Magic Vacume Machines Shrinks wrap your Medical Marijuana!
& Is great for Long Term Storage! & Preventing Mold from growing on your buds!
There Is a Second Mold Guide On The Bottom Of This Page!
"HOW TO PRESERVE POT POTENCY…by stopping bugs and fungi
before they damage your weed,"
Growers taking time to harvest a healthy cornucopia of cannabis must also carefully watch over their cut crops. In addition to two-legged thieves, myriad bacteria, molds and insects have been known to rip-off your stash while curing, drying, or in the fridge. Avoiding these ubiquitous threats is nearly impossible, but there is a way to lessen their impact. The key is being able to manipulate storage conditions.
A variety of bacteria grow on damp marijuana. Many are deadly. Researchers have found _Klebsiella pneumonia_, _Enterobacter cloacae_ and _Streptococcus_ (group D) growing in government-supplied reefer. _Salmonella muenchen_ was found in marijuana growing across the Midwest. (Let someone else roll the joints. I don’t lick rolling papers anymore!) Under anaerobic conditions (i.e., damp marijuana stored in airtight containers), _Clostridium_ species will rot pot; these are the famous botulism bacteria.
In addition, a number of bacteria-like Actinomycetes have been identified in confiscated ganja, including _Thermoactinomyces candidus_, _T. vulgaris_, and _Micropolyspora faeni._ These bugs cause allergic reactions (sometimes severe), as well as "Farmer’s lung" disease.
Insects in pot are less intense. Grow room critters, such as aphids and spider mites, rarely damage marijuana after harvest. Smith & Olson (a list of references appears at the end of this article) identified five beetle species from confiscated Mexican weed in San Francisco. They completed this study at the request of the DEA agents, whose offices were overrun by the pests. The predominant species, _Tribolium confusum_ (confused flour beetle), attacks only seeds, not marijuana proper. Two other beetles cited in the study, _Adistermia watsoni_ and _Microgramme arga_, are fungus feeders (the marijuana was moldy). Thankfully, the researchers found no cannabis equivalent to _Lasioderma serricone_, the tobacco cigarette beetle. Otherwise some whacked government lab would be growing the bugs en masse to spread across the continent.
Fungi destroy more bud than bacteria and insects combined. Bacteria in marijuana may be more dangerous to humans, but they are rare. Molds are common, and can be nasty: Ramirez reports four policeman developing pulmonary histoplasmosis after pulling up a 5,000-square-meter plot of marijuana in Puerto Rico. Some fungi won’t rot pot, but they will put you in the hospital.
Many fungi causing disease in plants die off after their host is harvested. Exceptions include _Botrytis cinerea_ (the cause of gray mold) and _Alternaria alternata_ (brown blight). After harvest, your competition becomes _Aspergillus_, _Penicillium_, _Rhizopus_, and _Mucor_, the baddest actors on the planet. Each genus causes disease under different conditions:
Ubiquitous _Aspergillus_ grows on anything from rocket fuel to astronauts. The genus is millions of years old; while _Home sapiens_ may come and go, _Aspergillus_ will remain. Westendorp first found an _Aspergillus_ species attacking _Cannabis_ in 1854. More recently, Margolis & Clorfene describe a mold that _increases_ potency in marijuana. Their "black web like fungus" sounds like an _Aspergillus_ species. _What_ species, I’d like to know….
Schwartz scraped _Aspergillus niger_ from the skull of a marijuana smoker experiencing sinus headaches. I frequently encounter _A. niger_ growing in ganja stored at room temperature. It does _not_ increase potency. Kagen also reports _A. niger_ growing in moldy marijuana, along with two _even nastier_ Aspergilli: _A. fumigatus_ and _A. flavus._
Chusid et al. blame _A. fumigatus_ for causing near-fatal pneumonitis in a 17-year-old. They note the patient buried his marijuana underground for "aging." No doubt the patient was looking for Margolis & Clorfene’s fungus, but _A. fumigatus_ found him instead. _A. flavus_, on the other hand, kills slowly. It oozes carcinogenic metabolites called aflatoxins. Llewellyn & O’Rear found aflatoxins contaminating Virginian marijuana.
_Aspergillus_ species grow better in warmer climates, _Penicillium_ in cooler climates. Refrigerator storage encourages _Penicillium_ infestation. Kagen et al. isolated _Penicillium_ from marijuana cigarettes. Babu et al. identified _P. chrysogenum_ attacking marijuana. (_P. chrysogenum_ occurs abundantly in nature, and was Alexander Fleming’s source of penicillin.) I isolated _P. italicum_ from marijuana stored with an orange peel at 0 degrees Centigrade. Adding peels to pot imparts a "pleasant bouquet" (Frank & Rosenthal). In my case, the peel imparted a nidus of infection. _P italicum_, the "blue citrus mold," is notorious for its ability to spread by contact (i.e., "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch").
