Like vegetables in a grocery store, the cannabis you purchase has made a journey. Do you know where your flowers came from? Were they grown under lights in a building or under the warmth of the sun outside? Do they contain pesticides or are they an all-natural product?
Cannabis is just another plant; it can be grown indoors or it can be grown outdoors. Many growers—and even smokers—have strong preferences for indoor or outdoor grown cannabis, while others don’t care where it comes from as long as it gets them where they’re trying to go.
While cannabis can be grown indoors-only or outdoors-only, some growers use a mixture of both techniques. While the plants are in the vegetative stage, they require 24-hour light and many outdoor growers will often begin a grow under indoor lights because of this. When the plants are ready to be moved to the flowering stage, they can be transplanted outdoors and grown under the sun. There are many ways to combine indoor and outdoor growing, and this article will cover two standard methods.
Growing cannabis indoors is popular in Western Washington, as the climate is cool and weather can be unpredictable. An indoor grow can be set up to cultivate cannabis year-round if tended by an experienced grower. Being able to grow and harvest cannabis year-round is an expensive endeavor. Equipment, lights, electricity, as well as start-up capital and overhead costs can all impede an indoor grow operation. Growing indoors usually requires more hands-on work than outdoors, as growers have to control added variables such as room temperature, humidity, and root pH levels to ensure a consistent product. Growers must also pay close attention to plant training and taming, as space is restricted when working indoors.
Cannabis grown outdoors is popular in Eastern Washington where the climate is a little warmer. Growing outdoors can initially take some time and research—trial and error is often the only way to get things right—making it a frustrating and potentially costly journey. Outdoor grows tend to be fickle compared to indoor grows and finding the best strains for the garden’s location takes time. Growing outdoors requires less hands-on maintenance from growers, while plants are able to produce larger yields when grown under natural sunlight and without space restrictions. Outdoor grows do not need as much maintenance as indoor grows, but they do still require watering, nutrients, some taming, trimming, and harvesting.
Folks who choose to cultivate their cannabis outdoors are typically only able to produce one harvest a year, meaning that harvest needs to be sizeable in order to turn a profit. There is always the possibility of exposure to pests, dust, and other organic matter that can damage the final product. Interference from animals such as deer, raccoons, and birds as well as the always-present threat of theft are additional obstacles when growing outdoors.
IS ONE BETTER THAN THE OTHER?
Many indoor growers spend time with each of their plants every day; ensuring the light, temperature, humidity, pH levels, and other variables are perfectly controlled to create a superior product. A highly experienced grower who is consistently able to replicate the ‘perfect’ growing environment indoors can easily produce high-quality cannabis in large quantities over and over again.
Cannabis that is grown outdoors is known for tastier flavors due to the natural, loving effects of Mother Nature. When cultivated carefully by a skilled grower, outdoor grown cannabis plants develop into big trees and can yield pounds at harvest time. However, due to the unpredictability of the weather, growers are sometimes forced to harvest early, resulting in less potency and smaller yields.
Outdoor grown cannabis often looks different than indoor grown flower. It can appear to be a bit ‘bushy’ and not trimmed as tightly. Outdoor grown flower might look a bit different than what we’re used to, but appearances aren’t everything. Well grown, high-quality outdoor grown cannabis tastes amazing; better than most indoor grown strains out there. Some stores charge more for indoor grown products because customers want that high THC content, and aren’t always concerned with the taste and aroma.
We recommend giving an outdoor grown strain a try to find out what your cannabis palate prefers.