Powdery mildew vs trichomes – the battle is on! Find out how to differentiate problems like molds, white powdery mildew from natural, good elements like trichomes. It might seem ridiculous considering what the actual difference between all of them is but they can be easily mistaken for each other. However, because of their similar colors and where they appear.
It isn’t an exaggeration to suggest that moldy cannabis has the potential to be lethal. Although it is unlikely to be deadly for healthy people, it is possibly dangerous for users with compromised immune systems. Even if you are generally healthy, moldy cannabis might make you extremely ill. As a result, you must know how to recognize mold on your cannabis. Worryingly, many inexperienced users cannot distinguish between mold and cannabinoid-rich trichomes.
Mold is a fungus that may develop on various surfaces, including cannabis. While most mold spores are safe for humans, certain molds create hazardous mycotoxins. Furthermore, any mold on your plants might reduce bud quality or lead them to fail quality and safety tests. Mold spores are extremely difficult to remove after they have been introduced to your cannabis. If you can’t see mold on your cannabis, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Botrytis mold may live within your cannabis plant for two to three weeks before being evident to the naked eye. It’s too late at that time, and the crop has been harmed.
The greatest difficulty is that moldy cannabis and high-quality cannabis appear identical! If you’ve only ever taken mids cannabis, you’re unlikely to have this issue. However, premium-grade bud is densely packed with shimmering milky white trichomes that give your cannabis its distinct kick. The problem is that moldy cannabis appears white at first glance. Even a powdery mildew infection causes white spots on the leaves and buds. It can be challenging to make the connection if you are a newbie.
White powdery mildew and botrytis (commonly referred to as grey mold) are the most prevalent molds found on cannabis plants.
A fungus like powdery mildew (PM) is visible to the naked eye. Powdery mildew on cannabis is frequently seen as a fine grey or white powder that resembles powdered sugar or flour. Cannabis powdery mildew grows in high humidity, low humidity, or unstable humidity environments with insufficient air movement. It is usually found on the plant’s leaves, although it can also grow on its buds and stems. Other symptoms of powdery mildew vs trichomes include dark areas, thick spider webbing, and slime.
PM may attack your plants and buds at any stage of development, even clones. However, it is most commonly observed when plants age and grow bigger leaves. Larger plants have less ventilation and more transpiration, which can increase humidity. In a confined space, if the temperature control system is not sized to handle the amount of moisture injected, powdery mildew on dried buds can be a major issue.
Botrytis is a fungus that causes bud rot in many producers, including the Instagram user depicted above. It begins inside the buds and expands outwards in cannabis, making detection difficult in the early stages. The first sign of Botrytis infection is plant texture and color change. The leaves may become necrotic and swiftly dry out, while the stems may turn brown, frail, and ulcerated. The fungus is usually discovered in buds that turn pale-grey, dry, cotton-like, and soft inside the cola or center flower cluster. The simplest method to detect whether your cannabis bud has grey mold is to tear apart the cola and look for the telltale signs: a fuzzy, white growth that spreads throughout the inside of the flower.
If you see any of these indicators in your cannabis, you must act swiftly to save your plant. Botrytis flourishes in humid environments; thus, the first step is to lower the humidity around your plant. This may be accomplished by improving air circulation and ventilation. Humidity is an important element in the development of botrytis. The higher the humidity content, the more likely fungus and pests will attack cannabis plants. Botrytis flourishes in temperatures ranging from 63°F to 77°F, although it may also grow at higher temperatures.
Molds are fungi that grow in warm, moist, and humid environments. They grow from spores that fly through the air unnoticed by the human eye. Mold benefits the ecology because it decomposes dead plant material, but you don’t want it on your buds. Mold on cannabis may grow on cannabis due to problems with humidity, ventilation, temperature, and plant health. Any of these variables, or a combination, can produce a climate conducive to mold growth on your buds.
Maintaining a controlled environment in your grow room is the greatest method to prevent mold formation. Using fans, dehumidifiers, temperature control systems, and ventilation, you can keep the humidity, airflow, and temperature consistent. This will produce a controlled atmosphere for your plants and improve their general health. Other methods for reducing mold in your garden include:
Pruning and spacing will improve airflow across the canopy, reducing humidity. Overwatering your plants will raise the humidity level since plants cannot absorb water, causing it to evaporate into the air and remain in the room. Under or overfeeding your plants’ nutrients may weaken their immune systems and make them more susceptible to mold infestation.
