Indoor VS Outdoor Weed

October 20, 2022

Many dispensaries and online shops present to you the broadest range of strains available today. Some of them might be grown indoors, while others – outdoors. It is worth mentioning that it is possible to mess up with both of them, as growing cannabis is not an easy thing to do. 

Some meticulous users will see and feel the difference between indoor and outdoor weed immediately, while for most, it will be noticeable only when emphasized on that. All in all, every plant is different, and every strain is unique, so not all distinguishable aspects might apply to them. Nevertheless, here we will try to gather together the general aspects of outdoor vs. indoor cannabis plants for you to get acquainted with. 

Visual Difference

Visually, it is usually not a big problem to differentiate the ones grown indoors from those grown outdoors. Let’s have a look at three most distinguishable aspects that do show the differences.


The first and most visible one is the size not only of the buds but of the plant overall. Everything grown outdoors tends to be larger: the stems are thicker, the flowers and overall the plant are bigger. Unlike outdoor plans, indoor ones tend to be smaller and denser. 


Another quite significant, outstanding visual difference is the color of the buds. The general rule would be that the outdoor plants are darker; that is to say, if the indoor plant is green, the same strain grown outdoors would be dark green; if there are purple elements in the indoor plant, then the outdoor one will produce dark purple elements.

The bottom of the flowers of the indoor plants is generally greenish or purplish, while in the outdoor ones, they are brownish. 

Trichome Density

Another critical difference between indoor and outdoor strains would be bud density. As long as indoor plants live in a protected and safer environment, they tend to produce more densely situated buds. Outdoor plants, on the other hand, being exposed to the larger and more dangerous environment, produce larger buds but in lesser density. 

Overall, seeing the plant and its buds is usually enough for the right judgments on its growth environment, though exceptions might still be made. 

Feelings and Taste

Being exposed to different environments might influence not only the appearance of the plant but also its taste and terpene richness.

Indoor VS Outdoor Weed Potency Cannabinoids

Potency is something that many people might be most interested in. Unfortunately, there are no researches that would robustly study the indoor vs outdoor weed high levels and profile overall. Some sources state that exposure to the sun and a rich environment make outdoor plants more tasteful and rich in cannabinoids. While there are also studies that have compared the cannabinoid profiles of both plants, resulting in a completely different conclusion: that it is the indoor-grown cannabis that is richer in THC and other cannabinoids. This is believed to be so because the indoor environment is easier to control: light, humidity, soil, and carbon dioxide exposure.

Overall, as we have mentioned before, plants are different and develop uniquely, and sometimes there might not be one definite answer. 

Terpenes and Flavor

One distinct difference is that plants grown outdoors might produce not only more but some unique terpenes to the strain, making the outdoor weed richer in flavor. There is even a special term to that – “terroir” – which is mainly used in the wine industry to describe the factors that affect the crop’s features. It includes climate, soil type, microorganisms, etc. It is believed by some that terroir can be also applied to the cannabis plant. 

Nevertheless, the terpene profile of the plant depends not only on the environment the plant was raised in but also on the methods the plants were dried. Many indoor growers nowadays pay attention to these preserving the most they can, while modern outdoor growers might a bit overlook this part. 

The Difference in Quality: Outdoor vs. Indoor Weed

So, what’s better indoor or outdoor weed? Both indoor and outdoor cultivation can be of hight-quality as there is a range of factors affecting this. One of the most significant is, of course, the environment, and precisely, the ability to control and adjust the plant’s environment.  

One of the main differences between growing weed outside vs. inside is the ability to control temperature, light, humidity, exposure to carbon dioxide (CO2), and so on. Obviously, growing indoors allows all of these, making it possible to create the perfect environment for the cannabis plant. However, outdoor cannabis can sometimes reach high bud density when grown in appropriate climate conditions and during nice weather. Unfortunately, these factors are unpredictable in wildlife, especially today; thus, it is not always possible to grow cannabis outdoors.

The flower’s quality depends not on whether it was grown outdoors or indoors. It depends on how it is being taken care of. Hence it is possible to acquire high-quality products in both cases.

Indoor VS Outdoor Weed Price Difference

Consequently, growing outdoors when not requiring light, humidity, or carbon dioxide exposure regulation becomes cheaper as it is energy efficient. Spending less money on energy consumption often leads to a lower price. Consequently, indoor grown plants are usually more expensive as manufacturers speed more money on sustaining these plants financially and environmentally.

Which One is Right for You?

Cannabis plant comes in a variety of strains cultivated both indoors and outdoors, with each flower giving you a unique experience. So the question is not whether you need an indoor cultivated flower or an outdoor one, but more of a suitable strain that will satisfy your needs and expectations. 


Here are some frequently asked questions. Hope these answers will satisfy all your questions.

What is Stronger: Indoor or Outdoor Weed?

There is not enough data to certainly conclude that one type is stronger than another. There are cases when outdoor weed grown in the appropriate environment happen to be more potent in comparison to the ones grown inside. There are also other cases when under surveillance and specific control, indoor plants develop higher potency.

Can Outdoor Weed be Potent?

Under suitable conditions, such as favorable weather circumstances, for example, outdoor cannabis plants can produce quite potent, if not more potent, flowers than the ones grown indoors. The potency of the end product is more dependent on the manufacturer’s care.

Is Indoor Weed Always Better?

The quality of the weed does not depend on whether it was grown indoors or outdoors. Manufacturers’ care after the plants is what matters. Although indoor cultivators nowadays tend to be more meticulous about the growing and drying processes, outdoor cultivators tend to be less thoughtful. However, it does not mean that all indoor flowers are better than those grown outdoors.

Why is Sun-Grown Weed Cheaper?

Outdoor-grown weed tends to be cheaper as its cultivation requires less financial and environmental sustainability. Those manufacturers that produce weed indoors spend more money on sustaining light, humidity levels, carbon dioxide exposure, etc.

Are Indoor Buds Smaller?

Yes. Outdoor cannabis plants are larger, with outdoor buds being bigger and stems being thicker. At the same time, indoor cultivated plants are smaller but with denser buds.