What’s the Best Medium for Growing Cannabis? Coco vs Soil

Coco vs soil for cannabis

It’s time to look at coco vs soil – which is the better grow medium?

The substrate, or growth media, is where the roots of your cannabis plants grow. Coco coir, Rockwool, clay pebbles, and perlite are just some different mediums used to cultivate plants.

A growing environment such as a hydroponic system doesn’t need a substrate; instead, the roots of the plants float in a nutrient solution.

If the roots have access to water, oxygen, and the proper nutrients, cannabis may thrive. Because each growth media and culture technique has benefits and downsides, there is no universally suitable growing medium. A variety of variables will influence your final decision. Let’s look at the differences between growing in coco and super soil to assist you in making a decision.


Hydroponically-averse gardeners might consider using soil as a substrate for their plants. While hydroponically cultivating your plants is an excellent idea, it is also costly and time-consuming, unsuitable for novices. Thankfully, almost everyone has some familiarity with soil. The most important thing for cannabis farmers to learn about soil is how to choose the right sort of super soil. With just a few growing basics, you’ll be good to go.

Cannabis seedling in soil
A cannabis seedling in soil.

Otherwise, the soil is a well-known medium, and the following pros and drawbacks can help you better comprehend it:

The advantages of cultivating cannabis in super soil

  • It is considerably simpler to grow cannabis in soil than hydroponically, which is a significant advantage of soil-based cultivation. Because coco coir and soil are almost similar, the latter has the upper hand here. Setting up a hydroponic system is time-consuming and costly. On the other hand, the soil is readily available and costs relatively little. As a result, soil-based cultivation is preferred by many cultivators.
  • One further benefit of growing cannabis in the soil is the presence of beneficial bacteria and fungus that help your plant thrive. Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are naturally occurring bacteria in soil that aid in manufacturing chemicals and the battle against soil-borne illnesses. Mycorrhizal (AM) fungus, for example, is a beneficial fungus that grows in the soil and helps survive dryness and break down organic debris.
  • Another advantage of growing your cannabis in the soil is its more terpenes. Cannabis has a unique odor, don’t you remember? That’s because terpenes are to blame.

The drawbacks of cultivating cannabis in soil

  • Soil has a crucial disadvantage over coco coir in that soil may hold a far greater number of pests and insects. You must consider the source and whether or not it is free of any problems when purchasing one for your cannabis plants.
  • Coco coir is lighter in weight than soil, which is one of its main downsides. While coco coir seems to be light and airy, the soil contains a lot of weight, and that weight increases when you add water, making it challenging to move plants after watering.
  • It takes more water to grow your cananbis in soil than in coco coir. Because water is delivered directly to the roots in hydroponic systems, less water is necessary for the growing process. As a result of this need, soil requires more water than other crops. However, avoid drowning your plant by not adding too much water.

Coco Coir

Whatever medium you choose, you must learn the right way to grow cannabis plants. For hydroponic plants, coco coir is a commonly used medium, made from coconut husk, used to cultivate them. The husk surrounding the coconut was formerly seen as a waste product when coconuts were farmed, but now it is being used for various purposes.

Coco coir
Coco Coir is a great organic soil alternative.

Although this attitude towards coconut husk has evolved through time, it is still a valuable commodity for individuals who desire to grow their cannabis in their backyards. So if you are thinking about growing cannabis indoors, this might be an excellent choice.

Benefits of growing cannabis using Coco Coir

  • Roots have plenty of space to develop when grown in coco coir rather than soil. It is far less compact than soil, which allows it to hold more water, have a better drainage system, and be more aerated. Roots thrive in the presence of fresh air.
  • You can be sure that you will be protecting your plants from pests and illnesses thanks to the anti-pathogen characteristics of coco coir, which makes it an excellent choice for organic gardening. As a result, when comparing coco coir to the soil, coir has a significant advantage!
  • Coco coir aids in the growth of plants hydroponically because nutrients reach the plants more quickly, resulting in increased yields. Plants save time since they don’t have to look for nutrients and get them right away.
  • It is another benefit of utilizing coco coir: since it is derived from coconuts, which you can find worldwide, and because it is made out of the coconut ‘waste’ product, it does not harm the environment. You can even use it to grow your next cycle of cannabis plants if you handle it appropriately. It’s even reusable!

Drawbacks to cultivating cannabis in Coco Coir

  • Coco coir has the drawback of sometimes having a more salt content than you’d want. The coco coir must be soaked in water, as previously explained in the section on preparing it. The salt content might not suit your plants if it was soaked in saltwater.
  • When used to cultivate cannabis, Coco coir has another drawback: it may hinder some minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, from getting to the plant. For this reason, while utilizing coco coir to cultivate your cannabis, you’ll need to give it nutrients tailored to the material instead of using a general-purpose fertilizer for your plants. As a result, soil comes out on top compared with coco coir.
  • Finally, after drying, you may chemically treat the coco coir bales to remove any salts that may have formed throughout the procedure. You need to know what chemicals were used to treat the coco coir before you use it to grow cannabis and make sure there is no remnant of those chemicals left in the coco coir that you want to use.

Whether you choose to grow your cannabis on super soil or coco coir, each grow medium has advantages and drawbacks. Choose the option which you feel suits your needs the most. As long as you choose the suitable cultivation method, especially for your greenhouse, you’ll be good to go.

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Taylor Christianson

Taylor is an indoor expert. Through their writing, they offer a masterclass on growing cannabis indoors, maintaining a productive growing environment, and guiding growers through all the stages of growth both indoors and outdoors. Combining multiple fields of expertise allows for Taylor to give in-depth insights into overall cannabis growing. About this Author

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