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Indoor vs. Outdoor Flower: The Ultimate Showdown

Here's a common question we've been asked lately: are Weedsy's locally-sourced exotic flower grown indoors or outdoors?  Well, the short answer to that question is that our flower is sourced from cultivators that specifically run their harvests indoor.  Easy answer huh?

Well, to build on that, it's 2022 and cultivators have made an incredible impact on how many different ways you can cultivate cannabis.  From hydroponics to living soil and everything in-between, there is no ultimate way to go about harvesting nice and trikey buds.  Depending on your needs, however, one method of cultivation can be better than the other.  Then again, we're just a brand that pushes the anti-sharing lifestyle through indoor-cultivated flower.  From a fully biased view, we think that method is the best.  But, we'll try to keep this as unbiased as possible.  Check out the ultimate showdown between indoor and outdoor-grown cannabis below!



WHY WE LOVE INDOOR-grown cannabis


Here's why we like indoor-grown harvests: THE CONTROL.  Growers have full control of the environment to discretion; and controlling the environment can ultimately make or break a harvest.  Whether it's ambient temperature, moderating humidity, finetuning the pH levels, or regulating the amount of light, controlling the environment leads you down a path where you can produce some extra fire flower - and that's exactly the type of flower that belongs in a Weedsy.  On top of that, cannabis is still  a Schedule 1 controlled substance so while we cannot simply jump to another state with more readily-available outdoor land where the soil levels, rain, and sunshine line up perfectly (like California), running your operation indoors allows you to set up the operation just about anywhere!

It is worth noting, however, that producing your bud indoors isn't all sunshine and rainbows.  You can't simply just plant the seeds, water it and call it a day.  The operation could be a 24/7 ordeal with the right technology.  Thankfully, technology has advanced itself pretty significantly over the last 20 or so years.  Things like reverse osmosis water filters, which help regulate your crop's pH levels; or LED fixtures that help control the lighting to perfection to essentially run your operation 24/7 and not be at the mercy of the Sun rising and setting daily; or even industrial-grade air filters to scrub the ambient air of any trace of cannabis before it enters back into outdoor air.  Between the level of control you have and the technology to help your harvest along, indoor cultivation is where it's at.  There are, however, a couple negative aspects of indoor cultivation to consider, with its two biggest disadvantages being high operating costs and a huge environmental impact.


Starting with high operating costs, you have the physical building, a cultivation license that may require additional regulations to follow depending on the city and county you decide to set up shop at, all of the equipment including but not limited to the lights, air filters, and water, and of course, a staff to grow the weed.  All of these things add up beyond just the initial start up capital that you'd have to come up with.  And there's no guarantee that your harvest would be profitable enough to pay the taxes while also keeping the lights on.

The next major disadvantage with indoor cultivation is the environmental footprint.  It's simply not the most responsible way to grow cannabis as buildings that might pop up are at the mercy of the city's water supply, power grid, and waste management systems.  On top of that, the industry at large is centered around sustainability and unless you have boat loads of money to pay for top-notch sustainability, chances are your operation falls short.


THE ARGUMENT FOR OUTDOOR CULTIVATION


As biased as we are about indoor cultivation for its level of control it awards us, there's nothing quite like enjoying your bud grown entirely by the Sun.  Many enthusiasts and growers alike do notice a marked difference between LED-grown and sun-grown bud from good ol' photosynthesis.  And who can blame them?  Outdoor-grown cannabis has existed for tens of thousands of years.  Now, assuming you live in an area of the state that is suited for outdoor cultivation (Humbolt County, Santa Barbara, Mendocino), outdoor cultivation can be incredibly successful (and profitable) simply because the amount of resources at your disposal along with the costs of maintaining said resources are more manageable.  For example, your biggest resource - THE SUN is both sustainable and FREE.  Indoor cultivation requires you to get creative and use technology to create wind, humidity, and temperature.  Outdoor cultivation is straightforward in the sense that naturally-occurring weather does that work for you.

There are, however negative aspects to outdoor cultivation.  Similar to the indoor operation, security is a big one.  If you're running a vast open field of cannabis, that's pretty difficult to conceal.  Another negative aspect is, in fact, the unpredictability of nature.  What if we're back in that typical Cali-Summer of extreme drought?  Or worse, what if we're in wildfire season where at any given time the entire operation is at risk?  Sometimes, having that level of control is a good thing, even if it might not produce the best possible harvest.

While both cultivation methods have their positive and negative aspects, how would the finished product be affected?



the finished product: indoor vs. outdoor grown cannabis


While growers can go back and forth for days on end about which method is better cost and sustainability-wise, the typical stoner really only cares about one thing: HOW GOOD IS THE FLOWER?  Does it look good?  Smell good?  Feel good?  All of these things ultimately determine whether you'll be picking up the strain. So how would an indoor- and outdoor-cultivated batch measure up to each other?



APPEARANCE: INDOOR CULTIVATION TAKES THE CAKE


When you pick up an eighth, what's the first thing you notice?  THE LOOK!  Is the strain a spectrum of purple and green contrasting with orange hues all over the place?  Are the trichomes visible, giving the bud a nice shine to it?  Generally, this is the work of indoor-cultivated flower.  Since the entire process from seed to  bowl is controlled to the T, and everything from the light to the water regimen, and even the humidity is controlled, your bud is less likely to experience forces of nature that would otherwise hinder its appearance.



SMELL & TASTE: COMES DOWN TO YOUR PREFERENCE


How a strain smells and tastes may very well be one of the several deciding factors at the dispensary.  Are you the type of stoner that leans more towards rich and pungent scents or something a little more earthy?  Indoor-grown cannabis tends to have a more concentrated terpene profile.  This means that strains such as Ice Cream Cake possess such a complex profile that you can literally taste the nutty vanilla notes followed by a subtle orange and cinnamon.  Outdoor-grown cannabis, however, since it is grown from the ground and powered by the Sun, your typical batch would take on a more earthy flavor profile.  Let's take outdoor-cultivated Ice Cream Cake this time.  The pungent vanilla, orange, cinnamon takes a backseat to an earthy, full-bodied smell reminiscent more of the cake element than the ice cream.  Both taste and smell amazing and a clear winner comes down to you and your preferences.



EFFECTS: ALSO COMES DOWN TO YOUR PREFERENCE


Whether you're toking up because you simply like the feeling or you're a patient that needs to feel the benefits THC delivers, how the strain ultimately makes you feel is just as important as how it looks and smells.  As much as we'd like to be able to choose a cultivation style, the differences between indoor and outdoor are simply neck-and-neck.  Indoor cultivation awards you with the ultimate control of the process, but sometimes certain natural weather phenomenon can actually strengthen the potency of a strain.  Conversely, it can be argued that the forces of nature may in fact degrade the quality of your strain.  Therefore, it's best to assume either cultivation style works and that the overall effects of a rest entirely on the genetics of that strain.



CLOSING: WE THINK INDOOR CULTIVATION IS BETTER


We tried to be as unbiased as possible but at the end of the day, we do lean more towards indoor cultivated flower.  The level of control from the moment we plant the seed into the ground to the moment our flower gets rolled with love into our infused pre-rolls and ultimately to your hands leads us down a path of unparalleled quality.  And sure, it might not be the best for the environment, but it sure beats having elements beyond our control hinder the final product.  We hope you liked our guide today and don't be afraid to give an outdoor-grown strain a try at a dispensary near you.


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