Growing cannabis is a time-consuming process, and most growers are keen to get to the curing stage as quickly as possible. However, be warned. Speeding up the process can harm the quality and strength of the end product.
You have to decide whether you want more weed or faster weed. It's a question of weighing up the balance between your patience and the final result. If you are keen to learn how to grow weed fast, we've compiled our favorite tried and tested tricks to help you reap the rewards of your labors in as little time as possible.
This article focuses on indoor methods, as cannabis plants grown outdoors are subject to the limitations of the seasons and weather, which are impossible to change.
How to grow weed fast?
- Choose a fast-growing strain
- Ensure your plants have all they need
- Start pruning
- Start the flowering stage as soon as possible
- Speeding up the flowering stage
It may sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways to reach harvest quickly is to choose seeds with a short flowering stage. Always buy seeds from reputable and established sellers who will display flowering times on their website, like Weedseedsexpress (wink wink, nudge nudge). Northern Lights feminized feature a two-month flowering stage, while others, such as Sour Diesel feminized need to flower for more than 2,5 months. Strains with longer flowering times generally tend to perform better outdoors because they receive more sunshine. However, varieties with short flowering phases often produce cannabis of equally good quality.
If you want to grab a strain that has a flowering time of less than two months, we advise checking out our Top 5 Fastest Growing Weed Strains, as those strain will take a lot less time to grow than many of our other strains.
It is also worth mentioning autoflower seeds, as these switch to flowering automatically, so you don't need to worry about altering the light cycle. These strains usually take about three months to go from seed to harvest - much more quickly than non-autoflowering varieties. We have also compiled a list of the fastest autoflower strains, and we can guarantee those varieties would be your fastest option to harvesting buds. The easiest step to take, by far, when trying to grow weed fast.
All plants, including cannabis, need sunlight, water, and nutrients to survive. To ensure your plants grow as quickly and healthily as possible, you need to ensure they have all three in the correct quantities. You can add nutrients to the soil with fertilizer or directly into the water if you are using a hydroponics system. You can read our beginners grow guide, to learn more about the process of growing weed. You can also read our articles for more information about how much water and light your plants need during the growing process.
Follow our tips, and you can look forward to a quick harvest. One final thing; it is imperative to dry and cure your precious buds properly. After all your hard work, don't rush this final stage, however much you are tempted. This could result in an inferior weed, which would be such a waste!
Pruning your weed plants encourages them to focus their energy on producing buds rather than leaves. Extra stems and dying, yellow leaves should be removed to allow your plants to concentrate their efforts on growing buds.
When growing cannabis indoors from ordinary seeds, the grower has to decide when to switch the plants from the vegetative stage to flowering. This is usually done by altering the lighting schedule. Reducing the total hours of daylight stimulates the plants to produce buds and will start the flowering stage. This is usually about two to three months after sowing, depending on the variety.
However, it is technically possible to make your seedlings produce buds pretty much as soon as they sprout and bypass the vegetative stage altogether. This is a growing technique known as 12/12 from seed. Whenever a seedling is exposed to a light schedule of 12/12 from the start, it believes that winter is approaching, and it should race to maturity before dying. When doing so, it is theoretically possible to harvest in as little as three months - two months quicker than the average grow time of five months. Unfortunately, the result is usually a single cola with minimal side branches. Ultimately resulting in very low yields since the seedling will not have had enough time to grow the stems needed to produce buds.
A practical solution, if you are really impatient, is to cut short the vegetative stage. The yield will be less, but much more when compared to entirely skipping the vegetative stage. You can, for instance, start the flowering stage after three weeks, in which case you will be able to harvest after about 14–15 weeks.
You could also give your plants a full twenty-four hours of daylight during the vegetative stage to encourage leaf and stem growth. This will enable you to reach the flowering stage a little sooner without compromising so much on the eventual yield. Then again, this method has the disadvantage that your plants won't grow as strong, and their immunity will be reduced, meaning they are more susceptible to disease.
You can speed up the flowering stage by one or two weeks when using a product such as Bushmaster. However, it will also stop vertical growth. The best option is to grow your plants to about the height you want to maintain while in the vegetative phase, and then start dosing them with Bushmaster. This can also increase yields, so it's a win-win. Be very careful, though, as this stuff is potent and can cause root burn.
Another method is to switch your plants to 10 hours of light per day, which will encourage your plants to ripen more quickly. This method works best when growing Indica seeds, which usually have a shorter flowering cycle than Haze strains and Sativa seeds, as well as higher yields.
When your cannabis plants receive less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day, they will automatically start to flower. In the natural world, harvest occurs during fall (or autumn, for those who speak the King's English), when the hours of daylight begin to decrease. Indoors, you can mimic this and speed up the time of harvest.
Manipulating the hours of light from 13 to 10 forces your plants to produce buds much faster than they would outdoors. All strains of cannabis respond to this type of light manipulation by producing buds at a faster rate.
However, there are consequences mainly relating to growth. The buds will stop growing, which will affect the yield, although the THC content won't necessarily be affected. Plants grow during the hours of daylight, so if these are reduced to speed things up, the harvest will inevitably be smaller.
What have we learned?
While nature is hard to rush, there are some ways to ensure a quicker road to those delicious homegrown buds. The simplest way is to just pick a strain that flowers quick, and to make sure your weed plant gets everything she needs. Pruning can also help with speeding up the process. More advanced growers can try their hand with kickstarting or speeding up the flowering stage, but beware that these growing techniques are not flawless. We never claimed learning how to grow weed faster, or rather how to make weed plants grow faster, was without its obstacles. If you want to know more about growing techniques, you should take a look at our Grow guide for Advanced growers or check out our learning center for more articles like this.