How Long Does it Take Marijuana to Grow (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3-7 months

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug commonly used for recreational as well as medicinal purposes. Marijuana is also known by other colloquial names like cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, etc. Dried Cannabis Sativa leaves, buds, and stems are used to make marijuana joints and cigarettes.

Some people smoke marijuana through dry pipes called bongs. Marijuana edibles like the herb-infused tea or pot brownies are also common. Smoking marijuana is often met with strong social disapproval as the drug is infamous for its addictive properties. Although marijuana is illegal in most countries around the world, a few nations have legalized its medicinal usage. The drug is often prescribed as a palliative medicine for patients with chronic pain.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Marijuana?

Growing a marijuana plant is a complex procedure. Nurturing the cannabis plant through the various stages of growth is a time-consuming task. A marijuana plant requires optimal light exposure to flourish and grow. Most marijuana strains require a 12-hour light cycle during their growth phase. The time taken by a marijuana plant to grow will be determined by the climatic conditions under which the plant flourishes.

Indoor marijuana plants take a shorter period of time to flourish and flower. The optimized indoor lighting conditions facilitate a fast-paced growth cycle for the marijuana plant. Therefore, in the regulated indoor conditions, the germination process will be completed within merely a week’s time. This will be followed by the vegetative phase lasting for about 4-8 weeks. Finally, the indoor marijuana plant will enter into the flowering, harvesting, and curing phases -each lasting a couple of weeks. Thus, an indoor marijuana plant can produce buds that can be smoked within a time frame of about 3-3.5 months.

On the other hand, growing marijuana in natural conditions –outdoors- tends to generally prolong the period of growth. An outdoor marijuana plant will reach the flowering stage in about 12 weeks. Buds of the outdoor plants can be dried and smoked within a span of 5-7 months. This is a significant increase in the duration of growth as compared to the indoor marijuana plants. Moreover, marijuana cultivation outdoor in regions other than the tropical ones must be postponed until the autumn season to witness the flowering stage.  

Apart from these pivotal factors, the marijuana strain used in the cultivation process is also decisive. Certain fast-growing strains -like the Northern Lights- are known to enhance the budding pace of the plant, while others -like Cannabis Indica- are known to be slow bloomers.

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In Summary:

Conditions of CultivationTime Taken to Grow
Indoor Cultivation3-3.5 months
Outdoor Cultivation5-7 months

Why Does it Take This Long to Grow Marijuana?

There are several factors responsible for the difference in the growth phases of indoor and outdoor marijuana plants. All plants grow with the help of photosynthesis. Ideal conditions for the process necessitate the presence of optimal humidity, sunlight, temperature, and nutrients. All these factors can be regulated in a controlled indoor setting.

Optimal lighting is the most important element that affects the plant’s pace of growth. Without adequate lighting, a marijuana plant cannot flourish. The indoor settings allow the cultivator to regulate the lighting conditions of the room with the help of artificial lights like LEDs, CFLs, etc. The favored 12-hour light cycle needed by a marijuana plant can be facilitated in an indoor setting.

Similarly, humidity and temperature can also be regulated with the help of technological tools and equipment. All these factors help abridge the time span of growth when the plant is cultivated indoors.

However, in outdoor settings, it is not possible to optimally regulate natural sunlight. Temperature and humidity also remain beyond the confines of the cultivator’s control. The choice of soil is also limited in the outdoor environment, while it is subject to the cultivator’s choice in the indoor settings.

It becomes almost impossible to influence the regular developmental pace of a cannabis strain in the natural environment. Thus, invariably outdoor marijuana cultivations take longer than their indoor counterparts. The only alternative is to use a relatively faster-growing marijuana strain. Marginally swifter harvests of the produce can be secured in the outdoor settings by using some of the faster-growing strains like the Northern Lights and others.

Conclusion

The growth of a marijuana plant will be determined by the climatic, genetic, and methodical elements included in the process of its cultivation. Patience is the key ingredient when undertaking marijuana cultivation. Whether the plant is cultivated indoors or outdoors, special care must be taken to vigilantly assess the changing needs of the plant as it passes through the various phases of growth.

By remaining diligent and patient during the cultivation and curing stages, one can master the complex process quite sufficiently. Thus, cultivating marijuana plants indoors offers the possibility of a shorter growth period, while those cultivated outside have an extended period of growth and development.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15459624.2013.831986
  2. http://humboldt-dspace.calstate.edu/handle/2148/978

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