For legal reasons we do not encourage anyone to break the law and medical cannabis cultivation is illegal in most countries.
This does not mean that we agree with the law and we feel it is important to give patients the right to educate themselves on the possible benefits of medical cannabis use so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not it could help them to experiment with medical cannabis cultivation.
You don’t need to cultivate many plants to obtain sufficient marijuana to self medicate.
Patients expose themselves to the risk of having to purchase from drug dealers who by the very nature of their business are often under observation by law enforcement officers. Medical cannabis cultivation is by far the safer option.
The last thing a medical marijuana patient needs is to face arrest for purchasing their medicine from these sources.
You don’t need to spend a large amount of money. This system is made from a cardboard carton. You can disregard most of the high tech watering etc. Just use a good sized pot and hand water.
Scrog is the process of training your plant under a net or mesh screen for maximum light exposure.
It is relatively simple to set up a small grow tent in a spare room, closet or garage for medical cannabis cultivation and six to nine small plants is not an amount that law enforcement would consider was being grown as a commercial venture.
Any possible complications would not result in serious punishment, although you would then not be able to continue growing your own medicine.
Outdoor medical cannabis cultivation
It is possible to succeed with medical cannabis cultivation outside, either in pots, grow-bags or planted into the soil – although the growing time is dependent on the season and will take longer than indoor cultivation.
Outdoor cultivation presents its own challenges and you are dependent on a good season to harvest any quantity of buds.
It very much depends where you are living, in Europe and some parts of North America it can become difficult to control bud rot later in the season.
Heavy rainfall and damp mornings create the ideal environment for Botrytis spores to multiply and if not checked, these can devastate your crop.
If you are attacked by bud rot you need to remove all infected buds immediately and it may be that your harvest has to be cropped early rather than lose the whole crop.
It is possible to spray the plants but this cant be done when they are flowering.
There are three distinct varieties used for medical cannabis cultivation:
These plants are characterized by long thin flowers and spiky leaves.
They originate from equatorial regions where the growing season is hotter.
They are not generally used for outdoor cultivation in colder climates, although some hybrids can produce good yields in such conditions.
The primary effects of sativas are on the mind and emotions. These benefits can be particularly helpful for the psychological aspects of many illnesses, giving people an increased sense of well-being.
These plants originated in the Hindu-kush areas of Central Asia, where the weather is changeable and growing conditions can be harsh.
Hardy plants, they mature early and are characterized by broad, short leaves and heavy, tight flowers.
Cannabis indica varieties are ideal for indoor and outdoor cultivation in cooler climates. Cannabis indica can have a CBD to THC ratio up to 5 times that of Cannabis sativa.
Cannabis strains with relatively high CBD:THC ratios are less likely to induce anxiety.
Cannabis ruderalis is a variety of cannabis that grows wild in parts of Eastern Europe and Russia. It is characterized by its early flowering, with some plants starting irrespective of the photo-period.
Cannabis ruderalis is ideal for cultivation in cooler climates and areas where conditions are harsh.
There are Dutch hybrid varieties available that combine Cannabis ruderalis and Cannabis indica and they are the basis of auto-flowering strains that flower regardless of the length of daylight.
Cannabis is dioecious, which means the plant is either male (staminate) or female (pistillate), although genetically unstable hermaphrodites with both male and female flowers do occur.
Only the female flower produces buds, and there is no difference in the potency of plants that are flowered at different ages, younger plants just yield less.
Once the flowering cycle has been induced a young plant will have the same THC content as an older one. Cannabis regulates its development and flower production by measuring the length of daylight falling onto its leaves.
It produces a light-sensitive hormone called phytochrome that is responsible for altering the plant from vegetative growth into flowering when it reaches a critical level.
Cannabis plants change from the vegetative state into the flowering cycle when they receive 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness.
They will respond to this change no matter where they are grown, even under artificial lighting. Cultivators can use this response to their advantage by controlling the plants’ day lengths, either by changing the lighting cycles or by covering outdoor and greenhouse plants.
Plants that are grown under lighting are given 18 to 24 hours of daylight to keep them in the vegetative stage. Plants given 24 hours of daylight will grow 25% faster.
There is no requirement for them to sleep; however, the grower needs to calculate the cost in terms of electricity used.
If there is a problem with consuming excessive amounts then the cycle should be run at 18 hours for best results. All setups, regardless of size, have the same basic requirements.
• Light of the correct spectrum • Water at the correct temperature • Nutrients in the correct balance • Air rich in carbon dioxide and circulated • Humidity and temperature within the correct range.
Medical cannabis crops that are given the optimum of these requirements will produce a healthy and abundant crop of female flowers for you to use.
What is required for indoor medical cannabis cultivation?
Cultivating cannabis is an easy process once you understand the plants nutritional and environmental requirements.
The obvious solution for most patients to be cultivating cannabis is to become self sufficient and cultivate a small crop for personal use.
This really is not as complicated as it seems, cannabis is an easy plant to grow once you understand a few basics about its growth cycle and nutritional requirements.
You do not require any sophisticated equipment for cultivating cannabis, most of what you need can be purchased quite legitimately from your local hardware or garden store.
The only specialist item will be your choice of horticultural lighting, and even this does not have to be a purpose built grow lamp (below right), as long as you use a High Pressure Sodium lamp you will be fine.
Most street lighting is High Pressure Sodium and industrial ‘Lowbay’ lamps (left) are available in 400 watt, which is adequate for most small medical grows.
Many breeders now specialize in what are known as ‘feminized’ seeds and these are useful for medical growers.
Whilst these plants may be genetically unstable they do ensure the grower can cultivate an all female crop without having to grow a separate mother plant and then take cuttings from her.
This reduces the work load for patients wishing to grow a medical crop and simplifies the whole operation. Check out the seed page of this website for some recommended examples.
Hydroponic nutrients contain aggressive chemicals and they can leave residue in the plant material.
You can achieve just the same result using a good sized pot and an organic compost mix that you can obtain from your local gardening store.
The only recommendation we would make is that you purchase a specialist organic nutrient feed that is designed for cannabis cultivation, these are readily available online and we would recommend searching on Ebay for these.
It is advisable that patients ask someone not involved in cultivating a medical grow to purchase these items for added security.
Once cultivation has finished the tent is simply taken down and stored.
It is possible to produce enough medical marijuana to treat even serious cases like a cancer diagnosis, with nine plants and from start to finish, in a 3 foot square (1 meter) space, in as little as twelve weeks (see below).
You will have a top quality, organic harvest that can be used as dried buds in a vaporizer, made into tinctures or cannabis edibles for ingestion.
If your condition is serious it can then be further processed into cannabis oil, which is not a difficult process (see the oil section for more details).
More detailed medical cannabis cultivation information
Further information on cultivating cannabis can be found online or you can purchase books written by Mel Thomas who works with us here at Cannabis Cure:
If you need any advice or help please use the contact form provided. We try to answer all emails within 24 hours and are happy to help and advise on all aspects of medical marijuana treatments in complete confidence.