Many chemical and physical processes occur in a cannabis plant for it to grow and flower. A plant needs water, light, nutrients, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Understanding the metabolism of a marijuana plant helps to understand how the plant uses these elements and makes it easier to identify potential problems quickly. A plant gets the needed energy from sunlight, or indoor growing lamps through the leaves which contain chlorophyll to absorb the light and create energy when combined with water and CO2. This process is called photosynthesis.

Other processes occur at night such as the formation of proteins that do not form during the day. This is why a cannabis plant needs both a day and night period. The day period should not last more than 12 hours during the flowering stage to mimic fall time. More than 12 hours of daylight could though your plant back into the growing stage. All of these elements work together to support the metabolism and growth of the cannabis plant.