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Indoor vs. Outdoor Grown Cannabis: What's the Difference?

If you’ve been using cannabis for a while, you’ve probably entertained a few questions surrounding the cultivation of the plant. Where is the best cannabis grown? How is it grown? Which cannabis is better – indoor or outdoor? 

Cannabis has been commercially cultivated in a variety of different ways. Each cultivation technique can help explain certain traits in the plant, such as bud size, leaf size, bud color, and more.

Let’s take a look at the many differences between indoor and outdoor grown cannabis. 

Physical Appearance: Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis

Cannabis experts can tell the difference between an outdoor grown bud and an indoor grown bud almost immediately. While the differences will be subtle to the inexperienced eye, they are actually quite significant. 

Distinctive physical qualities of outdoor-grown plants: 

  • Darker leaves 

  • Darker buds 

  • Larger buds

  • Looser and lighter flower 

  • Lower trichome density 

  • Thicker stems  

Distinctive physical qualities of indoor-grown plants: 

  • Brighter colors on both leaves and buds

  • Smaller buds 

  • Tighter and heavier flower 

  • Higher trichome density 

  • Thinner stems 


The inconsistent weather of the outdoor environment helps to explain the beaten up look of the plant, and the less dense buds. The climate controlled indoor environment produces consistently denser and more colorful buds. If you’ve spotted a bud with purple, orange, or red coloration, you can almost guarantee that it was grown indoors. 

Flavor and Smell: Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis 

The rating of a flavor and smell of a strain is in large part, subjective to the individual reviewing it. With that being said, overall, outdoor cannabis produces more intense smells and flavors. When you inhale an outdoor bud, it may produce smells of pine and evergreen, with earthy flavors. This comes as a result of the environment the cannabis is grown in and is subsequently harder to achieve with indoor-grown buds. 

THC Content: Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis 

Does indoor-grown cannabis have higher THC content? Overall, yes, but it isn’t necessarily always the case. It’s important to remember that THC content is determined by trichome density, not necessarily bud density. While outdoor plants do usually have less dense buds, during certain seasons – when all the weather elements allow for optimal growing conditions – the outdoor plants can have higher trichome density. 

The majority of time, indoor growers can better control the CO2 concentration in the soil, which is largely attributed to denser trichomes and higher THC. Their consistency in growing conditions allows the indoor growers to produce consistently stronger cannabis than their outdoor counterparts. 

Which is higher quality? Indoor or Outdoor grown cannabis?

In answering the question, which is better, indoor or outdoor? It will all depend on the consumer’s preferences. Indoor cannabis will usually offer higher THC concentration, unique colors, and tighter buds. Outdoor cannabis offers unique subtleties in the flavor and smell of a strain – something that more experienced cannabis users tend to enjoy experimenting with.

In the end, you can find great weed from both indoor and outdoor operations. It’s also important to remember that the quality of the cannabis will be largely dictated by the grower’s style and technique. 

You may not be able to always control how your cannabis is cultivated, but you can always control how you smoke it. The best smoking device for weed – whether it is grown indoor or outdoor – is the MAZE-X Pipe.

Outfitted with newly patented smoke-cooling technology, this pipe purifies and cools the smoke before inhalation. The MAZE-X produces a smoother smoking experience, one that will allow you to enjoy all the flavors and sensations that your chosen bud has to offer!


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