Many Californian cannabis consumers choose to grow their own weed for various reasons, such as opting for pesticide- and additive-free options with seeds of known origin. Cultivating your own cannabis plants allows you to control what is and isn’t added during germination and development. The experience of cultivating cannabis requires patience and discipline and can act as a form of therapy. You can take a much-needed mental break and let nature do its thing. Then, when you successfully grow a beautiful, healthy plant, it’s that much more rewarding. Check out our online seed selection if you’d like to enjoy the benefits of cultivating cannabis at home.
In the San Jose area? Stop by our dispensary to discuss starting your own grow with one of our knowledgeable budtenders. We are always happy to answer your questions about growing your own cannabis plants, or any of our other offerings so call (408) 264-7877 or fill out this form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
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Trim the Red Tape
Most Californians know at least one person who grows their own ganja. And, if they don’t have a grow tent set up in their garage, then they probably have hemp flower blooming in their garden. The next logical question is, “Is that legal?”
Well, according to Proposition 64, yes – yes it is! If cannabis is cultivated for personal use, it’s not a commercial crop. On November 9, 2016, California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act went into effect; this makes it legal for people 21 years or older to cultivate cannabis for personal use.  That’s just another reason why California is the best state in the nation – as if you needed another one.
That said, here is what you should know:
- Californians have the right to grow up to 6 plants at a time on private property. 
- Be sure to check county laws since they differ across California.
And just a reminder that purchasing product is legal:
- For medicinal use: 18 or older with a physician’s recommendation
- For adult use: 21 or older
If you’re not into the idea of “Project Grow,” that’s okay! We deliver cannabis flower, edible, prerolls, and more for free. Order online and you never have to leave your home.
Selecting Your Seed
The first step on your path to blooming buds is picking out a favorite strain online, or at our Canna Culture store in San Jose, CA. Our budtenders can help you select seeds and prepare for your grow.
Some strains of plants grow better in different conditions than others. Optimize your plant’s yield during harvest by understanding the nuances of your chosen strain. For example, some Sativa strains need more heat, and to flower for a longer period of time than certain Indica and CBD-dominant strains. Use our budtenders’ vast knowledge before you start your grow and you’ll increase your chance of success.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
The time frame of your grow, as well as the amount of space you have, will dictate whether you choose to grow cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. It usually takes these plants 3-8 months to go from seed to flower.
If you want to plant outside, you’ll have to start the process in the spring so that you may pick your harvest in late summer or early fall. If you continue to cultivate into colder months, your plant may not survive the cooler temperatures and diminished light.
However, with an indoor grow, it’s always sunny! You will need some gear to get started:
- A specialized indoor grow tent
- LED lights
- A Humidifier and dehumidifier
- A fan that oscillates
There are many grow tents available online for purchase, as well as DIY tutorials – give it a Google search and see what works for you. The final consideration for an indoor grow is your electricity bill as cannabis plants need lots of light!
Starting Your Seeds
After you receive your seeds, it’s time to germinate! You’ll need a jar of water, and a warm dark place to soak them. In 18-24 hours, the seeds will be rehydrated, and have sunk to the bottom of the jar. That means they are ready to be taken out.
Then, scatter the soaked seeds onto a pile of stacked paper towels. Wrap the seeds in the moistened paper towels and store them once again in a dark, warm area keeping the paper towels wet continually. In two days or close to that, the seeds ought to have teensy-weensy roots popping from their undersides that measure three-quarters to one inch. The moment has arrived to prepare your starter pot.
Step Two: Germination
Make sure to use nutrient-rich soil to germinate your seeds. If you’re unsure what kind of soil to use or need assistance selecting nutrients for your plant’s water, ask our budtenders which ones they recommend—we all have our favorites!
Soil influences a plant’s nutrient absorption, and cannabis requires a good amount of nutrients, as well as a slightly acidic soil. So, keeping an eye on both the pH level of your soil, and water is critical.  It’s not as complicated as it sounds, there are plenty of easy-to-use products that can help you make your soil more or less acidic and alkaline.
- After you have chosen the type of soil and collected the nutrients your plant needs, put the soil in a starter pot.
- Make sure the cannabis roots can spread through the soil by ensuring the soil is in the pot firmly, but not compact.
- Choose one seed to put in each pot. Create a small hole in the moistened soil, then place the seed inside it and lightly press down on the dirt around it.
- Cover the seeds with more soil.
When a cannabis plant is fully developed, it is quite large so make sure your plant has room to grow. At this stage, be sure to give the plant 16 hours of light. Once the roots have spread out in the soil, a fragile stalk will emerge. Towards the end of germination, one or two tiny leaves will unfold from the stalk.
