As cannabis legalization spreads from place to place, so too does looser cultivation laws. In most places where adults are allowed to possess and consume small amounts of weed, adults are also allowed to grow your own cannabis at home.
If your region does permit at-home cannabis cultivation, there is one question you should answer: Should you bother?
Growing cannabis at home can be rewarding, but it can also be quite a bit of work. Here are a few reasons you might choose to invest the resources into an at-home grow, as well as a few reasons you might opt to buy your bud from a local dispensary, instead.
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Good Reasons to Grow at Home
You can learn more about cannabis. If you are passionate about pot, growing from home is a good opportunity to learn as much about the plant as possible. Caring for a cannabis crop introduces you to the lifecycles of the plant, the requirements of care and the methods of harvesting and preparing flower for consumption. Even if you don’t continue to cultivate at home, you will have a newfound understanding of what to look for in the bud you buy at dispensaries.
You can control aspects of cannabis cultivation. If you have expectations of purity and sustainability from your cannabis, home cultivation might be your best option. Many grow ops use herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers as well as energy-intensive grow practices. While you can find organic and eco-friendly weed at dispensaries, if you want to be certain that your bud is grown in a particular way, you might opt for growing your own.
You can keep more cannabis on hand. Many states have different rules regarding possession for people who cultivate their own cannabis, which makes sense considering just how much bud you harvest when your plants mature. If you want or need to have more flower on hand — perhaps you have a medical condition that necessitates frequent cannabis treatment — cultivating at home and maintaining a larger personal home stash might make more sense for you.
You can save money on cannabis. Weed from dispensaries ain’t cheap, especially if you live in a state that has exceedingly high excise taxes on recreational cannabis sales. Though home cultivation does require an initial investment for gathering supplies, like containers, grow lights, soil, seeds/clones etc., the costs are ultimately much lower per gram considering just how much bud you will get come harvest.
Good Reasons to Skip Cultivation
You don’t have access to as many strains. Seeds don’t always have the exact same genetics as the strains you are used to; they could have different ratios of CBD vs. THC, or they could have different growth cycles from their parent plants. If you are able to buy clones, you won’t likely have access to rare or highly sought-after strains because commercial growers tend to keep those as trade secrets. Thus, if you only consume a particular, specialized strain of weed, buying from a dispensary might be your best bet.
You have to concentrate or infuse your own products. As mentioned above, you are going to have quite a lot of flower from your at-home cannabis harvest. If you don’t like smoking (or vaping) dry herb, you will have to undergo the entire process of extracting and infusing cannabis products using your harvest — and that process isn’t easy, fast or cheap. Unless you enjoy learning about how weed products get made, you probably are better off buying products like cannabis oils, tinctures, topicals and edibles from your local dispensary.
You need to commit to keeping your crop healthy. Cultivating from home might be less expensive in the long run, but that is only if you don’t consider your time and effort an important expense. Some lifestyles simply are not conducive to cultivation, considering the commitment required to keep cannabis crops healthy. Unless you can spend time every day caring for your plants, you should probably accept that your crop won’t get the attention it needs and deserves, and you should buy bud from a dispensary, instead.
For some, growing cannabis at home seems like a fun challenge at first but quickly becomes a dull chore. For others, home cannabis cultivation is a joy that offers reward after reward. You should think long and hard about whether cultivation is right for you before committing to a the lifestyle required to cultivate a productive cannabis crop.