The increasing use of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes means growers need to up their game. In response to this high demand, the cannabis industry has resorted to the use of synthetic foreign growth hormones to obtain a higher and healthier yield.
These chemical growth hormones are known as plant growth regulators (PGRs). The resulting cannabis that grows using these PGRs is called PGR weed. On the other hand, organic cannabis growers refrain from using synthetic PGRs.
But while the use of RPGs in cannabis cultivation has benefited farmers, it has serious adverse health effects.
What is PGR grass?
PGR weed refers to a cannabis plant that has been grown using one or more plant growth regulators (PGRs). Some cannabis growers may choose to use PGRs in cannabis plants with the goal of achieving a higher yield in less time. In a way, using PGRs in weed is like giving the plant steroids to make it bulkier, even abnormally.
The increasing use of PGRs to grow bigger and denser cannabis buds is a growing concern within the cannabis community.
First of all, using PGR is not the best way to achieve a healthy and thriving cannabis yield. In addition, cannabis grown from RPG does not have the appropriate properties trichomes, cannabinoids and terpenes that produce a good high. Therefore, if you have purchased PGR cannabis without knowing it, you have probably been scammed.
Second, and more worryingly, the (high) consumption of plants grown from PGR has been associated with serious health problems. These possible health complications include skin and eye irritation, organ damage, fertility issues, and even cancer.
Despite the obvious disadvantages of using synthetic PGRs, cannabis growers looking for more profit continue to use them. This is why you should be able to tell PGR weeds from natural weeds.
Most Common Types of Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs)
Like all complex organisms, cannabis plants naturally produce growth hormones. These growth hormonessuch as auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and ethylene, help regulate plant growth.
On the other hand, plant growth regulators are like synthetic plant hormones. In other words, they were created in a lab using different chemicals. They are not real hormones per se, but rather chemicals that alter a plant’s natural hormone production. Therefore, PGRs act by promoting or inhibiting different aspects of plant growth, such as stem and leaf growth rate and plant cell development.
There are several types of plant growth regulators, the most common being paclobutrazol, daminozide, and chlormequat chloride.
Paclobutrazole is a plant growth regulator that inhibits the ability of a plant cell to elongate. Specifically, it inhibits the production of gibberellin (a natural hormone responsible for cell elongation and shoot development in young plants) and increases the production of cytokinins (a hormone that accelerates plant cell division).
Since the cells divide rapidly but cannot elongate, the resulting flower buds are much denser.
The use of paclobutrazol in various crops helps farmers by:
- Reduce plant height to prevent lodging
- Increase the number and weight of fruits per tree
- Improved fruit quality in terms of increased carbohydrate content and decreased acidity
- Reduce plant evapotranspiration
- Develop plant resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses
- Fight against fungal diseases
However, some studies have shown that smoking cannabis buds containing paclobutrazole can negatively affect fertility and lead to liver damage. Indeed, by smoking it, paclobutrazole breaks down into nitrosamines, which is the most carcinogenic compound present in cigarettes.
Additionally, paclobutrazole weed hinders the proper development of major terpenes and cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, leading to a low THC and odd smelling bud.
Originally, daminozide was used as a pesticide for ornamental plants in 1963, then for food crops five years later. Cannabis growers can use this plant to slow leaf and stem growth, maximizing bud yield.
Besides its benefits as a pesticide, daminozide also helps to:
- Regulate plant growth
- Make harvesting easier
- Prevent fruit from falling from trees before ripening
However, like paclobutrazole, daminozide inhibits the proper development of various terpenes and cannabinoids.
Additionally, health issues related to high daminozide exposure and consumption soon began to surface. In 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed banning its use based on concerns that it was a probable human carcinogen. In 1989, a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that “the average exposure of a preschool child resulted in a cancer risk 240 times greater than the cancer risk considered acceptable by the EPA after lifetime exposure. “.
