The legalization of cannabis also comes with many tight laws and regulations to protect the consumers. This is done with the help of science and laboratories testing for dangerous chemicals that can cause serious illnesses. These include tests for pesticides and metals from the fertilizers and detection of dangerous synthetic PGRs in cannabis.
PGRs, or Plant Growth Regulators/Plant Growth Retardants, are synthetic hormones used to alter the development of cannabis plants. By changing the genetic structure of marijuana plants, the texture, smell, and appearance of the cannabis is impacted. So why are cultivators willing to sacrifice these traits to use these on plants?
The answer is volume. PGRs plants produce a higher yield by changing the chemical structure of the plant’s cells. As marijuana legalization became more widespread, cannabis companies began using PGRs to supply the growing demand. Many of these have been linked to numerous health issues, and when mixed with the other dangerous and often unregulated additives used for THC vape carts create a dangerous landscape.
There are many different PGRs, many of which have been banned in other countries for their potential health effects. These synthetic hormones (when consumed) are thought to be linked to complications with the eyes, liver, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and male sperm cell production. They also affect the plant’s production of terpenes, which impacts medicinal patients who rely on their natural properties to provide relief from numerous ailments.
While studies are still in progress to determine the full extent of these effects, regulated lab testing keeps many of these harmful products out of consumers’ hands. However, these standards vary on location. In many places, the publishing of lab results is not required.
PGRs are used more commonly in places with stricter marijuana laws and unforgiving climates, where illicit markets and indoor growing are common. In some cases, cannabis plants are grown using yield boosting products that unknowingly contain PGRs and are not properly labeled by their manufacturers.
It is typically easy for consumers to spot PGR cannabis in flower form. Due to the genetic re-mapping that occurs with the use of synthetic hormones, PGR often creates plants with very dense, dry leaves that are generally very pale in comparison to naturally grown cannabis. These buds will often have an absence of any crystals, instead sporting a large amount of rust-colored hairs. PGR buds often lack scent and have a spongy texture. It is much harder to spot in THC cart applications.
While some cannabis cultivators, companies, and individuals tied to the illicit market still condone the use of PGRs and dangerous additives in their products, King Palm continues to commit that the customer’s safety and product integrity will always come first. King Palm uses 100% all natural, organically grown materials for all of their products. This includes consumption-grade essential oils for flavors and organically grown Cordia leaves for pre-rolled cones. Consumers can always rest assured that their health comes first, and it is King Palm’s pledge that this will never change.
While marijuana regulations have come a long way to help keep consumers safe, an influx of illicit THC cartridges in 2018 saw many questionable additives come into play with legal cartridges. The cartridges, which contributed to over 60 deaths in the U.S. were found by the CDC to contain vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is an oil often found in beard cream that is used to thicken THC oil. The presence of this and many other unapproved substances in these carts led the CDC to suggest to state cannabis regulators to ban their use. As of 2021, no states had updated their policy.
In response to the lack of action, many cannabis companies began paying for additional testing beyond THC and state required tests. In an effort to provide customers with reassurance of what they’re getting with each cart, many cannabis companies have taken it upon themselves to adopt specific standards for what they sell.
With additional testing and strict company specific quality requirements, Cannabis companies around the world continue to protect customers from the dangers of PGRs and dangerous additives. Even with these safety nets in place, consumers should only buy cartridges from trusted sources and avoid cartridges with vague ingredient lists to further ensure safety until the time that state regulations are adjusted appropriately.