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Indoor and outdoor cultivation of hemp: What to choose?

For a long time, hemp plants have been cultivated outdoors, that is to say, in the fields, in the middle of nature. This ancient method of cultivation was widespread until the prohibition of cannabis more or less a century ago. Since then, the indoor growing method has gained in popularity, as it allows cannabis to be grown in a more discreet way, away from the eyes of the authorities.

Growing cannabis indoors does not produce the same quantities as outdoors, but it does produce better quality. Thanks to indoor cultivation, many crosses have been made and new varieties of hemp have developed rapidly over the years.

But finally, which method should be used to grow cannabis? How to grow CBD in an optimal way? Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, growing cannabis is a long and complex process that requires a lot of technical knowledge. Between the control of temperature, humidity, light supply, CO2, moulds and pests, only experienced growers are able to produce the best cannabis flowers. So, should you grow hemp indoors, outdoors or in a greenhouse?

Outdoor cultivation

How it works

Outdoor cultivation is the most natural and oldest method. Although this method is not perfect, the first cannabis plants grew naturally thanks to sunlight, nutrients in the soil, and rainwater. Humans didn't have to do much except let nature do its job, watching the Sativa or Indica plants grow at will until it was time to harvest.

Outdoor growing also means very generous yields compared to other growing methods. That said, the growth time is quite long. It takes about 6 months to harvest the first plants. Of course, this method is the least expensive, since it requires very little human intervention and no equipment. You do not need to water them, nor to modify the light to pass in period of bloom. The biggest negative point of outdoor cultivation is the climatic hazards and insects that can quickly deteriorate the quality of the plants. Even if the buds are not perfect and the final quality is average, cannabis flowers grown outdoors have a strong, raw and authentic aroma. In other words, you don't need to be a professional grower to plant outdoor cannabis plants, unlike indoor cultivation which requires more expertise.

Benefits

  • Low cost of production
  • Naturally aromatic plants
  • Natural and ecological process
  • Generous yields ranging from 500 grams to 1 kilo per plant

Disadvantages

  • Low to medium quality
  • Very long growth period of 5 to 8 months
  • Climatic risks
  • Risk of insects and diseases

Indoor growing

How it works

Much more recent, indoor cultivation appeared about a century ago, following the prohibition of the cultivation, marketing and consumption of cannabis. Indeed, this method is much more discreet than outdoor cultivation, but this is not its only advantage. Indoor cultivation allows you to keep control of all the parameters, from growth to flowering. Thanks to this indoor cultivation method, hemp growers can control CO2, artificial light, humidity, temperature, nutrients and pH. The idea is to create the perfect environment to optimize yields and thus obtain a superior end product. From the choice of fertilizer to the harvest, indoor cannabis growing is perfect for optimizing your plants.

Unlike outdoor cultivation, there is no risk of climatic disturbances or pests. On the other hand, pests such as aphids and mites can still occur and are not easy to eradicate. The biggest negative point of this method of cultivation is the consumption of electricity. To replace sunlight, indoor growing requires artificial lights (LED, neon, HPS, or LEC) that must be on for 12 to 18 hours at a time depending on the cycle. In the end, indoor growing is a big financial investment. Between the cost of the growing equipment, electricity bills and labour, indoor growing can be very expensive. That's why flowers from indoor cultivation cost more.

Of course, growing marijuana plants indoors is a process that requires some more technical knowledge than just gardening experience. Nothing should be left to chance: planting the cannabis seeds, choosing the soil, watering times, observing the trichomes... Growing cannabis indoors requires a lot of patience and investment. For the beginners, it is nevertheless possible to choose feminized seeds with autoflowering which offer a generous and qualitative harvest, without it being necessary to modify a whole heap of parameters such as the cycles of light.

Advantages

  • Premium quality
  • More cannabinoids (higher CBD levels)
  • More flavourful flowers
  • Perfect environmental control

Disadvantages

  • High electricity bills
  • High material and financial investment
  • Lower yields than outdoor
  • Not very environmentally friendly

Greenhouse culture

La culture greenhouse CBD

How it works

The perfect compromise between indoor and outdoor cultivation is greenhouse cultivation, also called greenhouse cultivation. This method of cultivation allows the plants to benefit from sunlight, while protecting them from climatic disturbances and pests. The plants receive the nutrients naturally present in the soil, as with outdoor cultivation. Once night falls, it is quite possible to take control with artificial light to optimize the quantity and quality of yields. Finally, this growing system is more expensive than outdoor growing, but more ecological than indoor growing. Greenhouse cultivation requires a dedicated growing space and a little investment, but it allows to obtain quality natural therapeutic cannabis.

Advantages

  • Environmental control
  • Protective greenhouse
  • Ecological method

Disadvantages

  • Average yields

What is the best method to grow hemp?

There is no one best way to grow hemp, only different methods. If you are looking for a natural and ecological way to grow cannabis, choose outdoor cultivation. If you are demanding and want the best quality, choose indoor growing. If you have technical knowledge of indoor cultivation and have a nice growing space, you may want to consider hydroponics. Indoors, it is also possible to install a growing box to limit odours. And if you don't want to invest too much money, but want to keep a minimum of control, you can turn to greenhouse growing.

In any case, there are no bad techniques. Some experienced and passionate growers can produce wonders with very little equipment, while some will not be able to produce a quarter with high-end equipment. To grow hemp, you have to choose a growing method that fits your budget, your space, and your technical knowledge!

How to recognize the mode of culture of a CBD flower?

  • The colors: To know if your CBD flowers are from an indoor or outdoor culture, just look carefully at the color of the buds. With outdoor cultivation, the buds are slightly darker. You can also look at the base of the flower. If the stem is light brown, it is from an outdoor crop, simply because the sun is shining around the plant. If the stem is green or purple, it is a cbd indoor flower.
  • Cannabinoids: Generally, plants grown indoors are higher in cannabinoids and therefore have higher CBD levels. Being able to control all growth parameters is ideal for boosting cannabinoids. Speaking of cannabinoids, it's important to note that no matter what growing system you choose, your marijuana plants should not contain more than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) during production. Considered an illegal psychoactive molecule, THC is not allowed in French cannabis plantations.
  • Terpenes: Terpenes are responsible for the scent and aroma of hemp flowers. The sun often increases the level of terpenes and makes the flowers grown outdoors stronger. They are not necessarily tastier, but they are more intense and have more character.
  • General aesthetics: Visually, outdoor buds are large, airy and wild. They are pure products of nature and filled with small leaves. As for the buds from an indoor culture, you will notice a more neat and aesthetic aspect. The buds are small, compact and well coloured.
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