Nothing’s easier today than buying a bottle of CBD oil and starting your treatment immediately – but what if you don’t trust manufacturers in the largely unregulated industry and want to have full control of what exactly you’re letting into your system? Or maybe your thumbs are so green that you don’t want them to go to waste?
So, the question is: is it possible to cultivate CBD-rich weed at home, and if so, how hard is this process? Read on, and we’ll show you how to grow CBD plants indoors the easy way.
Is Growing CBD Plants Indoors Different From Growing Normal Weed?
We’ve got good news for all of you out there wondering how to grow CBD-rich cannabis strains indoors: no, there’s no real difference between high-CBD and normal weed from a growing perspective.
So, if you’ve grown at least one cannabis plant in your life, you already know how to grow CBD strains. The only possible distinction could be the legality of the plants in your garden. For those who have no experience growing cannabis whatsoever, we’ll offer some tips to get you started.
High-CBD Strains and Hemp: What’s the Difference?
Cannabis, weed, marijuana, hemp… all these words refer to the same plant species – Cannabis Sativa. The difference lies in how humans use the produce and how they’ve selectively bred the plants to achieve the desired chemical composition.
When people say ‘hemp’, it usually means a plant grown for its fiber. It’s low in THC – in fact, it’s required by law to be low in THC. In the EU, the limit is 0.2%, and in the U.S., it’s 0.3%. The CBD level in hemp is much higher than that, but usually still not enough to make these plants useful for CBD extraction.
It’s more efficient to selectively breed and cross ‘normal marijuana’ until a high-THC strain gradually becomes a high-CBD strain. This means that growing CBD hemp indoors is only legal where growing marijuana is legal – unless you’re a licensed farmer and buy special, licensed hemp seeds in bulk.
Benefits of Growing CBD Plants Indoors vs. Outdoors
So, let’s say you’ve bought yourself some high-CBD marijuana seeds. What’s next? Should you grow them in a backyard or in an indoor setup? We’d say the latter is the best way to grow CBD flowers, and here’s why.
Indoors, you can control the temperature, relative humidity, and even CO2 levels. All this contributes to more generous harvests and more resin on your flowers – and resin is what contains the most amount of CBD in cannabis (or THC, depending on the genetics).
Even where growing cannabis is legal, neighbors can object to your hobby because of the smell. They can even be offended by the mere spectacle of marijuana growing behind the fence. Some jurisdictions expressly demand that your cannabis patch be hidden from public view. Indoor growing is the answer to all these problems.
Cannabis thrives in sunny climates, but if you’re not lucky enough to live in California or on the Mediterranean coast, your best chance to provide your weed with plenty of light is growing it under special grow lights. Indoor buds are mostly larger and more resinous, meaning that you’ll get larger quantities of CBD.
Outdoors, you get one big harvest in fall (unless you grow autoflowers, which don’t depend on the photoperiod and can be planted and harvested in waves throughout the growing season). Indoors, you can harvest your CBD-rich buds every three or four months regardless of the season.
Of course, growing CBD plants indoors requires significant upfront costs and has a steeper learning curve, so maybe you’ll decide to dip your toes into this hobby with a small outdoor patch first and then invest in a grow tent and other indoor equipment.
What to Consider When Growing High-CBD Cannabis at Home
Choosing the Right Genetics
Start with finding a reliable supplier of seeds, such as Herbies, which only works with trusted breeders. Then you’ll be sure that when a strain is labeled as rich in CBD, this is actually the case. Just as you can’t make a hemp plant produce a potent smoke, you can’t magically turn a THC-rich variety into a CBD-rich one. So, if you want to start growing CBD plants indoors, you should purchase CBD seeds.
Preparing Your Setup
It’ll be up to you to control every aspect of the environment for your CBD weed, so don’t be stingy and be prepared to spend some money. A turnkey solution at a grow shop/hydro store will be your best bet. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy a grow tent, light, exhaust fan, carbon filter, and timer separately and do some research so that they work together perfectly.
Giving Your CBD Seeds the Best Love and Care
To harvest a lot of CBD, you first need to grow copious amounts of buds and make sure they’re resinous. To do that, you’ll need a controlled environment where the day temperature stays around 77°F (25°C) and falls by no more than 5-10 degrees at night and the relative humidity is within 40-60%, with the higher end of this range reserved for the vegetative stage and the lower for flowering.
Vegging CBD plants may receive anywhere from 18 to 24 hours of light a day, but it should always be 12/12 for the whole duration of the budding stage. For autoflowers, it can be 18/6 to 24/0 from seed to harvest. The light should be a quality grow light (preferably LED), and you’ll also need good nutrients from a manufacturer that knows exactly how to grow CBD plants and has formulated its product accordingly.
How to Increase CBD Levels When Growing Weed Indoors
Take Good Care of Your Plants
There’s no magic bullet here. Make sure your plants get the best in terms of light, environmental variables, water, and fertilizers. If they stay healthy and grow strong, they’ll eventually produce large flowers that will be covered in resinous trichomes, which is where your CBD medicine is stored.
Harvest at the Right Time
There’s always the perfect moment when the amount of cannabinoids – whether CBD or THC – is at its peak. You can trust the flowering time information given by your seed provider, but there are small (and not so small) phenotypic differences, so it’s best to invest in a 60x jeweler’s loupe and watch the trichomes through it. Once they’ve all turned cloudy, the CBD level is at its highest.
Give Your CBD Flowers a Proper Dry and Cure
One week of slow drying and another 2-3 weeks of curing in jars (with daily ‘burps’ to let out the excess moisture) will maximize your buds’ terpene profile and the level of CBD.
Best High-CBD Cannabis Strains to Grow Indoors
Now that you have some idea of how to grow a CBD plant at home, let’s look at the best strains for the whole enterprise to become a success.
Solomatic Auto CBD (RQS)
Among the CBD strains that are legal or practically legal, Solomatic Auto CBD stands out from the crowd. Her buds pack 21% CBD and just 1% THC. It’s just medicine, pure and simple, and equally suitable to take orally or smoke at any time of day without getting any undesirable changes in mood or perception. You won’t notice the effects, but they’ll work their magic on you.
CBD Lemon Auto (Herbies Seeds)
Herbies’ in-house creation, CBD Lemon Auto produces an equal amount of CBD and THC – 17% of each. The difference is that this one flowers automatically – in any season and under any light schedule – and finishes in just 10-11 weeks from sprout.
This strain produces a great head and body high in which the action of THC is balanced by the presence of CBD so that there’s no tiredness or paranoia. Besides this ‘fun’ part, the effects will provide relief from many physical and mental conditions.
CBD Caramel (Barney’s Farm)
An ideal strain for beginners, CBD Caramel takes only 9 weeks of flowering to produce sweet-smelling, candy-tasting buds with very high CBD levels and an equally high THC content, both standing at 18%. For patients, this means that the healing action of CBD will be accompanied by quite a buzz, but it’ll be mellow and non-threatening and will hardly interfere with your active lifestyle.
The Bottom Line: Growing CBD Plants Indoors is Easy and Fun
Now that we’ve taken a quick look at how to grow CBD flowers, you can see that it isn’t that different from growing any other cannabis strain. There are many resources online, including Herbies, that’ll teach you to become a pro in no time. Plus, our list of CBD strains is a great starting point for when you’re ready to buy your first pack of seeds. Happy growing!
Herbies Head Shop expressly refuses to support the use, production, or supply of illegal substances. For more details read our Legal Disclaimer.