Understanding Mould And How To Protect Your Cannabis From It

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Understanding Mould And How To Protect Your Cannabis From It

Mould has the potential to destroy your entire crop or if consumed cause serious health issues. For this reason it is important to understand the causes of mould and different ways you can protect yourself or your grow from it.

A major factor to consider for those growing cannabis in humid climates is mould. Not only can it destroy your crop but consuming it can cause health problems with a number of symptoms such as headaches, difficulty breathing, coughing, diarrhoea and vomiting. It can also cause more serious issues such as heart palpitations, pneumonitis (inflammation of the walls of the alveoli) and aspergilloma (mould growth on the lungs). Fortunately, it can be prevented with some care or in the worst case scenario it can at least be detected if you have the correct knowledge so that you can protect your health.


There are definitive characteristics of the composition of the common types of mould found on cannabis plants. The smell is usually a big giveaway as it can make the plant smell like urine or musty body odour. Although there are some strains that can produce this smell, it is generally easy to differentiate this between a contaminant. It is a wise idea to get an idea of what your plant is supposed to smell like so that you are confident of what you should be looking for.

Using the naked eye or even a blacklight or magnifying glass is the other obvious way to detect mould. Bear in mind that the tiny hairs with glistening clear clods are trichomes where THC is being produced. Mould appears in a number of forms: either white, grey, black, yellow or brown with an appearance of either spots, spores, fuzz or a webbed pattern covering the bud (giving the appearance of a bug infestation.)
There are tools available to be able to spot mould such as a 420 scope or Jeweller's loop, as it can sometimes be difficult to spot with the naked eye in its early stages. A blacklight will also make the mould stand out with a yellow or slightly green hue.

Mould How to identify it


Mould typically occurs after the harvest, where moisture levels can be too high during the process of drying or curing. Some dodgy dealers are even known to moisten the bud to add weight before moving it to airtight containers which can easily cause mould and be devastating for consumers. A good seasoned grower will make an effort to spot mould in its early stages and discard it from the rest of the grow before harvesting.

Mould prefers a humid atmosphere or area with moisture with poor circulation of air. This is a problem in many climates, and it is important for many different types of plant growers to navigate these issues. Where cannabis is concerned, a good grow room should use a fan to prevent insects and moulds from being tempted towards your plant; an added bonus is that using a fan also strengthens the stems of your plant.

Air circulation is a very good idea when curing bud; fresh air helps to prevent moulds from stale breeding. You can also use silica packets which help to keep moisture levels down when curing in glass jars. You can "burp" your jar which essentially means opening it up every now and then to release moisture. Also, there are digital monitors and test strips available to test moisture levels in a jar.

Spores can survive on plants at 15% humidity, although they won't begin to grow or spread unless there is a moisture level of 55%. It is a good idea to invest in a hygrometer to measure moisture levels in the atmosphere around your plant or while curing your bud.

Mould how it looks like


As a consumer, the best way to avoid mould is to avoid black market dealers. Dispensaries will inspect their bud with microscopes and test for the presence of contaminants before selling it. The same quality assurance cannot be guaranteed with a street dealer.

Always put your health first. If your dealer seems untrustworthy in any way, won't smoke a bowl with you, or even let you inspect the product: it is most likely a good idea to avoid them.

On the other hand, if you don't have the luxury of visiting a vendor or if you grow your own cannabis, you will not be entitled to such luxuries and so should express caution if you spot any indication of the presence of mould on your bud or anyone else's.


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