PSA: Check Your Cannabis for Mold
Spotting mold on bread or cheese is pretty easy, but on cannabis? Not so much.
Here’s everything you need to know about what to look for, whether it’s safe to smoke moldy cannabis, and how to keep your stash mold-free going forward.
Moldy cannabis usually has a grayish-white coating. If you’re not a seasoned consumer or grower, though, it can be easy to mistake trichomes for mold and vice versa.
Trichomes are those sticky, shiny crystals on the leaves and buds that give cannabis its aroma.
Unlike trichomes, which look like little hairs that almost appear to glitter, mold has a gray or white powdery appearance.
Mold also has a distinct odor to it, so your nose may notice the mold before your eyes do. Moldy weed usually has a musty or mildewy smell, or it may smell kind of like hay.
It probably won’t kill you, but it’s still not recommended.
In healthy people, smoking moldy weed isn’t likely to have a detrimental impact on your health — barring the general risks of smoking, of course.
If you smoke moldy weed, you might experience symptoms like coughing, nausea, and vomiting, which are more unpleasant than dangerous.
But if you’re allergic to mold, you could end up with inflammation of your sinuses or lungs and symptoms like:
- sinus pain
In people with weakened immune systems or lung conditions, inhaling smoke from weed that contains certain mold species can have serious health consequences.
Fungi like Aspergillus, Mucor, and Cryptococcus can cause serious and even deadly infections in the lungs, central nervous system (CNS), and the brain in people with compromised immune systems.
A UC Davis study found these and other types of potentially harmful fungi on cannabis samples bought from dispensaries and growers in Northern California.
You may be tempted to cut off the obviously moldy bits and smoke the rest, but it’s not a good idea. Life’s too short for bad bud.
If you can see mold or mildew, you’re better off tossing it. It’s not going to taste or smell good anyway, and could make you feel sick.
Storage is everything when it comes to preventing mold.
Exposing cannabis to the wrong temperature, light, humidity, and oxygen can promote the growth of mold.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
Avoid the fridge or freezer
Forget what you’ve been told about storing your green in the fridge or freezer. The temperatures are too low, and the exposure to moisture can result in mold.
The ideal temperature to store cannabis is just below 77°F (25°C).
Use the right container
Glass jars with an airtight seal are the way to go if you want to keep things mold-free.
Mason jars and similar glass containers help limit the exposure to oxygen and moisture, which can prevent mold and keep your nugs fresh longer.
If you want something a little more sophisticated than a Mason jar, most dispensaries sell containers designed for this exact purpose.
Keep it in a dark, dry place
Direct sunlight and moisture are recipes for disaster when it comes to keeping cannabis fresh.
The sun’s rays can heat things up and hold in moisture. A damp environment can also cause too much moisture to build up if your container isn’t properly sealed.
Keep your container in a dark, dry cabinet or closet that doesn’t get too hot.
Mind the humidity
Cannabis is best kept at a relative humidity of 59 to 63 percent. Go any higher and you run the risk of trapping moisture and growing mold.
Adding a humidity pack to your container can help. These are little packets that contain a mix of salts and water that help regulate the humidity in your container. They’re inexpensive and last a couple of months.
Humidors made specifically for cannabis are another option if you want to get fancy and are willing to spend some extra bucks.
Like most green things, cannabis can develop mold under the right conditions. Learn what to look for and whether there's any way to salvage your bud.
10 Tips: How To Get Rid Of Cannabis Mold
If you have tried to cultivate cannabis plants, then you know how mold on cannabis plants can be devastating. To many people, this is the worst experience that will make them lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Nonetheless, you can learn how to deal with mold on cannabis plants, which will leave you at peace. For you to deal with the problem, you must know how mold on cannabis plants looks like. It is after knowing how mold on cannabis plants looks like that you can be able to deal with it.
How Mold On Cannabis Plants Looks Like
Whether it is brown mold or black mold, when mold on marijuana plants appears, it becomes a little challenging to go away. There may be many types of mold on marijuana plants, but four of them stand out.
The first type of mold on marijuana plants is powdery mildew that appears on the plant’s fan leaves. Do not think that it is an easy job to identify mold on marijuana plants. To many farmers, whether small or large scale, identifying black mold or brown mold on marijuana plants is the hardest thing. With a trained eye, it is easy to identify mold on cannabis plants.
The second type of mold on marijuana plants is grey mold. Also known as botrytis, this type of mold grows on cannabis buds. The other types of mold that grow on marijuana plants are black mold and brown mold. Whichever of these four types of mold on marijuana plants that have invaded your crops, you can be able to deal with them.
How To Deal With Mold On Cannabis Plants
As mentioned in the beginning, the worst part of cannabis plant cultivation is when there is an invasion of mold, which, when it settles on the plant, does not seem to go away easily. But here are simple and ingenious ways to deal with mold on marijuana plants:
1. Pull Aside withered plant Buds
Whenever you spot a withering cannabis bud, it is a sign that mold has invaded the plant. Instead of wasting time, it is prudent to pull off the bud. If you do away with it, chances are you’ll salvage the rest of the plant.
2. Peek Inside The Cola
The other thing you can do to prevent mold, especially grey mold from spreading, is peeking deep inside the cola. By doing this, you are merely trying to enable the cola to get moisturized.
3. Chop Off The Affected Leaves
Just as you would do to the affected bud, if you suspect that a part of the cannabis fan leaf has been affected, you will do better to chop it. Alternatively, it is advisable to remove all the leaves or buds of one plant than waiting for the mold to spread to all the other cannabis plants.
