Hydroponic Weed: Definition, Pros, Cons, And Growing Tips

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hydroponic plant growing from a seed

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How is that possible?

In this article, the all-things-cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana introduce you to the world of hydroponic weed so you can decide for yourself if you want to give it a try.

What Is Hydroponic?

a row of hydroponic weed growing

At the etymological level, hydro means water and ponos means labor. Put the two together, and you create the word hydroponics (or working water).

But if you’re looking to get to the bottom of hydroponic weed, you’re going to need a bit more than ancient Greek word origins. You’re going to need a more practical definition.

We’ve got you covered.

Hydroponics is the theory and practice of growing crops directly in nutrient-rich water.

All you need to grow things hydroponically is:

  • Fresh, filtered water
  • Oxygen
  • Root support (vermiculite, perlite, mineral wool, or others)
  • Nutrients (things normally found in soil)
  • Light

These five elements form the foundation of every basic hydroponic system — and have for thousands of years.

In fact, Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back almost three thousand years ago describe the growing of plants in water without soil. And the hanging gardens of Babylon (one of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World) and the floating gardens of the Aztecs and the Chinese made extensive use of hydroponics.

So, hydroponics is, by no means, a new science. But our methods have come a long way since the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians came up with the process.

For one thing, we can now grow hydroponic weed (although the Egyptians and Babylonians may have done so as well, making them stoners of yore from waaaaaayyyyyy back).

What Is Hydroponic Weed?

A room full of hydroponic weed growing

Put simply, hydroponic weed is marijuana grown without the use of any soil.

Instead, the cannabis plants grow in sterile containers (tanks or trays) that hold an inert medium (root support) and a nutrient-rich solution (water).

Depending on the climate in which the operation is located, hydroponic weed can be grown indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse.

Pros And Cons Of Hydroponic Weed

hydroponic weed


1) Faster Maturation

What’s the benefit of faster maturation rates when it comes to hydroponic weed? More buds for your smoking and eating pleasure.

In fact, hydroponic techniques allow growers to harvest up to six times per year. In some cases, that results in two or three times the number of cannabis flowers you can get from a regular, soil-based operation.

2) Less Space Required

In most cases, hydroponic weed operations take up less space than soil-based grows.

That means that, should you choose to grow your cannabis this way, you can pack more plants into the same space. As a result, you’ll enjoy a higher yield when harvest time rolls around because you have more plant matter per square foot to pluck from.

3) Customizable Feeding Regimen

While most plants will grow healthy in a hydroponic weed setup, some will be frail.

What’s a grower to do? Get rid of those weak plants so they don’t take nutrients from the healthy plants?

In a soil-based grow, that might be the solution.

But in a hydroponic operation, you can customize the feeding regimen so that all plants get exactly what they need to grow tall and healthy with lots of buds.

4) Possible Automation

In a basic operation, growing weed of any kind is a labor-intensive activity. You have to monitor the growth medium, provide the right balance of nutrients, and keep everything as healthy as possible.

But with hydroponic weed, you can automate the process by installing equipment that does everything for you.

Yes, it will take time to get everything set up and running, but when it is, all you have to do is sit back, watch your plants grow, and enjoy the results.


hydroponic weed plant growing

1) Expense

Hydroponic weed equipment can be expensive. Working with water requires pumps, impermeable containers, and creative ways to circulate, oxygenate, and fortify (add nutrients to) the growth medium.

That in itself may deter many beginner and recreational cannaenthusiasts.

That said, there are ways to construct DIY alternatives to the more expensive pre-produced equipment.

2) Technical Knowledge Requirements

Not only do you need technical knowledge to operate the equipment that makes hydroponic weed possible, but you also need a fair bit of science know-how in order to keep your plants healthy.

Remember, with hydroponics, you’re growing your plants in water that is normally devoid of all nutrients.

You have to know how much potassium, oxygen, and magnesium to add (just to name a few) so that your plants grow tall and produce plenty of buds.

If you don’t get the mix right, your plants will suffer and your harvest will be low.

3) Potential Loss Of Power

Because hydroponic weed operations rely on artificial means of providing light, oxygen, and nutrients, loss of power is a very real threat.

