More and more eco-conscious ganja growers are switching over to organic mediums and nutrients in an effort to provide more natural, flavorful and cleaner-burning pot. Should you?

What Does "Organic" Mean?
An organic product can broadly be described as any product that's derived from a recently living organism. To grow organic pot means that your growing medium and plant foods result from natural sources and not synthetic salt compounds dreamed up in a lab. Organic particles are capable of decay or are sometimes the product of decay, unlike the chemical formulas designed to grow commercial crops cheaply.

In a natural setting, plants, dead animals and animal waste all collect over time on the forest floor, where they decay with the help of bugs, bacteria, worms and fungus to provide nourishment in the topsoil layer so vital to plant growth. This process, referred to as the "soil food web," is how recently living organisms feed their future selves and complete the cycle of life and death. Roots thrive, aided by mycorrhizal fungi that help break down nutrients for easy accessibility and uptake. This top humic layer of soil, teeming with beneficial microbes and bacteria, is what we try to re-create when growing organic pot.

Examples of chemically derived nonorganic nutrients are Miracle-Gro, Peter's and the popular General Hydroponics Flora Series three-part formula. These nutrients will grow plants with nice-looking, sizable flowers, but without a long flush, these buds will burn like charcoal, with a black ash that continuously needs to be relit. I've smoked plenty of decent chemically grown pot (and grown it in the past) but the same strains, grown organically, always win out in the final analysis.