Cannabis Growing Guide – FAQ

Section #1. General Issues when Growing Cannabis

1.1. What is the difference between Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica?

Sativa 

  • Plants: tall 
  • Effect: "bewildering", enlightening

Indica 

  • Plants: short, bushy 
  • Effect: "armor-piercing", relaxing. 

Many strains are mixed types. For example: 75% Sativa / 25% Indica.

1.2. Is the right cannabis leaf seven-pointed or five-pointed?

This is an individual feature of the plant, due to genetics. Some varieties of Sativa may even be thirteen-pointed.

1.3. What is sensimilla?

Sensimilla is a female un-pollinated (and therefore seedless) hemp plant. When pollinated by a male plant, a female begins to produce seeds and loses a large amount of THC.

1.4. What is nugs or flowers?

The top of the hemp bush. Female inflorescences containing the highest amount of THC

1.5. What are the most famous marijuana strains?

Afghani #1 - 100% Indica

Durban Poison - 100% Sativa

Northern Lights - 100% Indica

White Widow - 60% Sativa / 40% Indica

Skunk # 1 - 35% Sativa / 65% Indica

LowRyder - 40% Sativa / 60% Indica

1.6. How many nugs does a bush yield?

On average, about 100 grams of the dried product is obtained from one plant. This figure is very conditional, some get up to 300 grams from the bush by using advanced cultivation techniques. The output completely depends on the genetics of seeds, your diligence, and technical equipment. If you are going to grow indoors, but you do not have a decent grow box with all the necessary equipment, then you should not expect a good result.

Section #2. Equipment for cannabis growing

Section #2.1. Grow Box - “Growing in Cabinet”

2.1.1. How to equip a cabinet for growing?

Lighting and ventilation systems, temperature and humidity sensors are needed. The box must be light-insulated and have a reflective interior wall covering (white matte paint or foil). For security reasons, a built-in lock is required.

2.1.2. How much space is needed per plant?

A minimum area for one plant is 30x30 cm and 40 cm in height.

A good area for one plant is 50x50 cm and 150 cm in height.

Section #2.2. Lighting for Growing Cannabis

2.2.1. What lamp is needed for growing?

Sodium-vapor lamp: choose the power based on the size of the box. For 1 square meter, you need 250 watts minimum.

2.2.2. Where to buy this sodium-vapor lamp? What else is needed for it?

The lamp also needs side equipment. This is bought at a store selling lighting equipment; in total it costs about $50.

2.2.3. Can I use other lamps?

Instead of a sodium-vapor lamp, other kinds of lamps can be used, but they are less effective.

2.2.4. What lighting hours should be implemented?

18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness (18/6) - in the vegetative stage.

12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness (12/12) - when you want your plants to start flowering.

Section #2.3. Ventilation for Growing Cannabis

2.3.1. What should the ventilation be like?

It depends on each specific grow box.

Ventilation is required to ensure the temperature is not higher than 32°C (Sodium-vapor lamps are very hot).

Also, it makes them grow stronger.

Section #3. Growing

3.0.1 What should be the temperature and humidity?

Not less than 16°C and not more than 32°C (optimal is 26–28 degrees Celsius, on the vegetative stage - few degrees lower).

Humidity: on the vegetative stage it should be 50 - 60% and while flowering it should go down to 40 - 50%.

3.0.1 How do I prune my cannabis plants?

Leaves:

During vegetative growth, removal of leaves deprives the plant of a source of energy, and its growth slows down. During flowering, upper leaves that block the light of lower leaves can be partially cut (i.e. cut off half the leaf).

At the early stage of vegetative growth, it is possible to partly remove the top of a cannabis plant for better bushiness. Using the FIM technique is the best way.

3.0.2 I once planted a seed, it grew 8 centimeters, got weak and thin, then it bent down. What really happened?

The main problem with most beginners is a lack of light.

If your plant is more than 6 cm tall, and at the same time there are only 4-6 leaves on it, it clearly lacks lighting!

Section #3.1. Male and female plants

3.1.1. How to affect the sex of a cannabis plant? There are sprouted seeds, and from them you need to get FEMALE plants. What conditions should be created for this?

