Sungrown hemp cola from Sunset Lake CBD with the text "What is Sungrown Hemp?"

What are the driving factors behind your CBD purchases? Is it the price? The potency? Or perhaps it’s company culture? We’ve asked Sunset Lake CBD customers over the years why they’ve supported our farm, and we’re thrilled to see that a growing number of folks are choosing us because of not only our prices and craft quality but our sustainable farming practices and sungrown hemp. So we’ve decided to start a new series to talk about what we do and how we do it.

Sunset Lake CBD has been harvesting sungrown hemp since our founding. We’re proud of the results and in this post, we’ll talk about what sungrown hemp means and why we do it.

What is Sungrown Hemp?

Sungrown (or sun-grown) hemp is grown outdoors, planted in the soil, and subject to the sun. That might sound obvious, but “sungrown” isn’t interchangeable with the term “outdoor.”

According to evolving industry terminology, sungrown hemp is a subcategory of outdoor hemp. “Outdoor” is an umbrella term that can refer to hemp grown in greenhouses, hoop houses, in the soil, in containers, and even subjected to light deprivation. Essentially, any hemp that isn’t grown and finished inside under artificial lights can be considered outdoor hemp.

Sungrown hemp, on the other hand, is exposed to the elements, grown in-ground with natural fertilizers, and subjected to the local area’s terroir. This means that the hemp plants are directly influenced by the specific environmental conditions of the area they are grown in, including soil quality, weather patterns, and the surrounding ecosystem. This exposure can lead to variations in flavor, potency, and overall plant health.

Benefits of Sungrown Hemp

As a conscientious shopper, you care about the quality and environmental impact of the products you consume. You choose lovingly-grown organic food over food grown under harsh lighting and filled with artificial fertilizers. Why would your hemp be any different?

Environmental Impact

Indoor (and some outdoor) hemp cultivation draws massive amounts of energy and emits nearly 25 times more carbon dioxide per gram of hemp compared to sungrown hemp. We can attribute this eye-popping disparity to the power needed for growing lights, airflow, heating, cooling, water purification, and more.

Sungrown hemp needs almost none of the above. It uses the elements, the living soil, and some organic fertilizer to produce more flower per plant than indoor cultivation. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the cultivation process. Additionally, sungrown hemp supports biodiversity by creating habitats for various plant and animal species.


It’s long been believed that hemp plants grown indoors produce the most potent flowers. It’s true to an extent—hemp can be manipulated into producing higher concentrations of a specific cannabinoid. But on the whole, sungrown hemp has been found to produce more cannabinoids overall, making for a more complete experience. This is because the natural sunlight and outdoor conditions encourage the plants to develop a broader range of cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in a richer and more nuanced profile.

Recent studies and customer feedback have shown that the full-spectrum benefits of sungrown hemp can provide a more balanced and effective experience for users. This is particularly important for those seeking the entourage effect, where the various cannabinoids and terpenes work synergistically to enhance the therapeutic benefits of CBD.

Price Point

Because indoor hemp cultivation uses so much power to produce average per-plant yields, it’s usually more expensive than outdoor and sungrown hemp.

When properly maintained, sungrown hemp plants will produce more grams of usable flower than indoor hemp plants. This is because indoor plants are subjected to more limiting factors like light, root space, and nutrient deficiencies. Larger yields translate into lower prices for consumers once sungrown hemp farmers crop out for the season. Additionally, the lower energy costs associated with outdoor cultivation allow farmers to pass on the savings to consumers, making sungrown hemp a more affordable option without compromising on quality.

Potential Challenges

Just like any outdoor agriculture, sungrown hemp doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.


Unlike indoor cultivation, sungrown hemp is exposed to all of the elements and has been known to be toppled by strong winds and heavy rain. But what doesn’t kill hemp usually makes it stronger.

When hemp is exposed to the elements, it will put more energy into its foundation and immune system, much like how exercising helps us stay healthy and in shape. This natural resilience can lead to hardier plants that are better equipped to handle various stressors, resulting in a more robust and vibrant crop.