4. Ensure There Is Proper Airflow
One of the most significant contributors and facilitators of mold on marijuana plants is the lack of proper airflow to the plant. To ensure mold does not invade your plants, ensure there is adequate airflow to the crops.
5. Inspect The Humidity
The amount of heat and air in your piece of land is also crucial to taming mold on cannabis plants. Although this might be difficult for those who grow cannabis from the outside, it is still essential to check the humidity levels.
6. Ensure Consistent Climate on Plants
The issue of ensuring a consistent climate on marijuana plants is complicated, especially if you grow your plants in an open field. For those who cultivate cannabis from an enclosed area, it is more comfortable. You can use dehumidifiers and fans to regulate the internal climate around your crops.
7. Control the Temperature
Like any other crop, the cannabis plant and environment temperature is key to preventing mold on cannabis plants. To keep the temperature around your crops consistent, use available temperature control devices that will keep it at normal ranges while ensuring high airflow but keeping humidity at bay.
8. Water and Feed Your Plants Well
You may think that feeding your crops does not have any relationship with preventing or dealing with mold on cannabis plants, but sure, it does. A healthy cannabis plant can easily resist mold invasion compared to an unhealthy and poorly watered and fed plant.
9. Space Your Cannabis Plants
As it were, mold can invade your plants when they are congested. Again, it boils down to a lack of sufficient airflow. You need to ensure there is adequate space among your plants to prevent congestion, where mold thrives.
10. Prune Your Cannabis Plants
Again, the aim of pruning your cannabis plants is to ensure your plants have enough airflow, which in time will drive mold away from your cannabis plants.
Frequently Asked Questions about mold
What Causes Mold on Marijuana Plants?
There are many causes of mold on cannabis plants. Some of the leading reasons for mold on marijuana plants include:
- Lack of sufficient airflow;
- Inconsistent climate;
- Sudden rise and fall of temperature;
- Extremely low or high humidity;
- The improper spacing of the cannabis plants;
- Inappropriate feeding of the cannabis plants.
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Cannabis Plants Without Pesticides
Pesticides may seem to be the only option that annihilates mold from marijuana plants, but it is not the only viable method. You can get off the mold on marijuana plants by using other ways that do not necessarily involve the application of pesticides. Some of the techniques include:
- Regularly pruning your cannabis plants;
- Chopping off the affected part(s);
- Ensure there is constant airflow to your plants;
- Use temperature regulating systems to ensure there is room temperature on the plants.
Is Mold On Marijuana Plants Dangerous?
Yes, mold on marijuana is dangerous. It can devastate your crops and affect the marijuana taste. To pot smokers, it can cause headaches, coughs, diarrhea, bated breath, vomiting, heart palpitations, endless sneezes, and possibly pneumonia.
How Does Moldy Weed Taste?
Rotten cannabis plants taste bad. The leaves are rotten; thus, the earthy taste smell isn’t pleasant or natural at all.
Different types of marijuana mold
Growing cannabis comes with many, many obstacles and none of these are more common or irritating than mould. Mould is as harmful as it is annoying, as well as being pretty tricky to treat, so here’s a little advice on how to identify and prevent it from happening to you:
There are a couple of different types of mould that could potentially invade your cannabis garden, though there are two common ones: powdery mildew and botrytis, the latter of these being, essentially, bud rot. Botrytis is pretty hard to identify because of the fact it is really only super visible at the base of the stem. However, eventually some small leaves will begin to wither and dry out, which is a sure-fire sign that your bud is suffering.
If you do see some of your plant’s leaves drying up, look a little closer and you might find some slightly furry details. Fluff can potentially begin to grow on the leaves of your treasured greenery that is blue or white in colour which is pretty harmless if treated right away. However, if you allow botrytis to advance then you might notice tiny black dots appearing in the mould these are spores, and they spread like crazy, so don’t breathe them in!
Powdery mildew is another extremely common type of plant mould and can be observed to look like exactly as its name suggests. Powdery mildew is a white, dusty substance which lies on the surface of plant leaves and inhibits photosynthesis, which is your plants way of making its own food using light. Eventually, if your plants are suffering from this condition, their leaves will shrivel up and die, so it really is best to prevent powdery mildew from occurring in the first place.
Case of Botrytis
The best measures to prevent both of the types of mould I have mentioned is to check your plants regularly and make sure they are receiving everything they need to grow correctly. However, preventative measures won’t do people who are struggling with a mould issue now any good. So here are some gardeners tips for you if you and your garden are currently going through a mould problem:
In the case of botrytis, the only option you really have is to use chemical sprays to combat the mould’s effects. You can purchase sprays to rid your grow of bud rot at pretty much any garden store. Another thing you can try is moving your infected plants to a warmer area with low humidity, this will stop the disease from spreading.
With powdery mildew, there are some natural remedies that have been tried and tested. To combat this type of mould, add two teaspoons of cider vinegar to one litre of water and spray it over your plants, this should do the trick. Another method is to mix a concoction of 60% milk and 40% water and spray this on them, this should also work some magic.
Overall, mould is a nasty, plant-killing culprit that has to be stopped, though luckily there are plenty of ways to get rid of it before it damages your plants too much. Preventative measures are the best course of action to take, but it is nice to know that more can be done if conditions get worse.
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Want to get rid of mold on cannabis plants? Read our blog for more information about mould on you marijuana plants and the different types of mold.