Growing cannabis is a skill. Just like any living thing, plants need care and attention in order to survive and thrive. Growing cannabis as medicine can be a little tricky but it’s also incredibly rewarding. That’s why Leafwell wants to help you learn more about cannabis cultivation, particularly if your medical card allows you to grow plants in your own home.
We spoke to cannabis expert, advocate and activist, Kyle Kushman, about his passion for cannabis cultivation, and to learn why he teamed up with Homegrown Cannabis Co – one of Leafwell’s partners.
“Why Homegrown? Well, the clue’s in the name. They have a genuine dedication to homegrowers and their seeds are AMAZING… and they’re American. I’m not saying we should ONLY buy American, I’m not getting political, but most growers, when they order seeds it’s because they NEED their seeds. They don’t want to be waiting for European seed banks, risking customs, all the headache that goes with it.”
Homegrown has that entire side of the business down to a fine art, leaving Kyle to focus on educating US homegrowers. Turning beginners into experts, helping Homegrown customers be the best growers they can possibly be.
Kyle Kushman’s Beginner’s Grow Guides
If you’re new to cannabis cultivation, perhaps looking for tips on how to get started, Kyle has some great advice.
“Start off small and don’t overwhelm yourself. Six plants, eight seeds. Your first mission is to grow healthy plants, worry about yields later. Also, try not to compare yourself to experienced cultivators on Instagram.”
You’re far better off starting a free journal on Homegrown Diaries, where you can upload all your data and receive real-time feedback, advice, hints and tips from an entire community of growers.
“Oh and seriously, don’t worry about the occasional stumble. Mistakes are great teachers, too.”
Of course, we strongly recommend you follow Kyle on Instagram but don’t forget, he’s got over 30 years as a professional grower. Be inspired, be educated, and don’t be intimidated; that’s the last thing he wants.
Keen to get started? Watch Kyle’s Beginner’s Guide at Homegrown.
Breeding Cannabis Strains As Medicine
While Kyle himself uses cannabis recreationally rather than medically, he’s successfully bred strains with amazing medicinal potential. Joey’s Strain (aka The Alexander), for example, is proving hugely effective for autistic patients, something Kyle is more than happy to celebrate.
“Breeding for certain traits, cannabinoids or terpenes, along with positive growth characteristics, it’s what breeding is all about. The Alexander (formerly Joey’s Strain) was discovered rather than adapted. Other cultivars like Cherry Lopez were bred to distinguish themselves from their parents. Creating something unique.”
Nobody expects amateur growers to start creating their own cannabis cultivars (stabilizing the genetics for a single strain can take years), but when you grow from seed, there’s more than enough choice already.
Homegrown has around 500 different cultivars to choose from, with more high-CBD strains than most other seedbanks put together!
Kyle Kushman’s Favorite Cannabis Cultivars
500+ Homegrown cultivars might sound like a lot, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are far more cultivars out there and many more yet to be created.
“My favorite cultivars tend to be identifiably stronger Indicas (night-time smokes) or Sativas, rather than balanced hybrids. Strawberry Cough, or her progeny, Starberry, are my favorite daytime smokes. I love the crystal-clear clarity of mind, getting creative and toking all day long.”
Discovering your favorite cultivar, whether for recreation or medicine, is a lifelong and thoroughly enjoyable journey, but it can be confusing at the outset. Homegrown has a short personality test that will (with remarkable accuracy) assess what kind of grower/toker you are and designate a selection of suitable cultivars.
“It’s pretty impressive, actually. Turns out I’m a Dynamo and my perfect strains are Blue Dream, Jack Herer and, wait for it, Strawberry Cough.”
What’s the Future of Cannabis Cultivation?
The world has changed in the last three decades. Not only has cannabis become more accepted and recognized as an effective medicine, new technology and techniques have completely transformed home and commercial grows.
“When I started cultivating in 1989, it was all about instinct and experience. Nowadays, you can discover the gender of a young plant using a quick test, rather than old-school vigilance. Breeders can identify and isolate certain effects, potency and flavors more quickly in the lab than in the field… we’re going to see some interesting cultivars in the next ten years or so.”
The Power of the Cannabis Cultivator Community
If you’re new to growing cannabis and you don’t know where to turn, don’t worry. Cannabis is a worldwide community, full of neighborly spirit. The Homegrown Forum is a wonderful example: a meeting point of like-minded people, helping each other out, sharing tips, advice and encouragement.
“Cannabis has brought me nearly everything wonderful that’s in my life. All my favorite people are people I have met through marijuana, and thanks to my new teaching platform at Homegrown – I keep meeting more!”
We’d like to thank Kyle for speaking with Leafwell and for his insights into growing cannabis at home. If you’re interested in starting your own grow, we recommend you check out Homegrown Cannabis Co. You’ll get far, far more than just great seeds. You’ll learn the art of growing, too.