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The Pro’s and Con’s of Cannabis Cultivation: Indoor, Outdoor, and Hydroponic

Cannabis and hemp have gone mainstream and with that means, plants are needed for the material to create a world of cannabis/hemp. Whether cultivation is needed on an industrial level or medicinal level, cultivation of the cannabis/hemp is needed. Many have a passion for gardening and want to get into cannabis cultivation, and with that, trying to decide the best way to cultivate: indoor, outdoor, or hydroponics. Below we get into the pro’s and con’s of them all, with hopes that aspiring cannabis cultivators arrive at the decision best suited for them.

Cannabis Cultivation By Way of Hydroponics

There are some cannabis cultivators, usually with advanced growing skill sets, that may choose to grow their cannabis using methods not associated with soil- like hydroponics. Hydroponic growing is a form of growing plants using oxygen, a water-based system, and nutrient filled solution.

This method of growing doesn’t use soil; it requires the plant to have direct access to the nutrient filled solution. Any water not consumed by the root (remember- this is a water-based system) is recycled through the system for consumption at a later time.

Pro’s and con’s of hydroponic cannabis cultivation as described by, the Hydroponics Planet:

Pro’s: no soil, less water, controlled nutrient feeding/application, better growth rates, plants don’t have to search for nutrients because the nutrients are delivered right to them, no weed problems, less pests, and less pesticides/insecticides are needed. 

Con’s: hydroponics costs more to set up so the initial investment can be costly, more time than other grow methods, water borne diseases, system failures, and plant nutrient deficiencies.

Cannabis Cultivation By Way of Outdoor Cultivation

Outdoor cannabis cultivation is the most natural way to grow any kind of plant, including cannabis. Outdoor is soil and sun grown, and the main way that cannabis is grown in northern California, and southern Oregon.

Pro’s and con’s of outdoor cannabis cultivation as described by, Cannabis License Experts: 

Pro’s: most natural and least expensive way to grow cannabis, plants grown by sunlight reach their full genetic potential, sungrown means natural terpene profiles, and outdoor cultivation is more sustainable- using much less energy.

Con’s: exposure to all of the elements (weather, pests, animals, etc.) and having to work around the changing climates. 

indoor cannabis cultivation
Photo: Taos News

Cannabis Cultivation By Way of Indoor Cultivation

Indoor cannabis cultivation is very popular. Indoor cultivation is where cultivators utilize equipment to mimic outdoor conditions. Pro’s and con’s of indoor cannabis cultivation as described by, Cannabis License Experts:

Pro’s: cultivators have complete control of the environment and process, some strains are better for indoor cultivation, and indoor cultivation allows cultivation to take place all year. 

Con’s: start up costs are expensive because of the lights and other equipment needed, contaminants and toxins can enter grow spaces, and there are no natural predators such as ladybugs which help deter mites. 

In Closing

It’s important to check the laws in your state to ensure that all compliance requirements are followed prior to launching a grow. It’s also important to keep in mind that research for each strain grown is a great idea. Depending on the strain(s), your method may have to be one that works for that strain, not so much for your situation. 

For more cannabis and hemp education, check out the Plain Jane blog

About Veronica Castillo

Veronica Castillo is a writer from Miami, with a pre-Cannabis background in insurance and human resources. She advocates, writes about, and educates on the topic of cannabis and hemp for overall life. Currently, she is a resident of the road exploring all thing’s cannabis and hemp in the United States, with plans to travel abroad in exploration of cannabis and hemp culture in other countries.


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