Marijuana growers are some of the most finicky horticulturists there are and for a good reason: the stuff we put in our plants will most likely end up in our system. If used improperly, these chemicals can make us sick and even kill us. However, we also constantly tread a fine line between keeping our plants safe and healthy and keeping pests away and because of this, what we want is the most effective but safest pest control method there is.
For years, this “holy grail” of marijuana pesticides used to be neem oil because it is an organic horticultural oil that is effective against a broad range of pests and even powdery mildew. However, it isn’t completely devoid of risks since there are studies that have shown that neem oil and its component, Azadiractin, can be toxic.
Fortunately, the growing amount of research into cannabis is uncovering better alternative pesticides that we can use without much worry. One of these is jojoba oil which until recently, was used mostly in beauty products. But now, more and more home growers are discovering that they can buy a jug of regular old jojoba oil and use it to keep a variety of pests off their cannabis plants.
Jojoba oil as a rodent deterrent?
If it hasn’t occurred to you that rats could be a threat to your cannabis plants, think again. Rats will eat anything, even electrical cables and rat parents desperate to sustain their brood and themselves won’t think twice about attacking your marijuana. Even if they don’t destroy your crop, they may also spread deadly germs and viruses on your plants and grow area by tracking their feces and urine where they move. The hantavirus, leptospirosis, rabies, salmonella, these are just some of the life-threatening diseases that rats can bring to you.
Assuming that you’ve already done all the preventive measures like setting rat traps, getting a cat, etc, you’d want to supplement it with jojoba oil, especially if you’re also trying to fend off insect pests and powdery mildew. Jojoba has also been found to have anti-rodent properties which makes it an effective one-two punch as a pesticide.
Jojoba oil for bad nematodes
While nematodes are essential in maintaining good soil health, what you want are only the beneficial kind. However, if you use unsterilized soil, it will most likely contain a combination of beneficial and parasitic worms. The latter can be a pain to deal with since they live in the soil and are practically invisible, you’ll only know that they’re there once your plants show symptoms that look like nutrient deficiency. There are at least 5 kinds of bad nematodes that will attack your plant’s roots and at least one will cause swelling of the stems and leaves. Either way, your plants may be unrecoverable if you let these parasites launch a full-blown attack.
If after taking the necessary preventive measures like using sterilized soil and introducing beneficial bacteria and fungi, you still have to deal with a nematode problem, one safer alternative to performing a pesticide soil drench would be to use jojoba oil. At least one study done on flame grapeseed vine cuttings revealed jojoba oil’s nematicide properties which would very likely be effective on cannabis as well.
Jojoba oil for for management of postharvest pathogens
Even though it is unlikely that you’ll have to deal with a fungi or mold problem right after harvesting, it does happen and there are occasions where there’s a good chance that you can still salvage the affected weed. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t be tempted to use a fungicide dip, use jojoba oil instead. At least one study has already proven that essential oils like jojoba are effective against pathogens like Penicillium digitatum, making it an alternative solution for the protection of your harvest.
Jojoba oil as an alternative to neem
This video summarizes some of the benefits of jojoba oil vs neem.
Where to get jojoba oil?
Based on what we know now about jojoba oil, it is clear that it is versatile enough to be an all-around pesticide for cannabis. Growers and researchers are bound to find out more about its properties in the future but right now you can use it without worry to prevent or get rid of common problems such as rodents, soil, worms and other fungal pathogens, instead of commercial chemicals that can negatively impact the quality of your weed. Additionally, that jojoba oil that you use on your plant has a lot of other uses around the house, this also makes it an economical choice for most home growers.