A debate has been going on for many years in the marijuana world as to whether marijuana grown indoor or outdoor is better. I think that the common perception is that indoor is automatically better than outdoor and that outdoor is inherently inferior, but I haven’t always found that to be the case. Sure, on average outdoor isn’t as good because it’s usually just a novice growing it outside not knowing what they are doing, then trying to push their harvest. A lot of people do that on the West Coast and try to flood the market each Fall. That turkey bag generic-ness is definitely sub par.
But there is also a lot of really, really good outdoor cannabis that is grown in Southern Oregon/Northern California. The best outdoor cannabis, more and more commonly referred to as sungrown cannabis, is as good as any indoor cannabis that I have seen. But there are benefits to both cultivation methods, both for the cultivator and for the consumer. Below are some pluses and minuses of each. As always, if there’s something that you think I didn’t cover feel free to sound off in the comments. I know this debate can get heated, so try to keep it civil.
Cultivating marijuana indoors
Growing marijuana indoors has one very huge advantage over growing marijuana outdoors – you have control over the environment. When you grow outdoors, there are all types of problems that can occur related to humidity, temperature, sunlight, rain, etc. In an indoor environment you have the ability to control every element of the environment that the plants are in. It can be as sunny and warm as you (or more specifically the plant) would like it to be.
Indoor cultivation results in multiple harvests a year. I have quite a few friends in Oregon that are cultivating their legally allowed 4 plants, and they grow them on a cycle so that they are harvesting one plant regularly. This keeps their stashes full throughout the year so that they don’t experience dry spells. Indoor marijuana plants are much easier to hide than outdoor marijuana plants and have the benefit of being able to be moved.
A drawback to growing indoors is that the plants are not as big as outside. But that’s not to say that indoor plants can’t get large. I have seen some indoor plants that are monsters. Indoor marijuana costs more to produce than outdoor due to costs such as electricity and other costs related to the indoor grow facility. Growing organically indoors is harder to do compared to outdoors because you don’t have the benefit of the nutrition that nature provides plants. With that being said, I know a lot of indoor growers that exclusively use organic cultivation methods with great success.
Consuming indoor marijuana
Indoor gardens like Pistil Point don’t have to deal with cross contamination from nature, as my buddy Sid over there pointed out to me recently. That’s extremely important for people that are sensitive to certain things like some types of pollens or other foreign particles. The best build-out guy in America is building their garden spaces, which are more like laboratories than cultivation facilities. Cannabis grown in environments like that are as clean as it gets. I have consumed a few strains from Pistil, and they are so full of flavor and pack a punch (in no way a paid promo, it’s my truly personal opinion).
Marijuana that is grown indoors is generally more visually appealing. For some people that’s not as big of a deal, but to many consumers they like to see cannabis that is light in color, and covered in crystals. As I touched on earlier, cannabis that is grown indoors is more likely to have been grown using heavy metal fertilizers and other additives, and often it comes through in the taste. But, if grown correctly, indoor marijuana can taste phenomenal – it’s just all in how its grown.
Growing marijuana outdoors
There has been a really big surge as of late for demand in sungrown marijuana. A lot of cultivators were forced to grow indoors because growing marijuana in your back yard was a quick way to get arrested. However, marijuana reform is spreading, and marijuana cultivation is becoming legal in more parts of America. As such, a lot of people are either moving their gardens outdoors, or are starting brand new gardens outside because it requires less than indoor cultivation.
Growing outdoors can be easier in some ways and harder in some ways compared to growing indoors. The weather can change outside very quickly. Humidity levels can change, rain can fall seemingly without end. There was a marijuana plant in Oregon that was ripped out of the ground this last summer by a mini tornado. I have had friends lose their plants to hungry animals. Literally just about anything can happen while growing outdoors, and without warning.
But outdoor marijuana is much cheaper to produce, and weather permitting, can result in some truly massive plants. My buddy Jorge Cervantes has told me stories of sungrown plants yielding 15 to 20+ pounds of bud! I suppose that’s possible indoors, but I’ve never heard of such a thing, and certainly not multiple plants. Outdoor gardens typically only yield once a year, but because of their massive size outdoor gardens can yield as much or more in a year as indoor gardens in a lot of cases.
Outdoor growers are getting very, very dialed in with organic cultivation methods these days. My little brother turned me onto Green Source Gardens and Dragonfly Earth Medicine, two award winning cultivators that are doing outstanding things with outdoor cannabis. Their methods are very sustainable, and I really think in a lot of ways is the future of cultivation. I haven’t tried either of their cannabis yet, but I’m told it’s outstanding.
Consuming sungrown marijuana
I have consumed some really, really good sungrown cannabis. I have also seen a TON of awful sungrown cannabis. As I stated previously in this article, it’s all in how you grow it. I have seen some outdoor marijuana that has as good or better potency and terpene levels as the finest indoor marijuana. I am fortunate to live in Oregon where we are home to some of the best outdoor growers on the planet, so really good outdoor is common. Other areas are not likely to be able to say that. The demand for sungrown is going to continue to grow (no pun intended) in the future as consumers become more conscious of their carbon footprint as a consumer and try to reduce it.
Which is better, indoor or outdoor marijuana? There are too many situational factors at play to make a blanket statement. When comparing the best of the best, sungrown marijuana is as good as indoor marijuana. On average, I would say that indoor marijuana beats out outdoor marijuana on visual appeal more often than not, but the taste with outdoor marijuana is usually better than indoor marijuana, which often tastes like it was fed the Barry Bonds diet (no bueno!). But good cannabis is good cannabis, no matter which way it was grown!