We all know that growing marijuana is a fun (albeit tiring) process that many people can enjoy. But, there are a few random facts about the plant many people probably don’t know. As one of the most interesting and useful plants on the planet, cannabis has certainly held a place in human hearts for quite some time. Below, you’ll find a few interesting (and potentially useful) facts about growing the plant.
1. Human urine works as a fertilizer. You read that right. Our own urine has properties that make it useful as a fertilizer. It’s high in nitrogen which is one of the three major nutrients that marijuana requires (the others being phosphorous and potassium). But, it’s not a good idea to just throw some undiluted urine on the plants. Make sure that you dilute a bladderful of urine into about a gallon of water. Use it right away so that ammonia doesn’t form. This is a quick, cheap, and effective way to infuse a little nitrogen into your plants.
2. Marijuana can be grown anywhere. It’s already a remarkably adaptive plant for outdoor use, but now that we’ve mastered indoor growing, you could feasibly grow weed in space. That might be a little optimistic, but it’s certainly possible.
3. Weed has been grown by humans for millennia. Archaeological digs place the first instance of cannabis cultivation at around 6,000 BC in Ancient China. It was used then as a food source, for clothing, and for medicinal purposes (kind of like now).
4. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were big tokers. Okay, not really. But they both had hemp farms back in the days of the American Revolution. In fact, growing hemp was sort of a prerequisite to owning land in the pre-revolutionary days. Any colonial farmers who owned land were actually required by a 1619 law to grow hemp. That would probably not go over so well in today’s world.
5. Marijuana can grow using only fish waste. For far too long, fish have been excreting waste and not helping humans in that endeavor. But, now, with the invention of “Aquaponics”—a combination of Aquafarming and Hydroponics—the waste can actually prove to be beneficial. The water from a fish tank is taken to the plants in a basic hydroponic system. The fish urine and other waste are transformed by certain bacteria in the waste to make nitrates. Marijuana plants use those nitrates as nutrients to assist in the growing process.
6. Cannabis can help ward off Alzheimer’s. This doesn’t really have to do with growing anything, but it’s still interesting. Indeed, using THC in virtually any capacity is known to limit the “brain plaque” that causes Alzheimer’s. So, continue growing and toking if you don’t want to become senile.
7. Florida has some incredibly harsh marijuana laws. If you’re thinking about cultivating cannabis in Florida, you’d better have a good lawyer. The penalty for possession of less than 25 plants (i.e. between 1 and 24) is a felony and will get you 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Of course, the laws in Montana aren’t much better. If you have less than 30 plants, you can be subject to a felony charge of up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. At least Montana has medical marijuana laws. In any event, be careful out there and check norml.org to make sure your little growing venture doesn’t end up costing you a decade in prison.
8. Many people get away with growing weed on public land. This tactic is called guerrilla farming and is usually performed on secluded public land like a national or state park. Although it’s naturally riskier, it’s one of the few ways to grow plants outdoors without inciting suspicion from neighbors.
9. You don’t need soil to grow marijuana. As the entry on “Aquaponics” suggests, there’s no need to use soil to produce nice, sticky buds. But, you also don’t have to use fish waste to provide nutrients to the plant. Using standard nutrient solutions, you can create (or buy) a hydroponic system that keeps your plants’ roots effectively suspended in water. The nutrient solution makes its way to each plant and the result is perfectly healthy cannabis.
10. You can determine the sex when the seeds just sprout. This is a tactic that hasn’t been proven by the scientific community but it has about a 90% success rate. Seeds that sprout through the top or the bottom tend to be female while “side-sprouters” are generally male. There’s really no explanation for this, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should toss out any side-sprouters. But, it is an interesting thing to look for next time you grow marijuana.
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