Indoor and Outdoor Cannabis: What’s the difference?

Indoor or Outdoor Grown Flower – Which should you choose?

With so many different flowers to choose from, it can be hard to tell the difference for a beginner. If you haven’t been to a cannabis store in Portland recently, the choice can be overwhelming. Growing conditions have the biggest impact on a cannabis flower’s qualities right after the strain. Growing conditions affect THC levels, plant health, and the overall quality of the final product. More attention and resources mean a higher price, but is it worth it?

What are the primary growth differences?

Indoor Outdoor
Lighting Conditions Timed grow-lights provide the perfect amount of light. Lighting conditions are dependant on the weather.
Pest Control Industrial and organic. Heavy use of predatory insects. May use companion plants. Easier infestation control.
Growth Patterns Optimal. Buds provide a strains maximum cannabinoid levels. Variable. Buds cannabinoid levels dependent on a good season.
Yields Smaller yield. Sun’s light spectrum cannot be replicated. Larger yields. Outdoor grows also produce larger plants.
Additional Controls Indoor grows control temperature, c02 production, and humidity. Outdoor grows are reliant on soil quality and regional weather.
Plant Turnover Not seasonal. Can keep a harvest rotation out of season. Seasonal. Outdoor grows depend on seasonal weather patterns.

Is indoor or outdoor cannabis better?

The answer to this all depends on what you want to do with your flower, and whether you actually need the highest cannabinoid concentration you can get. We’ll break down the various uses for a flower in order to help you decide when to buy what.

  • Smoking flower – Winner: Indoor. If you’re going to smoke flower, you want the best. Not only do indoor plants produce higher levels of THC, they also produce higher levels of terpenes and other cannabinoids. You’ll get the best flavor and effect from an indoor strain. Should you skip outdoor flowers entirely if you’re smoking? Not at all. If you’re throwing a party, using cannabis as a party favor, or want to appear to be very generous with your weed, outdoor flower offers an amazing bang for your buck. You can also consume more over time because the THC levels are lower.
  • Cooking with flower – Winner: Outdoor. Depending on the recipe, you may end up overheating and destroying certain cannabinoids and terpenes. This is entirely based on the cooking heat, and there’s no reason to destroy the best part of a high-quality flower. Outdoor grown flower works just as well and if you don’t love the end results or make a mistake, outdoor flowers won’t leave you feeling like you just burned a pile of money. Is there a time for cooking with an indoor flower? Yes. If you’re making something that doesn’t involve spices, like candy or chocolates, choose an indoor flower. You’ll be dealing with smaller concentrations of flower in each final product and you’ll notice the difference.
  • DIY hash – Winner: Tie. Whether you’re making bubble hash for dabbing using ice water or oil with a straight iron, the end result is entirely dependent on the strain. Use an outdoor strain when you’re still learning, and switch to an indoor strain as soon as you’re comfortable with the process. This way you’ll get the best hash and oil possible without spending a fortune during the trial and error stages.

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