Is Homegrown Marijuana Better than Dispensary-Bought?

Joe Evans
Joe Evans - Content Writer

Oct 08 2021 - 4 min read

In many states, medical cannabis patients can legally grow their cannabis. It’s one of the many perks of being a medical cardholder, along with paying lower sales tax and having priority access to products.

Plus, it’s comforting to know that you won’t run out of the medicine you need. 

Many patients believe that growing their cannabis at home is healthier than buying marijuana from the dispensary. But is that true? Or is that just a long-held myth rooted in a lack of quality information? Learn more about the benefits of homegrown vs. dispensary-bought cannabis before deciding which is best for you.

Benefits of Growing Marijuana at Home

It Can Be Healthier

Quality homegrown cannabis can be better for you than most of the products you’ll get from your local dispensary.

If you like the idea of knowing exactly what goes into your cannabis plants at every step in the process, then home growing is likely your best bet. That’s because, from a health perspective, the best way to get the cleanest, least contaminated, harmful pesticide-free cannabis is to grow it yourself. 

It makes sense when you think about it. If you care about what’s going into your body, the best way to get the clean green cannabis you’re looking for is to grow it yourself. If you grow your own plants, then you can decide what seeds you plant, what type of soil and fertilizers you use, what methods of pest control you use, and how you harvest and process the buds you’ll eventually grind up and consume in one way or another. 

While that might sound like overkill for some, the cannabis industry overall has long had a pesticide and contamination problem. Before cannabis was legal anywhere in the U.S., growers had absolutely no rules and regulations to follow regarding what ends up in their cannabis. Even after programs were established, laws dictated what substances could be used in the growing process; contaminated cannabis often slips through and is sold in dispensaries.

A 2013 study of medical dispensaries in California, one of the most mature and well-regulated legal cannabis markets globally, found pesticides and contaminants in amounts large enough to impact people’s health. That shows that no matter how well-regulated a medical program is, growers can still let their standards slip.   

Cost

While it’s true that growing cannabis at home is costlier upfront, growing cannabis at home will likely save you money in the long run when compared to simply just buying products from the dispensary.

Your initial investment for homegrown cannabis includes:

  • Clone cannabis plants or seeds
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Heat lamps or a greenhouse set-up
  • A quality irrigation system

That said, it will take a lot of effort to grow cannabis in your spare bedroom or closet and is highly dependant on how much time, effort, and money you’re willing to put into it. While there’s a solid argument to be made that you would save money in the long-term by growing plants of your own, not everyone has the money to set up a quality grow room.     

Better Quality Products

It’s all about balance when it comes to making the healthiest decisions about your cannabis. Getting the best quality equipment and cannabis plants you can without breaking the bank is an excellent first step. From there, you’ll want to research the best fertilizers, growth supplements, and natural pesticides to use on your plants that aren’t detrimental to your overall health.

After all, if you’re growing your plants from seed to harvest, you’ll have total control of what goes into your plants. If you want the healthiest and cleanest plants, your best bet is to grow them yourself! 

Improved Mental Health

Believe it or not, home growing cannabis will likely help your mental health along with your physical health. That’s right, folks. Growing cannabis, or plants in general, is excellent for your mental health. 

Research shows that just being around lush, green plants has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Growing and caring for plants of your own, however, takes things up another notch.

Additional studies show that those who garden are generally happier overall than those who don’t and offer decreased depression, stress, and anxiety rates. Gardening also lowers the rates by which people need to seek medical attention for pretty much anything. In times like these, anything that decreases the strain on the healthcare system is worth doing.

Gardening can be a zen and calming experience. Not to mention that those who plant harvestable crops like peas, tomatoes, squash, or cannabis get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Making cannabis oil infused with the cannabis you grew yourself must be just as satisfying as eating a salad full of greens from your garden, right?

Suppose you add the mental health benefits on top of the anxiety, pain, and chronic symptom-reducing power of cannabis. In that case, home growing stands out as a fantastic option for physical and mental health.  

How to Buy the Best Cannabis If You Can’t Grow at Home

If you buy from the dispensary, you can prioritize buying from local or craft growers instead of corporations. These local growers tend to care more about their products and are more likely to prioritize quality over quantity.

No matter the size of the cannabis market you’re dealing with, you’ll be able to find local growers who are committed to sustainable, clean, pesticide-free, and healthy local cannabis products. With just a little bit of research on the internet, you’ll be able to track down the local growers that put products in the dispensary.

Those growers and cannabis product producers are likely your best bet for getting top-notch cannabis products that will benefit your physical and mental health in the long term. 

Is It Legal to Grow Cannabis at Home? 

At the time of publications, only 19 of the 36 states and U.S. territories that have legalized either medically or recreationally allow for home-growing: 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.

While these states might currently be the only options for home growers, they likely won’t stay that way for long. More and more state-level politicians are putting forth bills to legalize both recreationally and medically. There’s even legislation progressing on the federal level that would legalize all forms of cannabis federally. 

It might not be too long before every household in America can add a few cannabis plants to their backyard or windowsill gardens! Until then, we’ll be waiting. 

Written by
Joe Evans
Joe Evans

Joe Evans is a journalist, writer, editor and contributor for Leafwell. He has, to date, more than 5,000 articles published online under his byline on topics like cannabis, local and National news, politics, automotive news, sports, pop culture and even a cult.

Leafwell medical marijuana card

Not Sure If Cannabis Can Help You?

Let us know what you are looking to use medical cannabis for, and we will point you in the right direction.

Contact our support