What are PGRs, and Why Do Growers Use Them For Weed?

By Dante Jordan

Don’t smoke weed that’s been artifically inflated through the use of synthetic plant growth regulators (PGRs). It’s that simple. PGRs are like steroids for cannabis flowers, pumping them up and making them look big for better bag appeal, but resulting in diluted flavor and aroma. We’ve always been wary of pesticides, but lately, PGR-grown buds are showing up in the market more often.. Avoid them at all costs. 

Note: Farmer and the Felon does not use any synthetic PGRs in the production of their cannabis.

What Are PGRs?

Plant growth regulators – PGRs for short – are growth hormones that you pump into plants to control their growth and increase their size. In cannabis, PGRs are used to produce bigger and heavier buds, i.e. increase yield. Essentially, the way bodybuilders use steroids for unnatural muscles is the way some companies use PGRs to produce unnatural cannabis. 

How Do PGRs Work?

Synthetic plant growth regulators are used by unscrupulous cultivators to pump cannabis plants full of water and cellulose. The reason people use PGRs is to increase the weight and density of buds, which leads to inflated overall yields. Higher yields = more supply = more revenue, at the expense of product quality, brand reputation, and consumer experience. 

Though PGRs can be used quite literally in any type of grow, they are most commonly used in indoor cannabis production, as cultivators are limited by canopy space versus outdoor growers that are working with entire football fields.

How to Recognize Buds Grown with PGRs

To recognize PGR cannabis, peep the buds for these characteristics:

  • Enhanced structure
  • Discolored buds
  • Minimized trichome density
  • Distorted aromas
  • Lower THC content

Enhanced Structure

Buds with PGRs will look way heavier and tighter than normal cannabis should. Even if their genetics are meant to produce those tight buds, PGR buds will sometimes be so tight that they feel rock hard.

Discolored Buds

Healthy cannabis, especially when fresh, will have bright popping colors. PGRs dim these qualities in cannabis buds, often leaving them to have a dull, brownish-hue.

Trichome Density

Trichome density is the amount of milky white crystals on your cannabis. They house the compounds that make cannabis work, and are a telltale sign of quality, as great weed will be absolutely flooded with them. Cannabis pumped with PGRs will have little-to-no trichomes. That means their smell, taste, and effects are greatly diminished, perhaps completely absent.

Distorted Aromas

PGR buds seriously lack in the loud department. Whatever the strain you bought is supposed to smell like will be greatly distorted. As mentioned before, the lack of trichomes after using PGRs kills off all the good things about using cannabis.

Lower THC Content

THC can be influenced by a number of growth factors. That said, certain cannabis genetics still have an expected range of THC. With buds grown with PGRs, the THC, CBD, etc. potency will be much lower than what it should be. One last time for the people in the back: the lack of trichomes really kills off cannabis quality.

Why You Should Avoid PGRs

PGR cannabis results in buds with diluted potency and less flavor and aroma. That’s why you should avoid it. Because you’ll be paying top dollar for bottom of the barrel weed. 

The best way to avoid consuming cannabis without PGRs is to buy it from reputable companies with high standards of operation, like the Farmer and the Felon.