Going to the dispensary and shopping for cannabis can be confusing and intimidating. First, I had to choose between the many forms of concentrates, or flower (buds). Then when looking for flower, I had options between greenhouse, indoor, and outdoor-grown cannabis.
Before long, I realized that where you grow your cannabis plant has a significant importance. Some people I consulted at first called the outdoor cannabis ‘boof’, yet In contrast, they called the indoor option ‘fire stuff.’
When I purchased and tried each one over a series of taste tests, I discovered that it all came down to preferences.
For centuries, cannabis grew outdoors, but when it became prohibited, growers were forced to grow their plants indoors. Over time, they began to see outdoor cannabis as garbage and only worthy of growing low-cost cannabis extract with no market potential. This new boom of indoor cultivation led to awe-inspiring cannabis strains and new genetic crosses never seen before.
No Ideal Cannabis Cultivation Environment
Every growing process has its pros and cons, and so you need to understand the benefits and drawbacks to make the right choice for you. Are you on track to start growing your own cannabis garden? Let’s talk about growing cannabis indoors, outdoors, vs in a greenhouse.
This way, you can choose the best growing method according to your needs and get started right away.
Benefits of Indoor Cannabis Cultivation
Indoor growing has been the popular choice for some decades now. It‘s an established way to consitently cultivate cannabis, and it comes with its clearly defined benefits.
The main advantage of growing your cannabis indoors is that you have ultimate control over your growing conditions. You can choose the temperature, airflow, lights, humidity, nutrients, and water. This is a massive benefit as the ability to control all of these factors gives you the leverage to create high-quality cannabis and produce unique strains.
For instance, if you use higher CO2 levels than you can have in the natural environment, you can accelerate growth. Higher CO2 levels can also help you produce cannabis with higher THC levels than what you can grow outdoors.
Your buds will also be bigger and denser, which makes the trim job easier all around.
Another superior advantage is the ability to control when your cannabis plants go into the flowering stage. This way, you can monitor the trichrome levels and maturation rate for a perfectly timed harvest.
Disadvantages of Growing Cannabis Plants Indoors
The most significant disadvantage is that growing indoors is expensive to begin with. To ultimately control your cannabis growth conditions, you need the right equipment to do so. Your energy bills will also climb higher as you need to maintain your lighting, ventilation (HVAC), heating, and other components.
Secondly, indoor cannabis plants are more prone to powdery mildew (PM) issues and certain pests like spider mites and thrips. For your indoor products, prevention is better than trying to these pests out. So, suppose you can maintain a watchful eye, use organic deterrents, and take all the preventive steps so that you can entirely reduce the risks.
Customers choose indoor cannabis for its higher potency and premium flavor; however, the costs of set-up and the maintenance lead to higher.prices passed down to the average consumer.
If you can access the right market of people ready to pay top dollar for your cannabis product, then the high price won’t be a problem.
Benefits of Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation
Growing your cannabis outdoors means you need less money to start and run the operation. You will be using the sunlight, and so you can save on other equipment as you don‘t need air conditioning or lighting systems.
Secondly, you have the advantage of two flowering seasons when using light deprivation techniques. Still, if the winter in your area is a problem, it may limit your harvest.
You can also enjoy richer terpene profiles as the sun’s deep penetrating power allows the outdoor cannabis plants to reach their full genetic potential. Therefore, your cannabis plants can grow fluffier, intense, and enormous; however, it will rarely find its way into those connoisseur magazines as outdoor cannabis buds are not that pretty. It‘s one reason why large harvest sizes of outdoor-grown cannabis often leads to a sloppy trim job.
Disadvantages of Growing Cannabis Outdoors
Although dealing with pests won’t be as complicated as the indoor set-up, you cannot entirely get them out.
In truth, you will be dealing with an even greater number of outdoor pests such as aphids, grasshoppers, ants, caterpillars, birds, dogs, etc. You also have to condone hazardous weather conditions such as wind, large hail, heavy rain that might ruin your harvest.
If your cannabis flowers get too big and you’re growing in a humid environment, then there’s a strong chance that the buds can develop mold or even ‘bud rot’.
There‘s also the issue of dealing with male pollen in the air, which can ruin your female plants and make them turn hermaphrodite.
Theft is also another annoying issue to deal with, which means you need to maintain complete vigilance at all times. Consumers do not like the look of scruffy buds, and too many twigs often find their way into the packaging. There‘s a higher chance that your neighbor‘s pesticides can find their way into your products.
Because outdoor growing does not provide control of diverse factors, many things can go wrong. This is why growing your cannabis outdoors has more risks than rewards.
The risks you incur are a lot higher than growing indoors or using a greenhouse. Plus, you may not control your cannabis strains’ quality, which means you end up with a cheaper product accessible to everyone. For many strains, the end product may not be as potent, or the yields will be a lot smaller.
Benefits of Growing In a Greenhouse Solution
Greenhouse solutions provide a ‘sweet spot‘ between indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation. First, it is cheaper than growing a brand new indoor set-up but more expensive than growing outdoors.
Although you require some equipment, they don’t have to be as expensive as an indoor facility. For instance, your greenhouse requires some supplemental lighting systems, but mainly will rely on sunlight as the main source of energy for your plants.
Growing your cannabis in a greenhouse will also give you the advantage of maintaining consistent quality throughout every growth cycle.
All you need is an excellent combination of lights and sunlight to maximize your yield potential. You can monitor your crops on a larger scale and keep them happy and stress-free as they develop into premium products.
Greenhouse-grown cannabis also has the advantage of being able to manage and prevent pests. The end product will also have a high potency that makes a decent competition for indoor-grown cannabis, even at its larger size.
Disadvantages of Greenhouse Cannabis Cultivation
First, the good greenhouses are expensive, and the more automated they get the more costly too. The maintenance cost can definitely add up as well if the facility is not properly cleaned and maintained.
Secondly, greenhouse cultivation is not discrete. If there are still regulation or theft issues in your area, this might be an issue to consider.
In conclusion, there are numerous way to grow your cannabis plants successfully. Your choice of preference depends first on your budget and location. Then it boils down to the kind of strains you want to grow, and whether you want to start from clone or seed. Different strains will offer different terpene profiles, THC %s, and bag appeal that help growers decide what to have in their gardens.
But you have your work cut out for you to make sure you can reach the terpene and cannabinoid profiles that your consumers are looking for. In contrast, indoor-cannabis consumers usually want higher THC profiles and they are also certainly willing to pay top dollar for the best weed.
Greenhouse-grown cannabis is the happy middle. As long as your budget and location are covered, you can grow excellent quality cannabis strains while keeping your costs under control.
Outdoor cannabis is usually the bargain bin stuff; however, when it is grown really well, and then dried and cured properly, it can sometimes be confused with indoor cannabis.