Have you ever wondered, where does marijuana come from? How is it grown? What are you putting into your body?
“All-natural,” “fair trade,” and “organic”—a decade ago, marketing coffee or any other produce with such labels would have been relatively rare. Nowadays, these three terms rule the market. From tomatoes to T-shirts, you will find almost anything with an organic label. You may be surprised to know that even marijuana comes in organic form.
What Does Organic Even Mean?
There is more to smoking weed than just its potency and dankness. What makes some marijuana different from its counterparts is its growing process.
Marijuana is one of the most widely-used drug globally—there are more strains than one can count. However, marijuana has been illegal for most of its existence, yet people have not bothered to wonder how it’s grown.
Like fruits and vegetables, marijuana farming also involves two methods—the traditional, modern-day farming method that uses ‘super chemicals’ to increase the growth and the organic strategy where plants are grown through environmental-friendly processes.
To understand the organic method, look into the history of farming. After World War II, the war-torn countries faced a lack of food, the answer to which was the insecticide DDT. DDT was efficient in eliminating disease-carrying insects and was credited with saving numerous lives.
With the new tools that made agriculture easier, farmers decided to scale up their businesses using chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides. However, a book published in 1943, An Agricultural Testament, had a different idea about feeding the world—organic farming. Many other notable personalities like Rachel Carson joined this new ideology, giving rise to a counterculture movement.
Over the years, organic food production increased, and a movement for organic certification emerged. The movement demanded the establishment of a set of standard terms for consumers to identify organic food quickly. Slowly, state laws like the Organic Foods Production Act and USDA organic standards came into effect, and ‘organic’ became the new norm, even with weed.
How is Weed Grown Organically?
Organic weed means that everything involved in growing marijuana from the medium to fertilizers is derived from natural resources. Unlike concentrated chemical formulas, organic particles decay or are sometimes the product of pollution, and hence don’t pause a threat to Mother Nature.
Often organic growers prefer gardening cannabis outdoors without feeding the plants tap water as it may contain fluoride and other chemicals that kill beneficial bacteria in the soil. Additionally, organic supplements like aerated compost teas, seaweed, and guano instead of chemical fertilizers. Compost teas reintroduce living microorganisms into the ground, facilitating beneficial processes like fighting pathogens, converting into nutrients, and eliminating diseases.
When it comes to pest control, organic methods are employed instead of chemical pesticides like companion planting—pairing specific flora varieties to deter pests and natural remedies such as Mosquito Bits and Bacillus Thuringiensis.
Benefits of Organic Weed
With cannabis going mainstream since Canadian legalization, consumers are increasingly concerned about dangerous chemicals in their inorganic weed and are demanding organic weed from marijuana dispensaries in Canada. The benefits of using organic weed that ranges from the chance of less contamination to a lesser environmental cost.
Giving marijuana plants what they need is a part of organic growth. When all the requirements are met as accurately as possible, this allows the weed to achieve increased potency. Organically-grown cannabis is also superior in aroma and flavor to its conventionally-grown counterparts due to the presence of optimum quantities of terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids.
Furthermore, organic weed is devoid of harsh chemicals from fertilizers, making a much cleaner product for medicinal users.
Lastly, organically-grown weed is good for the environment. It eases the negative impacts on Mother Nature by avoiding situations like pesticides running into water supplies.
How To Identify Organic Weed
While both cannabis and hemp are regulated under the 2018 Cannabis Act, commodities like cannabis plants, cosmetics, and natural health products are outside the Canada Organic Regime scope overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). For this reason, certified organic weed cannot use the Canada Organic Logo.
However, that doesn’t mean organic weed cannot be certified at all. Cannabis products are certified based on Ag-Canada (AGR) organic standards regarding fungicides and pesticides, participation in the carbon-footprint-reduction program, labor rights, water conservation, etc. The Cannabis Certification Council is also working on a plan for weed certification currently.
Should You Go Organic?
When it comes to putting something inside your body, thinking about your health and how it will affect you is always recommended. Like home-grown veggie salad, your weed should also be of the same standard of production. Thanks to certification by the CFIA and AGR, buying and consuming organic weed is far simpler than before.