May 10, 2016 8:25 AM

Is Cannabis Good for Environment?

There are many things you should think about when you start growing marijuana; making sure that you business is eco-friendly deserves to be on top of your list. Growing weed has a significant impact on the environment and the only person who may change this is the one who grows the plant.

Is Cannabis Good for Environment?

What are the most important problems?

Each stage of the marijuana production process has its own impact on our surroundings, but when we talk about growing weed, there are three major areas that need special attention:

  • power consumption;
  • water consumption;
  • pesticides and rat poison usage.

Let us examine these three problems more closely.

Power consumption problems of indoor growers

The problem of power consumption is a major concern for those who grow marijuana indoors. According to a study conducted in 2012, indoor marijuana growing accounts for about 1 percent of all electricity consumption in the U.S. And if this number seems to be insignificant, think about the fact that it is nearly equal to the amount of electricity consumed yearly by all computers in the entire country.

If those numbers seem overwhelming to you, we will make it a bit easier to understand. A report published last year in the Columbia Environmental Law Journal explains that indoor marijuana cultivation requires eight times as much electricity per square foot as the average commercial building in the U.S. does. And those data are accurate only when we talk about the legal growers who use energy-efficient lighting and watering equipment.

Illegal indoor cultivation of cannabis uses even more energy and makes it quite difficult to use only the electricity received from the grid. In order to keep the production in secret, the illegal growers usually use diesel or gasoline generators, creating even more problems for the environment.

Marijuana is a thirsty plant

The impressive water consumption is the next problem every weed grower will face. And this problem has nothing to do with the way you grow your plants: indoor, outdoor, or in a greenhouse. Cannabis plant is really thirsty and needs huge amounts of water.

According to Press Democrat, an average marijuana plant consumes 6 gallons of water per day. For reference, an energy-efficient dishwasher needs only four gallons of water to run one circle.

Of course, these numbers are not entirely accurate, because the size of a plant plays a significant part. According to Tim Blake, the founder of the North Coast's Emerald Cup marijuana competition, a mature, tree-sized cannabis plant needs closer to 15 gallons of water per day. And for a smaller plant, 1-2 gallons a day may be quite enough. But the point is that marijuana consumes impressive amounts of water, and if you want to make your marijuana farm a bit more environment-oriented, you need to find a way to use water wisely.

Rats are not the only ones poisoned

Growing pot outdoors may constitute a partial solution to the problem of inefficient usage of water and energy. But this type of cannabis cultivation opens you to a new problem—the excessive usage of pesticides, rat poison, and other chemical substances meant to protect your green plants with digitate leaves from various problems, including diseases and blasts.

Pesticides and rat poison do nothing good to the soil and ground water. Furthermore, in addition to harming rats they cause harm to other animals that are not dangerous for your plants. Using a greenhouse instead of an open field may be a solution, but you will still need to watch the amount of wasted power and water.

Does this mean weed is bad for the environment?

Aforecited data are impressive, but it does not mean that you have to refuse using cannabis to save the planet. Curiously, in order to put a slice of your favorite pizza on your table, the manufacturers need to spend about 5 gallons of water. A joint needs only about 0.25 gallon of water but may give you even more satisfaction.

Moreover, there are plenty of ways to make growing weed a bit more green and environment-oriented. The first step here would be making the industry completely legal. To discover particular ways of making your marijuana even greener, stay tuned for our updates.

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