Should I Buy or Should I Grow?
Pros & Cons of Homegrown Cannabis
In many US states and Canadian provinces, citizens are allowed to grow cannabis plants for personal use. Depending on where you live, the number of plants allowed varies. In Colorado, for instance, residents over 21 are allowed to grow six plants with up to three at a time. In Quebec, Canada, on the other hand, where recreational cannabis is legal to consume for those 21 and older, it is illegal to grow any amount of cannabis for personal use.
Growing cannabis plants can be educational and fun, but it’s not for everyone. In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of growing your own.
The Pros of Growing Cannabis
Growing any type of plant can relieve stress and provide immense satisfaction, especially as you watch it blossom from a seed into a robust, aromatic plant. Studies demonstrate that “active interaction with indoor plants can reduce psychological stress”. Plus, the intricacies of growing cannabis can make homegrown cultivation a particularly satisfying hobby—one that you can improve upon year after year. Also, similar to home cooking, homegrown dried flower just seems to taste better than store-bought flower does.
If you want full control over what you’re inhaling from your vape pens or any other cannabis product, what could be better than growing your own? Home growers have absolute control over every nutrient, mineral, and ingredient that goes into their plants and can ensure with complete confidence that their crops are 100% chemical contaminant, microbial contaminant, and pesticide-free.
Depending on the quantity and frequency with which you consume cannabis, growing your own will likely lower your costs. Since most people are required to grow indoors, initial equipment and operational costs can be pretty high. But your savings will grow over time if you stick with it because each successful harvest will reduce your overall costs.
Trim It and Brand It Yourself
Another perk to growing your own cannabis is that you get to trim it yourself. Trimming cannabis can be quite therapeutic and gives you the freedom to be as creative as your heart desires. Go ahead and trim an enormous half-ounce bud, and then show it off to all of your friends the next time they come over. They’ll be green with envy!
Don’t stop at trimming. Your plants will all need names and you get to decide what those names will be. Dub your homegrown strains after your favorite musicians, movie references, sports teams, or whatever tickles your fancy. The sky is the limit . . .
The Cons of Homegrown Cannabis
Growing cannabis isn’t all roses. For as many advantages as there are for growing your own cannabis, there are at least as many challenges. Let’s take a look at a few:
Laws Vary Between States
This is one of the most important hurdles to consider as no real consensus exists between legal states as it relates to growing your own cannabis. Certain organizations are taking efforts to temporarily bridge these gaps but until a federal standard exists, the onus will be on you to make sure that you are not breaking any laws by cultivating some plants in your house or garden.
Before testing out your green thumb, you’ll definitely want to look up the growing laws in your state. Is it legal? How many plants can you have? Do you have to grow indoors? These are just a few of the factors that will determine what you can do and which equipment you will need.
Type of Housing
State laws aren’t the only factors that could impede your ability to grow cannabis. Shared buildings, such as condos, apartments, or rental units, have their own individual rules on growing. If your residence doesn’t allow you to grow, you’re out of luck.
Space, Cost and Time
In most instances, domestic cannabis cultivation laws require you to grow indoors in a locked space. Indoor growing needs a lot more equipment than outdoor cultivation and can take up more of your personal space.
Since so many factors need to be controlled during the cultivation process, most people tend to dedicate a room or walk-in closet to growing cannabis. But this isn’t exactly ideal for those who are already limited in terms of square footage. Plus, cultivation equipment and operational costs can be quite steep for the average person given the lighting, electricity, thermoregulation, humidity, and timers needed for a successful grow.
Money isn’t the only cost associated with growing cannabis; it’s also a major time sink. This may not be an issue for you if you’re just looking to take up growing cannabis as a hobby. But if you’re looking for a quick, relatively painless way to produce your own cannabis, growing your own is not the answer because the entire process is a commitment! More time than you would generally anticipate goes into planting, setting up equipment, maintaining your plants, harvesting, and trimming. On top of that, it can be an excruciatingly long wait until the plant is ready to harvest—one that will surely test your patience.
On average, Indica-dominant strains take 6-8 weeks until they are ready to be harvested, while Sativa-dominant strains can take upwards of 9-12 weeks! And that’s not even taking into account the week of drying—at the very least—your plants will need before they are ready to be consumed.
The fruits of your homegrown cannabis cultivation are ideal if you’re planning to smoke that dried flower, vape it in a dried-herb vaporizer, or bake it into some edibles. But it is not exactly optimal if your end goal is to consume cannabis oil from a vape pen. To turn your dried flower into an oil or hard concentrate, you will need to extract it using one of several techniques—none of which are easy to do or are safe outside of a controlled laboratory setting.
To prevent amateur extractors from blowing off their own eyebrows and those of everyone else living under their roofs, many states have banned homemade cannabis extraction altogether. Your best bet is to purchase cannabis oil and hard cannabis concentrates from licensed producers and extractors, who thoroughly understand these processes and subject their products to rigorous testing to ensure they are compliant and devoid of contaminants, solvents, and any other nasty stuff.
So, Should I Grow My Own Cannabis?
It really comes down to your goals. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and cheap way to get cannabis, growing your own may not be for you. But if you want to start a rewarding new lifelong hobby and you’ve got the room to do, have at it! It could end up being the best cannabis decision you’ll ever make.
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