Killing Mold on Medical Cannabis: Is Irradiation the Future?


cannabis irradiation

The process of cannabis cultivation is an art that has massively evolved over the past decade. Extensive works of research are being conducted regularly to develop more efficient and cost-effective techniques to grow cannabis. And unlike before, growers of marijuana today do their homework before beginning their grow operation.

The cultivation of cannabis isn’t a child’s play, it entails serious work and requires absolute dedication if top yields are your goal. A lot of impediments stand in the way of a cannabis growers goal of a bountiful harvest, and this is especially so in the case of medical cannabis growers because unlike other aspects, medical cannabis cultivation leaves no room for error. The plants cannot be infested with parasites, harmful microbes, molds, and so on. They have to be without blemish else they’re no good for medical application. To meet up with this justly high standard of purity, medical marijuana growers are always on the hunt for the most effective technique available to protect their plants from contamination and ensure maximum yield.

What are molds

Molds are a major concern of cannabis cultivators regardless of the size of the grow operation, commercial or personal. The consumption of moldy cannabis is very dangerous and as such must be avoided. This fungus-based micro-organism can have devastating effects on the outcome of your entire grow operation if not detected early and handled properly. Without a doubt, one of the most important attributes a grower can possess is the ability to detect and prevent infestation. The saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ couldn’t have been better phrased especially where molds are concerned. Dealing with mold infestation is tough work, most growers don’t even bother treating infected plants, they just uproot and destroy to prevent its spread. However, more resilient growers try to treat and defeat mold infestations by employing the available methods which is where irradiation comes into play.

There are several options available to deal with mold infestations but none offers the level of efficiency that irradiation does however despite the high levels of efficiency of this method some consumers have their reservations about it and rightly so because of the hazard risk radiation poses if carried out wrongly, but if done properly you have nothing to worry about as all studies conducted show that this is a safe procedure for dealing with microbe infestation and virtually all the main brands supplying medical cannabis in the industry makes use of this technique.

Another point raised by some consumers is that the radiation exposure tampers with the chemical components and structure of the buds thus affecting its functions and properties (flavors, taste, etc). As regards to this, extensive studies conducted on dried samples before and after an irradiation process by cannabis researcher Arno Hazekamp shows that there were no significant differences in profile or structure of the terpenes and cannabinoid components of the plant. The factual scientific data currently available all show that irradiation is safe for use so there’s no reason to be paranoid about it.

What irradiation entails

The technique of irradiation involves the exposure of infected plants or foods to low levels of high-frequency radiation (gamma or alpha rays). This method has been shown to be highly effective in killing off different microbes from bacteria to parasites, fungus, and even molds. The use of irradiation for food substances was approved in the US as far back as 1958. It is a procedure that is fully approved by all the necessary regulatory agencies and has been in practice for quite some time. Although, it should be noted that it’s not permitted for use on all foods. Regulations on irradiation say that the procedure shouldn’t be employed as a replacement for basic hygiene and proper cultivation and manufacturing processes.

The rules governing the medical cannabis industry clearly specifies that all medical cannabis products must adhere to strict levels of product purity. Medical preparations, especially those to be administered intravenously, inhaled, or taken via sublingual routes, are required to be absolutely free from specific contaminants like molds. Sadly, it’s highly unlikely to cultivate and process marijuana plants under absolutely sterile conditions that are needed to get yields that will fall within the accepted contamination limits thus making decontamination a crucial process for all cannabis grown for medical purposes. And no available method offer the level of purity or efficiency irradiation brings to the table.

The importance of irradiation cannot be overemphasized as it ensures that the end product is as pure and safe as possible thus prompting the question, is irradiation the future of medical cannabis production?

 

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