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WEED DEALINGS – KEEP YOUR PACLOBUTRAZOL OFF MY NUGS

Fear. It’s been the means for instituting and maintaining the cannabis prohibition. That kind of fear is stupid because it’s manufactured. It plays off of the natural human condition, wherein fear prompts in us a pressing need to respond. Historically that was important because it kept us safe. But when the fear is manufactured it’s not really about safety, and it leads us to abandon compassion, and usually any kind of logic. Just think, if you were in ancient times stalking through some woods carrying a beehive with a bunch of honey you really needed, and a bear started chasing you, you’d probably toss that beehive in an effort to escape. The same way that Harry Anslinger convinced Americans that Marihuna (sic) was capable of turning people into killers and decimating society, and in response we tossed our logic in an attempt to escape a danger that wasn’t even real.

But now we’re realizing that there is reason for real fear in the midst of the cannabis industry. If you’ve ever gotten a headache from smoking weed, then they’ve put the tip in you. Just the tip, but that dick is out there… waiting… lurking. For real though, it’s possible to get some gnarly cannabis. I mean stuff that has been fed unsafe chemicals, stuff that has been sprayed with unsafe chemicals, all in the name of profit.

Think about it, you go to a dispensary, or you holler at homie on the block and what do you get? Green flowers, and maybe they have a name. But what happens if you ask them about how that cannabis was grown? Can they tell you what it was fed? Can they tell you if it was treated with anything? Some of these places are offering cannabis that has been “tested” but that shit is mostly a joke. Most of the places that are doing the testing are not accredited by any regulatory agency, and they don’t want to disclose their testing methods.

Perhaps even more laughable, Harborside Health Collective is supposed to be the leader in the dispensary model, but really they’re full of lots of shit. They “test” their cannabis, and make sure you’re safe. Next to the flowers on display in their cases you can find a little card that tells you about the cannabinoid profile. Supposedly they also test for pesticides. Maybe they actually do. But then, some of their flowers have a card next to them that says something to the equivalent of “Test Pending.” So, before they get the results back you can buy the flowers. Word. Mad safe guys, totally makes everything look legitimate when you’re basically slapping the customer in the face with the risk they’re taking.

Now, I’m not gonna say you’ll die from smoking cannabis that has been grown improperly, but we really don’t know what the long-term affects are. Cannabis does have potent anti-cancer properties, but do you trust that they’re potent enough to protect you against what could potentially be in there? For instance: PG&E (Nor-Cal’s version of FPL, or Con Edison) uses a chemical called paclobutrazol to inhibit vertical growth in trees. It is in no way intended to be used in plants that are being consumed by humans. But, it can be found in two commonly used additives: Phosphaload, and Bush Master. Using these compounds improperly in weeks four to seven of the growth cycle causes the flowers to become denser, harder, and heavier. So, for the unethical grower adding dangerous chemical compounds means more money. And for the careless dispensary, or dude on the block, there’s no way to know that the grower has done this. You tryin’ to smoke paclobutrazol? I’m not.

So, it’s kind of funny what Anslinger and Nixon have done right? They took a drug that was basically as safe as can be, and manufactured an environment that has created the potential for it to be harmful. Smoking cannabis can’t hurt you (the smoking can hurt you, but not the cannabis itself). But, smoking high levels of persistent chemicals can hurt you. The only way for those persistent chemicals to get in there is for unethical, or unskilled people to put them there. The only way you’d smoke those chemicals (hopefully) is if you don’t know they’re in there. The only way for you to know that they’re in there is to get your cannabis legally.

Haters gon hate, and humans gon blaze. Since the war on drugs started, I don’t think cannabis has done anything but prosper. Eventually Palpatine had to accept that Jedi rebels were right. How he went about accepting it was unfortunate for him, but he accepted it because he stopped fighting them. Eventually government will have to stand down to the citizens, and accept that we’re right, and that will probably be the biggest step towards safety they ever take in this war on cannabis.

ZACHARY G. MOLDOF

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Paclobutrazol: Poison, Potential or Panacea?

Takeaway: Paclobutrazol is a plant growth regulator (PGR) that is present in a number of popular products on the market and is used by a significant percentage of growers in the indoor gardening industry. But, is it safe?

Paclobutrazol, chlomequat, and daminozide are similar plant growth regulators (PGRs) that are present in a number of popular products on the market and are used by a significant percentage of growers in the indoor gardening industry. But, are they safe?

