Did You Know?
Conventional farmers use around 300 different pesticides to grow foods that are sold in supermarkets everyday.
I have always had a fascination with growing cannabis, maybe because of its underground subculture and its touted medical/recreational benefits. With the legalization of cannabis in Canada as of October 2018, I decided to give it a go. The current legislation in my province (Ontario) permits you to grow up to 4 plants per household, for personal use. Just for the record, I don't use drugs or smoke. I have chronic, severe back pain and I was interested in it as a possible temporary option for pain relief. I ordered some seeds online - a high CBD strain. CBD is a substance produced by the plant that's good for treating discomfort and illness of all kinds. I don't think this is based on hard evidence and there's still a lot of research being done, but when you're in pain, you'd be willing to try anything.
This page chronicles my first attempt at growing this interesting plant.
May 3. A week after germination. The seedling sits on a heat mat and under a grow light most of the day. The stem looks so skinny! For comparison, that's an okra seedling beside it.
May 10. Starting to grow some "true"/recognizable cannabis leaves.
June 12. Transplanted outside in a sunny spot. The plant grew fast - it was the biggest plant in the garden by far. A lot bigger than my tomato plants.
June 23. Lots of leaves and getting quite bushy. It dwarfs the tomato plant in the row beside it.
July 9. I've been fertilizing with compost for the most part. I wish I still raised chickens - the chicken poop with its high nitrogen content would have been awesome fertilizer.
August 3. The plant at its tallest/widest. I "topped it off" (cut the top off) to stop it from growing taller. It was almost like 6 ft. tall at this point, and gets pretty heavy when it's wet - it toppled over after a rainstorm and I had to stake it to a metal rod for support.
August 26. Starting to bud.
September 20. Some of the pistils (white hairs) starting to turn brown.
October 8. Some nice looking buds. The smell is faint, but gets a lot stronger when it's wet (after a rainfall)
October 14. Buds harvested and drying outdoors when the weather's nice. It took a few days to cut and trim all the buds. Be sure to have some rubbing alcohol or other solvents available to clean your hands and tools; the buds are very sticky with resin.
October 18. Buds drying in the "room" when it rains and at night.
October 24. The finished product, curing in airtight jars.
Besides smoking it, you can also use cannabis to make edibles. I tried making cannabis butter ("cannabutter") following a simple recipe I found online.
The solidified butter; it has a gray/green tint to it, smells like weed and goes great with cinnamon raisin toast. Go easy on it, as it can be pretty potent. When eating it - unlike smoking - the effects take a while to kick in and last longer.
EDIT (2020/05): It didn't really do much for the back pain. It might help with acute pain (by numbing the senses) and take the edge off, but there's no lasting relief for chronic pain. As fun as it is to get high and play video games, I don't think I'll grow it anymore.