How to Grow Cannabis Faster?

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Added 11 May 2023

Growing cannabis is an amazing experience, but it can be time-consuming. If you want your cannabis plant to grow faster, you can speed up the process in many ways, regardless if you are a skilled grower or a newbie. 

But why would you want to grow cannabis faster?

You may want to grow cannabis faster for multiple reasons — you want a quick harvest, save money and time, or improve the terpene profile. Plus, who doesn’t want their cannabis to flourish fast?

In this article, we explore the different methods that can help your cannabis grow faster without compromising on health or vigor. This starts by choosing the right cannabis strain and providing your plant with optimal growing conditions and nutrients but also includes other methods like using a longer daylight cycle during the vegetative stage. 

So, whether you are growing cannabis for recreational use or medicinal, learn how to grow cannabis faster. With this guide, learn how to do it safely without risking your plant’s health and your time. So, let’s dive in. 

Is It Okay to Grow Cannabis Faster?

Is It Okay to Grow Cannabis Faster?

Shouldn’t you let nature take its course when growing cannabis? In most cases, yes, but for some growers, making their cannabis grow faster may be more beneficial. Here are some reasons you may want to grow your cannabis plant faster.

1. Quick Harvests

The most common reason for making cannabis grow faster is when the grower wants to harvest them as soon as possible. This can be due to various reasons — you are too excited to smoke the new strain you found, you are running out of stock, or you expect winter to arrive faster. 

2. Saves Money 

Growing cannabis indoors is somewhat of an expensive affair, depending on the setup you use. And if you are worried about your energy bills, you may not want your cannabis plant to grow for a long time. In that case, you can make your plant grow faster to save some money in the long run. 

3. Enhanced Terpene Profile

Some growers believe that cannabis plants that grow faster produce a more complex terpene profile due to the added stress they experience during this process. This can result in the buds being more aromatic and flavorful. 

4. More Harvests per Season

If you want to grow multiple batches of cannabis during a season, you may not have the luxury of time. In that case, you can make your cannabis plants grow faster to squeeze in a few batches for the season. 

There may be more benefits to this, depending on your circumstances, but in any case, you can make your cannabis grow faster and enjoy some of the benefits it offers. 

How Long Does Cannabis Take to Grow?

How Long Does Cannabis Take to Grow?

Cannabis can either be a slow or a fast-growing plant, but typically, it takes 8 to 12 weeks. But there’s more to this timeline than that. Let’s take a look at your cannabis plant’s seedling stage and growth stages.

The seedling stage is when your plant’s seed germinates and grows into a sapling. Depending on the germination method you use and some other factors, generally, a cannabis seed will take around 3 to 6 weeks to develop. 

Once the seedling is fully developed and transplanted into a container, the vegetative stage begins. During this time, your plant grows and puts on most of its bulk. If it’s a photoperiod plant, you must decide how long this stage lasts. In the wild, this stage lasts between 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the season and strain. 

The flowering stage follows the vegetative stage, where the plant experiences a final stretch before developing the much-awaited flowers. Generally, this stage lasts 7 to 9 weeks until the plant is ready for harvest. 

On the other hand, autoflowering cannabis plants grow a lot faster. Most autoflowering strains are ready for harvest in 8 to 14 weeks, regardless of the season or the light cycle. 

What Factors Affect the Growth Speed of Cannabis?

What Factors Affect the Growth Speed of Cannabis?

Your plant’s growing speed depends on various factors, depending on which your plant may either grow within 10 weeks or take 20 weeks to reach harvest. Here are the factors that affect the growing speed of your cannabis plants:

  • The strain you choose and its genetics
  • The growing environment, including the temperature, relative humidity, CO2 concentration, etc.
  • Training methods you use 
  • Your plant’s health and resistance to diseases and pests 
  • Nutrient solution and the type of water you use 
  • Growing medium — hydroponic or soil 

A mix of these factors comes into play in helping your plant grow fast, so tweaking these factors optimally can ensure your plant grows quickly. Learn more about these tactics below.

How to Speed Up Your Cannabis Plant’s Growth?

How to Speed Up Your Cannabis Plant’s Growth?

Your cannabis plant will grow at its own pace, but if you want to hasten the process, you can do so in many ways. And no, it isn’t as simple as switching the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 whenever you desire — there’s more nuance to it than that. Follow these tips to speed up your plant’s growth.

1. Select the Right Strain

The one thing you must do if you want to grow cannabis faster is to select the right strain, i.e., select a strain that inherently grows fast. This is a sure-shot way of growing cannabis faster without taking extra effort. 

The life cycle of the cannabis plant is divided into two parts: vegetative and flowering. The former can be tweaked as per your preferences, but there isn’t much you can do to make the buds mature faster. So, choosing a fast-flowering cannabis strain is ideal. 

