Organic cannabis just happens to be our #1 passion here at Canada Wide Weed. We started growing medicinal cannabis in the early 2000’s and like most people started their journey in the hydroponic shops. These stores were and still are to this the prime supply stores for cannabis growers. When we started growing, you really couldn’t go into a regular garden supply store and talk about cannabis growing. Even to this day, with cannabis being legal since 2018, gardening centres have little knowledge or products in relation to cannabis. The stigma of prohibition still lingers and probably will for some time to come.
What is organic cannabis?
Denoting cannabis as organic is similar to what you’d expect out of fruits and vegetables. The criteria are as follows:
- Free of pesticides
- Free of heavy metals
- Free of synthetic fertilizers
- Free of sewage sludge
- Free of GMO seeds
The concept is to use only products that are found in nature. Organically grown cannabis relies on natural pest, fungus and mildew preventatives. It also uses only organically derived nutrients and fertilizers.
Why is most cannabis not organically grown? Hydroponic stores are a big part of it…
If you enter one of these hydroponic stores you will notice that there are many bottles with very colourful graphics on them. Products like Advanced Nutrients, General Hydroponics, and Botanicare are just a few of the nutrients lines that are prominently on display. What you’ll notice is the overwhelming majority of nutrients that are being pushed onto growers are of a synthetic nature. Many of the purveyors of these shops will insist that these products will get you a better result, in particular when it comes to yields. Its really no secret, the more cannabis you grow in terms of weight the more money you will make. So this often becomes the rallying cry for why these synthetic nutrients as being the best option to grow cannabis with.
Hydroponic stores are often a growers introduction to information on growing cannabis. For this reason, many growers simply start out growing synthetically. I know I did, my first grow was hydroponic using rockwoll slabs (horrible for environment). I used general hydroponic nutrients, which came in a 3 part solution of neon colours. After learning this method and going through several years growing this way I decided that organic was the way to go.
The hydroponic stores guide to organic cannabis cuttings.
Most marijuana plants begin as clones, or basically branches cut from a mother plant to make a genetic copy. This process is down to ensure that your crop is consistent when it comes to it’s genetics. When growing from seed, marijuana can have different phenotypes. Think of it like offspring of parents, each child a parent has is genetically different from their other children. When making the cuttings off of a mother plant most people will use a rooting hormone. We went to our local hydroponic shop in search of an organic rooting gel for sale and were told that they don’t sell any and that no one makes them. So from the very beginning of a plants life cycle, our local hydroponic shop doesn’t even offer an alternative. We found in our experience that cutting open an aloe vera plant and using the gel inside works pretty well.
I’m seeing a lot about “living soil”. What is it all about?
The earth is a living organism and it’s soil is where plants grow. In nature there are lots of microbial life in soil. This includes fungi, bacteria, photozoa and other various types. This natural symbiotic relationship allows the plant to uptake the nutrients it needs to grow and release the sugars and carbs it expelled through it’s root system. This is the way organic cannabis had been grown since the dawn of time. It was really cannabis prohibition and the necessity to grow indoors that caused methods such as hydroponics, aeroponics and other synthetic mediums to gain popularity. With our strains that are grown in living soil, we use compost material that is filled with beneficial bacteria, earth worms and natural materials for soil drainage.
So what are the benefits of organic cannabis?
The first thing that jumps to my mind is that it just tastes better and burns smoother. There is something about growing in dirt that gives cannabis a more rich full bodied flavour. The thing about synthetically grown cannabis is that it can be bigger, more dense and often look very light green with an amplified amount of crystals. It is like using plastic surgery on weed. Cannabis is a very energetic plant and it is good to feel the natural energy of the plant. I like to believe there is a certain vibration you get from plants that are naturally grown. Certainly this can come down to a matter of preference as plenty of people enjoy cannabis grown with synthetic nutrients. I would personally argue that it is never a good idea to ingest cannabis that has been grown with chemical pesticides. It takes more work to prevent pests with organic methods, but the end result is more than worth it to your health.