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The Hidden Dangers of PGR Weed: What Every Grower Must Know!

Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
Hidden Dangers of PGR Weed

PGR weed refers to cannabis cultivated using plant growth regulators. Some growers utilize PGRs to boost growth and plump up valuable marijuana buds, resulting in thicker and denser buds compared to those grown without these regulators.

However, relying on these hormones is not the ideal method for obtaining a healthy cannabis yield. While PGR-grown cannabis may look visually appealing, it lacks essential components like trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes.

Fortunately, natural alternatives to synthetic PGRs can yield impressive results. For instance, cannabis cultivators can utilize substances like kelp or chitosan to achieve similar outcomes while ensuring environmental friendliness and safety for consumption.

The use of PGRs is often associated with the unregulated black market, where synthetic PGRs pose risks to human health, including potential carcinogenic effects.

Contrast between PGR-grown cannabis and naturally grown cannabis

Commonly Used Plant Growth Regulators (PGR): What Are They?

Several Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) have been utilized in agriculture and landscaping, but three are the most prevalent in cannabis cultivation.


Paclobutrazol, an organic compound, acts as a growth retardant. Despite initial perceptions, this characteristic benefits marijuana growers, resulting in reduced internodal length, stronger stems, compact plants, and quicker flowering onset. Plants treated with this PGR exhibit increased drought resistance and may display darker foliage. While Paclobutrazol may cause mild irritation to the eyes and skin, unlike many other PGRs that pose risks such as organ toxicity, carcinogenicity, and birth defects, there is no evidence suggesting such effects from Paclobutrazol.

Daminozide (Alar) 

Formerly popular in the fruit-growing industry, Daminozide, also known as Alar among other names, was utilized to enhance the firmness and aesthetics of cannabis buds. However, it was banned in the 1980s due to the production of dimethylhydrazine, a highly carcinogenic compound, during its metabolism in the body. For those concerned about health, it’s advisable to avoid cannabis cultivated with Daminozide.

Chlormequat Chloride 

This particular organic compound additionally inhibits cell elongation. Consequently, the initial flowering stretch in cannabis, which typically occurs at the onset of the flowering stage, concludes more rapidly, allowing the plant to channel its energy towards bud development. Utilizing Chlormequat results in more densely packed bushes with sturdier branches and denser buds for farmers. Furthermore, buds require a reduced duration to reach maturity. Notably, this plant growth regulator is considered highly dangerous in the US and is banned from being used in plants intended for human consumption.

How do you recognize PGR cannabis?

Abstaining from drug use remains the safest approach. PGR cannabis poses significant health risks in both the short and long term, and it’s advisable to steer clear of it.

Several indicators distinguish PGR cannabis from its natural counterpart:

  • Extremely dense and heavy buds
  • Abundance of brown or red pistils, which surpass the typical amount found in natural cannabis
  • Spongey or excessively moist texture
  • Absence of crystalline structures on the leaves
  • Low THC levels
  • Unpleasant chemical taste
  • Minimal to no aroma upon breaking
  • Rapid onset of chemical-induced highs leading to lethargy and headaches.
Contrast between PGR-grown and naturally-grown cannabis plants

Is PGR Cannabis Safe to Consume?

PGR cannabis, produced using synthetic plant growth hormones, has been associated with adverse health impacts, including an increased risk of cancer. Synthetic PGRs may have carcinogenic properties, making them unsuitable for human consumption. In contrast, cannabis cultivated naturally or with natural PGRs does not carry the same health risks.

Apart from their potential carcinogenicity, synthetic PGRs may lead to the following health issues:

  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Organ damage (if consumed in large quantities)
  • Adverse effects on fertility

Further research is necessary to fully understand the potential health risks associated with synthetic PGRs. To ensure safety, it’s crucial to know the source of the cannabis you use and purchase products only from reputable growers who employ sustainable practices.

Consume cannabis safely and responsibly by obtaining a medical marijuana card. Book an online consultation with one of Leafwell’s certified medical professionals to initiate your application process.

