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Old 09-20-2018, 05:17 PM #1
therevverend
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Dangers of Neem Oil

I've noticed lately that growers are using more Neem Oil, recommending it to everyone, and dousing everything all the time with Neem believing it completely safe because it's approved for organic use.

While neem oil has a long history of use, is relatively safer then many other pesticides, and has a low toxicity for most adult humans, it has dangers and should be used carefully. Neem oil poisoning is rare but some people are highly allergic to it. And of course some people use way, way too much.

Here's a report of Neem poisoning:

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Neem oil has widespread use in Indian subcontinent due to its many bioactive properties. Azadirachtin, an active ingredient, is implicated in causing the effects seen in neem oil poisoning. Neem oil poisoning is rare in adults. This report highlights the toxicity associated with neem oil poisoning in an elderly male. The patient presented with vomiting, seizures, metabolic acidosis, and toxic encephalopathy. The patient recovered completely with symptomatic treatment.
and link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3841499/

Encephalopathy is swelling of the brain, possibly fatal. I read of another case where a 35 year old woman consumed 125 ml neem oil for 5 days. Her brain swelled so much she lost her vision. It took a month of treatment to get it back.

There's been widespread cases of a phenomenon called 'scromiting' where long time cannabis users vomit and have seizures after smoking cannabis. There's a thread about it here at IC. The symptoms sound like Neem poisoning. I'll add that it's quite rare but it's been reported widely enough to get press coverage in Colorado.

Neem is is especially dangerous to babies and children. In a study performed in 1982 it was found that neem ingested by children or infants causes swelling of the brain, damage to the liver and other organs and can be potentially fatal. While not usually the consumers of cannabis I'd be very cautious if I was using the stuff around kids.

It's also a contraceptive and causes miscarriages. Pregnant women should never be around the stuff, and it's so ubiquitous in dispensary herb if you're pregnant or looking to get pregnant you shouldn't smoke or ingest it unless they test for it.

A lot of the traditional uses of Neem are topical, brushing your teeth and spitting it out, treating your skin and hair, or as a soap. When it's ingested it's small amounts for a short period of time to cure a disease. I noticed it's only fatal to insects if they ingest the leaves containing the neem. If they're just contacting it they're fine.

I wouldn't recommend smoking buds sprayed with Neem oil for any length of time, or at all if you're allergic. I think people have problems with Neem in large quantities when it saturates their system. There hasn't been testing on long or short term effects of smoking neem oil.

I'm not advocating never using Neem Oil. Like other pesticides I'd limit it's use to a couple of weeks during Veg or maybe very early flowering before the plants have developed white hair clusters. One nice thing about Neem is that it's not a carcinogen like a lot of other pesticides.

Personally I don't like the stuff. Dislike the smell, it makes me slightly nauseous. Wouldn't ever ingest the stuff and wouldn't want it on my skin because of the smell. Hope I never have to use it on my plants..
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:27 PM #2
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I was using it more but lately just stopped. I'd rather smoke bugs if that's my option.
Last year I had a bad spider mites infestation, and I tried spraying buds that we're about week away from harvest which was a really dumb idea anyway.
I got bad headaches anytime I smoked any of the bud. I gave it away and checked with others and no one else had a problem with it. Even called me crazy saying there is nothing wrong with it.
I'm sensitive to lots of things so maybe it's just that.
Just wanted to put that out there
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:29 PM #3
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I bought some to see what is was about and don't like it.
It smells bad and I figured I would use something else.
It's too greasy for me.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:06 PM #4
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I was just discussing this with a friend last evening.
He's been diagnosed with CHS (Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome) and has since, more or less, quit smoking weed. He has a bowl occasionally and seems to experience the symptoms just about every time he smokes.


I've another friend that is also sensitive to Aza products. He said that the Peyote Purple I grew last year seems to be clean from Aza products So I gave a bud to my friend mentioned above to try out as a test. We'll see what happens and I'll try and remember to report back what his experience was.


After reading a few anecdotal reports of neem ingestion and reading how insects react to it, I'd say ingestion is a BAD idea, even for adults.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:57 PM #5
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I've yet to see anything convincing enough to dissuade me from using it. The incidents of azadirachtin poisoning involved higher dosages then we'd be exposed to if it's used properly. The above article mentions that he ingested 20ml of neem oil directly. Considering we dilute that much into a liter and spray it over a garden, where it then breaks down considerable before it's harvested, dried and smoked. The half life of it is less then 30 days I believe, it's not a stable substance.

I'm not saying it's not a possibility, just that it seems unlikely as it would have to be heavily applied right up to harvest to reach toxic doses based off the articles that are sited which mention toxic reactions at anywhere from 20-250ml of direct neem oil ingestion. Until there's more research done to validate that theory it doesn't seem likely to me, not nearly enough to make me stop using neem oil. We ingest a lot more neem oil residue through the vegetables we eat as a society, if CHS was caused by azadirachtin poisoning we would be seeing it in non-users as well.
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Old 09-21-2018, 04:16 PM #6
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I believe CHS is the result of SMOKING aza not ingesting it through the gut.


I've got 3 friends that suffer similar symptoms. 2 have done something about the issue and stopped using Aza products, the 3rd doesn't care much about his health. He just complains and gets turned down for pain meds at the ER because they think he's a pill popper.
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:25 PM #7
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But.... it's ORGANIC so it MUST be good for us. LOL





I refuse to spray ANYTHING on my plants. I have used Azamax to spray my empty room after a mite infestation. And, I have sprayed my tools, pots, carpet and walls with it.

But then, I'm not smoking my walls or carpet. LOL It seems to dissipate real fast. Too fast in the light. And, most importantly....... it didn't get rid of the mites. WTF? Why use something that presents potential health dangers but still does not kill the mites. Fucking borg.

I am in total agreement with what someone above said.... I rather smoke the mites (as gross as that sounds).

I am fighting a mite problem right now so this hits home.





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Old 09-21-2018, 07:48 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJPassion View Post
I believe CHS is the result of SMOKING aza not ingesting it through the gut.


I've got 3 friends that suffer similar symptoms. 2 have done something about the issue and stopped using Aza products, the 3rd doesn't care much about his health. He just complains and gets turned down for pain meds at the ER because they think he's a pill popper.
That's a possibility but there's no science to support it as this point so it's just an assumption. Generally combustion destroys complex molecules like azadirachtin, so again it doesn't seem likely to me when the dosage is significantly lower then the recognised toxicity.

@Ringodoggie: It has nothing to do with it being organic, it has to do with the dosage needed to achieve toxicity. Arsenic is organic but has a much lower LD50, so that's an absurdly simplistic reductionist argument. The issue is can neem create a toxic effect when diluted at 15-30ml/l and sprayed over a garden months before ingestion when recognised cases involve direct ingestion of 20-250ml+. Taking it as fact is a big leap of faith that currently isn't supported with science.

Azamax isn't a contact spray, so spraying it on walls/carpets/etc is using it incorrectly which is why it didn't work for you.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:04 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somatek View Post
@Ringodoggie: It has nothing to do with it being organic, it has to do with the dosage needed to achieve toxicity. Arsenic is organic but has a much lower LD50, so that's an absurdly simplistic reductionist argument
As Foghorn Leghorn says, "That was a joke, son. A joke. Get it. Boy ain't got no sense of humor." LOL












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Old 09-21-2018, 09:57 PM #10
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how many people out of million get these symptoms? or is it like few out of hundreds of millions

with smoking or dabbing or eating cannabis
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