Take better care and they will be female. If there is stress, then a male may appear.

3.1.2. How can one distinguish M from F at an early stage? When it's only 6-8 leaves? By color?

There's no way to do that, unfortunately... Unless you cut off the clones after about a month from the start of cultivation, and germinate them quickly in a separate room (in a week), you can tell the difference there... But this is difficult, almost no one does it that way. It’s easier to buy branded “feminized” seeds, you'll get 100% female plants.

Section #3.2. Acidity, Soil for Growing Cannabis

3.2.1. pH (acid-base balance) of soil

pH is: 0 - minimum (acid), 14 - maximum (alkali).

It must be completely neutral, i.e. pH 7.0.

3.2.2. pH when grown in soil: is it really so critical?

Due to acidic soil (lower than 5.8), plants often slow down in the seedling stage (up to a month!). They grow slowly, nitrogen and phosphorus are blocked. The stalk becomes thin, purple, leaves are yellow.

In the stage of vegetative growth, these symptoms partially disappear, and the plant grows normally.

In good soil with pH = 6.5–7.0, seedlings begin vegetation without symptoms after 1–2 weeks.

3.2.3. Does pH change over time?

Prolonged use of fertilizers with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium lowers pH.

3.2.4. How to increase and decrease pH?

To increase the pH of acidic soil, you can soak crushed eggshells in water, and then water the plants with this water.

3.2.5. How to measure pH?

You can measure with litmus papers (but not those that measure from 3 to 5.5)

You can also buy an electronic pH meter, it costs from $10 for the simplest, up to $500 for a professional one.

3.2.6. What about soil acidity?

It is advisable to buy the soil in the store, instead of digging it up from under the porch.

The pH level is written on the package - it should be equal to 7.0. It should be noted that it is not always pH = 7, even if it is written on the package.

Section #3.3. Fertilizers, N-P-K

3.3.1. Clarifying the fertilizer issue

Well, the most important thing is that it is undesirable to fertilize in the first three weeks of the vegetative period.

Because most of the problems in plants arise not from underdose, but from an overdose.

3.3.2. What is N-P-K?

N-P-K are the proportions of three substances that a plant needs:

N - Nitrogen 

Nitrogen promotes rapid growth and an increased psychoactive effect, it is the most effective tool available to the gardener.

From the moment of seed germination, plants should receive a large amount of nitrogen, therefore fertilizer solutions with an N-P-K ratio of 29–10–10 or 17–10–12 are used. These are just two of the many possible formulas that provide plenty of nitrogen.

P - Phosphorus

Cannabis needs the most phosphorus during flowering and seed development.

A high nitrogen concentration should be maintained before flowering begins, after which they switch to fertilizers with a composition of 5–20–10 or 10–19–12 (low nitrogen, a lot of phosphorus).

K - Potassium (Kalium)

Potassium is used to grow strong stems and increase the ability to resist various diseases.

3.3.3. What fertilizers are better to use if the soil is neutral?

For our craft, all fertilizers are divided into two categories:

For the stage of vegetative growth (high in nitrogen);

For the flowering stage (high in phosphorus).

3.3.4. What ratios should be used during the vegetative stage? 

The classic formula for the vegetative period is 3–1–2.

Nitrogen is 230 mg/liter, phosphorus 70 mg/liter, potassium is 170 mg/liter.

3.3.5. How often do you need to fertilize the soil?

The usual procedure for applying fertilizer for cannabis is the following:

After the fifth week of a plant's life;

Subsequently - every two weeks before flowering.

3.3.6. How do I avoid an overdose?

It is noted that 289 mg/100 g of nitrogen puts the plant on the verge of an overdose, but it is quite applicable. So 3 g of nitrogen (per 1 kg of dry soil) can be considered an upper limit.

3.3.7. How do I determine the deficiency or overdose of a particular substance?

Well, for example - a lack of nitrogen makes the leaves turn yellow.

If the leaves at their top are wrinkled and thickened, then this is a lack of zinc.

With a deficiency of magnesium, cannabis leaves are first curled into a tube.