Discover the truth and dispel the myths about sun grown vs. indoor cannabis

Sun Grown vs. Indoor Cannabis

When humans first encountered cannabis along the foothills of the Tibetan mountains, it was growing wild and free on the land. As is the case with nearly every other plant we consume, humans began to study, experiment, and cultivate the plant, transforming it into what it is today.

Unfortunately, as the commercial cannabis industry grows, sun grown varieties have often been either relegated to the most hipster of tokers or shunned altogether. Surely bud grown indoors under specific and well curated conditions is better, you might say.

But what if the folks who knew the science of soil brought their plants outside? 

At SunMed, we've come full circle, reintroducing our cultivars to sunlight in a course of natural growth. By doing so we've discovered that sun grown weed is the next step toward the most sustainable and enjoyable cannabis that commercial cultivation has yet to produce. 

sun grown cannabis ready to be harvested

What Is the Difference Between Sun Grown and Indoor Cannabis?

While most commercial cannabis plants are grown indoors, under grow lights, in a closed, controlled environment, our growers utilize the most natural, abundant resource we have – the light of the sun. When cannabis is grown indoors, every element is manipulated for maximum production. Sun grown cannabis, on the other hand, thrives in natural conditions, absorbing sunlight and growing in tune with the ecosystem. 

Is Sun Grown Weed Better Than Indoor?

While the controlled environment of indoor cultivation can produce consistent cannabinoid profiles that some consumers may prefer, advancements in greenhouse technologies and growing techniques have led to significant improvements in the quality, consistency, and potency of sun grown cannabis. 

Additionally, sun grown cannabis requires less external or simulated resources, making it less expensive to grow without sacrificing quality. This is particularly appealing in medicinal markets where patients prefer more regular access to their herbal remedies. 

At SunMed, our state-of-the-art, Dutch-style greenhouses ensure precision of profile and consistency of quality, while producing variant cultivars that are more flavorful, cost-effective, and durable than those grown indoors. 

Here are 3 myths and 3 facts about sun grown vs. indoor cannabis.


6 Myths and Facts about Sun Grown vs. Indoor Cannabis

1. Myth: Sun Grown Cannabis is Less Potent

One of the most widespread myths about sun grown cannabis is that it's less potent than its indoor counterpart. The truth is potency of cannabis is largely determined by its genetic profile, so the growing method is more of a variable than a direct cause. 

Thanks to advances in agricultural technology, our plants are grown in the conditions optimal to boost their cannabinoid content. Greenhouses allow us to utilize benefits from both methods, combining the power of sunlight with the control of an indoor environment, allowing us to produce cultivars that rival indoor grown varieties. 

2. Fact: Sun Grown Cannabis Has More Terpenes

Sun grown cannabis usually has a richer terpene profile. Terpenes are organic compounds that give cannabis its distinct aroma and flavor. These compounds are produced at a higher rate in outdoor plants for the same reason a pothos or monstera grows larger in their natural habitat. Plants naturally produce terpenes to protect themselves from their environment. 

In sun grown cannabis, these compounds appear in a larger and more variant quality which makes the bud more pungent and stickier to the touch. Terpenes also contribute to the entourage effect, a phenomenon wherein the various compounds in the cannabis flower interact synergistically to enhance its therapeutic effects. 

3. Myth: Indoor Weed Offers Higher Yields 

One of the misconceptions that has long persisted in the cannabis community is that sun-grown cannabis cannot achieve the same yields as indoor grows. However, modern cultivation techniques, including greenhouse growing, have proven that this notion is outdated. State-of-the-art greenhouses have revolutionized sun-grown cannabis cultivation by allowing precise control over environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and light exposure. This level of control, similar to what's achievable in indoor cultivation, enables growers to optimize plant growth and flowering, leading to yields that can meet or exceed those of traditional indoor grows.

Moreover, the efficient use of natural light may also encourage greater output. One study found that light intensity directly correlated to higher yield.

several cannabis plants growing in the sun 

4. Fact: Sun Grown Weed is Environmentally Friendly

Compared to indoor grown varieties, sun grown cannabis is the most environmentally friendly option. Indoor production often requires a high level of energy consumption due to total reliance on round the clock artificial lighting and systems of climate control. While indoor growing may use less water than traditional outdoor crops, greenhouse environments like the one at SunMed also feature advanced, controlled irrigation that reduces water consumption.

Conversely, sun grown cannabis uses the historically effective and natural resource of sunlight, significantly reducing its overall carbon footprint. 

