40% OF CALIFORNIA WEED CONTAINS PESTICIDES - LAB TESTS REVEAL
The number of lab positives for toxins in California weed in 2017 is ridiculous. We normally blame MONSANTO and Big Corp for pumping chemicals into our bodies, but in the case of marijuana, it is probably your trendy, hippy grower or dispensary that is exposing you to dangerous toxins and microbes.
"In a recent California contest for premium organic marijuana growers, nearly 20% were busted for using banned chemcial pesticides."
YOUR DIRTY MARIJUANA - HIPPIE GROWERS MIMIC MONSANTO?
The evidence presented here might probably scare the crap out of you. After all is said and done, the incidence of extremely contamination is somewhat rare and the outstanding of medicinal marijuana in most cases shines through, despite the toxins that might be present in your weed. With that said, it is imperative that we push to have marijuana growers produce product that is truly organic, product that truly lives up to its medical potential.
At the end of the day, your marijuana needs to pass YOUR sniff and eye test, and you want to use a dispensary that cares about the purity of YOUR weed, and you need to take personal responsibility and insist that the weed be tested for mold, bacteria, herbicides and pesticides. People with very serious issues should turn to oral and topical medications using truly organic cannabis based medicines - with their cannabinoid and terpenes intact - and with microbes filtered out.
The normal reflex action to this problem-reaction-solution is to increase regulation, hire more people to spy on growers and vendors etc. Taking a different tact, the following recommendations are presented for consideration.
At the root of the problem is money, people don't want to pay for testing and throw away a crop of weed, and they resort to criminal methods to sell their dodgy weed.
1. The public should educate themselves on how to grow healthy organic pot.
2. The public should be educated on how to spot moldy weed.
3. Safety testing should be done primarily through random testing - at the point of sale.
4. Regulators should take perhaps one sample per $25,000 sold - at random - from a vendor or grower for comprehensive testing. Offenders would pay a fine for any positives, from a few thousand to a hundred thousand dollars. This money collected in fines would pay for the cost of testing.
5. Vendors or growers that are caught repeatedly selling dodgy weed would have their license pulled.
The above rules would encourage the industry to test as required, to avoid getting fined or have their license pulled. This would lead to vendors and growers having their own testing facilities. Note that this rule construct does not require much in the way of public funding, and the industry would control itself, or by definition, go out of business.
Minimal toxicity testing should include all pesticides and herbicides that are sold in California. Microorganisms should include mold (Aflatoxins), fungus (Aspergillus), coliform bacteria (shit, E-coli), If you agree, Email The above suggestions to every government official you know that is connected to the regulation of cannabis in California.
THE SHOCKING NEWS ABOUT THE QUALITY OF CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA
The testing lab hired to screen the California 2015 Cup entries found that 17 % of entries contained banned pesticides, harmful bacteria, and mold. That fiasco turned out to be the tip of the iceberg.
Given that the entries in the contest represented "the cream of the crop", this means that the average weed you're smoking probably has a greater than 20% chance to be contaminated. And this means that if you buy an ounce per month from different suppliers, then it is nearly 100% certain that you are consuming banned sprays, mold or other nasties.
Generally speaking, the quality assurance on your weed right now could easily be bullshit. Yes, that's right, the boy (grower) next door could easily be poisoning you weed, knowingly or ignorantly. Yes, the dirty reality has come out; most weed is not properly tested or tested at all. If it is, many of the pesticides and herbicides are not fully evaluated in the lab. Below find the list of banned pesticides in the State.
In light of the fact that there are many cheap and readily available solutions to pest issues, such as better lighting coverage (with UV), air movement, HEPA filters (for microbes and spores), soap, vinegar (as insecticides) and so on. Given that these easy to do solutions readily avaiable and cheap makes the use of toxic chemicals most unnecessary and we shall say dispicable Sure, many people are ignorant and think they are not doing any harm by spraying on a little bit of ``harmless`` chemicals. But is ignorance any defense? How about the guy that shoots his buddy, thinking the gun wasn't loaded?
Flat out; you don't want tricky morons growing your food or your weed
Moving forward, regulations that require testing of marijuana need to include all the pesticides and herbicides with a high LD50, which measures how much of a substance it takes to kill 50% of a population. Also, included must be chemicals in the Russian Roulette category, chemicals that are deemed OK by the FDA and EPA, but have thousands of prominent researchers proclaiming that they cause Cancer, such as Roundup - Glyphosate. Despite being the topic of ongoing debate, is being Glyphosate is being dumped on crops worldwide in ever increasing amounts.
