What’s the Deal With Organic Cannabis?
It’s only a matter of time until organic cannabis is more widely recognized. Currently, only the US Department of Agriculture can designate a certified organic label for grocery store products. Because cannabis is federally illegal there are no national regulations in place for what chemicals can or can’t be used. While non-organically certified cannabis is the standard, organic cannabis has been valued for its use of eco-friendly ingredients.
Consumers seek organic cannabis for its advertised regulation of pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, fungus, and other toxins that can negatively affect the human body. Medical users with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to a negative reaction to pesticide or solvent residual in cannabis products.
What’s Going On In California And Beyond?
Because the federal government hasn’t stepped in to issue strict regulations on certified organic cannabis growing practices, independent testing facilities and state programs have created their own rules that meet or exceed standards set forth by the US Department of Agriculture.
California’s SB 94 bill instructed the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to create a certified organic program by January 1, 2021 with standards similar to the National Organic Program and California Organic Food and Farming Act.
The Washington Department of Agriculture (WASDA) is also on its way to set organic-like regulations after its state legislature passed a bill that included the creation of the first organic certification program for cannabis. States are attempting to create regulations strict enough to protect consumers, but not so onerous to drive small-to-mid-size farmers out of business.
Organic Certification Agencies
A lack of federal regulations on organic cannabis led to many third-party agencies to set up their own tests for purity, pesticides, solvents, and more. Third-party certifiers like Clean Green Certified, Envirocann, and Certified Kind are setting their own standards on reducing these harmful chemicals. Since these certification agencies can’t use technically use the terms “organic,” they’ve adopted phrases like “organically grown” or “grown using organic ingredients.”
Some certifiers may even visit the farmers and manufacturers to test the product on-site. Certification agencies also ensure that fertilizers and other ingredients adhere to rigorous standards for organic use.
The Problem With Pesticides
Multiple studies and reports have cited a dangerous amount of pesticide contamination in tested samples. There are no specific studies citing the effects of inhalation of pesticides via smoking or vaping. Combustion that happens when smoking cannabis can alter even organic pesticides chemically. Since cannabis is a Schedule I drug, there isn’t a lot of tests that can determine the harmful effects of consuming pesticides when inhaled.
Organic cannabis flower is favored for its limited environmental impact and lack of harmful substances like dangerous pesticides. While organic cannabis may seem expensive for many, especially those with high medical bills, those that have the means to do should give organic cannabis a try.