabis seeds or growing your own plants. Check out this post to see the status of marijuana legalization in your state and how many plants you can grow.)

If you are thinking of buying cannabis seeds and growing your own cannabis plants, read on in this post to see how to have success growing your own plants from cannabis seeds.

What kind of cannabis seeds you can buy

When you’re looking to buy cannabis seeds, it might be overwhelming to start out with. You have to look at different strains, different types of cannabis, and different kinds of seeds, and there are lots of cannabis seeds to choose from.

To start out with, you should think about what kind of plant you want to end up with. If you’re looking for a body high, you’ll likely want an indica; if you want an energetic head high, you’ll probably want a sativa.

From there, you can research indica or sativa strains that match the effects you want to achieve. Most cannabis seed shopping websites will have descriptions to accompany each seed about the effects that strain will have.

And if you are hoping to grow cannabis plants for medical use, you can search for cannabis seeds for low-THC plants or strains that are high in CBD. CBD (cannabidiol) is a popular choice for medical patients since it offers the pain relief effects of marijuana without the mental effects.

Many people who shop for cannabis seeds opt to buy “feminized” seeds, which are ones that have been bred to only produce female plants (which is what you want, since the female plants are the ones that flower).

Finally, you’ll have the option of choosing normal cannabis seeds or what are called “autoflowering” cannabis seeds. Autoflowering cannabis seeds are normal seeds that have been crossbred with a fast-growing type of cannabis seed called Ruderalis, which allows them to flower on their own in about 2-4 weeks (as opposed to 3-6 months for regular plants) and means you can have multiple harvests in a year.

How to germinate and grow marijuana plants from cannabis seeds

So here’s the good news: there’s a reason that marijuana is called weed. It grows like a weed, which is good for amateur growers and first-time planters.

However, there are a few steps you should take to ensure the success of your cannabis seeds and make sure they grow up into healthy, flower-producing plants.

Step 1. Germinate

Before you pop your seeds in the dirt, you actually need to let them sit in a dark, moist environment for about a couple of days (up to 5) to germinate.

Start by wetting a paper towel, and wring it out until it is just damp, not dripping wet. Fold it in half and place it on a plate, and then place your seeds on the towel at least 1/4 inch apart. Cover them with the other half of the paper towel (or another damp paper towel), and then cover that plate with another plate to maintain a humid, dark environment.

Check on your seeds every 24 hours, and look to see if they have cracked. You want every seed to crack open and have a white shoot on one side, and a tiny root sticking out on the other side.

Once that happens, you are ready to plant!

Step 2. Plant

When planting, you have options. You can choose to simply sprinkle your seeds around the soil and cover them lightly with a top layer of soil, and you’ll most likely have at least a few plants grow.

However, if you want to grow the maximum number of plants possible from your cannabis seeds, it’s worth it to take a little time to do your planting in an organized way.

Instead of using plain potting soil, look for a nutrient rich soil that is meant for vegetative and flowering plants. If you’re mixing your own soil, for the early stages you’ll want equal parts turf, worm meal, and perlite for your cannabis seeds.

Collect your soil in a stable, clean pot and get it slightly damp (not muddy, just wet to the touch). The pot should be big enough to accommodate roots for your plants; look for something at least 10 centimeters deep to start out with. Once it’s filled with your soil, use a pencil to create enough 1/4 inch deep holes for each one of your cannabis seeds.

Drop a seed into each hole and cover with soil. Mist all the soil with water once a day until your first sprouts start to appear. Between waterings, cover the top of your plant with clear plastic wrap to maintain a high level of humidity.

Step 3. Light it up

Your plants will need many hours of direct light every day to grow from seeds into flowering plants. After you’ve planted your seeds, make sure they get at least 18 hours of direct light every day (which means you will likely need to invest in a lamp or two, since the sun won’t be out that long in most places, and you want direct light and heat on your plants).

Step 4. Vegetate

As your plant begins to grow, it is in what is called its “vegetative” state. This means it is growing, but not flowering.

As the grower, it is up to you when you’ll allow the plant to start flowering. However, it’s recommended to let your plants stay in the vegetative state for at least 2-3 weeks to give it enough time to grow so that at the flowering stage it will grow big and produce. (This window is true even for autoflowering plants.)

If you want to keep your plants small, or just can’t wait to get to the flowering stage, you can force it to happen almost right away once your plants have sprouted out of the soil. However, for big, healthy, high-producing plants, you will want to maintain a couple weeks in this stage.

At this point, if you have been using your own homemade soil, you will want to change the mixture to include equal parts turf, compost, and worm meal. If your plant gets to be over about 25 centimeters tall, you’ll also need to double the depth of your container to something 20 centimeters deep or bigger.

Step 5. Flower

If you’ve given your plant time to grow in the vegetative state, you can expect it to double in size once you let it flower. Therefore, if you know how tall you want the final plant to be, you can determine to move it into the flowering stage once it has reached half that height.

To set off the flowering stage in your cannabis plant, simply turn off the lights! After a plant has had 12 uninterrupted hours of darkness, it will start to flower.

Continue to give the plant 12 hours of light during the day, and 12 hours of darkness at night, to keep it happy, healthy, and producing.

The amount of time your plant will need to spend in the flowering stage varies by strain, so consult with your packaging. However, unless you are using autoflowering seeds that take 2-3 weeks, you are looking at a minimum of 6-8 weeks for your plant to flower.

Step 6. Harvest, dry, cure

After your plant has been flowering for the appropriate number of weeks, you can harvest! Most plants have a 2-3 week window where you can grab the flowers, and if you want until the end of that window, you can usually get the maximum amount of bud.

To harvest, start by cutting down your plants. Or, if you have big plants, you can cut off individual branches one-by-one instead.

Then cut off the big fan leaves that aren’t the buds; also cut off and save any additional small leaves (not required, but they can have some potent resin on them that you can enjoy later on), and hang the plants with the buds upside down indoors. The room should be warm, but can cool off as the days go by. If you live in a humid environment, you might try turning on a small fan to keep the air circulating.

Resist the urge to otherwise force or speed up the drying process. It will take about 4-10 days for them to feel dry to the touch, but it is worth it in terms of flavor and not risking over-drying the buds.

This process is important for maximizing the flavor and effect of the cannabis, reducing potential for mold on the buds, and decreasing the “harsh” effects that are likely to make you cough or give you a headache from smoking the plant.

Once the buds are dry, detach them from the plant and store them in a clean mason jar. Don’t fill the jar all the way to the top; you want to leave a little room for air.

Open the jars once a day to let some air in. If your buds feel quite wet or humid, you can take them out of the jar or leave the lid off for a day, depending on how much they need to dry. Otherwise, keep the lid on and only open once a day.

After a 1-2 weeks of regularly checking on your buds once a day where they have maintained a nice state of dryness without being brittle or hard, then your buds are beautifully cured. You can continue to store them in the jar, opening once a month.

You just turned cannabis seeds into your own supply!

Taking the creation of your cannabis into your own hands can be an incredibly empowering and exciting experience. If you are a regular recreational user or medical patient, and it’s legal in your state, why not try cultivating your own little cannabis garden from cannabis seeds? And let us know how it goes!