Many growers wonder how much marijuana one plant can produce. The short answer is “somewhere between one gram and one pound.” But that’s not very helpful, is it? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Every grow is different, and many factors like genetics, plant care, and conditions come into play. Here’s a quick reference with rough estimates.
- Autoflowers can yield up to 100 grams (3.5 oz) per plant, with averages between 30-70 grams (1-2.5 oz).
- Outdoor photoperiod plants can yield up to 400 grams (13 oz) per plant, with averages between 150-250 grams (5-8 oz).
- Indoor photoperiod plants can yield up to 750 grams (26 oz) with averages between 300-500 grams (10-17 oz).
The rest of this article will discuss everything there is to know about calculating marijuana yields. Plus, you’ll find some bonus tips to maximize your yield.
- Calculating marijuana yield
- How genetics affect yield
- How much can you yield indoors
- How much can a single plant yield outdoor
- Soil vs hydroponic yield
- Growing a 1-pound plant
- Learn more about cannabis yields
Calculating marijuana yield
You will find many cannabis yield calculators online. Some are more exact than others. Because of so many factors, like genetics, light, indoor or outdoor conditions, and plant care, I prefer to stick to estimations.
Years of growing cannabis have led to me doubling the outcomes of my grow over time! So I can tell you how much to expect as a new grower as well as the optimal results possible.
Should you weigh wet or dry weed?
Cannabis flowers must undergo a drying process after harvest. This releases moisture from the buds, along with bad-smelling/tasting chlorophyll, and prevents mold issues. During the drying process, the buds will lose a significant amount of water weight and size, this is normal.
By the time marijuana flowers are at the consumer level, they have been properly dried. The flowers are then weighed before packaging occurs. Because yield correlates to a final crop value, people do not tally their yield until all of the flowers are dry. Cannabis from vendors can sit in the stockroom of dispensaries before being moved to the display shelf. If it was weighed wet and sold dry, that would make for angry consumers.
How genetics affect yield
Not all plants are made equal. While most cultivars are bred to yield well, some stand out as heavy yielders. Here are some core traits to keep in mind.
Indica plants tend to yield more buds than sativa plants. The plants are bushier and sturdier and often grow bigger buds. Go here if you want to delve deeper into the differences between sativa and indica.
Autoflowers are bred so they automatically bloom within just a few weeks. Photoperiod plants bloom when they get less daily light. Autos are smaller and great for beginners, but this does mean the photoperiod plants yield more than autoflowering plants. Go here to learn more about the yields of autoflowering plants.
Buy high-yielding seeds
- Bred to produce large crops
- Maximize your harvest
- Pick from several high-quality strains
How much can you yield indoors
When growing indoors, your grow lights are a big factor for good yields. It used to be easy to apply a rule of thumb to indoor growing, as most grow rooms had HPS or CFL grow lights. With LED grow lights popularizing, the easy rule of thumb doesn’t always apply anymore.
Calculating HPS yield
HPS grow lights used to be the standard for professional grow rooms.
For experienced growers, the rule of thumb used to be that 1 watt of HPS light = 1 gram of weed (1 gram = 0,035 oz).
- A 400-watt HPS grow light can potentially translate to 400 grams (14 oz) of dried cannabis.
- Likewise, a grow room with 1200 watts of light can yield 1200 grams (42 oz) of cannabis.
Newer growers and less optimized grow room conditions can expect around half those amounts.
Calculating LED yield
LED lighting has come a long way since the time it was first used in the grow room. The indoor lighting sector has seen increased research and development in the past decade, thanks to the home gardening market. Most people started with blue and red diodes, but this has shifted to a full spectrum of white light as our practical knowledge and applications have increased.
LED lighting has now surpassed HID lighting in efficiency, which means growers should see an increased yield watt for watt. The yield of a 400W LED is comparable to the 600W HPS. Whereas one gram per watt was considered good with an HPS system, this would be considered an average yield for LED. Growers with the right genetics and a dialed-in system can yield two+ grams per watt with a good LED light.
