Indoor vs. outdoor grow: Some of the main differences

Learn what are the three main differences between indoor and outdoor cultivation and what growers should take into account when choosing between them!

For anyone thinking about starting to cultivate, one of the first and most essential questions to ask is: indoor or outdoor cultivation? From the answer, a series of preparations begins to start this space. Today, we have come to bring some of the main differences between each of the types of crops to help you in what would be the best option for you!

For those who are going to cultivate here in Brazil, one of the first questions to be raised is that of security. We cannot deny that, in the political and historical moment that we live in the country, the safest option is indoor cultivation, since in the outdoor our plants will be exposed not only to the police, but thieves, curious, neighbors, animals and a series of other factors.

If we leave the geographical context aside for a moment, we enter the principle of the debate, which is: indoor, we have an environment under our control. However, it depends on us for everything. Meanwhile, outdoors, mother nature is more than used to production cycles and offers a series of natural aids. However, in this way, we also have less power over our plants. We have separated some of the main differences between the types of cultivation below, and we hope this can help you make the best possible decision!

Important note: this text will bring the main differences between the types of cultivation, their difficulties and particularities. We will not go into detail here about the differences that exist between buds resulting from indoor or outdoor cultivation.

Controlled Environment vs. Mother Nature

When choosing which type of grow you’re most inclined to, it’s important to think about what kind of “mom” you want to be.

In outdoor cultivation, there is already the mother of all, our mother nature, who is super used to receiving seeds in her soil and starting the production cycle of a plant. In addition, the environment regulates itself in several aspects. An example is pest control, carried out by natural predators such as the ladybug, ants and others. In addition, one of the factors that most calls the attention of outdoor cultivation is the strength of sunlight. There will be no artificial light that will match the spectrum of the sun and its power to grow cannabis plants. However, in outdoor cultivation, one of the biggest influencing factors is the amount and time of available sunlight, since, in most places, we are limited to only one cultivation cycle per year. That’s because the cannabis plant has two cycles: the vega and the flora. In vega, your plant will need to receive 12 to 18 hours of sunlight per day, while in flora you will not be able to spend 12 hours of light without intervening in the flowering of the plant. Basically, we will need to follow the seasons – in summer and spring we have more time and more sunshine, ideal for the vega, while in winter and autumn the days are shorter and perfect for the flora.

In a controlled environment, on the other hand, we will have a grow limited to the power of the light and the amount of space available. However, it will be located in a place of your choice and with all risk factors dependent on you. It is easier to create a stable environment when you control the main influences of your production! In this type of production cycle, it is possible to have one to three cycles per year and choose the level of intensity and power of factors such as: light, food, CO2 production, humidity, among others. It is also important to emphasize that reproducing mother nature is a beautiful challenge, sometimes! The environment is so much in your control that simple mistakes, such as a badly taken shot, can ruin your harvest.Ver tamanho completoVer tamanho completoVer tamanho completoVer tamanho completo


When it comes to costs, and if we take the theft factor out of the equation, outdoor cultivation is much more affordable. That’s because, despite being in a very crazy world, sunlight is still public and available to everyone, so you will not have one of the biggest costs. This does not in any way mean that you will have no expenses. For both types of cultivation, there is an initial expense for seeds and soil (not all of them managed to germinate a seed), and, in the long run, for water (or at least its treatment) and nutrients (regardless of whether it is organic or not).

Defoliation process
Defoliation process

However, in indoor cultivation, the costs will add up in the long run, as it will be necessary to pay for the electricity bills. The more light, the more buds – but the more expensive the bill gets. And there is a need for a structure that guarantees ventilation and that protects your plant from the entry of natural light during the period that it is off in the flora. But it is also in indoor cultivation that it is possible to increase the number of cycles and also the production of buds, so one could think about offsetting the expenses with the quantity of buds produced. Even so, it is not possible to guarantee that it will be cheaper.

Bud Quality

In this regard, there is a matter of opinion that we will not enter. If we take this factor out, we can say that indoor cultivation is easier and more guaranteed to control the quality of the bud. In this type of environment, it will be possible to produce the highest quality buds, with several possible strain variables, and with higher THC levels, as the plant will not be subject to external factors. It is possible, in this type of environment, to recreate unnatural scenarios, such as an amount of CO2 that would never be possible in nature and that will greatly increase the power of the plant. Even the form of irrigation, which will always be controlled so as not to damage the leaves and crystals of the flowers.

In outdoor cultivation, these same factors, such as rain, wind, insects and others, are outside the control of who is producing, and can be the reason for an early harvest or a climate so bad that it ruins the plants. Outdoor buds will often not be as beautiful or as potent as indoor buds. However, there is a large part of the cannabis community that recognizes the power of good soil, combined with the ideal climate and the correct strain – together, they produce buds with smells and surreal effects.


Indoor cultivation makes it easier and more guaranteed to control the quality of the bud
Indoor cultivation makes it easier and more guaranteed to control the quality of the bud

Is there a better type of cultivation? No, it depends on what your level of dedication will be, time available to grow, space you have, investment, level of security and the size of the risk you want to take.

On the outdoor, you will have less work and expenses, but you are at much greater risk of theft and reporting. Meanwhile, indoors, even safer and with less chance of theft, there is no escape if they catch you with a plant at home (but your bud will be the most beautiful and full of crystals).

It’s up to you! In the next posts, we will introduce more details of the variables of each type of cultivation. We would like to highlight two more points that we will not be able to go into at the moment: the possibility of growing in greenhouses (a mix between in and outdoor) and the environmental impact of indoor cultivation.

Do you want to know more about this subject?

-> How to dry and cure your flowers

-> Regenerative Agriculture

-> How to transplant your cannabis plants


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1 year ago

i live in australia, your findings and suggestions require further information, basically you’re correct. i had a daughter who suffered with chronic pain management..cannibus was the only true medication to help her.the world needs to condemn big pharma for selling their miracle drugs and to stop them from lobbying politicians to keep the ban on cannibus growing and use for the common good of all.

Yolie Canales
Yolie Canales
1 year ago

growing indoors also provides more harvests year round. Bulk produced cannabis is overdried and then rehydrated. Craft produced indoor grown cannabis is (and should be) more expensive. I live in the US where the laws are crazy different in each state and thus cultivating cannabis is difficult. I managed to breed my own strain. She a beauty but sadly, she’s my little secret.