In 1999 there was a complete ban on its use in consumable factories.
Chlormequat chloride was the first RMP discovered in 1950. Its very first application was on wheat crops, producing shorter plants with thicker stems. Chlormequat chloride works by:
- Slowed plant growth in certain areas, especially the stem.
- Encourage greater flowering
- Make plants more uniform and therefore easier to manage and harvest
Researchers are still studying the negative impacts of chlormequat chloride on human health. There are reports of conditions such as skin and eye irritations and organ damage, as well as speculation about the carcinogenic effects of RPGs. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.
Is PGR grass safe for consumption?
Due to the recent boom in the weed black market, the safety concerns about PGR cannabis use are entirely valid.
Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with the weed itself, just as there is nothing inherently wrong with consuming abnormally large, pulpy fruits grown using synthetic hormones and steroids.
However, the presence of synthetic plant growth regulators is a huge cause for concern. As mentioned above, PGR cannabis poses a host of potential health risks, including:
- Skin and eye irritation
- Adverse effects on male fertility
- Irreversible organ damage
- Development of malignant and benign tumors
However, research on the negative impact of RPG weeds on health is limited at present. Additionally, existing research considers extremely high doses of PGR consumption – a dose that you are unlikely to consume in a single sitting.
Until we are able to learn more about the negative effects of smoking PGR cannabis, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, you should be careful and be able to distinguish between PGR cannabis and natural cannabis, limiting yourself to the latter.
PGR Weed Vs. Natural Grass – How To Spot PGR Weed
Spotting PGR cannabis is surprisingly easy. Its appearance, texture, taste, smell and even the resulting high are particularly different from natural cannabis. Here are some telltale signs that your weed was grown using plant growth regulators:
- Appearance: PGR grass is denser and bulkier than its natural counterpart. While natural cannabis buds tend to appear sparser, PGR weed looks like a neatly shaped nugget.
- Feel: PGR grass stinks of chemicals, while natural grass has more of a flowery or grassy smell.
- Texture: PGR grass is dense and spongy, almost as if filled with a liquid. In fact, if you press PGR weed, it can sometimes start to ooze. On the other hand, natural grass is crumbly and completely dry, and you can break it easily.
- To taste: Most PGR weed has an overwhelming chemical taste, and the bitterness can linger in your throat for hours. Natural grass, although bitter, lacks this lingering chemical essence.
- Effect: The mental and physical high of PGR weed is a world away from natural weed. The “high” you get from PGR weed is partly due to smoking the chemicals, which can leave you feeling lightheaded, lightheaded, nauseous, and lethargic.
Keep in mind, however, that none of these factors alone means that the weed contains plant growth regulators. For example, natural grass can sometimes also be a bit squishy or nugget-like.
However, a combination of most of these factors is a pretty good clue that the herb contains PGR.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about PGR weed.
Why do weed growers use PGR weed?
The use of PGR in the cultivation of cannabis helps to regulate or control the growth of the plant. Most of these regulators work as a plant growth retardant to limit stem and leaf growth and promote flowering.
Are natural RPGs safe?
Besides synthetic PGRs, some weed growers may choose to use natural plant growth regulators. For example, chitosan or kelp achieve the same impressive results as their synthetic counterparts without posing the same health and environmental risks.
What are the long term effects of smoking PGR weed?
The health risks of smoking PGR cannabis are not immediately apparent. Instead, long-term use of PGR cannabis carries serious health risks later in life. This includes permanent damage to your organ and even fertility issues.
Closing with PGR Cannabis
The growing use of synthetic PGRs in the cannabis industry is a growing cause for concern. Although research is limited, there are confirmed links between prolonged human use of PGR cannabis and health problems such as organ failure, skin and eye irritation, infertility and even cancer. .
Additionally, the high is considerably less effective and usually results in nausea and fatigue.
Therefore, you should always check the quality and origin of your weed, lest you accidentally consume toxic chemicals.
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