I have delved into the archives to summarize the performance data and general consensus in the scientific community of these three PGRs. I will focus mainly on paclobutrazol, the most common of the three plant growth retardants.

Upon proper application, these three PGRs inhibit a natural plant hormone called gibberellic acid, which is responsible for cell elongation and cell division. This in turn limits plant height and internodal length. Fruits and flowers come out more compact and dense, a highly desired trait with certain plant species. They also initiate earlier flowering and fruit set.

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As a triazole fungicide, paclobutrazol increases a plant’s resistance to fungi including molds, powdery mildew and rusts. It also increases a plant’s resistance to bacteria and drought. The chemical has been shown to increase yield in apples and enhance mini-tuber production in potatoes.

Paclobutrazol is also used by golf courses to ensure a uniform, compact putting green surface. Labor is reduced in agricultural operations when using PGRs because less topping, pinching and pruning is needed.

Plant growth regulators work systemically and plants uptake them readily through their roots. Because they are transported through the xylem, they have been shown to be less effective when applied as a foliar spray. Grow media that has been exposed to PGRs should not be reused because residues from the chemicals persist and can affect subsequent crops.

Plant growth regulators definitely have a negative effect on the microbial community in the soil. Testing on mango orchards in Brazil showed that environmentally relevant concentrations of the chemicals actually killed beneficial microbe populations by up to 60%.

The surviving microbes and their associated enzymes showed lower activity rates. The stasis (balance) of the microflora in the root zone is hindered, which lowers the overall fertility of the medium and can negatively affect the nutrient balance and uptake.

While there is plenty of research in the scientific literature pertaining to these chemicals and their effects on plants, there is little experimental data outlining the effects of paclobutrazol, chlomequat and daminozide on fish, mammals, humans and the environment at large. In scorpion fish, paclobutrazol accumulates in toxic levels in the brain while lowering sperm count and important enzyme activity.

Fish exposed to paclobutrazol show decreased levels of amino acids in their brain and liver. They also have a reduced capacity to detoxify chemicals because the antioxidant activity in the brain is reduced.

Recent experiments have shown that paclobutrazol has negative effects on the reproductive systems and development of rats. Survival rates of litters were significantly lowered. Research papers note altered locomotion and fetal malformations in rat subjects. If something is toxic to a rat, it is most likely toxic to a human, although on a lower scale.

The genetic makeup of rats is 99% similar to humans, and as fellow mammals they share the same organs and biochemical pathways. Studies in Denmark reflect reproduction and developmental problems in pigs that were fed cereals and grains that were treated with chlormequat at normal doses.

As far as environmental impact, the paclobutrazol molecule has low mobility and low volatility so it is tough to remove from soils. It is attracted to organic matter and tightly binds to it. Paclobutrazol can persist in a contaminated medium for years before breaking down. It is stable at a large range of temperatures so it can handle fluctuations without degrading.

Agricultural products that contain paclobutrazol, chlormequat and diminozide contain the industrial or technical grades of the chemicals. This requires the solutions to be only 95% pure while the remaining 5% can contain heavy metals, stabilizers, preservatives and other toxic adulterants.

The chemicals are dissolved in a dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solution before bottling, which is listed as a Schedule 4 poison in Australia. In the United States, all three of these PGRs are illegal to use on plants grown for human consumption.

They can still legally be used on ornamental plants, although they are completely banned for sale in California and Oregon. They have been totally banned in most European Union countries, with the main exception being the United Kingdom.

Paclobutrazol and chlormequat are not listed as human carcinogens, but this is probably because they have not been tested as such. Daminozide is listed as carcinogenic.

There are more environmentally friendly ways to limit vertical plant growth. A unique chelated form of iron, Eddha Fe, can be applied in the mid-flowering stage to trigger the production of autumn hormones, namely ethylene. This process will inhibit vertical growth naturally, albeit not as drastically as observed with the PGRs.

Another option is to selectively breed cultivars that display the desired phenotypes, rather than using chemicals to manipulate the existing varieties. A closer look at potential alternatives to these chemicals must be examined.

There are now a number of laboratories that offer testing for the residues of these chemicals on fruits and flowers. A consumer can now know for sure whether or not a product has been treated with these (and many other) unwanted substances.

Until more research is performed on the potential hazards of these PGRs on humans and the environment, we should not want them anywhere near our groundwater, our streams and rivers, our gardens or our families.

Paclobutrazol, chlomequat and daminozide are similar plant growth regulators (PGRs) that are present in a number of popular products on the market and are used by a significant percentage of growers in the indoor gardening…