Why is it that Organic Weed is not Available to Buy?
This generation is more health conscience than ever. Our parents and grandparents did not worry about issues such as GMO free or sustainably grown. Scientists have educated the general public on the damage of pesticides and GMOs, not only on our human bodies but also the environment.
Products today have terms on their labels such as vegan, gluten free, GMO free, Organically Grown, all natural and sustainably grown. These products range from food to cosmetics and even skin care products. With marijuana becoming more accepted and legalized in states across the nation, one would think that organic marijuana with follow suit.
For cannabis to be truly organic, it would have to be grown in natural soil without interference from individuals. This is one reason organic is usually attached to a higher price tag, because no pesticides or chemicals can be utilized to increase production or speed up growth. Organic cannabis must solely depend on soil, sunlight and natural nutrients to flourish.
One advantage of this longer process of yielding organic weed, is that the plant is able to develop levels of cannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids naturally. The other advantage is that no nasty pesticides or chemicals are being cast out into the environment.
Legal marijuana that’s sold to the public is required to be lab tested, as shown in this lab testing chart. The requirements of these tests differ between each state. The main components that labs test for is potency. This is what measures the level of cannabinoids present in marijuana. CBD and THC levels are tested, as well as the CBD and THC ratio.
Lab tests also screen for unwanted contaminants, pesticides and the presence of mildew and mold. These tests can only be conducted by licensed technicians. States have put together a list of banned pesticides. If the test comes up positive for these chemicals, the sale of the product will be prohibited.
Mold, fungi and mildew can cause harm to people who suffer from a weak immune system or another existing medical ailment. If cannabis become contaminated by these substances, it’s usually during the cultivation phase. These microbial threats are also tested in labs before getting the stamp of approval for distribution.
Lab testing is pricey and drives up the final cost of the product, there’s an average increase of 26% in one gram of organic cannabis over regular grade cannabis. These statistics will show that the price hike is worth it.
- 403 failures when testing for pesticides
- 1,279 failures when testing for false claims on packaging
- 114 failures when testing for microbial impurities that include salmonella, mold and E. Coli
- 36 failures when testing for moisture in cannabis flowers
- 99 failures when testing for processing chemicals and residual solvents
- 6 failures when testing for foreign material which includes hair and insect fragments
- 25 failures when testing for even distribution of CBD
With all these regulations in effect, one would wonder why there’s no testing for organic marijuana. This all has to do with the USDA, which is a federal agency. The USDA oversees certifying products as organic. Since cannabis is not legal on a federal level, the USDA is not able to regulate the pesticides or nutrients contained in the plant, and therefore cannot give their stamp of approval.
Third parties are attempting to fill in the gap that the federal government has left wide open. One Cert in Nebraska and Organic Cannabis Growers Society in Oregon uses the standards set forth by the USDA. These companies not only give certification to cultivation businesses but they also offer training. Products that are certified under these companies receive an official certified stamp. Washington State has gone even further and has an organic certification program that is state wide.
The future of organic grown cannabis looks promising. Medical cannabis has a high level of support. It makes sense that if people are consuming cannabis for medical reasons, they would want their cannabis to be as clean and healthy as possible.
Organic products are not labeled by the FDA, so it’s crucial for health and safety reasons, to make sure you buy your cannabis from a reputable and legal dispensary. These products have gone through safety inspections by certified labs to ensure that the cannabis you’re consuming, or inhaling is free of dangerous chemicals and bacteria.
If you’re fully committed to finding clean, sustainable and organic cannabis, there are products currently available on the market that claim to be 100% organic. Just keep in mind that these claims have not been certified by the USDA. For now, consumers will have to rely on third party organizations to provide organic certifications for as long as cannabis remains illegal on a federal level.