The cannabis industry endures numerous fiascoes on an annual basis.  The worst of these have been the instances in which moldy marijuana was inadvertently distributed, and on quite a large scale!

How Easily It Happens

The legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana in several states has been a huge boon to those economies.  It has also led to very large scale cannabis farming, meaning that each plant on an acreage gets less attention.  

This unintentional neglect allows subpar cannabis flower to develop mold and other ailments.  Many larger farms don’t have the required manpower to control and mitigate issues like this.  Due to the lack of manpower, companies decide to take shortcuts.  For instance, rather that hanging each plant up individually to dry and cure, larger operations choose to put the hemp into large tight bundles that don’t allow for proper aeration.  With procedures like this, it’s almost a guarantee that the quality of part of the crop will be compromised. 

Farms might even catch these compromised crops before they are sent out to dispensaries.  But no one is perfect, so moldy plants inevitably leave the farm when they should have been discarded.  When these mistakes arise, companies then frantically recall their product before it gets into the hands of customers and before a PR nightmare develops.

According to one WestWord article, 80% of Denver dispensaries that were subjected to a random mold test failed.  For those who think this isn’t that big of a deal, you may want to dig a little deeper with us to see just how problematic it is.

Associated Health Risks

Mold negatively affects our health far more frequently than it helps. When a cannabis plant breeds mold, that plant is essentially diseased.  The plant just outwardly expresses this disease with mold

When smoking moldy weed, individuals with mold allergies can have severe reactions.  Like trip-to-the-hospital level reactions. Even without a mold allergy, the spores from mold often nestle themselves into the bronchioles of the lungs, potentially causing chronic respiratory complications.  Other possible health risks include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Impaired Cerebral Processing
  • Cough
  • Asthma
  • Chest Pain
  • Dizziness

What’s Found in Mold?

Mycotoxins

Even a cursory web search of the term mycotoxin reveals quite a bit of negative press.  Wikipedia gives the most concise definition, stating “A mycotoxin is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by organisms of the fungus kingdom and is capable of causing disease and death in both humans and other animals.”  They develop on a variety of foods found in everyday pantries and on plants like cannabis as well.

Endotoxins

Otherwise known as Lipopolysaccharides (LPS), bacteria produces these structures.  When bacteria die, they shed this layer, although LPS can have negative effects on our bodies whether the bacteria is alive or dead.  When these toxins enter our bloodstream, they result in endotoxemia. This condition sometimes sends the body into septic shock.

Needless to say, everyone should avoid moldy weed to the utmost!

How 4 Corners Cannabis Avoids Mold

Ultimately, we’ve avoided problems like moldy cannabis by following a healthy growth model, not just for our plants but for our company as well.  

The size of our farm crew proportionally matches the area that we farm.  As the acreage grows from year to year, so too does our farm crew. This way we always have an appropriate number of eyes on the plants and hands on deck if even the smallest issue needs to be addressed. 

Every part of the process is done by hand.  Even though we harvest thousands of plants, each one is pulled from the ground individually and hung up to dry in a properly aerated space.  By going the extra mile every step along the way, we ensure that our customers get the best possible product.  This balanced approach means that only the highest quality flower makes the journey from farm, to lab, to loyal customers like you.

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