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How long does it take to grow marijuana?
From Day 1 of your marijuana plant's life to a Smokable Harvest, you're looking at 8.5 weeks - 7+ Months. Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months.
These factors have the greatest impact on total time:
- Plant strain (strain has biggest impact on growing time)
- Desired yields (do you want to grow a few grams, a few ounces, or a few pounds?)
- Growing method (differing grow methods/setups can add or subtract a few weeks)
How to grow marijuana as quick as possible:
In order to achieve the shorter 8.5 weeks, you need to choose a fast-finishing strain like Northern Lights and even still, at the low range, you'll be growing tiny plants that produce just a few grams of smokable harvest.
The time from seed to smokable harvest averages 3-3.5 months for me with a strain like Northern Lights, where I grow the plants for 3-4 weeks in the vegetative stage, growing with cheap, regular CFL lights in coco coir, and with that setup I get 6-10 ounces per plant.
The fastest grow method is growing marijuana with bubbleponics, which shaves a few weeks off the total time and will actually increase your yields, but it requires a bit more equipment to get started.
What if time is not an issue?
Strains from warm climates like Haze 1 tend to have long flowering periods before their buds are ready to harvest, adding weeks or months to the time needed.
Additionally, many growers prefer to 'cure' their buds for longer than the 2-week minimum for added flavor and bag appeal, which accounts for why some grows could take 7 months or more from seed to smokable harvest.
Important Milestones in the Marijuana Plant's Life
Depending on how you set up your grow, it can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months or more to grow a marijuana plant from a seedling to the point where the plant is ready to harvest. Some methods, such as growing hydroponically indoors, give your flexibility to get a harvested plant in as little as 2-3 months. Growing outdoors generally takes longer than growing indoors and is more dependent on when you plant your seeds and how long your growing season is.
Once your plant is harvested, there is a drying and curing process which takes about a minimum of two weeks before your buds are "ready" for use.
However, you can use a five minute quick-drying technique to sample your plant for potency so you know when to harvest, though it will smell and taste nasty compared to properly dried and cured bud. I highly recommend you just wait the 2 weeks until the buds are really ready.
For more information about how to grow your own marijuana at home, then check out my Basic Marijuana Growing Guide or one of my more detailed How-To Guides which will explain how to grow your marijuana plant from beginning to end.