"Monsanto scientists say Roundup is perfectly harmless, thousands of other scientists say it causes cancer. Is there a bullet in the gun? Go ahead and find out. Pull the trigger." - Johnny Rodriguez
We were under the impression that every once in a while, we would consume some dodgy weed, unfortunately sourced from dubious, ignorant grower, an idiot, a sociopath a bottom feeder. However, the facts indicate that contaminated weed is much more common than we ever dreamed..
A survey of the Cannabis industry concluded that somewhere around 40% of dispensary marijuana is tested for toxins. Lab testing often does not test for the majority of pesticides and herbicides that are widely used in California agriculture.
An unofficial inquiry into the nature of pesticide testing, as seen on the certificates of analysis, indicates that very few marijuana samples are properly tested for pesticides and herbicides, like glyphosate (round-up) and the deadly paraquat.
So when the testing lab hired to screen the 2015 cup entries, they turned up contamination in almost 17 percent of entries—including banned pesticides, bacteria, and mold—Blake was horrified. Pesticides at the Emerald Cup simply aren’t supposed to exist.
“People are not going to get away with anything.” - Cup officials response to 2015 failures, with additional testing to take place in the future.
THERE ARE MANY ALTERNATIVES TO DANGEROUS CHEMICAL PESTICIDES - SEE TABLE ABOVE
The Emerald Cup is advertised as an elite, organic-minded competition for growers who harvest by lunar and solar cycles, with their gardens postured in Hindu patterns instead of rows. The cannabis seen here were thought to be cleaner than the cannabis sold in the state’s dispensaries.
This was the notion, which proved to be utter bullshit and that is, about 20% were cheating or delusional (moldy weed situations). Blake, the organizer was dumbfounded they would see these pesticides and other toxins show up routinely in testing.
"The December 2016 Emerald Cup drew more than 1,000 entries, including 735 strains of flower and 263 different concentrates. It also attracted more dirty marijuana than ever. Forty flower entries tested positive for pesticides. An unprecedented 25 percent of concentrate entries were disqualified for containing traces of banned chemicals."
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
These results point to a - tip of the iceberg situation. About 20% of the self proclaimed organic growers that were put under the microscope came up as frauds. Moving to the average dispensary product, are we talking an estimated 30% contaminated weed that is probably on the shelves.
Moving forward, at the 2016 Emerald Cup, with the contestants aware of the stricter testing, 40 out of 735 entries in the flower competition and 25 percent of concentrates tested positive for pesticides or other chemicals. That is great progress but the results still reflect the problem. Self policed the numbers went down from 17% to 6%. In 2017, the concentrate producers can focus on their failure rate, probably a result of produce manufacture. This type of corrective action is real and did not involve any government intervention and if current trends continue, we might see only a tiny fraction test positive in the near future..
The greater the integrity, the better the overall results. Whether industry or the government or both does regulates the testing process, the issues will always be, is the inspection group competent and honest? Are there loop holes in the testing protocols?
Cannabis that is rejected for mold, fungi, pesticide residue, contaminants often ends up on the black market, is shipped out of state (illegally), or is processed into concentrates or edibles. Marijuana rejected by one dispensary can end up being sold across town. The consumer is going to have to check up on the integrity and smarts of their supplier, their dispensary; to find out if they are protected from dodgy weed.
The California medical marijuana wild-west scene still might be better than the highly regulated processed food industry where nutritionally devoid product is the norm, where sugar or grains are GMP and routinely contain ppm levels of glyphosate, BPA and phthalates in them. Sadly, the evidence exposes that some of our hippy growing buddies are equivalent in ethics, are just as evil as their supposedly moral opposites of Big Corp.
Steep Hill Labs found residual pesticides in 84 percent of California cannabis tested over a 30-day period beginning in mid-September, the peak time in the state’s marijuana harvest.
Editor's comment: Though one is might be thoroughly disgusted with the above findings, the tremendously beneficial properties of cannabinoids and terpenes probably in the majority of cases mitigate - negate the effects residual levels of pesticides. Nonetheless, rather than two steps forward and one backward, it would be better to go three steps forward and none backward. Which is to say, we want all our medical marijuana to be virtually guaranteed that there are no chemicals additives in it - measured down to the low billion levels.
