Friday, March 11, 2016 by Claire Rankin
It is up to buyers to be very careful where their pot comes from and to check if growers have had their products tested for potency and pesticides. Marijuana is still an illegal schedule 1 drug in the U.S., and therefore official testing of marijuana for dangerous pesticides is in its infancy, even in states where marijuana is legal. An absence of federal regulation has left the states struggling to figure out how to pass pesticide legislation.
Of course, commercial farmers have used dangerous chemical pesticides for all kinds of crops for decades, to the detriment of human health. Even where pesticide use is regulated, there are no executive orders addressing problems such as the bio-accumulative effects of pesticides like Atrazine, found in foods fed to children, for example, and in far higher levels legally allowed. Pesticides such as this are known as endocrine disruptors and cause hermaphroditism in males and cancers for everyone. Atrazine is banned in the European Union.
If growing marijuana yourself, there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of pest infestation:
At least 20 different damaging pests can infect the marijuana plants. Controlling the climate significantly decreases the risks, especially for indoor growth. Grow small amounts of marijuana in fertile soil, outdoors if possible. With a small crop you have lots of non- toxic options. Small plants you can be sprayed with a soapy solution once a week for a month. Larger plants need to be separated and carefully treated. If it seems like there is a bad pest infestation, especially if growing inside, generally it’s best to scrap the crop, clean the area thoroughly, wait for a few weeks and start again.
Try organic repellents to keep pests away from both indoor an outdoor plants. Cinnamon oil, clove oil and coriander oil have a measure of success against pests, without damaging the plant. These types of natural repellents can be sprayed directly onto cannabis leaves without a detrimental effect.
Consider purchasing a non-toxic pest repellent, from a reliable source. Also, if one has been exposed to or unwittingly consumed pesticides, taking a good toxin eliminator such as organic spirulina can help the body to recover.
Natural predators such as ladybugs are beneficial to have around outdoor marijuana plants as they will prey on pest larvae. Encourage birds to next in the area but be aware that birds will go for marijuana seeds.
Growing plants such as geraniums and marigolds that are strong-smelling may help to repel insect pests nearby the marijuana crop.
Cayenne pepper or hot pepper used black and red pepper on and around the plants is said to be very useful in to keeping bugs off marijuana plants.