How Long Does it Take to Grow Weed + 3 Simple Steps to Speed it Up!

Jul 29 , 2019

How Long Does it Take to Grow Weed + 3 Simple Steps to Speed it Up!

Growing weed is a pipe dream of almost every stoner. If you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and grow your own marijuana at home, you’re going to need some help! It’s marijuana growing season and we’re here to guide you through everything from seed to harvest!

In this easy-to-follow guide, you’ll learn the following:

  • How long weed takes to grow 
  • Which strains are plants that grow fast
  • Average yield of marijuana plant
  • How to grow plants indoors or outdoors (briefly)

Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll be prepared to start planning for growing your own marijuana. However, our how-to guide should only be used as a starting off point. There are a lot of intricate parts involved in growing marijuana and a lot of things you have to watch and handle with care. We recommend researching heavily before you actually embark on this adventure so you can preserve your investment and have a good yield once flowering time comes.

cannabis marijuana grow plantWork on that green thumb with these tips! Photo: @dragon_grow_z

How long does it take for cannabis to grow?

The short and simple answer is that it takes approximately three to four months for the marijuana life cycle to complete, from bud to bloom. That being said, there are a lot of contributing factors that can change this time estimation. 

The big factors for how long before buds appear are the following: 

  • Strain 
  • Desired yields
  • Growing method

There are a few strains that grow faster than others, which we’ll cover in our guide a little further down. The method you choose for growing marijuana also plays a key role in the speed at which your marijuana grows. 

The role your desired yield plays is a little different, though. If you have your heart set on yielding a large crop and aren’t willing to compromise, your hands are a bit tied when it comes to your growing time. You’re stuck waiting until your cannabis hits the desired yield, no matter how long it takes.

garden cannabis kush Your grow room could be looking just as magnificent! Photo: @greenfusionled

How to grow plants indoors quickly:

If you want to minimize your time as much as possible, you’ll need to follow these steps to ensure you’re 1) using the right strain that flowers quickly, 2) using the best and most efficient growing method, and 3) willing to compromise on your yield.


Step One: Picking the right strain

The first step in growing plants quickly at home is to pick a strain that won’t take too long to grow. With a strain like Northern Lights, you can get a decent harvest from your plant in about three to three-and-a-half months. 


Step Two: Choosing the right growing method

Have you wondered how long it takes for marijuana plants to bud and how much marijuana does a plant produce? The growing method you choose has a huge influence on it. You have to be sure to choose the right growing method to maximize your yield and minimize your growing time.
We recommend growing with bubbleponics. This method can take weeks off your end time and can actually increase the amount of marijuana you yield. However, it does take a bit more equipment to get started than other methods.


Cannabis grow chart

There are a few milestones your plant will pass throughout the growing process of which you should be aware. There are all sorts of grow charts out there depending on what type of growing method you're using. A google search for "grow chart _______" (insert grow method such as "hydroponics" or "outdoors") should yield you some good results to reference.

Seeding stage 

Within the first week, you’ll want to germinate your seeds.

Seedlings can sprout in just a day, so make sure to keep an eye on them daily. Even if they don't sprout the first day, after three to five days they should be ready. 


Vegetative stage

This stage can last anywhere from three weeks to two months or more. It’s largely up to you when you take your plant out of the vegetative stage, but it usually needs to be in this stage for a minimum of three weeks.

It’s important to note that buds won’t start to form until two to three weeks into the vegetative growth. Growers typically let their plants sit in this stage for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. 
To ensure you get the maximum yield, you’ll want to have a large plant by the end of the vegetative stage as that will produce more buds. Make sure the plant has plenty of light, otherwise all your efforts are for naught.


Flowering stage

The flowering stage usually lasts from five weeks up to 16 or more weeks. This stage has more of a specific timeline than the others:
  • Weeks 1-3 - Transition stage
  • Weeks 3-4 - Start of buds forming
  • Weeks 4-6 - Buds fatten up
  • Weeks 6-8 - Buds ripens
  • Weeks 8-12+ - Final flush of flowering - harvest time
The length of time necessary for the bud to be in the flowering stage depends heavily on the strain of bud. Below, we’ve included a list of strains that qualify for each time period needed for the flowering stage to help guide you in the right direction.

growing pot weed 420 Make your dreams of flower like this come to life! Photo: @strainhype

Short flowering stage (six to eight weeks)

  • Northern light
  • Critical mass CBD
  • Quick critical +
  • Frisian dew
  • Seedsman fast collection
  • Blue cheese
  • Shiskaberry 
  • Auto-flowering ultimate
  • Other auto-flowering strains

Medium flowering stage (eight to twelve weeks)

  • Pineapple chunk
  • Original amnesia
  • Supreme CBD durban
  • Gelat OG
  • Strawberry lemonade
  • Liberty haze
  • Wedding gelato
  • Peyote critical
  • Gorillz zkittlez

Long flowering stage (twelve to fourteen weeks or more)

  • Haze strains and Sativa haze strains
  • Arjan’s ultra haze #1

How much weed does one plant yield?

Just like the rate at which your plant grows, the yield varies based on your growing method and the strain. 

cannabis strain flower buds This beauty has clearly been well cared for! Photo:

Inside Growers

Grow Space Equipment Yield

3.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 ft cabinet

200-watt CFL lamp

About 1.5-2.0 oz (3.5 oz for advanced growers)

3.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 ft cabinet

250-watt HPS lamp

About 3.0-5.0 oz (9.0 oz for advanced growers)

3.5 x 3.5 x 7 ft room

400-watt HPS lamp 

About 4.5-9.0 (14 oz for advanced growers)

4 x 4 x 8 ft room

600-watt HPS lamp

About 5.0-10 oz (21 oz for advanced growers)

5 x 5 x 8 ft room

1000-watt HPS lamp

About 250-500 grams (1000 oz for advanced growers) 


Outside Growers

Those that grow outside have less control over their plants and what happens to them, including how long from seeding to vegetative and how much weed you yield. This is because you can’t control the elements your plant(s) is exposed to or the exact amount of nutrients it receives.
Under the absolute perfect conditions, an outdoor weed plant can yield as much as 17.5 oz per plant. To get this type of yield, everything has to go as planned with the weather, nutrients, and the size the plant has to go. 


Whether you’re wanting to grow inside or outside, there’s a fair bit of research you’ll need to conduct first. Beyond all the tools and supplies you’ll need to purchase, you may also want to know the answers to the following questions:
  • How long does weed take to grow outdoors
  • How long does it take to get weed out
  • How does marijuana grow
  • How long does it take for marijuana seeds to sprout
  • Which strains have quick sprouting flower seeds
  • How long does it take to grow hydroponic weed
  • How many cannabis plants should you grow at once
  • How to dry weed

Those questions only touch the surface of growing marijuana. If you’re thinking of jumping into this on your own, don’t get in over your head. Make sure to do the proper research and care for the plants properly. Otherwise, you’re out your money and have absolutely no smoke to show for it.

With the right knowledge, tools and patience though you'll be happily be trimming bud after bud!
cannabis flower herb growWhat a beauty, with her dew drop leaves! Photo: @crackerblacks_cannabis

Can’t get enough? Here are some great research topics that will help to further your growing knowledge:
  • Which strain of marijuana should I grow?
  • Where’s the best place to grow marijuana inside?
  • How long does marijuana last?
  • How to grow weed in your back yard
Need more info before you start potting your precious seedlings? Check out this video!


Written by: Megan Medeiros | Cover Photo by: Getty Images

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