Cannabis fundamental #1: All you need to grow cannabis is the four basics: air, water, light and food (plant food). Don't confuse the medium with being an essential; soil, soilmix, perlite, styrofoam, hydroton, etc are all types of medium you can use to grow your cannabis but NONE are actually required. I will tell you right now, there are small pluses for going this way or that but in the end, the way that works for you, your skillset and financial and/or legal situation is the best one for you. So as long as you have the four basics, you can grow very easily, successfully and economically. It is definitely not rocket-science.
As an example, here can see one of my most basic grow setups: A tub with nutrient-enriched pH balanced water, a simple aquarium pump and airstone, a float-valve to control when and how much of the water/nutrients are fed to the tub and finally a simple LED grow light having above. And it is happy as a pig in shit:
Its not complicated and you don't need exotic ingredients. The LED light, tub, airstone, floatvalve and all concentrated nutrients came from Amazon.com and the water came from my garden hose. In veg I can stick six more into such a tub for larger crops (this is actually in bloom). In this case however, as slots open up in the outside Desert Challenge grow from harvests of whats already there, this will pop right into a soilmix with a 60-second transplant (the cups make it super-easy) and there it will march along until I decide to take the plant sometime in December, depending on weather.
What sort of goes along with this is one of the worst, most misleading "true" statements about growing cannabis I have ever heard, and every time I see a new grower reading that crapola, I want to cry.
Stop me if you have heard this one: "Growing cannabis is easy because after all at the end of the day, cannabis is just a weed."
Yes it is a weed and Yes for various definitions of "grow" it grows easily. The problem with this statement is simple, you are not growing flowers (well, not exactly), you are making medicine, and how well that medicine works is a result of how well you grow it. In many climates, one can do the whole Johnny Appleseed thing, toss some seeds in a well-lit but secluded area and probably some will grow. The thing is, with no work or effort put into it, they will just grow as spindly little things, damned-near worthless for medicine. However by applying some simple rules to the process (and love) will make the difference between growing "weed" and growing efficacious medicine.
Food for thought....