Weed is probably the most popular shorthand for the cannabis plant, but growing a cannabis plant can be challenging, and bears little resemblance to the pesky weeds that grow in your lawn without solicitation. Cannabis requires specific light cycles, nutrients, and growing conditions to thrive. In other words, growing cannabis can be a lot of work.
Luckily, there are ways to grow a cannabis plant with minimal effort. If you’re strapped for time, or just lazy, here are a few techniques you can use to grow a cannabis plant with as little effort as possible.
How to grow weed step one: choose your plant’s strain carefully.
Notice how I used the singular word “plant” and not “plants.” If you’re looking to minimize the effort you need to grow marijuana, minimizing the number of plants you need to worry about is the obvious first step.
The type of strain you choose will also affect the difficulty level of your grow. Some strains simply produce higher yields, are more resilient, and easier to grow than others. Some of the easiest strains to grow are Blue Dream, Dutch Treat, Sensi Skunk, Super Skunk, Green Crack, and Northern Lights.
To make things even easier for yourself, purchase seeds from these strains that have been deemed “automatic,” which generally means they’re “feminized,” and “auto-flowering.”
A feminized seed means that its male chromosomes have been bred out of existence so that your plant is guaranteed to be female (the only gender that produces buds). Autoflowering seeds mean that they will automatically go from their vegetative to flowering stage, without the growing needing to signal the plant by changing its light cycles.
How to grow weed step two: purchase a “clone” rather than seeds.
The word clone refers to a cutting of a female cannabis plant that was about two months into its vegetative stage, which has been re-potted. This new plant is genetically identical to its mother plant and allows a grower to skip the germination stage.
Essentially, instead of buying seeds and starting from scratch, you’re buying a half-grown plant that comes pre-potted. If you live in a state or country where marijuana is legal, you can sometimes buy clones from dispensaries. Otherwise, they’re still fairly easy to find in non-legal states. Chances are, whoever grows the weed you normally buy will either have clones available or will be able to make you a clone by taking a small cutting from their plant and potting it.
How to grow weed step three: hook the grow lights up to a timer.
To grow big and strong, your plants need to be on a strict 12 hour light and 12-hour dark cycle. To make this as easy as possible, hook your lights up to a vacation timer—the type that automatically turns on your home’s lights at a certain hour to make it seem like somebody is home. This will eliminate the potential for human error, and keep your plants on an optimal light schedule.
Just make sure that you don’t let any light hit your plant while it’s in its 12-hour dark cycle. Keep it in a dark space, and don’t open the door to your grow room until the light comes back on.
How to grow weed step four: buy pre-fertilized soil.
While most growers purchase nutrients to feed to their plants on a regular basis, if you’re new to growing or trying to minimize effort, you’re probably better off just using pre-fertilized soil. Sometimes called “super-soil,” pre-fertilized soil will provide your plant with all the nutrients it needs from the beginning of its life to the end. You can likely find this soil in any one of your local gardening shops.
While many indoor growers use a hydroponic system, this requires a higher skill level. Growing your plant in soil is more forgiving. Just make sure that the soil you use doesn’t contain artificial fertilizers. For the best results, purchase soil that has an “organic” label on the bag.