If You’re Growing Weed, You Need To Know These Terms
There is growing interest in home cultivation of cannabis. If you’re interested in growing your own weed, there are some basic things you need to know. For starters, you should be familiar with the terminology on this list.
Aeration: Making sure that air can move through the soil and get to the roots of your plants.
Aeroponics: A method for growing without soil. Instead, you keep roots suspended in the air, and you feed them by spraying them with water and nutrients.
Amendment: Anything that you add to the soil to change its composition. This could be fertilizer, plant food, or something to change the soil’s texture.
Aroma: The scent of a cannabis plant. Different strains have unique aromas. If you need to keep your growing activity secret, you may need to watch out for plants whose aroma is too strong.
Backcross: When a hybrid cannabis strain is bred with one of its parent plants in order to create a plant that is closer to the original parent strain.
Breed: The process of fertilizing female cannabis plants with pollen from male plants in order to create offspring with certain traits and characteristics.
Bud: The flower of a female cannabis plant. This is what you’re trying to get when growing your own weed.
Bud Blight: A condition that attacks flower buds and can kill your cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids: The chemicals found in cannabis plants that give them their unique properties. These chemicals interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to produce a range of effects. When growing weed, you’re trying to cultivate a rich profile of the most important cannabinoids.
Climate: The overall environment in which your plants grow. To be successful, you need to maintain the right conditions that will help your plant flourish and that will help it avoid disease, mold, and fungus.
Clone: When you take a clipping from a cannabis plant and let it grow its own roots. It’s a method of growing that does not use seeds.
Compaction: When your soil is too tightly packed and air can’t flow well.
Compost: An all-natural form of plant food that’s made when other plant matter decomposes. It’s rich in nutrients and is a great soil amendment.
Crossbreeding: When you breed two different strains to produce a new hybrid strain.
Cross Pollinate: When pollen from a male plant of one strain fertilizes the flowers of a female plant of a different strain. When growing, be sure to keep male and female plants separate to limit cross-pollination.
Cure: After cutting and drying buds, they need to be cured. This maximizes flavor, freshness, and potency. Curing is a key part of the harvesting process.
Dry: Immediately after cutting buds, you need to dry them. This, along with curing, is what makes them smokable.
Fan Leaves: Large leaves on a cannabis plant. They’re relatively low in THC and can sometimes make it hard for air to circulate around your plants. When this happens, you may need to remove some of the largest fan leaves to improve air flow.
Feminized: Seeds that produce only female plants. Since female plants are the ones that produce bud, many growers like using only feminized seeds.
Fertilizer Burn: When you give your plants too much fertilizer, or there’s an imbalance of the nutrients they’re getting, they can get fertilizer burn.
Flowering: The stage in your plant’s life cycle when it begins producing flowers.
Flowers: Female plants produce flowers. If they are fertilized they will produce seeds that can be planted to produce new plants. If not, you can harvest the flowers, dry and cure them, then smoke them.
Fungicide: A product designed to kill fungus or to keep fungus from growing on your plants.
Heirloom: A strain taken from its place of origin and propagated somewhere else without changing its genetics.
Hemp: A fibrous product made from cannabis plants, typically from ruderalis plants. It can be used to make rope, cloth, and other textiles.
Humidity: The amount of moisture in the air. This is a key component of maintaining a good climate for your plants. Humidity needs to be at certain levels during the plant’s life cycle to allow it to stay healthy and to avoid mold or fungus.
Hybrid: A cannabis plant that is a genetic cross between one or more other strains. Very often, a hybrid will bring together indica and sativa strains to produce a mixed range of characteristics.
Hydroponics: A method of growing that does not soil. Instead, roots are suspended in water. If you’re growing hydroponically, you have to deliver oxygen and food directly to the roots through the water.
Hygrometer: A device that measures humidity.
Indica: One of the main types of cannabis. Indica strains typically produce strong body highs. As a pneumonic device remember, “Indica, in da couch.”
Landrace: A local cannabis strain that has adapted to a specific geographic location and has developed its own unique characteristics.
Leggy: A young plant that is malnourished or that is not receiving enough light will become leggy. It will be tall, thin, and will not have enough leaves to survive or become strong.
Lighting: Light is one of the most important aspects of growing weed. As your plants move through the life cycle, they will need varying amounts of light. Growing indoors requires you to have a good lighting system in place.
Nutrients: The minerals and substances a plant needs to grow and produce good bud. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium—typically abbreviated to N-P-K—are the main nutrients a plant needs.
pH: A scale that goes from 1 to 14 to measure the relative acidity of soil, water, and other growing mediums. If you’re growing weed, shoot for pH of 5.5 to 6.8.
Phenotype: A plant’s general physical characteristics, things like color, height, shape, and foliage.
Pistil: Part of a female plant that collects pollen from male plants.
Pollen: In the world of growing weed, pollen refers to two things. First, it’s the yellow, dust-like powder produced by male plants that fertilizes female plants. Second, pollen refers to trichomes that have been collected and separated from the rest of the plant. This can be pressed into hash.
Resin: The substance produced by weed plants that contains most of the cannabinoids, especially THC.
Root Hormone: A hormone used to promote root growth. This is most often used when cloning a plant.
Ruderalis: A class of cannabis plant more commonly known as hemp. Ruderalis plants don’t produce a whole lot of cannabinoids and are typically used to make rope, cloth, and other textiles.
Sativa: One of the main types of cannabis. Sativa strains typically produce strong cerebral highs.
Sea of Green: A method of growing weed where you grow a lot of small plants and harvest them as early as possible. The idea is to try and get a lot of bud quickly rather than grow a few plants all the way to full maturity.
Seed: Mature, fertilized part of a female plant that can be used to grow a new plant. Typically, you only want your plants to produce seeds if you want to grow more plants. If you want to get bud for smoking, you should avoid letting your plants get fertilized, as this will produce flowers with too many seeds.
Stamen: The part of a male plant that produces pollen.
Strain: The ancestry of a particular cannabis plant. When you know the strain of your plant you have a good idea what sort of characteristics it will have.
Taproot: The main root of a cannabis plant. It’s the one that takes in the most nutrients and is essential to how well your plants grow.
THC: Tetrahydrocannibinol. The main psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
Trichome: The glands that produce resin. They look like little hairs with small orbs of milky white resin at their tips.
Ventilation: Circulation of air throughout your growing space. To stay healthy and avoid getting mold or fungus infections, cannabis plants need good ventilation.