Small-scale producers who wish to consume their crop themselves already produce organic cannabis; medicinal growers in the United States, both caregivers and dispensaries, can make this claim. Commercial producers for the recreational market, on the other hand, frequently do not cultivate organically due to a number of outdated beliefs.
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Organic cannabis has become an important commodity in the cannabis industry, due to growing consumer concern about the illegal agricultural methods of the sector. The option of organic cannabis cultivation is readily available to individuals who produce cannabis at home.
As the medical cannabis sector has expanded in recent years, demand for high-quality, safe cannabis has increased. As a result, many patients are asking for organic cannabis from their suppliers now and are becoming more concerned about the possible presence of hazardous chemicals in “regular” non-organic marijuana.
There are several advantages to cultivating organic cannabis – less risk of contamination, healthier, and overall, a lower environmental cost. However, there is also the obvious disadvantage of buying organic cannabis: it’s frequently more expensive than normal marijuana. And spending money on buds is already stressful enough!
In this post, we’ve included a how-to guide for backyard cannabis farming to help you minimize your budget losses. Plus, growing your own organic cannabis puts things in perspective when it comes to why organic food is sometimes more expensive.
What is organic cannabis?
What is considered “organically grown cannabis” is a point of contention. Many people still believe that any cannabis cultivated in the soil is organic, although pesticides and fertilizers are sometimes used to grow it in the dirt. Organic farmers almost exclusively utilize natural nutrients and pesticides. In fact, purists would say that no insecticides or growth chemicals should be used at all.
Bat and bird guano, worm castings, manure, blood and bone meal, and compost are all examples of ‘natural’ ingredients that may help cannabis plants develop and blossom. Plant-derived pesticides include pyrethrum, capsaicin, and tobacco. Nonetheless, although these chemicals come from organic sources, there is still a lot of debate about their impact on human and environmental health.
Top 5 benefits of organic cannabis
The fear of lower yield when growing organically is one of the most common worries among commercial farmers. However, this isn’t always the case—and in fact, if all variables are optimal, you may be able to produce greater yields than with conventional practices.
When the environment around a plant is not ideal, its yields may be significantly lower than those from non-organic grows. This was definitely the case in the past. With organic agricultural inputs and knowledge improving annually, however, this is no longer the case.
The invention of “super-soil” is one of the most important advancements in organic farming. This is a developing medium that has been carefully refined to contain precisely what cannabis needs to develop in abundance without the need for fertilizer. With this method, you can give your plants only water and still get excellent results.
Mixtures are commercially available, but “super-soil” may be easily produced at home. Super-soil generally includes organic potting soil combined with worm castings, blood meal, bone meal, guano, and other substances. Making your own super-soil allows you to tailor the precise combination for your favorite strain.
Maintaining precise soil conditions for your cannabis plants, down to the last microbe in the dirt, is an essential component of modern organic gardening. Cannabis, like any other plant, has specific and highly intricate needs in order to thrive properly, and matching those demands as precisely as possible allows your plants to reach their full potential.
Nutrient solutions for cannabis are simple in construction, consisting only of the fundamental nutrients required for cannabis to survive and develop. There are six critical macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulphur, and magnesium) as well as six essential micronutrients (manganese, boron, copper, zinc, molybdenum). The majority of cannabis nutrient mixtures include these elements.
In contrast, organic nutrient systems frequently include additional trace elements that may be beneficial to cannabis even if they are not considered essential.
Nickel, salt, cobalt, and chlorine are all examples of nutrients that have been found to be beneficial for tall plants like cannabis, despite the fact that they are commonly overlooked in commercial diets. Organically grown cannabis is said to have enhanced effectiveness and potency as a result of its more complicated nutrient composition.
Improved flavour and aroma
For similar reasons to those mentioned above, cannabis that has been grown organically is considered superior in flavor and aroma. Plants can produce ideal amounts of flavonoids, terpenoids, and cannabinoids due on the micro-environment being optimized for fast, robust development.
The aromatic chemicals that give cannabis and many other plants their aroma are known as terpenes and terpenoids. Cannabis contains a variety of terpenes and terpenoids, some of which have citrus, spicy, or pine-like scents. The more abundant these terpene and terpineoid components are, the more fragrant and flavorful your final product will be.
Flavonoids are one of many secondary metabolites produced by different plants, including cannabis. They frequently offer a wide range of antioxidant benefits that support longevity and general health.
The nutrients in fertilizers and pesticides used in conventional commercial production methods may not be found in organically grown cannabis. It’s also worth considering how these manufactured additives impact the overall flavor and fragrance of a bud.
The richness of the soil microbiome (i.e., “microbiome”) is another aspect of organic cannabis cultivation that may help to produce higher yields, flavor, and strength.
In their own right, organic soil mixes are complex living ecosystems with a plethora of bacteria, fungi, and other tiny organisms like nematode worms. The sterile environment that many non-organic growing mediums create does not support this degree of complexity.
A rich soil microbiome has been shown to have numerous advantages in studies examining cannabis and other vital crops. It promotes plant growth, aids root health, and inhibits diseases of the roots by promoting nitrogen fixing and water retention. Making your own super-soil and letting it mature for around 30 days before using allows a diverse population of fungi and other beneficial microbes to develop a niche and populate the soil.
Making organic compost tea is another good way to supply the needed probiotic bacteria for a healthy microbiome. Compost tea involves soaking well-made compost in water and running a bubbler to provide oxygen (allowing conditions inside the “brewer” to become anaerobic causes unhealthy bacteria to develop instead of the beneficial ones).
Lighter environmental impact
The most ecologically beneficial approach to cultivate cannabis is to grow it in the open air, since the biggest environmental impact of cannabis farming is electrical consumption while growing indoors. On top of that, banned pesticides have been observed leaking into California’s water supplies.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity or ability to grow marijuana outdoors (let alone indoors). In countries where cannabis is cultivated commercially, organic farming reduces water pollution.
Organic, outdoor farming is the most environmentally friendly option. If that isn’t an option, growing inside may be a viable alternative. Growing organically requires less processing and thus has a lesser environmental effect than conventional agriculture. Because organic nutrients and fertilisers are typically manufactured from less processed raw materials than normal nutrients, they have a smaller environmental impact when produced.
Finally, organic pest control methods are frequently considerably less environmentally harmful – for example, ladybirds (or “ladybugs” in the United States) can be utilized to combat spider mites, eliminating the need for harsh chemical brews.