The plant of Cannabis sativa L. has been grown for millennia and across the globe, of course mostly outdoor culture. However, due to many prohibitive laws in particular, producers have in recent decades begun to experiment with new modes of production. We see the development of greenhouse culture but also indoor. These experiments also allow the creation of new cannabis genetics, an asset all the more important nowadays because of the growing interest in CBD products. It is now possible to create strains to get flowers already rich in CBD and with a very low THC level.
In this article, we detail the pros and cons of each mode of cultivation, as well as the impact on the final product we cherish so much: (CBD) flowers!
Outdoor Culture: the natural way
Outdoor cannabis cultivation has many advantages, that some producers or natural products lovers. It allows the plant to get all the benefits Mother Nature has to offer:
- Sunlight, with its natural rhythm and a full spectrum of light
- Natural ventilation (wind)
- A nutrient-rich soil
- A supply of natural water, thanks to rain or groundwater
It is a more economical way of growing plants, and generally environment-friendly, even though some producers now use pesticides. The yield is also usually bigger than for indoor or greenhouse culturue, but it is also subject to certain vagaries of Mother Nature, and therefore quite unpredictable. “External elements” can make growth difficult: bad weather, wild pollination, insects or pests are all difficult factors to anticipate and manage for outdoor cultivation.
What are the consequences for you, dried flowers lovers? The resulting buds are generally smaller and less precisely drawn. However, the aromas are more developed and the flowers generally give a more natural and “earthy” taste. The CBD content is on average lower than for Indoor cultivation and flowers generally cheaper than those from other growing methods.
Indoor Culture: a controlled but demanding method
Indoor culture is quite the opposite of outdoor culture. It is the method of “control” of all the elements and aspects. The grower can monitor and modulate the temperature, aeration, pH of the water, exposure to light and the type of light. Fertilizers are often used and producers have the choice of using a substrate such as clay pebbles for hydroponics.
While the idea of total control over the process is interesting, it also has its drawbacks because it is much more expensive, but also more demanding, since the slightest misstep can greatly affect the end result. This remains a method particularly appreciated by CBD producers as it avoids external pollination, thus greatly reducing the risk of “distorting” the plant, making it potentially unsuitable for the manufacture of legal cannabidiol products.
Each plant will usually produce lower volumes of flowers, but while outdoor cultivation allows for only one harvest per year (cannabis is an annual plant), indoor allows to get two or more crops without any problem.
The flowers are generally denser, better shaped and larger. They usually lose some of their natural and earthy taste compared to outdoor flowers. They are considered as the highest-end flowers, slightly more expensive and with an higher CBD content on average.
Greenhouse Culture: the silver bullet?
Greenhouse culture seems to present itself as the solution halfway between Indoor and Outdoor, combining the advantages of both types of culture. Plants grow in natural soil, and this method allows to benefit from sunlight, light that can also be artificially modulated and allow a shorter growing time. This all comes without the risk of bad weather or wild pollination in particular. The environmental impact is also limited compared to Indoor culture.
It seems like it could be a miracle solution in that it has many (and mostly?) advantages. However, it is rather halfway between Indoor and Outdoor, so it may rather be a good compromise for both producers and consumers who will benefit from quality flowers at prices generally lower than Indoor buds. Let’s not imagine miraculously getting flowers with very high CBD content, with an all-natural taste and a complete terpenic profile. Until proven otherwise, unicorns do not exist. Sorry.
Greenhouse flowers are still a very good alternative, and it is ultimately a very personal choice, as a cannabis lover, to know what to set your sights on.
At Kanabiz, we are open-minded and we like change. So we’re offering you all three types. The rest is a matter of personal preference!