How To Identify Mold In CBD Products
What Are Mycotoxins And are they in CBD Products?
November 17, 2021
Three words that we don’t often associate with CBD products: mold, mycotoxins, and microbials. It is harmful to ingest moldy cannabis products. Let’s take a quick dive into mold and discuss why it is dangerous and how to ensure your cannabis products are mold-free.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that thrives in moist and humid environments without proper air ventilation and reproduces through airborne spores. Every day humans inhale or ingest tiny amounts of mold spores, the majority of which are not harmful to a healthy immune system. Cannabis mold spores are extremely difficult to get rid of. They can survive combustion when heated and the decarboxylation process in the oven. Some cannabis molds can produce carcinogenic mycotoxins.
Mold Found on Cannabis Plants
The two main types of mold that grow on cannabis plants are:
- Powdery Mildew
- Botrytis or Grey Mold which causes bud rot
Other types include Penicillium, Mucor, Rhizopus, Cladosporium, and Aspergillus.
Health Hazards of Cannabis Molds
Cannabis molds are especially dangerous for users with any severe respiratory condition or a compromised immune system. Here are the potential reactions that mold can cause:
- Any upper respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness or pain
- Stuffy nose
- Red or itchy eyes
- Memory loss
- Severe allergic reaction
Not only is mold bad for your health, but it is bad for the well-being of the cannabis plant; it degrades the cannabinoids and terpenes, diminishing its potency. Unfortunately, the only recourse for the presence of mold or mildew in your cannabis products is to throw them away.
Mycotoxins in CBD Products?
The most common reason that fungi cause health issues is from certain productions of fungus, known as mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites created by a fungus (molds). In simplistic terms, they are fungal poisons. The molds often grow on various types of crops (including cannabis/hemp) and foods under warm and humid conditions.
Are Mycotoxins Bad?
Mycotoxins are poisonous to both humans and animals. They cause various adverse effects, including acute poisoning. If a person has long-term exposure to mycotoxins it can result in immune deficiencies and cancer. You can absorb mycotoxins by inhalation— for example, breathing in toxic mold in the environment, and through your skin or the intestinal lining if you eat foods contaminated with mycotoxins.
Symptoms Of Possible Mold And Mycotoxin Exposure
There are many symptoms and illnesses are associated with mold exposure:
- runny stuffy nose
- rapid weight gain or loss
- hair loss
- dry skin
- hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- chronic pain
- leaky gut
- blurred vision
- behavioral changes
- teeth conditions
- insulin resistance
- chemical sensitivity (Toxic Encephalopathy)
- constipation and or diarrhea
- abdominal cramps
- heart failure
Inflammatory conditions can occur due to mycotoxins’ ability to push the immune system into overdrive.
How to Ensure Your CBD Products Are Mold Free
Before you purchase any cannabis product, always check the lab reports to ensure it is free of molds and mycotoxins. If the brand or product hasn’t tested for mycotoxins or microbials, that is a huge red flag and we suggest finding a different brand/product. All Simple Leaf hemp products are lab tested and verified clean.
If mold or mycotoxin is a concern, please seek a licensed, knowledgeable practitioner to confirm a diagnosis and oversee treatment.