Let's face it – weed is expensive, especially for heavy cannabis consumers. A joint here and a puff there won't kill your wallet, but for the dedicated stoners out there the cost of weed really adds up. So what's the solution for daily smokers who want to save money without cutting back on the green? Growing weed at home, of course! Just choose your favorite strain, buy some seeds, and get started on the most cost-effective way of sustaining a cannabis habit.
But what are the costs of home growing marijuana and are they worth it? After all, dispensary weed is right there for the taking and almost always stronger than what you can grow at home. The problem? It's also more expensive! By growing your own weed you can save money and learn a useful skill along the way. But before you get outside to start digging make sure to read through Leafbuyer's breakdown of the costs of home growing marijuana.
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Seeds and Starts
If you're wondering where to start with your homegrown cannabis endeavor then you should probably consider the most important part: the cannabis, of course! You're going to need weed to grow weed, after all. And lucky for you, it's pretty easy to buy the seeds and starts for home growing marijuana.
But what does it cost for the most basic necessity for growing weed? That really depends on what stage you want to start from. Cannabis seeds aren't all that expensive and you can even save yourself the effort of going to your local dispensary and just find them online! The seeds usually range between $10 to $12 and are by far the most affordable way to get your cannabis garden started. The only problem with starting from seed is the high likelihood of male plants showing up in your grow.
Marijuana starts, on the other hand, are already (as the name implies) started for you and are guaranteed to be feminized! By skipping the seeds and going straight to pre-grown plants (also called clones) you save time. You'll probably end up spending at least $15 on a start but it's well worth the money if growing seeds from scratch doesn't sound ideal. Some more developed clones will be more expensive and less developed ones will go for a bit less. Either way, the weed itself is far from the most expensive part of home growing marijuana.
While gardening is a common enough hobby, few prospective cannabis cultivators start their home grow with all the gardening supplies they need. Maybe you have a shovel and a watering can (which is great) but you also need everything else!
From pots to soil to all the odds and ends in-between, you're looking at a pretty penny. But how much can growing supplies really cut into the costs of home growing marijuana? That really depends on how many of these items you have on hand. A growing pot is a must since growing cannabis straight in the ground is pretty difficult to pull off. You'll want any size between 20 to 40 gallons and should be willing to pay around $20 per pot.
If times are tight you can always follow Leafbuyer's DIY growing pot guide to save a few bucks! Next, you'll need soil, enough to fill your pot(s). Quality can vary greatly when it comes to growing soil and you can end up spending anywhere from $10 to $25 per bag depending on your price range.
Water and Electricity
An often-overlooked expense of home growing cannabis is the water and electricity it takes to get the plants through their growth cycle. If you're growing outdoors then the electricity won't be an issue, but don't underestimate how high your water bill can get! If you've chosen to do an indoor grow, then be prepared to shell out some serious cash on a lighting system since they range from a few hundred to nearly a thousand dollars. And that's before the electricity bill! All that money for indoor lighting really isn't comparable to the cost of home growing marijuana outside with a little extra water. The cheaper option for growing cannabis is definitely outdoors – unless you already have lighting, that is!
Nutrients are a crucial part of any cannabis grow, indoor or outdoor. In fact, it's hard to get a really good cannabis grow without fiddling around with the plant's nutrients. From start to finish you're going to need to supplement your weed's diet with everything from magnesium to nitrogen. So get online and look into what nutrients your cannabis plants need at what time and remember that while cheaper options are tempting, there's a reason they're not as expensive. Organic, natural nutrients are much better for growing high quality cannabis plants. Expect to spend $30 per container for high quality nutrients and $10 for something a little less fancy. Either way, you can't grow weed without the right kind of feed so don't skimp out on this expense.
While you won't always need pesticides it's good to factor them into the costs of home growing marijuana just in case. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry! And with so many different kinds of pests and critters that can ruin a perfectly good cannabis crop, it pays to be prepared.
Again, organic and natural pesticides are essential for a high-quality grow. If you're comfortable using chemical-filled pesticides on your own personal grow then that's your prerogative, but when natural pesticides are so easy to come by and so effective there's really no excuse. Either way, just make sure you read the label and follow it to the T! Pesticides cost anywhere from $10 to $30, again depending on the quality of your chosen products.
The costs of home growing marijuana don't stop when the growing season does – after all, you still have to dry, trim, and cure all your hard-earned bud! At the very least you'll need some trimming clippers since scissors don't work nearly as well. These go for $20 but chances are you can find a deal online (if you're thrifty, that is). Once your cannabis is trimmed the right way it still needs to be cured in airtight containers. While you can buy specific cannabis curing equipment, mason jars work equally well for this step and are significantly cheaper. Depending on how successful your grow is you could spend as low as $10 on all the curing containers.
Permits and Paperwork
One of the sneaky, hidden costs of home growing marijuana comes in the form of legal mumbo jumbo (also known as permits and paperwork). Depending on where you live this may or may not be an expense you face for growing your own weed. In an ideal world, you could plant whatever you want without worrying about being fined, but that just isn't the case for cannabis. Look into your local laws for cannabis cultivation and make sure to get all your legalities sorted before investing in anything else!
Overall Cost of Home Growing Marijuana
If you're growing your own cannabis, then chances are you're not a casual cannabis enthusiast. To sustain a weed habit of moderate to heavy consumption you'll need at least three big plants (and that's assuming you aren't planning on sharing any) to get you through an entire year. A heavy cannabis user should probably grow five plants if they want to stay comfortably high until the next growing cycle. That means five plants, five pots, five times the soil, and so on.
Since the costs of home growing marijuana can vary so much depending on where you live, what quality supplies you're using, and how frugal you've been, it's hard to say exactly how much you'll spend. That said, a cannabis consumer growing on a budget should expect to spend around $600 to grow enough weed to last the year out. While this may sound like a lot of money upfront, remember just how expensive store-bought weed can be! $500 spent on weed over the course of a year, especially for a heavy pot smoker, is actually a pretty great deal. So, do the costs of home growing marijuana outweigh the benefits? That's entirely up to you!