Organic is the best way to grow your cannabis, full stop. While it may take longer to learn than other methods, the benefits are clear. You’re producing a better quality product with less environmental impact. There’s still plenty of confusion surrounding the organics movement. What does it mean to be certified organic? How is organic different from all-natural? And, above all, why is organic so much better? Let’s try to answer some of these questions.
What it Takes to Be Certified
First of all, let’s tackle organic certification. While anyone can claim to grow or manufacture their products organically, the only way to be sure that their product meets any sort of objective standard is through certification. To be certified, companies must meet stringent requirements that vary based on where they wish to sell their product. There are a variety of organizations that one may be certified by. You’ve probably seen the US Department of Agriculture’s Certified Organic label on products you buy from the grocery store. Without this certification, you cannot advertise your products as 100% organic in the United States, the world’s richest consumer market.
BlueSky Organics receives our certification through Pro-Cert, a third-party organic certification agency that inspects our products and facilities for compliance with a variety of organic certification organizations across Canada and the US. This means we comply with a wide variety of requirements, including:
- Purity of ingredients. All products must meet stringent requirements proving that at least 95% of ingredients are organically produced.
- No prohibited ingredients. Agencies prohibit certain ingredients and products that may be harmful to human health, the environment, or both. None of these ingredients can be used in a certified product.
- Produced without pesticides and synthetic agents. Naturally, organic products cannot use synthetic pesticides, irradiation, or other unnatural forms of pest control, sterilization, or preservation.
- Packaging requirements. Certified organic products must display their contents, listing any inorganic ingredients and/or the percentage of inorganic contents.
Organic VS Natural
Organic and natural are two distinct but related terms that get confused a lot. Organic is the more stringent of the two: while natural products simply don’t include synthetic flavours, colours, and preservatives, organic products have all these requirements, as well as the ones listed above. Basically, a natural product simply has no synthetic ingredients in the final product. An organic product requires all materials used throughout the growing or manufacturing product to be natural and strictly controlled.
Is organic better?
When it comes to cannabis, there’s no doubt. Organic cannabis is every bit as potent as cannabis grown using conventional methods, with added health and safety benefits. Cannabis grown using organic methods has superior flavour, less environmental impact, and less chance of contamination with dangerous toxins and heavy metals.
As we’ve discussed before, flavonoids and terpenes are the molecules that contribute most to cannabis’ flavour and appearance. A holistic, organic approach to growing benefits the production of flavonoids and terpenes, producing more flavorful and attractive bud.
Organic growing is better for the environment in almost all cases. Synthetic fertilizers and conventional growing techniques damage soil integrity, destroy microbial, insect, and animal habitats, and deplete soils over the long-term. Conventional growing is an unsustainable practice that causes lasting harm to the land and water where it is practiced. Organic growing mitigates this damage by maintaining healthy soil through a variety of low-impact techniques, from integrated pest management to natural soil amendments.
Health and Safety Benefits
You may be interested to learn that the cannabis plant is sometimes used as a soil decontaminant due to its ability to pull toxins — including heavy metal and radioactive materials — from the soil. Cannabis is highly effective at leaching toxins from soil, to the point that hemp fields are often sewn around former industrial plants to remediate the soil. This poses an obvious problem for cannabis users. If your cannabis is grown in unhealthy, contaminated soil, these contaminants may be winding up in your bud. Organic growing goes to great lengths to develop healthy, contaminant free soil, reducing the risk that you’re consuming toxic materials. Furthermore, organic pest control involves far fewer, if any, harsh and dangerous chemicals.