Small-scale growers who plan to eat their crop themselves already cultivate organic cannabis, just as most medicinal growers in Canada and the United States, both caregivers and dispensaries do. Commercial producers for the recreational market, on the other hand, frequently don’t cultivate organically due to several antiquated preconceptions.
With industrial cannabis growers utilizing harmful pesticides and other unsavory practices, organic cannabis has become a highly sought-after product in the market. Homegrown weed enthusiasts can easily pursue organic options.
The organic cannabis industry has seen a tremendous amount of growth in recent years, as patients are now more concerned than ever before about the possible presence of dangerous chemicals in non-organic cannabis. As a result, many suppliers are now being requested to provide their clients with high-quality, safe organic cannabis.
There are several benefits to producing organic cannabis — less risk of contamination, it’s healthier, and there’s a lesser environmental impact. But there is also the obvious disadvantage of purchasing organic cannabis: it is frequently more expensive than normal cannabis. Buying buds is already pricey enough!
In this article, we’ll show you how to grow your own cannabis without breaking the bank. We’ve also included a how-to guide for growing your own weed so you can minimize your budget losses. Plus, when you produce your own cannabis organically, it becomes clearer why organic options are sometimes more pricey.
What is organic cannabis?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding what exactly constitutes organically grown cannabis. Many people still believe that any cannabis cultivated in soil is organic, despite the fact that many soil-grown cannabis is produced using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. To be truly organic, organic farmers almost exclusively utilize natural fertilizers and pesticides. Purists would argue that no insecticides or nutrients should ever be used.
Natural nutrients that may be utilized to promote cannabis growth and development include bat, bird, worm castings, manure, blood and bone meal, and compost. Plant materials like pyrethrum, capsaicin, and tobacco are used as natural pesticides. Even though they come from organic origins, there is still concern about their impact on human and environmental health.
Top 5 benefits of organic cannabis
Unlike popular belief, organic growers can still achieve high yields if all conditions are met. In fact, in some cases, they may exceed the yield of conventional methods.
Yields may be lower than those produced by non-organic grows when the micro-environment is not optimal. This was undoubtedly the case in the past. However, over time, commercially available organic fertilizers, growing media, and additives have improved considerably; as well as knowledge on how to use them properly.
One of the most significant new organic growing innovations is “super-soil,” which is a type of developing medium that has been meticulously modified to contain only what cannabis needs to thrive. You can feed your plants simply water and get amazing results with this approach.
Although mixes are available, you may easily make your own super-soil at home. Super-soil is generally made up of organic potting soil combined with worm castings, blood meal, bone meal, guano, and other additives. If you prepare it yourself, you may make the ideal mix for your selected strain.
Modern organic growing is all about providing your cannabis plants with everything they need, down to the last microbe in the soil. Cannabis, like any other plant, has stringent and sophisticated requirements for growth that must be met. Matched to perfection, these requirements help your plants reach their full potential.
Nutrient solutions for indoor cannabis cultivation are quite basic in nature, consisting only of the fundamental nutrients required for cannabis to live and develop. There are six essential macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulphur, and magnesium), as well as six essential micronutrients (manganese, boron, copper needed for cannabis growth. These elements are present in the majority of cannabis nutrient mixes.
In contrast, organic nutrient systems frequently include other trace minerals that may give cannabis even more benefits, despite the fact that they are not considered essential.
Nickel, sodium, cobalt, and chlorine are just a few examples of nutrients that have been proved to be advantageous to tall plants like cannabis, but which are frequently ignored in commercial feeds. Organically produced cannabis is said to be more effective and potent due to the intricate nutrient makeups used by organic farmers.
Improved flavour and aroma
The increased terpenes and cannabinoids produced by organically-grown cannabis are thought to be far more delicious and aromatic than their conventionally-grown counterparts for the same reasons as those given above. Plants can generate greater quantities of flavonoids, terpenoids, and cannabinoids if the micro-environment is optimized for fast, robust growth.
Terpenes and terpenoids are the aromatic compounds that give cannabis, as well as many other plants, their signature fragrance. Each plant has dozens of these unique compounds which work together to create the final product’s scent. The more present these terpenes and terpenoids are, the more pungent and flavourful your end result will be.
Flavonoids are a secondary metabolite found in many plants, including cannabis. They often include a variety of antioxidant properties, which contribute to long-term health and wellbeing.
