Best Hydroponic System For Weed 2018: What You Need to Know to Supercharge Your Cannabis Grow

I’ve been growing cannabis in soil for most of the last 10 years; its just how I learned and what I feel comfortable with. I’ve been investigating hydroponics and its effects on cannabis over the last few months and have decided it was time to make the move to complete hydroponic weed systems. For me, it was a shocking move and a tough decision to move away from what I’m an expert at; growing in dirt with led grow lights. This article will discuss my adventure as I uncover why growing cannabis in combination with LEDs and Hydroponics is the ultimate blueprint for cannabis growing success!

Top Complete Hydroponic Marijuana Grow Systems on Amazon

The biggest issue I had when deciding to try hydroponic marijuana gardening was what setup to get and where to buy it from. I didn’t know exactly what I would need or how it all works together. That’s why I took the time to do the research. I’ve found the best hydroponic kits that include everything you need to start growing. You can now benefit from my hard work researching the best options.

Beginners need not to be afraid of hydroponic weed systems, it’s concept and equipment are very simple. When I first looked at a system I feared the learning curve but in actuality, it has a very small learning curve. I find that it’s simpler to grow hydroponically than in soil. There are really less watering issues which tend to cause issues for newbies growing plants when using a complete hydroponic system instead of traditional soil.

Growing in soil has its pluses and negatives but its main limitation is its ability to transfer oxygen to its roots while maintaining enough moisture in the plant. You can’t over or under water your plants, they need a very regimented amount of water and schedule. Other issues that can arise due to growing in soil are molds, mildews and pests. I’ve found out what hydroponic growers have known all along, hydroponic systems for growing cannabis are incredible.

hydroponics setup

The Power to Maximize your Hydroponic Marijuana Grow

With hydroponics, you can maximize the amount of water that comes in to contact with the roots while also giving the roots enough time to dry partially before the next feeding. With hydroponics nutrients are placed in oxygen-rich water. The nutrient water mixture is oxygenated using sandstone and an air pump like those systems used with fish tanks. Since the water nutrient mix has oxygen it is transferred to the root system of your plants.

The nutrient mix is a combination of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients which provide all of the plants chemical requirements. The nutrient solution comes into contact with your cannabis plants roots but the roots do not remain in constant contact with the water and nutrients. Depending on the type of Hydroponic system you are using the water, oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the roots in one of 6 ways.

The Types of Hydroponic Marijuana Feeding

Wick System – The simplest Hydroponic system is passive which means that it uses no moving parts. The solution is drawn into the root system using a wick which sucks water up from the reservoir and delivers it to the growing medium which could be Perlite, Vermiculite or Coconut Fiber.

Hydroponic Wick System

Water Culture System – This is an active system but in it’s simplest form. With this method, the plant is held in a Styrofoam substrate which floats in the nutrient solution. The nutrient solution is air rated so that the roots can be in constant contact with the nutrient/water solution.

Hydroponics Depp Water Culture System

Ebb and Flow – this option is much more commonly used for Cannabis plants. The ebb/flow system works by temporarily flooding the roots with nutrient solution and then draining that solution back into the reservoir. This movement of the water is driven by a pump which is submerged in the nutrient/water reservoir which is enabled by a timer. With this method, you can control how often the roots are flushed with water and nutrients.

The growing medium for this system would be grow rocks, gravel or granular Rockwool.

Hydroponic ebb and flow system

Drip Systems – the most common of the hydroponic systems used for growing cannabis is the drip system. Its simple operation is very attractive to growers. With this system nutrient/water is dripped into the roots of your cannabis plants and the runoff is collected in the reservoir for re-use. This is an efficient system that saves on water and nutrients.

Hydroponic Drip System

Nutrient Film Technique –  This system is what most people see in their minds when they think of hydroponics. This system uses a constant flow of water/nutrients which is run past the roots of the cannabis plants which are suspended above the water using plastic baskets. No growing medium is required which makes this a very simple and cost-effective option.

Hydroponics nutrient film technique

Aeroponic System – The most advanced option in hydroponic gardening. In this setup, the plants are held above the reservoir in a plastic basket with the cannabis’s plants roots hanging down below. The roots are then misted with the water nutrient blend often so that the roots are never given a chance to dry out.

Hydroponics Areoponics System

Benefits of Complete Hydroponic Marijuana Grow Systems

Water Savings

Even though your growing medium is water instead of soil it doesn’t mean it uses more water; in-fact hydroponics only requires 1 gallon of water per plant for the entire grow cycle start to finish. If you were watering your cannabis plants in soil you would use 5x more water over the course of the grow.

