Chapter 3

Know Your Light Cycles

In VEG, use an 18/6 (18 on / 6 off) or 24/7 light cycle. I have never seen drastic differences between the two, but it is a common debate among growers as to which is better. To save on your electric bill, use the 18/6 option and make sure you use a light timer.

In FLOWER, use a 12/12 light cycle.

In HARVEST, hang your dried cannabis flowers/buds in your tent with the lights off 24/7

Changing the light cycles of your light with the use of a light timer. There are electronic light timers and analog light timers. I very much prefer the analog light timers. If you decided to grow auto-flowers only, then you won’t need a light timer. With feminized seeds and clones, the gardener changes the light cycle themselves when they feel the plant is big enough, and ready to be “flipped to flower.” So to flip to flower, you’d set the timer to 12/12. With auto-flowers, the gardener doesn’t change the light cycle. Instead, you stick with an 18/6 light cycle and the plant will grow and eventually flower on its own.


An Experiment For You To Try 

I’m about to go off the beaten path here, but I have got something interesting to share with you. It’s about what you may read about or hear about from other grower regarding harvesting. Every teaches and follows the “lights off 24/7” model when you dry because light will degrade your potency. Well, I’ve experimented with this several times. My findings are this: no one consuming can tell the difference! Makes you wonder, right?!

I suppose that the potency could go down some if the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG, etc.) and terpenes (pinene, limonene, myrcene, linalool, terpinolene, etc.) were tested by a lab. Hypothetically, if you really want to take testing to the maximum level, you would test several buds, not just one sample. And you would triple verify the results. But guess what? Home growers RARELY have access to licensed labs who offer testing in the first place. But my point is this — no one consuming can tell the difference, so if the place you dry isn’t pitch black, big whoop. I’m very “unconventional” here. Don’t get me wrong, 24/7 of complete darkness isn’t bad or wrong. Far from  it. 

I don’t believe anyone consuming can really tell the difference. I can’t, and I’m extremely sensitive to the effects and experiences each particular variety brings me — including overtones and subtle undertones. Don’t worry, I’ll let you be the judge! This is one cool experiment anyone can run right from the beginning. Dry some cannabis in 24/7 of complete darkness, and dry some cannabis somewhere where it’s regular room light that goes on and off throughout the day for example. Your bedroom, the living room, etc. At the end, you can decide for yourself, and invite friends to sample your home grown stash for their input too. See if anyone can tell which one was in the 24/7. My guess is that everyone will just guess, or say, “no difference detected at all.”

BTW, did you know that the same strain grown with different lighting and different nutrients can alter the flowers cannabinoid and terpene percentages drastically? That’s why if you smoke “Lemongrass” (from Humboldt Seed Company) that was grown outdoor, vs. indoor with LED, there are some potential variations in the effects you can experience. With the lighting factor, different lights are going to likewise, influence the cannabinoid and terpene percentages. With all of this said — you can still be in the “ballpark” with all the differing factors. I’m not saying Blueberry Muffin will be completely different, but sometimes you might feel a little more sleepy than usual. Or it could hit you as little more euphoric, or a little more cerebral, or a little more heavy on the couch lock. I hope all of this makes sense and encourages you to go find the best strains that suit you and tinker away with them in the garden.


Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners: Learn How To Grow Cannabis Indoors Using LED, Tents, and Soil
Published by Green Carpet Growing, Inc. San Diego CA 92103
© 2021 Green Carpet Growing, Inc
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No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law.

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