Five _Mucor_ species have been described on _Cannabis._ Members of this genus grow fast and die young. One of them, _M. hiemalis_, regrettably bioconcentrates (and cannot metabolize) the herbicide paraquat from tainted substrates (Domsch et al.). _Mucor’s_ first cousin, _Rhizopus,_ occurs in soil, ripe foodstuffs, and occasionally on people (especially diabetics). Grebeniuk isolated _R. stolonifer_ from hemp stems. In an inoculation experiment, I quickly rotted some damp marijuana with a colony of _R. stolonifer_ found growing on bread.
DIAGNOSIS Rotting marijuana produces a spectrum of odors, from stale to musty to moldy. _P. italicum_ perfumes a lavender bouquet, while _A. flavus_ smells like a locker room. _Clostridium_ bacteria stink like carrion.
Infested marijuana often darkens in color and becomes crumbly. Anaerobic bacteria turn marijuana into brown slime. Marijuana undergoing rapid decay may feel warm to touch. (At this stage your stash is ready for the compost heap.) Tufts of fungi are often visible in mold material. In marijuana stored in darkness, strands look white to light grey. Exposed to light, storage molds spawn millions of colored spores in velvet clumps. A slight tap sends these spores into great billowing clouds. Generally, _Rhizopus_ and _Mucor_ produce grey-black spores; _Penicillium_ species are light blue-green; and _Aspergillus_ species are dark green-black.
To check for aflatoxins, inspect your stash under a black light (in medicalese, a "Wood’s Lamp"). Material contaminated with aflatoxin-producing _A. flavus_ will fluoresce to a green hue under ultraviolet light.
To screen for insects, simply shake samples in a No. 10 steel sieve. Of course, not all bugs found in marijuana cause damage. Some are simply "innocent bystanders" caught during harvesting and die right away. Live (and chewing) insects are more suspicious. A hand lens is helpful for I.D.
Avoid damaging plants before they completely dry (even while they are in the ground and growing). Wounded tissues release exudates on which fungi feed and establish a foothold. Lucas says diseased and nutrient-deficient leaves (as well as old yellow leaves) produce more exudates than healthy leaves. Expect more mold problems in poorly grown plants.
The secret to stopping bacteria and mildew is moisture control. Even grey mold dies if plants are carefully and quickly dried. Oven-cured pot rots less than air or sweat-cured crops. Sweat-cured _Cannabis_ (remember ’70’s Colombian?) maintains a "tradition" of _Aspergillus_ contamination.
The oven-drying method inevitably leads to a harsh product. So most people air-dry by suspending plants upside down with enough space for circulation. Drying rooms should be cool and dry, preferably in uninterrupted darkness. (Most storage fungi require light to sporulate and spread.)
Living cannabis plants are about 80% water. Perfectly dried marijuana contains about 10%-15% water or moisture content (MC). Material below 10% MC becomes too brittle and disintegrates. Fungi cannot grow below 15% MC. Unfortunately, many growers market their crop _above_ 15% MC. Cannabis, like corn flakes, is sold by weight, not volume. Tobacco farmers also allow thier product to gain weight by reabsorbing moisture before sale. They term this risky business "coming into order." Recently purchased products should be redried. Freezer storage will not protect damp pot. Placing lemon or orange peels in stored marjiuana is discouraged, as they raise the MC above 15%. Dipping _Penicillium_-infested plants in a solution of baking powder will inhibit these acid-loving fungi but the product must be rapidly redried.
Maintaining stored marijuana at 10%-15% MC also discourages insects. Insecticides have no application in stored marijuana. Their residue pose a danger to customers. Also, water-based sprays will kill bugs but trigger a fungus infection by raising the MC. Fumigants (gas, not sprays or aerosols) contain no liquid, thus they do not trigger mold infestations. But they leave residues in air pockets of fumigated material. Big buds are full of air pockets. Poisons are very useful for disinfecting drying rooms, but only _after_ the crop has been cleared out.
Low temperatures will "freeze" an insect infestation. However, with rewarming, many bugs continue their destruction. Another drawback to freezing above-15% MC marijuana involves the aforementioned exacerbation of _Penicillium._ Heating marijuana in a 66-93 degree Centigrade oven for 10 minutes will kill most pests. This also dries out the product–again, the cornerstone of control. Marijuana should not be heated longer than 10 minutes or 93 degrees Centigrade to prevent THC oxidation.
