Paclo: The Deadly Chemical Lurking In Marijuana Crops
Posted by Catelyn Snow | October 25 2012 | 8547 views | Comments ↓
U.S. Department of Energy emphasizes not inhaling paclo.
(Click to enlarge)
You're just settling in after a long day, ready to watch some Breaking Bad and light up a nice bowl. You sink deep into your couch and take that first hit and feel the familiar nirvana that you've been looking forward to. You deserve this.
But wait, there is something odd about the taste of your chosen herb. Something is wrong. It's like the grower not only did not flush their nutrients, but perhaps added something that they should not have. The realization sinks in: There is pesticide in my medication. I am smoking pesticide!
The Dangerous Chemical In Your MMJ
These days, a pesticide called Paclobutrazol (Paclo) is slowly spreading in popularity among the MMJ community because of its ability to make growers much more money. The one problem? It has been shown to cause cancer and liver damage in rats. Here is how it works, and why we cannot allow our fellow growers to use it.
Paclo is a chemical plant fertilizer (referred to by many government agencies as a pesticide) that slows vegetative growth by inhibiting the synthesis of gibberelin, the growth hormone that determines height and width of a plant, as well as when it should flower or fruit. Control the gibberelin, control the world. (That was in a movie somewhere, wasn't it?)
By shortening the vegetative cycle, not only are the growth cycles faster, there is more reserve energy to spend on flowering, creating bushier plants with higher yields. Except that these yields come with a price—health and safety. In fact, it is illegal to use paclo on ingestible fruits, flowers, or vegetables.
THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THE DANGERS OF PACLO
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only approved paclo for use on grass, shrubs, potted plants, and other non-consumable goods that are far away from children and pets who may be playing on them. It is commonly used on golf courses because of its innate ability to keep down the growth and require less mowing.
The US Department of Energy released a memo to its employees about the dangers of and proper ways to handle paclo, which included a strong emphasis on not inhaling the paclo, as well as keeping it contained away from irrigation canals and waterways. According to the report, "The product has a high potential to leech into surface and ground water." They also go on to note that paclobutrazol is highly flammable (maybe not the best chemical to use in something that people smoke) and harmful if swallowed or absorbed by the skin.
Outdoor-grown product, while often top-notch, can also be some chemical-laden toxic bud that you don’t even want to touch, let alone consume. I am especially concerned about the unscrupulous growers that have been popping up in our forests. With paclo's high potential to leech into the water supply, suddenly that mountain spring water I buy seems less appealing.
IS THERE PACLO IN YOUR NUTRIENTS?
Even well-meaning growers might be inadvertently adding paclo to their crop and surrounding environment. Several nutrient products, including Bushmaster, Gravity, Flower Dragon, and Phosphoload have all been tested by the CA Dept. of Food & Agriculture and shown to contain paclo.
To be assured that paclo is not getting into your marijuana, consider Advanced Nutrient's line of products, all of which have been tested and proven to be 100% paclo-free.
My motto has always been "know your grow, or grow your own." You should know and trust your caregiver, or the reputation of your local dispensary. Ask them questions about their product, and know exactly what you are smoking on. And if you can, grow your own. You'll never taste anything as sweet as the first hit of your first crop. Growing is fun, informative, and not nearly as daunting as newbies think, especially with all of the great resources available online.
And don't forget, when we mess with mother nature too much, there are always consequences. Pumping your plants full of chemicals that cannot be flushed before harvest. If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.
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Thursday, 18 October 2012
Article by Catelyn Snow, on Oct. 25th 2012