WHEN RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA becomes legal in Oregon in July 2015, each household will be able to grow up to four plants. While plenty of people will be content with store-bought bud, harvesting one's own seems to fit in with a particularly Portlandian mentality. After all, this is a city of gardeners.
So maybe you'll decide to start growing for yourself, because c'mon, it's just a plant. A weed, in fact! And it's far less expensive. Let's look at the most basic first steps—the genetics of your plant(s), and the form in which they arrive.
Start by deciding what type of cannabis you want to grow. If you have sleep issues, pain management concerns, or are one uptight, stressed-out, Type A++ piece of work, you'll want an indica-dominant strain. If you're seeking support for creative endeavors, need to clean the house, or want to avoid the dreaded couch-lock syndrome, go with sativa-dominant strains.
You can research the lineage and effects of most any strain using the web. Just type in the strain name and "marijuana," and you'll get more than enough information on the strains you are interested in growing. Where it gets trickier is the form in which you obtain that strain. You'll need to decide if you want to grow from seed or clone, and if by seed, what type.
A clone is nothing more than a cutting taken off a plant—in this case, you'll want a female plant—that is an exact genetic replica. With a razor blade, some rooting compound, and a little patience, you'll soon have a plant that's ready to grow. Clones can be acquired from a friend who has a strain you want to try, by visiting a local dispensary, or even via delivery services.
Or you can grow from seed, where the options can get confusing. A few dispensaries around town currently carry seeds, but for the widest selection you'll need to order from a "Seed Bank." These are businesses that provide viable seeds in several forms.
Regular seeds: Sold in packs of five or 10, these are seeds that may be male or female. You want the female, but won't know what you have until you sprout them and grow them out long enough to determine the sex. With better seed banks, you can expect at least 50 percent of the seeds to be female.
Feminized: These are seeds that have been manipulated to always produce female plants. The tradeoff is yield and potency, both of which can be diminished. Some seed banks have addressed this issue and insist that obstacle has been overcome.
Auto flower: These are seeds that have been developed to grow into female plants that don't require switching your light cycle. Once sprouted, they grow until they automatically flower, making your job that much easier. While the yield is good, the potency is lacking for certain strains.
Always research seed banks and strains before investing, and then get to growing. Some of the most rewarding cannabis you can enjoy comes from your own garden.