My article about LED grow lights will teach you all there is to know.
Calculating CFL yield
Some home growers still prefer to grow under a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
Growing 5 cannabis plants in a 2×2 foot grow tent with a 2×100 watt CFL will yield about 140 grams (5 oz) of marijuana per harvest.
Dive into my dedicated guide, How many CFLs per plant for more information.
How to yield more weed indoors
Maximizing indoor yields is an art and sport in itself, but you don’t have to apply all these techniques overnight. Each of these tips will help you increase your grow room harvests.
- Space out your plants to prevent overcrowding and overshadowing
- Hang your grow lights at the correct height
- Ensure the correct light spectrum for each grow stage
- Ensure your grow environment has the correct Vapor pressure deficit (VPD)
- Consider giving your plants extra time in the vegetative stage
- Make sure you use the right size pot
- Maintain the best CO2 levels for your cannabis plants
- Pick high-yielding strains
- Give your plants the best marijuana fertilizer
- Prune your cannabis plants
- Train your cannabis plants
- Time your harvest right
Download my free marijuana Grow bible to learn how to maximize your yield, indoors and outdoors!
How much can a single plant yield outdoor
Growing outdoors in good soil, the right climate, and with great genetics can produce plants with desired yields between 600 and 750 grams (21-26 oz). That’s not the case for most growers though. Most growers aren’t growing professionally tended monster plants. The majority of growers with the right factors can see outdoor marijuana yields of 300-500 grams (10-17 oz) per plant.
How to yield more outdoors
Perfect conditions to maximize outdoor yield means:
- Germinate the seeds early to allow the plants time to grow large
- To better manage your seedlings: germinate indoors
- Give your plants at least six feet (2 meters) of space in between
- Use the correct pot size: 15 gallons (50 liters)
- Ensure as much sunlight as possible
- Proper watering and marijuana fertilizer
- Good protection against pests and diseases
- Pick high-quality outdoor cannabis seeds
- Prune your cannabis plants
- Train your cannabis plants
- Time your harvest right
Soil vs hydroponic yield
Because hydroponic growing is usually done indoors, we’re going to refer back to the HPS rule of thumb: When growing in soil, expect a maximum yield of 1 gram per watt. Growing hydroponically can yield up to 20% more.
Growing in soil is easier and more forgiving. This is because it not only creates a buffer for error but it also holds nutrients within the soil. Mistakes with pH and TDS will reduce your harvest. When growing in soil, there is room to make mistakes with pH and TDS and pay for it in yield.
In soil, a 600-watt HPS lamp can produce 600 grams of marijuana or 21 ounces.
With hydroponic growing, there is no room for errors. You must be very careful about the TDS and pH levels because the roots are directly in water and incorrect levels immediately affect the plants. Even the smallest error can ruin your yield. However, those who do it correctly will be rewarded. The images below show that hydro plants and their roots grow faster than soil plants.
Hydroponically, a 600-watt HPS lamp can produce 720 grams of marijuana or 25 ounces.
Growing a 1-pound plant
Ahh, the elusive one-pound plant!
If you want to grow a one-pound marijuana plant, grow a single plant. You need a 4×4 foot grow tent or other similar-sized space, and a 600-watt HPS grow light. Under ideal circumstances, a 600-watt light can produce well over a pound of cannabis. If you limit
Growing a one-pounder is a fun project, but there are some downsides. You need to veg the plant for a very long time until the entire floor is covered with leaves and no light goes to waste. Scrogging is the way to go to cover 10 square feet with one plant. You also have to prune and trim your plant a lot to make sure it gets optimal light and doesn’t grow through the ceiling.
If you do everything right, you’ll end up with a one-pound plant like this:
Learn more about cannabis yields
Now that you know what to expect from your grow, here are more learnings on how to actually harvest these results:
- My complete guide on How to Maximize Cannabis Yields
- My guide on How to Grow Bigger Buds
- Research paper: A Meta-Analysis of Factors Determining Cannabis Yield