Pests are a part of life. Luckily for us farmers, pests also have hungry predators. At Sunset Lake CBD, we use predators (called beneficial insects) like ladybugs and assassin bugs to eat the pests that would otherwise harm our hemp. This is what we call an integrated pest management system, and it allows us to keep the pest population down while also helping us keep our hemp pesticide-free.

Our integrated pest management system not only helps protect our crops but also promotes a healthier and more balanced ecosystem. By encouraging natural predators and using organic methods, we can minimize the impact of pests without resorting to harmful chemicals that can affect the environment and consumer health.

Molds and Mildews

Yes, while sungrown hemp is exposed to and can harbor unwanted mycotoxins, it’s a myth that only outdoor hemp can contain mold. Indoor hemp is just as, if not more sensitive, to molds and mildews.

If you want to avoid harmful molds and mildew, you should get your hemp from a licensed farm that can provide you with certificates of analysis and testing to show you that what you’re buying is clean and safe. At Sunset Lake CBD, we prioritize transparency and safety by regularly testing our products and providing customers with detailed lab reports to ensure that our hemp is free from contaminants and meets the highest quality standards.

Comparing Sungrown Hemp to Competitors

When comparing sungrown hemp to other forms of CBD products on the market, it’s essential to consider several factors, including cultivation methods, environmental impact, potency, and overall quality. Here’s how sungrown hemp stacks up against some common competitors:

Indoor Hemp

Indoor hemp cultivation allows for greater control over environmental conditions, which can lead to higher concentrations of specific cannabinoids. However, this method is highly energy-intensive and often results in higher costs for consumers. Additionally, indoor-grown hemp may lack the diverse cannabinoid and terpene profiles found in sungrown hemp, leading to a less comprehensive therapeutic experience.

Greenhouse Hemp

Greenhouse-grown hemp offers a middle ground between indoor and sungrown cultivation. It provides some protection from the elements while still allowing for natural sunlight exposure. However, greenhouses still require significant energy inputs for climate control and can be more expensive to maintain than outdoor fields. Sungrown hemp, on the other hand, leverages the full benefits of natural conditions without the added costs associated with greenhouse infrastructure.

Organic Hemp

Organic hemp, whether grown indoors or outdoors, prioritizes the use of natural fertilizers and pest control methods. Sungrown hemp often fits into this category, as it relies on organic practices and natural elements to thrive. When comparing organic sungrown hemp to other organic options, it’s important to consider the environmental benefits and potential cost savings associated with outdoor cultivation.

You Decide

At the end of the day, your hemp preferences are up to you to decide. Do you prefer indoor hemp or sungrown hemp?

All of Sunset Lake CBD’s hemp flower is sungrown to preserve cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavor. If you’re unsure about whether or not our hemp is right for you, check out some of our reviews. Our commitment to sustainable farming practices, transparency, and quality ensures that you receive a product that not only meets your needs but also aligns with your values as a conscientious consumer. Visit our website for more information.


What is sungrown hemp?

  • Sungrown hemp is hemp that is grown outdoors, planted directly in the soil, and exposed to natural sunlight and elements, as opposed to being grown under artificial lights indoors.

What are the benefits of sungrown hemp?

  • Sungrown hemp is more environmentally friendly, often more potent due to the broader spectrum of cannabinoids, and generally less expensive due to higher yields per plant compared to indoor hemp.

How does sungrown hemp impact the environment compared to indoor hemp?

  • Sungrown hemp cultivation uses significantly less energy and emits far less carbon dioxide compared to indoor hemp, which relies heavily on artificial lighting, climate control, and other energy-intensive processes.

Are there any challenges with growing sungrown hemp?

  • Yes,  faces challenges such as weather conditions, pests, and potential molds and mildews. However, integrated pest management systems and proper farming practices can mitigate these issues.

Why should I choose sungrown hemp over indoor hemp?

  • Choosing supports sustainable farming practices, often results in a more comprehensive cannabinoid profile, and can be more cost-effective due to higher yields.