There are a ton of fast-flowering strains you can find at various seed banks that mature much faster than other strains. However, don’t forget to research a little since fast-flowering strains may differ in potency or flavor. 

Here, you can look at hybrid strains since many of them have short flowering stages of around 6 to 8 weeks. Some of these fast or express strains include the Candy Kush Express, Anesthesia, Pineapple Express, and Sterling Haze.

On the other hand, if you choose an autoflowering stage, you don’t have to worry much here. Just choose an autoflowering plant with a short growth cycle, and your plant will grow fast — even faster than other autoflowering plants. 

Fast-growing autoflowering plants, like the Pineapple Express Auto, THC Bomb Auto, and KO Crop Auto, can mature within 2 to 3 months. 

2. Clone Your Plants

Another way to grow cannabis plants faster is to grow clones. While cloning, you take a cutting from the mother plant, which acts as a seedling ready to vegetate. Yes, it does take a while for cuttings to develop roots, but cloning is still a lot faster than growing cannabis with seeds

So, if you or your friends have a healthy cannabis plant, take a couple of cuttings from it and start cloning them. Be sure to be meticulous when cloning your plant — even minor damages to new clones can lead to significant issues in the long run.

And it is not recommended to clone autoflowering strains. Clones inherit the mother plant’s age, so an autoflowering clone will start flowering before the plant even reaches a suitable size, which means that you’ll end up very little yield. 

3. Grow Your Plant Indoors

Another way to grow cannabis faster is to grow the plant indoors since indoor growth allows you more control over your plant’s growth. In an indoor setup, you can finely control the environmental conditions and other factors that can boost your plant’s growth. 

When your plant grows in a controlled environment, it does not have to struggle or deal with external stressors like improper weather, pests, or diseases. It can focus all its energy on growing bigger faster compared to outdoor plants. 

Still, growing cannabis indoors can be a bit expensive, depending on the method you use. You can grow cannabis in a pot and soil to save some money, but you will still need to invest in grow lights and fans, although there are a ton of cheaper options. But for a more sophisticated indoor setup, expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars to begin with. 

But despite the high cost and initial effort of setting everything up, indoor cultivation is worth it, not just for the speed but also for your plant’s health, yield, and your experience. It will make you a better grower. 

If you choose the right strain and growth setup, you can grow cannabis well within four months indoors, which is almost impossible to replicate outdoors.

4. Feed the Right Nutrients

Even feeding your plant the right nutrients can significantly fasten its rate of growth, and this is especially true during the vegetative stage when your plant is growing. 

If you are growing your cannabis plant in soil, ensure you use high-quality soil (live soil teeming with microbes, if possible), so your plant can get all the right nutrients from the substrate itself. You may not even need to supplement any nutrients for some weeks when using high-quality soil. 

And if you are using a hydroponic system or soil-less cultivation, you must make a nutrient solution that contains all the necessary nutrients in the right ratios for optimal growth. Pay special attention to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium — the three macronutrients that are most important for the cannabis plant’s growth

During the vegetative stage, your plant will require more nitrogen to put on weight, and during the flowering stage, your plant will require more phosphorus and potassium for optimal bud development. So, depending on your growth conditions, use the right NPK ratios to boost your plant’s growth. 

5. Use 24/0 Light Cycle During the Flowering Stage

Photoperiod cannabis plants need more than 16 hours of light a day during the vegetative stage, which is adequate for the healthy growth of the plant during this stage. But since plants use light to produce energy to grow, you can always give your plant more light to boost its growth. 

Most cannabis growers give 18 hours of light during the vegetative stage, but if you want your plant to grow faster, you can switch to 24 hours of light and zero hours of darkness. Do note that this method is somewhat debatable in the community as many growers believe a 24/0 cycle can make the plant more susceptible to diseases and problems. Plants, like humans, also need rest and tend to perform better if they can rest for a while every day. 

Additionally, plants can only conduct a limited amount of photosynthesis during the day, regardless of how many hours of light it gets. So, if you have high-intensity lights, an 18/6 light cycle is better than a 24/0 one. For this, understand the daily light integral of your plant and give that amount of light only

Remember, this technique will not make your cannabis plant mature faster during the flowering stage. It will only make your plant reach the flowering stage sooner, cutting down the plant’s life cycle by a margin. 

6. Switch to 12/12 Light Cycle Sooner

When you want to make your cannabis plant grow faster, perhaps the first method that comes to mind is coaxing your plant to flower sooner. It is an effective method but should only be used when your plant is ready to flower. 

Follow the tips method above, and within a few weeks, your plant will grow big enough to support bud development. So, after 3 to 4 weeks from germination, you can switch your plant to a 12/12 lighting schedule. Again, only do this if your plant is healthy and big. Otherwise, your plant may be unable to support the bud development processes, leading to small buds.

