Are your herbs contaminated? How to tell!
In an ideal world, every single plant we vape would be completely natural and unaltered. However, because they are not synthetic, herbs can attract harmful fungi and microbes.
Contamination can happen quite easily because of the humid conditions required for growing are great conditions for growing germs.
Despite there being a high number of reputable shops selling CBD flower, there is, unfortunately, a lack of testing for harmful bacteria or chemicals.
Contaminated herbs can be dangerous to your health. For example, the Britsh Medical Journal published a study about a smoker who was experiencing tiredness, dizziness and memory loss. Doctors eventually discovered her bud had been contaminated.
Below we cover how we can detect signs of contamination.
3 Common types of contamination
Bacteria - If your herbs were not been cured and dried correctly they are at risk of being infected by bacteria. This is especially hazardous for those smoking or vaping for medical reasons - for example, cancer patients with weakened immune systems or anyone with lung conditions.
Pesticides - Tiny insects such as aphids and gnats can be devastating for a grow. As a result, farmers use a range of pesticides and insecticides to kill pests and protect the plant. It is important to flush your plants towards the end of their grow cycle to minimise chemicals ending up in the final product; you do not want to ingest these!
Fungal Infection - This is possibly the most prevalent type of contamination. Most varieties of herbs require humidity when growing. This also happens to be the great conditions for fungi to thrive. The most common types are mildew and mould. Thankfully, they are easy to spot, look out for grew spots or a fuzzy texture on leaves.
How to detect contamination.
Does it look right? - The easiest way to spot potential problems is to see if it looks as it should. If there are any specks of white powder or your herbs look off-colour, there is a good chance your bud is no good.
Does it smell right? - Different types of herbs have their individual scents but generally, they should all smell natural and musky with hints of sweetness.
Herbs that have not been flushed properly may have a synthetic smell due to high concentrations of chemicals.
If it smells damp and stale your bud has probably been contaminated. Finally, if it smells too 'fresh', it likely has not been cured properly and is liable to grow mould in storage.
Does it feel right? - Place your dried herbs between your fingers and give it a gentle squeeze. The best dry herbs will feel dry and crispy. If it is damp and soggy it can be liable to grow mould if it hasn't already. Also, avoid herbs that leave a powdery residue on your fingers after the squeeze test.
The last word.
The increasing popularity for CBD Flowers and other similar herbs is causing growers to struggle to keep up with the demand. As a result, there is a higher probability that shortcuts will be taken as they rush to get their product into stores.
Even the most reputable shops may have contaminated flowers they are not aware of.
Make it a habit to always inspect your flowers before you smoke or vape it!!