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The cannabis plant is cultivated for a variety of reason ranging from recreational smoking or ingestion, medicinal use in pain relief to the production of hemp. Typically a dioecious (each individual is either male or female), annual plant it needs certain conditions to thrive. These include light, warmth, water, nutrients and growing medium.

Plants are either grown indoors with the use of artificial lighting or outdoors using sunlight. While typically more expensive due to high electrical costs, indoor grows can be manipulated to the growers preferences such as increasing light times, thereby speeding up the germination to flowering period.


The plant passes through various stages during its growth cycle starting with germination and on into the seedling phase followed by the vegetative phase and finally the flowering phase. Once the plant has reached the flowering phase the grower will watch for signs of maturity signaling the time to harvest. Signals to look out for are typically the changing colours of the pistils and trichomes. As the plant reaches maturity the pistils change from white to a rusty red or brown. During the same period the trichomes change from clear to milky white to a golden amber. As this happens the THC begins to break down and turns into another chemical compound called cannabinol, or CBN, in a process known as oxidization. Higher levels of CBN tend to provide a more narcotic or “stoned” feeling, while THC delivers a more euphoric, upbeat “high”.

Female vs. Male


Additional Resources