The debate between organic versus chemical growing practices was once an issue for backyard vegetable gardeners and farmers but now is much more of a concern for medical marijuana growers. There is a wide range of opinions on the topic from growers. Some seasoned growers believe 100% organic marijuana is the only kind worth smoking or putting anywhere near your body, while others see abstaining from chemical nutrients and pesticide use as a waste of time and money.
A hydroponic setup often includes the use of chemical nutrients to feed plants and speed growth. Some hydroponic growers may also use chemical pesticides to kill pests like spider mites, but there are a lot of organic mixtures that are supposed to work just as well. Growing marijuana plants hydroponically does not necessarily mean having to use chemical nutrients. Some hydroponic growers create a natural, organic mixture of fertilizers. This is where chemical nutrients have an advantage, however, as many growers report, it is easier to maintain healthy, robust plants with a chemical mix.
The ongoing debate between chemically and organically grown marijuana extends to the people who use it. Many people claim the taste and effects of organic marijuana is far superior, some even stating they can tell instantly pot that has been chemically treated. Many others believe there is no difference in quality between the two. However, as with food, many consumers are concerned about trace amounts of chemical substances entering their bodies. Little is known about the potential benefits of avoiding non-organic substances, which leads many people to stick with all-organic marijuana.
Using organic methods to grow anything involves a bit of risk.
While the use of chemicals is not a kind of insurance that your plants will flourish and create a high quality product, they are more likely to do what they promise. Growing pot plants in soil, for example, can open them up to all sorts of diseases and issues hydroponic growers don’t have to deal with. Some organic practices, like using neem oil to ward off pests, have a lower success rate than their chemical counterparts and so risk the health of one’s crops. On the other hand, if a grower believes organic methods create better tasting and more effective marijuana no matter what, the benefits may far outweigh the risks.
There is an environmental aspect to growing marijuana, too. A lot of growers would rather not put chemical fertilizers and pesticides into the water supply or ground, something that is inevitable if you use chemicals in the growing process. Sometimes a grower finds his or herself caught in the middle of wanting to have a successful operation and wanting to care for the environment and compromises by mixing organic and chemical practices.
In the end, the choice between organic versus chemical practices is up to the grower and what they believe to be the best use of their time, money, and efforts. Carefully considering your own convictions about the environment, beliefs about organic products in general and limitations of resources may help you determine which side of the debate you fall. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources on the topic for both growers and consumers.