Insecticides in Marijuana

Organic growers have been saying this for years. One grower told me (somewhat facetiously) years ago, “People are smoking Paraquat.” Now the scientists are catching up. Lesson here: know your grower.

“…On the pesticide issue, Raber said it’s important to remember that smoking a marijuana bud that’s been sprayed with chemicals is far different than eating a non-organic tomato. First and foremost, he said, there are no controls over what’s sprayed on marijuana crops. And, while most people would rinse off a tomato before eating it, they can’t wash a bud before putting it in their pipe. The body also has filters in place for things that are ingested, he said, but not for what’s inhaled.

   ‘You don’t have the first pass metabolism of the liver,” he said. “You don’t have the lack of absorptivity going through the stomach or the gut lining. It’s a very different equation when you’re inhaling.’

  Raber said about 10 percent of the marijuana that comes through his laboratory for testing registers positive for pesticides. Those samples are only from medical marijuana dispensaries and patients who have sought out testing, he said. In a small random study his laboratory performed, Raber said more than 35 percent of marijuana failed pesticide tests.

   ‘I think all that says is we really, really need some serious regulations within California to help us clean up our supply, especially in the medical patient context,” Raber said. “These are people that are immunocompromised, they’re undergoing chemotherapy, they’re very sick with antibacterial loads. We can’t be subjecting them to more of these types of potentially harmful contaminants when they’re looking to this as a medicine source.…’

   Mary Ellen Jerkavich, executive director of the Humboldt Patient Resource Center, said she believes marijuana is inherently a safe product, but is being turned into something decidedly unsafe by growers looking to maximize profits or save their crops by any means necessary when spider mites or other pests strike.…”

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About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

2 Responses to Insecticides in Marijuana

  1. If you don't grow it yourself, it always pays to educate yourself about where you are buying your medicine from. Even with dispensaries in states where it's legal, not all dispensaries are equal…or ethical.

    Know your stuff. All the good it does for your body can be nullified if it has been grown with the wrong pesticides.

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