While we work with commercial growers, many cannabis enthusiasts continue to grow weed at home. As a part of reducing energy consumption and keeping people safe, we’ve put together a few tips on how growing weed at home can be done safely and efficiently.
With more than 17 states now allowing some form of recreational cannabis and still more expanding options and access for medicinal use, energy companies are grappling with commercial-scale energy needs. In some states, commercial cultivation has already caused some massive headaches, with a surge in demand and issues with that demand being focused largely near high population centers that already need a lot of power.
In addition to more commercial growers, many states allow at-home cultivation for personal use. In Michigan, our home state, that has caused issues that require immediate attention by residential cannabis growers.
In Michigan, residential growers have been allowed since 2008, though it was limited to medical use and included language that restricted the number of plants. In 2018, legislation passed to allow residential cannabis for recreational use for adults 21 years of age and older and with no more than 12 plants. Like medicinal laws, it also limits these plants to personal use.
Growing Cannabis At Home
Even with a 12 plant limit, recreational growth can have an outsized impact on energy use. According to studies, the lighting, humidity, and climate control for a 12 plant grow area can more than double energy use. With medicinal growers allowed to cultivate up to 72 plants, the energy needs are up to ten times more than the normal US household. Growing cannabis at home is energy-intensive, but there are ways to reduce your costs and lower your environmental impact.
Many homes don’t have the electrical infrastructure to support the energy-intensive needs of cannabis equipment, which can lead to power outages or even raise the risk of fires.
It’s important to avoid overloading your home’s power capabilities. Check outlet wattages, inspect all connections, and always compare the energy needs of your equipment before adding more lighting or heating units to your current set-up.
Three Ways To Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Know Your Grow: By understanding how much cannabis you’ll need per grow, you can better select the size of your growing space to suit each crop. By keeping your grow space as small as possible, you’ll need just the right amount of energy to control the humidity, temperature, and light for the plants you have without wasting energy on extra square footage. It also means you’ll be able to meet your needs with each grow cycle and possibly take a longer break between each crop.
Go LED: While there may be little room to reduce the amount of time your lights are on per grow cycle, you can get more out of each fixture by using less energy. LED lights can reduce your energy needs considerably. Traditional sodium lamps can generate a lot of heat, most of which needs to be extracted; you’re paying for both the heat and the removal of that heat from the growing environment. LED reduces heat and extraction needs, offering a more efficient energy picture. LED also offers a type of light that is more tailored to the needs of cannabis plants themselves, further improving the quality of each crop.
Take Control: Controllable air systems allow you to make smart decisions when it comes to your energy needs. By taking more control over your cannabis environment, you’ll be able to react to real-world factors like external temperatures and humidity It’s useful to install an electric transformer that can reduce voltage for your extraction tube. Many ceiling fan options are less expensive than those you might find in your local cannabis grow store and still over a number of levels that can further reduce energy needs.
Finally, keep experimenting. Measure your energy use precisely and make an effort to lower your needs incrementally with each grow cycle. Not only can these efforts improve your yield and save your money, it adds an interesting component to the at-home cannabis grow process.