An Overview Of Weed Molds
Mold on weed can quickly become an issue if not taken care of properly. Mold spores are naturally occurring and can be introduced to any surface, including marijuana plants. While the majority of mold spores aren’t considered dangerous to humans, they can create hazardous mycotoxins that will reduce bud quality or cause it to fail safety tests.
Furthermore, mold spores are incredibly hard to completely remove once they have been introduced into a cannabis plant. If you don’t see any visible signs of mold on your cannabis, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there as Botrytis mold may live within the plant for two to three weeks before being recognized by the human eye.
The Problem With Mold On Weed
Mold can quickly ruin the quality of a cannabis bud, making it unappealing and unsafe — especially when it appears identical to high-quality cannabis. When buying certain strains, a particularly premium-grade bud that is densely packed with milky white trichomes, the issue arises that moldy cannabis appears just like healthy cannabis at first glance. This issue might be difficult for newcomers to recognize, as even powdery mildew infections will cause white spots on leaves and buds.
The Prevalent Type Of Cannabis Mold
White Powdery Mildew and Botrytis, also known as Grey Mold, are two of the most frequently encountered types of mold that can affect cannabis plants. These molds can cause significant damage to the plants and negatively impact their growth, yield, and overall quality. As such, it is important for cultivators to be aware of the signs of these molds and to take measures to prevent and control their spread.
Powdery mildew (PM) is a type of fungus that commonly affects cannabis plants and is visible to the naked eye. It appears as a fine white or grey powder that resembles powdered sugar or flour which thrives in high, low, or unstable humidity environments with inadequate air movement.
PM generally occurs on the leaves of marijuana plants but can also manifest itself on buds and stems. Additional signs usually accompany PM such as dark areas, thick spider webbing, and a slimy texture that can be differentiated from trichomes.
As pot growers are aware, PM may attack any stage of cannabis plant development. It is typically easier to identify this issue on older plants, however it could just as easily take hold of clones right out of the gate if the conditions are right for fungal growth.
So all stages must be treated proactively by providing proper ventilation, adequate light levels, and checking overall moisture levels on a regular basis to help prevent an infection from establishing hold in the first place. If powdery mildew does manage to appear on your crop, many traditional fungicides exist that can effectively combat its spread throughout your garden.
Botrytis is a fungus that affects many different producers, particularly cannabis. It begins within the buds before spreading outwardly, making it difficult to detect in the early stages. To identify Botrytis infection, we can look out for signs such as plant texture and color changes; leaves may become necrotic and quickly dry out, whilst stems may become brown, frail, and ulcerated.
The most common way to spot infection is when buds turn pale grey, dry, cotton-like, and soft inside the center flower cluster. When examining cannabis flowers for signs of grey mold due to Botrytis infection, it’s best to gently tear apart the colas and look for the telltale signs – namely a fuzzy white growth that travels swiftly throughout dried flowers.
How To Prevent Molds From Your Cannabis Plants
Molds are a type of fungi that thrive in warm, moist, and humid conditions. They spread through tiny fragments that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Although mold is beneficial for the environment as it helps break down dead plant matter, it is not desirable when it grows on marijuana plants.
The growth of mold on cannabis plants can be caused by a range of factors, including poor humidity control, inadequate ventilation, high temperatures, and overall plant health. The combination of these variables can create a favorable environment for mold to grow on your buds.
Preventing mold growth indoors is a vital part of maintaining a healthy growing environment for plants. By controlling the temperature, humidity, and airflow levels, you can create the perfect atmosphere for your plants to thrive.
Good ventilation with fans will ensure steady airflow and temperature control systems take out excess heat when needed. Cool temperatures will reduce humidity and dampness inside your grow room which can prevent moisture buildup that could lead to mold formation.
Dehumidifiers are extremely helpful in reducing humid environments, especially during the summer months. Pruning and providing adequate spacing between your cannabis plants are also important as overcrowding weakens them creating an ideal environment for molds to form.