When growing outside, you have fewer options for protecting your garden against mold because you can’t regulate the environment. Appropriate spacing, trimming, and feeding are critical for crop protection. When plants are in their final homes—either final containers or the ground—stake, cage, or trellis the plants as they grow to maintain branches regularly spaced, allowing air to circulate freely and evenly throughout the canopy. Furthermore, pruning your plants’ bottoms and insides is vital outdoors to enable air to move beneath the canopy. After heavy rains, some gardeners opt to shake their plants to remove standing water from them if they grow in the open. Inspecting for damaged branches and removing any dead foliage that has become soaked with moisture is also typical, creating an excellent environment for mold growth.
Trichomes are microscopic mushroom-like structures that grow on the surface of cannabis flowers and generate cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for cannabis’ distinct freshness. Cannabinoids are the compounds found in cannabis that give it its quality properties. However, growers are recommended to understand the difference between trichomes vs terpenes. Trichomes also safeguard the plant from herbivores, pests, and UV radiation. The bulk of trichomes is located on the buds, although they can also be found on the cannabis plant’s leaves, stems, and roots. Trichomes are where the magic happens when it comes to cannabinoids. Because cannabinoids are not water soluble, they cannot be dissolved in them. This is why steeping cannabis leaves in hot water will not result in a cannabinoid-infused tea. However, cannabinoids may be dissolved in oils and used to produce edibles.
Trichomes vary in size, shape, and color based on the strain of cannabis. Some cannabis strains, for example, have rounder trichomes, while others have more elongated ones. Some trichomes are transparent, whereas others are amber or milky-white.
Because of the similarities in microscope trichomes or mold appearance, distinguishing mold vs trichomes can be difficult. However, there are certain crucial distinctions to be aware of, and seasoned gardeners can tell the difference at a glance. Healthy trichomes are glittery, shiny, tall, and thin resinous glands separated by tiny gaps. They have tiny hairs with mushroom-like tips that seem translucent or milky white. Mold appears to be a fuzzy, dirty-looking material when seen under a microscope.
Broken trichomes or mold and high-grade cannabis can both grow a covering of white dots. When you look closely, you can see the difference. To be certain, experts recommend investing in a magnifying glass. Close inspection of the bud reveals trichomes, crystal or milky white with mushroom-like caps. Conversely, moldy on cannabis will be hairy and appear ‘aged.’ Mold on cannabis resembles mold on rotten fruits and vegetables.
Under high light and magnifying lens, you can see a hair-like fuzz that is white, green, brown, gray, or black. If your cannabis seems ‘dusty,’ it is most likely mildew. Mold can also be described as looking like spider webs or white cotton candy. By looking closely, maybe using a jeweler’s loup, you can determine the result of powdery mildew vs trichomes. Using a magnifying glass of some kind, you can determine whether what you see is microscope trichomes or mold.
Surprisingly, you can even use your hearing to judge the quality of cannabis. When buds are properly dried and cured, they shatter apart with a crisp ‘snapping’ sound. It indicates low moisture content, which is ideal in cannabis. If the buds are difficult to separate or make little noise, they most likely have a high moisture content. This is a sign of badly-dried cannabis. This also raises the possibility of mold formation.
The nugs of high-quality cannabis are easy to separate. Also, remember how it feels for future reference if you trust the source and know it’s high-quality cannabis. It is low-grade cannabis if the bud is crumbly and contains compacted nugs. When it comes to powdery mildew vs trichomes, the way each feels is completely different.
Cannabis has a long shelf life as long as it is properly dried and cured. It should ideally be hung upside down to dry for many days. When the moisture level is low enough, it should be kept in sealed glass containers. When done correctly and stored properly, your cannabis should survive at least six months, if not longer. Mold can occur when cannabis is not dried properly or thoroughly enough. Learn how to identify moldy bud vs trichomes since molds can be fatal if you have a weakened immune system. Unfortunately, because of the lack of common testing standards, there is a huge variance in the quality of cannabis testing in various places. Additionally, only buy cannabis from dispensaries and companies with quality-tested plants for infections and molds.
Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author