Discussion in 'Medicinal Marijuana' started by ikari, Apr 22, 2003.
I smoked some with the Anaerobic Bacteria and im waiting to see if I die...ill keep you posted.
Maybe if you baked it at 300 Degrees for 15 minutes, then store it airtight (for long periods of storage). Then just use a little bit of moisture when you open it.
Then you won't be running the risk of most of the bacteria, considering the moisture should be gone from the baking, and there is no air.
Just a thought though. Maybe someone should verify it.
This is interesting. LETS EXPERIMENT.
If your interested in doing some research on marijuana and mold. Lets develop it here, and experiment. We can reproduce the studies when the research barrier is lifted.
Ive been interested in doing some experiments looking into marijuana and mold, thank you for this post.
The resin on marijuana collects everything in the air. Including mold and bacteria. I believe the resin processes this information into the plant.
Read a little more about this here
Im in contact with students from Washington University. Once we have the research barrier lifted, we will proove this theory.
Interesting. One thing I'd be interested in knowing is can mold grow on bud that's in a freezer? It sounds like anerobic bacteria doesn't grow in areas that cold, and is rather hard to get, and penicillum won't be transmitted to it unless it comes in contact with something that already has penicillum.
All living things adapt to their enviroment. Eventually mold will adapt to infest your buds in the fridge. Especially with all the stale moisture in the air.
thanks so much for this info. i always kept my stash in the fridge, in an airtight little plastic box, because i thought it was supposed to stay cold and very MOIST! where did i pick up that theory?
I even developed a little trick - i would put a tiny bit of water on the inside of the lid of the airtight box, before closing it and putting it in the fridge, because that was supposed to keep the weed moist (even though the water never touched the actual pot, it would "breathe" the water in while the box was closed, and become more moist.)
after reading your article, all the effort ive been putting in to keep my pot "moist and cold" sounds crazy. ive been promoting the generation of mold, although ive never noticed it. i will definitely be changing my storing habits from now on.
thats a lot of research
thats alot of stuff that i did not know :chokin:
i was just wondering, i have this weed, a far bit of it, that appears to have gone moldy. now i'm not really sure what moldy pot looks like, and it doesn't match any of the given descriptions. it's just looks white, almost crystally-like. does anyone know about this? if it is indeed mold, how bad it is for me, can i smoke it? and, is it only moldy if it is visible, or could i be unable to detect it?
Heh yeah thats mold and fungus...
What you see are tiny mushrooms growing on your weed. I found some like this on the floor in my friends garage. Its harsh , I wouldnt smoke it. It could be toxic.
Molds are filamentous fungi.
Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Molds can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic material. Molds are needed for breaking down dead material. Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight, and this allows them to travel through the air. Mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging from white to orange and from green to brown and black. When molds are present in large quantities, they can cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen.
Allergic persons vary in their sensitivities to mold, both as to amount and type needed to cause reactions. In addition, certain types of molds can produce toxins, called mycotoxins, that the mold uses to inhibit or prevent the growth of other organisms. Mycotoxins are found in both living and dead mold spores. Allergic and toxic effects can remain in dead spores. Exposure to mycotoxins may present a greater hazard than that of allergenic or irritative molds which can cause:
respiratory problems, such as wheezing, and difficulty in breathing
1. nasal and sinus congestion
2. eyes-burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity
3. dry, hacking cough
4. sore throat
5. nose and throat irritation
6. shortness of breath
7. skin irritation
8. central nervous system problems (constant headaches, memory problems, and mood changes)
9. aches and pains
10. possible fever
MICROFLORA OF CANNABIS
VIRUSES AND PROTOZOANS
Cates & Warren (1975) associated cannabis use with an epidemic of hepatitis B in Germany, but did not isolate the virus from plant material. An outbreak of Hepatitis A in Washington state was linked to consumption of Mexican cannabis, fertilized with human excrement (Alexander 1987). No protozoans are reported from cannabis in the literature.
Several bacteria species cited as present on cannabis are human pathogens, and produce toxins: Taylor et al. (1982) isolated Salmonella muenchen from illicit cannabis. Ungerlerder et al. (1982) cultivated Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, E. agglomerans, group D Streptococcus, and Bacillus sp. from cannabis supplied by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Kurup et al. (1983) isolated several thermophilic actinomycetes from cannabis cigarettes, including Thermoactinomyces candidus, T. vulgaris, and Micropolyspora faeni. These organisms, while not infectious, cause allergic pneumonitis in hypersensitive individuals.
