Nearly everyone who’s serious about weed has at least thought about growing their own.
Most who’ve have taken the plunge are glad they did. They’re more comfortable with the quality, they’ve eliminated the problem of finding a supplier (particularly if they live in a prohibition state), they’re easily able to make their own hash, oils, and extracts – and of course, they save an enormous amount of money. There’s a terrific feeling of accomplishment, too.
For the majority of users, pot isn’t addictive. But growing pot can be. Just as with other dedicated gardeners, cannabis growers often find that they love the process as much as they enjoy their finished product.
And that drives many to explore new and better ways to grow their cannabis.
Often, their first step is to simply add more plants, tinker with the soil or nutrients, or buy some lights to set up a grow room indoors. At some point, however, it’s natural to consider taking their growth to another level.
The two most popular approaches are organic gardening and hydroponics. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but they’ll each produce a better crop than traditional growing methods. Before figuring out which is better, let’s look at each method in more detail.
Pros and Cons of Growing Organic Weed
By now, everyone understands that organic products are healthier products and better for the environment; that’s why the availability of organic foods in supermarkets continues to grow.
There’s an additional benefit to organic weed: quality. Organic growing usually produces better flowers and greater yield compared to traditional methods. Studies and anecdotal evidence show that the potency and medicinal effects of organic weed are usually higher than in traditionally grown weed. Potentially-hazardous chemicals from fertilizers or pesticides won’t be introduced into your crop (or your body), either.
There are drawbacks, though. Organic nutrients are expensive. It takes longer for organically-grown pot plants to mature because the organic nutrients have to be broken down by microorganisms before the plants can absorb them. The soil you use must be rich in those microorganisms, and if you’re growing outside, the climate has to be relatively warm. And an organic growing medium is more likely to attract insects and support the development of harmful fungi. For all of those reasons, patience and constant attention to the plants is essential.
That makes organic weed trickier, more time-consuming and somewhat more expensive to grow; some say it’s more art than science. The increased yield and quality, however, can definitely be worth those investments.
Pros and Cons of Growing Weed Hydroponically
Switching from traditional to organic growing can be compared to graduating from a tricycle to a bike. Installing and using a hydroponic growing system is like tossing the bike in favor of a Maserati.
The simple way to describe hydroponics is that plants grow in water and an inert medium other than soil. They’re fed with nutrients carried by the water, and there are several different approaches to the technique involving reservoirs, drippers and/or tubes. A sophisticated lighting system is also required. No matter which system you choose to grow hydro weed, it will be complicated, and installation and maintenance can get very expen$ive very quickly. Hydroponic growing, as you might expect, requires much more expertise and skill than growing plants in soil.
The benefits can be enormous, though. Plants require a lot less space to grow yet still mature much faster, with 4-6 yields per plant possible each year. Each yield is much higher, often double or triple the yield of traditionally-grown marijuana plants. And when done properly, the technique produces buds with higher THC levels than traditionally- or organically-grown crops.
Choosing Between Hydroponic and Organic Weed
For the grower, hydroponic is a far better choice – if they can afford the massive investment of money and attention necessary to grow a quality crop. The yield will be much higher and the quality of the weed will be better, with a higher THC content. Those without the bankroll or extra time, however, will still find that organic growing produces yields and quality superior to traditional methods.
For the end-user, the pot strain is more important to consider than whether the product has been grown organically or hydroponically; a weak strain isn’t going to get much stronger just because of the medium in which it’s grown.
Generally speaking, though, hydro weed is likely to produce a more intense high than organic, because it preserves more of the plant’s cannabinoids. Organic pot may be slightly milder, but it retains more of the strain’s flavor and aroma, and it’s usually a “safer” product because no chemicals have been used to grow it.