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Mold in cannabis - Is it dangerous and how can detect it

Cannabis infested with mold may pose a real health hazard, especially for patients with weakened immune systems. Recently patients complain about mold in their medical cannabis, so we checked out and here are some important tips.

Patients are recently publishing pictures of medical cannabis that have been given with mold, mainly The Cannabis Forum on Facebook - despite the Ministry of Health's stringent new regulations on the matter.

But what is mold anyway? This is a number of species of fungi that grow on plants like cannabis. When mold is consumed by smoking it is much more dangerous than eating, because it is not filtered through the liver and comes straight from the lungs to the bloodstream.

Medical Cannabis with Mold of the Aspiration for Life Company - Photo from the Cannabis Forum on Facebook
Medical cannabis with mold - Photo from the Cannabis Forum on Facebook

So if mold is suspected of cannabis, the right thing to do is throw it away immediately. There is no point in trying to cut the moldy part and saving the non-infected parts, because mold spores spread to the rest of the flower.

For example, a video published by a medical cannabis patient who fears that he found mold in flowers. It should be noted that there is no proof that this is indeed a mold in this case and that the company mentioned in the video claims that it is not mold at all.

Smoking cannabis with mold can cause fungal infection, health, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. For medical cannabis patients with weakened immune systems, mold smoking may also end in death in extreme cases.

These data are one of the reasons why medical cannabis in Israel and abroad passes Radiation therapy.

Mold detection in cannabis

As in fruits and vegetables, cannabis can also be seen quite clearly whether it has mold or not. However one of the things that make it difficult to identify mold in cannabis flowers is Trigonometry The white ones that cover them, that in high quality cannabis may be very dense and remind mold.

In order to distinguish between white trichomes and white mold, it is important to remember that mold also grows on the trichomes themselves. The best way is to look at the flowers closely and look for the thicker, denser texture of the mold, which also covers the trichomes themselves.

There is no better way to detect mold than with the eye, so if you are not sure, you should examine as many photos of molded cannabis as possible to get to know its visibility and compare your cannabis.

Mold on cannabis may mention a few trigrams, but at a closer look the differences are obvious
Mold on cannabis may mention a few trigrams, but at a closer look the differences are obvious

If mold is detected, the only thing left to do is throw the flowers in the garbage, with all the sorrow of it. In the case of medical cannabis in the license, contact the company providing, alerting and requesting a replacement.

Where does mold come from?

The truth is that mold is everywhere. Even if a closed food package is stored in the refrigerator, the food in it will eventually develop mold, even though it is in a closed package and refrigerated.

Where does the mold come from then? In fact he was there all this time. His spores are everywhere, and all they need to grow is time, food, water, and proper temperature. When these conditions are satisfied, the mold can grow and multiply.

Cannabis in general is a healthy plant that produces its own defenses against mold. However, when it is overgrown or poorly stored in a damp and stale environment, it can become a fertile corn for the mold and significantly endanger the health of the person who consumes it.

The dangers of mold smoking

Smoking cannabis with mold may be harmful for a number of reasons. First, mold spores can survive in extreme environmental conditions, Including when burned with fire, And settle into the warm, moist (and ideal for the lungs) environment of the lungs after inhaling them. If the immune system is not strong enough to fight them, it may lead to a health infection.

Another reason cannabis with mildew can be harmful is called toxins Mycotoxins ("Mushroom toxins") - toxic substances produced by fungi that can remain even after they have disappeared. Prolonged exposure to mold containing mycotoxins through smoking may worsen existing autoimmune diseases and also cause pulmonary infections.

Cannabis flower with mold
Cannabis flower with mold

There are many species of mold that may attack cannabis flowers, but the main ones are botrytis (also known as buds or gray mold), aspergillus and penicillium. Aspergillus and phenylacium produce mucotoxins and are therefore considered more dangerous than botrytis, which is a problem mainly for growers.

Not all species of Aspergillus and Phenicillium produce mycotoxins. Those who do, produce mycotoxins from two main groups: oxytroxines, especially toxic to the kidneys but also to the liver and the immune system and impair fetal development and fertility, and patulin, which destroys blood cells and edema and is suspected of cancer.

Aspergillus lung infections are a well-known phenomenon that also has its own name - pulmonary aspergillosis. Aspergillosis is usually treatable, but when it occurs in patients with weakened immune systems it can be fatal, and such cases Have been documented Back in the 80.

When the Aspergillus spores reach the lungs and the immune system fails to fight them, they are Create A sort of ball of fungal infection called Aspergilloma and required surgery to get it out of the lungs.

Aspergillus mold on a Cannabis flower
Aspergillus mold on a Cannabis flower

National Center for Aspergillosis in Britain Published in 2011 Documentation of two severe cases of Aspergilloma in medical cannabis patients - one of which ended in death and the other ended with a successful operation that removed from the patient's lungs a huge ball of fungal infection that can be seen in the picture.

Aspergillus is also common in tobacco, but the filter found in tobacco cigarettes significantly reduces the risk of smoking. Cannabis, on the other hand, is used to smoke without a filter to avoid harming its psychoactive effect.

It is difficult to assess the dimensions of the problem of cannabis afflicted with Aspergillus, because most of the research was done retroactively on people who developed aspergillosis. Yet, Research A new study of 90 samples of cannabis in Madrid found Aspergillus in 10% of them.

A mass of fungal infection removed from the lungs of a man who regularly smoked cannabis infected with Aspergillus. Source: National Center for Aspergillosis in the UK
A mass of fungal infection removed from the lungs of a man who regularly smoked cannabis infected with Aspergillus. Source: National Center for Aspergillosis in the UK

There are fewer studies of the dangers of cannabis-infested tobacco, and unlike aspergillus and phenylacium, it does not produce mucotoxins, so it is considered less dangerous to the consumer (but a big nightmare for the breeder).

However, it is known that botrytis may trigger Respiratory allergic reaction Acute among growers exposed to their spores through the air they breathe in the vicinity of the tumor.

This is a known problem in agriculture, especially vineyards for wine, so the allergic reaction to botriasis is known as Winegrower's Lung, or 'Lair of the Wine Grapes'. Because fire does not kill mold spores, this allergic reaction can also occur in the smoking of cannabis, which is infected with botriasis.

Another common type of mold that attacks cannabis flowers is penicillium - the type of mold from which antibiotics produce penicillin. Like Aspergillus, Penicillium also produces dangerous mycotoxins, and since it also produces penicillin, it is especially dangerous for people who are allergic to penicillin. Inhaling of penicillium can also cause asthma attacks or worsen them.

Cannabis fines

(Starting with 1 in April 2019)

Based on a figure revealed by Minister Erdan. Police refuse to reveal official figureDetails here)

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