What is the Best Soil To Grow Cannabis?


What is the Best Soil To Grow Cannabis?

GrowingGreen-What is the Best Soil To Grow Cannabis

Healthy cannabis soil is the foundation for a successful garden and yield. Whether you buy pre-made soil mix or make your own at home, it’s essential to understand how soil structure affects plant growth and what components are necessary to feed your cannabis plants.

What Is the Best Soil for Cannabis?

On a recent trip to Humboldt County, we spoke with Nate Swenson, certified professional soil scientist for Royal Gold, about the importance of good soil and the best soil for cannabis growth. 

When asked about the best soil to grow cannabis, Nate said, “the best soil to grow cannabis is the one that fits your needs and the plant’s needs.” Everyone grows cannabis differently, and there are many factors to consider before selecting the suitable soil for you.

One person may not have the time or patience to frequently water and feed their plants, while another may feed their plants multiple times per day. The definition of “good soil” varies for each of these growers.

Different Soil Types

If you plan to buy pre-made potting soil for cannabis, it will likely already have the right soil consistency and texture. However, if you’re using natural soil, you may need to determine if it’s the right fit for your garden. Here are the main types of natural soil:


Sandy soil has poor water retention but good drainage and does not retain nutrients well.


Silty soils are rich in organic matter and have decent drainage and water retention. 


Loamy soil is a blend of sandy, silty, and clay soil. This is a great choice for cannabis growers since it offers great drainage and water retention. It’s also rich in nutrients.


Clay soil can be too compact for growing cannabis and have poor drainage but decent water retention.

Properties of the Best Soil for Cannabis

Good cannabis soil varies based on your individual needs and preferences. However, there are some properties that all cannabis soil must have for plants to thrive.

Soil Texture

When it comes to cannabis soil texture, go with loamy soil, a blend of silty, sandy, and clay soil. Loamy soil has proper drainage, water retention, and nutrients.

Water Retention

Water or moisture retention refers to the soil’s ability to hold water. Good water retention allows plants to absorb the necessary moisture.


Proper drainage ensures your plants do not sit in a pool of water for too long. Poor drainage can lead to mold formation.

Soil Nutrients

Good cannabis soil should contain a wide range of organic matter, essential minerals, and beneficial microbes to promote healthy growth. Popular sources of nutrients include peat moss, earthworm castings, coco coir, and bat guano.

Soil pH

Good cannabis soil should have a slightly acidic pH to thrive. Ideally, go for soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. An optimal pH improves nutrient uptake.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Cannabis Soil

Since the best cannabis soil varies between growers, it’s up to you to consider a few factors before choosing the right one for your needs.

Garden Size

Determine the number of cannabis plants you plan to grow. Once you have a number, it’s easier to buy the right amount of soil, so you don’t need to go out and buy more or are left with an abundance of soil mix you need to store.

Organic vs. Inorganic

Should you go with inorganic or organic soil? Growing organic cannabis with organic potting soil can improve your plant’s hardiness and reduce the need for pesticides. However, if you’re short on cash, you may go with the more affordable inorganic potting soil option.

Supplements vs. No Supplements

For beginners, we recommend stand-alone potting soil over supplement-based soil mixes. With stand-alone potting soil, you can add amendments if needed based on your needs. Supplement-based soils can lead to nutrient burn if you’re not careful.

Living Soil vs. Non-Living Soil

A diverse ecosystem in your soil can help break down nutrients and improve nutrient uptake. While living soil can be pricier than non-living soil, it’s worth it.

Photoperiod vs. Autoflowering

If growing autoflowering cannabis plants, we recommend a cannabis soil mix with a light nutrient concentration to avoid nutrient burn. When growing photoperiod cannabis plants, you may need to start them with a soil mix designed for young cannabis plants and transplant them to a potting soil mix with higher nutrient levels once they mature.

Best Cannabis Soil Ingredients

If you want to buy pre-made soil mixes or make living soil at home, there are many ingredients you can use to improve your plant’s nutrition and the soil’s structure. Consider these ingredients as your soil amendment:

  • Bone meal
  • Blood meal
  • Fish meal
  • Crab meal
  • Bat guano
  • Perlite
  • Coco coir
  • Earthworm castings
  • Peat moss
  • Dolomite lime
  • Vermiculite

Subscribe to Growing Exposed on Youtube to Grow Like a Pro

Do you want to learn how to grow cannabis from the best growers in the industry? Subscribe to the Growing Exposed Youtube Channel to watch HD videos covering the latest cultivation techniques and technology. Stay up to date with the world of cannabis. Subscribe to Growing Exposed!

Picture of Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a California-based cannabis writer. In his free time, he loves traveling to the hidden gems in Mexico, reading literary fiction and non-fiction, and listening to punk on vinyl.

Join the Growing
Exposed community

Join the Growing
Exposed community

Scroll to Top