There are different growth stages of a cannabis plant, with each stage having different requirements. These include water requirements and light cycles. This article covers the various stages of a marijuana life cycle.
What Is a Cannabis Plant?
Cannabis sativa contains psychoactive substances such as THC and other cannabinoids. The trichomes contain cannabinoids. There is a need to know how to grow and harvest the marijuana plant for ideal psychoactive quality.
There are male and female plants. You do not want male pants because when fertilization occurs, it reduces the psychoactive quality of your harvest.
Developments in reproductive biology have enabled the development of feminized seeds. Weed stores sell feminized seeds so that you have only female plants growing. The non-fertilized female plant has higher levels of THC and cannabinoids.
What Are the Different Stages of a Marijuana Plant Grow Cycle?
The marijuana plant growth cycle starts from the seed stage to a fully grown plant with fully developed buds.
The following are the main cannabis growth stages:
- Seed germination stage
- Seedling stage
- Vegetative stage
- Flowering stage
Each stage requires specific environmental and nutritional provisions to complete the plant life cycle. Understanding marijuana plant needs at various stages is critical in producing desirable yields.
Germination will occur within the first seven days. The pistils will emerge during the second week of the cannabis plant life cycle.
You will know that your weed plant is about to flower when buds start to develop at the nodes. These will start developing at four weeks. The cannabis flowers will have white hairs as the buds increase in size.
At five weeks, the buds will thicken, and some will begin emerging from areas such as the main cola. The thickening of your cannabis plants indicates they are getting into full flowering mode.
The following is a detailed outline of the cannabis plant cycle:
This is the first step in growing marijuana. Cannabis seeds need to be mature to germinate.
Mature seeds are shiny and light. They could also appear dark brown and have a rugged feel when touched. Immature seeds are often soft and may be green or white.
Cannabis seed germination requires a wet and dark environment. Many growers use a damp paper towel to wrap the cannabis seeds and place them in a cabinet.
Light and moisture stimulate plant hormones to drive the growth process.
Cotyledon leaves emerge from the stem as the plant grows out of the seed coat. They gather light energy from the sun for nourishment and stability. Once the roots develop, the first true leaves form and the plant goes into the seedling stage.
The germination stage of a weed plant takes between one and seven days.
The cannabis seedling stage is a critical growth stage for the marijuana plant that requires more hours of light, moist soil, and humidity for rapid growth.
Avoid overwatering the cannabis plant in the seedling stage because the root system is yet to develop fully.
The cannabis plant will have the typical cannabis leaves in its seedling stage.
The seedling stage requires special precautions to avoid excess moisture. Too much humidity could cause diseases and mould.
The seedling stage can take 2–3 weeks.
After the seedlings have developed at least seven sets of pointed leaves, they are in the vegetative stage. After moving the plant to a big pot, growth will accelerate. The plant becomes thicker and taller.
The root system develops in preparation or the flowering stage.
At this stage, you can tell the cannabis strain you are growing depending on the pattern on the plant nodes. The Sativa dominant strains have fewer leaves and are lanky. The Indica strain is shorter and denser.
During the vegetative stage, increase the amount of water to meet the plant’s growing demands. Also, consider increasing nutrients and the soil space. The soils should also be well-drained for aeration.
Since the light demands are high, indoor growers should consider an 18-hour light cycle. Although you could adopt a 24-hour light cycle, ideal growth occurs when there are breaks during the light cycle.
The cannabis vegetative growth stage takes 2–8 weeks.
The pre-flowering stage can take anywhere between 7 and 14 days.
You can tell the sex of the plant based on the pre-flowers at the nodes.
The female cannabis plant will have two pistils, the reproductive part of the flower. The male plants will have tiny green sacs that contain pollen around the nodes.
Determining the sex is critical because once the pollen fertilizes the cola of nearby plants, they lose their psychoactive potential. Intersex plants can pollinate themselves, compromising the psychoactive quality of your harvest. Therefore, it becomes essential to get rid of male and intersex plants.
You can push your cannabis plants into the flowering stage by giving them 10–12 hours of darkness. They will enter the flowering stage when they receive less light during the day. However, some types of seeds, like auto-flowering seeds, do not follow a set light schedule but instead go by time. You can buy auto-flowering cannabis seeds online from trusted retailers.
The flowering stage requires warm weather and moderate humidity. You should also provide blooming nutrients intermittently.
The trichomes will likely fall off when the plant grows too long. Consequently, you are likely to have less THC and CBD.
So, how do you know that your plants are ready for harvest? The pistils on the buds will turn reddish orange. The trichome heads will also become milky before turning amber.
Once you reach the harvesting stage, cut the cannabis plant into smaller sections for an easier drying process. The cut parts should then be hung upside down for drying.
Drying helps prevent the growth of fungus, mould and bacteria. Consequently, you give your cannabis a longer shelf life after drying.
You could then allow your cannabis to cure by placing the dried buds in an airtight container. Curing entails ageing your cannabis in a sealed environment to prevent further water loss. Curing builds flavour and the burn quality of your cannabis.
Where to Buy Premium Cannabis Seeds Online in Canada
You can buy cannabis seeds from The Seed Pharm. They have premium cannabis seeds. They also have knowledgeable personnel to help with questions about cannabis seeds.
Feminized seeds ensure that all your plants are females. Consequently, you will not need to identify the sex of your weed plant to get rid of male and intersex plants.
The Seed Pharm has a variety of seeds. All you need to do is contact them with your desired cannabis seed requirements.
Ensure you keep a record of your plant growth stages to track progress. Also, note that the stages outlined here might not match the stages of your marijuana growth cycle due to differences in weather and climatic conditions.
Choosing your seeds wisely could save you some work in the future. For instance, feminized seeds could remove the need to eliminate male and intersex plants.
Learn more about cannabis-related topics at Bulk Weed.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (2021, March 3). The biology of Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabis, hemp, marijuana) – Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Canadian Food Inspection Agency / Agence Canadienne d’inspection des aliments. https://inspection.canada.ca/plant-varieties/plants-with-novel-traits/applicants/directive-94-08/biology-documents/cannabis-sativa-l-/eng/1612447522753/1612447718390#a41
The Seed Pharm. (2023, March 5). Buy Auto-Flowering Cannabis Seeds Online. Available at: https://www.theseedpharm.com/product-category/marijuana-seeds/autoflowering-cannabis-seeds/
Government of Canada. (2022, August 9). Cannabis and its Components. canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/about.html#a1
Weed Smart. (2023, March 5). Canada’s Best Marijuana Dispensary | Online Dispensary Canada. Available at: https://weedsmart.cc/
Llewellyn, D., Golem, S., Foley, E., Dinka, S., Jones, A. M., & Zheng, Y. (2022). Indoor-grown cannabis yield increased proportionally with light intensity, but ultraviolet radiation did not affect yield or cannabinoid content. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2022.974018/full