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The primary players in the cannabis growing market are Holland, Canada, Europe and the United States with other countries close behind. The Americans and Dutch are the countries that developed artificial lighting to grow potent marijuana plants. However, legally, everything started in Amsterdam.

Compared to the Netherlands, which has laws allowing cannabis growing on a large scale, the United States still has limitations on legal marijuana cultivation in many states. In 1996, the state of California legitimized indoor cannabis growing, but they were still far behind because the Dutch were already exporting all the hydroponics equipment and had more in-depth knowledge as it relates to indoor growing.  As a matter of fact, the Dutch started six years before the Americans did.

Seed to Sale

The laws in Europe and the United States are different when it comes to cannabis growing. There is also a difference in suitable climate, electricity cost and other variable factors. The indoor growing culture was developed in the United States on a different track than Europe. Let us now look at the differences that exist between European and American cannabis growers. Let's start with the cannabis seeds. In most European countries, cannabis seeds are legal. Even where the laws are against marijuana, the seeds are still available and this is because of the Schengen Agreement. There are a lot of seed banks in Europe, most of which breed their own seeds and are responsible for developing new seed varieties.

The Seed Variety

In the United States, it is illegal since most seed varieties are chosen by private cannabis breeders. They have a tendency of guarding their seeds. However, in Europe, cannabis growers are able to take advantage of autoflowering and feminized strains. In the United States, marijuana is legal in some states, but most cannabis plants are cloned and so seed banks are a rarity. In states where cannabis is not legal, pollen and clones are exchanged privately to produce small batches of illegal strains and/or seeds.

The Breeding

In Europe, cannabis growers do not participate in such guerrilla cannabis breeding. Instead, many marijuana growers work using female seeds. This saves them from having to maintain a vegetative chamber. Large producers, however, may want to grow their mother plants using regular seeds so as to populate their marijuana grow operation with cuttings. Most of the final product that comes from Europe is via feminized seeds.


In the United States compared to Europe, energy is more affordable. For example, motor vehicles in Europe have bigger engines and marijuana growers use bigger lamps for their cannabis growing. Europeans use 600 watt bulbs to grow cannabis while American growers use 1,000 watt bulbs. However, the LED technology is becoming more popular and could be the change Europe needs for improved affordability.


American cannabis growers tend to use grow-boxes. These grow-boxes have an inner layer that is silver, which means it produces white light. European growers use white boxes. This helps to reflect the light better in the tent than the silver light that Americans use.

The Units

In America and Europe, fittings, hoses, and pots are used as measuring units. The Europeans use 230 voltages to run their electronic devices while the United States uses 120 voltages. For both countries, there is no specification as to the parts per million as it relates to the electrical conductivity.

Minor Differences

Even with the minor differences in cannabis growing in Europe and the United states, indoor experts say that there is more in common than meets the eye. In the end, cannabis growing deals with the same plant from start to finish.

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