In the popular press, Margolis and Clorfene (1975) and DuToit (1980) describe molds colonizing cannabis in the United States and South Africa, respectively. Surprisingly, both accounts report the mold enhancing psychotropic effects of cannabis. These publications initiated a fad among cannabis users, who exposed their cannabis to molds in the hope of increasing the potency of their crop.
The "black web like fungus" described by Margolis & Clorfene (1975) suggests an Aspergillus species. Chusid et al. (1975) cite A. fumigatus causing pneumonitis in a patient who buried his cannabis in the ground for "aging." Llamas et al. (1978) recovered A. fumigatus from cannabis owned by a patient suffering allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Kagen (1981) isolated several Aspergillus species from moldy cannabis, including A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. flavus. Babu et al. (1977) cultured A. niger, A. flavus, A. tamarii, A. sulphureus, and A. repens from seeds in cannabis. Schwartz (1985) isolated A. niger from the sinuses of a cannabis smoker who suffered severe headaches. Llewellyn & O'Rear (1977) demonstrated aflatoxin production in cannabis contaminated with A. flavus and A. parasiticus.
Penicillium species have been isolated from cannabis cigarettes by Kagen et al. (1983) and Kurup et al. (1983). Babu et al. (1977) cultured P. chrysogenum from Cannabis seeds. Bush Doctor (1993) reports isolating P. italicum from cannabis stored with an orange peel at 0o C.
Mucor species have been recovered from cannabis by Kagen et al. (1983) and Kurup et al. (1983). A related zygomycete, Rhizopus stolonifer, was isolated from damp cannabis by Bush Doctor (1993).
Babu et al. (1977) cultured several other fungi from Cannabis seeds that, according to Bossche et al. (1990), may cause opportunistic infections in AIDS patients. These include Alternaria alternata and Curvularia lunata. McPartland (1983, 1991, and 1992) recovered these fungi from Cannabis in the field, plus a Fusarium spp. All these fungi produce toxins. RamÌrez (1990) reports four policeman contracting histoplasmosis, caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, after destroying a Cannabis field in Puerto Rico.
DETECTING CONTAMINANTS IN CANNABIS
Cultivators and consumers of illicit cannabis identify microbiological contaminants by several crude, but seemingly effective, screening techniques (Bush Doctor 1993). Their methods mimic those used by tobacco growers (Lucas 1975).
Contaminated cannabis often darkens in color and exhibits changes in surface texture. Strands of white to pale-gray fungal hyphae become visible in moldy material. Exposed to light, the fungi sporulate, providing a "fuzzy" appearance. Generally, Rhizopus and Mucor species produce grey-black spores, Penicillium conidia are light blue-green, and Aspergillus conidia are dark green-black.
Uncontaminated cannabis produces a mint or aromatic odor. Once infested, the smell changes to a "stale" or "musty" odor. Bush Doctor (1993) reports P. italicum producing a lavender or lilac odor, and A. flavus "smells like a locker room."
Contaminated cannabis undergoing rapid decay may feel warm to touch.
Bush Doctor (1993) screened cannabis for aflatoxin-producing A. flavus with a UV-A lamp. Contaminated material fluoresces a light green color. This screening method has not been tested by other researchers (Llewellyn & O'Rear 1977).
If any of the above screening tests is positive, the suspect cannabis is discarded, without identifying the contaminant. If identification is desired, the cannabis is either cultured or bioassayed. Kurup et al. (1983) and Kagen et al. (1983) provide the description of culture methods used to identify microbiological contaminants.
Cannabis can also be tested with bioassay kits, to detect specific organisms. These assays utilize ELISA (enzyme linked immunoabsorbent assay) biotechnology. They are more sensitive than cultures and much quicker, but also much more expensive. Positive identification of microbiological toxins may require gas chromatography (Rood et al. 1988)
Kurup et al. (1983) demonstrated that spores of Aspergillus fumigatus and Mucor species survive in smoke drawn from pyrolyzed cannabis cigarettes. In addition, some microbiological toxins are not degraded by combustion (Llewellyn & O'Rear 1977).
Moody et al. (1982) evaluated water pipes for smoking Aspergillus- contaminated cannabis. They found only a 15% reduction in transmission of fungal spores.
Levitz and Diamond (1991) suggested baking cannabis in home ovens at 150o C, for five minutes before smoking. Oven treatment killed conidia of A. fumigatus, A. flavus and A. niger, and did not degrade the active component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Ungerlerder et al. (1982) gas-sterilized cannabis with a mix of 12% ethylene oxide and 88% dichlorodifluoromethane, at 8.5-10 psi, for 4.5-5 hours. They report no loss of THC from fumigation. However, residues remain in air pockets of fumigated material, posing another health hazard. They also sterilized cannabis with high-dose Cobalt 60 irradiation (20,000 Gray Units or less), again without THC reduction.
