You really can grow a marijuana plant inside while using a fluorescent light bulb and produce a potent and mature crop. If you understand the specific cycles that a marijuana plant naturally goes through and can mirror this environment, you will find success. You will not be able to recreate this environment perfectly, but emulating the environment should still provide you with success. You will need to mirror natural light, growing medium, rain, temperature, nutrients and humidity. Standard 40 watt, 4' (120 cm) fluorescent bulbs are easy to buy and use for this process, especially when combined with a 40 watt aquarium bulb to create a good combination of light to mimic sunlight. You will want to keep your marijuana plants 2-4" (5-10 cm) away from your light fixtures during all phases of plant growth to ensure the best growth. Dampened paper towels is one way of germinating marijuana seeds, covering the layer of seeds with more damp paper towels. This setup can be set inside a dresser, only needing to be monitored every day or two for water. This should be enough for the seeds to sprout in a week or two. Take your new sprouts and place them 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) deep into your growing medium (preferably soil combined with sand or perlite), with the shell facing up. 3-4" (7.5-10 cm) pots should be more than sufficient to start your plants.
24 hours of constant light is the best route to take for these sprouts. As each sprout breaks through the surface of the soil, moving up toward the light, you will want to adjust the light so there is always 2-4" (5-10 cm) of space above the plant tops. You will need to transplant your plants into 6" (15 cm) pots once your marijuana plants outgrow the small pot, which is typically around the third week. Once you hit four weeks, putting the light cycle to 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness will help you determine the sex of your plants. Certain varieties prefer the 12 hour on and off cycle to show which gender the plant is, but this depends on which strains you are growing. The same goes for growing the plant's vegetation. Each strain is going to need a different amount of time to grow to flowering maturity. Most varieties need about four weeks, but some require more, especially if the plant is struggling with growth under fluorescent lights. You will be able to differentiate between male and female plants by the pollen packets on the males or the pistils on the females.
You will notice the huge variance in growing techniques with something as simple as a growing medium and a few seeds, but then if you include different equipment and hydroponic systems, the possibilities become endless. Each different environment will produce a slightly different plant, even with the same seeds, so you just have to streamline your growing, developing and budding procedures to achieve a successful crop. Really it is as simple as germination, planting in growing medium, watering and fertilizing the plants when they need it during growth, flowering your marijuana plants and then harvesting to get a crop you can be proud of.
Want to read more about marijuana? Go to our marijuana grow guide.