Home cannabis cultivation has come a long way since the days of total prohibition, with all of Canada and more states now offering some form of cultivation provision. Whether you’re a recreational user or a medical patient, fighting for your health, it’s never been a better time to pick up growing as a way of life!

Fun Fact #1: You Can Save Massive Dollars!

With the legal cannabis market, consumers can buy an array of exciting products without considering cultivation, much like buying produce at a grocery store. Grocery stores are supplied by farms that take care of the cultivation and grow a product at a reasonable price.
For the most part, this is also true of cannabis, but let’s take a look at the numbers and see how growing your own stash and buying from retail or LPs for adult compare…

Store Bought Cannabis Comparison Chart

While these costs don’t appear too cumbersome in the short term, they add up to substantial costs over time. If you’re a moderate, but consistent recreational user, and consume one ounce per month, you’re looking at yearly expenditures of $2,100-$4,320. Over a decade, that’s $21,000-43,000! That’s a mortgage. It’s a luxury automobile. It’s your kid’s college tuition.

Now imagine, just for a second, that you’re Janet — working mother of two daughters, fighting an aggressive form of breast cancer. On a comprehensive therapy program to treat your cancer, you need as much as 60 grams per day (in oil form). Here’s what you, as a cancer patient, would expect to pay per month:

  • At cost, if LPs operated like non-profits and only charged the 2013 cost estimate of $1.80 per gram: $3,240 per month.
  • At the supposedly subsidized cost of $5 per gram charged by PPS under the MMAR: $9,000 per month.
  • At the Health Canada target rate for the first year of the MMPR, or $7.60 per gram: $13,680 per month.
  • At the black-market rate, such as at a dispensary or from your local drug dealer, an average of $10 per gram: $18,000 per month.
  • At the average dispensary/retailer price of $15 per gram: $27,000 per month!
Even if you suffer from PTSD, moderate chronic pain, insomnia or any of hundreds of other non-life-threatening ailments, and you only need three to five grams per day, you’d still be looking at monthly cannabis bills of close to $2,000. There was, and still is, no provision requiring government or private health insurers to cover even a portion of the cost of cannabis medicine. If our government truly believed that cannabis was a cure, it would not ask its citizens to purchase the equivalent of a brand new Honda Civic every month to treat cancer!
Let’s see how this stacks up against home growing expenses…
With a 1000-watt bulb, ideally, you will produce up to one gram of cannabis per watt. Realistically, when starting out, you might get anywhere between half a gram and one gram per watt. This assumes you avoid pests and disease, and you feed your plants nutrients to keep them healthy. You should set aside an hour or more every couple days to observe your plants and work in the garden to keep your plants happy

Of course, if a 6′ x 6′ ft space is unrealistic, consider growing in a much smaller space using a grow tent. Grow tent dimensions start at 2′ x 2′ x 5′ for under $1,000, which includes everything you’ll need to grow cannabis except for soil and the plants. You can usually grow 2-to-4 plants in 1-to-3 gallon pots, and you’ll most likely use a 400-600 watt light.

So, let’s say that you are averaging $3 per gram of dry cannabis. If you’re Janet and deciding between purchasing your cannabis from the legal retail market, and growing your own, you would be weighing the monthly cost difference between $27,000 (retail) and $5,400 (home grow). That’s a total savings of $21,600 per month, and almost $260,000 in a single year!

To us, the answer seems like a no-brainer. If you’re fighting for your life, and require upwards of 60 grams of cannabis a day to survive — or even if you’re that recreational user, consuming a single ounce of cannabis per month — growing your own organic cannabis garden will save massive dollars. And think of all you could do with that money…

Fun Fact #2: Gardening Improves Mental Health!

It turns out that humans may be hardwired to feel at peace in the countryside and confused in cities — even if they were born and raised in an urban area. For city-going urbanites, researchers at Exeter University extol the virtues of home gardening — and of gardening medical cannabis in particular — for “tapping in” to the brain’s propensity for rural tranquility.
An area of the brain associated with being in a calm, meditative state lit up when people were shown pictures of rural settings. But images of urban environments resulted in a significant delay in reaction, before a part of the brain involved in processing visual complexity swung into action.
The study, which used an MRI scanner to monitor brain activity, adds to a growing body of evidence that natural environments — and, in particular, daily exposure to living, breathing plants — are good for humans, affecting both mental and physical health and even levels of aggression.

