By: Phunny Pharmer
So you want to grow cannabis, but don’t really know where to start.
Like so many things now days there is an overabundance of information available on what to do and how to get started. Sifting through the information alone can be a daunting task. So I am going to share with you some of my experiences. I started growing cannabis in 1995 after purchasing my first (and last) $400 ounce. In the past 20 years I have grown from seed and clone, I have grown using multiple hydroponics methods as well a wide range of soil. I have read books, studied a master’s thesis and even dabbled in breeding in the early 2000’s. I was playing with deep water culture before it was “DWC” and used SCROG (screen of green) while people were still amazed by SOG (sea of green). I played with making plant trimmers out of the old flow bee hair sheers (silly I know), and even looked into fiber optics to relocate light at specific points in grow rooms. The bottom line here is I have done, attempted, and seen A LOT, some successfully, some not so successfully.
Let’s start with obtaining genetics. There are really only two ways to go about this; sexual reproduction (seeds), and asexual reproduction (clones or tissue samples). For the sake of this article I am going to talk about seeds. The choice to grow from seed can be a calculated one or a practical one, whatever your reason I highly recommend that you try to grow from seed at least once. There is something rewarding about watching your little sprout grow to a beautiful flowering plant.
The most common way to obtain seeds is from a purchased bag of your favorite strain. This doesn’t happen very often in a well controlled grow operation, but it can and does happen. This “bag seed” is where most people start out, I am no exception. This can be a great way to play around with seed germinating without having to worry about success rates after just paying $100 or more for as few as 5 seeds. A funny side story about bag seed, I once dumped a ¼ oz of seeds around the Denver International Airport in the late 90’s. Some friends of mine told me later that year that a few hundred of them had sprouted. Good Times!
The best way to take advantage of current technology and state of the cannabis industry is to use online seedbanks. I must warn you though Caveat Emptor. Always do your homework when looking at a seedbank purchase. There are some seedbanks that simply never send you anything. Then there are times when customs confiscates your little beans. Also another issue is poorly packaged seeds that arrive crushed and no longer viable. The best place to start with this is an online seedbank review. This is the one that I go to first http://www.seedbankreview.com/. I also like to use this one http://en.seedfinder.eu/seedbanks/reviews/. As an added bonus the seed finder site allows you to track strain genetics and if you are like me and want to get all nerdy with your knowledge then this site will provide hours of research.
It is best to take the reviews with a grain of salt, because like any industry, there are people out there that are always playing dirty and trying to ruin the reputation of others. I have used seedbanks such as BC Budd pot with no problems, while they have a lot of bad reviews. They had what I wanted so I made a small order. After a phone call to make sure my order would go through I was reassured that it would go out in a few days. It did, and I received my 10 Willie Nelson seeds by Reefer man with no issues.
One of the best strains I am currently running is Blush Bush by Freedom of Seeds. This was given to me as a freebie from a World of seeds order of Orange Creamcicle by MTG. It seemed a little hokey dealing with WOS (world of seeds) because he had just been hacked and it caused some tech problems for him. He emailed me immediately and we worked out the kinks and before I knew it my seeds were in my mail box. I highly recommend this place for landrace genetics if you want to start a breeding project.
My current favorite seedbank is Seeds man. I have placed multiple orders with them and never had an issue. They also offer discounts for cash or bit coin but take credit card payments as well. They also have a filter search function that allows you to sort through the overwhelming number of varieties available according to what your grow space and personal taste reflect. Seeds man like many other seedbanks also gives out great freebies.
Something work mentioning here is some seedbanks guarantee their shipments (seeds man is one). These banks are always a little more spendy, but to me completely worth it. While I have never run into any real problems I have known people to place orders and only receive a card from US Customs that says “Thank you for your donation.”. Should something like that happen to you, it would be nice to have a guarantee that you will get another shipment.
Below is a list of seedbanks that I have personally ordered from with no problems:
- Seeds man
- World of seeds
- Gorilla seeds
- Herbies head shop
- Golden seed
- Buy Dutch Seeds
- BC Bud Depot
- Seed Boutique
Always contact the seedbank if you feel like you have any issues such as long delays. Keep in mind that most of these seedbanks are overseas so it takes awhile to get the package.