Does Organic Cannabis Exist?
Sorry stoners. You can’t buy “organic” cannabis.
The official certification is doled out by the USDA, which, because it’s controlled by the federal government, completely ignores cannabis growers. Even if the buds were grown in an Eden and hand-picked by experts, they can’t be certified organic. Growers who market their product as such are either ignorant of the regulation or are intentionally flouting it.
Cannabis is regulated by a patchwork of state-level laws. 30 states now have some form of legalized cannabis on the books, yet their laws vary widely. The lack of cohesion creates difficulty for consumers. Medical patients need to know exactly what’s in their medicine. If the buds are laced with pesticides, or have dirt and debris clinging to them, it could affect their health.
Some states require cannabis products to be tested by a laboratory before being sold while others don’t. Testing doesn’t guarantee that consumers are getting a quality product, but it certainly helps. Most of the controversies about cannabis testing labs have revolved around inflated THC numbers rather than an effort to lie about contaminants.
Cannabis research has been severely hampered by federal restrictions. Scientists know what happens when you spray commercial pesticides on a tomato. They don’t know what happens when the same chemical is blasted onto cannabis flowers. They lack the data.
Ingesting a chemical is different than inhaling it. When you smoke, the chemical hits your bloodstream immediately. When you eat something, it’s processed by your liver. The toxins can be filtered out.
Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug. That means that anyone who wants to research the plant has to jump through a maze of bureaucratic hurdles before they can get started. Studying how pesticides in cannabis affect smokers would be a very expensive project under these conditions.
The Environmental Protection Agency controls which pesticides can be used on which crops. The agency is prohibited from designating any pesticides fit for cannabis because of federal rules. Growers either stick with organic pesticides which have been deemed safe for general use or they follow state guidelines.
Organic Cannabis Benefits
You can’t buy USDA-sanctioned organic cannabis, but you can find growers who follow organic principles. There are also independent certification companies.
Because cannabis isn’t controlled by overarching federal regulations, it’s very difficult to maintain consistent standards across growers. Tests have found a lot of the cannabis available to consumers is covered in pesticides.
However, that doesn’t mean that the buds are toxic. When it comes to pesticides, the danger is linked to the dosage. A substance could be perfectly harmless at some levels and lethal at others.
Organic growers reject artificial pesticides. They use natural ingredients to protect their plants.
Organically-cultivated cannabis exists but it can be hard for consumers to find it. Because cannabis professionals are being guided by newly created state laws rather a set of federal rules, it can be hard to set industry-wide standards. One farm’s version of organic cannabis may not resemble another’s.
These issues would be resolved in the federal ban on cannabis was lifted.