It’s one of the most important questions cultivators ask themselves before starting out—will they grow inside a controlled environment using artificial heat or underneath the natural warmth of the sun? For a long time, the chief concern of any cannabis grower was not getting caught. Since indoor locations were much more stealthy and easier to hide, they became the gold standard in the illicit industry. Now that hemp can be grown legally out in the open, the choice isn’t so clear.
While each method has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages, for the environmentally conscious cultivator, sun-grown hemp is hands down the way to go. Here’s why:
What is Sun-Grown Hemp Flower?
Sun-grown hemp is hemp that’s been grown using energy from the sun instead of artificial UV lights. Some cultivators also use the term sun-grown separate from outdoor-grown to classify cannabis that’s been intentionally grown as organically as possible.
The Indoor Energy Suck: Sun-Grown Hemp Flower vs Indoor Hemp Flower
The sun is an incredibly powerful energy source, almost incomprehensibly so. Recreating its effects in an indoor grow-op is no small feat and requires a lot of power. Indoor grow-ops make the cannabis industry one of the largest consumers of energy in the country, accounting for ~1% of the whole nation’s energy usage. That translates to 15m tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which is equal to around 3 million cars.
High-intensity grow lights require a lot of electricity to function, and have to be left on all day and all night. Other equipment like fans, atmosphere regulators, pumps, and purifiers also contribute to the total energy cost of growing hemp indoors. While it’s true that this equipment can give cultivators more control over the growing environment, it comes at a huge ecological cost. This increased control doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality cannabis.
Indoor-grown cannabis will also require much more water since it won’t be exposed to natural rain. In climates like California, where water is a precious commodity, limiting water use is always a good thing.
Contrast indoor hemp flower with sun-grown hemp, which requires almost no electricity to grow, and you’ll see one option is clearly more sustainable. In a time where the existential threat of climate change is hanging over all of our heads, every industry must do its part to reduce its carbon footprint. As a consumer of hemp products, think about how much energy goes into making your favorite hemp gummies and consider if there are more eco-friendly options available.
Other Benefits of Sun-Grown Hemp
Growing CBD hemp flower naturally under the sun isn’t just good for the environment; it also has loads of benefits for the crop itself.
For one, outdoor cannabis requires less supervision than indoor plants. This can cut down on costs, as well as free up the cultivator to focus on other aspects of the operation.
Outdoor-grown cannabis that is exposed to natural light cycles also tends to produce higher yields. The immense power of the sun allows for plants to grow massive in size, resulting in more buds and more profit for the grower.
The soil biome of an individual place is sort of like a thumbprint in that it’s unique to the particular piece of land. The soil passes on the properties of the local biodiversity and climate directly to the plant itself helping to create a rich and flavorful terpene profile associated with your favorite hemp flower strains.
Greenhouse Growing: How to Grow Hemp That’s Sun-Grown in a Controlled Environment
One way to get the best of indoor and outdoor is with a greenhouse. Growing in a greenhouse offers a way to expose hemp plants to all the benefits of natural sunlight, cut down on your operation’s carbon footprint, and maintain a controlled environment to grow and harvest hemp all in one system. Traditional outdoor grows are limited by seasons. However, with a greenhouse, cultivators can use a process known as light deprivation to control when the plant begins to flower.
Try Sun-Grown Hemp For Yourself
The best way to learn about the benefits of sun-grown hemp is to try some! Our stelo™ Uplift, Relax, and Relief are filled with full-spectrum sun-grown hemp blends. Order a Starter Bundle today to get two of our blends, and see for yourself how sublime sun-grown hemp can be!