The idea of having your own cannabis garden where you grow herb sounds extremely alluring and exciting. If you have done your research, you’ll know that growing weed isn’t an easy process as it requires specialist knowledge and a lot of patience. You should also be aware that secrecy is of the utmost importance.
Even if you live in a state where it is legal to grow marijuana, it is always best not to attract attention. Cannabis is federally illegal, so there is always a chance that the Feds will one day come banging on your door. If you live in a place where it is illegal, you have a LOT to lose. I’m talking years in prison and a fine that will cripple you financially. As such, you have to take precautions so, in this guide, we will outline the Seven Commandments for growing weed while making sure you don’t get caught!
Rule #1 – Thou Shalt Not Be a Blabbermouth
You may think that your buddy, Shaun the Stoner, is a solid guy, but it isn’t a good idea to tell him about your weed garden. Do you know what the #1 reason for being caught is? It isn’t for growing your weed outdoors where special federal drone cameras can see it. It is because the likes of Shaun tell someone and then word gets out.
The ONLY person you should divulge any cannabis growing information with is anyone who is growing WITH you. Otherwise, loose lips sink ships. All Shaun has to do is get high one night and start talking about your weed garden. The next thing you know, half the surrounding area knows about your exploits. If you don’t get arrested, your crop will mysteriously go ‘missing.’
Rule #2 – Thou Shalt Exercise Discretion with Online Purchases
Even the least talented detective will catch you if you insist on sending your marijuana seeds to the location where you intend to grow. The problem is that most growers have little or no option. So, what’s a weed baron to do? Make sure you only use merchants that offer a ‘stealth shipping’ option. It is kind of like using the Incognito Tab on your computer when you want to do some private browsing.
It will cost you extra, but it’s well worth it. These companies also offer a reshipping guarantee if you don’t get the seeds. The best companies can package the seeds so well that the Post Office is unable to spot them even when the package is opened.
Rule #3 – Thou Shalt Control the Pungent Odor & Telltale Noises
In case you didn’t know, a weed garden emits one hell of a scent. It doesn’t matter if your sinuses are blocked because of the flu from hell, that peculiar odor will make its way to your senses. Aside from Shaun’s big mouth, the smell of the weed garden is probably the second biggest reason for getting caught.
If you elect to grow cannabis indoors, make sure you do so in a sealed space. If the odor gets out, your neighbors will alert the authorities. If you use HPS bulbs, use an exhaust fan with a carbon filter. It filters the scent and ensures that only filtered and clean air gets outside. As a bonus, it keeps the temperature in the room to a reasonable level. If you’re growing outdoors, make sure you account for wind direction.
It is also a fact that some strains are a lot smellier than others. We would recommend growing Ice, Blue Mystic, or Northern Lights because none of this trio smell like ‘typical’ weed. It is also important to remember that the smell gets a lot more intense at harvest time.
Bear in mind that the bright grow lights will give the game away so use blackout curtains or fabric that blocks out the light on your windows. When growing indoors, water pumps and exhaust fans emit the most noise. There isn’t much you can do other than invest in ‘quiet’ fans so that your neighbors don’t complain or suspect. It is less of a problem if you have no neighbors nearby.
Rule #4 – Thou Shalt Be Wary of Nosy Neighbors
The era of ‘love thy neighbor’ and ‘neighborhood watch’ is sadly over in many American towns and cities. These days, people tend to watch you rather than watch out for you. As a result, you have to be careful about who and what comes into your house or grow area, especially if they are the same location.
For example, Rita the Recluse has nothing to do other than watch her 32 cats each day, and in between meals and scooping kitty litter, she may happen to spot you bringing significant amounts of pots, nutrients, and soil into your house. There’s not much you can do to avoid being spotted barring digging a tunnel beneath your home. A more natural alternative is to grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers as ‘cover.’