None of these methods, however, degrades microbial antigens. Sensitized patients may still develop bronchospasm after smoking treated material. Nor do these methods decompose microbial toxins.
The best method of eliminating microbial antigens and toxins is by exclusion. This requires careful attention by both cultivators and consumers. Proper cultivation techniques should eliminate human pathogens. Careful cultivation also excludes most opportunistic plant pathogens. Particular attention is required at harvest, to avoid damaging cannabis before it completely dries. Flue-cured cannabis contains fewer opportunistic fungi than air or sweat-cured crops. Sweat-cured Cannabis (common in illicit cannabis from Colombia) maintains a "tradition" of Aspergillus contamination (Bush Doctor 1993).
Bush Doctor (1975) states that infestation by opportunistic fungi cannot occur in plant material below 15% moisture content (MC). Properly dried cannabis contains about 10% MC (material below 10% MC becomes excessively brittle). The dried, unmanicured cannabis, in small aliquots, can then be vacuum-sealed in plastic pouches. This packaging differs from the cannabis currently supplied by NIDA. NIDA supplies cannabis as manicured, pre-rolled cigarettes, in tin cans (Chait and Pierri 1989).
Opening sealed pouches of cannabis re-exposes the material to contamination. Consumers must prevent cannabis from resorbing moisture above 15% MC. Storage at freezer temperatures will not protect cannabis above 15% MC. Placing a lemon or orange peel in stored cannabis (to impart a "pleasant bouquet," according to Frank and Rosenthal, 1978) is discouraged, because the peel may introduce Penicillium or Aspergillus spp. into the stored cannabis. Contaminated material should be discarded.
A variety of bacteria grows on damp cannabis. Many are deadly. Researchers have found Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, and Streptococcus (group D) growing in government-supplied reefer. Salmonella muenchen was found in cannabis growing across the Midwest. (Let someone else roll the joints. I don't lick rolling papers anymore!) Under anaerobic conditions (i.e., damp cannabis stored in airtight containers), Clostridium species will rot pot; these are the famous boutlism 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 cannabis 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 cannabis proper. Two other beetles cited in the study, Adistermia watsoni and Microgramme arga are fungus feeders (the cannabis 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 cannabis may be more dangerous to humans, but they are rare. Molds are common, and can be nasty: Ramirez reports four policemen developing pulmonary histoplasmosis after pulling up a 5,000-square-meter plot of cannabis 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 cannabis. 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 cannabis 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 cannabis, 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 cannabis 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 cannabis.
Aspergillus species grow better in warmer climates, Penicillium in cooler climates. Refrigerator storage encourages Penicillium infestation. Kagen et al. isolated Penicillium from cannabis cigarettes. Babu et al. identified P. chrysogenum attacking cannabis. (P. chrysogenum occurs abundantly in nature, and was Alexander Fleming's source of penicillin.) I isolated P. italicum from cannabis 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 cannabis with a colony of R. stolonifer found growing on bread.
Rotting cannabis 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 cannabis often darkens in color and becomes crumbly. Anaerobic bacteria turn cannabis into brown slime. Cannabis 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 cannabis 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 cannabis 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 cannabis 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 their product to gain weight by reabsorbing moisture before sale. They term this risky business "coming into order." Recently purchased products should be re-dried. Freezer storage will not protect damp pot. Placing lemon or orange peels in stored cannabis 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 re-dried.
Maintaining stored cannabis at 10%-15% MC also discourages insects. Insecticides have no application in stored cannabis. Their residue poses a danger to customers. In addition, 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. However, 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 have been cleared out.
Low temperatures will "freeze" an insect infestation. However, with re-warming, many bugs continue their destruction. Another drawback to freezing above 15% MC cannabis involves the aforementioned exacerbation of Penicillium. Heating cannabis 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. Cannabis should not be heated longer than 10 minutes or 93 degrees Centigrade to prevent THC oxidation.
Immunosuppressed individuals and asthmatics should never be exposed to molds, especially Aspergillus. People using medical cannabis should take extra precautions:
Ungerlerder et al. sterilized cannabis 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 water pipes for smoking Aspergillus-contaminated cannabis. Unfortunately, they found only a 15% reduction in transmission of fungal spores.
