The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Strains?

Choose the best way to grow your tasty green…

Many centuries ago, the practice of cultivating cannabis began, but its origins in all reality started quite organically. The marijuana plant naturally grows in the wild, where it was once discovered many hundreds of years ago, before people even fully understood this crop’s healing capabilities. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and there are now new technologies that do not even require cannabis to be grown outside, meaning you can grow cannabis indoors. Although outdoor marijuana grows are centuries old, the practice of cultivating marijuana inside began not even a century ago, rising in popularity around the time of prohibition, when individuals could no longer flaunt the tall green ladies they had growing in their backyards.

The time arose when adaptation was necessary, and out of this evolved the indoor grow, a discreet option that, once perfected, maybe could even yield almost as much as the green grown outside. In addition to indoor and outdoor cannabis growing methods, in recent decades the greenhouse option has also appeared as a halfway alternative that expresses some of the good qualities from both the all natural and artificial methods of cultivating cannabis.

Keep reading to discover the differences between indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor cannabis strains, and what exactly makes each growing method so unique and individualized…

Outdoor Cultivation:

grow cannabis outside

A centuries old practice for growing marijuana, outdoor cultivation is an intuitive and organic way to plant seeds and watch them flourish, but it comes at one big price: you have to reside in the perfect climate for your crops to thrive, otherwise you just will not get a harvest. In reality, very few of the individuals that cultivate cannabis actually live in a location where their plants could survive well outdoors.

This is particularly true when considering where some of the most famous marijuana strains arise from: The Netherlands. This dutch environment is in many ways almost inhospitable for the often warmth loving cannabis crop. In California and Oregon, there is a region which is oftentimes termed “The Emerald Triangle”. This spot reaches extensively throughout Humboldt county, a region of California where the summer weather is usually sunny and dry, much like the Mediterranean, which is simply ideal for cultivating many different strains of marijuana.

By planting seeds outdoors, crops are able to photosynthesize utilizing purely the sunlight, a source of nourishment that is unmatched by any attempts in recreation, even by the greatest indoor light technologies currently being released. On some occasions, the presence of growth through natural sunlight is said to actually improve the flavor profile of the marijuana itself, because terpene development is stimulated.

By far the biggest drawback about outdoor cultivation is the fact that the crops are openly exposed to a massive slew of pests, diseases and even animals that are trying to fill up their bellies with these tasty green leaves. Additionally, some environmental factors have to be controlled; specifically there needs to be a source of water nearby that can hydrate the extremely thirsty weeds.


  • Rather inexpensive compared to other growing environments, for nature takes care of most of the process.
  • More low maintenance than some of the other growing environments.
  • Usually higher yields from outdoor grow crops, as well as a more pungent, potent flavor profile.


  • Pests are typically more of a problem, because the plants are exposed to all the outdoor factors.
  • Need for ideal weather conditions in order for a yield to exist; very fragile system.

Best Outdoor Strains to Grow:

If your environment does permit, there are a handful of strains that seem to grow exceptionally beautifully in an outside setting, and they may be ones to consider if you are planning on tackling this project as well:

Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow, Mango Kush, OG Kush, Strawberry, Super Silver Haze, just to name a few.

Indoor Cultivation:

grow cannabis indoors

A relatively new practice of cannabis cultivation that only became popular during the time of prohibition, indoor growing is a discrete method of producing quality marijuana that can thrive and produce sizeable yields, even in the most inhospitable conditions. For this reason, indoor cultivation has become the go-to for many, especially those in regions where the climate is far from ideal to be nurturing towards sensitive cannabis plants.

Some regions that commonly turn towards indoor growing techniques includes the Netherlands, Scandinavian countries where it is cold, England, New England and parts of Canada, just to name a few.

Additionally, although it is still risky to run illegal cannabis operations, there is an aspect of secrecy that can be achieved when your crops are all in a well protected, secluded area. With indoor grows, it is possible, and actually necessary, to control and closely monitor every part of the fabricated conditions, which tend to mimic the ideal outdoor environment that the specific strain would normally be in. Conditions such as humidity, heat, temperature, ventilation and light are all regulated to promote the growth of healthy, thriving crops.

Furthermore, some of the pests, animals and diseases that can sometimes have an effect on outdoor grown crops, cannot even reach indoor crops. Specifically, this relates to larger animals like deers, which are notorious for munching on the leaves of these plants. The girls are also greater protected from any fly-over cross pollination from neighboring male plants, so indoor cultivators get to worry less about having to pick out the males from the bunch, especially when sprouting feminized seedlings.

Of course these factors are all positive, but growing indoors does come at a cost. In order to begin an indoor operation, it is a serious initial financial investment. All the proper equipment needs to be purchased, which can become expensive fast. This investment simply might not be a viable option for those who plan on growing weed for personal use and other non-commercial purposes.


  • Easy to control the environment and climate conditions, as well as other natural forces, which means the crops will not just die off suddenly.
  • Easier to protect from cross pollination from a male marijuana crop.
  • Indoor grown plants are safer from some types of pests, especially bugs and animals that are found outside and like to munch of the cannabis plants.


  • High cost to grow cannabis, requires a lot of specialized equipment which can get pricey, especially for those who do not intend to cultivate for commercial purposes.
  • Yields are typically smaller than outdoor grown strains.

Best Indoor Strains to Grow:

Certain strains tend to grow better indoors, many of which were specifically bred, designed and developed for the inside. It is important to note that, when cultivating indoors, knowing the height of your strain type is crucial, because certain marijuana species can grow massively tall and may not fit in an enclosed space with not enough overhead room. For this reason, unless you are properly equipped, choosing a shorter indica dominant or hybrid strain is more rational and less risky once the crops are at full height. Choosing feminized seeds also helps with the process, because there will be less resources wasted, including time and energy. Here are some brilliant strains to grow indoors:

Cheese (feminized), Amnesia Haze, White Widow, Girl Scout Cookies, Northern Lights (automatic), ACDC, Jack Herer, Maple Leaf Indica and American Dream, just to name a few.

Greenhouse Cultivation – A Bright Alternative:

Although greenhouse cultivation certainly is not a widely popular option, it does serve as a happy medium between indoor and outdoor cultivation, particularly benefiting those who do not reside in a location with a cannabis growing climate, yet also do not have the resources or indoor space to be cultivating inside.

Greenhouses are like massive glass boxes that allow sunlight to shine through, along with the heat, while maintaining a specific temperature inside, in addition to the humidity level, etc. Greenhouse grown crops can thrive all year round, but electricity costs are cut back significantly, because very little supplemental lighting becomes necessary, except only maybe during the dark times of year in certain regions.

The greenhouse also acts as a protective bubble-like barrier that keeps pests, molds, mildews and diseases out and far away from the vulnerable marijuana plants. Although these glass structures do generally maintain a fair balance with heat, temperature, etc., there is a slightly larger shift in climate at times, which is why it is also important to choose the right strain to grow in a greenhouse.

Strains like Tahoe OG and Northern Lights seem to be strong and capable of withstanding even sudden changes in environment.

Final Thoughts on the Different Type of Strains:

If you are new to the world of cannabis cultivation and wanted a greater understanding of the fundamental differences between indoor, greenhouse and outdoor grown marijuana strains, then this article can serve as a guide to present the pros and cons of each option so you can make the most informed decision for your needs. We hope you not only found this article to be entertaining, but also educational and informative. It is important to remember that the consumption of cannabis is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be taken.

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