Pesticides have been a problem for consumers for years. Typically, consumers mostly think about the pesticides on the food they consume. But what about those on marijuana?  

Pesticides found on marijuana are just as bad, as those sprayed on foods. Because marijuana is often inhaled, they can even be more harmful. Myclobutanil, a common pesticide, has been found to negatively affect the reproductive systems in animals. In addition, when it’s heated it can release hydrogen cyanide. It can be very harmful when ingested. Another chemical found in pesticides is imidacloprid. This can cause eye irritation, dizziness, and vomiting due to it being a neurotoxin.  Pesticides are definitely not healthy when consumed or inhaled. They also have a harmful effect on the environment and waterways.  

Pesticides are also enemy number one for those growing organic marijuana. As a plant, marijuana also needs to be protected from pests. The traditional ways though, simply aren’t safe. However, there are organic pest control measures that can help.  

Organic Insecticides 

There are a number of different marijuana pest control methods that have been found to be effective. Below is a list of the most common ones.  

  • Pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are found in chrysanthemums, a plant known to be toxic to pests.  
  • Spinosad. This is organic pest control that comes from a bacteria species. It is most effective on larvae of pests. This means it can stop them before they form large colonies. 
  • Azadirachtin. This can interfere with an insect’s ability to molt, or shed its skin. It can also prevent insects from laying eggs, staving off an infestation before it begins. 
  • Insecticidal soaps. These can be mixed with other organic pest control measures. They can then be sprayed directly onto the leaves of a marijuana plant.
  • Plant oil extracts. Certain plant oil extracts can be very beneficial forms of organic pest control. There are a few pests find particularly repellant. Garlic, clove, cayenne pepper, rosemary, cinnamon, and thyme are just a few. 

Those growing organic weed don’t have to simply hope pests don’t infest their plants. There are many methods that can be used to keep pests away. These include certain cannabis insects that can be beneficial to the plant.

Beneficial Bugs Ladybugs on marijuana plant

While it may seem counterintuitive, organic pest control can also include beneficial bugs. These bugs don’t leave any residue or harmful substances on the plant. This means they can be used in both the vegetative and flowering stages. Below are some of the most beneficial bugs that can be used for organic marijuana.

  • Ladybugs. These are beneficial in the garden because they are carnivores. That means they’ll eat pests such as aphids, spider mites, and thrips.  
  • Predator mites. These beneficial bugs are particularly useful when trying to combat spider mites. To be most beneficial, predator mites should be used early in an infestation. There are different species of predator mites available. One should be chosen that will do best in a specific garden’s environment.  
  • Predatory nematodes. These are found in the soil and will feast on pest insects. These should be used with other organic pest control measures in order to be effective.  

Beneficial bugs and organic pesticides can be very effective in any garden. In addition to these, there are also different types of plants that will deter pests. These can be grown alongside marijuana plants. They will also naturally repel pests. 

Growing Other Plants Alongside Marijuana Plants 

Gardeners have used other plants as a form of organic pest control for decades. These are known as companion plants and will keep plant-destroying pests away.  

Basil for Pest control
  • Basil. This herb has a strong smell that will repel aphids, beetles, and flies. 
  • Garlic. Anyone that has smelled garlic knows how pungent it can be. This will ward off pests, and can keep mold from developing. 
  • Mint. While mint may smell sweet to humans, garden pests can’t stand the aroma. It will quickly spread however, so when planting outside, keep it in separate pots.  
  • Chili peppers. These strong and spicy vegetables can deter bigger pests such as rabbits, mice, and deer. As the roots release chemicals into the ground, they can also prevent rot from forming. 
  • Marigolds. Like chili peppers, these can also be a deterrent to rabbits and deer. When it comes to pests, they can also control worms and insects that like to feast on leaves.


Pests can wreak havoc on marijuana plants. Often organic growers are left wondering how to combat them. For these growers, there are a number of organic pest control measures that can be used. Many of these can be found in gardening centers and nurseries. They are also easy to implement. Most importantly, they are extremely effective in controlling pests. When growers can use them effectively, they can keep more of their crops.