With a growing emphasis on health trends in Western culture, veganism has never been more popular than it is today and only shows signs of continuing to grow in popularity. A strict vegan diet has built-in challenges that require stringent research. Products you may assume to be vegan-friendly use animal byproducts in subtle ways. Many wines use fish bladders for straining. Gummy candies that make use of gelatin incorporate collagen from animal bones and horse hooves. Similarly, animal byproducts are regularly used in growing cannabis. Fortunately, for those of us adhering to a strict vegan diet, vegan methods have been successfully incorporated in growing cannabis. The result is most often referred to as veganic marijuana.
How is Marijuana Not Already Vegan?
You may be asking yourself, “Since it’s a plant, isn’t marijuana, by its nature, vegan?” That boils down to how its grown. A lot of marijuana growing techniques incorporate animal byproducts to improve soil nutrients. Examples of animal byproducts used in cannabis cultivation include:
- Bone meal
- Blood meal
- Fish hydrolase
And depending on how strict of a vegan you are, you may also wish to include:
Some potentially vegan alternatives to these ingredients include:
- Compost teas (you can find several vegan-friendly formulas online)
So What is Veganic Marijuana?
Veganic marijuana originated from growing techniques started in the 1940s by a horticulturalist collective consisting of Maya E. Bruce and Kenneth and Rosa Dalziel O’Brien. Their techniques resulted as an attempt to recreate the natural growing environment of plants in the wild and thus preserve soil quality. Adding animal byproducts and waste to the soil gradually depleted it of its health. Anyone who’s tried their hand at cannabis cultivation knows it’s got its own unique challenges but veganic gardening techniques have been successfully adapted for growing marijuana. The term veganic is a hybridization of the words “vegan” and “organic.” While veganic gardening is not limited to cannabis, the growth of veganic marijuana has gained more popularity as more states legalize and health-conscious patients with strict diets are introduced to cannabis.
The Benefits of Veganic Cannabis
We’ve covered the “vegan” portion of veganic growing. Now let’s talk about the “organic” side. This means that the compost teas and nutrients used in growing veganic marijuana refrain from using synthetic chemicals. Cutting out unnatural pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers while also refusing to use animal byproducts may seem like a daunting task but many growers feel the results of veganic growing are worth it. These benefits extend beyond a moral peace of mind in regard to treatment of animals. Veganic techniques are often eco-friendlier since they use sustainable plant-based compost teas that put no strain on the soil. Using plant-based microbe teas are typically more cost-efficient than non-vegan nutrient mixes too. So, does the product take a hit in quality? Actually, veganic marijuana has been found to be just as potent as cannabis cultivated through more traditional methods. If the vegan microbe teas are used properly, you can often expect a 100% rate of nute absorption. This translates to a maximum yield with minimal input. Veganic marijuana isn’t the only product on a vegan smoker’s side. You can now find vegan hemp wraps on the market for blunts and vegan rolling papers for joints. Many marijuana edibles are beginning to offer vegan options as well (or at least advertise that they already were using a vegan formula). It can still be a challenge for vegans to find an accommodating smoking or vaping experience but as interests in vegan lifestyles grow stronger, we can expect to see more brands and producers offering vegan options.