Consumers don’t often think about the many things that happened in order for them to be purchasing marijuana in a dispensary. The journey from seed to weed is a long one that relies on the knowledge and efforts of a grower. In this article, you have the opportunity to know what happens from seed to weed to sale.
There is a famous Chinese proverb that says, “When you are eating the fruit, remember who planted the tree.” While it only takes about 30 seconds to purchase weed in a dispensary, that same nugget of weed could have taken up to two months to grow.
Well, in general, consumers don’t put much forethought into what goes into the creation process of the objects they purchase. How long did it take to make that piece of silver jewellery? What went into the manufacturing of your iPhone?
When you really take a moment to think about what goes into the production of… well, anything you use, it’s pretty incredible!
Weed is no exception. From seed to weed is quite a journey, and so much goes into the process. This article is all about the journey that a grower takes and the energy that is put into growing what we, consumers, finally buy in a dispensary.
1. It starts with a plan – not a seed!
Contrary to what you might believe, growing marijuana doesn’t start with a seed. Think about it. If you go out shopping for cannabis seeds but haven’t thought about where and how you’re going to grow it, then what do you do with the seed?
So yes – growing marijuana starts with a pretty good plan about how it’s going to be done.
A grower needs to know whether they will be growing indoor or outdoor, whether they will use soil or a hydroponic system. They need to know a little bit about their surroundings and the challenges they might face. Whether it’s nosey neighbours peeking over the backyard fence or whether it’s keeping the cats away from the plants, some forethought goes into the environment.
2. Choosing a seed
Once a grower knows how they plan to execute an operation like growing marijuana, it’s time to go seed shopping. Will it be indica, sativa or a hybrid?
Some growers choose a seed based on what the final product will be. If growing for personal use, then the grower will certainly choose what they love to smoke or whichever medical properties they are looking for. If growing commercially, then the choice usually rests with the public opinion of strains.
Other growers choose a seed depending on their grow space. Sativas grow to be tall and prefer outdoor environments, whereas indica strains can thrive indoors and in small spaces. For some, the seed will be chosen based on the flowering time. For example, strains such as Super Silver Cheese and Amnesia have longer flowering periods. Northern Lights, on the other hand, has a shorter flowering period.
Growers even have the option of choosing seeds that are feminized. This eliminates the possibility of ending up with male plants in the garden. There is basically a seed option for every type of grower these days. The seed choice can be based on so many different things. And of course, choosing the right one has a huge impact on the final product.
3. The growing process
This is where a grower gets to really shine – and really find out about how much goes into growing marijuana! Just like any living creature, marijuana plants need food to survive. And your plant babies don’t need just any kind of food, but the right foods to thrive and be deliciously healthy plants. So, the growing process requires a lot of care and attention on the part of the grower.
To successfully pull off a growing operation, a grower needs to think about the growing medium, nutrient feeding and watering, maintaining pH and light schedules – just to name a few. There needs to be a protocol for removing male plants from the garden to prevent pollination (unless they’re desired for breeding).
The key to the really good weed we finally get to smoke as consumers is in the grower. Yes, a good seed is important but a good grower is more important. Being able to efficiently organize yourself as a grower to maintain a marijuana garden isn’t always the easiest task. It requires problem solving abilities and a close attention to detail.
The best weed is grown by those who can observe how the smallest thing changes the outcome of the grow.
The growing process can take up to two months, depending on the seed. A grower has to be able to nourish the plant in all the different parts of its life cycle. As well as effort and attention, a lot of patience goes into growing marijuana.
Growing the weed itself is only half the work (because there’s definitely more than just the grow) but it’s obviously important. As consumers, we don’t often think about the hours of labour that go into the growing process, let alone the expertise and knowledge.
4. The after-growing process
If you’ve never grown weed before, you might think that the buds are harvested and ready to smoke. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Depending on how meticulous a grower wants to be, the “after-grow” can be as long as the grow itself. After harvesting, a lengthy process of drying and curing takes place. That’s how we get buds of the perfect texture: not too dry and not too moist.
The most important thing when it comes to drying and curing is patience. Whether the growing operation is commercial or personal, there is an urge to rush through this stage.
And it’s obvious to see why. After months of tending to plants, growers want to smoke their weed or sell it. That’s the fruit of the labour. But if something goes wrong in the curing process, then the grower risks losing all those months of hard work.
Actually, good quality weed rests a lot on the patience and meticulousness of the grower during the drying and curing stage. Even trimming is important. Did you ever buy weed that had loads of stems and leaves in it? It wasn’t so impressive, was it?
5. Distribution and sale
Once marijuana has been dried and cured, it’s time for it to get on the road. Dispensaries and coffee shops stock their businesses with marijuana that often comes from local licensed growers. The distribution and sale of marijuana rests on a network of businesses, growers and middle-men.
This is how marijuana gets from a garden into your pipe. Once it reaches a dispensary, it is available to the public as medical or recreational marijuana. Those who grow marijuana are often just cannabis enthusiasts trying their luck at selling marijuana under the new world paradigm of legal weed.
6. The final product
The same way fruit is the product of nature’s years of labour, weed is the final product of a grower’s dedication, patience and time.
When you buy weed, you’re not just buying some plant material. You’re buying the time, knowledge and expertise of someone who loves marijuana. You’re buying years of practice and refinement, compacted into a few months of growing, drying and curing that particular plant.
Next time you buy marijuana, think about the person who planted the seed. It will bring whole new meaning to that delicious little bud that you pack into your pipe or joint. And probably a whole new appreciation for it, too!