Hydroponic Weed Systems Promote Fast and Larger Plant Growth

Due to the efficiency in providing oxygen, water, and nutrients to the roots of your cannabis plants, you will experience faster and larger plant growth. Since your plants aren’t sitting in soil or another growing medium that increase the amount of oxygen water and nutrients that your plants can absorb without causing root rot or other conditions related to over and under watering. Since you are in control of all the growing variables from light to, feeding your plants will be heartier.

Deep water culture hydroponics in 5 gallon buckets

Hydroponic Grows Produce Larger Cannabis Yields than Growing in Soil

When growing in soil your plant’s root system must absorb nutrients from the surrounding soil, as nutrient-rich water evaporates it leaves behind trace amounts of minerals in the soil. The roots are then able to absorb the nutrients for use. When working with hydroponics the roots of your plant are in better contact with water, oxygen, and nutrients which means the plant has an easier time of taking in what it needs to thrive.

If you need to make an adjustment to your water/nutrient supply it’s very easy, either add more water to weaken the mixture or add more nutrients to increase the strength. You adjust these parameters based on how your plants are looking. Since your plants won’t ever be under or over watered any visible issues with your cannabis plants will either be light related or nutrient strength related. This really simplifies the growing process for you and allows you to grow healthier plants which will yield more flowers and more potent levels of CBD and THC.

Hydroponic Grows Experience Less Plant Disease

As any cannabis grower can tell you that pests and disease are your enemies. When growing in soil your odds of running into some sort of pest or disease is much higher. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Soils Can be contaminated with fungus and larva
  • Soils hold on to moisture for longer periods of time which increases the chances of mold and mildew issues
  • Soil gives bugs a place to hatch and thrive

Growing indoors means you have taken control over your plant’s environment and created a microclimate for them to thrive in. Since you are indoors you have much greater control over pests that could be introduced. This isn’t a rule because I’ve had issues indoors many a time with all sorts of pests. It’s just less likely if you keep a clean grow area you can greatly reduce the odds of contamination. Since you are removing soil out of the grow equation you are removing the number one reason why plants have issues with pests and disease in the first place.

No Need for Poisonous Pesticides

Since growing hydroponics means no soil and no access to outdoors your risk of harmful insects attacking your cannabis is very low and thus the need to use pesticides in not required at all. Since you will be smoking this cannabis you really don’t want pesticide in your plants, even organic pesticides will affect the flavor of your cannabis and chemical fertilizers can poison you. Remember to flush your plants at the end of the growing cycle to remove any leftover nutrients this step will greatly improve the taste and aroma of your cannabis.

Affordability is Key

Hydroponic marijuana grow systems are the key to efficiency in your cannabis grow. They require less space then traditional grow setups, less water, no pesticides and you can pick out the nutrients. After the initial start-up expense of the pump and containers, your hydroponic system will require very little future investment or maintenance.

Using LED Grow Lights with Hydroponics

If you are using LED grow lights or are thinking about using LED grow lights in conjunction with complete hydroponic systems you are playing with amazing! The advanced grow power of the led grow light with the supercharged nutritional performance of hydroponics is a match made in stoner heaven. Just be careful when working with electricity and water. Hydroponic marijuana systems are generally closed systems so there is no chance of electrocution unless you do something really stupid.

Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit

complete hydroponic marijuana grow system  Click Here to See More Images Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit

The Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow includes four  5 Gallon – 10″ Buckets. The 10” openings allow for medium to large sized plants. This system which I’ve been using now for several grows is simple to use and hasn’t had any major issues at all.

The PowerGrow unit is simple to setup and use allowing even a beginner to get set up and growing in just about an hour. Imagine breaking into hydroponic growing for such a little time and financial investment! Your yields and grow times will improve greatly once you switch over.

This American made Deep Water Culture system comes with everything you need to get started which is super convenient.

In this system, the roots of your plants are suspended in oxygen infused, nutrient-rich water which feeds your plants almost constantly. Growers will see increases in growth speed and plant size when using hydroponics. Click Here to check the current price.

Hydroponic Marijuana Self Watering Bubbler

 Click Here to See More Images Hydroponic Marijuana Self Watering Bubbler

This self-watering kit includes: Customized reservoir and lid, net cups, aeration kit (air pump, air stone, airline), water circulation/watering kit (water pump, water lines, drippers), grow medium starter kit and nutrient starter kit, Instructions & Manufacturer’s Warranty. This is a DWC hydroponic system which provides a constant flow of oxygen-rich water and nutrients to your cannabis roots. The growth rate on a hydroponic plant is 30-50 percent faster than a soil plant, grown under the same conditions and the yield of the hydroponically grown plant is also greater. Hydroponic plants have fewer problems with bug infestations, fungi, and disease so pesticides aren’t required. Click Here to check the current price.

