JULY 14, 2023

The Great Debate: Indoor vs. Outdoor Cannabis

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There has always been a debate within the cannabis community about the way to grow cannabis; indoors or outdoors. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice ultimately depends on factors like climate, cost, quality and personal preferences. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of both outdoor cannabis cultivation shedding light on the battle for dominance. 

Indoor Cultivation


1. Controlled Environment: When you choose cultivation you have control over crucial environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and lighting. This control allows you to create conditions for your plants at every stage of their growth cycle. As a result, you can achieve quality buds with high THC yields. Moreover, this precision gives growers the ability to fine tune each step of the growing process and develop strains that are more resistant to pests and mold than their predecessors. 

2. Year-round Cultivation: By cultivating indoors you eliminate reliance on changes. Regardless of what’s happening in terms of weather conditions you can grow cannabis all year long. This ensures a supply, without interruptions. 

3. Pest and Disease Control: Indoor growing significantly reduces the risk of pests, insects and diseases affecting your plants. Controlled environments offer advantages, such, as the ability to implement measures efficiently and respond promptly to any issues that may arise. 

4. Security and Privacy: When it comes to privacy and security indoor cultivation provides a level of protection compared to growing outdoors.  


1. Costs: Indoor cultivation requires an investment in equipment like grow lights, ventilation systems and climate control devices. Additionally, expenses associated with electricity, water usage and maintenance can quickly add up making indoor cultivation a costlier option. 

2. Energy Consumption: The use of lighting and climate control systems in cultivation leads to high energy consumption. This not only has an environmental impact but also contributes to a larger carbon footprint

3. Microbial Life: Indoor environments lack the diversity found in outdoor settings especially in terms of soil life. If you start with compost for your grow you won't benefit from a developed soil food web. However, with time and effort it is possible to establish an ecosystem indoors. 

On the other hand, outdoor cultivation also has its advantages. 

Outdoor Cultivation



1. Natural Sunlight and Fresh Air: The natural spectrum of sunlight provides plants with the range of wavelengths they need for growth. Additionally fresh air circulation outdoors helps plants become more robust and resilient. When cannabis is grown outdoors it tends to grow larger in size although this doesn't necessarily mean it will have a higher THC percentage. However, cannabis that is grown under sunlight tends to have a more robust terpene profile, which can provide a more fulfilling high. 

2. Cost Effectiveness: One of the advantages of cultivation is that it is generally more cost effective compared to growing indoors. The use of natural light helps reduce electricity costs and the simplicity of the setup means fewer maintenance expenses. 

3. Increased Yield Potential: The spacious outdoor environment allows cannabis plants to reach their growth potential resulting in plants and potentially higher yields. In fact, outdoor grown cannabis not only has bigger buds but also longer and thicker stems. 

4. Terroir Influence: Similar to how wine production can be influenced by factors like soil and climate outdoor cannabis cultivation can also benefit from what we call "terroir." This means that the unique characteristics of the region's soil, climate and environmental factors can contribute to flavors and aromas in the buds.


1. Seasonal Limitations: Outdoor plants typically have one growing cycle per year and take time to mature fully. This means that outdoor cultivation is heavily dependent on the seasons leading to a short growing period lasting only a few months. As a result, harvests may be inconsistent or limited depending on the conditions of the region. 

2. Climate Control Concerns: Outdoor cannabis plants face weather conditions that can pose threats. Strong winds can break branches and stems, while heavy rainfall can lead to root rot and increase the risk of diseases during the flowering stage. Additionally, extreme heat and drought can cause issues, with watering and wilting. Late spring frosts and early autumn frosts may even result in the demise of the plants. 

3. Risk of Pests and Diseases: Growing cannabis outdoors exposes the plants to a vulnerability to pests, insects and diseases. Managing and preventing these issues becomes more challenging due to the absence of control. 

4. Privacy and Security Challenges: Cultivating cannabis outdoors involves various security regulations in different states. Moreover, outdoor cultivation is more susceptible to theft and unauthorized access. This necessitates implementing security measures to safeguard the crops. 

The Final Verdict: 

When considering indoor versus weed cultivation there is no clear cut winner. The choice between these methods goes beyond preference – it requires decision making based on your growth objectives, available resources and specific circumstances. 

Many people believe that indoor cannabis is superior, in terms of quality. But there are other factors to consider. While growing indoors allows for the cultivation of well-groomed buds it's not the only determining factor. 

When it comes to the quality of buds both indoor and outdoor growers can produce top notch yields each year. Various variables come into play making it difficult to definitively rank one method over the other. Factors such as cost, control, climate, space and desired quality all need to be considered when deciding which approach suits you best. Ultimately what truly matters to cannabis enthusiasts and consumers is the quality, potency and enjoyment of the product. 

Regardless of whether you choose outdoor or indoor cultivation methods, responsible practices and compliance with laws and regulations are crucial. Happy growing! 

How we can assist you: 

At CanMar we offer guidance in launching your cannabis business – be it indoor or outdoor. We can help navigate through requirements while obtaining the necessary licenses for your operations. 

Contact us today to explore how we can assist in licensing and legalizing your cannabis business in accordance with provincial regulations. 


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  2. Grow with Jane. "A Guide to Identifying and Controlling Pests on Your Cannabis Plants." Grow with Jane. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://growithjane.com/pest-cannabis-plants/

  3. Everything Cannabis. "Indoor vs. Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation: Pros and Cons." Everything Cannabis. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://everything-cannabis.com/2023/05/26/indoor-vs-cannabis-cultivation/

  4. TED Ideas. "What's the Carbon Footprint of Cannabis? Surprisingly High." TED Ideas. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://ideas.ted.com/whats-the-carbon-footprint-of-cannabis-surprisingly-high/

  5. Green Flower News. "6 Amazing Environmental Benefits of Sungrown Cannabis." Green Flower News. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://news.green-flower.com/6-amazing-environmental-benefits-of-sungrown-cannabis/

  6. Seed and Stone. "Indoor vs. Outdoor Weed: Is One Better Than the Other?" Seed and Stone. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://www.seedandstone.com/articles/indoor-vs-outdoor-weed-is-one-better-than-the-other

  7. Farmer Felon. "What is Terroir, and How Does It Affect Cannabis?" Farmer Felon. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://farmerfelon.com/blog/what-terroir-and-how-does-it-affect-cannabis

  8. Salon Privé Magazine. "Growing Marijuana Plant Indoors: A Comprehensive Guide." Salon Privé Magazine. Accessed [July 13, 2023]. [https://www.salonprivemag.com/growing-marijuana-plant-indoors/

Melissa Jane Sydie

Marketing Lead at CanMar

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