CONSUMER CAVEATS CONSUMER CAVEATS
Immunosuppressed individuals and asthmatics should never be exposed to molds, especially _Aspergillus._ People using medical marijuana should take extra precautions:
Ungerlerder et al. sterilized marijuana with ethylene oxide, reporting no loss of THC from fumigation. These researchers also irradiated their dope with high-dose Cobalt 60 (15,000 to 20,000 Gray Units!) with no loss of THC. _This method is not recommended for novices._
Moody et al. evaluated waterpipes for smoking _Aspergillus_-contaminated marijuana. Unfortunately, they found only a 15% reduction in transmission of fungal spores.
In Chicago, goofy dudes spray their marijuana with formaldehyde. This kills insects and fungi, but at a price. The treated weed, known as AMP, causes anoxia and psychomotor retardation when smoked (Spector). According to _Newsweek_ (Jan. 20, 1986), a few ill-intentioned dealers dipped marijuana in rat poison or insecticides like Black Flag or Raid. They called this product "WAC." Indeed. Have a nice day.
LITERATURE CITED: LITERATURE CITED:
Babu, R., A.N. Roy, Y.K. Gupta & M.N. Gupta. 1977. "Fungi associated with deteriorating seeds of _Cannabis sativa L._" _Current Science" 46(20):719-720.
Kagen, S., V.P. Kurup, P.G. Sohnle & J. N. Fink. 1983. "Marijuana somking and fungal sensitization." _J. Allergy Clin. Immunol._ 71:389-393.
Kurup, V.P., A. Resnick, S.L. Kagen, S.H. Cohen & J.N. Fink. 1983. "Allergenic fungi and actinomycetes in smoking materials and their health implications." _Mycopathologia_ 62:109-112.
Llamas, R., D.R. Hart & N.S. Schneider. 1978. "Allergenic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis associated with moldy marijuana." _Chest_ 73:871-872.
Llewellyn, G.C. & C.O. O’Rear. 1977. "Examination of fungal growth and aflatoxin production on marijuana." _Mycopathologia_ 62:109-112.
Moody, M.M., R.C. Wharton, N. Schnaper & S.C. Schimpff. 1982. "Do water pipes prevent transmission of fungi from contaminated marijuana?" _New England J. Med._ 306:1492-1493.
Ramirez, J. 1990. "Acute pulmonary histoplasmosis: newly recognized hazard of marijuana hunters." _American Jounal Medicine_ 88(Supplement 5):60N-62N.
Smith, R.L. C.A. Olson. 1982. "Confused flour beetle and other coleoptera in stored marijuana." _Pan-Pacific Entomologist_ 58:79-80.
Spector, I. 1985. "AMP: a new form of marijuana." _J. Clin. Psychiatry_ 46:498-499.
Taylor, D.N. et al. 1982. "Salmonellosis associated with marijuana." _New England J. Med_ 306:1249-1253.
Ungerlerder, J.T., T. Andrysiak, D.P. Tashkin & R. P. Gale 1982. "Contamination of marijuana cigarettes with pathogenic bacteria." _Cancer Treatment Reports_ 66(3):589-590.
Domsch, K.H., W. Gams & T.H. Anderson. 1980. _Compendium of Soli Fungi_. Two volumes. Academic Press, New York.
Lucas, G.B. 1975. _Diseases of Tobacco_. 3d Ed. Biological Consulting Assoc., Raleigh, NC.
Margolis, J.S. & R. Clorfene. 1975. _A child’s garden of grass_. Ballantine Books, NY.
Westendorp, G.D. 1854. _Les Cryptogames_. I.S. Van Doosselaere. Gand, Belgium.
Submitted by an
Experienced Medical Grower
Two types of Mold – that I think of
1.) stuff that happens on the plant while its growing
(a. powdery mildew on leaf et al &
b. bud mold = with in the bud itself)
2.) mold that happens while drying ( see #b above)
Both can be controlled by controlling the temp and humidity — I forget the humidity that mold needs to form – but the TEMP to stop it is ONLY a 10 or so degree range – damn near impossible … in most cases to keep
BUT as in the first case – this is often hard (due to outdoor conditions – even out door conditions that influence indoor = cool damp air being blown in to the grow room / green house)
– even dehumidifiers – (Sears,JC Pennys = $200 app) can’t keep it dry enough to keep the mold down – and you can’t put them out side SO several methods to combat the problems (always organic)
NEEM OIL sprayed on plants – works great for Powdery Mildue – use it WELL before the lights (hot sun) hits them – one teaspoon in a gal of water -hundson type sprayer – and douse the plant – or use some ‘dish soap’ – like a few drops – to allow the NEEM OIL and the water to mix!
– use once ever 10 days or so – propholactitly – or use more often if you got a bad case and are playing catch up — (don’t let it get there – but if you do shame on you – BUT you can use this stuff OFTEN as you like =
NEEM OIL is from the NEEM PLANT – and You may use in already in your body – IF you use some of the "health food" type tooth pastes – ( I NEVER put anything on a plant that I wouldn’t eat my self!)
