Organic Cannabis? What You Need to Know About Pesticides and Marijuana
Is your cannabis organic? Find out here.
Published on November 7, 2015

As with anything you take into your body, it’s important to be aware of exactly what you’re smoking or ingesting when you consume cannabis. Users normally forget that what they're smoking is a plant that’s cultivated by, for lack of a better term, farmers. Whenever farmers need a high-yielding crop that doesn’t spoil from the likes of bugs, they use pesticides; however, these pesticides are highly toxic when ingested or inhaled. 

We’ve become so accustomed to associating “natural” with marijuana that we forget that these plants sometimes need to be modified and protected to meet demands. Considering this, we’ve dug into the the difference between organic weed and plants grown with the help of pesticides to give you the nitty-gritty on the industry.

Pesticides and Marijuana

Good weed is in high demand, meaning that farmers need to ensure their crops are consistent and reliable. Just like any other plant, fungi, bugs and a number of other unwanted bacteria and critters feed on marijuana. To avoid this, cannabis cultivators have to use pesticides to protect their crops. 

Due to federal law designating marijuana as an illegal drug, there are little to no studies on the safety or effectiveness of most products or mixtures. Colorado does have a database that outlines pesticides that are approved for use with hemp, but rigorous testing wasn't necessarily conducted as it would have been with other plants. This means that farmers have to rely on the trial and error method of testing, which when used on products made for consumption is quite worrisome.

There are companies such as CannLabs that test pesticides in cannabis, but the chances that all growers are checked regularly, especially in states where producing and possessing marijuana is illegal, is slim to none. As a result, the unregulated marijuana black market could potentially be riddled with pesticide-aided marijuana.

Why Organic Matters

Choosing organic is especially important when it comes to marijuana for one major reason: you don’t wash your weed before consuming it. With plant-based products such as fruits and vegetables, you wash them before consuming and sometimes even peel the fruit just in case. With cannabis, you can’t actually wash the product without rendering it completely useless. When using cannabis created with pesticides, you run the risk of having harmful toxins entering your bloodstream. That chance is significantly higher if the cannabis is smoked due to the fact that it will not be metabolized and filtered in the same way that toxins in foods are. So, if you want to keep using non-organic cannabis, edibles are a far safer, long-term alternative.

Still Not Convinced Organic is Better?

If the health factors of organic bud aren’t convincing enough, you may be moved by the fact that organic marijuana provides users with a far superior experience. Offering a higher potency, fuller taste and overall cleaner experience than its pesticide-ridden counterpart, you’ll notice the difference as soon as you light up. If you’re worried about breaking the bank, don’t be. Buying organic marijuana isn’t the same as buying organic vegetables; you don’t necessarily pay a premium price. With top shelf cannabis going for roughly $60 a gram, organic marijuana sits in the $25-40 range, placing it right on par with some of the more popular, treated strains.

With nothing to lose and so much to gain, shop for cannabis the way you would your groceries. Marijuana can be a part of a healthy lifestyle—just make sure you’re considering how it’s being produced. With a premium experience at an average price, organic weed is an easy choice for the conscious cannabis consumer, so support farmers who employ these best practices when cultivating your favorite plant.

MERRY JANE is based in Los Angeles, California and is dedicated to elevating the discussion around cannabis culture.
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