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PGR Problem Weed & How to Spot Them

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Few customers who purchase cannabis at a dispensary give the plant growth regulators that might be contained in their product any thought. While growers and producers are familiar with them, only some consumers know what a plant growth regulator (PGR) is or what their function is in the growth cycle of a flower.

Some producers have turned to dubious growth practices in a desperate rush to cash in on the increased demand for pot through increased legalization. Perhaps the most well-known of these "cultivation hacks" is the employment of PGRs. PGRs, "plant growth regulators," are synthetic hormones that can modify a plant's growth. They are regularly used, which is excellent news, to boost cannabis bud output. The bad news is that these PGRs could significantly alter the flavor of Cannabis, and there are still uncertainties regarding its efficacy and safety.

PGRs will become a prominent issue in cultivation discussions as the demand for high-THC Cannabis rises. Customers have a right to know how their Cannabis is grown and what goes into their bodies in light of this. Therefore, anyone who appreciates marijuana should have a basic understanding of PGRs, though possible health hazards may be associated with ingesting PGRs in marijuana. This blog post will go through what it is, how to spot it, and how to completely prevent it.

What Is PGR Cannabis?

PGR marijuana is Cannabis grown with plant growth regulators. PGR (plant growth regulator) crops are grown by some cannabis growers to improve development patterns and swell up valuable marijuana blooms. Buds grown with plant growth regulators (PGRs) are denser and thicker than those grown without.

However, using these plant hormones is not the most effective technique to get a good crop of Cannabis. Cannabis cultivated under PGR has a pleasing appearance but lacks trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes.

In addition to synthetic PGRs, natural PGRs can be employed successfully. For instance, cannabis growers can get the same spectacular outcomes as synthetic plant growth regulators by using kelp or chitosan.

How to Identify PGR Marijuana

PGR cannabis is grown using synthetic hormones, whereas natural Cannabis is not, which is the fundamental distinction between the two types of Cannabis. Plant growth regulators in PGR cannabis also change the way that crops look. Here are some ways to tell PGR cannabis apart from natural Cannabis:

  • Buds from PGR cannabis are heavier, denser, and tougher.

  • Compared to natural cannabis leaves, PGR cannabis leaves have fewer crystals.

  • Natural Cannabis has a drier texture than PGR cannabis, which might feel moist or spongey.

Breaking off a piece is another technique to distinguish PGR cannabis from natural Cannabis. PGR cannabis smells bare compared to natural Cannabis, which is aromatic with terpenes and flavonoids.

Like PGR marijuana lacks the complex aromas of natural marijuana, so does its flavor. A harsh, chemically-laced flavor is a surefire indicator of PGR cannabis.

And last, using PGR cannabis might alter how you feel. This distinction is brought about by the reduced THC level of PGR marijuana and the PGR compounds themselves, which can swiftly get you high and induce a "crash" in which you feel groggy and heavy-headed.

PGR Weed: Possible Risks and Health Concerns

There are safety issues with most substances. PGRs are prohibited for most crops since their hazards are mainly acknowledged. Even though daminozide has been prohibited in the US for use on food crops since 1989, it is still present in unrestrained Cannabis. Customers should buy Cannabis from the state-regulated market because they can check for undesired substances and remove tainted products from the shelves. This is just one more reason for consumers to do so.

Each chemical and the threats it presents differ from the next. Much research has been done on the two primary plants used in Cannabis growing, emphasizing the health risks they pose.

What Types of Synthetic PGRs Exist?


One of the more popular PGRs, both in the cannabis industry and the larger agricultural community, is paclobutrazol. It is still utilized in the US to cultivate apples, mangos, avocados, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. Although it is prohibited in California and numerous other states, paclobutrazol is used in cannabis fertilizers, including Bushmaster, Gravity, Flower Dragon, and TopLoad.

Paclobutrazol is often used, despite growing evidence that it may be harmful. According to EPA research on mice, it can harm the liver and cause damage at high dosages.

Other investigations have demonstrated that paclobutrazol can lead to developmental abnormalities in mice and cause liver damage. Various species experienced various harmful effects.


Daminozide was outlawed in 1989 because it proved carcinogenic. Because of its cancer-causing potential, the EPA continues to prohibit it. Daminozide is illegal in several states, including California, Colorado, and many others. This is another example of how the rules governing cannabis cultivators are lagging (though more and more states are catching up).

The Chlormequat Chemical

Chlormequat chloride promotes plant growth by resulting in shorter plants and thicker stems.

Ultimately, this causes a plant's vegetative growth to slow to promote flowering. The shorter, bushier plants that result are far better suited for growing indoors.

Although there is no proof that chlormequat chloride causes cancer, there are strong concerns that it is dangerous in high quantities.

Bottom Line

There hasn't been any research on PGR cannabis' effects on people. There is currently no conclusive scientific finding. However, there is sufficient information regarding plant growth regulators to assert with some degree of certainty that the risks to consumers shouldn't be discounted. PGRs are dangerous when taken and may cause cancer and liver damage, according to sufficient research. It is not difficult to see that inhaling these substances could be dangerous.

It's recommended to speak with a certified medical marijuana professional and look for dependable natural strains to use frequently until the regulations catch up.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Texas Now!

Although Texas has a medical marijuana program in place, it’s restrictive and doesn't fully meet the needs of Texas patients. However, there is good news! A comprehensive medical marijuana program is coming to Texas soon!

One of the first ways to benefit from this program when in effect is to secure your marijuana card now. You can book an appointment with one of our qualified physicians who will put you through the thorough process of acquiring your marijuana card today.

Book an evaluation online today with one of our qualified, compassionate doctors. You’ll meet with your doctor virtually using your smartphone or computer for a telemedicine appointment. Together, you’ll discuss your qualifying condition and how you might benefit from medical marijuana, all without leaving your home!

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