Indoor vs. Outdoor Weed: Getting To The Bottom of It

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For years, the debate over whether indoor farming is superior to outdoor farming has been waging. The dispute is typically framed as outdoors vs. indoors. There are several benefits to both types of cultivation—free light and inexpensive land versus control and consistency—but greenhouses now provide a combination of both. The discussion has moved into the commercial-farming sector, however.

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In both North and South America, marijuana has changed the game. Cannabis cultivation used to take place mostly indoors and out of sight, but today, covert fields have given way to huge agriculture and commercialism has altered the discussion. The indoor versus outdoor question is now less about ideology than it is about profit for businesses.

The short answer for both amateurs and corporations is that it depends. The precise response varies from person to person.

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Factors to consider: price, climate, and quality

“It all comes down to personal preference,” said Ed Rosenthal, a well-known cannabis expert, author, and advocate. “It entirely depends on your situation.”

Both commercial and amateur gardeners are concerned with the climate. Plants need sunshine and warmth to grow. The amount of daylight available is influenced by latitude. Indoor gardening makes more sense if you live in a city or are concerned about your neighbors, according to Rosenthal.

Indoor growing isn’t restricted by the weather. Indoor cultivation allows you to regulate all of your conditions, including temperature, lighting source, CO2 levels, and humidity, without needing to worry about the weather. Indica strains are generally developed indoors.

Investment is also important. Outside farms require far less money. Low-value farmland can make up for a smaller crop or a shorter growing season. Free sunshine and free soil are more than just cheap, but growers face the dangers of nature on both sides of the equation, says Rosenthal, who now works as a consultant. “It goes both ways outside.”

A growing number of drawbacks may be addressed, regardless of where you live, thanks to advances in outdoor farming. Sunlight is the only light source that generates a similar spectrum. Some people believe that although outdoor flower does not look as nice as indoor bloom, the taste, effects, and aroma are superior.

Growing weed outdoors

Surprisingly, in a cold, wintery environment, outside may be a superior choice.

An arctic Canada farm was one of Rosenthal’s most recent consulting engagements. He added, “I’ve done a lot of outdoor farms in northern Canada.” The growing season is three months long, which means only one crop is harvested over the course of three months. There’s a low yield per acre and THC levels are poor. But none of that concerns those farmers. With 200 acres of dirt-cheap property and a concentrate end product rather than flower, they may make money hand over fist with minimal financial outlay.

The goal is the most important aspect, according to Rosenthal. If you want a specific grade of cannabis, such as a beautiful, stanky dried flower with a consistent quality, indoor may be superior despite the initial and upkeep expenditures.

The most common blunder, according to Rosenthal, is failing to keep up with today’s legal environment. The notion that a bigger plant is superior persists because of prohibition-era thinking. Small, single-stemmed plants may create more flowers than larger ones; however, larger plants need more energy to produce stalks and leaves. “Harvesting is the whole point of gardening,” according to Rosenthal, so that’s wasted effort.

“You have to look at it more agriculturally,” said Rosenthal. “A lot of big businesses haven’t done that yet,” he added. “Yet.”

Indoor growing

In Canada, Organigram follows similar core values. Its gardeners are concerned with an end goal—profitable plants—and are constantly seeking to advance their growing methods.

“We recognize the plant. It’s also just a widget,” according to Matt Rogers, Organigram’s Senior Vice President of Operations.

“Organigram took the long view when the Canadian market opened up a few years ago,” said Rogers. Other firms were racing to market, going for low-cost, high-capacity crops, and Organigram saw a huge potential to set oneself apart. “Quality will triumph,” declared Rogers. “We’re developing athletes that will go to the Olympics – in other words, we’re building champions.

Rogers said that Organigram spent CA$250 million on its facility. It has over a hundred grow rooms, each of which may be adjusted to the varietal’s particular weather demands.

The layouts of those rooms were thoroughly tested to ensure that the temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and light in each corner-to-corner are identical. Each room may produce up to five crops each year, for a total of 500 plants and 100,000 pounds (220,000 lbs) market-ready marijuana annually.

“Data has made a lot of beneficial decisions for us,” said Rogers. “It’s all about the details that add up to the big picture.”

The finished buds are tested in the giant, airy research and development grow rooms, which can hold five to fifteen trials at once. One study revealed that a room with 70 wider-spaced plants produced the same yield as 100 plants, implying a dramatic reduction in cost when compared to 100 rooms.

Outdoor, on the other hand, has its place and nature provides a million advantages, according to Rogers. However, Organigram’s objective: consistent high-quality dried flower requires customizable, indoor rooms and developing technologies.

“Don’t just create cannabis,” says Rogers. “Don’t just produce cannabis for the sake of it.” The objective-oriented farming method is also extolled by Rosenthal and Rogers. “Grow cannabis with a mission other than money in mind.”

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The best of both worlds: hybrid farming

Plena Global, which is located on the opposite side of the world, aims to create cannabinoid chemicals for the pharmaceutical market. They picked a site in South America because it was a Canadian firm with an outdoor farm in Latin America.

“The cost benefit is huge, right off the bat,” Richard Zwicky, Plena’s creator and CEO, said. “Due to the extreme weather they endure on a daily basis during their outdoor farming activities, their feed improves with age by up to 30%, resulting in meat that is more flavorful and tender than conventional beef.”

Columbia is the location of Plena’s farm, which is likely a contributing factor. It lies over 1000 feet above sea level. The plants receive a greater dose of solar radiation as a result of being closer to the sun. The growing season is long and hot, with 365 days in each year.

Plena’s plants, however, don’t just grow outdoors. Plena’s seed-to-harvest process, like Organigram and Rosenthal in his consulting role, has been carefully planned.

In a state-of-the-art greenhouse, mothers and clones begin their lives. Plants are repotted after they have completed their vegetative stage in standard greenhouses before heading outside to begin the blooming phase.

“There are advantages to both indoors and outside,” agreed Zwicky. “You always need a little of a mix.”

Controlled lighting in the greenhouses prevents blooming, prolonging the plants in the vegetative stage and allowing them to grow bigger. However, most significantly, greenhouse farming allows for consistency across the plants and ensures that a crop is ready to plant as soon as a field has been converted.

Zwicky explained that having consistency is critical, as medicinal cannabis must be cultivated to the highest levels of quality in order to earn an organic label. Plena uses sterilized predator bugs and organic horse dung rather than pesticides, which would be concentrated during the distillation process.

Plena is also embracing Big Data in order to aid farmers make more informed decisions. Weather stations collect an infinite amount of data, and crops are studied and compared. The information will help farmers determine when particular types should be planted in order to flourish.

However, much of that growth is still dependent on nature. Solar radiation, for example, can cause cannabinoids to be produced, resulting in smaller plants with greater quantities.

It’s more difficult to grow outside with a hybridized system, according to Zwicky. However, it is doable. In South America, alone.

Conclusion – Indoor vs Outdoor weed?

So, when it comes to the debate of whether indoor-grown or outdoor-grown cannabis is superior, it all depends on your preference. When it comes down to it, what you enjoy will probably be more reliant on the specific strain than where or how it was cultivated.

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