The Pros and Cons of Growing Your Own Cannabis
By Pete Treebumrung
Depending on where you live, growing your own cannabis might be an option for you. Over the years, public opinion has shifted in favor of a regulated, legalized cannabis industry, which means that you may be able to grow a limited number of plants in your own home. It certainly does sound appealing to grow your own buds rather than pay a visit to the local shops every time you want to medicate, but it’s important to consider the time and money that goes into maintaining your own cannabis garden. Nevertheless, despite all the hard work that goes into it, growing your own cannabis can be hugely rewarding.
Here are some of the pros and cons of growing your own cannabis at home:
Long Term Savings
Spending $10-20 per gram at the dispensary doesn’t seem like a lot of money at first, but it can definitely put a strain on your wallet over a long period of time. Growing weed also costs quite a bit, but only at first. Your first harvest can yield a hefty supply of cannabis that could last you weeks, or even months, depending on how much and how often you intend on using it. You’ll also save yourself the trouble of having to go to the shop on a regular basis. If your grow consistently yields a good amount every harvest, you may never have to visit a shop again.
Growing your own cannabis affords you certain opportunities that you won’t get from buying it from the shop. As a grower, you’ll have the ability to manipulate the plant however you see fit, whether it’s feeding your plants different types of nutrients or going to a soilless medium. You’ll also be able to choose your favorite strains to grow. The best part about experimenting is that you’ll know exactly what goes into the growth of your plant, so you won’t have to wonder if there are any hazardous chemicals or residue on the buds themselves.
There’s a learning curve to growing your own cannabis, but there are plenty of resources online and otherwise to guide you in the right direction if you want to grow high quality buds. Even if you have no experience growing your own plants, you’ll soon find out that there is an entire subculture of growers out there who share the same enthusiasm towards growing as you do.
Sense of Accomplishment
The sense of ownership and accomplishment after completing your first harvest is a feeling that can only be compared to receiving your first paycheck at a new job. The simple fact that this plant, which you’ve probably spent over three months cultivating, is finally ready to be enjoyed is a reward in itself.
Initial Startup Costs
We talked about growing cannabis being cheaper as opposed to constantly buying from shops, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to put in a significant investment of money (and time) into your grow before you actually start saving. You’re looking at a total of at least several hundreds of dollars on the equipment alone, including pots, soil, water filters, nutrient solutions, fans, and other accessories. Residential electricity isn’t always cheap, so you’ll have to put aside more than just some spare change if you intend on growing your buds indoors.
Most people assume that growing cannabis involves simply planting a seed into some dirt and giving it water every now and then. In many cases, you can probably get away with giving the plant minimal care, but you’ll definitely end up with buds that aren’t exactly premium quality. Healthier plants means better flowers, and cannabis is no different. Certain strains of cannabis can also be picky when it comes to the nutrients and water they want, so you’ll have to give them a lot of attention if you want them to produce good buds for you. You’ll also be dumping a lot of trash after every harvest, so you’ll need to be physically capable of disposing waste if you decide on growing your own cannabis.
If you’re not careful, growing cannabis can be dangerous, especially if you grow indoors. If you take into consideration that commercial grow lights often rely on electrical systems that aren’t necessarily installed in most houses, you’ll have to install it yourself. Messing around with electricity without proper training and guidance can land you in the hospital, or worse. Certain fertilizers, although great for plants, can be toxic to humans as well, and you need to do your research before messing around with potentially dangerous material.
You might love the smell of cannabis emanating from your house, but your neighbors might not. In fact, states like California have left it up to local cities to determine what the legal limits are to growing cannabis in your own home. One or two plants might not skunk up the neighborhood, but it might be a problem for your neighbors if you’re trying to grow plants numbering in the hundreds.
If you’re looking forward to your first harvest ever, chances are that your buds aren’t exactly going to be top-shelf quality. Even seasoned growers tend to run into problems throughout their harvest, which is why most people would rather buy it from them than attempt to grow it themselves.
A single harvest can take months, and you’ll need to have a lot of patience if you want to grow cannabis. If you’re starting from a seed, a full indoor harvest may take over three months to complete, and you’ll be spending that time paying higher utility bills and doing lots of work to make sure your plants don’t die. It’s also important to keep in mind that certain parts of the work, such as trimming and curing, also take a considerable amount of time.
Even if growing your own cannabis at home for personal use is legal, you may still run into legal issues. If you’re renting a home, the landlord may have a problem with you destroying parts of their property to grow weed. Additionally, you’ll also have to worry about complying with local and state laws, and you’ll have to keep in mind that, as it stands, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level.
Growing cannabis comes with a multitude of responsibilities, some of which can seem pretty intimidating. It’s a good idea to assess your expectations before you decide whether or not you want to grow cannabis. If taking care of plants is something you don’t mind doing, especially if you get to enjoy the “fruits” of your labor, then you should visit a hydroponics shop and consider your options. On the other hand, if the extra time, money, and labor make you uncomfortable, you’ll probably be better off contributing some of your cash to your favorite dispensary and supporting other local growers instead.