October 11, 2019
What does Mold on Cannabis Look Like?
There’s nothing worse than going through months of labor to grow your own cannabis only to discover mold on it. But identifying mold on your cannabis can be harder than you think. It can usually be spotted by a trained eye, and it’s important to know the different kinds out there.
Just as you learn to identify mold on a piece of fruit, as a cannabis grower, it’s crucial to be able to identify it on your plants. Or cured end product and to remove it before it becomes a problem. It’s important to protect your own health and the health of those who might be consuming your product. Let’s all ensure that cannabis is safely enjoyed and celebrated.
Common Types of Mold
Here are some types of mold that you’ll most likely come across.
What is bud rot?
Bud rot is a type of mold that develops in the dense cores of the cannabis buds. The infection starts on the stem inside of the bud and then spreads outwards, making it very difficult to detect in its early stages. After its onset, bud rot breaks down the surrounding bud and spreads out in all directions. Soon it produces its own spores that can then spread to other areas of the plant or garden. The rot will first appear white and wispy and will turn grey and black as the bud turns to a mushy, slimy consistency.
Once a bud begins to mold, it is no longer safe for consumption and must be discarded. A common practice is to remove the infected area of the plant and to let the rest of the plant continue to grow. However, if the infection is widespread, it might have to be completely removed from the garden to protect the rest of your crop.
Powdery mildew resembles a light dusting on your leaves or buds. It can pop up rapidly and will spread throughout your garden quickly. PM loves to develop on plants that are feeling a bit unhealthy and it will thrive without airflow in your garden.
To an untrained eye, PM might appear to look like young trichomes. If you suspect PM, use a magnifying glass to examine your buds. You’ll see a stark difference between the white mold and the beautiful trichomes surrounding it. If you see it, it’s best to discard the buds and leaves right away. Because you won’t want to ingest that mold and to prevent it from spreading further.
Grey mold will develop inside your buds and grow out if there is too much moisture trapped inside the growing colas. Telltale signs of mold in your buds are dying leaves on the outside or colas that have gone limp. If you spot these symptoms, waste no time investigating the problem by pulling aside buds and peeking inside the cola.
To spot mold in your cured product, keep an eye out while you break apart buds. You should be able to clearly identify it on the inside of buds; discard when you find it.
How Mold on Cannabis Occurs
Molds are fungi that develop in warm, damp, and humid conditions. They develop from spores, which travel through the air, unseen to the naked eye. Mold is actually important in the ecosystem because it breaks down dead plant material, but you don’t want it on your buds.
All of these diseases can occur indoors and outdoors, as well as infect multiple species of plants besides cannabis, making any plant infection within your grow area or household potentially dangerous to your crop.
Moldy weed will commonly occur in outdoor gardens after heavy rainfall, especially toward the end of the season when buds are large and dense.
Mold can develop on cannabis because of issues with:
- Plant health
Anyone or a combination of these factors can create an environment suitable for mold to develop on your buds.
How to Prevent Moldy Weed
Without a doubt, prevention is the best way to keep your cannabis safe. It is much easier to take some extra precautions and monitor the state of your growing environment than to try and actually cure an infection.
These are all quite easy to prevent indoors. A cool temperature is anything under 20 degrees Celsius. Ensure you have a decent ventilation system set up to ensure constant air movement, and try to prevent overcrowding of plants that may inhibit airflow. You should also be able to control the humidity of a grow room using ventilation, keeping things in order.
Outdoors is a little trickier. A lack of breeze, cool nights and rain can all stack the odds against you and help mold set in. As such, it is important to choose your grow site with care, ensuring there is good airflow. Some growers will erect a tent-like structure over their bud if they know heavy rain is on the way, and even shake them after a rain spell to shake out any excess water that may be sitting on leaves and buds.
Trust us, when it comes to these diseases prevention is everything.