16.5 Gallon Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Growing System Complete Kit

Deep water hydroponics  Click Here to See More Images 16.5 Gallon Deep Water Culture System Complete Kit

Looking for a cheap but reliable deep-water culture system to explode your cannabis grows? Then the Mr. Stacky DWC system is for you. Setup is a breeze, just add water, nutrients, and light. Expect grows to be up to 2X faster and to produce higher yields of cannabis bud. While this unit will help you grow great cannabis is actually saves water, nutrients, and electricity since your grow will be completed faster.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced grower or whether you grow in a closet or in a basement, this system is for you. Click Here to check the current price.

AutoPot 4-Pot Gravity Fed Watering System

Auto Pot 4 Pot drip system  Click Here to See More Images AutoPot 4-Pot Gravity Fed Watering System

This 4-pot gravity fed system requires no power to operate and is versatile enough for a beginner and advanced growers alike and provides guaranteed results. You can easily extend this system with more pots. This gravity-fed system won’t fail and will take care of your plants watering and nutrient needs without a lot of monitoring. Click Here to check the current price.

Oxygen Pot Systems 6 Site XL Super-Flow (Digital)

XL Super Flow Hydroponics System  Click Here to See More Images Oxygen Pot Systems 6 Site XL Super-Flow (Digital)

The Oxygen Pot Systems 6 Site XL Super-Flow Digital is a premium Ebb and Flow Hydroponic grow system that is perfect for growing amazing cannabis plants. This system is so unique it uses patent-pending technology like their high-grade fabric aeration pots which allow extra air to get deep into your root system. This leads to optimum growing performance and less over watering issues.

This system is expandable to 18 sites which means you can really grow into this unit, starting in a small closet and growing into a full room. The Gro-Commander Control module can also be expanded to support up to 36 sites. Everything you need to get this baby growing is in the box. Click Here to check the current price.

General Hydroponics Eco Grower Drip Hydroponic System

General Hydroponics Hydro system  Click Here to See More Images General Hydroponics Eco Grower Drip Hydroponic System

The Eco Grower created by General Hydroponics is an excellent 6 site drip system that can support very large plants. The Eco Grower uses an air driven spider drip system to deliver oxygenated water and nutrients directly to your plant’s roots on a schedule. The unit itself is shaped like a hexagon which means that you can place these units side by side and they’ll fit together like a puzzle under your grow lights. The 6 inserts hold Coco Tek liners and hold clay pebble substrate to hold the plant. Click Here to check the current price.

Superponics 8 Site Reservoir System

Superponics  Click Here to See More Images Superponics-8 Hydroponic Plant Propagation Reservoir System

SuperCloset is known for their turnkey stealth grow boxes but they also make the Superponics deep water culture top feed system. This is a hybrid system combining the best ideas of drip and DWC together which supercharges your grow.

This system is quiet and small so it is meant to fit in small spaces and be discreet. The unit has been designed with easy use in mind allowing for easy cleaning of the internal components. Feel confident that you’ll get many grows out of the Superponics system because it comes with a 3-year warranty plus lifetime customer service access. A great system for a beginner grower.

Get the latest price for the Supoerponics deep water culture system click here.


Even with my love and experience of growing cannabis in soil, I have to admit I’m drawn to the simplicity and effectiveness of hydroponics. The ability to reduce the number of negative factors such as pests and disease as well as control the nutrient uptake of your plants without causing negative effects on the root system is magical.

As an environmentalist I’m also drawn to the efficiency of the best hydroponic system for weed, using less water, chemicals, and pesticides while increasing your production seems like it’s too good to be true but in this case, it is true.  This one time cheaper and simpler really does produce the best results for growing cannabis.

Since we are talking about growing cannabis you should be looking to use either the ebb and flow system, drip system or the nutrient film system. If you use one of these simple options your cannabis grow will explode, and your workload will decrease greatly. It’s a win-win and that’s why I’m going to continue growing with hydroponics instead of soil.

For my grow I went with the Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow 

This system which is producing amazing results for me got me to switch from soil growing to hydro growing in one grow. I would highly recommend this system to any cannabis grower new or advanced.

Leave a Comment