Outdoor vs. Indoor Hemp Flower – Which One Produces Better Buds?

When it comes to buying smokable hemp flower, you’ve got a huge variety of products to choose from.

As well as choosing between numerous different strains, you’ll also have to decide between outdoor and indoor hemp flower. But which growing method produces the better buds? This article will break down the differences between the two growing methods, as well as the pros and cons of each. 

What is indoor hemp flower?

As you might have guessed, indoor hemp flower is that which has been grown indoors. That means in a closed room with artificial lights, ventilation and an optimized atmosphere. 

Indoor cultivation attempts to completely optimize the growing conditions of plants in order to produce the most potent, smelly, and attractive buds. 

By optimizing CO2 levels, humidity, temperature, light cycles, and nutrients, plants are encouraged to maximize their genetic potential. The result is denser buds with high resin production, making them highly aromatic (due to high terpene content) and potent (due to high CBD content). 

Indoor plants often has a higher flower to leaf ratio, as well. This is largely because indoor plants spend less energy adapting to environmental stressors and can focus more on producing buds.  

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What is outdoor hemp flower

Outdoor hemp flower is grown outside in the elements. The sun provides the light source and the plant has to adapt to the local temperature, humidity, and light cycles. Nutrients can still be fed to the plants, but other environmental controls are difficult to implement.

Outdoor-grown hemp CBD buds are often darker in color, not as dense, and with a more earthy aroma. Cannabis is very resilient, however, so it can very effectively adapt to the variability and suboptimal conditions outdoors and still do very well.   

With a knowledgeable and dedicated grower, outdoor hemp flower can be of very high quality flowers and offer a fantastic smoking experience.

Although generally it may not smell or taste as strong as indoor, a high CBD and terpene content can also still be reached outdoors. 

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Pros of indoor hemp flower

  • More resinous
  • Usually better smell/taste
  • Dense buds

Pros of outdoor hemp flower

  • Better value
  • Grown under sun
  • High CBD content 
  • Highly sustainable (less carbon footprint)

Cons on indoor flower

  • More expensive
  • Grown under artificial light (no sun)
  • High carbon footprint 

Cons of outdoor flower

  • Less resin, smell/flavour (generally)
  • Darker in color

What about greenhouse-grown hemp flower?

Greenhouse-grown hemp flower offers a good compromise between indoor and outdoor. While the plant’s growing environment is still largely controlled, the sun and its natural light cycles power the plants growth. 

This means the best of both worlds; increased bud quality thanks to manipulated internal growing conditions (temperature, atmosphere), as well as full-spectrum sunlight and its natural light cycles. 

Greenhouse grown hemp also usually has a price point between indoor and outdoor. 


Just because a hemp flower is grown indoors does not mean it’s going to be better. Some of the best buds I’ve tried have been outdoor, grown under the inimitable full-spectrum light of the sun.  

However, generally, the better looking, smelling and tasting buds are going to be indoor grown. They will also come with a higher price tag, though not necessarily a higher CBD content. 

Therefore, if you are a hemp flower connoisseur and flavour chaser, you’ll probably want to be trying out a few indoor strains. On the other hand, if value is more important for you and you don’t mind a more earthy, less terpy experience, you can’t go wrong with outdoor hemp flower. 

If you want the best of both worlds, give greenhouse grown products a try. 

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