A Medical Marijuana Patient’s Guide to Home Cultivation
Medical marijuana is now legal in well over half the country, which means most American patients have access to a safe and effective drug that treats pain, inflammation, anxiety, nausea and a number of other uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms.
In most states, medical patients apply to a government agency that provides a valid license, which patients use to visit dispensaries and buy cannabis products. However, in some states, medical marijuana patients have the option of growing their own cannabis at home.
Before patients can consider cultivating cannabis in their own castle, they should make double-sure that home growing is legal in their state. Most states that permit medical marijuana do allow patients to grow their own crop, which allows patients immediate access to as much treatment as they need to manage their condition while cutting back on the cannabis trade. However, there are some states that require all cannabis to be grown in state-controlled settings, which means home cultivation is out.
Then there are states like Missouri, which require those interested in home cultivation to apply for a special home growing license. Patients need to decide for themselves whether the hassle of another medical marijuana application is worth the freedom to growing at home, or whether they would rather visit a Missouri dispensary to obtain greater variety of treatment options.
While home cultivation can get pretty complex pretty quickly, the good news is that patients don’t need to invest significantly in time or resources to grow a solid cannabis crop. There are only a few crucial considerations to make, to include:
Where Are You Going to Grow?
Outdoor growing sounds convenient, but in many places, outdoor growing is either prohibited or so regulated as to be unattainable by casual cannabis gardeners. Most likely, you will need to find an indoor location for cultivation, which should have ample natural light or else a space for grow lights. You might also need to consider who will have access to your crop, such as kids, roommates or pets. It might be a good idea to keep your crop in a locked closet or room to keep the cannabis safe as it matures. There are specially designed cannabis cabinets, which come with grow lights, sprinklers and other useful equipment to make growing easier even in cramped or shared spaces.
What Are You Going to Grow?
Cannabis plants can start from seeds, like any other plant, or they can start from clones. Clones are cuttings from mature cannabis plants; because they are genetically identical to their mother plant, they have known growing requirements and strain effects. Many medical marijuana patients prefer starting from clones because they have specific needs regarding cannabinoid content. However, clones can be more expensive, and certain strains are difficult to find as clones. Some patients have been known to work with experienced commercial growers to find the exact right strains, but many are happy to work with beginner-friendly strains that make home cultivation easy.
How Are You Going to Grow?
Cannabis enjoys growing in soil just like any other plant, but patients interested in experimenting with more advanced growing techniques might be rewarded with faster flowering and higher yields. For example, patients might try a hydroponics system, in which cannabis grows directly in nutrient-rich water. Aeroponics systems, in which cannabis roots grow in the air, can also work. When beginning, patients should consider getting into contact with someone experienced with these advanced techniques to avoid any obvious and disastrous mistakes. If a patient does opt for soil growing, it is important to use the right soil and be diligent about keeping the soil rich in nutrients. Adding compost and manure to the soil on a regular basis is an organic way to keep cannabis plants growing fast and strong, but patients can use chemical fertilizers for ease, as well.
Home cultivation is rewarding in more ways than one. For medical marijuana patients, home cultivation provides more control over their treatment and ensures they always have enough supply to keep their health condition in check. For some who live lightyears from the closest dispensary, home cultivation is the only viable way to access cannabis treatment. Fortunately, with the right state regulations and the right preparation, home growing is within almost everyone’s reach.