The environmental disaster that is cannabis cultivation has an ever-burgeoning narrative of harm that is being largely over-looked by environmental groups…We wonder why?

Interest in growing cannabis for medical and recreational purposes is increasing worldwide. This study reviews the environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation. Results show that both indoor and outdoor cannabis growing is water-intensive. The high water demand leads to water pollution and diversion, which could negatively affect the ecosystem. Studies found out that cannabis plants emit a significant amount of biogenic volatile organic compounds, which could cause indoor air quality issues. Indoor cannabis cultivation is energy-consuming, mainly due to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting.

Energy consumption leads to greenhouse gas emissions. Cannabis cultivation could directly contribute to soil erosion. Meanwhile, cannabis plants have the ability to absorb and store heavy metals. It is envisioned that technologies such as precision irrigation could reduce water use, and application of tools such as life cycle analysis would advance understanding of the environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation. (click here)

Power Hungry Pot

Did You Know?

  • Indoor growing systems, using fans and lights, sometimes operate 24 hours a day.
  • Pacific Power in Portland experienced seven blackouts traced to marijuana production facilities the summer after Oregon legalized recreational marijuana.
  • Forty-five percent of Denver’s “load growth,” or increase in energy demand, is for electricity to power marijuana facilities (click here)
  • Pot is power hungry: why the marijuana industry's energy footprint is growing (click here)
  • Off-grid: how soaring cannabis markets are forcing an energy rethink (click here)
  • Indoor Cannabis Grow Centers Draining Electricity (click here)
  • An inconvenient truth (about weed) Marijuana has never been more popular in the U.S. — and its carbon emissions have never posed a bigger threat to the climate.

America’s patchwork approach to legalizing weed has helped make cannabis cultivation one of the most energy-intensive crops in the nation. And as states increasingly embrace marijuana, a growing source of greenhouse gases is going essentially unnoticed by climate hawks on Capitol Hill. (click here)


Water Wasting Weed

The other massive distress this ‘product’ places on our ever-fragile ecosystems in with cannabis insatiable thirst for water.

  • Cannabis and the Environment: What Science Tells Us and What We Still Need to Know (click here)
  • Cannabis (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) agriculture and the environment: a systematic, spatially-explicit survey and potential impacts (click here)
  • The quasi-legal challenge: Assessing and governing the environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation in the North Coastal Basin of California (click here)
  • High Time to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Cannabis Cultivation (link)
  • Cannabis requires more water than commodity crops, researchers say (link)


The Toxicity of Touting THC

Last, but by no means least is the toxic footprint many cannabis grows contribute to environmental harms. Ironically, cannabis can be a useful Phyto-remedial plant, and is used to ‘soak up’ even radioactive toxins, (and so can sunflowers for that matter) but when it’s cultivated for recreational use, or even the very limited quasi-medicinal properties, it does the opposite to its potential environmental contribution.

  • EFFECT OF NITROGEN FERTILIZER RATES ON INDUSTRIAL HEMP (Cannabis  Sativa L.) Biomass Production (link)
  • Increasing cannabis use and importance as an environmental contaminant mixture and associated risks to exposed biota: A review  (link)

There is, and we must say – not unsurprisingly – a recent dearth of data on these incredible environmental harms in the past four to five years, despite the fact that the #cannabisindustry has grown significantly, along with its ever-destructive environmental footprint.

The ‘Green’ wave of environmental awareness is being undermined by the ‘green waive’ of the #addiction for profit ‘Weed’ movement.

Does anyone care?

Certainly not if they are basking in the a-motivational, haze of careless-ness that typifies the #cannabisculture just celebrated two days ago on #420 Weed Day!

Further Information:

Make it a Happy Earth Day 2022 and 

Stop the Pot!

For more go to Cultivating Disaster  and www.silentpoison.com



Research & Communications Team @ Dalgarno Institute