WHAT CONTAMINATED WEED CAN DO
Dr. Joseph Tuscano of UC Davis Medical Center treated a young man in his 20s with leukemia. After a stem-cell transplant, the prognosis was great. The leukemia was gone, and the man seemed likely to recover. Then, he very suddenly he developed a severe lung infection. A UC Davis oncologist’s article in this medical journal has opened questions about the safety of at-risk patients using untested cannabis. One consequence of cancer treatment is that patients’ immune systems become so compromised that even flowers and houseplants can pose a mortal risk. It’s common for bacteria and fungi that healthy people would never notice to cause sudden, severe, and sometimes fatal pneumonia in cancer patients.
That’s what happened to Tuscano’s patient, who survived leukemia only to die of what turned out to be a rare fungal infection. Then it happened again. Another young leukemia patient, another good prognosis, another sudden and severe lung infection caused by the same rare strain of fungus. This patient, however, recovered.
When Tuscano asked him about his lifestyle, trying to identify a cause or any links between the two cases, he discovered the two men both used marijuana. The dead patient had vaporized a cannabis “mist” medicinally as part of his treatment; the survivor smoked recreationally prior to his leukemia diagnosis—which was when he developed the infection instantly.
“When you have these rare infections, you wonder, ‘OK, how did this patient get exposed to this? We never suspected cannabis use … but after I interviewed the patient, one of the common links was the use of medicinal marijuana. All these organisms were in there, and so many other ones as well, Before this, I never really suspected there was a link.””
Conclusion; using untested marijuana in critical care situations is akin to playing Russian Roulette.
Again, the way to really control weed quality is through random comprehensive testing. Somewhat effective is having customers demand to see a product’s lab results before purchase, however in high-volume dispensaries where time at the counter is measured in minutes, such discretion could be an issue. Too bad, marijuana consumers need to know.
“A whole lot of shenanigans happen at the buying point.”
Testing results could be fake, come from another crop or from the best weed in a mixed bag, so to speak. Nonetheless, fake certificates should result in hefty fines, giving the certificate of analysis advertisment some, or a lot of legitimacy.
“a multitude of small and large scale commercial growers … attempt to sell product... testing discovers to be contaminated by pathogens or pesticides" - Reeds Testing
A lot comes down to a dispensary buyer. Here is how the average weed fraud works. Suppose that buyer has a budget of $1,400 a pound and is approached by a grower with lower-end cannabis for sale. Neither party is interested in the time and expense of a lab test.
A grower with lab-rejected cannabis is faced with their choice: Discard the harvest and eat the loss or shop it at a discount until it sells, so the seller says, It’s got some issues, but I’ll give it to you for $800.’ So he gives it to him for $800, and the buyer pockets the extra $600 on the side. This happens a ton in the industry.
A grower has one hundred pound crop of OG Kush, but sends only a couple of grams of the best stuff to the lab, and then label each one ounce batch as if the whole crop was royal premium deluxe, i.e. there are no bad apples in the bunch, when there could well be.
"If a lab finds pesticides in a batch of cannabis and a dispensary rejects it, the grower is faced with a choice: Discard the harvest—and with it months of work and investment ... or shop the bud around until it sells. Unless there is something catastrophically wrong, such as rampant pest damage or mold so out of control it’s visible to the naked eye, it makes its way to a buyer somewhere....And if it doesn’t make its way as a flower product, it’ll make its way to someone who will extract it” into vape-pen cartridges, extracts for dabbing, or oil to be used in edibles." - Leafly Investigative Report
Editor's notes: We don't dispute any of the above, however, spores and microbes can be removed in the extraction / purification process while retaining the cannabinoids and terpenes, but the question here is, does the manufacturer know what they're doing? Again, the easiest way to check up on concentrates or any form of cannabis based medicines is through random testing because all the cute QC paperwork and all the King's Horses and Men don't prove that your pot is clean in reality, it only proves that it is clean in fiction.
WHAT CONTAMINATED WEED CAN DO
The UC Davis oncologist’s article in this medical journal has opened questions about the safety of at-risk patients using untested cannabis. Dr. Joseph Tuscano treated a young man in his 20s with leukemia. After a stem-cell transplant, the prognosis was great. The leukemia was gone, and the man seemed likely to recover. Then, he very suddenly he developed a severe lung infection.
“People need to quit assuming what they get from the dispensary is safe, It needs to be tested.”
One consequence of cancer treatment is that patients’ immune systems become so compromised that even flowers and houseplants can pose a mortal risk. It’s common for bacteria and fungi that healthy people would never notice to cause sudden, severe, and sometimes fatal pneumonia in cancer patients.
