For those who are vegan, this information might shock you…
Veganism has become a rather common dietary and health practice. For some, it goes far beyond food choices and health benefits. For these individuals, veganism has become a way of life. The growth in the number of vegans has led to a massive spike in the availability of vegan products. Not so long ago, vegans found it extremely difficult to find any real range of choice.
These days, however, companies fall over themselves to claim their products are vegan-friendly. It is also an excellent excuse to slap a few dollars on a product’s price tag! You also see this when shopping for cannabis. A surprising number of people believe that all weed is vegan. Indeed, there are lots of people who assume that all the fruit and vegetables they consume enable them to remain vegan.
While plants themselves certainly fall into the category, we can’t say the same for all the processes used to grow and package them. If you believe that all marijuana is vegan, this article may come as a real eye-opener.
Keep reading to discover what vegan weed is, and how this information could change your life, especially if you are living a vegan lifestyle…
What Is Veganism?
Perhaps it is best to begin with a very brief description of what veganism is for those unfamiliar with it. Being vegan means avoiding products from animal sources. Some vegans define themselves as a term known as “honey vegan.” This means they still consume honey even if they stay away from most other products.
For some vegans, it involves boycotting edible or consumable items that are animal-derived. For others, it also includes the exclusion of all animal-derived merchandise.
Dietary wise, animal elements are found in dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, honey, seafood, wine, and much more. Other animal products include leather clothing/accessories, fur garments, and wool/fleece garments. There are also items constructed out of bone/ivory/skin, cosmetics with animal origins or products tested on animals, and more.
Each vegan, of course, has individual regulations and limits. However, it seems the overall consensus is an avoidance of animal-derived consumables in addition to other non-edible products. However, sometimes animal products can sneak up on you. In this case, weed is a good example of an item that may seem 100% vegan friendly. Yet, in many instances, it is not.
Vegan Weed? Isn’t All Marijuana Vegan?
For many, the term ‘vegan weed’ sounds ridiculous. They assume that ALL cannabis automatically falls into this category. It is, after all, a plant!
Unfortunately, a substantial amount of the weed you use is most assuredly not vegan. This is the case with a significant number of other vegetables, such as tomatoes. What happens is that many fertilization processes involve the use of animal products. It is a similar story with packaging.
Indeed, if you are an ultra-committed vegan, your options are significantly more limited than you would first imagine. Even organically-grown cannabis doesn’t fit into the vegan category. This is because natural fertilizer can include animal excrement, such as bat guano. Most vegans are okay with the thought of animal feces being used to help plants grow, but that’s not the case for everyone.
Animal Derived Fertilization Practices
Numerous grower’s guides for marijuana point out that certain fertilizers are not vegan-friendly. However, these options are commonplace for many cannabis cultivators. They are widely discussed in grower communities, and not much thought goes into their non-cruelty-free sources. For those who are not against consuming animal-derived products, this certainly does not matter. However, it does provide vegans with some difficulties.
Crops such as lettuce grow extremely well with little more than organic fertilizers. However, if you want to obtain high yields when growing weed, you will need to invest in some added nutrients. Organic growers will have an assortment of ‘natural’ additives such as fish hydrolysate, bone meal, and blood meal to hand. However, they exist as a result of intensive animal farming.
The most highly recommended fertilizers for marijuana plants during the cultivation process are nutrients derived from animal origins.
Bone meal is a waste product from slaughterhouses and is dried and ground into a fine powder. Fish hydrolysate comes from rejected non-commercial fish trapped in the lines. They get ground up, liquified, and poured into a bottle. Blood meal is mainly dried blood from cows.
Believe it or not, even packaging is a potential issue for vegans. Some inks and adhesives have ingredients that come from animal products. Fortunately, ‘vegan weed’ is real, and this is how they make it.
Here Are Some Alternative Vegan-Friendly Fertilizers
There is no question that fish, blood, and bone meals are outstanding additives for cannabis plants. Indeed, ancient cultures used practices such as sowing corn above fish heads to produce good results in severe growing conditions. Indeed, we can do worse than to implement some ‘old-fashioned’ processes to counteract the use of chemicals.
There are now plenty of ways to grow veganic cannabis. Cultivators can enjoy outstanding yields by using non-animal-based fertilizers. Here are a few options:
Compost or Compost Tea
One of the simplest methods is to produce homemade compost teas or simple compost mixes. As you add the food scraps to your compost pile, you can closely monitor what types of leftovers you add. If you are a vegan, your compost bin is likely full of plant pits, seeds, vegetable and fruit skins, and grains. Other options include hay mulches, lime, gypsum, dolomite, rock potash, rock dust, green sand, and wood ash.
Made from alfalfa, this plant-derived fertilizer is an excellent substitute for blood meal. It contains a lot of nitrogen, which is released quickly when incorporated into the soil. Many gardeners use it to fertilize roses, and you can also mix it into the earth when growing members of the cabbage family.
This is a fantastic plant-based fertilizer that contains lots of micronutrients and natural growth hormones. Try spraying your weed with liquid kelp if the plants look like they need a boost. If you decide to buy it, please note that some brands include fish products.
Also, there is a multitude of store-bought selections and readymade vegan fertilizers. These options are a bit more expensive but are convenient for some marijuana cultivators. These include:
- Grow Veganic
- Growmore Vegetarian
- FloraBlend Vegan Compost Tea
- Yum Yum Mix 2-1-1
- Down to Earth Vegan Mix
What’s a Vegan to Do?
There are not many solutions for this issue, except, of course, to buy vegan-friendly products as much as possible. It isn’t easy to prove the claims of marijuana brands that say they sell vegan weed. If you grow it at home, you have more control and can create plant-based fertilizer.
Ultimately, you can only do so much if your goal is to consume veganic weed. You should take all the necessary steps when ‘vetting’ companies that claim their cannabis is vegan-friendly. You can also take matters into your own hands. However, you must realize that there’s only so much you can do.
Although the number of options is growing, it still isn’t easy to take on the vegan lifestyle.
There is no question that the number of vegans is growing massively worldwide. As this number swells further, the range of choices available to them will unquestionably also increase. Manufacturers will have to become even more dedicated to clearly labeling their products as vegan-friendly.
Final Thoughts on Vegan Marijuana
Vegan marijuana does exist, but it isn’t the easiest to track. Some producers and cannabis vendors have made it mandatory to check their sources and label their herb. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many companies. Until veganism expands further into the marijuana world, those avoiding animal-derived products should do the best they can.
If you are a vegan or are merely curious about vegan weed, this article is for you. Hopefully, this has cleared up some of the facts about vegan marijuana. It has also reminded you that there are ways and means to ensure you don’t unknowingly stray from the vegan lifestyle.