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Indoor-grown Hemp: The Benefits

Indoor-grown Hemp Benefits

Advances in modern technology have allowed us to take entire farms and put them under a roof. You’d think a farm would need sunlight and some good earth to grow things, but the emerging cannabis industry has a few new tricks up its sleeves–Indoor-grown cannabis being just one of them. Although indoor-grown hemp benefits the producer and the end-user of CBD products it also has a little known but hugely important environmental impact that shouldn’t be underestimated. We take a deeper dive into indoor-grown hemp and how it benefits you, as well as the plant, in our CBD 101 series.

Indoor-grown vs Outdoor-grown

It is no accident that Soulsome produces its premium quality CBD oil from indoor-grown hemp flowers. The advantages of indoor-grown hemp vs. outdoor-grown hemp are huge and, although we may have a romantic picture of our cannabis being grown under sunny skies outdoors, the reality is very far removed from this. For Soulsome the choice was part of our operating philosophy and mission: To create the best cold-pressed hemp flower CBD oil in the most sustainable and environmentally conscious way possible–no shortcuts. 

The first thing to know about hemp (and the cannabis plant in general) is that it is a powerful bioaccumulator, which means it absorbs nutrients and other substances in the growing soil faster than they are eliminated by the plant. Hemp, in short, is hungry. However, this creates a knock-on effect for CBD makers like Soulsome, because hemp will absorb anything in the soil it will take in things like herbicides and pesticides. These compounds will ultimately be present in the final product–your CBD oil; not an acceptable outcome at all.

Another disadvantage to outdoor-grown hemp is that cannabis tends to deplete the soil it is grown in, eliminating the essential nutrients and limiting the soil’s ability to grow a healthy and abundant crop next year. Monocropping (the practice of growing a single crop on the same piece of land over and over) depletes the soil of nutrients and makes it difficult to grow successful crops without artificial assistance. To grow a consistent, top-shelf hemp crop in a sustainable manner we looked to an indoor farm to solve many of these challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by indoor growing.

The Efficiency of Indoor-grown Hemp

Like it or not, indoor-grown cannabis produces better results. A plant grown in a controlled, indoor environment is likely to produce two or three times the amount of cannabinoids of an outdoor grown plant. This is an obvious draw-card for producers who want a lot of raw materials to make their products from, however, there is another advantage: Indoor-grown hemp is typically more potent (more concentrated) than its outdoor-grown cousin. This is a huge boon for growers as they don’t have to produce as much flower as their outdoor-grown cousins.

One point to the indoor-grown hemp farmers.

Indoor-grown Hemp: Clean and Green

One of the difficulties with growing a crop outdoors is exposure. If the weather doesn’t get a few plants each season, then the bugs certainly will. Controlling competing plants, parasites, and molds as well as hungry insects is a huge undertaking for any outdoor producer. Hemp readily absorbs many of the chemicals used in herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides meaning that these will all end up in the final product.

Indoor-grown hemp on the other hand is grown in a clean, controlled environment. This means that there is no exposure to insects, competing plants, or parasites and the entire environment can be completely controlled because it is artificial. From the temperature of the room to the amount of lighting, to who or what comes in or out, everything is carefully monitored and maintained. This ensures that the final CBD oil extracted from these plants is potent, pure, and grown to exacting specifications. In short, indoor-grown hemp is cleaner than outdoor-grown. Another point for indoor-grown then.

Indoor-grown Hemp: A Benign Monocrop

As any farmer will tell you, it is necessary to change your crop to avoid soil depletion due to growing the same crop year-in and year-out. This is especially true for outdoor-grown hemp but not a factor for the indoor-grown variety which is mostly grown in topsoil or even hydroponically–allowing for monocropping without any of the detrimental effects it would have on an outdoor farm.

The soil composition for indoor grows can also be highly specific and adjusted per grow situation, meaning that a very consistent, stable end product is produced in indoor grows. Unlike the outdoor variety which varies per season and is subject to changes in light, soil composition, weather, and seasonal pests, indoor grows aim at reproducing the same premium results per harvest without the fuss of having to consider fluctuations in the broader farming environment.

Indoor-grown Hemp: “Artificial” or just “Contaminant free”

One of the criticisms often leveled at indoor-grown hemp is that it is “artificially” produced i.e. its growing conditions are exaggerated to produce a kind of hemp Frankenstein, a “Frankenhemp” if you will, something unnatural. The argument goes that hemp should be ‘natural’ and uncontaminated, not lab-produced. This, of course, is a myth.

Due to the list of variables that affect outdoor-grown hemp plants farmers are always trying to control various aspects of the farm environment, from pests to soil chemistry, from bad weather to opportunistic parasites, there is a lot to worry about in an outdoor environment. The trouble is that for each element the farmer needs to control, an artificial herbicide or fertilizer, or pesticide must be introduced to help or protect the hemp plant. This is not the case for indoor-grown hemp.

Indoor hemp solves most of these problems because the entire indoor environment has been staged and controlled with nothing left to chance. With this, the plants benefit from being pest-free and having constant growing conditions. Indoor-grow situations also benefit from not being exposed to neighboring farms where farmers cannot control what their neighbors spray on the crops that they are growing, often these sprays include heavy metals, carcinogens, and other hazardous chemicals which can be blown onto the outdoor hemp crop. Should an opportunistic parasite appear on one plant, it can easily be removed and quarantined before the parasite spreads to the other plants.

Indoor-grown hemp is cleaner for this and, because growers can control every detail of the plant’s nutrition and cultivation it means that nothing ends up in a Soulsome CBD product that shouldn’t be there. Score another point for indoor-grown hemp, but also a point for the cold-pressed purity and contaminant-free raw hemp flower CBD oil which Soulsome makes because of this.

The Takeaway

Indoor-grown Hemp is earth-friendly and user-friendly too. As indoor crops don’t occupy the kind of farmland resources outdoor crops do, there is a real knock-on benefit for Mother Nature and the environmental sustainability of Soulsome’s business model. The benefits for the end-user are also much better, as the indoor-grown hemp flower is more potent and more abundant due to the tight growing controls and environmental regulation. Finally, by providing our plants with every opportunity for successful growth whilst eliminating as many of the outdoor-grow challenges as possible, we have succeeded in creating an incredible, pure, productive, and potent flower from which to extract our pure CBD oil through cold pressing.

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