That’s what happened to Tuscano’s patient, who survived leukemia only to die of what turned out to be a rare fungal infection. Then it happened again. Another young leukemia patient, another good prognosis, another sudden and severe lung infection caused by the same rare strain of fungus. This patient, however, recovered. When Tuscano asked him about his lifestyle, trying to identify a cause or any links between the two cases, he discovered the two men both used marijuana.
The dead patient had vaporized a cannabis “mist” medicinally as part of his treatment; the survivor smoked recreationally prior to his leukemia diagnosis—which was when he developed the infection “instantly,” Tuscano told me.
“When you have these rare infections, you wonder, ‘OK, how did this patient get exposed to this?’” he said. “We never suspected cannabis use … but after I interviewed the patient, one of the common links was the use of medicinal marijuana.” - Dr. Tuscano
It’s impossible to know for certain if the deadly fungus came from cannabis. Tuscano couldn’t test the cannabis the two men had used. It was gone. The next-best thing was to find out if the fungus was in marijuana generally.
Pesticides & Marijuana - Questions and Answers - Cannabis Patients and Consumers
One might think that’s a safe and acceptable fate, assuming the extraction process somehow kills off pests and eliminates contaminants. It does not necessarily, when cannabinoids and terpenes are concentrated in extracts, certain fungi and pesticides are concentrated as well, sometimes disproportionately compared to the sought-after cannabinoids and terpenes.
"But the point, the operator told me, is this: Very little marijuana is voluntarily discarded. Everything,makes its way into the supply chain somehow.”
Some growers may “lab shop” to see where they can get the best results. For obvious reasons, California’s testing labs all agree that marijuana sold to the public—and to sick, potentially immunocompromised people in particular—should be tested. When asked directly, in public, no dispensary operators will disagree.
"But on other points, as each lab jockeys and jostles to position itself as the industry leader before testing becomes mandatory - with standards yet to be determined - there’s a noticeable lack of consensus. Some labs promise fungus test results in 48 hours. That’s not enough time to grow a culture from spores found on a sample. Santa Cruz, Calif.-based SC Labs, tested all the entries in the Emerald Cup competition. When announcing its troubling discovery of pesticides in 84 percent of its tested samples, Steep Hill challenged both CW Analytical and SC Labs for detecting far less." - Leafly Investigations
And as marijuana consumers fumble in the dark for clean medicine, testing labs are also receiving blowback from within the cannabis industry itself. It’s mostly a whisper campaign, but in the last few months before testing becomes mandatory, there is grumbling from growers and would-be commercial retailers that labs are overstating pesticide results in order to ensure they get plenty of business. Conversely, in some legal states, businesses have been rumored to engage in “lab shopping” to see which returns the best results.
Note that this kind of laboratory bullshit can be stamped out by taking vendors to task with independent random testing. Dispensaries would then not benefit from faking results, they'll be insisting on knowing what is really in their product - as does the consumer.
* FURTHER READING
* Underground marijuana grow operations are polluting Cali waterways with banned pesticides. Despite the recent legalization of rec cannabis in California still accounts for over 90% of illegal grow operations in the U.S. The extent of contamination in drinking water puts wildlife and people at risk, which means that increased monitoring and enforcement is required to stop ongoing ecological damage.
Editor's note: Illegal growers often exhibit the evil tendencies of corporate agriculture: they falsely propagate the notion that their produce is safe, all the while they are spraying and fertilizing with dodgy chemicals....
* Pesticides, such as diazinon and carbofuran, are linked the inhibition of an enzyme required in the transmission of nerve impulses. When this essential enzyme is inhibited, acetylcholine accumulates, leading to overstimulation of neurotransmitters, resulting in muscle weakness, confusion, and paralysis, and more.
* Both chemicals have also been shown to be highly toxic to birds. According to EPA reports, carbofuran applications contributed to the death of between one and two million birds each year. Diazinon was likewise being linked to hundreds of bird kill incidents, with reports in the 1980s involving over twenty three bird species in the USA.
Editor's note: No matter what any regulatory agency says, pesticides and herbicides that kill birds, fish, bacteria and fungus should not be used on any kind of medical, agricultural product, especially those that are consumed though inhalation (smoking - vaping), a process the greatly magnifies the toxicity of toxins. In other words, you want truly organic marijuana.
`` I propose that if a grower thinks that growers that think their marijuana pesticides are safe, then firstly, they should have a spoonful of their magic chemicals on their breakfast cereal, or inhale a few mg every day. Ya, let them inhale a few mg of their pesticide every day for a year. If they are still alive and thriving, then we know it's not that toxic.`- Johnny Rodriguez
THE BLIGHT THAT IS MAN MADE CHEMICALS