Before you stock up on hemp flowers, you need to consider which strains to buy, how much you need, and whether to buy loose flowers, smalls, shake/trim, or pre-rolls. Your choice comes down to personal preference, but it is largely dependent on your budget and method of smoking.
Regardless of the strain and type you choose, the growing method also needs to be considered. Whether the flowers were grown indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse is always explicitly mentioned in a product description.
It clearly has a big impact on the quality of the product, but how does the growing method alter the flowers and why does it matter?
Indoor Hemp Flower
Indoor flowers are grown indoors (no surprise there) under artificial lights. Ventilation, temperature controls, and nutrient systems are used to simulate optimal growing conditions and ensure the plants produce the strongest buds and the highest yields.
Indoor plants don’t have to survive against environmental stressors, and this, in combination with the increased control, helps to produce a high yield.
On average, indoor flowers have denser buds, produce more resin, and typically have higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. It’s all of the good stuff and very little of the bad, but as a result, you will pay more for these buds.
The price increase is reflective of the increased quality and cost. Lights, nutrients, ventilation, and electricity costs money, driving up the cost of indoor hemp crops.
What to Expect from Indoor Hemp Flowers
- Stronger aromas and flavors
- Higher levels of resin
- Dense buds
- Greater amounts of CBD
- A higher price tag
Outdoor Grown Hemp Flowers
Hemp can grow in many different climates and there are specific strains bred to produce optimal results throughout the United States. However, growers are still slaves to the environment and are forced to let Mother Nature do most of the work.
The result is that outdoor-grown hemp flowers are not as dense and may have an earthier aroma. On the plus side, they are also easier and cheaper to produce, and even small-scale farms can grow their own outdoor crops.
As a result, outdoor flowers tend to be much cheaper than their indoor-grown counterparts. Regardless, keep in mind that if you stick with the best growers and look for top-shelf flowers, you’ll still get a premium product.
What to Expect from Outdoor Hemp Flowers
- Less intense aromas
- Darker colors and earthier flavors
- Buds are not as dense
- Often cheaper than indoor buds
Greenhouse Grown Hemp Flowers
Greenhouse hemp flowers straddle a middle ground between indoor and outdoor crops. The plants are controlled just like indoor plants, but they rely on direct sunlight and don’t use artificial lighting.
The result is a crop grown with optimum nutrients/moisture while still benefiting from natural sunlight cycles.
What to Expect from Greenhouse Hemp Flowers
- Price is somewhere in between flowers grown outdoor and indoor
- Possible to get high-quality and terpene-rich flowers
- Very good value for money
What About Growing Hemp?
If you’re thinking about growing hemp for flower production, you’ll need to consider the initial costs, the purpose of the growth, and whether you have the land or facilities needed to accommodate your chosen growing method.
Based on everything mentioned above, you may determine that indoor hemp is the only way to go, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, many niche brands have made a name for themselves, swapping terms like “outdoor grown” for “sun-grown,” suggesting their hemp is more natural and better for you because no artificial lights were used.
If you can grow a premium crop, most consumers won’t care whether it’s indoor or outdoor and they will be prepared to pay for it. Obviously, it’s easier to hit those targets with indoor hemp, but with the right seeds, preparation, and care, you can grow high-quality, top-shelf hemp outdoors as well.
Take a look to see what other growers are doing in your area, compare their situations to yours, and see if you can replicate or improve on their methods.