Regardless of your knowledge of how cannabis is grown, you probably have a preferred method of how it’s produced or at least have a vague idea as to which kind growing method might be optimal. As is the case with many other aspects of cannabis, the answer is not so cut and dried, pun intended.
If you’re an experienced cannabis consumer or if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where you have a different varieties to choose from, it’s a safe bet you have developed a preference for strains and/or growing methods. Some believe the best weed is grown exclusively outdoors with as little interference from humans as possible. Others swear by buds grown indoor as they claim they are the most potent, fragrant, tastiest, pristinely manicured varieties they have ever come across. There are many factors involved in growing quality weed and yes, where it is grown also can make a significant difference for various reasons. Let’s look at a few of them.
The old-school method: Outdoor
This method has obviously been around the longest considering the fact that cannabis is one of the oldest agricultural crops known to man. To outdoor purists, it is simply a case of ‘nature knows best’ and they certainly are on to something. One of the things that makes cannabis flower desirable is of course its scent, which comes from terpenes. These arise from the presence of microbes in the soil. With practices such as permaculture and regenerative farming methods, the medium that plants find themselves in becomes a living soil with a universe of activity that allows the plants to grow and flourish, of course in conjunction with what happens above the soil. The argument can be made that when left to its own devices it developed through the evolutionary process, the cannabis plant can reach its full, natural potential with as little interference from human beings as possible. Varieties grown this way generally tend to be big yielders and are not a burden on the environment, especially considering the sun’s energy is free. Such natural, organic pesticide-free cannabis also makes for the purest, highest quality medicine, which is ultimately what everyone should strive for.
The new school: Indoor
This method is quite controversial for several reasons. First of all, much energy is needed to power the lighting systems used to grow indoor cannabis. Depending on the type of lamps used (HID vs. LED), growers could be leaving a considerable carbon footprint. Another issue is the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which also take energy to produce and contribute to the problem of plastic waste and use of hydrocarbons. Indoor methods such as hydroponics use soilless mediums and although hydroponic methods can be organic, they will not produce the same terpene profile as a living soil with a plethora of microbes feeding the roots. However, a major advantage that indoor cultivation has over outdoor is control. Outdoor growers are at the mercy of nature and if there are droughts, floods, early frosts, heat waves, predators (in the form of animals, thieves or law enforcement), a crop can be quickly and easily put at risk. The popularity of indoor cannabis can be directly attributed to prohibition as it allowed people to have a secure grow space. In addition, growers using this method don’t have to worry about nature’s fickleness. They control the amount of light, water, and feed and can quickly and effectively remove various bugs and mold should they appear.
If all goes well and the grower doesn’t experience too many setbacks before harvest, the crop can also be beautifully trimmed and manicured, making for some excellent medicine not to mention eye candy. Of course, we cannot forget about the grower’s cultivation skills as well as the plant genetics, which also play a significant role in the outcome.
We’ll continue the debate in the next post. In the meantime, try Hydrotonic #1 or #2 if outdoor is your game and Dragon Fruit Auto or Sweet Fang Lemon Auto for indoor.