Outdoor Grown Weed Vs Indoor: Which Is Better?

by greenrush
outdoor grown weed vs indoor

The most pertinent question among cannabis growers of the modern age is ‘outdoor grown weed vs indoor, which is better?’ Oh, if only everything in life were so simple! Just a hundred years ago, growers wouldn’t have thought to ask such as question. Weed has been cultivated outdoors as one of the oldest agricultural crops known to man. Taking the pot plants indoors was largely a way to remain unseen and undetected after prohibition. Having said that, the majority of advancements growers have made have taken place under one roof or another.


There’s no one thing that decides whether a crop is going to be a good one or not. A lot of factors come into play, including the whole outdoor grown weed vs indoor question. At the end of the day, both sunlight and light bulbs have their pros and cons, so let’s break it down to see what each method is good for.


Natural Environment vs Controlled Environment

outdoor grown weed vs indoor



Trying to mimic the natural environment that marijuana loves inside a basement isn’t that easy, but depending on where a grower lives, it’s kind of necessary. The era of prohibition led a lot of growing operations indoors, and this led to a flurry of changes in how growers perceive cannabis. The ability to completely control the growing environment, from the light spectrum and CO2 levels to humidity, gave the indoor grower full creative reign over their final product. Aesthetically divine flowers with high THC concentration are arguably the fruits of the labor of indoor growers. This is largely because when it comes to outdoor grown weed vs indoor, growing indoors doesn’t really leave anything up to chance.


With all that being said, indoor vs outdoor weed quality doesn’t just depend on looks and THC levels. At least not for a grower, who also wants sturdy, robust plants that yield a lot, too (more on that later). These are qualities that have unfortunately suffered at the hands of indoor growing. There’s no light bulb that can really mimic the unique light spectrum of the sun. And because of that, there’s no indoor grow op that can mimic the unique outdoor environment that actually helps to protect and enhance the growth of marijuana plants. Take, for example, the presence of ladybugs, wasps, and ants which love to eat the kind of mites that eat your marijuana plants! They are nature’s growing assistants for outdoor marijuana growers.


Certain parts of the world don’t cater to growing cannabis outdoors. Cold climates force some marijuana growers indoors. Maine-dwellers, for example, are covered in snow for the better half of the year - not exactly the best environment for weed to survive in! In cases like these, outdoor grown weed vs indoor comes down to what you're able to work with where you live.


Space Limitations = Yield Limitations


In terms of outdoor grown weed vs indoor, both have their own limitations. If there isn’t the possibility of growing outdoors, then an indoor operation is literally limited to space. A smaller space means smaller plants which effectively means that in the battle of indoor vs outdoor yield, outdoor plants almost always win. An outdoor plant can grow to be as tall as a human being, whereas indoor plants are usually restricted to the height of the basement, cellar or box in which they are being grown.


That isn’t to say that outdoor spaces have no limitations; they do. The law usually has a large role in how much space outdoor marijuana plants have. Outdoor grow operations are subject to the scrutiny of nosy neighbors, police, and, in some cases, further law enforcement. Most states in the US have laws in place regarding keeping your marijuana plants hidden from the eyes of the public so it can be difficult to find space remote enough that your plants are able to grow freely.


The Financial Factor

outdoor grown weed vs indoor



To put it simply, sunlight is free! Although it costs a lot to get any commercial sized growing operation up and running, there are hefty costs over the long term for indoor growers. It costs a small fortune to have climate control going 24/7. Not to mention it’s not always very environmentally friendly. The same can be said when it comes to lighting. In fact, a study conducted in 2011 named cannabis as one of the most energy consuming crops on the planet.


When we’re talking about a profitable return, it’s difficult to pinpoint which growing method is best. It all depends on the size of an operation. Outdoor growers will usually only face one harvesting season per year, whereas indoor growers are turning crops over all year round. Depending on space, an outdoor grow-op may be able to harvest as much as an indoor op with just one harvest per year. Taking into consideration the extra costs indoor growers have, it might be more cost efficient as well. However, outdoor grow operations have their own costs to worry about as well, not to mention they are at the mercy of the elements, so indoor growing may be the way to go after all.


Up in smoke


For the consumer, which one is it?  Indoor vs outdoor is a big question for consumers just as much as it is for growers. Some cannasseurs won’t go anywhere near indoor bud, whereas others swear by the smell, taste, and look of indoor grown flowers. This separation is probably what accounts for the fact that both indoor and outdoor bud are readily available on the market.


For consumers, outdoor grown weed vs indoor really just boils down to preference and availability. If you want to buy locally but you live in New York, you’re going to be a victim of the seasons. But if you live in sunny California, then it’s really about what you like better. It looks like the answer to the question, ‘which one is better?’ is simply, ‘it depends!’ Remember, whether the grow is indoors or outdoors is just one of many factors that contribute to the quality of the final product.


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