– THE ONLY WARNING – I CAN"T MAKE TOO STRONGLY ABOUT NEEM OIL is that it WILL (that’s *WILL*) cause plants to FRY – if its wet when the LITES come on – so do NOT spray it on UNDER THE LITES – or within hours of them coming on – best is to hit them when the lites go off – OR just kill your lites mid cycle IF that is the only time you have to spray — BETTER loss of a few hours then Powdery Mildue OR fried plants
– why does it FRY them? = its like a COOKING OIL = it COOKS them – that’s all ANY COOKING OIL will do this – you HAVE been warned
another EMERGENCY OIL like this is Jajoba Oil (said like HaHoba) — you know its in like Hand cream – its from the Jajoba cautus – healing powers = health food store stuff
– use JUST LIKE NEEM OIL — exactly – and YES it too will fry plants =COOKS them if applied under lights – OR an hour or two Before the lights come on – give your self PLENTY of time = 4 or 5 or MORE hours for the plants to totally dry –
and in both cases you want to TOTALLY DRENCH them – so – best its at the END of the light cycle these work – like a charm – against powdery mildue
——- As to MOLD inside bud – well when you grow – pick NON – "BIG BUD" strains – the huge kola producing indicas – make "rock star" looking buds -put them in a rose box – pretty
BUT these are the SAME ones that tend to mold – also they WEIGH so much more – plants produce heavy – so lots of people like them – for the WEIGHT –
The crystal (THC = medical effects) are low – BUT they are pretty – *UNTIL* they mold – and the whole inside of your BASEBALL BAT size bud – is ROTTEN – happens too often – To get around that – grow sativa crosses … smaller airier buds don’t TEND to mold – and certainly NOT as easy .. not the perfect breeding ground that indicas are ..
——– As to DRYING – and keeping them from molding THERE – THIS AND STORAGE -I FEEL…
– anyway DRYING – This is always a problem – chuckle – and a BIG argument –
I’m into FLASH DRY – many people like the slow dry because it makes the med_S taste better – BUT REMEMBER you got a 10 degree window that you MUST keep them at – and that means SLEEPING WITH THEM – to make sure that room doesn’t go above or below that temp_
– as NONE of us is willing to do that for the 2 or so weeks that THAT type of drying takes —
Go to a FLASH dry – get them hung – and crank the heat – use a fan for larger amounts of med_ use a heater – and use a dehumidifier – and fan the heater – UPS the HYDROSCOPSISITY of the air (allows the air to hold more water) the dehumidifier – pulls the water out of that air the fan pushes the air around .. GOT TO HAVE ALL 3 — other wise it don’t work right — BUT THEN you can dry amazingly fast – as much as you got room to hang — or so I’m told
— THE BIG ARGUMENT is that THEN the med-s smoke harsher —
so the trade off is do you want the CHANCE of mold developing – or spreading – AND also the MED_S potency to drop — (cause in slow dry – the plant tries to keep its ‘sex organs’ = fruit (flowers = buds) alive the longest – so they stay the wettest – in a slow dry – and are the last to dry – and the RESIN on the out side is exposed to the most moisture)
– anyway –
for storage – get it DRY DRY DRY = 10 % moisture content – put in AIR TIGHT containers — AMMO boxes work just fine — with zip locks – and even turkey basting bags – in the cool ground *BUT* check the bud for WEEKS every few days – because the STEMS STORE amazing amounts of water in them – like little tiny straws …!!!
– So HOW DRY IS DRY = how does some one tell with out fancy instruments?
– take a NICE SIZE BUD – grab the stem – and snap it
1.) does it snap easy – with an CLICK? – OR BEND then break but NOT SNAP
– if it SNAPS then its dry enough
– if it bends – then it is still too wet – keep drying!
2.) if YES TO ABOVE – when it snaped – did any ‘dust’ or debray fly off – powder?
– if YES to #2 its TOO Dry
– Stems should SNAP – easy NOT BEND – also there should NOT be any ‘dust’ or powder flying up when the stem breaks –
IF you have that PERFECT POP – you got it at from 7% to 10& moisture -which is perfect for storage —
BUT CHECK CHECK CHECK —
cause the PERFECT dry med-s one day – RE-HYDRATE the next and then go GUMPY
I’ve heard that again and again "well it was BOND DRY when I put it in there – how come it got all moldy – the seal on the box (jar -what ever) must have busted?!?"
Then you find out that they got it dry – and shoved it in the ground -with out checking it –
MED_S can re-hydrate LONG after – meaning the stems hold secret water -with in the buds for long after THEY SEEM DRY – so check it check it check before sealing it and forgetting it
– do the above – and you won’t have to worry about moulds ..