If you enjoy CBD flower, also known as hemp flower, you may have seen the terms “indoor CBD flower” and “outdoor CBD flower” before. What’s the difference, you ask? It’s as simple as it seems: indoor CBD flower is grown indoors, and outdoor CBD is grown outdoors.
There are many reasons why growers may prefer indoor or outdoor growing. However, in the end, they’re both fantastic ways to grow CBD flower. In this article, we’re going to focus on the pros and cons of growing indoors. We’ll also go over the main differences between indoor and outdoor growing.
Table of Contents
What is Indoor CBD Flower?
Indoor hemp flower cultivation is employed to control and optimize the growing environment for the plants. Indoor growers have complete power over how much light the plants are exposed to per day, how much water they intake, and the temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels of the grow room.
Under optimized conditions, CBD flower is able to quite literally blossom all year long. Not only can the growers yield a never-ending hemp crop, but they can also manipulate the CBD, THC, and terpene levels of each plant. Everything about indoor-grown CBD flower strains is carefully planned and executed.
What Are the Benefits of Indoor CBD Flower?
There are endless benefits to growing CBD flower indoors, the first of which is the light cycle control. When you grow indoors, you can control the duration, angle, UVA, and UVB levels of the lights. The plants get the exact amount and kind of light that the grower chooses.
In addition to light, indoor growers have the advantage of controlling environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and precipitation. The flower doesn’t have to battle the elements, but rather the elements are tailored to its needs. That and the lack of wind really help the plants to flourish.
CBD flowers grown under these optimized conditions are often exceptionally dense and resinous. They also have high terpene levels, which gives them pleasingly strong aromas. The best part about indoor grown hemp, however, is its extremely high CBD levels —with some modern strains reaching 25%!
In addition to all the benefits of having total control, growing hemp flower indoors is wonderfully efficient and lucrative. The ability to create an ideal growing environment allows cultivators to raise plants in the minimum amount of time required for their development. Then, they can do it again and again, all year long.
That means a constant supply of premium, potent, specially-grown CBD hemp flower. Growers are able to make a steady income, and consumers don’t have to wait for fresh, top-shelf flower to be in season.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Indoor CBD Flower?
Although growing hemp flower indoors is efficient and lucrative, it does come with a couple of disadvantages for both the cultivators and their customers. Running an indoor grow operation is expensive, often making the resultant hemp flower expensive, as well.
On top of start-up business expenses, utility costs rack up quickly at indoor grow operations. Running that much electricity, water, and fresh air doesn’t come cheap, and it can leave a high carbon footprint. To make up for the cost of growing, indoor cultivators often need to charge quite a bit for their flower.
Indoor CBD Flower Vs. Outdoor CBD Flower: What’s the Difference?
When you grow CBD hemp flower outside, the plants have to battle the elements. This includes natural elements like light cycles, temperature, humidity, wind, and rain, as well as artificial elements like pollution, contaminants, and pesticides.
Without a controlled environment, outdoor plants struggle to flourish much more than indoor-grown plants do. The amount and angle of sunlight are two of the biggest factors that impact all plant growth. When you add uncontrollable precipitation and wind, the flower takes eight to 16 weeks to mature.
That amount of exposure to the elements directly impacts outdoor hemp flower’s trichome density. Trichomes are the tiny hair-like growths that cover healthy cannabis flower buds. They’re often described as “a blanket of frost,” as they are typically a delicate white color.
Trichomes are what give the cannabis flower its cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids —AKA its potency, aroma, effectiveness, color, and attractiveness. Because outdoor plants have lower trichome densities, they’re often less aromatic, less potent, and less effective than indoor-grown flower.
Outdoor CBD flower is also typically darker in color, dryer, less dense, and less resinous (AKA less attractive and effective) than indoor-grown plants. Outdoor cultivators have to work vigilantly to care for their hemp, sheltering it from the elements and working around natural environmental factors.
With the help of a dedicated and attentive cultivator, outdoor-grown flower can be effective and attractive. Indoor growth methods have revolutionized the cannabis industry, but outdoor growing is the original way.
Is it Better to Grow CBD Flower Indoors, Outdoors, or in a Greenhouse?
As we mentioned, outdoor-grown hemp flower takes anywhere between eight and 16 weeks to fully mature. Under manipulated and ideal conditions, indoor-grown hemp flower can fully mature and be ready for harvest in seven to 12 weeks. But what about greenhouse growing?
Greenhouse growing is looked at as a happy medium between indoor and outdoor growing. The CBD hemp flower is protected from harsh elements like wind and rain, and the temperature and humidity of the greenhouse can be somewhat manipulated. Plus, the flower is able to absorb real sunlight.
Under good conditions and with the help of a dedicated cultivator, greenhouse-grown hemp flower can flourish. However, the plants will still be subjected to the natural light cycle of the sun. Growers can hang artificial lights to supplement their exposure, but they can’t exactly block out the sun if it’s shining for too many hours a day or coming from a less-than-ideal angle.
The choice between indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse growing comes down to what a cultivator is able to handle and the kind of hemp they want to grow. Some prefer the all-natural outdoor route which yields earthier flower. Some prefer perfect indoor conditions for dense, aromatic flower, and some prefer a happy greenhouse medium.
Which CBD Flower Strains Are the Best?
It’s incredibly difficult to name just one hemp strain as “the best CBD flower,” but if we have to choose one to highlight, we’d go with our Silver Surfer CBD flower. It’s a Sativa-dominant hybrid that rings in at ≈ 15% CBD and 0% THC for maximum energy and focus, with none of the intoxicating effects.
Silver Surfer is coated in frosty trichomes that are loaded with aromatic terpenes like myrcene, limonene, and terpinolene. The mix of terpenes in Silver Surfer gives it a radically pleasant blueberry scent that revitalizes and relaxes in one fell swoop.
If you’re looking for a therapeutic top-shelf CBD strain that will get your creative juices flowing and won’t put you to sleep, we highly recommend giving Silver Surfer a try.
Final Thoughts – Indoor CBD Flower
Although we highlighted the multiple advantages of growing CBD hemp flower indoors, we don’t mean to say that outdoor growing isn’t advantageous in its own ways. It’s just that indoor growing allows cultivators to manipulate a potentially perfect growth environment, which has a multitude of perks.
The main takeaway is that indoor growing allows for an ultra-healthy, potent, and attractive crop yield all year long. Outdoor growing comes with challenges, but when done well it can be a fantastic way to grow CBD hemp flower. It’s all up to a cultivator’s preferences.