"…On the pesticide issue, Raber said it's important to remember that smoking a marijuana bud that's been sprayed with chemicals is far different than eating a non-organic tomato. First and foremost, he said, there are no controls over what's sprayed on marijuana crops. And, while most people would rinse off a tomato before eating it, they can't wash a bud before putting it in their pipe. The body also has filters in place for things that are ingested, he said, but not for what's inhaled.
'You don't have the first pass metabolism of the liver,” he said. “You don't have the lack of absorptivity going through the stomach or the gut lining. It's a very different equation when you're inhaling.'
Raber said about 10 percent of the marijuana that comes through his laboratory for testing registers positive for pesticides. Those samples are only from medical marijuana dispensaries and patients who have sought out testing, he said. In a small random study his laboratory performed, Raber said more than 35 percent of marijuana failed pesticide tests.
'I think all that says is we really, really need some serious regulations within California to help us clean up our supply, especially in the medical patient context,” Raber said. “These are people that are immunocompromised, they're undergoing chemotherapy, they're very sick with antibacterial loads. We can't be subjecting them to more of these types of potentially harmful contaminants when they're looking to this as a medicine source.…'
Mary Ellen Jerkavich, executive director of the Humboldt Patient Resource Center, said she believes marijuana is inherently a safe product, but is being turned into something decidedly unsafe by growers looking to maximize profits or save their crops by any means necessary when spider mites or other pests strike.…"