What is the difference between indoor and outdoor cannabis seeds?

A juxtaposed image showing a magnified closeup of a cannabis seed in the centre, an indoor cannabis grow to the right of the image, and an outdoor grow to the left.

Wondering how to tell the difference between indoor and outdoor cannabis seeds? Trying to work out which ones are easiest? Confused as to why Sensi Seeds doesn’t use ‘Indoor’ and ‘Outdoor’ as categories? This article answers all these questions and more!

For the novice, one of the more confusing aspects of buying cannabis seeds is the wealth of new terminology to get used to. Indica, sativa, hybrid; outdoor, greenhouse, indoor… it’s easy to see why people can get discouraged. Yet another problem caused by prohibition is that it can be hard to ask questions. Maybe there’s no-one to ask; maybe you don’t want to admit that you don’t know whether ‘indo’ is short for ‘indica’ or ‘indoor’. Fear not, this article will answer questions about the difference between indoor and outdoor cannabis seeds!

“What’s the difference between indoor and outdoor cannabis seeds?”

A closeup photograph of a flowering cannabis plant. It appears to be grown indoors in a controlled environment. The background is out of focus but shows signs of fans and cables.

“Can I plant indoor cannabis seeds outdoors?” and “Can I plant outdoor cannabis seeds indoors?” are frequently asked questions in our Sensi Seeds Amsterdam shops. The short answer to both of these questions is “yes”, but for those who want to make the most of their purchases, there is more to it than that.

In the beginning, all cannabis seeds were outdoor seeds! The debate over the exact evolution of cannabis continues, but we can be sure that the success of the plant as a global species is partly due to how adaptable it is. Some of the different forms it takes have evolved in response to the different climates it has migrated to, and some – namely the more recent ones – have been created by humans. Some cannabis seeds will produce plants that could thrive in the freezing extremes of the Ural mountains, where both the hours of daylight and the summers are short and cold. Some cannabis seeds will grow into plants that need the tropical lushness and even hours of light and dark that only the equatorial regions can provide.

But what does this mean for today’s beginner gardener, who just wants to know whether to choose indoor or outdoor cannabis seeds? Basically, there are two starting points. Either, what type of cannabis is desired will dictate where it will be grown, or – more usually – where the grow will be situated will decide what type of seeds to choose.

Where will the cannabis seeds be grown?

In a warm, sunny climate with long hot summers, there is no reason to set up an indoor grow room to replicate these conditions, as they are ideal for all kinds of cannabis (unless, of course, there are other, perhaps legal, reasons for not having a garden full of flourishing cannabis plants).  In colder climates, the range of cannabis seed types that can be grown is restricted by the weather, but there are still plenty of options for planting cannabis seeds outdoors.

On the Sensi Seeds website, we have categorized the seeds into climate zones. These are ‘Sunny/Mediterranean’, ‘Temperate/Continental’, and ‘Cool/Cold’. If a grower wanted to cultivate a strain classed as Sunny/Mediterranean – Michka, for example – and lived in a climate that was indeed sunny and Mediterranean, then these would be outdoor cannabis seeds. If the same grower lived in the far North, where the climate is harsher and colder and the summers would not be long enough to permit Michka cannabis plants to finish flowering, then the Michka seeds would by default become indoor cannabis seeds. The climate zones could also be interpreted as ‘Indoor’, ‘Indoor/Greenhouse’, and ‘Outdoor’, based on the Northern European climate that the Netherlands enjoys (if you call this kind of climate enjoyable).

What kind of results are desired?

A closeup photograph of a silhouetted cannabis plant growing outdoors. The sun is nearly hidden in the horizon providing a golden hue to the image.

There are a range of answers to this question, which can help to narrow down options. If the priority is yield, the obvious choice could be Big Bud, but that strain needs a sunny climate or an indoor growroom to perform best. If neither of those environments is available, Early Skunk delivers gigantic yields outdoors in cold climates.

Advances in breeding have given us hybrid sativas that grow like indicas, delivering a potent high without the need for the rarefied conditions that were previously needed to cultivate sativa-dominant strains. Once more, the climate will inform the choice of seeds. This guide to the difference between indica and sativa explains more about this topic. Sensi Seeds is proud to offer almost-pure sativas, indicas, and everything in between!

How much experience does the grower have?

This is really the most important question, and the one that should be considered before any of the others. Growing cannabis seeds indoors requires the recreation of the ideal environment for cannabis of all kinds. Light, heat, wind, water and nutrients must all be provided by the gardener, who basically has to become a kind of nature deity. Growing outdoors encourages nature to do all the hard work!

We hope this article has been useful as an introduction to the difference between indoor and outdoor cannabis seeds. As always, if you have comments and questions, let us know below!

  • Disclaimer:
    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.

Comments

7 thoughts on “What is the difference between indoor and outdoor cannabis seeds?”

  1. irAte irishman

    outdoor is not as good and i have never had anything grown outdoors that can compare to the top grade quality of indoor.

  2. Hi, like “irAte” I live in Ireland. My problem with outdoor growing is the torrential rain and wild windiness here in the West of the Emerald Isle. Last year I grew Jack Herer (fem) with moderate success, but had to process a little early as the weather got too poor. I’d like to try again – is Jack Herer Auto shorter in height? If so, I can provide some wind protection this year, but is the heavy rainfall just too much for any outdoor grow to perform well?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Fil,

      Thanks for your comment! For legal reasons, I cannot give growing advice in the blog comments, but I can tell you that if we had made a Jack Herer Automatic then it would indeed be shorter than the regular and feminized versions. However, so far we have only made a feminized version. I am aware that other seedbanks claim to stock strains with that name, but as Jack Herer is one of our hallmark varieties and bred by us, I cannot make any statement about whether or not strains from other seedbanks contain original Jack Herer genetics.

      As a substitute, I recommend that you have a look at the Northern Lights Automatic, as this is a beautiful and robust variety with a similar effect to the Jack Herer, and will remain short.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  3. I already bought seeds from you but after the explanation here, I still don’t know which seeds are for indoor or outdoor.

    1) Will germinate in the manner you have described on your website.
    2)Will grow seedling indoors in a grow tent (a predominately Indica variety) for the sole purpose of creating a medicinal CBD oil.
    2)Will use LED kweklampen
    3)Will use hydroponic soil-less cultivation system with proper liquid nutrients

    These are the seeds I bought: Super Skunk feminised seeds and Master Kush feminised seeds – all indicated on your website to be predominately Indica strain.

    So, my question is: can the seeds I bought be grown indoors?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Carax,

      Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean we can’t answer grow-related questions or give grow advice on this blog. However, to sum up the content of this article, all cannabis seeds (including the two varieties you name) can be grown indoors, but some of them don’t need to be grown indoors, depending on the climate.

      Also, other readers of this blog will often answer questions like yours. Sorry I can’t be of more help, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  4. Steven Gadley

    Finding my plants are that are only 5-6 weeks old are starting to flower. They are outdoor plants in Hawaii but darkness is 11 hours a day. Even that, don’t they have a
    Pre flower state?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Steven,

      The pre-flower state can be very difficult to spot. The changes in the plants are subtle and some strains don’t show many at all. However, all strains do have a pre-flowering stage, you are absolutely right. With outdoor grows, there are usually quite a few variables that make it difficult for anyone who isn’t there to say exactly what’s happening at any given point, but I hope this is a satisfactory answer!

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

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    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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