Grow Cannabis Indoors or Outdoors: Which One Is Better for You?
The world of growing cannabis has evolved dramatically over the last several decades. When breaking down the current landscape of marijuana cultivation, one of the major dichotomies is between indoor and outdoor growing. By comparing these two styles, you will discover what makes each environment unique and advantageous over the other. More importantly, you can then decide which one is better suited for your needs.
Indoor Growing and Outdoor Growing
When it comes to growing cannabis, there are some major decisions that growers need to make before they even get started. This choice starts with one of the most critical debate, should we grow it inside or outside? While this may sound like a simple decision, there are deep nuances and vast differences in the financial costs of each. Ultimately, the final product is determined largely by this first choice.
We’ll break down the pros and cons of each. With so many options when it comes to buying cannabis, discovering these intricacies of the cultivation process leads to numerous benefits. By becoming informed consumers who understand these differences, you’ll make better buying decisions.
The Pros of Growing Cannabis Indoors
Growing cannabis indoors generally results in darker and more dense buds. Generally, you’ll find a brighter variety of colours, like orange, purple, and red pistils. If you give your dried flower a squeeze, you’ll generally note that indoor-grown bud is more firm.
Growing cannabis indoors requires lighting systems to cultivate and harvest cannabis insight a building. Some growers use greenhouses to combine natural sunlight with supplemental lighting. Most indoor growing occurs using only electrical lighting options, such as LEDs, fluorescent lights (CFL), and HID grow lights. Without depending on sunlight, indoors growers can decide precisely how many hours of light each room of plants gets. On the flip side, these rooms provide more certain darkness during the night, which appears to be beneficial for plant growth.
The advantages of indoor growing include having an utterly controllable environment. Pests, pathogens, and other invaders can be mitigated more easily inside than outside. Without dependence on sunlight, growers have complete control over how much light their plants get. This includes both the light schedule (how many hours the lights are on versus off), light type, and intensity. Growers also control the room temperatures and airflow. None of this involves any reliance on the local weather, reducing the risks that come with relying on nature.
Another benefit is uniformity. With complete control over the entire grow room(s), growers can ensure that each plant in the room ends up pretty similar to one another. The same goes for subsequent harvests, as the environment can be controlled to produce nearly identical results time after time. For medical cannabis growers, this is absolutely essential to produce the tight-range of cannabinoid profile expected in these situations.
Growing Medium and Watering
Growing indoors also provides opportunities for the choice of Growing medium. Instead of having to use the ground beneath your field, indoor growers use a variety of mediums. With these mediums it is more possible ensure the correct nutrient profile, with much more control than natural soil. Other indoor growers exclude the soil completely, using hydroponic systems that allow roots to grow directly in water.
The ability to provide precise levels of water to meet the plant’s needs is a benefit of growing inside. When it comes to growing outside, growers are dependent on rain-water unless they invest the resources needed to create watering systems. Even in these situations, indoor growers still have far more control over the temperature and content of the water used.
While buying a grow tent, grow lights, and other equipment for indoor growing is pricey, the bud does pay for itself over time. Growing inside is a better option for people who can’t grow outside or don’t have space. It is also a better option for those who want full control over the growing environment for their plants. Growing plants inside makes it easier to care for plants. Many home-grower take advantage of topping and low-stress training to provide the maximum yield possible.
While this cheap bud is perfect for making edibles, it does not have the same shelf appeal as indoor-grown cannabis. And so, the choice for most consumers will be between indoor-grown and greenhouse-grown bud. Of the two, indoor-grown will come with a higher price tag.
This price tag is higher for good reasons, however. You’ll find that indoor-grown bud is generally larger than the small nugs grown outside. The extra care and attention is given to each plant grown inside results in these larger and more high-quality buds. Often, the trimming process is more precise for indoor bud, and this is why you’ll find fewer sugar leaves and more trichomes.
Historically, growing weed inside is what has led to the current highs in potency we now see in the cannabis market. Cannabis grown outside has consistently lagged in strength, for reasons already discussed above. While potencies have improved with outdoor harvests, they still don’t compete with the best buds grown inside. When it comes to growing at home, indoor growing may provide a higher cannabinoid profile, but growing outside can produce higher yields overall.
Flavor and Smell
You can expect a more pungent aroma with the bud grown inside. Cannabis grown outside often has a more hay-like and earthy aroma. This weed is often contrasted by indoor-grown bud, which comes with more hints of citrus, lavender, and vanilla. It should be noted that many people prefer the natural aroma of outdoor-grown weed, and there is nothing wrong with that.
The differences in flavor tend to follow the same pattern. You can expect more flavor in bud grown inside, along with a better variety of flavors. Outdoor-grown flower has more muted and natural smelling aromas. It should be noted that the flavor and smell of outdoor-grown bud largely depend on the soil and the climate of the region. Both of these factors vary from year-to-year, so you can expect more variance in subsequent outdoor harvests than those grown inside.
The Benefits of Outdoor Cannabis Growing
Cannabis grown outside tends to have a more rugged and weathered appearance. Being exposed to nature’s whims can have this effect on the bud. The weed tends to be darker, less dense, and more fluffy. You’ll likely find fewer trichomes (white little crystals) on bud grown outdoors.
The advantages of outdoors growing mainly lie in cheaper overall growing costs. Without having to pay for lighting, growers avoid the largest component of the cost of growing indoors. The same goes for the cost differences between a large field and building a facility. The cost-per-gram of growing outdoors is significantly lower than indoor growing. Greenhouses that take advantage of natural sunlight reduce these costs somewhat, but also add additional risks of pests and pathogens. For the average home-grower, there are far fewer costs associated with growing outside than indoors.
Relying on Nature
While cannabis grown outside does rely on nature, the benefits include much lower growing costs. Since growers can take full advantage of natural sunlight, no lights need to be bought and the electricity bill gets to stay low. Watering of plants can supplement natural rainfall to ensure plants get what they need to grow.
While there is less environmental control for outdoor growing, the decrease in overall costs, and an increase in plant yield make up this difference for these growers. While the outdoor space may allow more plants to be grown, as we’ve discussed, these plants tend to have lower cannabinoid profile yields. That said, these plants can grow incredibly large under summer sunlight. Nonetheless, growing indoors is nowhere as cheap as growing outside, although greenhouses come closer.
Which One Should You Buy?
Ultimately, it does come down to preference and cost when deciding which one to buy. Generally, the cost of weed increases from outdoor-grown to greenhouse-grown to indoor-grown bud.
Home-growers also have a big choice to make when it comes to deciding where to grow. As we’ve discussed, the benefits of growing inside include a more controlled environment and higher quality bud. That said, growing outside is far cheaper and easier, as growers do not need to buy grow tents, grow lights, and pay for the electrical needs.
If you want the best available potencies, flavors, and aromas, go with indoor bud. The same can be said if you love spending hours taking care of your plants and giving them the extra care and attention they need. On the other hand, if you want some cheaper, simple, and lower potency bud then turn to grow outside.
If you want to buy strains rich in terpenes and high in potency, your best bet is indoor-grown bud. For example, our Wedding Cake and Lemon Z are rich in pinene and limonene. Our Ice Cream Cake and Blackberry Gum have plenty of linalool and myrcene. Each of these strains are dense, covered in trichomes, and high-THC.
At Weed Me we only grow indoors to ensure we provide only the highest quality bud. Using techniques developed over the years indoors we can do a few tricks of the trade that cannot be replicated outdoors for a truly different and superior product.