Using plasma and gamma radiation to reduce fungi growth on cannabis

Published Apr 29, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / sakkmesterke

What is that smell in the bag of weed you bought? Well, that moldy weed could have been prevented if radiation had been used during the process before it ended up in your baggie and in your lungs. How beneficial and safe do you think radiation is to treat the fungi that grows on weed?

Types of radiation

There are three types of radiation used in the process of decontaminating or cleaning pathogens from cannabis.

  1. Alpha radiation

  2. Beta radiation

  3. Gamma radiation

Medical marijuana users often have compromised immune and respiratory systems. Mold, microbes, and parasites are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Irradiation is a process used in food and herb decontamination to ensure that these negative substances are removed from the plant materials. This method of decontamination is controversial among some cannabis users.

What changes in your weed when it is irradiated?

So, you may have never known that your medical marijuana has passed through this process. For interest sake, when food or cannabis is irradiated, the use of high-frequency gamma rays are implemented. These gamma rays kill E. coli, salmonella, parasites, and mold. Some medical cannabis users claim that when the weed is irradiated, there is a change in the taste and effect. However, this method of decontaminating your weed is for some the better way compared to ionizing radiation, which can change the texture of the bud.

Seed to table

Mold is not discriminative. The fungi do not care if you are the at-home 4 plant grower, a micro grower, or a large commercial cannabis grower. Mold is an issue, and learning how to recognize and prevent it is essential to the end result of your cannabis growing endeavor. Treating mold is not an easy job, and management of the fungi needs to start from the seed to the finished product.

Smoking or vaping moldy weed can lead to negative health concerns. Often a tiny amount of the dangerous pathogen may be left behind after the processing, and this can be the situation with clean, properly dried weed.  The recreational cannabis user without a compromised immune or respiratory system will be able to tolerate this small amount of fungi.

However, this is not the case for the medical marijuana user who cannot be prescribed moldy weed as an end product because this type of medicine could cause an increase in health issues for the medical cannabis user. Some growers destroy the crop in order to control an infestation of any fungi, deeming this to be the better route specifically for the medicinal marijuana user.

Medical cannabis

Today most major cannabis brands that have official approval for medical cannabis use the irradiation method to ensure the product they are providing for the medical patient is clean and safe from unhealthy pathogens. Medical cannabis uses the science of gamma rays from gamma radiation to maintain strict standards regarding microbial contamination. The standards in Europe, America, and Canada regarding inhaled medical preparations require that pathogens such as mold not be present in the products.

How to Detect Prevent and Treat Moldy Weed  Cannabis Wiki

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