Article by Travis Cesarone, Cannabis Life Network
Cannabis might not need chemically formulated foliar pesticides sprayed onto it, but it does need to eat food to maintain its own pest management capabilities. All of that THC, CBD, and rich, dank aroma does not just come from water! Canadian cannabis producers have a huge list of nutrients, plant growth regulators, and supplements to help their plants grow. Unlike pesticides, though, some fertilizer is not solely regulated by the Pest Management Regulation Agency (PMRA.) Plant food is also regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA,) just like our food.
Life versus death
All of the products discussed in the previous series are regulated solely through the PMRA. This organization regulates the targeted death of pests, including plants. If one were to mix together their own pesticides, this agency has to approve them first. Whereas, any nutrients or fertilizers used to feed cannabis must be approved by the CFIA instead – if they require approval at all.
Nutrients, supplements, and Plant Growth Regulators are different varieties of ingredients considered plant food.
Macro-nutrients include ammonium, phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen. These are the most abundant minerals found in optimum soil. There is also micro as well as secondary nutrients required for the growth of a healthy plant.
Supplements are almost always the CFIA’s department, whereas Plant Growth Regulators straddle both the CFIA and PMRA, depending on their characteristics. Some PGR’s help plants grow and thus are considered food. Regulators that inhibit a plants growth fall into the PMRA’s expertise.
Pesticides are everywhere
A formulation can also selectively kill pests while simultaneously helping your good plants grow. This is supposed to promote your plant’s own defensive tactics. Hybridized amendments must be registered through both agencies.
Still, none of the ingredients regulated by the CFIA can be used on the leaves or flowers of the plant, they can only be added to the soil. This is due to the restriction disallowing fertilizers to be used via foliar application.
Chemicals can be synthesized and broken down by light and air, but not bacteria. Microbial infection is a concern with certain nutrients, hence why they are not allowed to be sprayed onto flowers. As long as they are used in the soil though, some fertilizers do not require registration at all.