How to grow vegan marijuana

Published Jul 17, 2019 11:01 a.m. ET
iStock / Aleksandr Kravtsov

When you think of a marijuana plant, you likely don’t usually view it as a vegan or non-vegan product. If questioned, most people would respond with it’s a plant, which is vegan right? Though it is true that a cannabis plant is up of entirely organic material that is not derived from animals. The process of growing it is more complex, and is more often than not, not even close to qualifying as vegan friendly. If that statement confuses you than you are not alone, and there are a few things that you will need to learn before truly understanding this label, which will help you learn how to grow vegan- friendly marijuana plants yourself.

What does vegan mean?

What it means to be vegan will depend on who you ask, as there are several different types of people that adopt this sort of lifestyle. Being a vegan typically means not using or eating products that have been sourced from animals. Some will enjoy honey, despite it technically being animal sourced. Others stay away from any edible, or consumable animal byproducts. The rest refuse to wear or buy any kind of animal derived merchandise, including clothing, purses, jewelry, and other household goods. Though the list of different types of vegans can go on even further, in general, these are people that avoid dairy, eggs, wine, meat, honey, seafood, clothing, garments, and any accessories or beauty products that originated from animals or use animals for testing purposes.

Is marijuana vegan?

Yes, and no. The process of growing a marijuana plant is what can make it one way or the other. Though the plant itself is generally regarded as a vegan product, most of the best sold nutrients on the market for cultivating weed is harvested from animals. This is not a marijuana plant specific issue either, as most large-scale growers use nutrients and fertilizers that contain traces of animal products. This is because the production of these types of products is cost efficient, as the base product (bones and other food waste that occurs when harvesting an animal for food) already exist in massive quantities for pennies on the dollar.

Organic cannabis nutrients are not usually animal product free

A lot of people are warming to the idea of eating organically, as it is healthier for both us and the environment. However, organic simply means naturally derived ingredients, not animal byproduct free. Growing a marijuana plant requires a fair amount of sustenance, and many of the most commonly used organic cannabis nutrients are of animal origin including bat guano, worm castings, pig blood, chicken innards, fish guts, and several different types of manure.

How to grow vegan weed


Whether you’re growing cannabis outside, or in a perfectly designed grow room, at some point, you will need nutrients in order for your plants to thrive. Luckily there is both homemade and pre-made options avail; you just have to know what to look for. Since this is the only animal derived element in a marijuana plant, it’s relatively easy to grow your own completely organic marijuana plant. Below you will find a list of homemade options, as well as a few ready made ones, that will help to keep the process feeding your plants simplified.

How to make homemade vegan nutrients

The very best way to control what goes into your marijuana plants is to make your compost. This can be done using a variety of items that you likely throw away regularly, so it doesn’t cost a lot, and is easy to personalize and experiment with. Below are a few compost amendments that make perfect additions to a compost pile that is going to feed marijuana plants.

  • plant pits
  • seeds
  • vegetable skins and waste
  • fruit skins and waste
  • grains
  • tea grounds
  • mulch
  • lime
  • dolomite
  • gypsum
  • green sand
  • rock dust
  • wood ash
  • rock potash

Store bought animal byproduct free nutrients

Looking for something that you don’t have to actively worry about for months before you need it? Not everyone has the time, space, or ability to maintain a compost pile, and for them, there are plenty of vegan-friendly nutrients to choose from. Here are six of the most recommended brands that can be found either online, or at just about any greenhouse near you.

1. Down to Earth Vegan Mix
2. Grow Veganic
3. Vegan Compost Tea
4. Flora blend
5. Growmore Vegetarian
6. Yum Yum Mix 2-1-1

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