Using lactic acid bacteria to get higher yields when growing marijuana

Published May 10, 2019 10:49 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

If you are just starting out on the exciting journey or learning how to grow weed for yourself, then the information available online can be both helpful and overwhelming depending on where you look. Growing marijuana plants seems like a simple and straightforward task, but there are quite literally hundreds of different methods that can be used, and only a handful that doesn’t come saddled with some substantial risk for beginners. Though using Lactic Acid Bacteria can come with a few possible repercussions if it is performed incorrectly, it is one of the safest and most natural ways to boost the cannabinoids, terpenes, and yield from a marijuana plant. Here, we will explain what Lactic Acid Bacteria is, how to use it to significantly improve your crop, and the extensive list of benefits that choosing this organic method can offer.

What are lactic acid bacteria?

LAB aka Lactic Acid Bacteria is a microscopic bacteria that is non-respiring, gram positive, acid tolerant and non-sporulating.

How to grow weed using lactic acid bacteria

Marijuana plants will feed off these bacteria in place of other more traditional nutrients or fertilizers and are typically used as a total replacement and an organic alternative for growing weed. With this technique, the byproducts of the microbes act as a reliable and stable food source that stays balanced for a completely self-reliant feeding. The soil that you use no matter which kind it is will already contain at least some Lactic Acid Bacteria, as does most water and even the air. The microbes are both soil and airborne and can be applied directly onto plants or the surrounding soil to act as a fertilizer. To do this, you will need one refillable mister bottle and one container of LAB that is either homemade or store bought.

  1. Combine one tablespoon of the LABS to one mister bottle and fill the remaining empty chamber with water.
  2. Shake the mister bottle well before each application.
  3. Mist the plant’s stem and or the entire surface of the soil once a day.

Products to avoid while using Lactic Acid Bacteria

Luckily labs are organic and all natural, so there is very little concern in the handling or precise application of a mixture. However, the addition of other chemical filled fertilizers may kill the natural LABS rendering the treatment entirely useless. Pesticides also have this effect, but may be necessary, unlike additional fertilizer.

The benefits of using Lactic Acid Bacteria on marijuana plants


The wide array of potential benefits is one of the reasons this method is growing quickly in popularity. Included are just a few of the reasons that you might want to consider using LAB to grow marijuana.

  • A higher presence of cannabinoids including both THC and CBD.
  • Substantial increase in terpenes production.
  • Results in an entirely organic crop.
  • Safe to use and non-toxic
  • Cost effective when compared to other traditional fertilizers.

DIY- How to make Lactic Acid Bacteria

Though there are several available options that can be purchased premade, some people prefer the satisfaction and comfort that comes from knowing precisely what they are applying to a plant that they will be consuming. This is a simple and easy to follow the recipe to make your own at home.


  • 340 grams of white or brown rice
  • 240 milliliters of water
  • 1 liter of milk (organic)


  • 1 paper bag
  • 2 large glass jars
  • 1 elastic
  • 1 clear juice pitcher
  • cheesecloth


  1. Allow water to sit out overnight for 24 hours before beginning if it contains chlorine.
  2. Place an equal amount of both rice and water in one mason jar.
  3. Seal the jar and shake well to combine the ingredients.
  4. Place one layer of cheesecloth over the spout of a mason jar and hold it in place with an elastic.
  5. Strain the liquid into the second clean mason jar.
  6. Cover the now filled jar with another layer of cheesecloth and set it into a paper bag.
  7. Store the jar and mixture in a cool dark place for 3 to 7 days.
  8. Once the mixture has fermented, you can pour the liquid from the mason jar into a clear juice pitcher through the still attached cheesecloth.
  9. Place the pitcher in the paper bag and allow it to sit for another day.
  10. Scoop out the floating curds and strain the liquid through one more layer of cheesecloth very slowly. Being careful to leave the settled sediment that is on the bottom of the jar in place.
  11. Seal the jar that the liquid is in and refrigerate it until needed or up to one full month.


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