A complete inspection of the grow room at regular intervals with a visual inspection of bud sites should be done to keep track of any harmful mold. Keeping your indoor gardens clean and free from debris and good ventilation are essential aspects of preventing molds in your marijuana crop.
Outdoor prevention of mold growth is a process that requires close monitoring. Gardeners must practice appropriate spacing and trimming when growing plants outdoors to promote good air circulation and keep the environment healthy.
Staking, caging, or trellising plants can also help keep branches evenly spaced and reduce overcrowding, getting rid of extra humidity in the canopy. Pruning the bottoms and insides of your plants regularly is incredibly important for air circulation beneath the canopy as well, promoting an ideal environment for your crops.
Additionally, some gardeners take specific steps after heavy rains such as shaking their plants to remove any standing water or inspecting for broken branches which could encourage mold growth if left wet for too long. Taking these precautions can lead to healthier gardens overall with fewer issues from garden pests or diseases due to mold growth.
Read More: What Are F1 Hybrid Seeds
What Are Cannabis Trichomes, And What Are Their Role
Cannabis trichomes are small, mushroom-like structures that grow on the surface of cannabis flowers. These trichomes generate cannabinoids and terpenes which give cannabis its unique properties and flavor.
The most abundant concentration of trichomes can be found on the weed bud, although they have also been discovered in various other parts of the marijuana plant such as stems, leaves, and roots. Trichomes protect the cannabis plant from pests and predators while they are also able to shield it from UV radiation.
The Difference Between Molds vs Trichomes
Distinguishing between mold and trichomes under a microscope can be challenging due to their similarities in appearance. However, there are key differences to be aware of, and experienced gardeners can often spot the difference with ease.
Healthy trichomes appear as shiny, glittery, and tall resinous glands with small gaps between them. They have delicate hairs with translucent or milky white tips that resemble mushrooms. On the other hand, mold appears as a fuzzy and unclean material when viewed through a microscope.
Mildew vs Trichomes – Sight
When it comes to distinguishing powdery mildew from trichomes on cannabis, the visual appearance sets them apart. Powdery mildew is commonly characterized by clusters of white dots that are visible even to the naked eye.
Trichomes appear as milky and crystal-like caps with mushroom-shaped heads. However, for a more accurate method of separation, experts suggest investing in a magnifying glass. This will allow for closer inspection of the buds to reveal trichomes in greater detail as well as detect any mold present on the cannabis, which will appear furry and aged rather than powdery when viewed under high light and magnification.
Mold may also have various colors such as white, green, brown, gray, or black. It is important to spot these differences correctly in order to determine if the bud is still safe or no longer fit for consumption due to it being contaminated with mold or mildew.
Mildew vs Trichomes – Sound
The sound of cannabis can be an important indicator of quality. One sound to listen out for is the ‘snapping’ sound when quality dried and cured buds are separated. This indicates a low moisture content, which is great news in terms of the bud’s freshness and smoking pleasure.
However, if you find that the buds are difficult to separate or hold together without making a discernible sound, then this could suggest a high moisture content – meaning that the weed has not been properly dried or cured.
This also presents an increased risk for mold formation such as powdery mildew and trichomes, which would have an adverse effect on the end product.
Mildew vs Trichomes – Touch
When it comes to identifying high-quality cannabis, the nugs should be easily separable. If you handle cannabis regularly and trust the source, use your tactile sense as a guideline for future reference.
Low-grade cannabis has buds that will crumble if touched and feel compacted upon inspection. To further elaborate on the differences between powdery mildew vs trichomes, they each have vastly different textures when encountered physically.
High-grade cannabis requires proper care during preparation, or else its shelf life decreases over time. To effectively dry it out and raise THC levels, carefully hang it upside down in a warm environment left undisturbed for up to several days.
This allows the plants’ trichomes to properly form while avoiding any chances of introducing powdery mildew from airborne spores and pollutants. By comparing powdery mildew vs trichomes without fail Cannabis enthusiasts can determine which type of strain is higher quality for their needs.