What Are the Dangers of Pesticide-Laced Marijuana?
The public’s perception of marijuana has changed wildly since the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970. Though the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I substance, many states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot for either medicinal or recreational use.
This legislation has led to an increase of legal cannabis farming and pesticide use on marijuana crops.
Read on to get more information about the use of pesticides on marijuana plants, associated health risks, and safety precautions.
Are There Pesticides in Marijuana?
Yes, there are pesticides in some varieties of marijuana.
A recent study in the Journal of Toxicology analyzed the potency of pesticides in legal marijuana at a medicinal dispensary in California. Their research brought to light a potential health concern: Many chemicals present on cannabis buds directly transferred into marijuana smoke.
Depending on the method of use, a person smoking marijuana could inhale as much as:
- 60%–69%, when using a handheld glass pipe.
- 42%–59%, when using an unfiltered water pipe.
- 0.08%–10%, when using a filtered water pipe.
Given these levels, researchers concluded that the chances of pesticide exposure through pot smoke inhalation was alarmingly high.
The Dangers of Smoking Pesticides
There may be added dangers or risks when using marijuana laced with other chemicals or drugs.
For example, to prevent pests, cannabis growers use a chemical called myclobutanil. This is a common fungicide, most often used to keep fungi from growing on grapes.
While it has a relatively low toxicity level, farmers working with myclobutanil have reported the following side effects:
- Abdominal pain
- Eye irritation
Smoking Marijuana Safely
As marijuana legislation changes, it’s likely that states will implement tighter restrictions on growers and dispensaries to ensure the safety of cannabis use. These restrictions may require stricter guidelines on the labeling of marijuana products.
For example, many shops that claimed to be pesticide-free tested positive for myclobutanil.
Some ways to detect pesticide residue on a marijuana plant include:
- Looking at the plant under a magnifying glass for a white crystalline powder.
- Feeling the plant for a chalky texture.
- Watching out for a harsh and unpleasant taste in the smoke.
But the safest way to avoid the risks of smoking marijuana is to stop using it. If you are worried you or someone you know has lost control of their marijuana use, we can help.
At Laguna Treatment Hospital in Orange County, California, we offer professional, evidence-based medical detox and residential rehab for marijuana addiction.