Side Effect PGR Weed

Despite the widespread use of PGRs, farmers who apply them to their crops always prioritize safety measures. This precaution stems from the fact that most plant growth regulators pose significant risks rather than being harmless.

Short Term Impacts

Exposure to PGRs can result in skin irritation and eye irritation, with more severe cases potentially leading to respiratory difficulties and nausea. However, these immediate effects pale in comparison to the long-term dangers they pose.

Long Term Consequence

Inhaling or ingesting certain PGRs can result in liver and kidney damage, as well as nerve tissue impairment. They exhibit heightened toxicity towards the reproductive systems of both men and women. In men, they can induce infertility, while in women, they are teratogenic, potentially causing congenital disabilities in offspring.

PGR effect on the environment

Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) pose not only a possible danger to marijuana users. The widespread use of these substances on an industrial level results in their dissemination into the environment, much like pesticides and other inputs.

Inadequate soil management practices that promote runoff and erosion facilitate the infiltration of these chemicals into groundwater, rivers, and the broader ecosystem. Although the complete extent of this pollution is yet to be fully understood, studies indicate that PGRs can influence organ development in certain fish species and have toxic effects on animal reproductive systems.

Main differences between PGR Weed and natural cannabis

PGR cannabis usage presents numerous risks, yet detecting the altered marijuana is relatively straightforward. It’s advisable for both retail purchasers and distributors to remain vigilant in identifying products suspected of being cultivated with PGRs.

  • Minimal aroma 
  • Spongy or abnormally dense/hard buds
  • Dull, brownish buds with brown hairs Round buds with smooth contours 
  • Reduced trichome count Considerably lower THC levels
  • Unpleasant taste
Contrast between PGR-grown and naturally-grown cannabis plants

Avoid consuming PGR Weed

To steer clear of PGR-laden cannabis, it’s crucial to exercise vigilance and take specific precautions when buying. A reliable method to ensure top-notch cannabis is by purchasing from reputable sources like licensed dispensaries or reliable online vendors.

There are additional measures you can adopt to minimize the risk of consuming PGR cannabis. For instance, be wary of meager prices or excessively flawless products, as these could signal the use of synthetic hormones to enhance yield.

Furthermore, carefully scrutinize the product before buying. PGR cannabis typically appears denser and stiffer than natural cannabis, often displaying an unnaturally vibrant hue. Moreover, it might emit a distinct chemical scent or taste.

If unsure about a product’s cultivation methods, it’s prudent to ask the seller or producer for more details. Lastly, prioritize your well-being and safety when consuming cannabis, and promptly seek medical attention if you encounter any abnormal symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or headaches.

Four not PGR weed strain

Why lose a quality harvest by growing with PGR if you can do it big and organically? For this reason, we recommend four weed genetics that you should not grow in PGR mode so that you have the best buds, of the highest quality, with incredible flavors due to terpenes well defined by organic nutrition. You can also get great trichomes and a lot of resin, especially for making extractions.

Blackberry Moonstone

This indica-oriented genetic called Blackberry Moonstone is a cross between Blue Moon Rock x Male Blackberry Kush x Ruderalis with a 26% to 33% potency. This power allows the effects of the Blackberry Moonstone 

variety to be somewhat complex to describe because, after consumption, users usually experience a feeling of initial euphoria that gradually transforms into body relaxation. This puts people in a state of calm that users appreciate because it helps lower stress levels and also helps them fall asleep.

In addition to the serene state that it generates in users, consuming this genetics in small quantities will give you an extra stimulation of creativity, which is always necessary and offers a playful side to this variety. To this, it must be added that the flavors that mix sweet and earthy provide a magical touch to each smoke.

Without a doubt, to enjoy this genetics in an ideal way, it is best to grow it organically and avoid PGR cultivation in any way since it would damage this authentic cannabis gem. Don’t forget that at; you can now buy feminized Blackberry Moonstone seeds to give her all the organic love she needs to deliver fat, resin-filled buds.