Dr. Ian Frampton, an Exeter University psychologist, stressed the researchers still had more work to do, but said they may have hit upon something significant.

“When looking at urban environments the brain is doing a lot of processing because it doesn’t know what this environment is,” he said, “and that puts the brain in a constant state of stress.” Rural images, on the other hand, produced a “much quieter” response in a completely different part of the brain. “There’s much less activity,” Dr. Frampton adds. “It seems to be in the limbic system, an older, evolutionarily part of the brain that we share with monkeys and primates.”

In fact, the researchers even went so far as to theorize that urban dwellers could be suffering in the same way as animals kept in captivity. The move to cities has, after all, been accompanied by an incredible rise in depression and behavioural abnormalities.
So how does gardening help?
If living in a city is like being a prisoner— at least, insofar as your brain is concerned — then gardening is a temporary reprieve. It is like “yard time” for your mind.
But why?
It all boils down to the body’s stress response. Cortisol is a hormone released by the body when we’re experiencing stress. When the levels remain elevated in our bodies, it can increase our risk of depression, mental illness, impaired immune function, weight gain, heart disease and so much more. Incredibly, spending time in nature can help keep things under control.
The researchers from Exeter University also discovered that spending 30 minutes in the woods could not only lower cortisol levels, but could also improve heart rate and blood pressure. Similarly, 30 minutes of gardening in your backyard — even a backyard surrounded by bustling traffic and tall buildings — has an almost inevitable impact on lowering cortisol levels and improving overall mood.

The takeaway? Spending just half an hour with your hands in the soil, surrounded by vegetation, can provide serious benefits for your body, mind and overall health.

Fun Fact #3: Growing Cannabis Puts the Control in Your Hands

Growing cannabis at home allows you to become your own master cultivator, giving you complete autonomy to control every aspect of the cultivation process. Given that there are so many different ways to become a successful cannabis grower at home, one of the most intrinsically rewarding aspects of this process is developing a system that works just right for you.
Whether you are looking to cultivate organically, hydroponically, in soil containers, or raised beds, there is a system out there designed to make growing cannabis both easy and fun for your individual preference.
For indoor growing, you’ll need a light, a tent, and enough space in your home to do the job well. But — if you’ve earmarked a spot in backyard or greenhouse, the only thing you’ll need to get started (besides seeds) is clean soil and a few good fertilizers, that address the specific needs of your chosen strains.

Not sure where to start?

Pick up “Organic Craft Cannabis Kit” by Blue Sky Organics. Literally, everything you’ll need to get started is included in the kit. For $150, you’ll have:
  • Fert-Alive” Enzymatic Formula, which promotes the growth of microorganisms that provide vital support to the plant’s overall vitality and root structure.
  • Organic Reactor” Premium Blooming Top Dress, which promotes superior blooming for all your flowering plants. It’s a highly beneficial soil amendment that improves soil vitality and overall plant health.
  • Organic Booster” Tea Blend (liquid). This is a carbohydrate infused booster, rich in nutrients that stimulate microorganisms with a chelating agent, adding a naturally occurring flavour profile to your cannabis.
  • Vit Alive” Tea Blend (dry compost tea), which increases the nutrient availability to your plants, leading to a strong root system. It also accelerates bud growth and maximizes yield.
  • pH UP” Natural Adjuster. This uniquely natural pH adjuster is used in balancing water pH levels, without affecting the beneficial microbes and microorganisms. pH UP is an all natural, non-burning formula.
  • pH DOWN” Natural Adjuster. Like the pH UP formula, this designed to lower pH levels.

Even if you’re not a horticulturist, and didn’t get all of that, the point is simple. The starter kit by BlueSky Organics contains pretty much everything you need, with user-friendly instructions to producing high-quality yields of potent, organic, toxin-free cannabis.

Home cultivation resources have never been more widely available than they are right now with the end of prohibition on the horizon. As more jurisdictions begin to afford growers their rights to cultivate at home, the quality and quantity of educational information available to growers will only continue to expand. Books, magazines, websites, forums, online and in-person growing communities—these are just a few examples of ways in which growers are sharing the bounty of their knowledge with the world.
Long gone are the days of searching clandestine threads online for grow tips. Nowadays there are multiple weekly podcasts dedicated to cannabis cultivation, as well as open workshops in legal states where growers can actually meet face-to-face to talk about growing. These are not only exciting times for cannabis enthusiasts everywhere, but the perfect time for the new home grower to get started!

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