As a medical marijuana patient, you tend to rely on having a steady supply of cannabis to help you alleviate the symptoms of your condition. This means having to venture out to a dispensary every once in a while to fill up your supply. Depending on your needs, your medication could get expensive. For multiple reasons, many long-term medical cannabis patients have thought about growing their own cannabis plants at one time or another.
Is growing your own cannabis an option available to you in your state? Will it help you maintain a steady supply at a fraction of the cost of cannabis at a dispensary? Is it worth the possibility of not being successful? Here’s what you need to know.
Con: Laws Vary by State
In addition to purchasing medical cannabis products at a dispensary, having a medical marijuana card may also allow you to grow your own cannabis plants at home for personal use. While this isn’t an option everywhere, it’s a legal option available to you in the following states:
However, while you may be legally allowed to grow your own cannabis, it’s still a good idea to research the local laws to determine whether you need a medical card, how many mature plants you are allowed to grow at any given time, and whether you’re allowed to grow indoors or outdoors, and more. Even if your state allows it, you might not be allowed to grow due to your type of housing — condos, apartments, and rental units often have their own individual rules on growing. At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to follow all the relevant laws and regulations.
Pro: It’s Satisfying
If you’ve ever wanted to feel in control of your medical condition and natural treatment plan, growing your own cannabis plants can be immensely satisfying. Plus, studies show that interacting with plants can reduce psychological stress, making the act of growing your own plants even better.
Con: Quality Control
Growing your own plants can give you direct control over what you’re inhaling and/or consuming. You’ll know every mineral, nutrient, and pesticide that is or isn’t in your medicine. That being said, quality control can be tough for a new grower when it comes to ensuring the cannabis you’re growing is medical grade. Just because cannabis is lovingly called “weed” doesn’t mean it grows like one. Cannabis is a finicky plant that requires stringent guidelines to ensure a high-quality bud. Chances are you’re used to a certain potency. After much trial and error with different strains, THC levels, and CBD levels, you’ll find the ideal cannabis treatment for you.
The exact strain and potency you’re used to is grown by a commercial manufacturer with expertise, high-quality equipment, and a high degree of quality control. On the other hand, the cannabis you grow at home may not be as potent or as good at treating your symptoms as the commercial cannabis you’re used to. This can make it a struggle to effectively find symptom relief.
Pro: Saving Money
Depending on how often you need to medicate, medical cannabis can become quite expensive. Of course, it isn’t covered by insurance. In theory, growing your own plants can significantly reduce the cost of treatment. However, you should expect to invest money in supplies and equipment to get started with your new venture. The operational costs can be steep when you consider everything you’ll need to purchase for a successful harvest, from the seeds or clones to the lighting, thermoregulation, electricity, timers, humidity controls, and nutrients.
It can get pricey the first time around, especially if you’re growing indoors. The short-term costs may be worth it for the long-term savings, though, if done successfully.
Con: Steep Learning Curve
Growing cannabis plants is not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to spend considerable time learning about seeds, clones, temperature and humidity control, nutrients, water schedules, pH levels, and light schedules. You’ll need to know about the different stages of flowering and drying and curing.
If you’re growing outside, you’ll also have to contend with bugs, mold, and fungi that could make your entire crop useless by the time the plants are ready. It may seem cheap and easy, but it’s actually pretty difficult to successfully grow high-quality cannabis plants as a beginner. All your efforts could be for naught.
Growing cannabis is a major time sink, too, so make sure you have the time to dedicate to your new hobby before you get started. It definitely isn’t a quick and easy way to replace buying medical-grade cannabis. It’s a big commitment.
Should You Grow Your Own Cannabis?
Ultimately, if it’s legal in your state to do so, the choice is yours. Carefully consider your goals and weigh the pros and cons of home growing. As we’ve mentioned, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it can be rewarding, help you save money, and help ensure you’re always stocked if you commit to it.
If you’re looking to grow your own plants, sign up with Heally to book an appointment with a cannabis-friendly doctor in your state to begin the process of getting your medical marijuana card.
Interested in using cannabis as an alternative treatment? Get your cannabis card with a licensed physician.