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What are the driving factors behind your weed selection? Is it the price, potency or brand name that attracts you to one strain over another? Many people don’t put a lot of thought into how their weed is grown. Others fanatically shop for only the highest terpene content or THC percentage.
With so many strains on the market, cutting through the marketing noise and getting to the brass tacks of what makes a great strain so great can be challenging. For example, if you’ve ever fallen victim to the notion that indoor weed is best, we’re here to bust that myth. In fact, we’re here to explain why sungrown cannabis is superior and why you should seek it out.
What Is Sungrown Cannabis?
Sungrown (or sun-grown) cannabis is grown outdoors, under the full sun. You might be familiar with “outdoor” weed, but that category refers to plants grown in a greenhouse or hoop house. It can also describe light deprivation, a technique where growers throw a black tarp over a greenhouse to control the light cycle in specific intervals. This method gives the grower more control over the life cycle, meaning the plants may flower faster to reach a harvest deadline.
Sungrown doesn’t fall into this category because the plants are entirely exposed to the elements, receiving lighting on the sun’s natural cycle. Generally, growers who decide to grow under the full sun also opt for other organic and regenerative growing practices. This includes growing in native soil with only organic nutrients and materials like bone meal, bloodworms and molasses. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but many growers in regions like the Emerald Triangle are committed to organic cultivation.
“The cannabis plant best thrives in an outdoor environment where it can grow to its highest potential, based on receiving full sun and taking in the vitality of the land’s terroir. Growing cannabis outdoors is the most resource-efficient method for growers with minimal impact to the earth.” —Eli Melrod, CEO and Co-Founder of Solful dispensary.
There are potential risks involved with growing sungrown cannabis, so it takes dedication and experience to see a successful harvest. For example, while the terroir in Northern California is renowned worldwide, full sun plants may be susceptible to unforeseen weather conditions. A storm producing excessive wind, rain or hail can decimate young crops. A family of hungry deer might wander in and feast on young, tender leaves. Knowing how to mitigate potential issues is part of the job requirement.
Yet, it’s all worth it come Croptober when the sungrown buds are harvested. The effort shines in the quality of the finished product. This is as close to organic, clean weed as you can get. And it’s worth every penny.
Benefits of Sungrown Cannabis
As a consumer, you should care about the quality and purity of your pot. No one wants to smoke chemically-laced herb that burns their throat. It’s time to shop for weed as you shop in a grocery store. If you buy organic food, you probably want organic weed. Since cannabis doesn’t qualify for USDA organic certification, the best thing you can do is purchase locally grown, sungrown cannabis. Here’s why:.
Potency and Flavor
A longstanding debate in the cannabis community revolves around indoor vs outdoor weed. The terpene and cannabinoid content give a plant its flavor, aroma and effects. The maturation of these compounds is directly related to the plant’s access to light. You might think this is an argument for indoor weed since growers control the light switch. However, even the most innovative lighting technology cannot replicate the sun’s natural UV wavelengths required for photosynthesis.
Faking the sun is impossible, and harnessing its power unlocks a strain’s true potential. Sunna Ra Acres, a Southern Oregon farm, tested this theory. Sunna Ra Acres cut clones from the same mother plant and grew one indoors and one outdoors. After multiple rounds of experiments with various strains, Sunna Ra Acres proved that every outdoor plant yielded higher cannabinoid content. While not every growing climate will produce the same results, Sunna Ra Acres enjoy similar conditions to those found throughout the Emerald Triangle.
If you care about your carbon footprint, support local, sungrown cannabis cultivators. Indoor growing is draining power to run their operations. Outdoor growers using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals are destroying the living soil and poisoning the water supply. Sungrown cannabis requires the least amount of human interference and, when done correctly, feeds the soil so it can live on for generations.
Non-organic nutrients are mostly produced with the help of fossil fuels, offering zero effort toward sustainability. On the other hand, organic farming tends to the plants, the land and the people who will consume the final product.
Despite a flooded market of legal weed, sungrown cannabis often comes with a lower price point than indoor pot. This is because the plants have a vast canopy to expand, reaching massive sizes during their growing seasons. Indoor weed comes with a hefty energy bill, and crops rarely reach a fraction of the size of fully sungrown cannabis. With less start-up cost and larger yields, the growers can typically offer better prices to their dispensary partners.
How to Find Sungrown Cannabis
Not all dispensaries prize sungrown cannabis, yet some solely partner with local sungrown farmers who focus on regenerative, organic growing practices. Check out locations like Solful. Solful sources from local farmers who uphold quality, organic growing practices—which means exclusively sungrown cannabis. The Solful standard involves boots on the ground at every farm to ensure their partners produce the cleanest weed possible. If you care about your health and that of the planet, sungrown is the way to go.