Willow Blog

Microbial Movement May

Microbial Moment

May 2020

This month’s newsletter is all about kill-steps! You’ll find research papers on cannabis quality standards, studies on mold prevention techniques, recent news, and more!

  1. Cannabis Inflorescence for Medical Purposes: USP Considerations for Quality Attributes

Defining quality standards for flower is one of the most important ongoing conversations in cannabis today. In this paper, researchers explain why more stringent criteria is especially needed for medical products.

  1. Most of Colorado’s Failed Cannabis Tests Stem from Microbials: Here’s What Cultivators and Dispensaries Can Do About It

And this is why kill-steps exist: “If I have a sample that comes in at 9,000 at my level [before it’s] in the dispensary, that doesn’t mean that the yeast and mold aren’t going to continue to grow and possibly be over 10,000 when it does reach the consumer.”

  1. The Problem with Drying Cannabis

Instead of using drying (or as is often the case, overdying) as a mold prevention technique, we recommend adding a kill-step at the end of your process. It’s admittedly self-serving advice, but that’s why kill-steps exist.

  1. Cannabis Use and Fungal Infections in a Commercially Insured Population, United States, 2016

There are multiple explanations for this finding, but we can’t ignore the role of moldy product: “… persons who used cannabis were 3.5 times more likely than person who did not use cannabis to have a fungal infection in 2016.”

  1. Episode 34 – Cannabis Remediation and Testing with Jill Ellsworth

We all know product testing was inevitable in cannabis, but that’s only a starting point. In this episode of the Weed Wonks podcast, Jill Ellsworth speaks with Jordan Wellington about the future of cannabis testing.

  1. White Mold: How to Diagnose and Prevent Sclerotinia in Cannabis

This one’s a quick read. You’ll learn what white mold is, how to identify it, and what you can do to avoid an outbreak. And for the visual learners, there are good photos.

  1. Why you should read the label on your cannabis product

 In addition to looking for a COA, confirm there was total yeast and mold testing. Even if a batch tests at 32% THC and has great terpenes, if the flower is moldy, the taste, burn, aroma and shelf-life will all suffer.

  1. Microbiological Attributes of Powdered Cannabis

We often talk about mold on living plants or freshly harvested buds without thinking about “storage molds” – the pathogens that can survive in low water environments for extended periods of time. This article is a great introduction to the subject.

  1. Five top considerations before acquiring a cannabis cultivation site

This is all great advice, but we recommend taking it a step forward: have an expert test the environment for mold. It’s really hard to grow clean if your facility has an underlying problem. 

  1. Common Marijuana & Hemp Diseases

The association between mold and disease is an ever present issue for cultivators. In this article, Dr. Wang, a plant pathologist for the NV Dep. of Agriculture, explains how to diagnose and treat your plants if a problem arises.

Willow Industries - May 31, 2020