5 Pesticides Wrongfully Used in Cannabis Cultivation
Using pesticides in marijuana cultivation can have deadly effects.
Published on April 7, 2016

When growing Cannabis, just like many other plants, it takes time, patience and skill to flourish. Things get tougher when spider mites, ants, rodents, and fungi are posing a threat to your crop.

Pesticides are chemicals that kill weeds and other vermin. They can be harmful for humans, too.  In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Toxicology, 70 percent of the pesticides sprayed on a bud of cannabis can transfer to inhaled smoke going straight to your lungs.

Pesticide bans have taken a large blow to numerous companies over recent months in the form of recalls in places like Denver, Colorado. Since cannabis is federally illegal, there's no way to certify a cannabis grow as organic. However. the mile high city has banned pesticides and continues to enforce the initiative to clean up what's going into the lungs of their citizens. Products ranging from concentrates to edibles have been taken off the shelves after being found with traces of harmful pesticides, posing a risk to the health of patients and cannabis consumers.    Pesticides can have extremely harmful effects to humans and other living things, producing dangerous side effects like cancer, liver damage, and weakened muscle function just to name a few. 

And since cannabis is illegal on the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate it. 

So unlike legal produce like fruits and vegetables, marijuana farmers cannot be certified organic growers, which in turn lowers the standard for what the general public consumes. 

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to decipher between pesticide and non-pesticide laced cannabis from its appearance. The best way to avoid these nasty chemicals is by getting your herb from a trusted source. 

Here are five pesticides sometimes found in cannabis and the effects that they can have when they are consumed:  


Myclobutanil is an active ingredient in the Eagle 20 pesticide brand, which prevents brown patch and dollar spot in established turf, ornamental plants, and certain fruits. This fungicide is considered “slightly hazardous” by the World Health Organization, due to its potential for nervous system problems and toxic fumes.

Exposure to Myclobutanil can result in symptoms like allergic dermatitis, vomiting, itchiness, nausea, headache, skin rash, nosebleed, and eye irritation. A two-generation study on rats found that Myclobutanil decreased pup weight gain, and increased incidence of stillborn. 


The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to Imidacloprid as a moderately hazardous insecticide. According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), this ingredient in Confidor and Gaucho pesticide brands is moderately toxic if ingested or inhaled, but because of the way it binds to cells, it’s much more harmful to insects than it is to mammals.

The signs and symptoms from Imidacloprid poisoning are similar to nicotinic poisoning, which include fatigue, cramps, muscle weakness, and twitching.


Avermectin is an insecticide found in Lucid and Avid pesticide brands. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) lists Avermectin as a “Bad Actor,” while Avid labels claim that it’s harmful if inhaled.” When given doses that were also toxic to the mothers, Abamectin produced cleft palate in the offspring of treated mice and rabbits, showing that its effects are not healthy. 


This insecticide for ornamental and landscape plants is found in the TetraSan 5 WDG pesticide brand, and is not intended for being inhaled. A study exposed rats to a hefty amount of Etoxazole, and discovered that the livers of all of the subjects were enlarged. Although it’s not the most dangerous on the list, Etoxazole has no business being in anyone’s lungs. 


Bifenazate is a miticide found in the Floramite pesticide brand that helps control a handful of pests on ornamental plants, greenhouse tomatoes, and non-bearing fruit trees. Scientists found that over a 21 dermal study in rats, Bifenazate triggered a decrease in body weights and urinary volume, and caused extramedullary hematopoiesis in the spleen. While there haven’t been any tests on humans, it’s safe to assume that this miticide would cause more harm than good. 

Via: Fluoride Action Newtwork Pesticide Project, Toxipedia

Tyler Terps
Tyler is a cannabis journalist and enthusiast that seeks to educate his readers to continue to reveal the true power of the cannabis. Starting as a music journalist, Tyler contributed to websites like,,, and Now he continues to contribute as a freelance writer, now covering cannabis for publications like High Times,, and MassRoots’ blog. Find him on the MassRoots app under the username @TerrapinTerps.
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