We all want to see big frosty buds but, as with everything else in the plant world, you have to start at the beginning—by germinating the seeds. Although they should pop open within a couple of days, be patient—it can take up to 7 days for a seedling to emerge from the surface of your growing medium.
Things to Consider: Seedlings require warm and wet conditions to thrive. If you think of typical spring weather, this will give you a great idea of how warm and moist the environment should be.
The taproot of your seedling will grow deep down into your growing medium, searching for moisture and nutrients as it expands its root hairs to every corner of the grow pot. Avoid overwatering the seedlings and always encourage the roots to grow as deeply as possible by creating a wet-to-dry cycle, only watering when necessary.
Foliar feeding, or misting your seedlings using a spray bottle, will help keep the environment humid while also allowing the leaves to utilize any mild nutrients in the spray. Be sure to spray with a light mist, taking care to spray the undersides of the leaves as well to keep them clean.
Use feminized seeds to ensure that all your seeds produce only female plants. The advantage in using these seeds is that there’s no need to determine the sex of the plants and remove the males from the garden, allowing the grower to maximize space at all times.
When using regular seeds, the grower will be required to look for pre-flowers to identify male and female plants. Some growers prefer to use regular seeds to grow out a mother plant from which to take clones, so both regular and feminized seeds have their advantages.
The Vegetative Stage
When plants are kept under a lighting regime timed to replicate the spring and summer months, they remain in their vegetative stage, growing only leaves and branches but no flowers. During this stage, most growers set their light timers for an 18/6-hour day/night light cycle (18 hours on and 6 hours off). The plants will only begin blooming later, after the light cycle is changed to 12/12-hour day/night. Unless you are working against a deadline, it’s a good idea to keep your plants in the vegetative stage for 4 to 6 weeks.
Things to Consider: It’s very important to make sure that your vegging room’s temperatures and humidity are on point. You want to achieve an average temperature of 68-75°F (20-24°C) with a relative humidity between 60 and 70 percent. Buy a humidity-and temperature-reading device. They are inexpensive and will tell you how far you are off the ideal range.
Use an exhaust fan to remove hot, stagnant air from inside your tent. A constant exchange of cool, fresh air is key. Most grow tents give you the option to install an intake fan at the base, or you can open the mesh windows, which will help bring fresh air in.
If the garden is too hot due to excessive lighting, the plants will respond by ceasing growth and eventually dying. Remove heat judiciously.
The vegetative stage is an opportune time in which to train your plants. During this period, you will be able to perform a number of techniques to improve canopy coverage and overall yield. These methods include tying and bending, pruning, snapping and twisting, ScrOG (screen of green), topping and fimming.
During this stage, plants consume nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, with nitrogen as the primary nutrient used for leaf growth and some phosphorus used for the root zone.
The Flowering Stage
Now that your plants are strong and healthy, they’re triggered to begin flowering as they respond to shorter days by your changing of the settings on your lighting timer. You’re replicating August through October by giving the plants alternating periods of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark, which will get your plants blooming.
Things to Consider: Your plants will go through a transition stage once the lighting regime has changed. This will involve the plants stretching and growing up to 150-250 percent in size by the end of the flowering cycle. The plant’s growth spurt will be most noticeable during the first 3 weeks of flowering.
Just as it’s essential to maintain the correct temperature and humidity in the growing stage, the same is true for the flowering stage. You will want the temperatures at 70-75°F (22-24°C) with a relative humidity of 30-40 percent.
The plants will also need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; however, they’ll need phosphorus and potassium more in the flowering stage than in the vegetative stage to help produce buds.
Keep your oscillating and exhaust fans on permanently to prevent stagnant and moist air from surrounding your plants. Poor air circulation can result in mold and mildew on the flowers and foliage of your plants.
An Indoor Grow Checklist for Beginners
Below is a list of the essential equipment for setting up an indoor grow, and the perfect guide for a beginner grower to get started properly.
Choosing a Grow Light
Your choice of a grow light depends on your budgetary concerns, spatial logistics, growing experience and a few other factors mainly based around practicality. The cheapest option is generally a fluorescent system, which uses minimal electricity while producing little heat. An HID (high-intensity discharge) lighting setup such as HPS (high-pressure sodium) or MH (metal halide) is a pricier option that generates more heat, but it also produces fuller, denser flowers. LED (light-emitting diode) technology runs cooler and shows promising gains in production, but it remains an expensive choice due to the initial upfront costs.
Do You Need a Ballast?
A ballast is required when operating an HID lighting system. There are a range of ballasts available, from basic cheaper versions to more high-tech digital models with optional power outputs.
Intake fans bring in fresh air from the bottom of the grow tent. The intake fan will have a smaller capacity than the main exhaust fan. which is connected to the carbon filter at the top of the tent. An intake fan, which provides fresh air throughout the tent and increases the integrity of the air exchange, is not absolutely essential if your exhaust fan works well and there is a good amount of air being sucked through the filtered vents placed at the lowest parts of the tent.
