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10 marijuana urban legends, more a myth than a reality

By: Daniel C. Grow

There are many tips for growing marijuana. In fact, everyone has an opinion about it, especially on internet forums. But at the end of the day, cannabis is still a plant that actually grows just like a cabbage or a tomato plant. Therefore, you should stick to the basics, pay attention to details and trust your own judgment, so as not to fall into urban legends that can do more harm than good.

The cannabis plant has existed on this planet for thousands of years. However, due to criminalisation, research on best agricultural practices remains limited. Historically, novice marijuana growers relied primarily on word of mouth to learn how to grow their plants better.

The clandestine nature of cannabis cultivation has allowed many myths to permeate popular culture. And while there is some truth to certain traditional tales, such as harvesting at night when temperatures are cooler to protect volatile terpenes, many of the surviving fables are far from true.

We take a closer look at 10 popular urban legends about growing cannabis: read on to find out if they are fact or fiction!

The cycle of darkness must be completely dark

Keep in mind that marijuana is a very versatile and resistant plant. When was the last time you saw a completely dark night? There’s usually starlight or moonlight. And yet, your outdoor plants seem fine. Research actually shows that plants respond to moonlight. During the flowering stage, at the darkest 12 hours, light of the same intensity as moonlight stimulates flowering. Darken your grow room all you want, but don’t panic if there’s a window or two. Moonlight might help.

Cannabis plants cannot absorb the green light

The fact that plants leaves are green, so the green photons are not important in photosynthesis, has been a dogma in cannabis lighting until recently, when advances in LED technology proved otherwise. As full-spectrum light hits the plant, much of the blue and red photons are captured at the top, while the greens penetrate deep into the plant canopy and are captured by other photosynthetic pigments. The green light actually passes through the plant tissue at a better rate and can favour denser growth. In addition, green light is less stressful than other colours in the light spectrum, allowing the use of green bulbs when working in a dark room.

Marijuana needs a constant temperature of 22-26 ºC

Cannabis, like most plants that evolved in non-tropical climates, is thermoperiodic, that is, it requires an oscillation of temperature between day and night. This means that, rather than strive to maintain a constant temperature; it is healthier when night temperatures drop naturally between 10 and 20 °C below maximum daytime temperatures. And, on account of the current electricity prices, any energy savings is a blessing.

You can determine the sex of your plant by the number of leaves tips

The explanation behind this is usually that the genes that control sex are linked to the genes that determine the leaf structure. So if you have a plant with [X] leaflets leaves, ‘it’s a girl/boy!’ This is definitely not true. The number of leaves tips has nothing to do with the sex of the plant, as it is related to stress and variable conditions throughout the growing. The most common number of leaflets is 7, although you can find leaves with up to 13. The number is not exclusive of any variety either!

Urinating on your plants will help them grow better

Oddly enough, this is based on a real fact. Urine has high nitrogen content and plants need nitrogen to grow. But peeing on your plants is a bad idea. Have you seen what happens when the dog pees in the same spot on the lawn every day? It burns the grass. If necessary, you can use your urine as an occasional fertiliser spray by diluting it with 10 parts water per 1 part urine. Do not spray your plants more than once every 3 weeks or so. Your urine is strong and all power carries a great responsibility (especially if someone catches you urinating in a bottle).

Watering your plants with juices or other flavoured juices will improve the buds taste

Nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately, watering with orange juice your marijuana plants doesn’t make the buds taste like oranges. If the plants acquired the fertiliser flavour profile, the vegetables in the garden would taste like horse manure. Taste is a matter of genetics, so there are some things you can do to grow more flavourful cannabis: in addition to choosing a flavourful variety like Cherry Dream or Gelato-K, drying your cannabis slowly and patiently curing it is the best way to retain the maximum level of terpenes.

Drying plants upside down will increase the potency of the buds

Experts recommend hanging the plants upside down during the drying phase, but not because this will “lower” the resin and increase the THC levels of the buds as thought. By hanging upside down we simply make the sugar leaves dry around the buds and we protect them until they are cut, helping to retain the content of terpenes and cannabinoids by slowing down the process, giving chlorophyll and remaining sugars the right time to decompose. This will lead to a more uniform curing and a better overall smoking experience, but by no means, will increase the THC levels.

Buds are more potent when given a prolonged dark cycle just before harvest

Some growers place their plants in the dark for 2-3 days just before harvest to increase the amount of trichomes and the overall potency of the buds. The idea is to stress the plant in a good way. It sounds plausible, but so far there’s not much evidence that this is effective. It might work for other purposes. For example, many terpenes are volatile and evaporate at warm temperatures. As soon as the grow lights turn on, they begin to disappear. Keeping plants in the dark until harvest time gives these delicate terpenes the opportunity to reach the drying room.

You can distinguish a male from a female seed by its appearance

The vast majority of growers expect female plants as they produce abundant buds; but trying to spot a difference between male and female seeds is simply impossible. The only way to determine if a quality seed will result in a male or female plant is through genetic testing. So if you want it to be a safe bet, it’s best to use feminised cannabis seeds, like the ones you can find in our Kannabia catalogue.

Cut and divide the stem with a stick (or even use a screw like Frankenstein) to increase THC

Intentional stressing your cannabis plants, by dividing the stem and inserting an ice lolly stick to keep the gap open was once sold as a beneficial method to get a better product. It is the same theory as leaving plants without watering during the last days of cultivation: intense stress causes the plant to “think” that it will die and put all its efforts into producing more cannabinoids. But this has no scientific basis, so you will probably cause an excess of stress that will kill the plant prematurely or a wound that may attracts all kinds of infections and pathogens. So you know, adopt the motto: “you’ve got to be cruel to be kind ” and you will get results according to the love you have for your plants.

Kannabia Seeds Company sells to its customers a product collection, a souvenir. We cannot and we shall not give growing advice since our product is not intended for this purpose.

Kannabia accept no responsibility for any illegal use made by third parties of information published. The cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption is an activity subject to legal restrictions that vary from state to state. We recommend consultation of the legislation in force in your country of residence to avoid participation in any illegal activity.

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