Many growers even force the flowering stage as soon as their plant has developed roots, but this method is often inefficient. The plants don’t get enough time to grow big and develop enough bud sites to allow efficient bud development. 

So, it’s better to stick to the method recommended — forcing bloom after a few weeks from germination. 

But in this case, your plant will still grow smaller than if you’d let it vegetate for longer. In that case, you can use the Sea of Green (SoG) technique, where you grow multiple smaller plants instead of fewer big ones. This will ensure your overall yield is unaffected. 

Also, you may want to grow your cannabis hydroponically if you want it to flower sooner. Soil-based plants grow slower during the vegetative stage compared to other growing mediums. So, with a hydroponic setup, your plant will grow faster during the vegetative stage. 

According to forum reports, deep water culture or bubbleponics makes cannabis grow the fastest during the vegetative stage. While there are no studies backing this, you can give it a try nonetheless and find out for yourself. 

7. Give Your Plant Longer Nights During Bloom

When photoperiod cannabis gets less than 13 hours of light daily, it starts flowering. However, it may still take the plant some time to finish flowering and be ready for harvest under a 12/12 light cycle. In fact, some strains may not even grow buds if they get 12 hours of light a day. 

Most strains mature between 7 to 12 weeks under a 12/12 light cycle.

However, if you want to hasten your plant’s flowering stage, you can go further and give it longer nights than 12 hours. This will make the plant develop buds faster, thinking the winter is arriving quickly. It’s a defense mechanism that can work in your favor. 

The only downside to this method is that a shorter flowering stage may make the buds grow a little smaller or thinner. So, it is recommended that you let your plant flower for at least eight weeks before harvesting. 

On the contrary, autoflowering strains bloom better when they get longer daylight hours, even during the flowering stage. They get more light to grow fatter buds without facing the risk of re-vegging or hermies. 

8. Pay Attention to Your Cannabis Plant

Despite using all the techniques mentioned above, if you don’t pay attention to your plant, it may suffer from various conditions and not grow as fast as you would expect. So, it is crucial to always keep a close eye on your plant. 

This sounds obvious but you would be surprised to learn how many growers sow and forget their plant until the day of harvest. 

By paying close attention to your plant, you can spot issues quickly and fix them on time. By reacting to these problems on time, you not only protect your plant from the worst but also ensure it wastes little time recovering from the problem. 

And the faster your plant growers, the faster it is ready for harvest. So, look out for common issues like nutrient deficiencies, heat stress, light burns, pest infestation, accidental re-vegging, hermies, etc. 

9. Use a Harvesting Technique: Perpetual vs Progressive Harvests

Lastly, you can harvest your plant strategically instead of simply harvesting it when the buds are mature. Here, you can either use perpetual harvest or progressive harvest. The main difference between the two techniques is how the plants are harvested and the growth is managed. 

Perpetual harvest is a harvesting technique where you must harvest a few plants every couple of weeks and then immediately start growing new plants in the same plants. You may also know this method as staggered harvest, which is often used in commercial farms or gardens as it helps the grower maintain a steady supply of buds throughout the year. 

The benefit of perpetual harvest is that it lets you have a constant rotation of plants, which maximizes the use of lighting and space. And thanks to that, you don’t have to worry about your plant’s growing time as much since you have a perpetual supply of buds all the time. 

On the other hand, progressive harvest involves harvesting the entire crop as the buds mature. In other words, cannabis buds mature at different times, even on the same plant. So, you have to harvest the mature ones and let the rest finish ripening and harvest them when they are ready. 

Generally, progressive harvest takes up to two weeks, with the buds at the top being ready for harvest sooner than those at the bottom. The benefit of this method is that once the upper buds are harvested, the lower buds get better aeration and light exposure, allowing them to grow almost as big as the upper buds. 

Summary: How to Grow Cannabis Faster?

Growing cannabis can be an attractive prospect for many growers. Whether you are looking to harvest your plant faster or reduce the time and money you spend on your plant, there are plenty of ways of doing that.

Start by choosing the right strain that grows faster and flowers even faster. You can even consider cloning your plant since it eliminates the time that would otherwise be used for germinating the seeds. 

You can also grow your plant indoors for a more controlled environment and feed your plant the right nutrients. And go a step further by giving your plant 24 hours of light during the vegetative stage and more than 12 hours of darkness during the flowering stage. 

Lastly, do not forget to pay close attention to your plant. When it comes to growing cannabis, it is always better to prevent problems than fix them. And even if your plant does suffer from any problem, you can easily fix them before they become a major threat to your plant — as long as you keep a close eye on your plant. 

As the saying goes, time is money, and while growing cannabis, these tips can not only help you save some money but also a lot of labor while allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your labor a lot quicker. 

So, what are you waiting for? Use the methods listed above to make your cannabis plant grow faster, and stay tuned to learn more nifty tricks that can help you become a better cannabis grower.


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