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Tips For Growing Cannabis Sustainably

Eco-Friendly Cannabis Grows Will Be The New Normal

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Wednesday Mar 7, 2018
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Tips For Growing Cannabis Sustainably



With all the health benefits of cannabis, the elephant in the room is that growing it can be bad for the environment. The sheer amount of energy and water need to grow life-saving medicine can take a toll on planet earth.


A Pacific Standard report states, “A 2012 study estimated that indoor cannabis cultivation alone accounted for 1 percent of the nation’s total electrical use, and that producing one kilogram of weed emitted 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of driving 11,000 miles in an average vehicle.” As we’re still in the infant stages of legalization, over time more new ways of growing cannabis indoors and outdoors sustainably will emerge.


For now, here are some helpful strategies you can apply for green your cannabis grow:


Organic Grow Mediums


Organic and no-till gardening practices are a great way to sustainably grow cannabis. Create an active food web in the soil, which helps reduce the need to change containers between grows. All you’ll have to do is re-transplant and remove the ball root. Organic growing is also cheaper, since proper, healthy soils won’t require you to use nutrients since it’s already available within the soil. Reverse osmosis water is basically the only feeding regimen needed for completely organic cannabis grows.


Plant Protection


Pesticide contamination is one of the biggest issues that the cannabis industry is facing. Although pesticides can be beneficial in protecting plants, you can choose to go with the safer varieties that are eco-friendly. There are also natural alternatives you can use such as making your own garlic spray, or resorting to companion planting. Additionally, bird feeders also help protect plants from insects who can end up eating your flowers.




Opt for lights that use up less energy. Some great choices to start with include LED lights, LEC (light emitting ceramic) lights, and or ceramic metal halide. These kinds of lights will require some upfront investments, but over time it will shave a significant amount off your energy bill. LED’s are currently the most cost-effective solution in the market for indoor grows, followed by LEC’s. Running your lights at night only also helps, since the air is already naturally cooler.




Tweaking your watering habits can save you water. When you water in the evenings or at night, this helps to reduce evaporation. When your cannabis plants are 4 weeks old, water deeply twice a week since this will encourage them to develop strong roots which won’t just stay on the surface.


Plant Closely


When you plant cannabis closely together, it reduces evaporation, help shade the soil, and decreases the amount of water you’ll need. When cannabis plants are closely planted together, just supplement them with natural forms of nutrients to enrich the soil.


Go Small


Small scale production is the most sustainable way of growing cannabis. When farmers grow on a smaller scale, this has a significantly lesser environmental impact while allowing you to produce healthy, high-quality plants.


Grow Outdoors


If its legal in your state, growing outdoors is a sustainable solution since cannabis plants are biologically engineered to feed on sunlight as opposed to lights. Although lights are meant to simulate sunlight, it doesn’t replicate it completely. Cannabis plants will always respond better to daylight. If you aren’t able to grow outdoors, greenhouses are another option.


Choose Strains Wisely


Feminized strains are more efficient choices for indoor grows. When male plants mature, it takes around 3-6 weeks more of nutrients, light, and energy while feminized strains grow faster. You can also choose strains that grow fast, such as those that flower in 8 weeks instead of 12 or 14, enabling you to use fewer resources.


Train Your Plants


Using the Low Stress Training, Sea of Green, or Screen of Green techniques train cannabis plants to maximize available light. Because of this, these techniques increase yields but reduce the energy needs of your grow.


Natural Nutrients


Cannabis needs NPK: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in order to grow well. There are natural sources for these nutrients available for hydroponic or soil grow set ups. You can improve soil easily and naturally by adding compost, which is made up of broken down plant material high in organic nutrients. Compost is a rich source of nutrients but the organic matter aids in holding air and water, creating a healthy environment for cannabis roots.


Tips For Growing Marijuana Sustainably from CannabisNet on Vimeo.








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