We know you’re a fan of cannabis, but do you know who else loves consuming those sparkly green buds? Thrips, spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, and plenty of other bugs that can destroy an entire crop in the blink of a bloodshot eye. Pesticides can take care of those weed-munching pests quite efficiently, but the same chemicals that eradicate them can also be harmful to humans. If you’re concerned about what hidden ingredients might be present on your next dispensary purchase, here’s what you need to know about cannabis pesticides and how to avoid them:
Is smoking pesticides bad?
Unless you’re super vigilant and only consume 100% organic food, you are probably consuming pesticides on a daily basis. But eating or touching pesticides is far less harmful than lighting them up with your Bic and inhaling them. Even so-called organic pesticides, like neem oil, contain active components that aren’t exactly great to smoke. Sure, people have been smoking unregulated weed, grown with the help of who knows what, for decades—and since legalization is so new, research into the risks of using certain pesticides is just getting started. That’s why for now, many smokers would rather purchase pesticide-free cannabis.
Alternatives to chemical pesticides
Growing bug-free weed is possible without relying on pesticides. Controlled indoor environments are the first line of defense, and if bugs sneak in anyhow, growers often use other bugs like ladybugs, praying mantises and green lacewings to do the dirty work. Growers can also use natural pesticides like rosemary oil or chrysanthemum oil to keep bugs at bay, along with sprays of mild dish soap like Dawn.
Symptoms of smoking pesticides
If you purchase weed without taking a peek at its lab report—or buy at a grey-market pop-up shop or hit off a random passed joint at a concert—you run the risk of inhaling harmful chemicals that can make you sick. Symptoms of smoking pesticides include:
- Lung irritation beyond “you gotta cough to get off”
- Eye irritation beyond typical redness
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
It’s important to note that the presence of pesticides will not affect your high, so if your symptoms include excessive intoxication or hallucinations, chances are you just smoked some weed that was laced with something shady, and your next stop should probably be the ER.
How to ensure your weed is pesticide-free
Most states that have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use now have strict regulations in place to ensure harmful pesticides are not used in cultivation. Dispensaries often require lab testing on their products for not just pesticides, but also other contaminants and toxins that might be present. At Balboa Avenue Cooperative, we only carry cannabis products that have undergone stringent, verified lab testing, and all test results are available upon request.
Balboa Ave Cooperative is a Pesticide-Free Dispensary in San Diego, CA
Now that acquiring cannabis products is no longer an illegal crapshoot with zero regulations, there’s no excuse to be anything but a fully informed consumer. Check the labels on everything you buy, ask for lab reports, and stick with reputable dispensaries like Balboa Ave Cooperative, where the weed is as clean as it is green.