For centuries, cannabis was exclusively grown outdoors. Growing cannabis indoors is something new in the last few decades, beginning during the Regan administration’s war on drugs in the 1980s. When growers were growing fearful of being busted for their crops, they had to come up with a solution that would allow them to grow indoors, in secrecy. This tactic that was created is essentially the beginning of what we know as indoor growing today. Once they started growing indoors, they quickly realized that they had more control over many aspects of the growth. All the elements can be manually manipulated to suit the needs of their crops instead of relying on Mother Nature to deliver steady sun and rain. While this can be a major help to growers, it does not mean that outdoor-grown weed is not just as amazing. New York State only allowed for outdoor growing conditions in its first year of recreational cannabis, but allowed hoop houses (greenhouses open on both ends and sides that roll only halfway down) to be used. This system did allow for control over watering but did not allow for manipulation of sunlight as the roof of the hoops is transparent. While some say they prefer indoor-grown cannabis, many still refer to outdoor crops as “authentic” weed and will exclusively shop for outdoor. Both types of weed, when done right, can be amazing and produce high-quality buds. It comes down to personal preference.
Some cannabis consumers have some thoughts on outdoor-grown weed that are categorically untrue. Many think that outdoor-grown weed will not produce top-tier cannabis. Juniper Jill has proven that this is simply not true. This thought process comes from when the government started to crack down on cannabis crops and the growers were forced to cut and package their plants at record speed and before harvest time to avoid detection. This led to crops being harvested too early and packed into tight bricks to be shipped in less than desirable quality. Disappointed consumers sparked the rumors of poor quality of outdoor grown weed. Because we don’t face the same constraints as years ago, we can maintain our crops using quality genetics, appropriate growing times, and industry knowledge to provide top-quality products.
Another myth about outdoor growing is that outdoor crops are not as potent as indoor-grown weed. Because we can now grow out in the open and not hidden in the shade and cover of trees, our crops get full sunlight and have as much potency as indoor-grown cannabis. Outdoor cannabis has the benefit of the full spectrum of sunlight that cannot be captured with indoor growing systems. Other elements such as fragrant breezes and helpful insects that control mites are not available with indoor growing operations.
Outdoor-grown weed tends to produce bigger, darker buds and has been proven to contain a THC and cannabinoid profile that has the same, and in some cases even more, than indoor-grown weed. Outdoor-grown products can also contain a higher terpene profile than indoors and some even produce terpenes that cannot be found in indoor grows. This proves that natural sunlight brings out the best in the plants. While states like New York are limited to just a few months a year for perfect growing conditions, other places like California are fortunate to thrive off full sun year-round, allowing them to produce high-quality buds in multiple grows throughout the year. We hope that eventually, the state will allow for a hybrid option to grow outdoors during the summer, but indoors when the weather starts to cool so we can remain operational year-round.
While it is a newer way to grow cannabis, the indoor growing industry has already created amazing options for artificial lights, watering, and humidity control. This aspect of the industry has created full control of all the elements that go into a successful year-round season. While outdoor-grown weed is amazing in and of itself, growing indoors has many benefits. The biggest benefit is the full control of all environmental factors such as light, humidity, temperature, and moisture. Because these factors are controlled, the entire season’s timeline is also controlled and streamlined to fit the grower’s and the consumer’s needs. Another benefit is the elimination of pests and unwanted insects that can be present outdoors. While we do want to prevent most insects, some are beneficial while growing outdoors. (For instance, at the start of last season’s grow, we released thousands of ladybugs on our crops to take care of any aphids or pests that may try to take up residence on our plants.) Another great benefit of growing indoors is a shorter growing season. A typical outdoor season lasts about 6-8 months, whereas an indoor season can be as short as 3 months, allowing for multiple grows a year. Lights can be manipulated for up to 20 hours a day which will result in a much faster grow time than outdoor weed that gets 6-8 hours of sun per day.
Indoor-grown buds will present as tighter and smaller, but deliver amazing results. Because they don’t have to deal with the natural elements like the wind and weather of outdoor grown weed, indoor buds tend to also be brighter green and have a stronger scent and flavor profile.
While indoor growing has many benefits, there are a few downfalls as well. First, you will need a space that can be fitted with proper lighting, humidifiers, and an irrigation system. Unless you have a large space with high ceilings, you may end up stunting the growth potential of your plants. When growing outdoors, plants will have no limit to the size they can grow. After your grow space is allocated, the investment into all of your equipment is next. Growing outdoors requires very little investment as everything you need to maintain your plant is provided by nature, minus soil and nutrients. In an indoor grow, you need to provide the lights, humidity, and water on a regular schedule to create a healthy growing environment. In addition to this equipment, you will need fans, planters, thermostats, timers, etc. While there is a pretty hefty investment for growing indoors, once everything is purchased, you are essentially ready to start growing.
If properly maintained, both indoor and outdoor cannabis crops can produce amazing results that will leave everyone satisfied. The knowledge and skill must be available to ensure all proper steps are being taken for the best possible grow. While we may only currently have access to growing outdoors, we have proven that with the right team, industry knowledge, and skills, you can produce top-tier, high-quality cannabis outdoors in NYS.
Must be 21+. Please consume responsibly.