Growing medicinal cannabis – also known as medical marijuana, or prescription weed if officially prescribed by a medic – takes a slightly different approach than recreational growing. The reason for this difference is quality. You can of course be just as serious about either approach, but growing medicinal cannabis is subject to more severe quality standards.
Non-medicinal weed is usually grown to enjoy. Growers are trying to get a particular taste, specific effects, or simply the most impressive cannabis plant. Growing medicinal weed, by contrast, usually aims for very specific goals. Here, it all depends on the medical purpose you are growing for.
Why Start Growing Medicinal Cannabis
There are many different reasons for using and growing medicinal cannabis. Scientists keep discovering new potential medical benefits in all sorts of compounds in cannabis, including THC and CBD. These days, countries including the Netherlands are officially growing medicinal cannabis for sale in pharmacies. Dutch prescription cannabis, however, is no longer remunerated by insurers since 2017. Regulations in other countries vary, but getting prescription marijuana refunded can be tricky at best. This makes growing medicinal cannabis at home financially attractive for increasing numbers of people. Other reasons for growing at home include being dissatisfied with prescription marijuana, or a search for specific effects. All of these situation can make growing medicinal cannabis at home an interesting option.
Growing Medicinal Cannabis: Which Strain To Choose?
As mentioned, growing medicinal cannabis involves quite a bit of deliberation. The intentions and desires of people using medicinal weed are usually very different from those of recreational cannabis consumers. If, for instance, you want to grow weed to treat pain, your plant will need a cannabinoid profile to match. Whether you grow for personal use or for others, you want to be as effective against that pain as you possibly can. Some cannabis strains are more suited for this than others. You might end up at a high-CBD strain, for instance. Our CBD cannabis strains are developed especially for such grows. Still, finding the right medicinal cannabis involves more properties than that.
All of our seeds come with a strain profile, which includes indications of the various qualities and properties of that particular strain. Always choose a recommended and experienced specialist such as Amsterdam genetics to get the best seeds. After all, growing medicinal cannabis starts with finding the very best seeds available.
Sativa Or Indica As Medicinal Weed?
Choosing between indica and sativa strains depends largely on the effect you intend to achieve. No matter what, always go for feminized seeds. These will get you the best returns on your investment: only female cannabis plants will yield your medicinal weed. Another tip for rookie growers is choosing autoflower cannabis seeds. These are usually easier to grow; they’re also immune to seasonal changes (not to weather though!) and allow for more annual harvests, especially indoors. Apart from that, everything depends on the specific symptoms you wish to counter.
Medical Weed And Terpenes
Cannabis contains many cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. On top of that, they carry compounds called terpenes. These plant chemicals give strains their distinct flavour and scent, but they do more. They protect plants from pests, for example, but moreover, all 100+ known terpenes have an effect on your body or mind. They are used in aroma therapy settings, for instance. Terpenes are definitely a point to consider when choosing your medical marijuana strain.
Three Important Aspects Of Growing Medicinal Cannabis
Users of medicinal weed are not necessarily interested in feeling high or stoned. Instead, they try to achieve certain physical or mental effects. This is why the following aspects are very important in deciding which medicinal weed strain to grow.
- The weed has to be clean (free from pesticides or other additives);
- The weed must be consistent in terms of quality and effect;
- The effect must be established and reliable.
Growing Medical Cannabis: Clones Or Seeds?
Some say that growing medicinal cannabis using clones is easier using than using seeds. Allegedly, cloned plants ought to yield more consistent results, because their genetic makeup is known. Still, the growth and development of a clone is a natural process too. All sorts of external influences affect your harvest. Moreover, growing from seeds is usually easier, especially for less experienced growers, and finding good clones is more difficult than finding great seeds. All things considered, we suggest choosing high-quality cannabis seeds of a suitable strain and from a serious, experienced seeds specialist.
Growing Medicinal Cannabis Indoors Or Outdoors?
Just like with any grow, you’ll need to decide whether to grow your medicinal weed indoors or outdoors. Both options come with their own pros and cons.
The big plus for indoor growing is the extent of control you have over circumstances such as lighting, temperature, and air circulation. Another major benefit is the ability to grow in all seasons, no matter the weather. This can be very convenient if growing medicinal cannabis leaves you dependent on your own harvest yields.
On the other hand, there are indications that weed grown outdoors is more balanced. This could be due to the fact that plants grown in the open air produce more varied cannabinoids. They do so because they have to cope with varying conditions that affect the growth process. In addition, outdoor growing allows you to grow medicinal cannabis in the most natural way possible.
Growing Medicinal Cannabis Organically
As mentioned, pesticides are a big no-go in growing weed for medical purposes. Growing organically, however, goes well beyond going easy on pesticides. The soil that you grow your plants in is a major factor to consider, for instance.
Organic soil is literally alive with compost and natural micro-organisms. All that organic activity provides a wealth of diverse and comprehensive nutrition for your cannabis plants. This promotes prolific growth without the need to add chemicals. When harvest time approaches, you won’t find traces of artificial fertiliser or chemical plant nutes in your crops. It’s healthier, but connoisseurs also say it improves flavour and development of the active ingredients you’re after.
Pest And Fungi
Apart from toxins, pests and fungi are the main threats for anyone growing medicinal cannabis. This applies to outdoor grows, but you can’t rule out these factors when growing indoors, either.
In fact, outdoor organic growing can give you an advantage here. Aphids, for example, can be countered using liquid nettle manure or ladybugs. That’s yet another round of pesticides you don’t need for your weed!
Protecting your weed against fungus after harvesting revolves around allowing it to dry through and through before allowing it to cure in airtight jars or bags. Fungus usually arises when weed is stored in vacuum conditions too soon, i.e., when it’s still too damp. Allow the drying and curing process to occur organically, and let it take some time. To this end, hang the buds out to dry in a dark, dry, and well-ventilated space. Don’t put them in jars to cure before they are completely dry. For optimal effects, allow some air to flow in for a few minutes every day.
Growing Medicinal Cannabis At Home?
Growing medicinal cannabis at home calls for a fair bit of care and planning. Still, it is far from impossible: you too can do it. A lot of it comes down to finding a natural and organic approach, a structured selection process, and some care and attention for your plants. And let’s face it: you were going to need that mindset if you plan on successfully growing medicinal cannabis anyway!