Humans have wanted to know how to find wild marijuana for thousands of years, but today most people who forage for wild cannabis do so for fun. Though common “ditch weed” that's found across North America is merely industrial hemp that's undesirable compared to cannabis you get from a dispensary (or even on the street), it's always a happy surprise to find a high-quality marijuana plant in flower on an outdoor excursion. Cannabis plants are as resilient as many other weeds, and they can get by in almost any area with limited resources and virtually no help from human cultivators. To give you an idea of of what it takes to spot a cannabis plant out in the open, here we talk about how to find wild marijuana by yourself.
- Understand the life cycle of cannabis plants and know that autumn is the time to find wild marijuana that's in flower or has gone to seed.
- Familiarize yourself with what cannabis leaves and flowers look like, as these will be how you tell wild marijuana plants apart from other vegetation. However, be prepared to look for plants, leaves, and flowers of various shapes, sizes, and colors when you're trying to find wild marijuana.
- Know your local laws and respect the rules of public and private lands; you don't want your foraging expedition to result in an accidental property destruction or a trespassing charge.
- Look for wild marijuana in areas with lots of exposure to natural light; cannabis is a sun-loving plant that needs an adequate amount of light to mature properly. You're less likely to find wild cannabis in areas with low light levels and moist soil that doesn't dry out.
- Check untended areas that are near man-made sites and have few visitors; abandoned construction jobs, fallow farmland, and hiking trails are good places to try and find wild marijuana.
- Respect surrounding vegetation when you find a wild marijuana plant; don't uproot or trample other plants as much as you can help it. If you choose to take a sample from the wild cannabis plant you find, take a few flowers and leave most of the plants in-tact.
- Beware venturing on to someone else's “secret garden” of illegal plants; “guerrilla growers” usually don't treat strangers kindly, and it's inconsiderate to steal the fruits of another's labor.