PGR (Plant Growth Regulator) Cannabis is Cannabis boosted by plant growth regulators to create larger and tighter buds. 

But while PGR'S do help produce Big Bud's it’s not the ideal way to get the yield you want from your Cannabis Plants.

PGR Cannabis does have great visual appeal but very few Trichomes offset it.

Fewer Trichomes mean this type of Cannabis is not as flavourful nor does it have the same kick as Natural Grown Cannabis.

There’s a lot more to unpack about PGR'S. Questions like, ‘Are PGR'S in Cannabis bad?’ and ‘Is there a difference between Cannabis with and without PGRs?’.

You can find all the answers to those questions and much more in this article.

What is PGR Cannabis?

PGR (Plant Growth Regulator) Cannabis refers to Cannabis that’s been grown with a type of Plant Growth Regulator to boost Bud appeal. It comes in various formulas most of which are synthetic.

This is where most of the attention surrounding PGR'S on Cannabis comes from. 

Some commonly used PGR'S are Carcinogenic so it’s important to know how to spot PGR Cannabis.

Types of PGRs

Chlormequat chloride

This synthetic compound helps with flowering and plant growth. It strengthens the stems of plants while reducing branching. 

It also shortens plant height ensuring that all parts grow evenly. While there’s no evidence that Chlormequat chloride is Carcinogenic it can cause skin and eye irritation on contact. 


This chemical compound inhibits the growth of stems and leaves. 

In return  it maximizes bud growth in Cannabis. However Daminozide also reduces terpenes and cannabinoid production. 

Important note: Daminozide (also called Alar) is classified as a potential carcinogen and should not be used.


The chemical Paclobutrazol inhibits the top growth of Cannabis while encouraging root development

This causes Cannabis to grow larger and tighter buds. However just like Daminozide, paclobutrazol reduces the ability of Cannabis to produce THC

And while paclobutrazol alone isn’t carcinogenic, smoking buds containing it is dangerous. 

It causes the compound to break down into nitrosamines, a carcinogen also found in cigarettes. 

Dangers of Plant Growth Regulator's (PGR'S)

PGR'S are associated with several health problems. One of which is increasing the risk of cancer since they are carcinogenic (e.g. Daminozide). 

Long exposure to PGR'S is also linked to other adverse health effects such as liver damage and infertility. There are also short-term effects of PGR Cannabis.

Headaches, dizziness and nausea are just some of the immediate and short-term effects of smoking buds containing PGR'S.

In particular smoking buds containing paclobutrazol can cause breathing difficulties. Ingesting large amounts of Chlormequat chloride can cause organ damage.

Short Term Effects

 Chlormequat Chloride

  • Skin Irritation
  • Eye Irritation
  • Abdominal Pain


  • Nausea
  • Eye Irritation
  • Drowsiness


  • Skin Irritation
  • Eye Irritation
  • Headaches

Long Term Effects

Chlormequat Chloride

  • Liver damage
  • Infertility


  • Cancer


  • Liver damage
  • Increases The Risk Of Cancer
  • Infertility

Why do growers use PGR'S for Cannabis?

With Cannabis rapidly growing into a big business it’s only natural that some growers will use PGR'S in Cannabis.

Not only does it encourage dense bud growth in Cannabis but it can also increase the yield of any strain.

And it does so without needing to apply laborious growing techniques. Instead it uses chemical compounds to inhibit certain plant hormones which affect growth.

In a way PGR'S are Synthetic Plant Hormones that manipulate how your Cannabis Grows.

But some growers don’t realize that using PGR'S on their plants has an adverse effect on the buds it produces.

In the end synthetic PGR'S only increase the weight and density of the buds. It does nothing to improve the Potency or Flavour of your Cannabis.

If anything it hinders THC and Terpene production in Cannabis.

Where is PGR Cannabis most often Grown?

There’s no particular place where PGR Cannabis can be grown, but it’s common to see it used indoors.

This is because outdoor gardens aren’t short on space while indoor gardens are. Growers will use PGR'S to get the most out of their space.

In short using PGR'S is an easy way to maximize the limited space you have for growing Cannabis.

How to recognize buds grown with PGRs

Discoloured Bud's

The first tell-tale sign of buds with PGR'S is discoloration. Naturally Grown Cannabis buds have bright colours that pop when they’re fresh.

With PGR Buds it has a more brownish hue with most of the bright colours diminished.

Trichome Density

While checking for Trichome density is a good way to spot PGR boosted Buds it can sometimes be a red herring.

In some cases the lack of Trichomes could also mean that the buds were machine trimmed.

This is why it’s important to check for all the characteristics before making judgments.

Distorted Aroma's

By far the best way to tell if Cannabis was grown with PGR'S is through its aroma.

PGR Buds lack the pungent odor that you would expect from High Quality Kush. Instead you notice a Chemical like scent.

Enhanced Structure

Lastly the most telling sign of PGR boosted Bud's is their enhanced structure. PGR Cannabis produces buds that are tight and dense.

And those two characteristics are what people use as a point of reference when buying Cannabis.

But because of that Growers have learned to use PGR'S to enhance the market appeal of their Bud's.

Natural alternatives to synthetic PGR's

Thankfully there is a natural way for your Cannabis to grow appealing buds. The first is with chitosan.

This compound comes from chitin, which is found in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans.

You can use chitosan as a way to encourage vigorous plant growth. It does this by increasing the photosynthesis in plants.

Studies also show that chitosan increases Flavonoid and Terpenoid production in Resinous Plants.

Another type of plant growth stimulant is Triacontanol. It’s found in beeswax and sugarcane. It increases the amount of Chlorophyll in the leaves which improves photosynthesis.

Triacontanol also boosts Root Growth which enhances nutrient absorption.

You can apply either of the two natural PGR'S on your Cannabis through foliar feeding or soil drench.

All in all Chitosan and Triacontanol are two of the best natural PGR'S for chitosan.

Soil for Growing Healthy Cannabis Plants

They achieve the same results as synthetic PGR'S would with the added benefit of being safe for human consumption.

If you aren’t buying your Cannabis from a reputable source you never know what you are getting.

FAQ'S about PGR Cannabis

Is PGR Cannabis Safe to Consume?

In a lot of cases NO. PGR'S Cannabis can be Carcinogenic. Even synthetic PGR'S that aren’t considered Carcinogens aren’t safe as they can cause organ damage and other health problems.

Is PGR Cannabis Common in the Uganda?

Yes it is. Unfortunately due to the lack of regulations in the Cannabis Industry PGR Cannabis still exists in the market.

Should You Avoid PGR'S?

Absolutely. PGR'S were banned from being used on Food Products. And while Cannabis isn’t a food item it is something that’s smoked. Smoking synthetic compounds like Daminozide can increase the risk of cancer. This is why it, as well as other synthetic PGR'S are only used on Ornamental Plants.