Recently Colorado cannabis consumers have begun to question the potential health-related dangers from cannabis grown with plant growth regulators (PGRs). PGR’s are hormone-like chemicals that occur naturally in plants, and play keys roles in seed germination, root growth, stem elongation, leaf expansion, and fruit ripening/dropping.
There are two types of known PGR’s, naturally derived and chemically derived. Chemically derived hormones aim to either interfere with synthesis and hormone breakdown or mimic pre-existing hormones. This interference often encourages denser growth and higher yields. Many growers claim that PGR’s help produce cannabis that grows “healthier” and has a higher resistance to disease. However, these unnatural attributes come with a heavy cost.
Chemically-derived PGRs are known to cause cancer, infertility, poison the liver and are classified as environmental pollutants. In the late 1980’s the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of several PGRs because it was estimated that the exposure to these PGR’s could result in a cancer risk 240 times greater than considered acceptable by E.P.A. It is important to note that these PGRs were made illegal in the food industry, yet the cannabis industry had flown under the radar when it comes to illegal use of PGR’s.
A common misconception is that all PGRs are negative, however that is not true. There are natural PGR's everywhere in the surrounding environment such as Kelp, Chitosan, and Tricontanol. There are natural solutions to chemical PGRs.
However, many popular fertilizer companies utilize the chemically derived PGR’s in their products, and growers are unaware of the dangers they pose to the consumer population. So, how do you protect yourself in the Colorado cannabis market? Here are a few tips on how to decipher your label and what really goes into your smoke.
Ask your budtender if their product is grown with harmful PGR’s. For more information pertaining to harmful PGR’s go to www.fda.gov . Know what you smoke and take the time to educate yourself on the possible dangers PGRs. It is worth your time, so you can enjoy your mountain high to the fullest!