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Mainlining. What Is It And Why You Should Use It

Mainlining is a method used to achieve larger yields from your marijuana plant. There are several reasons why you should consider this technique. Apart from the obvious one of getting more buds for your buck, if you live where the number of plants you can grow legally is restricted there is no limit on the number of buds per plant.

When you mainline cannabis plants, you are sure to get improved results and perfectly shaped plants that will prevent them from growing sporadically in a tight space.

The best part about mainlining is that once you know how to create a “manifold” (see below), the rest of the process is very straightforward.  Most of the work involved happens at the early growing stage so beyond that there is nothing more to do than normal. Additionally, irrespective of your growing experience, you can get it right from the first attempt.

A manifold, mentioned above, is the way you can divide the cannabis stem and create a Y-shaped hub. This Y-shaped process takes nutrients and resources evenly from the roots to several branches.

First Steps to Mainlining

Now we know what mainlining is how do we achieve it?

  1. Don’t do anything until your seedlings develop between 5 and 8 nodes. This step is essential because you should never top seedlings too early. You need the plant to have developed sufficient root growth and if it is topped too early the plant may not recover. Now, cut the plant down to the 3rd node (which is the 3rd pair of leaves from the base).
  2. Now remove all additional growths and vegetation below the third node. Your plant will have a central stem with two large fan leaves that branch out from the top. This is where you see the Y-shape.
  3. Take the two main shoots ready, and tie them down gently. Be careful as new shoots are delicate and can break and use plant or cable ties so you don’t damage the stems. The objective here is to train the shoots to grow horizontally and parallel to the ground. If you are concerned that the shoots are too delicate it will not hurt to wait a couple of days for them to strengthen before tying them down.
  4. Secure the other end of the plant ties or cable ties to the edge of your planting container. This step will keep the shoots straight and narrow.  If you grow is hydroponic attach the ties to the sides of the reservoir.

Provided you have successfully completed this stage the plant will recover almost immediately! Now that you have your central manifold created, the roots will start to split their nutrients and other essentials between the two shoots and the third node.

Second Steps To Mainlining

Now you have to wait until each branch of the manifold has grown at least four new pairs of leaves.

As with the first steps above, cut the plant down to the 3rd node.

  1. Unlike before do not remove all the growth below the 3rd node just the 2nd leaving nodes one and three intact.
  1. Having done this on both sides of the main stem you will have eight shoots in total (two pairs of leaves will be on both of the main branches).
  2. As uniformity is a crucial idea with mainlining keep the plant under control by adjusting the ties to keep the central branches tied down. The base of the newly created shoots should be parallel with the ground. You will want newer stems to grow at the same height, so always check at least twice a week and adjust them as necessary.
  3. Basically, now your work in achieving mainlining is done.  If you are growing outdoors you could repeat the Second Step a third time and increase the number of nodes to sixteen but indoors eight is probably the optimum number.
  4. Grow the plants as normal until you reach the size that is optimum for the grow space and then induce flowering by adjusting the lighting schedule to 12 hours on, 12 hours off.

Bottom line

Mainlining is a straightforward, inexpensive, and non-labor-intensive technique that guarantees higher cannabis yields than via normal growing. This training method is perfect to ensure your plants reach their fullest potential and that cannabis cultivation is fun and productive. Furthermore, you will find that the tops of the plant are more or less flat allowing the plants to gain equal light levels that will improve growth and yield.

2 thoughts on “Mainlining. What Is It And Why You Should Use It”

  1. hey all you bud tenders my name is brian v and i just started my first grow and could really use some help on this it would be great if somebody that really knows how to do this I would be really greatful for anyand all help !!! I’m on disability and really need the help PLEASE HELP FIRST TIME GROWER RESPECTFULLY BRIAN V

  2. Wow. I’m old as hell but just learning to grow. It seems incredibly daunting at times (I’m not a gardener, not at all) but your articles make it seem pretty easy and logical. I’ve been growing puny crapweed — and that’s fine, until I have to start buying from a dispensary again, and then I can plainly see that I have no clue how to grow or cure. This article in particular gives me hope that it’s not as difficult as it seems, as long as I’ve got a guide to hold my hand and walk me through it all.

    I can do this, yeah. 🙂

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