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Indoor Vs Outdoor Weed: Which Is Better?
4 min

Indoor Vs Outdoor Weed: Which Is Better?

4 min
News Research

Hours can be spent trawling the internet to decide whether you should grow indoors or outdoors. Is it the case that indoor plants are more potent? Will you get better yields outdoors? These are common questions with surprisingly complex answers. But we're here to help. Read on to discover whether growing indoors or outdoors is your better option.

To begin, if you’re looking for a definitive answer to this question, you’ve come to the wrong place. Ultimately, as a smoker or a grower, you have to ask yourself what it is you want from your cannabis, as only then can you form an idea of whether indoor or outdoor grown weed is for you. Moreover, the major differences between the two will depend on who’s growing the crop; where it is grown will be secondary to this factor.

What’s the Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Grow Setup?

What’s the Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Grow Setup?

What’s the difference between indoor and outdoor growing? You don’t need a space age setup to grow weed indoors, and you don’t need to let it go entirely to grow outdoors. For many, a greenhouse may prove the perfect intermediary between the two.

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What Is Indoor Cannabis Growing?

Growing cannabis indoors can take many forms. Ranging from super high-tech hydroponics to a sorry little seed shoved in a cupboard, there is no single type of indoor grow. However, generally, indoor grows have more stable conditions, less exposure to pests and disease, and the grower has much more control over the life cycle of the plants. Using artificial light, cannabis can be grown year-round indoors, whereas outdoors you are bound to the passage of the seasons.

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What Is Outdoor Cannabis Growing?

Likewise, growing cannabis outdoors is not simply a matter of throwing some seeds on the ground and letting nature take its course. Though it could be. The elements and pestilence mean that outdoor grown cannabis is likely to endure much more during its lifetime. Ironically, sun grown weed is more often subjected to pesticides than indoor weed, so don’t assume that just because it’s grown outdoors that it’s organic. However, exposure to the sun and its cycles has its benefits.

What About Greenhouse Growing?

Growing in a greenhouse sits somewhere between indoor and outdoor cultivation. Whilst the grower benefits from the natural light and day/night cycle, they also have greater control over the environment. Temperature, humidity, and pests are much easier to control within a greenhouse compared to outside. Indeed, for those without a serious setup, greenhouses offer greater control over temperature and humidity compared to indoors.

Does It Matter if You Grow From a Seed or Clone?

Does It Matter if You Grow From a Seed or Clone?

There is an assumption that indoor grown plants come from clones, and plants grown outdoors come from seeds. Essentially, this is untrue, especially given the access growers have to any number of perfectly bred seeds.

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The confusion that arises from this myth, and it is a myth, is that those plants grown indoors are genetically superior, as the cuts used for cloning must come from high-quality plants. Whilst this can be the case, it is often not. Moreover, there is nothing to suggest that seeds will not contain the same genetics; or, if they have mutated, it’s 50/50 whether they’ll be better or worse than the parent plant.

Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis: How Do They Compare?

Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis: How Do They Compare?

But, enough with the technicalities. When it comes to appearance, potency, and flavour, what are the differences between indoor and outdoor weed?

Potency

For most people, this will be the number one concern when assessing indoor and outdoor grown cannabis. Generally, due to the controlled environment of indoor grows, it's easier to achieve a higher potency. The potential for a greater trichome volume also means a higher density of THC crystals on indoor grown buds.

However, it is not this simple in practice. For example, Sunna Ra Acres has been growing plants from the same clones both indoors and outdoors for a number of years now, and the results turn assumptions on their head. They’ve found that the weed grown outdoors has a higher proportion of all cannabinoids and terpenes, compared to the same weed grown indoors. Given the perfect conditions of sun and soil, it stands to reason that weed plants would achieve their maximum potential in the great outdoors.

However, that’s the caveat: perfect conditions. For most, it is likely that a controlled indoor grow will yield better results than one in your garden. Outdoors, results will vary wildly depending whether you’re growing, say, on the north coast of Scotland, or the sunny reaches of California.

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Flavour

Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis: Flavour

The same goes for flavour. Indoors, usually, the flavours will be more intense. But, it must be noted that the most important factor regarding flavour is, of course, the strain itself. The environment in which a cannabis plant grows isn't going to change its terpene profile from earthy to fruity, for example.

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High

Outdoor cannabis is thought to have a more relaxed, “natural” high compared to “artificial” indoor weed. To a degree, this is true. But it is not necessarily fact. Ultimately, the processes happening inside the plants are the same wherever they’re grown. It is the way that they are grown that determines the realisation of certain characteristics. However, as previously mentioned, the increased trichome density of indoor weed is likely to make the high seem more potent.

Colour

Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis: Colour

Sun-baked cannabis is likely to lose some of its colour compared to indoor weed. This is no different from how packaging bleaches in the sun, or how leaves crisp up in late summer. The sun dries things out, and outdoor growers cannot control the air humidity or amount of light. That being said, whilst colour can indicate the overall quality of cannabis, it should not be taken as a definitive sign of anything beyond what it is.

Size

Outdoors, buds tend to be much bigger. Moreover, plants themselves are much bigger and produce yields of up to ten times the amount compared to the same plant grown indoors. This is one of the major advantages of sun grown cannabis. However, outdoor weed has its downsides too. The larger buds do not mean greater trichome density. This means that the buds can appear more dull than indoor weed, and seem less strong when smoked.

Which Is of Higher Quality — Indoor or Outdoor Weed?

Which Is of Higher Quality — Indoor or Outdoor Weed?

So, how to make a verdict given the above information? In short, for most, indoor growing will be a safer bet. With minimal equipment, it is possible to create a very stable environment in which your plants will thrive. From perfect humidity to protection from diseases, indoors is the most secure option.

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However, if the outdoor environment is rich and suitable, then you will be able to get the very best from your cannabis plants in a way that you can’t indoors. So, like many things in life, whilst outdoors carries more risk, it also carries more reward. For some, though, they simply will not be able to grow outdoors. But for those who can, expect massive yields compared to indoors.

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There’s More to Growing Weed Than Just “Indoors vs Outdoors”

In the end, the quality of the end product comes down to the one who grows it. Whether grown indoors or outdoors, a well-grown cannabis plant will be exceptional, and a poorly grown one will be a dud.

Certain cannabis strains are best suited to certain environments, too. So, once you decide on your grow, pick a strain to suit and then treat it well. A plant with adequate light, nutrients, airflow, and love will thrive. Without these things, they will suffer.

So, really, a plant grown in the best possible conditions is the best plant. Whether these are outdoors or indoors is of little importance. Simply assess the environments available to you and pick the one most suitable.

Zamnesia

Written by: Zamnesia
Zamnesia has spent years honing its products, ranges, and knowledge of all things psychedelic. Driven by the spirit of Zammi, Zamnesia strives to bring you accurate, factual, and informative content.

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