Moldy cannabis consumption can make you sick, particularly if you have an immune system deficiency. So how do you spot mold? And what can you do for your marijuana plants if you do?
Moldy marijuana is more common than you may realize. Researchers from University of California, Davis Medical Center, along with Steep Hill Labs tested twenty marijuana samples from dispensaries in their state.
The team found evidence of pathogenic bacteria and fungi including Aspergillus mold, Mucor and Botryotini fungus.
“We were a little bit startled that 90% of those samples had something on them, some DNA of some pathogen,” Steep Hill Labs’ Dr. Donald Land PhD said when interviewed.
What causes mold?
Mold thrives in humid, warm environments. It also grows in damp areas that occur when marijuana is stored in the dark, not dried properly, or is stored in an area that has a lack of air circulation.
Here are some of the most common mold types that affect cannabis and how to identify them.
I've found mold. What should I do?
Unfortunately, when you've spotted mold on your plants, you should probably throw them out. Next and probably more importantly, you'll want to check that the infection hasn't spread to your other plants.
You could try to cut the moldy section away and hope for the best, but since the risks to health are serious when consuming moldy cannabis, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Contact with mold may cause a wide range of ailments that can have a negative impact on your health. Some of these:
- Cough or asthma-like symptoms
- Chest pain
- Brain fog/memory difficulties
- Sinus and lung infections in people with compromised immune systems
The best actions you can take to combat mold are preventative measures. Here are some:
- A high quality air filtration system set in place
- A temperature/humidity monitor to maintain even temperatures
- Spacing plants out to avoid crowding
- Watering appropriately
- Pruning plants as necessary (defoliation)
- Ensuring cannabis is fully cured before sealing it in airtight jars
If you are growing professionally, testing for mold is extremely important. Here is an article on how labs test cannabis plants for mold.
Best of luck keeping your cannabis healthy and pure.