Although medical marijuana was legalized in Alabama in 2021, there have been delays to the rollout of the program, which means it is still difficult for registered medical users to access a safe, legal supply at this time. Despite recreational cannabis use and cultivation for any purpose remaining illegal, the recent changes to marijuana laws passed by the state should give legalization advocates hope that sunnier days are ahead. Read on to learn about the differences between THC and CBD, the different types of seeds you can purchase, and things you should keep in mind as a grower.
The State of Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Auburn
While Alabama has made some progressive steps forward regarding marijuana over the last few years, the state has maintained strict laws against; growing for any reason, as well as the use of recreational cannabis.
In the interest of public health, some changes were made to the state’s marijuana laws, which allowed physicians to recommend patients with a qualifying medical condition to register for a state-issued medical marijuana card to purchase medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary. Unfortunately, those hoping to use recreational marijuana or grow plants (even on their private property) risk fines, a suspension of their driver’s license, and even jail time.
While medical marijuana was legalized by state lawmakers for patients with qualifying, debilitating medical conditions back in 2021, there have been numerous setbacks and delays to the rollout of the program. Patients hoping to legally purchase products from medical dispensaries have been forced to wait as the awarding of licenses by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has been halted by legal proceedings.
Something interesting to note: smoking, vaping, or consuming raw flower is illegal, even for registered patients. Medical cannabis is only allowed to be consumed in the following forms:
- Capsule, oral tablet, or tincture
- Non-sugar coated gelatinous cube, or lozenge
- Oil, gel, cream, or similar topical forms
- Transdermal patch
- Oil or liquid only for an inhaler
A regulated cannabis market would give users a safe, stable supply as opposed to the black market and one can only hope that the state’s stance on the cultivation of plants will also relax over time. Hopefully, for the residents of Auburn, this is merely a question of when and not if.
Growing Plants in Auburn
While growing and cultivating marijuana plants in Alabama is illegal, the possession of cannabis seeds is legal throughout America. That means that there are no laws prohibiting the possession of seeds in Auburn! Grower’s Choice Seeds’ Blog is a great knowledge base for new or experienced growers hoping to brush up on their skills.
Why Buy or Grow Marijuana?
Users often associate the cannabis industry with various potential benefits to both the physical body and to one’s mental health. In either case, there are a myriad of strains that specialize in one, the other, or both and consumers are spoiled for choice in the range of products at their disposal.
Effects of THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Strains that have high THC content are used to induce a particular feeling such as helping with focus, increasing one’s energy, or helping to induce sleepiness or relaxation. These strains are further broken into ‘sativas’ which primarily help with alertness and providing focus, and ‘indicas’ which help users relax and fall asleep.
Sour Diesel is a popular sativa with high THC content – it helps elevate one’s mood and promotes a happy feeling for users. On the other end of the THC spectrum is an indica like Purple Kush which brings about feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, beware of the munchies with this one!
Effects of CBD
Plants with high CBD (cannabidiol) content typically have a more subtle effect on the body. Users may find that they don’t feel any changes cognitively and the ‘body high’ is lessened with these strains. That’s not to say that CBD does not have any effect as many users say that consuming CBD products helps them manage things like stress, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, and cramps.
Strains like CBD Blueberry or Harle-Tsu are great choices for those looking for relief from ailments but not wanting strong psychoactive effects. Alternatively, you could pick something like Harlequin if you want a happy, pleasant high that still allows you to function and socialize with friends.
Types of Seeds
Irrespective of the strain you choose to cultivate and grow, weed seeds come in a multitude of varieties. The one constant to keep in mind is that growers should only purchase the highest quality marijuana seeds to maximize the potential of their plants. It’s not about the amount of seeds but rather the peace of mind you get when purchasing from a reputable seed bank like Growers Choice Seeds.
Feminized pot seeds are specialized in that they grow uniformly into female plants without the need for growers to navigate the complexities of identifying and separating males. This characteristic makes feminized cannabis seeds particularly attractive to those with minimal cultivation experience as it helps streamline the process, enhances crop predictability and greatly reduces the effort required from growers. Unlike autoflowering seeds, cultivators will need to manage the light cycles for feminized seeds when wanting to move them from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage.
Autoflowering seeds have emerged as a game-changer in the world of marijuana cultivation and cater to both novice and seasoned growers alike. These strains possess the distinct quality of independent flowering, meaning they transition from the vegetative stage to flowering automatically based on their age rather than relying on light cycles. As all the autoflowering strains sold by Growers Choice Seeds are also feminized, they are often ideal for beginner growers hoping to minimize all the different factors that could affect their first crop.
In contrast to feminized and autoflowering seeds both of which ensure uniform growth into female plants, regular cannabis seeds introduce an element of unpredictability as they produce both male and female plants. While some growers may want a mix of male and female plants so they can experiment with plant genetics – many cultivators find it tedious and time-consuming to identify and separate the male plants from the females. Growers Choice Seeds has chosen not to sell regular seeds as this helps maximize the harvest for our customers by preventing the production of males that could pollinate and negatively affect the yield of female plants.
Tips for Cultivators
There are specific variables that a grower would want to control as much as possible to ensure a successful crop and maximize the yield that each plant gives. The difficulty in keeping the different factors regulated changes based on the environment one chooses to grow in – maintaining things like light and humidity is much easier when you’re growing indoors and have direct control over those conditions versus a crop grown outdoors that will be at the mercy of the weather.
The Germination Process
Germinating seeds is a simple yet crucial step to ensure a successful harvest. Many growers are intimidated by this initial step but a simple, foolproof method to follow is the paper towel method.
Starting with a paper towel moistened with purified or distilled water, evenly space your seeds along half of the towel. Fold the other half of the towel over your seeds so that they are sandwiched between the paper towel and lay the towel on a covered plate left in a warm, dark space to create a humid environment at around 75 – 80 F.
Keeping the towel damp but not overly wet is important as the seeds should not be sitting in pools of water. Once taproots become visible and reach a length between 1/4 to 3/4 inches you can plant the seeds in soil with the taproots facing down. This whole process normally takes between 3 to 7 days but can sometimes take up to 14 days.
Environmental Factors to Control
Numerous environmental factors need to be considered and (hopefully) controlled when growing marijuana. Some important ones to include:
- Amount of light – Both the duration of light on the plants throughout the day, as well as the quality of the light, can have effects on the state your plants are in and the potency of your harvest.
- Space given to each plant – Improper spacing can affect light exposure and cause plants to compete with each other (or even themselves) for light.
- Maintaining temperature and humidity – This will reduce stress on the crop and prevent diseases that will directly affect plant growth.
- Proper nutrients – Nutrient balance is imperative as the plant’s needs will change throughout its life cycle.
- Constant Airflow – Critical to prevent issues like mildew and mold.
- Correct Watering – Directly affects plant health based on under or overwatering.
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