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The dangers of microbial contaminants in cannabis and how to prevent mold and mildew

In an Ed Rosenthal article, Front Range Biosciences’ VP of Research & Development, Dr. Reggie Gaudino, discusses the dangers of microbial contaminants in cannabis and how to prevent mold and mildew caused by these harmful microorganisms. Read an excerpt from the article below:

Image by Ed Rosenthal
Image by Ed Rosenthal

“Recently, Steep Hill Labs collaborated with medical researchers at University of California, Davis – Medical Center, and found that of 20 randomly selected [cannabis] samples submitted for testing at the Steep Hill Facility in Berkeley, California all had detectable levels of microbial contamination, and many had significant pathogenic microorganism contamination.

“Buds infected with powdery mildew or other molds and fungi are unfit for smoking. Many jurisdictions mandate laboratory testing of commercial cannabis for fungal and bacterial pathogens.

“Moldy buds are not suitable for use in extracts either. Concentrating contaminated cannabis using ice water transfers toxins and spores into the final extract, making it unfit for smoking. Moist hash molds when stored at room temperature.

“Butane and carbon dioxide extractions kill mold and mildew but leave toxins behind. As a result, professional extractors in legal states are facing mandatory lab testing.”

Concerning mold prevention, Dr. Gaudino says, “When buds are dried and cured properly, they rarely become infected with mold. The best way to deal with infection is prevention.”

Read the full article.

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