The pros and cons of growing cannabis indoors vs. outdoors

Published Aug 5, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / nathanphoto

We’ve kicked off the growing season with an excellent start weather-wise, but many people are still debating whether or not they should try growing weed somewhere different this year. For some, growing indoors is the only solution, and this is a problem that’s growing quickly as we reduce the size of our living spaces and forego things like backyards, but for those who do have the option to choose, is one really any better than the other?

The truth is that the answer to that question will depend on who you ask, but to help you in making such a vital decision, we’re going to cover what you need to know about both the drawbacks and the benefits of choosing either one, so that moving forward, hopefully, it’s a little bit easier to decide for yourself.

Growing indoors

It is important to note that many enjoy growing weed on a window sill which does negate some of the drawbacks that are listed here, but it also foregoes some of the benefits that we’ve included, so be sure to keep that in mind as you go through this list of benefits and downsides to growing indoors.


  • It can result in the biggest and highest-producing plants, thanks to nutrient controls
  • Keep plants safely locked away from pests, animals, and thieves
  • You can maintain the ideal environment that your cannabis plants need to thrive


  • Expensive to start
  • Costly to maintain
  • A lot of work due to nutrient and water requirements

Growing outdoors


Growing outdoors is a really big decision and one that many can, fortunately, make, now that cannabis is legal to cultivate in so many places around the world, but it’s also not without trials and tribulation, and a few perks to keep you motivated, so if you’re considering it, then this is the list you need to read.


  • Nature does a lot of the work for you through things like rain and sunshine that feed your plants
  • You can leave your cannabis plants for several days on end without a care
  • It’s cost-effective and good for the environment


  • Pests, animals, and thieves can be a serious problem depending on your location.
  • Plant diseases are prevalent outdoors
  • Becoming reliant on nature can lead to issues during dry spells leading to a sulking and unhealthy plant

Is either one better than the other?

If you’ve made it this far, then you can likely see that it’s a pretty even playing field out there. Growing indoors may be more suitable for an individual who resides in a high traffic area that could increase the chance of theft, and for people who spend a great deal of time at home. On the other hand, if you like to travel for long periods of time, and don’t want to have the hassle or concern of extra moisture and heat in your home, then growing outdoors is the most reasonable decision, but one is not inherently better than the other in any way.

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