Exhaust Air Out
Generally, you will want to select a powerful fan to expel stagnant air from inside the grow tent.
This fan is also connected to a charcoal filter, which will control odor. A good exhaust fan will ensure that the airflow in the tent is recycled at a rate that is ideal for the plants, along with temperature and humidity levels.
Carbon Filter for Odor Control
The carbon filter is installed in the upper part of the grow tent, through which the exhaust fan blows the air directly outside and away from the fresh-air intake. Make sure that your filter and fan have the same airflow-rate capacity.
This silver flexible tubing is what facilitates air movement from the intake fan and the exhaust fan.
A cheap alternative is standard ducting; however, if you spend a bit more, you can invest in a noise-proof version. This is well worth the investment and will distribute the airflow as quietly as possible. When setting up ducting, make sure that there is no sagging to make it efficient as possible.
Plastic or Felt Pots
Traditional plastic pots are cheap and easy to find, while felt pots cost a bit more. Felt pots have their advantages—they keep roots warmer and make pruning them easier—and I would personally advise investing in them as they can be recycled and are much more beneficial to the overall health of the plant roots.
Selecting a Growing Medium
If this is your first grow, then selecting an organic growing medium is probably the easiest solution. There are many “soils” available, but most are actually soilless mixes based on peat or coco coir. I also advise beginning growers to avoid hydroponic growing until they’ve mastered the more forgiving soilless or coco mediums.
You should buy a sufficient amount of nutrients for your entire your first grow, making an effort to cover all the bases in terms of nutrition. There are many nutrient brands available with a wide range of foods covering all parts of a plant’s life cycle. Most nutrient companies provide a grow chart, so you can follow the weekly step-by-step guide, but err on the side of caution and avoid overfeeding your plants.
Temperature and Humidity Monitor
These small displays can fit anywhere and use sensors to determine and display the temperature and humidity of your indoor environment. Some also have the option to check the lowest and highest readings to see if the grow conditions are off in any way, and some even have apps so that you can read the data remotely on your phone.
During the vegetative stage, humidity should be close to 60 percent and decreased as the flowering stage commences. A humidifier generates a fine mist and can be placed either directly in the tent or in the room from where the tent is pulling air.
A dehumidifier will remove the moisture content of the air. This is important during the flowering stage. If you’re pulling fresh air from outside where the humidity is very high, it can cause an imbalance and lead to serious problems.
PPM OR EC Pen
These pen-size devices measure the parts per million and electrical conductivity of your nutrient solution. It’s extremely important for the grower to have an accurate measure in order to avoid issues with toxicity or deficiencies.
This device measures the acidity or alkalinity of your nutrient solution on a scale of 1-14 (from most acidic to most alkaline). Roots require a certain pH in order to absorb primary nutrients and trace elements. In soil, a solution should have a pH of 6.0-6.5; a hydroponic grow requires a slightly lower pH of 5.5-6.0. You’ll also need solutions to adjust the acidity or alkalinity of your nutrient solution (pH up and down).
Chains and Hooks
I’m old-school and still use chains and hooks for everything. Sourcing precut chain and metal S hooks is an easy task, and you know that you can’t go wrong with metal. Using modern bungee cords and metal wire works well, but when it comes to suspending heavy fans, large-size carbon filters and heavy LED grow lights, chains and metal hooks are the most reliable.
Thick Waterproof Tape
Always make sure you have a thick, waterproof packaging tape to firmly wrap all the connecting parts of your ducting and fans. This will keep everything airtight and waterproof—and it’s just handy to have some industrial-strength tape close by. Plastic cable ties and metal clips also work well; however, thick tape is cheap and easy to find.
Once you have an exhaust fan and an intake fan set up and working, you’ll next want to add some additional airflow at the bottoms and tops of your plants. Oscillating fans will create a gentle breeze that will keep C02-rich air flowing around the leaves.
A timer is required to control all of the electrical devices inside the tent, according to your light regime of either a 18/6- or 12/12-hour day/night light cycle. Carbon filters and fans should be left on permanently. Don’t skimp on your timer, as cheap ones can easily malfunction or break.
You can never have too many plug sockets available when growing indoors. To avoid a mess of wires, I personally like to have all my fans connected to one plug extension, which is left on permanently. I have a second separate plug extension for the grow lights and ballast. Some timers are quite chunky and can take up a lot of the space, so having extra plugs is always a good plan.
Foliar feeding with water or a mild nutrient solution contributes greatly to a plant’s health and vigor, so it’s a good idea to purchase a few different spray bottles from your local hardware store. Spray bottles become smelly over time, so they’ll eventually need replacing.
White Sticky Labels
I personally like to have a few packs of white sticky labels lying around for when I’m growing many different strains. It can be too easy to mix up the strains, so I avoid any confusion by labeling the pots early on.
Now that you have your equipment, get growing!
Originally published in the April, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.
The post A Quick and Easy Guide to Getting Started with Growing Cannabis Indoors appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.