If your grow loses electricity, the lights stop shining, the water stops circulating, and a whole host of other essentials disappear in a heartbeat.

That can spell doom for your cannabis plants if the power doesn’t come back on within a few hours.

4) Waterborne Diseases

No system is completely free from disease. For the hydroponic weed operation, waterborne contamination is a very real risk.

Fungi such as Fusarium oxysporum and Podosphaera xanthii can cause Fusarium wilt and powdery mildew respectively, while certain bacteria can cause Phytoplasma Witches’ Broom.

And, unfortunately, when these waterborne diseases do take hold, they are very persistent and hard to get rid of.

Tips For Growing Hydroponic Weed

Hydroponic weed plant that's flowering

1) Keep The Water Slightly Acidic

All successful hydroponic weed operations depend on the pH level of the water involved.

In order for cannabis plants to grow well and be healthy, the pH of the water should be kept slightly acidic, between 5.5 and 6.5 (though the exact pH will differ depending on the stage of growth.

2) Regulate Airflow

Airflow is essential for healthy plant growth. Without it, hydroponic weed won’t absorb nutrients very well and won’t grow as hearty.

Regulating airflow can be as simple as running a small fan or as complicated as installing an automated ventilation system in the grow area.

3) Control Humidity

Humidity is another essential variable you’ll need to control if you want your cannabis plants to stay healthy.

Seedlings and plants in the vegetative stage need 60-70% humidity, while plants in the blooming stage need 40%.

Invest in both a humidifier and a dehumidifier so you can better control the humidity in your hydroponic setup.

4) Provide The Right Light

When cannabis grows outside in the proper climate, the plants receive the light they need from the sun. Hydroponic weed operations, on the other hand, provide light by means of light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Adjust the wavelength of these bulbs to between 400 and 700 nanometers to ensure proper growth.

Best Hydroponic Weed Strains

Technically, you can grow any strain of marijuana hydroponically if you so choose. But some strains just take to it better.

Try one of these strains to get your hydroponic weed grow off to a good start.

  1. OG Kush
  2. Northern Lights
  3. Blue Dream
  4. Afghan Kush
  5. Sour Diesel
  6. AK-47
  7. Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
  8. White Widow

Before embarking on your own hydroponic journey, we recommend purchasing a batch of high-quality, soil-grown buds (and trying them out) so you can compare the effects and benefits of hydroponic weed vs. the regular stuff.

Choose High-Quality, Organically Grown Weed

Honest marijuana Alien Yoda OG

When it comes to cannabis, you have two choices:

  1. Buy or DIY
  2. Hydroponic weed or soil-grown weed

Hmmm…now that we think about it, maybe that’s four choices. Either way, you have to decide.

And regardless of the route you take, we always, always, always recommend that you pick high-quality, organically-grown weed from a reputable source.

That way, you always know what you’re getting and what to expect when you light up a fattie.

By and large, most cannaenthusiasts divide weed into four different levels of quality:

  • Headies
  • Beasters
  • Mids
  • Regs

For more information on these four designations (including how they got their names), check out our article The Differences Between Beasters, Headies, Mids, And Regs.

When you’re rolling a joint, packing a bowl, or cooking with cannabis, opt for beasters, or, better yet, headies if you can afford it.

Your stash will last longer (because you don’t have to use as much), you’ll get more mileage from a small amount, and the experience will be out of this world.

If you can’t find the first two, mids will do in a pinch, but always shy away from regs (the literal bottom of the barrel) unless you have no other choice.

And, when possible, insist on including organic marijuana and organic marijuana products (like those grown and produced by Honest Marijuana) in any weed-related activity.

Containers of Honest Marijuana and rolled blunts

Organic marijuana is free of harmful fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals that will harsh your buzz.

If you’re looking for the best cannabis experience, don’t settle for anything less than a high-quality organic marijuana strain from Honest Marijuana.

Click or tap here to search for a location near you that sells the best marijuana on the planet — Honest Marijuana.

And for more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100% all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.

The post Hydroponic Weed: Definition, Pros, Cons, And Growing Tips appeared first on Honest Marijuana.

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