Updated: Jan 18
Although growers and dispensaries aren't required to take the hippocratic oath, they should. Cannabis is a medicine that has been used for millennia to treat a wide variety of ailments, and is currently legal for medical use in over 30 countries. For one of the most commonly used medicines in the world, with over 200 million current cannabis users, it is important that the people who grow our weed as well as the people who directly support our growers hold themselves to the same standard as those who practice traditional medicine. The ethical standard of medicine is the hippocratic oath, which makes the main point of doing no harm. This standard of doing no harm is most definitely not too much to ask of cannabis professionals who are supposed to be in the business of helping people.
Today, many cannabis users are being put in harm's way because of choices growers are making to increase grow yield in interest of their bottom line. One of these choices is the use of PGRs, or plant growth regulators, which are chemicals used to fatten up buds making for heavier flower. This means growers can get paid more for less weed. Meanwhile these chemicals are extremely toxic to the body and decrease the quality and potency of cannabis. Thankfully, marijuana that has been treated with PGRs is relatively easy to spot. PGR weed is noticeably hard to the touch and lacks the normal amount of trichomes, the microscopic THC crystals that cover the plant. The flower may also look more tightly packed than natural bud and is oftentimes covered with brown or red hairs.
The three most prevalent plant growth regulators are Paclobutrazol, Daminozide, and Chlormequat Chloride. Paclobutrazol is a growth retardant that hinders the plants ability to elongate. This results in the plant producing much tighter and densely packed flowers. It also slows terpene and THC production, making for less potent, lower quality cannabis. When weed that has been treated with Paclobutrazol is smoked, the chemical breaks down into nitrosamines which is the most cancer-causing compound found in cigarettes. Paclobutrazol also negatively impacts male fertility and can cause serious liver damage. Daminozide, similar to Paclobutrazol, also results in much more tightly packed flower by slowing the growth of leaves and stems. Daminozide has not been approved for use in food, and has been identified by the EPA as being possibly cancerous. Lastly, Chlormequat Chloride produces thicker stems and shorter plants, resulting in the plant focusing on growing its flower rather than growing vertically. Although Chlormequat Chloride is not as dangerous as the other PGRs, it has been proven to cause organ damage and eye irritation when consumed in large amounts.
Until cannabis is federally legal, and widespread regulation of the plant can be realistically implemented, it is on the growers, dispensaries and even cannabis users to make sure that the integrity of the plant is protected. Growers and dispensaries need to understand that their choices not only impact the quality of their bud, but also the health and well being of everybody who consumes it. Which is extremely important given that everybody is coming to cannabis to heal in some way or another. For cannabis users who live in a state where the sale of cannabis isn't fully legalized, it is especially important for you to go to a trusted source and regularly check on the quality of their cannabis. For those living and visiting the DMV area Shop N Pop DC is the most trusted source for i-71 compliant cannabis gifts where you can enjoy all the great healing and medicinal benefits of cannabis without the shortcuts. The passion for cannabis, and more more importantly the passion for helping others is always reflected in the quality of cannabis.