An introduction to cannabis cultivation. A cultivated marijuana plant provides us with all form of consumable cannabis. Cannabis can be for both medical and recreational purposes. How do we cultivate cannabis? In other words, what we do with cannabis will get us the quality of cannabis.
Cannabis plants divide into both male and female plants. Male plants produce pollen which female plants use to produce cannabinoids. Firstly, like cannabidiol acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA). Which converts to CBD and THC. Terpenes and flavonoids are other compounds that cannabis produces. They are helpful in enhancing the therapeutic effect of the final product.
A number of countries recognize only one species of cannabis. This is Sativa. However, there are a number of countries that recognize Sativa, Indica and ruderalis.
Indica plants are shorter in size with wide, deep green leaves and thick stems. The flowering cycle of them is shorter. A cold climate is best for them to grow. Sativa has a long flowering cycle as compared to India. They grow better in a warm climate. The plants are taller with light green and short leaves. Because of the crossbreeding, we are unable to find pure Indica and Sativa. Each flower that reaches the consumer is a hybrid of some kind.
Each and every part of cannabis plant is extremely useful. An introduction to cannabis cultivation.
We use cannabis for basic three purposes:
- Fibre – harvesting cannabis stalks, typically from hemp varieties.
- Seeds – harvesting seeds from a female hemp plant for its rich oil and protein content.
- Drug-type cultivars – harvesting cultivated varieties for their psychoactive and therapeutic cannabinoids.
Anatomy of cannabis plant:
The cannabis plant can be divided into male and female plants. they have the same anatomy of roots, leaves and stem. Both male and female produce trichomes. Although, the amount of trichome a female plant produces is far greater than the male plant. Let’s learn the anatomy of both the male and female plant in detail.
Anatomy of female plant:
The female plants of cannabis have pistils and stigmas. These are known as the reproductive parts. The female cannabis plant is also referred to as sinsemilla, which means without seeds. Growers love to cultivate them because they produce the highest number of cannabinoids. An introduction to cannabis cultivation.
Cannabis female plant’s anatomy includes:
- Colas: The flowers produced by the female plant. Colas are covered with cannabinoid- and terpene-rich trichomes and commonly called buds or nugs. A cannabis bud is not confused with the botanical definition of the word bud: a newly emerging plant.
- Bracts: Small, scale-like leaf structures that encapsulate and protect the seeds. Bracts are often referred to as calyxes, though this term is botanically incorrect. The female cannabis plant does, however, have calyx cells within the delicate layer of tissue between the seed and the bracts that encapsulate it.
- Stigmas: The reproductive parts of the cannabis plant, which catches pollen from the male plant. Stigmas are commonly and incorrectly referred to as pistils. Two stigmas protrude from one pistil.
- Pistil: The reproductive parts of the female cannabis flower that are activated if the stigmas capture pollen.
- Sugar leaves: The small leaves that hold cannabis buds together. They are called sugar leaves due to the high concentration of trichomes that have a sugar-like appearance.
Anatomy of male cannabis plant:
The male plant of cannabis is responsible for producing pollens. These male plants are mainly cultivated for pollens, fibres and new varieties of intoxicating cannabis. When there is the flowering phase, male cannabis plants release pollens which compel female flowers to start reproduction. But it is preferable to grow these male cannabis plants away from female plants. An introduction to cannabis cultivation.
Cannabis male plant’s anatomy includes:
- Stamen: The organ of the male plant that produces pollen. After that, releases it into the wind, where it travels to the stigma of a female plant for pollination.
- Anther: The sacks that produce and hold pollen within the stamen. Anthers hang by a small filament. Together, the anther and the filament make up a stamen.
- Pollen: Microscopic grains produced and contained in the anther that fertilize the female plant when released.
The three main growing environments for cannabis:
How to grow marijuana outdoors:
Growing marijuana outdoors is less expensive. Plants use natural light, which helps growers to save money. As the natural environment is the best for any plants, extreme conditions are specifically dangerous for cannabis plants. Rain, insects, animals and extreme weather conditions can damage the plants. Basically, Growers do not control the natural conditions.
How to grow marijuana in a greenhouse:
Growers can get the benefit to get free sunlight in a controlled environment when they grow marijuana in a greenhouse. Growers use a shade against the sunlight if they do not want to expose their cannabis plants to the sunlight for a long period of time. Greenhouses also have the facility of artificial light to use on cloudy days. The only drawback of growing cannabis in a greenhouse is its cost.
How to grow marijuana indoors:
You will need artificial lights, an air conditioner, and a dehumidification system. This is if you are going to grow cannabis indoors. High upfront costs, including the building structure, equipment, water, electricity, and other utilities, is the major downside of growing marijuana indoors for beginners.
Cannabis flowering phase:
When male cannabis plants release pollens, and female cannabis plants producing trichome coated colas. This refers to the flowering phase of the cannabis plants. When the plants 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, they flower naturally. If you are growing cannabis indoors, introduce 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light to the plants.
When is it ready for harvest?
A female plant is generally ready to harvest when the glands on the top of the capillary stalked trichomes turn from clear to a milky white colour. Some cultivators are also able to use the colour of the stigmas to time their harvest. Stigmas tend to change from either white to orange or red to brown. Growers should also be aware of the typical flowering times of the cultivars they’re growing.
Harvesting the plant:
The trichomes of cannabis plants become so vulnerable once the cannabis plant is ready to harvest. Also, If you keep the cannabis plants exposed to light, heat or oxygen for a longer period of time, it will start degrading cannabinoids and terpenes. You should handle Trichomes carefully. Especially, because at this stage for drying methods. use trimming and cutting techniques for this stage.
Cut the cannabis plant from the base or cut in large branches. Hang the plants upside down in a dry environment. A number of growers cut fan leaves and a few of the sugar leaves at this stage. Keep the plants there until they dry. Be careful not to hit the branches with anything, or trichomes will be lost.
The phase of trimming starts once the procedure of drying ends. At this stage, cannabis plants are trimmed to get rid of sugar leaves which will later prepare edibles and concentrates. Hold the colas by the stem to cut the sugar leaves. This procedure needs extra care.
Curing is the final stage of the whole harvesting procedure. This stage also needs extra care. You do not want your product to get extra dry. Extra drying can damage cannabis during transportation. Furthermore, if the cannabis is left extra moist, it will produce mould on them.
If you want to store your cannabis for a short period of time, glass jars are the best option. To preserve cannabinoids and terpenes of cannabis, use airtight jars. ant to store your cannabis for a longer period of time, you should vacuum seal your final product whenever you get the chance.
Recommended you also read: What is CBD butter?