Coupled with other environmentally-friendly farming practices, sun-grown cannabis is easily the sustainable choice for eco-conscious consumers.

5. Myth: Sun Grown Cannabis Contains More Crop Protection Agents

Our greenhouses are tightly sealed and equipped with filtration systems to prevent pests, mold and mildew, negating the need for chemical crop protection. Furthermore, many sun grown cannabis cultivars use integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, including the introduction of beneficial insects, crop rotation, and organic crop protection agents, which work together to naturally reduce pest populations. 

6. Fact: Sun Grown Flower Can Be As Good As Any Weed on the Market

With proper cultivation techniques, sun grown flower can rival and surpass indoor grown in quality. Some of the key advantages of sun-grown cannabis are:

  • A richer profile of terpenes and cannabinoids brought about by exposure to full spectrum sunlight
  • Greater environmental sustainability because the process uses less energy
  • More robust plants because of the exposure to more natural growing conditions
  • Higher potency and quality brought about by the richer phytochemical makeup.

The Bottom Line

The world is rapidly shifting towards sustainable and environmentally friendly practices across industries, and the cannabis sector is no exception. But for cannabis growers, adapting to these changes should come... well, naturally. 

The use of natural sunlight and outdoor or greenhouse environments supports more robust plants with a wider range of cannabinoids, creating a product that is not only of high quality but also more cost-effective. This makes it accessible to a larger range of consumers, especially important in the medical cannabis market.

At the same time, the concerns traditionally associated with sun grown cannabis - inconsistency and exposure to pests - are being effectively managed with the use of modern technology and growing techniques. Greenhouses like the one we have at SunMed Growers offer a controlled environment where conditions such as temperature, humidity, and light exposure can be carefully managed to ensure consistent and high-quality output.

As consumers increase their demands for sustainability, sun grown cannabis is the forward-looking solution to responsible and efficient cannabis cultivation. It’s not just about meeting the needs of the present—it’s about paving the way for the future of the cannabis industry.

gloved hand shows a sun grown cannabis plant to the camera

Frequently Asked Questions about Sun Grown Weed

What Does Sun Grown Weed Mean?

"Sun grown" weed refers to cannabis that has been cultivated under natural sunlight, as opposed to being grown indoors under artificial lighting. This method of cultivation leverages the full spectrum of sunlight to nurture the plants, potentially leading to differences in growth patterns, terpene profiles, and cannabinoid content compared to indoor-grown cannabis.

What Is Indoor Growing Called?

Indoor growing of cannabis is commonly referred to as "indoor cultivation" or "indoor farming." This method involves growing plants entirely indoors under controlled environmental conditions, using artificial light (such as LED, high-pressure sodium (HPS), or metal halide (MH) lights), climate control systems to manage temperature and humidity, and often hydroponic systems (soilless growing methods) or traditional soil setups for nutrient delivery.

Do Weed Seedlings Need 24 Hour Light?

Weed seedlings don’t need 24 hours of light. While it's common in indoor cannabis cultivation to provide seedlings with an extended period of light during the vegetative growth phase in order to encourage rapid growth and development (such as 18 hours or even a continuous 24), it's not a requirement. In fact, providing seedlings with a period of darkness can be beneficial, as it mimics the natural day-night cycle and allows the plants to rest, which can promote healthier growth and development.

The 18/6 light cycle (18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness) is a popular choice among growers because it offers a balance between promoting vigorous growth and allowing plants a period of rest. This cycle helps in optimizing photosynthesis while preventing potential stress that might occur with continuous light exposure.

Is Greenhouse Weed Stronger?

Here at SunMed, we’ve found that greenhouse cultivation allows us to get the best of both worlds when it comes to outdoor and indoor growing methods. Natural sunlight improves the plants’ health and results in a richer terpene and cannabinoid profile, while the use of a greenhouse allows us to exercise precise control over temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, air circulation, light intensity, hours of light exposure, etc.

Why We Love Sun Grown Cannabis

At SunMed, we utilize a combination of natural sunlight and controlled greenhouse conditions to cultivate superior sun grown cannabis. We invite you to explore our products and our concentrates and discover the benefits of sun grown cannabis for yourself. Read more about our innovative greenhouse scaling plans that allow us to deliver consistent and high-quality products.

Experience the difference that sun grown cannabis can make. With its environmental sustainability, rich terpene profile, and cost-effectiveness, SunMed's sun grown cannabis stands as a testament to the power of the sun.

Brad Moran