Unlike synthetic pesticides and insecticides, organically grown cannabis does not have these artificial chemicals. It’s also worth considering how these manufactured additives alter the overall flavor and aroma of a bud.
Another component of organic cannabis growth that may help you get better yields, flavor, and potency is the richness of the soil microbiome (the “microbiome” in a particular environment).
Organic soil mixes are complex ecosystems that contain an ample amount of bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic organisms like nematode worms. The sterile environment found in many non-organic growing media does not have the same level of complexity.
Research has shown that having a rich soil microbiome can be beneficial for cannabis and other crops. Soil with a healthy population of fungi and other microorganisms can help with nitrogen fixing and water retention, stimulate growth, and prevent diseases of the roots. If you make your own super-soil and allow it to mature for 30 days before using it, you should have plenty of helpful organisms established in the soil.
Another great method for cultivating the beneficial microorganisms needed for a healthy microbiome is through organic compost tea. Compost tea entails soaking well-made compost in water and continuously bubbling aeration (allowing anaerobic conditions to develop within the “brewer”).
Lighter environmental impact
The most sustainable way to grow cannabis is outdoors in the sun since sunlight doesn’t require electricity, which cuts down on the negative environmental impact of growing indoors. Additionally, there have been issues of banned pesticides seeping into California water sources from growers.
While organic cannabis cultivation isBetter for the environment, reducing water usage in grow operations, not everyone has the ability to cultivate their cannabis outdoors.
Organic, open-air cultivation is the clear winner when it comes to eco-friendliness. If this isn’t an option, growing indoors may be a solution. Using organic nutrients and fertilizers automatically reduces environmental impact since organic nutrients and fertilisers are produced in less time than synthetic ones. Because conventional nutrients and fertilisers are mostly made with fossil fuels and require a lot of electricity to manufacture, they have a higher environmental impact than organic ones.
Also, organic pest-control methods are commonly more environmentally friendly – for example, using ladybirds to eliminate spider mites instead of the poisonous chemical concoctions used in standard farming.
A how-to guide for growing organic cannabis
The methods for growing organic cannabis differ based on whether it is grown outdoors or indoors. Some people contend that authentic organic cannabis can only be cultivated outdoors, but an organic environment can also be simulated indoors. The type of growth medium used (soil, coconut fibre, etc.)is the same regardless if the plant isgrown inside or out, though indoor growers need to take light spectrums and cycles into account as well.
Preparing the medium
It’s essential to nurture organic cannabis in soil. While hydroponic systems may produce high-quality cannabis, water alone lacks the organic elements and organisms that are present in soil. Indoor growers have a number of difficulties with organic nutrients and fertilizers. Furthermore, there is debate about whether hydroponic systems can ever be certified as organically grown.
Good cannabis doesn’t start with the seed– it starts with the soil. You need to ensure that your growing operation is using organic soil in order to create organic cannabis. If you’re growing outdoors, pay attention to the history of chemicals used on the land. Even if farming stopped long ago, these pesticides and fertilizers can stick around in the soil for years to come.”
It is in fact simpler to cultivate organic marijuana in pots since you can make your own soil. However, this takes about six months of prep work. The procedure involves combining composted foodstuff with additional nutritional components (such as woody plant trimmings, dry leaves, coffee grounds, livestock manure, etc.). The mixture must be left for two to six months before it begins to steam and release gases.
Making organic, cannabis-friendly fertilizer
If you don’t want to make your own soil, the option is to buy bare potting mix and add in organic nutrients. This is essentially the process of manufacturing fertilizer. However, most commercial fertilizers are not organic, although organic fertilizer can be obtained from specialist retailers. Using the following recipe, it may be produced at home:
- Spread a thin layer of bare potting mix on a large tarp, with coco fiber and mycorrhizae (may be found at the garden store).
- Spread 0.75 kg of rock phosphate, 30 ml Epsom salts, 60 ml Azomite, 120 ml Dolomite, and 1 tablespoon of humic acid around on the layer of soil.
- Add another layer of the bare potting mix.
- Add 1 kg of bat guano, and then top with another layer of bare potting mix.
- Spread 1kg of blood meal in a thick layer on top. Do the same with bone meal.
- Using a spade, combine all of the ingredients together. Place them in garbage cans with 10 liters of water and let them cook in the sun. The right bacteria and fungus will begin to develop in the sun, allowing the miniature ecosystem necessary for cannabis development to emerge.
