Growing Marijuana: Indoor or Outdoor?

Cannabis growers from all over the world are extremely fortunate today. Far removed are they from the days when growing cannabis wasn’t broken down to an exact science. Just plant her and let her grow under the sunshine was the motto (at least it would have been mine).

Today we know exactly what nutrients, light cycles, and cultivation times specific strains will thrive in. But does that mean we should be Growing Marijuana indoors or outdoors?

In the U.S. only a handful of states that approve of medical marijuana are allowed to grow outdoors. Most crops around the world are grown outdoors, flourishing under the suns natural light.

Why prohibit cultivation of cannabis outdoors as well?

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of having indoor or outdoor plants. You really can’t go wrong either way, I can bet you that.


Growing Marijuana Outdoors

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Easier on the Environment

Growing cannabis indoor requires lots of artificial lighting. Energy Policy reported on average a kilo of cannabis grown indoors creates 4500 Kg of carbon dioxide. This also leads to a very expensive light bill at the end of the month.

The illicit nature of cannabis had forced growers to burrow underground to stay out of the police’s reach. In states such as California where there is ample sunlight all year round there’s no reason to be not taking advantage of nature.

Plants Have Naturally Adapted to the Suns Light

Any plant that goes through photosynthesis has adapted to the natural light of the sun. Research shows that cannabinoid and terpene production is greatly increased when grown under the light of the sun. The sun has a broader spectrum of light then what can be produced by any man made light.


Certain landrace strains have grown accustom to their natural habitat, and therefore created a resilience to local pests and threats. Outdoor crops are part of the ecosystem, this allows them to adapt to weather changes and flourish in a well maintained garden.

This also allows the growers to implement various grow methods that they would not be able to indoors. These methods utilize various natural techniques to sustain a thriving ecosystem: intercropping (with plants that compliment cannabis), planting ground cover (which keeps in water and nutrients), and introducing beneficial bugs.

Just Being Outdoors

This may not necessarily be for the plants themselves, but it will keep you in the right mind state to grow and show your cannabis all the love it deserves. The beneficial effect of being in nature on a daily basis can’t be quantified.

A healthy dose of vitamin D, blue skies, a breeze, and plenty of green help you function at your optimal level. A study from 2016 by the Journal of Internal Medicine reported that a lack of sun light can be as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes.

Growing Marijuana Indoors

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Never Stop Growing

It’s no secret that when you grow cannabis indoors, seasons don’t matter. Certain climates only offer the potential for a 1 crop a year harvest . Cannabis is a very resilient plant that grows in most climates, but you won’t see it growing in arctic weathers. An indoor set up allows us to have production of medicine year round.

Precise Conditions

Indoor strains are usually more sensitive then their outdoor counterparts. This makes for a perfect climate difficult to achieve outdoors. An experienced indoor grower will know how to tinker with all aspects of the crop, from it’s light settings, soil, and air flow.


With advances in cannabis production technology, it’s getting easier and easier to create batches to certain specifications. This is extremely useful for research and improving on strains that are rich and abundant in certain terpenes or cannabinoids. This is also very important when attempting to push cannabis through clinical trials. If a consistent product can’t be made, a case can’t even be made.

“Top Shelf” Buds

Plenty of cannabis consumers do care about the quality, and want their medication to be of the best quality. For those taste, burn, scent, and visual appeal is important, but for some it’s all that matters.

Connoisseurs of marijuana have been sprouting left, right, and center and they demand an extremely high quality product that tastes like heaven and smells like all the roses in the world. Now this clientele will have all it can handle in top shelf buds.

Best of Both Worlds

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There is a third option for growing marijuana, one that combines the best of both worlds, indoors and outdoors. Cannabis thrives in a well-designed greenhouse. A greenhouse grow-op can harness sunlight all year round, while allowing a skilled horticulturist to precisely control environmental factors that protect plants from contamination and infestation.

The sun’s rays can also be manipulated by a technique known as light deprivation (“light dep”), which can change the daily grow cycle in a greenhouse so that farmers can harvest three or four crops per year—much like indoors but without excessive energy consumption. In many respects, a greenhouse offers the perfect combination of a controlled, consistent growing process that also utilizes natural sunlight.

Whether grown outdoors, indoors or in a greenhouse, cannabis should be tested for pathogens, pesticide residues, and other contaminants before it goes to market. Cannabinoid and terpene content should also be included on product labels. A true “top shelf” cannabis product would meet all these criteria irrespective of price and bag appeal.

There is no reason why cannabis consumers should not have access to a wide array of options in terms of strain type, THC and CBD ratios, modes of administration, and price-point, as well as diverse methods of cultivation.

Demand high quality standards for your medicine, no matter how it was grown. And let’s not forget where cannabis came from: the earth.

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4 thoughts on “Growing Marijuana: Indoor or Outdoor?

  • January 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Greetings Brad, and Salutations for 2018! Love your site, and would love to know how to do all this growing even though I live in the mountains with much shorter growing seasons. I can’t help but wonder if being at a higher elevation with the sun closer would help to make the grow better. I’m going to read more on the site, another post caught my eye, so I’ll come back again soon.
    Thanks, and good post! jay

    • January 5, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Hello jay and all the Best for 2018 to you.
      Thanks for reading the article. I will be posting more articles relating to growing in the near future, and hope some of these will help with you with your garden. I don`t think living int he mountains will give you any added benefit by being closer to the sun, but I would worry more about the cooler nights. But then again, if you don`t try to grow, then you will never know. I will look to see if perhaps I can locate a strain that grows better in higher elevation and let you know.


  • January 3, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Hello there. I am a cancer survivor and I am on a maintenance program that has been keeping me in remission now over a year. I am always interested in finding out about my treatment so that I can pass on the knowledge. It would seem that a greenhouse is the best way to go for a grow as you can get the benefits of both worlds. Is there a quality difference between an indoor grow and an outdoor grow? Does the sun make a more potent product? Thanks in advance for your reply.


    • January 3, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Hello Carl and thanks for the comment.
      Congratulations on being a survivor with more power to you for the long haul.
      Growing indoors or outdoors is going to achieve the same results-robust healthy plants. In my opinion, the more ways that you can keep your grow operation natural, the better. The sun is going to offer a more natural addition, however indoor grow lights and grow boxes are so advanced today that there is really no difference. Depending on where you are located, the amount of sun you receive in growing outdoors may be limited, which would dictate that an indoor grow is required.
      I don`t think that natural sunlight would actually make a more potent product-that is going to be dtermined by the strain you are growing, and how the plants are cultivated until harvest.
      I hope that helps.



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