Happy new year everyone! With the stress of the holidays behind us it’s time to focus on the future and as we explore new hobbies and interests for ourselves. As cannabis and hemp reform laws are passed around the country, many are being introduced to the diverse benefits of the plant for the first time. 2019 promises to be an exciting year for cannabis not just as an industry but as a lifestyle with seemingly endless possibilities to explore. Whether you are a cannabis veteran or just someone curious about that “CBD“-thing you keep hearing about one thing is for sure; if you have a backyard you should grow some pot.
Growing Cannabis Outdoors is a Low Stress Hobby
In our daily lives of crowded schedules and crowded work places we all crave an escape to a low-stress environment. Some will sign up for a gym, some will take music lessons; few will maintain these new found hobbies for more than a couple of months. Why is this? These hobbies are stressful; they require lots of human interaction, being set to a specific schedule, and having specific social expectations set on oneself. Is this really an escape?
Growing cannabis outdoors is different than most hobbies. While musicians stare at a metronome and athletes count calories, weights, and work out schedules, the outdoor cannabis grower allows nature to do most of the work for them while asking for little in return. An outdoor cannabis grower will spend a day prepping their soil in early spring, a day in April or May purchasing their clones, ocaisional checkups in spring and summer, and a few days of harvesting and processing in fall. Outdoor cannabis growing is a low stress, low commitment, hobby where most of your time is spent outdoors in a quiet environment taking in the beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers.
Outdoor Cannabis Growing is an Inexpensive Hobby that can Potentially Save You Money
Most new hobbies require a substantial investment just to get started and most beginners will give up within a few months; there is very little return in the investment. This is not the case with growing cannabis in your backyard; it is a low cost, passive hobby and a first time grower is almost certain to yield a decent harvest. If you can grow tomatoes, collards, or kale, you can grow cannabis. If you have not grown tomatoes, collards, or kale, you should consider planting some alongside your medicine.
A single cannabis clone can cost as little as $8 on the current market, and premium clones are almost always under $20 per plant; with the 6 plant limit set in California you are unlikely to spend more than $150 on plants per year. Assuming you have decent soil with access to sunlight, expect to spend around $20-$100 on nutrients, and fresh earth; a set of pruners, trimmers, a drying rack, and mason jars for storage can be found for under $100. A first year cannabis grower can get started for as low as $100 (1 plant, basic nutrients and harvesting tools) and shouldn’t spend much more than $250 (6 plants, basic nutrients and tools); about the cost of a few music lessons or gym sessions, or a nice meal with drinks for 2.
Despite cannabis’ newfound status as a legal drug for adult use in the state of California, it is still expensive to get the medicine you want. For the last 20 years, cannabis flowers have somehow managed to remain at an average $40 for an 1/8 of an ounce. A single, $16 cannabis clone can easily yield 28 ounces of flower which is $1.75/ounce, or $.22/per eighth; with a little labor and initial entry expenses, you are paying 1/181th the price of cannabis on the open market. The average consumer of cannabis, whether for medicine or recreation, will spend $181 to get what the home grower gets for $1. Six plants of cannabis can yield over 8 lbs. of dried cannabis flowers, more than enough for one grower to provide for several consumers until the following year’s harvest.
You Will be in Control of your Medicine
One of the the unfortunate results of gradual legalization and regulation is volatility in the market; your favorite cannabis product may disappear overnight due to a number of factors outside of your control. For those who just want to get high and have the finances to do so this is acceptable; for those on a budget or with specific medicinal needs this could be the difference between living a happy, productive life or one of living in debt to pharmaceutical companies and credit cards.
Choice of Strains
It’s true, outdoor growers will never have the diversity of strains available to grow that indoor growers, with their highly controlled environments, have. Having said that; dipsensaries and nurseries that carry clones will almost always have a selection that includes sativa, indica, hybrids, and even CBD plants suitable for outdoor growing. Growing your own cannabis means having an abundance of the strains that you grow; your dispensary may run out of your favorite remedy but the home grower will always have an extra stash of what they need.
Processing is Easier than Ever
One of the great benefits of legalization is the sheer number of cannabis products available on the market to address an increasing number of symptoms that it can treat. As an unstable market is filled with new tinctures, oils, salves, edibles, topicals, and vapables the threat of having ones favorite product removed from the market is always present. Fortunately, thanks to inventions like the Magical Butter Machine and electric kitchen distillers, making high quality cannabis products at home is now largely automated and requires very little skill. With about $200 of specialized equipment and a little kitchen knowledge, the average person will be able to create and control their own medication with such abundance and specification that they will not have to worry about running out before their next paycheck or wait on the dispensary’s next delivery.
Growing Your Own Cannabis is the Environmentally Sustainable Choice
Let’s face it; between stories about China not buying the US’s recyclable waste, plastic being found in every sea mammal, how we only have about 10 years left before global climate change becomes an irreversible death-spiral, and how our governments refuse to take action, many citizens are wondering how they can reduce their impact on the environment and cannabis consumers should be no different. If you are an Earth-consious cannabis consumer with the resources to grow your own cannabis, it is your moral imperative to do so.
Legal Cannabis Farms are not Guaranteed to be Environmentally Friendly
We already know that large, unregulated (illegal) outdoor cannabis grows cause harm to the environment from the excessive trash, water sources being diverted, and lack of consideration of erosion or long term effects on the soil. Sadly, these illegal grows are often in the most beautiful natural settings found in Northern California. Legal commercial farms? Sadly, even lawfully regulated commercial cannabis grows have a problem being good stewards of the environment.
Too Much Packaging in Commercial Cannabis
Let’s face it; there is too much packaging in legalized cannabis. It’s true, the tamper-proof packaging is meant to protect children which is a noble cause but there is quite a bit of hypocrisy of a culture that demands children be protected from cannabis while feeding those same children the garbage known as fast food followed up with a tide pod for dessert.
Reducing Your Environmental Footprint
Growing cannabis in your backyard not reduces the packaging and of commercial cannabis, it is much more enviromentally friendly than indoor grows which require massive amounts of electricity and nutritional supplaments (which also come in plastic!). The backyard cannabis grower reduces their environmental impact by using the sun for light and the soil for nutrients; no plastic involved in what nature provides. All that packaging involved in commercial cannabis? Mason jars are an innexpensive, versatile, re-usable and recylcable, environmentally friendly way to store you medicine.
It’s Time You Started Growing Cannabis
In our modern world full of uncertainties and anxieties it seems more and more people are looking for an escape, a relief from constant background-noise and busy schedules that never seem let up. We seek purpose in our life, something beyond sitting in a car for an hour only to sit in an an office for 10 hours only to sit in a car for another hour to simply get home, spend a few hours watching television, then fall asleep only to repeat the cycle the next day. Cannabis is not the answer for all of our problems but it can help relieve us of pains both physical and emotional, it can help get us back to the rhythms of nature and build communities, it can wounds that we have forgotten that we are suffering from. Cannabis is perhaps one of the most versatile, useful plants that nature has ever given us, cannabis is for everyone. It’s 2019; got a backyard? You should grow some pot.