In Chicago, goofy dudes spray their cannabis 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 cannabis in rat poison or insecticides like Black Flag or Raid. They called this product "WAC." Indeed. Have a nice day.
what fungi infects buds?
i was just wondering if any one knew the strain of fungi which infects buds when they arent cured properly.
the minor signs of fungi growth which i have seen on some of my buds are white with the appearence like the THC cystrals which form when the buds are ripe.
any experienced help or advice would be useful
There's threads on this. In fact, there's a sticky on it. Closed.
i bought some chronic from this guy in la back in july. i smoked half of it and then stashed it away in a box in my closet and sort of forgot about it somehow. i remembered it on monday and smoked some, then smoked the rest on tuesday. but on tuesday, i had a very strange reaction to it and i started having mild visual hallucinations, and it lasted about 5 hours. i examined my little baggie for any signs of weirdness and i found a bunch of pollen-like stuff on the inside of the bag. i thikn it was some type of fungus...the weed itself wasn't moldy or anything, though. but yeah, i've been tripping out i'm afraid i'm going to have some kind of reaction and die or something. can anyone give me some info?
Most likely not.
Do you feel bad now?
Where the hallucinations scary or good?
Either way, I have heard of a few cases where a person would get sick from smoking moldy weed but I haven't heard of polen like mold. It might actually be pollen. You can never really know unless you are the one that grew and harvested it.
As long as the baggie wasn't in a moist enviroment it shouldn't have molded. I once bought a half ounce of weed and then lost it. You can imagine how happy I was when I found it 8 months later. I smoked it and finished it off by about two months later. Nothing bad happened, no mold, no adverse affects, nothing.
Just make sure to keep your weed in a dry enviroment and make sure that the bag it is in won't condensate creating moisture inside the bag.
Besides that, even if there was some mold there is almost no chance of you dying. However, if you are allergic to mold you might want to take some anti-histamine or allergy tablets.
I guess just answer the above questions I will try to help you.
Wait a minute, I just noticed, you said you smoked it on Tuesday and it is Sunday now, I personally wouldn't worry by this time. If it was going to make you sick it would have done it a long time ago. I have to be very careful about moldy weed because I am highly allergic to mold. So either way, just give us some more info and we will try to give you some specifics.
well i started to have a funny feeling in my chest. it feels like i have to cough, but i don't. i got a chest x ray and everything came back good. the doctor says i probably irritated the lining of my lungs and diganosed me with "pleurisy." and no, the baggie was not in a moist environment and the hallucinations weren't bad, just a little scary since after all these years of smoking i've never had hallucinations like that, espeically after two hits, ahahah.
Ive seen it. Found a bud on the floor in a garage. It had white all over it. It wasnt really a fuzzy white. Looking at it more closely they were tiny mushroom like organisms growing off the bud.
I actually have plurisy and have it severely.
I only get it about once every two months, or more so it acts up, and trust me, if you had it you would know it. In me it causes extreame pain in my mid to upper back and makes me double over in pain, and that just makes it hurt worse.
Besides, plurisy is where pockets of air build up behind your lungs. I highly doubt that you have plurisy because it doesn't cause a feel like you have to cough feeling, even though it can make you cough.
Either way, I really doubt that it really harmed you permanantly. How long have these bad feelings persisted?
Turning what you have said through my head I recall hearing about a type of special weed pollen that, when taken/smoked, was extreamely potent and could cause a much different type of high than normal weed. I do not know if it is true but what you found in your bag that you thought may have been pollen might just have been and it might just have been what caused the odd experience.
I had similar feelings, but sometimes people who grow weed, add special chemicals and sometimes those chemicals accumilate (become stored) in the certain part of the plant, and it gives off CRAAAAAAZYYYY EFFECTS, when I smoked some mild weed, I appearantly found that part of the plant, and after I smoke I nearly smashed my face on the ground, felt like I drunk 1 liter of Bacardi, so it's all good, but I did feel bad in the morning, like after being drunk
What about desiccants?
Just thought that an easy non-disruptive, chemically to the herb, way to keep the bud dry or to dry it without the heat, would be to place some kind of desiccant into your stash. You can usually find them for free at your local pharmacy. Tell the R.Ph. that your grandmother needs them to keep her hearing aid batteries dry, and they will give you a bunch because they are in almost every stock bottle on the shelf, and they are a pain in the arss, they keep falling out on to the counting tray. The desiccants used in pharmacies can absorb upto 100 times there own weight in water weight, so put 5 or 10 in a tupperware container and relax. :laugh:
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