What Is The Best Growing Medium For Cannabis?

What is the best medium for cannabis cultivation? Understand the advantages and disadvantages of soil, coco, rock wool, and hydroponic cultivation so that you can better choose the medium.

Cannabis growers can choose from the cultivation medium and technology to get the harvest. Soil, coco, hydroponic plant
Which one to choose? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each technology? How should you choose? Since the choice of medium is a very important step in growing hemp, we will provide a guide to make it easier for novice growers.

How to choose the right medium for cannabis?
The growth medium is where the root system of the cannabis plant develops. Many novice growers use potting soil, which is relatively simple, but you can also choose rock wool, perlite or choose hydroponics.

There is no optimal medium, and each method has advantages and disadvantages. You can choose one of them according to your actual situation and experience knowledge, but it is recommended that novice growers start with the soil. As long as the root system of the plant can grow and obtain water, nutrients and oxygen from the medium, the cannabis plant will grow.

Now, let’s analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each medium.

Medium For Cannabis-Soil:

Difficulty: easy

Medium For Cannabis-Soil
Medium For Cannabis-Soil

Using soil for planting is the easiest method, but it does not mean that this method is worse than other methods. Many good growers use only soil rich in high-quality compost to produce good-tasting weeds.

Using soil to grow is very friendly to beginners, and you can still grow excellent hemp. Soil is also available everywhere, and the cost is very low.


Seeds, a pot, some soil, and some love are all you need. Good for beginners!
pH fluctuations are typically less severe or problematic.
Many commercial soils contain enough nutrients for 3–4 weeks of growth.
Soil is the method of choice when you want to grow naturally and organically.
Growing in soil can give you the best-tasting cannabis.


Comparatively higher risk of pest infestations, mould, and fungus.
Plants produce lower yields compared to other growing methods.
Plants grow slower, so it can take longer to spot growing problems.
Not all soils are optimal for cannabis.

Medium For Cannabis-Cocoa/Perlite

Difficulty: medium
Cost: low-medium

Medium For Cannabis-Cocoa/Perlite
Medium For Cannabis-Cocoa/Perlite

Growing in a mixture of cocoa and perlite combines the advantages of hydroponics and soil, which is conducive to the growth of hemp.

Since the cocoa/perlite mixture does not contain any nutrients, you will need to add nutrients from the start. The advantage here is that you have complete control. Disadvantages: Just like hydroponics, you need to always pay attention to the pH value. Compared with soil, the fault tolerance rate is lower. If the pH value is too high or too low, the plants will not be able to absorb nutrients.


You can grow big plants with very good yields!
You have full control over nutrient and pH levels.
No special equipment needed.
Coco is a renewable resource.
Coco/perlite is (almost) as easy as growing in soil.


You need to administer nutrients from the start.
You need to watch pH and EC levels carefully: A small mistake can quickly lead to problems.
Not as widely available as soil. You may need to order coco online.

Medium For Cannabis-Rock wool

Difficulty: Medium/High
Cost: Medium

Medium For Cannabis-Rock wool
Medium For Cannabis-Rock wool

Rock wool is widely used in building materials and is a good insulating material, but now rock wool has become a good medium for gardening. Rock wool does not contain any nutrients and is made of fibers similar to marshmallows. It has good moisturizing ability and can provide water and nutrients to the roots of plants.


Sterile growth, almost no risk of pests and diseases
Complete control of PH value and nutritional level


Need to be nourished from the beginning
Need to pay attention to PH value and nutritional level at all times
Rock wool is not natural and will not be biodegradable, so it is not recommended to reuse it

Medium For Cannabis-Hydroponics:

Difficulty: high

Medium For Cannabis-Hydroponics
Medium For Cannabis-Hydroponics

There are a variety of hydroponic devices for growing cannabis. Some systems place plants in pots filled with hydroponic growth media (pebbles, rock wool) and use drippers to distribute nutrients to the cannabis.

There are also some devices that do not use a medium and directly extend the plant roots into the nutrient solution, and some systems may place the plants in the culture medium and suspend the roots in the water tank. The use of dripper devices can be relatively cheap, and systems that use pumps and other equipment can be very expensive.


Cannabis grows faster and bigger, gaining greater yield
Complete control of PH value and nutritional level
Low risk of diseases and pests


Maintain the correct pH and nutrient levels at all times
Need to clean the water tank
Give nutrition at the beginning
Equipment costs more
Unnatural smell

What is the best growth medium?
To be honest, there is no optimal growth medium. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, people will focus on cost. Soil is still the most used growth medium.

If you are new to planting, please give priority to soil planting
If you already have some planting experience and want to upgrade your equipment, you can consider planting in cocoa/perlite
If you want faster growth of hemp and higher yields, you can consider using a hydroponic system.

Related articles recommended:Understanding Grow Light PAR, PPF, PPFD and PPE

Learn More:What is plant grow light?

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