We’re living in the midst of a marijuana boom. As more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana, “cannapreneurs” everywhere are looking for ways to break into this fledgling, lucrative market. If you’re one of them, the first step is understanding just how cannabis is cultivated. We’ll break down the three major methods below.
Indoor cannabis cultivation is often used to produce medical marijuana since it gives the cultivator complete control over the environment. With this method, the plant isn’t at the whim of unpredictable fluctuations in temperature, humidity, light, soil composition or any other environmental factor. Instead, plants are grown in consistent conditions with every factor accounted for by the cultivator. This lets growers “fine-tune” their plants to meet medicinal needs and to cultivate year-round.
This method tends to give products a mass-produced quality, thus a more consistent look and effect. It’s also an appealing method for recreational cannabis producers who live in cities or areas where outdoor growth is simply not possible. “Closet cultivation” isn’t always as sophisticated as indoor medicinal facilities—some of them are truly technological marvels—but it gets the job done.
For cultivators looking to produce a more organic, artisan product, outdoors cultivation is somewhat of a tradition. This is especially the case in the “Emerald Triangle” of Northern California, a region that largely established the United States cannabis trade in the sixties. Climate and soil conditions in the Emerald Triangle were ideal for hosting the “green rush” that would sweep through the region, eventually accounting for over half of U.S. cannabis production (before legalization).
As you could expect, outdoor cultivation is a much more difficult method. If the environment isn’t right or consistent, cultivation will constantly be brought to a standstill. Outdoor plants are subject to variable weather and environmental factors, leaving them far less consistent in appearance and effect than those cultivated indoors. However, if proper conditions are met, outdoor cultivation can produce rich, healthy, and large plants.
Greenhouse and Light Deprivation Cultivation
Much like outdoor cultivation, plants that are grown in greenhouses or with light deprivation rely on the sun. But they aren’t entirely subjected to the environment. Plants grown with these methods are actually closer akin to indoor cultivation since they involve artificially controlling the elements.
The greenhouses method gives cultivators the ability to farm all year since they can control the humidity and overall climate of the greenhouse. The light deprivation method lets the cultivator control when the plant begins to flower by altering the amount of sunlight it receives. This also helps to extend the plants’ cultivation period and allow cultivators to keep their plants safer and produce a consistent product.