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Cannabis Growing Methods

Have you ever wondered why some brands can have such a distinct variation in prices? Often there are an array of factors that can influence the cost of bud! 

Elements like small-batch craft growing, strain genetics and growing methods can greatly influence the final product’s quality and price. Most often, an incredible amount of love and care goes into growing your cannabis and getting it into your hands, especially in the growing phases!

The love a plant is shown as it grows is reflected in the flower’s quality. Plants with more tailored fertilization and light will often be happier than plants treated in a more extensive assembly line. While larger growers aren’t by any means bad, the scale of their production can seriously hamper the development of premium and pristine nugs. 

While popcorn-y buds can come from some plant genetics and are more common in certain regions of the planet, pushing a plant to flower too quickly can also lead to this. A huge beautiful bud can take as long as 7 months to grow, depending on the growing method and the genetics of the plant. That’s a lot of work!

The Most Common Growing Methods For Cannabis Dispensaries

The Hydroponic Growing Method

Hydroponic growing involves suspending the plant in water through a thin layer of growing medium (like clay pebbles, rockwool, or a thin layer of soil, for example). This allows the plant’s roots to always sit in the water and easily absorb nutrients. 

This water is flowing, filtered, oxygenated, and consistently tested for variations in water pH, nutrient content, and other variables. There are many pros to this method of growing, such as how easy it is to correct mistakes in fertilization by flushing the water system and how many plants can be tended to at once without spending a massive amount of time monitoring the needs of each plant individually. 

In theory, all plants treated equally should all produce more or less equal amounts of flowers. While this is often done on a large commercial scale, hydroponic growing can also be done on a smaller and more craft level. It is generally considered a faster and more precise method of growing that can produce some incredible products with fantastic turnaround rates. 

Most of the Organigram brands, like Edison, use this method, and it is extremely common among growers, making for bud that is easy to access, reliably present, and affordable for the consumer.

The Soil Growing Method

The second most common method of growing is simply through the soil. Many of the Licensed Producers (LPs, or Brands) that grow using this method produce flowers in smaller “craft” batches. This method generally takes longer to do and requires more experience to create a more complex growing medium tailored to the plant’s needs. 

A local company based out of Salt Spring Island called Good Buds boasts that their plants are grown outdoor in living soil, and the quality and scarcity of their flower is a testament to that time and effort put in to maximize each cola for the consumer. Because the plants cannot be precisely tailored to in soil like they can through a hydroponic system, they are thought to develop more nuanced and character in their high and flavour due to the profile of soil found only on Salt Spring Island. 

Soil grown brands can be pricey because of the unique challenges that come with soil-based growth and professionals’ experience to maintain the plants. 

While challenges can occur with any growth method, this one is the most difficult to repair. Many soil-grown brands also rotate between greenhouses and outdoor growth, which demands an extra degree of vigilance against pests.


The Aquaponics Growing Method 

There are rarer methods still for growing cannabis. One that is beginning to be examined by LPs is taken directly from industrial farming: aquaponics. This method involves creating an almost entirely closed system—meaning one that is generally not influenced by outside hands—of organic growing using a hydroponic system that is populated by fish. 

Brands like Habitat are achieving this using Coho Salmon, whereas most industrial farms will farm fish like Tilapia for the meat industry. The gist of this method is that the plants feed the fish—but keep in mind that the humans growing the plants are also feeding the fish and providing them with a rich and nutritious diet so that their wastes can then fertilize the plants. This method can grow plants as quickly as hydroponics, but the flower quality is considered a higher grade due to the fertilizer’s nuance. 

The fish’s health often reflects the health of the plants, and it requires a great deal of work to monitor this tiny ecosystem to ensure it is at optimal health.

Aquaponically grown brands tend to be more expensive due to the type of expertise required to effectively achieve good growth, because it demands an understanding of both agriculture and aquaculture.

The Aeroponics Growing Method 

Finally, the rarest of the cannabis grow methods is aeroponics, wherein the plant is grown entirely without a medium. The plant is kept in a highly controlled environment, often stored vertically, with the roots completely exposed. These plant roots are sprayed with water and nutrients. This method can give growers extremely precise data as to exactly how much their plants are consuming, allowing them to fine-tune their growth to the degree that hydroponics could only dream of doing. 

Because of the expense of these setups, they can also influence the cost of the flower. That being said, the amount of fine-tuned control that LPs have over their plant growth using aeroponics has the potential to create a truly craft bud with maximized ideal terpene and cannabinoid output. The industry is still a way out from looking at this method as a normal growing option, but it may become more cost-effective over time. Recent innovations seem to be paving the way for this to become an industry-standard method of growing.

Visit Our Calgary Dispensary For More Growing Information

Curious about trying to grow yourself? Our Calgary dispensary carries two seed cultivars! Pink Lemonade is a decadent hybrid that smells of tea and tastes of dank bitter lemons, with a heavy sativa lean for a fun and energetic high. We also stock Triple Scoop, an incredibly tasty strain with a flavour profile of citrus and fruit with a smooth and creamy finish; with an indica lean, it’s a fun hybrid for a lazy high. In addition, some of our staff have experience with caring for our own cannabis cultivars—come give us a holler!

Bud Bar is your trusted Calgary dispensary. We pride ourselves on creating an open and welcoming environment where you are comfortable and safe access to recreational cannabis. We set ourselves apart with personalized customer service with our budtenders providing one-on-one sessions so that you can learn about our cannabis products and accessories. We offer a selection of high quality yet affordable products, including flower buds, pre-rolls, oils, capsules, as well as accessories like vaporizers, bongs, and pipes. As your trusted Calgary marijuana dispensary, we can make it easy and safe for you to get recreational cannabis. Visit our marijuana stores in Calgary Northwest today, or place an order online!