Now that cannabis is legal in most states, many excited medical patients and recreational users alike are eager to try their hands at cultivating their own cannabis gardens. In the long run, cultivating your own flower can save you some money and give you more control over the final product that you put into your lungs. While it isn’t an easy feat and you can’t expect to see a return on your initial equipment investment on your first run, it makes a great hobby in the meantime.
If you’re just getting started and looking into starting your first indoor cannabis grow, you’re probably wondering which strains are best for your specific space. Since every strain is different and there’s a ton of different growing methods out there, it can be a little tricky to decide which strain you should try on your first run. Here’s a quick rundown on what you should look for in a strain for your new indoor grow along with a few good choice for a standard grow.
What are the benefits of growing indoors vs. outdoors
Growing indoors is the best option for newbie cannabis growers. While there are pros and cons to growing both indoors and outdoors, growing indoors is typically easier since it offers an unmatched level of control over the final product. In an indoor environment, you can control the temperature, light cycle, and elements the plant is exposed to and help promote the highest possible yields. Indoor environments are typically cleaner, too, helping to reduce the risk of pests, mold, and disease. Best of all, after harvesting indoors you can immediately start another batch and keep your room in perpetual flowering and harvesting, once you get the hang of it.
The major pro to growing outdoors is the fact you can grow larger plants. However, outdoor growing is limited to one season since cannabis is an annual plant. Outdoor plants are also exposed to the elements, like rain and wind. It’s also exposed to insects and other pests making them more susceptible to disease and lower yields.
How to choose an indoor cannabis strain
Since every grow room is different, it’s important to look at a few features and factors before jumping into a strain. For example, you might really like the Haze strain, but if you’re growing in a tent in a bedroom, you’re going to have a lot of trouble with the size of the strain during the flowering stage. If your plants grow too large, you risk burning them on the lights, herming your plants, or ruining your crop.
With that said, the biggest thing to consider is the size of your space. If you have a bigger grow room, you’ll have plenty of space for the taller sativa strains. If you’re growing in a tent, you’ll probably have better luck with indicas since they tend to grow shorter, but wider. Hybrid strains do well in most indoor environments, though some hybrids take on the growing features of sativas or indicas. Some hybrid strains may grow like indicas or sativas instead of somewhere right in the middle.
With that in mind, you’ll want to look at the final height of whatever strain you had in mind. If you’re buying seeds or clones, the breeder will be able to tell you their final size. From there, you just measure and see what you have room for to rule out any plants that will be too big for your space.
Another important factor is how you’re growing. If you’re doing a hydro grow, you should take into account the fact that your plants will be elevated off the ground and closer to the ceiling. If you wanted to do a sativa strain in a standard-sized bedroom, your lights might burn your plants if the strain is elevated. Soil is a great choice if you have your heart set on sativa strains for this reason.
Lastly, you should look at yields and harvest times. Indica strains tend to yield a bit higher than sativa strains and are better for spaces with low ceilings. However, since they bush out you won’t be able to fit as many plants in the same area since crowding will hurt your yields. Alternatively, you can fit a lot of sativa plants in a room since they tend to grow upwards instead of outwards, but you’ll still need to top and train them to keep them from getting too close to the lights.
Ultimately, your yield will be about the same regardless of choosing an indica or a sativa due to space requirements. However, if you know you have room for the legal limit of plants regardless of size, focus on yields. You’ll want to choose a strain that yields higher so you can get a larger return on your investment. The breeder will be able to tell you what an average yield looks like for their strains.
Top 5 cannabis strains for indoor grows
As we mentioned in the last section, the best strain to grow indoors is the strain you have space for. After that, it’s up to your own personal tastes and preferences. The strains on this list are generally easier to find in both clones and seeds, and make a great choice for growers who have never grown cannabis before since they’re sturdy and patient.
1. Blue Dream (hybrid)
Blue Dream is one of the most popular strains of all time thanks to its balanced hybrid effects and its refreshing flavor profile. It makes for a good any-time smoke and promotes creativity and relaxation, checking in around 18-22% THC. It’s the perfect choice for an indoor soil grow since it grows pretty tall (over 78”) but yields 3 – 6 ounces per square foot. Ultimately, Blue Dream is a good strain for newbies since it’s a healthier strain and more resistant to diseases and pests. Just be mindful of your lights and training Blue Dream early on to keep its growth manageable.
2. Wedding Cake (indica)
Wedding Cake is another popular strain checking in around 22-28% THC. Known for its tasty vanilla-tinged flavor and relaxing, soothing effects, this indica-dominant hybrid is always in demand. Growing Wedding Cake is moderate since it grows dense flowers that are more susceptible to mold in higher humidity. However, this high yielder also drops 3-6 ounces per square foot and stays at a manageable ~50” height due to its indica-leaning plant structure.
3. Gorilla Glue #4 (hybrid)
Gorilla Glue #4, AKA GG4 or simply Glue, is an excellent strain for a first-timer indoor grow. It grows in an indica-leaning structure making it good for grows with a low ceiling clearance. It doesn’t yield as high as the other strains on this list, checking in between 1-3 ounces per square foot. However, it can be harvested quicker than most. Glue is a great hybrid strain for rest and relaxation, offering unique sour and earthy flavors.
4. White Widow (hybrid)
White Widow is the easiest strain on this list for indoor growers and newbies alike thanks to its natural resistance to many diseases and pests. It checks in at a manageable 35-45” in height and yields 1-3 ounces in as little as seven weeks. It’s an attractive strain for other reasons, too. White Widow offers euphoric and energizing effects and a mellow body high that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. You’ll love its pungent, earthy, and woody flavor profile too.
5. Durban Poison (sativa)
Like most sativas, Durban Poison grows extremely tall, so keep that in mind if you’re growing indoors for the first time. However, it’s generally pretty easy to grow since it isn’t too finicky with its environment and is naturally resistant to some diseases and pests. Durban Poison can yield between 1 and 3 ounces in as little as 7 weeks under the right conditions, though. We think you’ll love its upbeat and energizing effects as much as its sweet and earthy flavor.