You have now supplied your soil with what it needs. You can add more nutritional information as your plant develops, but organic nutrients are preferable. However, this should be enough nutrition for the duration of the growth. You may utilize fresh soil from your batch of organic potting mix every time you transplant into a new container.
The best pesticide is no pesticide
It should be feasible to maintain a grow without using pesticides if the appropriate degree of care and attention to detail is given. Keeping plants neat and clean, maintaining the growth room or surrounding environment clean and tidy, and ensuring ideal conditions for healthy plant development will all assist to keep an organic garden free of infestations.
Although most gardeners are able to keep spider mites and whiteflies at bay, there will be times when they become overwhelmed. In these cases, it is crucial to know the effects of various pesticides before using one.
What is pyrethrum?
Pyrethrum is the name for any of several chrysanthemum species, as well as for the insecticidal extract that can be made from two of those species, C. cinerariifolium and C. coccineum. Pyrethrum is toxic to some common cannabis pests including spider mites and aphids, but harmless to mammals.
Pyrethrum’s active ingredients, the pyrethrins, are in its achenes (seed-cases). When these seed-cases are crushed, it produces an oleoresin–a mixture of oil and resin that naturally occurs. Pest-affected plants can be directly sprayed with this oleoresin after further processing turns it into an emulsion, suspension, or powder.
Pyrethrins are a class of terpene that is highly toxic to cannabis pests. They typically occur as an end-product of an acid-alcohol reaction, and they have very unstable cyclopropane cores. This makes them degrade rapidly when exposed to air or water, but it also makes them neurotoxins.
Companion planting as a form of pest management
Using organic pesticides might harm the surrounding natural environment. The majority of organic pesticides are used in quantities far greater than what would be found in nature. As a result, using them may have a detrimental impact on native wildlife such as bats, birds, and bees in the region. It’s an essential fact to keep in mind while utilizing organic pesticides, particularly if there is a lot of wild life in the area.
Implementing companion plants in your garden can completely nullify the use of pesticides, without compromising the health and safety of your cannabis plants. Companion planting is a permaculture technique that uses plants that ward off pests, deterrents which are often safer for both people and animals than chemical alternatives.
Not only are the companion plants for cannabis great additions to your garden, but many of them can also be used as medicinal or culinary herbs. This way, you won’t have any wasted plants at the end of your grow!
- Basil: Mint, lavender, and other fragrant plants repel aphids, asparagus beetles, mosquitos, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies. To safeguard your cannabis crops from pests, keep a few potted plants on hand. At the conclusion of the harvest season, create some basil pesto with your leftover herbs!
- Dill: Not only does dill deters spider mites, but butterflies and caterpillars will prefer it as well. Consequently, you won’t have to worry about them destroying your cannabis plants.
- Yarrow: This medicinal herb is praised for its ability to treat respiratory tract issues. At the same time, it deters all kinds of pests from your garden. It also attracts some of the beneficial insects such as ladybugs.
- Coriander: Coriander is another herb you can use in cooking. It has a strong aroma that spider mites, aphids and potato beetles don’t like.
There are an infinite number of companion plants that may be used for a variety of purposes. Some plants (like nettles and yarrow) repel pests while others attract beneficial insects. Placing certain plants in the same soil as cannabis can increase their terpenes and other fragrant compounds levels by putting them near to each other. Planting marigolds in the same soil, for example, might also stimulate the growth of plants surrounding it.
The essentials of organic cannabis
Last but not least, producing organic cannabis entails avoiding anything that has been produced in a laboratory. Even if pesticides or fertilizers are derived from natural sources, they are frequently quite concentrated, and as a result don’t truly represent what would occur in nature. These goods may be useful for cannabis cultivation; nevertheless, they can have detrimental consequences on the environment as a whole.
The art of producing organic cannabis is to produce all of your goods at home. Making an organic spray pesticide with crushed coriander seeds is a do-it-yourself method. Feeding your plants with compost tea is another approach to give them nutrients.
It’s an art to grow organically with the best results. It is unusual to encounter agricultural research that doesn’t utilize synthetic materials. At the very least, many agricultural processes utilize natural items in a unnatural manner – for example, using pyrethrin at extremely high dosages.
To cultivate organic cannabis, you must first understand that commercial cannabis production in the West is heavily dependent on synthetic pesticides. In any case, the advantages of producing organically are endless, and similar principles may be utilized to other organic growing projects.
Is there anything more we didn’t cover? Please let us know what you think in the comments!