Gelato x Honey Drop

Gelato x Honey Drop is another galactic cross from Blimburn seeds that brings together two incredible genetics of the new generation. This variety delivers specimens of leaves that take on shades ranging from reddish to purple, standing out from the rest of the plants you may have in your crop due to its exotic qualities. But that’s not all because the power of this variety is incredible, producing up to 27% THC and generating mixed sensations in users. After all, Gelato x Honey Drop is a hybrid genetic. Therefore, you will feel how you rise and how your head activates and then lets you drift into a delicious, calm, bearable relaxation.

At first, with Gelato x Honey Drop you will feel happy, in a state of happiness which will leave you very communicative to end with a relaxation that is easy to handle. Although, it is always good to emphasize that you should not consume more than the limit of each user so as not to have a bad trip. All this is accompanied by sweet and fruity berry-like fruit buds and an intense honey taste, making a great reference to its name.

For gardeners looking for plants with incredible flavor and large yields, Gelato x Honey Drop is a perfect genetic because they will obtain up to 28 oz/plant in outdoor cultivation, enough to have a supply for an entire year. And yes, they are indoor growers; they should not worry much either because the yields reach up to 1.80 oz/m2 with plants to which cultivation techniques such as apical pruning or fim and also scrog can be applied to maximize yields.

Tangie Purple Punch

This gem of the new era of cannabis that comes from a Purple Punch x Sunset Sherbet cross should be in your growing program, whether for your room or during the outdoor growing season. Even if you grow in a greenhouse, you can get great results with Tangie Purple Punch.

The plants of this genetics are authentic monsters from which you can obtain up to 2.14oz/ft2 of buds indoors, with SOG-type cultivation being optimal, generating a main cola full of dense, rock-hard buds. Now, if you grow this beauty outdoors, you can collect about 28 oz/plant, being indicated or using techniques such as LST to allow light to penetrate the plants correctly and also so that the air circulates well, preventing fungi and pests and promoting the growth of robust and powerful buds.

Some users point out that this strain is incredible since its powerful, hybrid-type buds always lift the spirits of stoners. Some growers even point out that starting the day is their favorite option. It offers an immediate and powerful stimulating effect while allowing high functionality so you can do the day’s tasks without problems. Its effects include euphoria, energy, a positive mentality and greater concentration, accompanied by a very bearable final relaxation. 

Perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, appreciating nature or doing physical exercise. Without a doubt, it is not recommended for night use in case you want to sleep because the sativa side of Tangie Purple Punch can keep you active for a long time, without sleeping.

 Lemonaid OG

Lemonaid OG, primarily an indica strain, can be grown indoors (requiring approximately 8-9 weeks of flowering) or outdoors. Lemonaid OG from is a high THC strain with a level of 27%. This variety yields a powerful, uplifting cerebral experience. Moreover, it’s renowned for providing a soothing physical sensation, particularly favored among individuals with chronic pain, muscle tension, and migraines.

Lemonaid OG provides a yielding with an average of 21 oz/plant in outdoor growing. For indoor grower this plant give 1.82 oz/ft2 of big and fat buds. This genetics lives up to its name because their flavors are sweet with intense lemon-like citrus fruit notes and earthy, kush-style aftertastes. Some users who suffer from stress and insomnia will benefit from this variety because they will fall asleep and may also find help to reduce pain due to muscle spasms. 

Strains featured in this article:

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson is a passionate cannabis cultivator with over a decade of experience in the California cannabis industry. Born and raised in the heart of the West Coast, Mike has dedicated his life to honing his skills as a cultivator, becoming a true master of the plant. His love for cannabis and profound knowledge of its cultivation have led him to explore every facet of this captivating plant, from classic strains to the latest trends in cultivation and advanced techniques.

With a unique perspective on cannabis culture and a focus on sustainability and quality, Mike generously shares his valuable tips and tricks on this platform. Through his posts, he will guide you on the exciting journey of cannabis cultivation, providing expert insights and practical experiences to help you achieve success in your own cultivation endeavors. Join Mike on his journey through the world of cannabis and discover how to cultivate responsibly and achieve exceptional harvests. Become part of his community and unlock the secrets of a true cannabis master!

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