Cannabis is considered one of the oldest crops in existence that has long been cultivated outdoors. However, the practice of growing cannabis indoors came into existence years ago due to the prohibition of growing cannabis outdoors. This is why the majority of advancements when it comes to the production of cannabis have taken place during the era that cannabis has been grown indoors.

As the technology became more advanced, industry expanded its knowledge of the plant tremendously, and that also holds true for areas in which outdoor growth proved successful. The differences are essential for aspiring cannabis farmers, and also for consumers who want to grow cannabis outdoors or indoors.

If you are just getting started with growing cannabis, first check out the legal environment in your area. Then, you need to determine which method of cultivation is ideal for you. For that, check out the guide below to learn more about the primary differences of growing cannabis outdoors and indoors:

Indoor cultivation is known to provide more quality results. The reason behind it is that you can control the environment, and the breeding provides good flavor profiles. The presence of higher carbon dioxide levels than in the natural environment increases the growth of buds, and produces THC levels which can be hard to obtain when growing outdoors. Moreover, outdoor growing will require you to deal with the wind, rain, and other weather factors that may damage the plants and lead to an inferior aroma and taste.

You can also check out cannabis blogs like Leafly, GrowAce or EverythingButThePlant for comprehensive guides on how to grow your plants, and get the results you need to kick-start your business – if that’s ultimately your goal – or simply grow for personal use.

Control Over Environment

When it comes to growing cannabis indoors, an essential consideration is how much control you have over the environment. Whether it is a closet or a cabinet, growing indoors lets you pick a setting that has minimal constraints and grants you full control. Furthermore, you can maintain the temperature, lighting, air circulation, sanitation, and water levels.

Unfortunately, growing indoors does not permit you to use the sun’s power to grow your plants. No lighting systems can generate the same light spectrum, so you must keep fair limits of relatively light yields in mind at all times. As compared to growing cannabis outdoors, you do not need to manage problems such as weather change.

For reasonable cannabis production, it is necessary to have healthy sun exposure, hot weather, warm nights, and low levels of humidity.

Cost Of Cultivation

This varies a lot depending on the size of the culture and the methods. In general, outdoor is usually more cost-efficient, while indoor can be more expensive, depending on the equipment you use.

If you’re planning for commercial use, both outdoor and indoor growing demand substantial upfront costs. However, the major difference can only be observed long-term. More often than not, a climate control system for indoor growing may cost a significant amount of money to operate, while most costs associated with growing cannabis outdoors would be incurred in the beginning of the undertaking.

The labor costs involved in both outdoor and indoor cultivation may differ drastically. In indoor gardens, with a continual turnover, there is always work that must be done. Watering, trellising, pruning, harvest work, and feeding are more demanding and ongoing for relatively smaller yields.

In outdoor growing, the growers are working on the crops all through the season. Most outdoor farms that produce big outputs may function with up to 4 full-time employees until harvest time when extra workers are usually hired.

The high cost involved in indoor growing can be recovered through the breeding projects, potent products, and harvests all around the year with high selling points. In addition to that, artificially created indoor environments enable the cultivation of strains that would not be suitable for local climate and outdoor environment. But, due to increasing energy costs and higher demand for flowers, outdoor cultivation can supply quality plants to the market at a reasonable price.

Time Involved

For several people, the time involved in growing cannabis is a huge factor. These people want their cannabis plants to grow as quickly as possible. If that is the case, you must consider indoor growing because, as mentioned above, you have full control over the elements that will help you grow cannabis quicker. But, if you don’t care about fast turnarounds, you may consider either outdoor or indoor growing.

Maintenance Required

Outdoor growing would always require less maintenance because once you have found a good place to plant, you only have to visit the area several times a month to check on the plants to trim or water and harvest them. You might also need to fend off animals or bugs. If you are growing outdoors in your backyard, you do not need to consider the travel time. However, for people who grow outdoors away from their homes, your maintenance will include traveling from and to your plants.

Indoor growing requires you to exercise personal control over everything at all times. It means that you are in charge of the temperature, light, root pH, and so on. When growing cannabis indoors, you also have to do more plant training because of the space restrictions. All of those factors can be a bit overwhelming if you are a first timer. But, for the majority of indoor growers, as they gain more experience, the effort and time needed for maintenance tends to drop dramatically.

Amount Of Yield

Oftentimes, outdoor cannabis farming will provide you more yield per harvest since you may grow big cannabis plants. The sun also provides a powerful nourishing light, which enables plants to build up in size. Outdoor plants may produce a few pounds of buds for every plant. But, when growing outdoors, you should start growing during spring time and you will usually get one harvest every year unless you are living in a tropical country.

Growing cannabis indoors, on the contrary, may produce huge yields in the right conditions. However, it can be a bit limited depending on the size of the lights used for growth. If you just require several ounces of buds every month, growing indoors will yield enough for you. Basically, you can start growing cannabis indoors anytime, which provides you the chance to harvest several times a year.


All in all, growing cannabis outdoors and indoors both have their upsides and downsides. In reality, you should choose which is most convenient and best for you.

If you have access to a good plot of land that is secured, and you’re living in an area with a suitable climate, you must consider growing cannabis outdoors. Your startup cost would be less and you’ll be able to enjoy organically grown cannabis once you start harvesting.

On the other hand, if you are living in a place with a climate that is unsuitable to grow cannabis, you must choose to grow cannabis indoors. The downside of indoor growing is that it requires a high startup investment and high maintenance. But, once you get used to it, you’ll find it much easier than you could have imagined.