In the battle of growing commercial marijuana indoors vs. outdoors, it was vital for me to determine which is the best growing environment.
While there are some benefits associated with outdoor growing, and even though cannabis has been cultivated outdoors for centuries, advancements have resulted in the era of indoor cultivation, and the benefits associated with this are extensive.
Below, I explain ten reasons why.
1. Controlled vs. Natural Climates
The ability for you to control your growing environment is one of the main reasons why growing marijuana indoors makes the most sense.
Controlling humidity, CO2 production, light, and temperature will enable you to create a stable habitat. So you can optimize plant growth without you needing to risk outdoor elements.
If you’re going to grow marijuana outdoors, you need to locate a climate that is going to be suitable for cannabis production. This means a location with low humidity, warm nights, hot days, and excellent sun exposure.
One thing you can never control is the weather and climate, and this is why growing indoors has become the obvious choice for so many.
2. Safety from Bugs, Pests, and Animals
As is the case with any sort of crop, cannabis plants have many different kinds of pests that can hinder a healthy crop.
Naturally, growing outdoors, you’re at the mercy of these pests that can cause significant damage in an outdoor environment.
There are still risks when it comes to growing indoors as well, which is why knowledge of insect prevention is imperative. But indoor growing immensely lowers the possibility of pests coming into your garden, to begin with.
3. Using extra CO2 Indoors To Maximize Growth
You can increase your growth and yields by as much as 20 percent through supplementing your plants with extra CO2.
Cannabis plants need CO2 as part of the process of making energy from light through photosynthesis.
It can also be beneficial in terms of security as well, as it allows you to seal your grow room and not be venting out foul air.
The supplementation of CO2 works most useful when you have already optimized everything else in the grow space, which is what indoor growth is all about.
One cannot control the outdoor environment in this way, and this is how you can end up with cannabis that is not equal in appearance and quality.
4. Grow Lights vs. Sunlight
Despite Sunlight being the best light, there are still benefits to grow lights over Sunlight.
This includes the fact that the duration in which the plants are exposed to the light can be longer.
Sunlight is only available for a few hours, depending on where you are located. However, with a grow light, your crops can get the light that they need 20 or even 24 hours of light a day.
There are several other benefits associated with grow lights as well. This includes light quality, which is vital for plant growth. LED grow lights are designed with specifications to ensure they provide the right amount of light for the cannabis you are growing.
Unlike Sunlight, you can adust artificial light by either installing lights that have a higher intensity or lowering the light closer to the plant so that the light’s intensity increases.
5. Seed to Harvest Time
Outdoors plants must be planted at a particular time of the year. Also, because of the different seasons, often, there can only be one crop a year.
On the other hand, you can grow and harvest indoor plants according to your schedule and many times a year.
The fastest indoor lifecycle is going to be around three months, from the seed to harvest. Of course, the strain you grow will impact this; with some strains, it can take up to six months to harvest.
An outdoor harvest can take about nine months, depending on the strain you grow and your local climate unless you’re using autoflowering seeds.
This fact alone indicates why indoor growth is the only real solution for commercial businesses that are looking to make a profit throughout the year.
It is also important to note that indoor growth cycles are consistent, whereas the time required to grow marijuana outdoors can differ.
6. Security Indoors vs. Outdoors
Growing indoors is better for security than growing outdoors. This is especially important in states that have specific regulations in place. Growing indoors makes it easier to comply with these regulations.
There are compliance standards in place regarding the use of security systems to make sure that marijuana access is regulated, inventory is tracked, and the product is secure. There are penalties in place for any business that does not comply with these regulations.
There are many different types of physical security services and digital security services that are needed for cannabis.
Regarding the latter, this includes network systems, alarm and notification systems, building access control systems, and video surveillance systems.
Some regulations demand physical security services as well, which means that security personnel is often required. For example, Section 5045 of the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Emergency Regulations touches upon this.
Of course, the regulations differ from state-to-state, and so it is essential to make sure that you are aware of the rules and laws in your area.
Other regulations include licensed premises having a video surveillance system and a variety of records being kept.
It is going to be much easier for you to adhere to the cannabis security laws and requirements when dealing with an indoor environment in comparison to an outdoor one.
7. Price of Growing Cannabis Indoors vs. Outdoors
Both outdoor and indoor grows going to require significant up-front costs, and so there is not much difference in this regard.
However, there does tend to be more continual costs when it comes to indoor growth. This is because the yields are higher, and so there tend to be more staff costs.
For outdoor growth, you can usually get by with just a few staff members, taking on more help during seasonal periods throughout the year.
You also need to consider the costs of indoor climate control systems as well. You are going to be spending more.
On the flip side, though, you are going to be able to recoup these expenses because you are going to benefit from much more impressive growth rates, and you are going to be able to produce marijuana consistently throughout the year.
Because of this, most growers tend to realize that growing indoors is more economical when you look at the costs and profit overall.
8. Looks of Cannabis Grown Indoors vs. Outdoors
The appearance and quality of cannabis are imperative when deciding whether to grow it indoors or outdoors.
The indoor flower has long been considered a top-of-the-line product. This is because you can expedite breeding and control your environment, which has resulted in strains that are beautiful and have incredible flavor profiles.
Indoor cannabis also does not need to deal with wind, rain, or any other natural elements that can damage the look and condition of an outdoor crop.
An outdoor flower will have to cope with the natural environment, meaning the end product may not look as great as the indoor product would.
9. Indoor Weed High vs. Outdoor Weed High
There is also a difference when it comes to the high that is provided from indoor weed when compared with outdoor weed.
Indoor weed tends to result in higher trichome counts, denser nugs, and a more potent high. Outdoor weed creates a weaker high, with fewer trichomes and less dense nugs.
The reason why indoor-grown cannabis is deemed more potent is because of the controlled environment it is grown in. You can control every factor, from the humidity to the amount of light your plant gets.
Not only this, but the introduction of high CO2 levels when compared with the natural environment has also heightened bud growth and produce THC levels that are challenging to obtain outdoors.
When you consider everything that weed that is grown outdoors has to go through, it is probably of no surprise that it is considered less potent.
10. What Do Customers Prefer?
Of course, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to purchasing cannabis. Everyone has their tastes.
Still, a lot of customers have remarked that they prefer to choose cannabis that has been grown indoors when compared with alternatives.
A lot of people have said that they feel that cannabis that is grown indoors is a lot cleaner because the plant doesn’t have to be sprayed with pesticides for it to be protected from the risks that are outside.
Many people also prefer cannabis that has been grown indoors because of the more potent experience that it provides them with.
While there are some pros and cons associated with growing cannabis indoors and outdoors, most people would agree that there are more benefits associated with the indoor approach.
By growing marijuana indoors, you are going to have complete control over the environment.
You are also going to be able to produce cannabis consistently, with fewer risks and fluctuations to worry about, and this is important for your profit!
About The Author
Santiago Pardo is the founder of DrCannabis, a site that helps out cannabis growers have a smoother experience and learn to grow high-quality marijuana.