Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a dioecious plant, meaning it has separate male and female plants. The process of growing cannabis involves several stages, from germination to harvest. Here's a general overview of how cannabis grows:
- Cannabis cultivation often begins with germinating seeds. This can be done by placing seeds between moist paper towels until a small taproot emerges. Once the taproot is visible, the seeds can be planted in a growing medium.
2. Seedling Stage:
- After germination, seedlings emerge from the growing medium. At this stage, they usually have a pair of single-bladed leaves known as cotyledons. As the plant develops, it begins to produce more complex, serrated leaves.
3. Vegetative Stage:
- In the vegetative stage, the plant focuses on leaf and stem growth. Cannabis plants require a specific light cycle during this stage, typically 18-24 hours of light per day. This encourages the plant to grow without flowering.
- When the plant reaches maturity, it may show signs of pre-flowering, which involves the development of either male or female reproductive organs. Cannabis growers often identify and remove male plants to prevent them from pollinating female plants, as unfertilized females produce larger, more potent buds.
5. Flowering Stage:
- If the plant is female and has not been pollinated, it enters the flowering stage. This is when the plant produces buds containing cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The light cycle is adjusted to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to initiate flowering.
- The flowering stage lasts for several weeks. Harvest time depends on the strain and desired effects. Trichomes (tiny resin glands) on the buds are often examined to determine the optimal time for harvesting. Harvested cannabis plants are typically dried and cured before consumption.
7. Drying and Curing:
- After harvest, cannabis buds need to be dried slowly to reduce moisture content. Once dried, the buds are placed in containers for curing. Curing allows for the development of flavors, aromas, and a smoother smoking experience. It involves periodically opening and closing the containers to regulate humidity.
8. Final Processing:
- Once cured, the cannabis is ready for consumption. Users may choose to smoke the dried flowers, extract cannabinoids for concentrates, or use the plant material to make edibles.
Throughout the growth cycle, cannabis plants require proper nutrients, water, and environmental conditions. Additionally, growers may use various cultivation methods, such as indoor, outdoor, or greenhouse growing, depending on their preferences and local regulations.