As with other agricultural commodities, growing cannabis has an environmental impact. But many consumers don’t know or just don’t care how their cannabis was grown or whether it was sprayed with harmful chemical pesticides.
Tons of carbon are also released into the atmosphere to grow a single cannabis plant. However, there are a growing number of people who care about how their cannabis was grown and whether it is carefully made to reduce its impact on the environment.
With climate change, the main problem facing our planet today, it is important that you make positive change by looking for products – including cannabis – from brands or manufacturers who are working to reduce their carbon footprint.
Cannabis is one of the oldest agricultural commodities on the market, and more and more growers are springing up due to the demand for the product. However, growing using modern techniques, especially indoors, requires enormous amounts of energy and water, which have a large carbon footprint. Although more Americans are supporting federal cannabis legalization, many people still don’t realize that the industry can harm the environment.
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That’s not to say that the industry as a whole is at fault, it’s just that awareness of sustainable growing techniques is even less well known, but there are plenty of companies out there who are committed to delivering sustainably grown cannabis to customers, while complying with local regulations.
And there is a market for it: According to surveys, cannabis users are willing to spend more money on clean and environmentally friendly products.
What is sustainable cannabis growing?
It is estimated that a grow house uses roughly the same amount of energy to produce one kilogram of cannabis flower as a vehicle drives up to seven times in the US. That’s a lot of energy. And it’s no secret that there is already a need to make energy more efficient for industry.
However, sustainable cannabis cultivation does not only apply to well-known companies and cannabis companies and does not exclude the location of your cultivation, whether indoors or outdoors. Mom and pop setups and even cannabis startups can do the same when it comes to their exhausts, growing lights and fans. Regardless of the size of your grower, you can have complete control over the quality of the nutrients you use for your crops, as many pesticides and packaged fertilizers are made from chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
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In addition to reducing the environmental impact of your growth, another important way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint is to use more environmentally friendly packaging options. This can be a challenge as some cannabis laws in certain states, especially when it comes to food, require that these be individually wrapped. This means that candy and other such items that contain CBD or THC must be self-contained and properly labeled. while liquid medications should provide their own cups.
How to find sustainable cannabis
Being informed means that you are one step ahead. Researching the different types of products and learning to decipher among a myriad of tempting varieties of cannabis can help you make an informed decision that will play a huge role in reducing your impact on the environment, whether or not you go to the Fun or to consume whether you need it for medicine.
The Sierra Club, a renowned agency for practices we ordinary people can use to save the planet, has published a list of helpful tips to help cannabis users become greener. Here is what they say:
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Look for labels: There are numerous third-party certifications in the cannabis industry that, while small, give reassurance that certain products have received the green light for sustainability. Some that you can look for are Certified Kind, Cannabis Certification Council, and Dragonfly Earth Medicine. There are also additional certifications on products that confirm that they have made an effort to reduce the amount of electricity used to make their goods.
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Opt for sun-grown cannabis: Indoor cannabis farms are known for the enormous amount of energy they use to grow pots. On the other hand, sun-grown cannabis uses resources that are already naturally available, such as natural sunlight! This is a great alternative to products made indoors that use artificial light in addition to massive nutrients, fertilizers, pesticides and temperature controlled environments. Just look for packages that state they were made with “sun-grown” practices.
Look for environmentally friendly packaging: Once you start looking, you will be surprised to find that many cannabis products are packaged in a sustainable way, such as using recycled or recyclable packaging.
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Opt for simpler products: The easier it is to produce, the less energy is required from the environment. So if your choice is to buy cannabis oils, which require a lot of processing compared to raw cannabis flowers in a jar, then go for the flower.
Look for lab tests: There are cannabis products that contain at least test results or a certificate of analysis. These tests are required to be sold in constitutional pharmacies. So this should be a quick and easy step for you to take. They test for harmful ingredients like mold and heavy metals, which means they are not only cleaner for the environment but also safer for your health.
These are just a few helpful tips to get you started on becoming a more environmentally conscious cannabis user. What are your favorite eco-friendly cannabis brands?
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and was republished with permission.