Rule #5 – Thou Shalt Ban House Guests
This is more bad news for Shaun! While it is impractical to live a Howard Hughes-like existence while waiting for the weed to harvest, you must lock your grow room at the very least. In what is the same principle as rule #1, you can’t allow anyone access to the marijuana site nor can they know it is even there. It will make life a little awkward for a while, especially if you’re a social person.
However, one possible alternative is a lengthy spell in prison, so it is time to become Harry the Hermit for a while. If your grow site is away from your property, invite whoever you like; just make sure you don’t leave growing supplies lying around unless you’re ready to answer some awkward questions.
Rule #6 – Thou Shalt Learn Strategic Growing & Harvesting
If it is your first time trying to grow marijuana, we recommend doing it on as small a scale as possible. The obvious reason is to reduce the likelihood of your secret getting out. Also, it is pretty easy to grow a couple of plants in a small grow-box. Some people construct a box from a dresser while others convert a mini-fridge.
They are both excellent options, but a mini-fridge does a great job of disguising the smell. If you do it right, you could even keep the fridge in your room under lock and key, and your housemates will be none the wiser.
At harvest time, it is best if you have the house to yourself. If you have housemates, calculate the likely length of time for your weed to grow, so you know when harvest time is. Make sure you harvest when they are away. Otherwise, you will have to scout a safe place to dry and cure your herbs. Once this process is complete, store the finished product in an airtight mason jar.
Rule #7 – Thou Shalt Understand Electrical Safety & Technology
While growing marijuana isn’t a dangerous pastime when you follow basic safety rules, it becomes a problem for idiots; don’t be an idiot! There are plenty of examples where foolish growers have destroyed their crop, and their home, in an electrical fire. The most obvious tip here is to purchase high-quality equipment, because cheap electrics is a recipe for disaster.
Make sure all water and other liquids are at a level below waist-height and that all electrical equipment is above waist-height. Clean up any spilled liquids immediately and invest in a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. A GFCI interrupts the power when it senses a problem with your electrical flow.
It is all too easy to overload your circuits when growing weed so make sure you know how much your circuits are capable of handling and stay well below the limit. Most indoor growers should do fine with one 600w HPS light.
The improvements in technology make it easier to find tools and equipment for growing weed, but you also have to cover your tracks. It is worth using proxies as they trick websites into thinking you’re in a different location. Some search engines don’t track information, so it is best if you don’t use Google to search for ‘marijuana growing tools.’
Final Thoughts on Growing Weed in a Clandestine Manner
Unfortunately, growing marijuana in the United States is a legal minefield. While weed is legal for recreational use in nine states plus D.C, and for medicinal purposes in 20 more states, it is federally illegal and will remain so for the foreseeable future. We urge you to check out your state’s marijuana use and growing laws.
If you live in California for example, you are allowed to “cultivate, possess, plant, harvest, dry or process” a maximum of six live plants. You are also allowed to possess the “produce of the plants.” However, local governments are allowed to “impose reasonable restrictions on cultivation” so you could still get in trouble for growing weed.
There is room for maneuver in states like California, but if you live somewhere like Alabama, you had better not get caught! Possession of any amount of cannabis for personal use is classified as a misdemeanor, with a possible punishment of a year in prison plus a $6,000 fine.
Basic cultivation of weed is classified as Manufacture in the 2nd Degree, which is a felony. In theory, getting caught growing marijuana in Alabama could result in a 20-year prison term plus a fine of $30,000. In other words, if you are arrested and convicted, your life is completely ruined, a hefty price to pay for growing a few cannabis plants.
Hopefully, you understand the importance of secrecy when growing weed. It is the key to growing, harvesting, drying, curing, and enjoying, without being discovered. Whether you like it or not, you can’t trust anyone who is not involved in the growing process. Make sure you conceal any related purchases as best you can and keep house guests to a minimum if your growth site is nearby. Even in states where it is perfectly legal, and you are within the bounds of the law, it is better to be safe than sorry.