Demand for medical cannabis has, for the last decade, skyrocketed due to the legalization of the marijuana plant. With more medical professionals advocating for the use of the drug to minimize pain, investors have flocked the market looking for the best quality product. With this advantage, dispensaries have increased as the need arises. On the other hand, growers have a hard time getting it right with marijuana in the market, as the quality most have been able to breed is not to standard. Medical cannabis grow room setups are necessary to make the growing process easier and also ensure that costly mistakes are eliminated down the road.
Selecting a Location
The first step is determining the size of the room that will accommodate all the plants until harvesting time. Try to find smaller rooms as it’s easier to control temperature and humidity. Ideally, two rooms will be necessary for the process, the 1st room for vegetative growth for rooting and mother plants, and the 2nd room for flowering. Have the rooms professionally built, as the biggest issue will be heat. Cleanliness is paramount to keep diseases away, and a smooth floor for easier cleaning is necessary. Good drainage will come in handy in watering and fumigating the room after harvesting to get it ready for the next batch.
Humidity is the most important aspect to control for the best growing environment for medical cannabis. Humidity in the room is determined by the amount of water in the air at a given temperature. Technically warm air holds more moisture than cold air. The different stages of the plant life-cycle will have different needs and consider nutrients, watering mechanisms, and lighting.
Stages of the Plant Cycle
There are four stages of the marijuana life cycle:
- Seedling stage
- Vegetation period
- Flowering period
- Late flowering stage
The seedling stage starts with high humidity of 65-70%. As the stages progress, so does the need to lower humidity in the rooms to 50% humidity for the vegetation period, 40% for the flowering stage, and 30-40% humidity for the late flowering stage, which occurs two weeks before harvesting.
Humidity and Temperature
Lighting and ventilation will determine the overall humidity and temperature of the room setup, and control of these are very important to the success of your grow room. To lower humidity, place the vents higher and in line with the airflow fans to increase the supply of fresh air into the room. Water the plants right after lights are on, when the room is coolest. However, a dehumidifier will work well to eliminate the process. To lower temperatures, increase airflow in the growing room. Keep the light off during the day and consider using a cooling tube. Installation of an air conditioning unit is ideal for easier control. Raising humidity is easier as a spray bottle with water is all it takes to keep the air moisturized. Raising temperatures is also easy as all is needed is changing the lighting to one with more watts.
Keeping the right temperature and humidity is vital even in the drying process for high-quality cannabis. Too much will encourage the growth of molds leading to poor quality cannabis. Curing leads to a mild-tasting marijuana product when the chlorophyll in the plant is broken down. When wet trimming, the first thing to establish quality is checking the sticky and wet buds. Control the drying process to avoid wet contamination. Wet trimming buds contain lower cannabinoid levels, perfect for edibles. Dry trimming is ideal for large amounts of cannabis plants with little time for drying. The plants are usually cut and dried in hanging lines until they are completely dry. Use a drying room for the wet and dry trimming processes. A cool environment with temperatures between 60-70°F and humidity of not more than 50% is ideal. Dry under shades in dark rooms as drying in sunlight will reduce quality.
During the drying process, check on the plants daily to ascertain their progress. With every check, properly inspect the plants’ dryness level though they should be drier with subsequent checks. To test if they have been appropriately cured, try cutting one lightly, and it should snap right off without resistance. Any resistance and bending or twisting leaving the skin off means that water is still present in the plant, and more time is necessary to cure it completely.