The Seedling Stage
Your plant is fragile during the seedling stage and any mistakes made could prove fatal. To prevent overwatering or excess humidity, only water your plant when the soil appears dry. At this stage, the roots are small and won’t need much water to stay healthy.
Just like during germination, seedlings also need 16 hours of light every day. By the end of this stage, a mature cannabis plant will have between five and seven blades per leaf. This whole stage usually lasts around 2-3 weeks.
The Vegetative Stage
After your plant has germinated, it is ready to be transplanted into its final pot. Fill a 3-gallon pot with soil and create a little nook for the plant’s roots. Helpful hint: create the perfect space for your plant in this new pot by first pushing the original pot deep into the new soil; this will create a space that is the exact shape of your plant.
Next, carefully transfer the plant from one container to another. The plant will be distressed by the move since the roots must re-adjust to their new location. It’ll take a few days for the plant to adjust, but once it does, you’ll notice rapid growth during the vegetative stage. This phase can last for a few weeks to several months.
- As the stalks continue to grow, tie them to a straight object such as a sturdy wire or stick to keep them from bending.
- During this phase, you will again need to expose the plant to 16 hours of light, but only 6 hours of direct light.
- Because the plant is developing, give it more water. And when watering, don’t pour the water straight at the root base but in a circular manner around the pot’s edge, which encourages root spread in nutrient-rich soil.
The Pre-flowering Stage
Eventually, your plant will develop flowers (or buds). But before that can happen, the plant must go through a pre-flowering stage, which is signaled by a change in its light cycle.
At this point, you will need to reduce the amount of light the plant is getting. Give it 12 hours of light and 12 hours of total darkness.  Doing so will help the plant conserve energy so that it can put all its resources into developing flowers. The pre-flowering stage typically lasts for two weeks.
The Flowering Stage
This is the stage when your plant will develop its THC and CBD-rich buds. The flowering stage of an outdoor plant occurs around the autumn equinox if planted in the spring; since the plant will gradually receive less sunlight as the days become shorter. People who grow their plants indoors should replicate the seasonal change and only expose them to 12 hours of light each day.
When you start to see pistils emerge from the center of the top leaves, things are starting happen! Pistils are the little infant buds, and your future crop. This is an indication that it’s time to begin lollipopping.
What is Cannabis Lollipopping?
The term “lollipopping” is used in the cannabis industry to define a type of pruning. This entails cutting away lower branches on your plant so that upper, fuller branches receive all the water and minerals. Ultimately, this will direct those nutrients to the budding flower at the top of the plant.
If you want richer buds when harvest time comes, lollipopping is the way to go. During this phase, you’ll notice more buds sprouting up. Your plant will be well stacked if you train it correctly. Secure the other branches to a trellis beam that dangles from the ceiling as the buds expand; this helps the blossoming branches avoid being crushed.
About six weeks after first noticing the pistils, the plant will get very sticky—this, along with the color of the pistils, are your signs to begin harvesting!
Generally, sativa strains take longer to harvest. However, a good indication that it is time to harvest is when the pistils are 60-70% brown or red. After all of your hard work, you will finally have personally cultivated cannabis. Call your friends up for a party and share your riches!
Cannabis Seeds at Canna Culture
Since 2800 BC, cannabis has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes  and you can bet most of these uses stemmed from personal grows – you can do it, too!
We understand at Canna Culture how pleased our clients are when they manage to grow their first plant. The journey from seed to smoke is not always a piece of cake, but the feeling you get when you succeed is amazing.
We are delighted to provide a carefully cultivated selection of cannabis seeds to get you started with your green thumb. Please take a look at our current online menu or visit our San Jose dispensary to speak with one of our knowledgeable budtenders about which seeds we have available.
Now get out there and grow, baby!
- Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Marijuana Act – criminal_justice_prop-64. (2016). Ca.gov. https://www.courts.ca.gov/prop64.htm
- What’s legal – Department of Cannabis Control. (2021). Department of Cannabis Control. https://cannabis.ca.gov/consumers/whats-legal/
- Zheng Z, Fiddes K, Yang L. A narrative review on environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation. Journal of Cannabis Research. 2021;3(1). doi:10.1186/s42238-021-00090-0
- Moher M, Jones M, Zheng Y. Photoperiodic Response of In Vitro Cannabis sativa Plants. HortScience. 2021;56(1):108-113. doi:10.21273/hortsci15452-20