This is a subject we could happily debate until the proverbial cows come home.Despite the fact that in a technical sense at least, it has a pretty clear and simple conclusion.
Worldwide, hydroponic cultivation is quickly taking over as the new standard for the 21st century growers. Not just in cannabis circles, but in the production of food crops and pretty much anything that needs to be grown in large quantities. The idea being that by switching to hydroponics, you increase the number of plants you can grow in any given space, while at the same time boosting the final harvest significantly.
The question being – does hydroponic cannabis cultivation qualify as organic cultivation?
Defining Organic Cultivation
Disagreement occurs due to the way in which different people have very different ideas of the definition of organic. As far as the Department of Agriculture and the United States is concerned, it’s a pretty clear-cut issue wherein “organic regulations require that your crop rotation plan maintains or improves soil organic matter”.
With hydroponic cultivation, soil is typically removed from the equation entirely. Replaced instead by a more sophisticated growing medium, or perhaps no growing medium at all. In which case, the USDA’s statement would suggest in an official capacity that hydroponic cannabis isn’t organic.
But here’s the thing – when you actually consider the wider definition of the term ‘organic’, you begin to question the logic of the USDA’s stance. Not to mention, those who genuinely believe that hydroponic cultivation cannot be considered organic.
In the field of farming and crop cultivation, organic has always been used in reference to crops that are produced with absolutely nothing synthetic used or introduced along the way. In a nutshell, it’s a case of growing crops from scratch using 100% organic nutrients, growing mediums, fertilisers, pesticides and so on. From start to finish, nothing other than 100% organic products are used to create the final result.
Hence, the result also qualifies as 100% organic. After all, if it’s been cultivated in a 100% organic manner, how can the final result be anything but 100% organic?
Realistically, it’s illogical to base the entire organic debate on whether or not soil has been used. Alternative growing mediums popular in hydroponic cultivation circles are also sourced and created using 100% organic materials. They’re enriched with organic nutrients and the plants produced are never exposed to anything that isn’t 100% organic.
In which case, is it really fair to consider the final product non-organic?
A New Definition
As far as many purists are concerned, there’s nothing quite like cannabis grown in traditional soil. There’s no specific scientific evidence to support their claims, but they nonetheless believe soil-grown cannabis is tastier, more fragrant, more potent and more enjoyable. Nevertheless, this again isn’t necessarily justification for suggesting hydroponic cannabis cannot be organic.
If it’s all about the soil, a new definition should be introduced to make this clear. Particularly given the fact that hydroponic cultivation is so incredibly eco-friendly and sustainable, to cast aspersions on it simply for removing soil from the equation is counterproductive. Personal opinions aside, the popularity of hydroponic cultivation is only set to accelerate at its fastest-ever pace indefinitely.
The Debate Continues…
While ever personal preference plays a role in cannabis cultivation, debates like these will continue to rage. Nevertheless, we’re of the thinking that organic is organic – irrespective of the growing medium.
If your cannabis is exposed to nothing synthetic whatsoever during the cultivation process, you’re looking at an organic final product. Even if soil hasn’t played a part in producing it, it’s still 100% organic cannabis produced by 100% organic means…period.