Canna Lexicon: Neem Oil

Neem Oil is a common ingredient in many pest control methods used by WA cannabis growers – but what the heck is it, and how safe is it to consume?

Allow us to drop a seed bomb of knowledge in this edition of the Dockside Canna Lexicon!

The Neem plant, also known by its scientific name Azadirachta indica, is a species of evergreen tree native to parts of India. Used for centuries as part of an ancient medicinal practice called Ayurveda (loosely translated from its original Sanskrit as ‘knowledge of life and longevity’), extracts of the neem plant are far from new on the health & wellness scene.

People have used the oil of the Neem plant regularly in both Western and Eastern cultures for several reasons, of which one of the biggest is skin care products. Next time you’re shopping, check out some fancy soaps – we’d be willing to bet you’ll spot neem on the ingredients list! In fact, one of Dockside’s buyers used to put neem oil directly on her face, sleeping with it on overnight! So, it’s definitely a safe, well-known product (the only reason she stopped? Neem oil isn’t cheap!!) with plenty of practical applications.

Medically, neem plant extracts are used because of their bounty of benefits: anti fungal, antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, anti yeast, antispasmodic, antiviral… the list goes on! You may be thinking (understandably), “That’s neat, but WHY are cannabis growers putting it on my weed?” – we’ve got the scoop on that, too. Bear with us as we get a bit technical.

Neem seed pods produce limonoids Azadirachtin A & B in super high quantities. These primary function of these phytochemicals is to disrupt the growth cycle of hundreds of common pests, while simultaneously promoting the life cycles of beneficial plant buddies, like earthworms! This means that neem oil is a 100% natural, plant-based method of pest control. In fact, many gardeners say that simply planting a neem tree in your yard or garden can cut down vastly on insect populations!

So, there’s the lowdown on Neem Oil. We know people can worry (with great reason) about what pest control methods are used on their cannabis – so stay tuned for more info to come regarding safe, natural, time-tested pest control! Hopefully, this has helped to show that not all chemical-y sounding names equate to scary, unnatural pesticides.

Happy smoking!