Medical Marijuana Patients Going Organic

Author: James Wilson
Published: March 23, 2012 at 11:48 am

It seems like everything is going organic these days, and the somewhat controversial medical marijuana is no exception. A new study published in MMJ Business Daily showed that 43 percent of medical marijuana patients considered the availability of organic cannabis a critical factor in deciding where to make their purchase. In comparison, a minimal 21 percent of patients cited discount pricing the most important factor. Patients in California, Colorado and Washington state were surveyed.

Many patients have sensitivities to herbicides and pesticides, making the wider availability of organic cannabis a promising development. It isn’t always a simple task, however, given that United States Department of Agriculture-approved entities are the only ones allowed to legally use the word “organic.” Of course, given that medical marijuana is illegal on the federal level despite being legal in many states, the problem becomes how to use the term.

Some companies are following organic growing guidelines, such as the Harborside Health Center
collective in Oakland. Harborside uses the independent Clean Green certification program run by USDA "Organic" Certifier Chris Van Hook. The program provides an alternative for growers given that they are unable to participate in the official USDA organic certification program.

Despite the existence of programs like Clean Green, many growers use organic methods without any type of certification. In these cases it often comes down to trust since there is often no way to be sure the cannabis being sold is indeed organically-grown. Over time, a patient can develop a relationship with a dispensary that can be beneficial.

Other methods of consumption are also gaining popularity. For example, juicing raw cannabis (often the leaves) increases the amount of Cannabidiol (CBD) – the compound most known for its medical benefits. Vaporizers are also becoming more popular since they help avoid consumption of the harmful byproducts from smoking (see Vaporizing vs. Smoking for more about this). Aromatherapy can also reduce chemical allergies and improve overall health by vaporizing natural herbs such as chamomile.

As legislation advances, patients are clearly seeking healthier medical marijuana options, and they are easy to find if you know what to look for.


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