“High-quality” is a subjective descriptor. Some cannabis enthusiasts believe that plants produce more potent buds when grown indoors. This might be because flowers grown outdoors are hit with the elements (wind, rain, etc.) and often have a darker, more weathered appearance than those grown indoors.
As the cannabis industry evolved, many growers moved their operations indoors either due to inadequate year-round climates, or just to have greater control and reproducibility over their harvests without introducing unpredictable Mother Nature. While many legal operations are still focusing their efforts on indoor grow rooms, the allure of an outdoor farm hasn’t been lost.
Below are some additional benefits touted by outdoor growers.
It’s Better for the Environment
The International Cannabis Farming Association (ICFA), advocates traditional, sun-grown cultivation. In an interview with Merry Jane, Kristin Nevedal, chair of the ICFA, shared her thoughts regarding how cannabis farmed outdoors measures up environmentally to indoor cultivation. “First, it’s ecologically superior. It doesn’t have the same carbon footprint as an indoor grow. We also believe it’s a superior product. When you cultivate cannabis under the full spectrum of the sun, you get a much more complex plant.”
Lower Cost Alternative
Cannabis plants are relatively maintenance-free, which is why enthusiasts can easily set up a successful grow operation. Indoor production, however, requires a sizeable amount of energy from the lighting.
Jeremy Moberg, president of Cannasol Farms in Eastern Washington, notes that “every joint you smoke requires the same amount of energy to produce as leaving a 100-watt light bulb on for 17 hours, or driving a 44-mile-per-gallon vehicle for 15 miles. This energy use drives up the cost of cannabis.”
If you’re in the right area, growing cannabis outdoors can be relatively inexpensive. The sun’s power is potent and free.
Indoor growers must spend size able sums of money upfront, and these operations are correspondingly expensive to maintain. Outdoor farmers also have to invest start-up capital, but their costs should decrease afterwards. Nevedal discussed the importance of the diminished costs associated with outdoor growing. “It’s more economically feasible. It allows smaller farmers to survive in the open economy that’s coming down the pipe.”
Healthy cannabis plants nurtured outdoors will typically be bigger than those raised in an indoor facility. Outdoor growers can produce plants that tower almost six feet tall.
If you live in a state that permits home-growing cannabis, producing your own supply is a great way to avoid paying hefty dispensary fees. Several tall Cannabis sativa plants might be all that’s needed to produce a year’s worth of flower.