Botrtyis Mold is often called “bud rot” in the cannabis community, but this label does the viral fungal disease no justice. Botrtyis cineria is much more problematic than just buds rotting.
What is gray mold in cannabis buds?
Gray, fluffy, sometimes white and dark purple mold in cannabis buds are all different stages of the fungi Botrytis cinerea(Ancient Greek for grape disease) This mold commonly grows on a variety of organic matter including grapes, citrus, and other sugary delights including cannabis buds.
Botrytis mold spreads like wildfire, quickly decimating ripe cannabis buds into mush on it’s tyranny to reproduce. Even when botrytis mold is intricately picked out of affected plants and the damaged areas sterilized, the fungi often returns within a few hours.
Flowering Afghani-Indica strains are destroyed quickly in humid conditions by botrytis mold. This is likely due to their flowering time and natural climate rarely exposing these plants to mold. The inner valleys of the Hindu Kush see little rain and have desert vegetation. source
Any sub-tropical / tropical outdoor grower who has grown a Kush or an Afghani strain has probably dealt with botrytis mold ruining their buds too. Unless you’re in a desert it’s almost impossible to avoid this pesky mold. So what do you do about it?
How do you deal with moldy buds?
Once cannabis flowers are infected with botrytis mold, here’s what to do with a plant when you want the rest to finish:
1.) Remove affected areas as carefully as possible with a sharp knife or scissors from the plant.
2.) Put the moldy buds in a garbage bag.
3.) Clean the damaged area of the plant with isoprophyl alcohol.
4.) Throw the bag of moldy buds away.*
*If you’re not comfortable doing that, you could possibly dump the moldy buds in alcohol or do some other way of extraction for non-smoking use. Warning: remember that inhaling botrytis mold is super dangerous. If you open up that bag again ur gotta get bombarded with mold spores real quick.
Most stoners already know not to smoke shrooms. The same goes for botrytis mold. Why? Because mold can grow in your lungs! source
Rule of thumb for Afghani and indica dominant strains: keep them as dry as possible to avoid mold. Not just from rain, but humidity also.
What are rotting buds?
Rotting is plant material that dies, turns brown and rots. This happens all the time on seeded female plants. As seeds develop into maturity, the seed pots die naturally and decompose on the plant as it continues it’s growth.
Rotting buds in sensimilla (seedless cannabis) can be caused by either to too much humidity or water on the buds during flowering. Luckily, bud rot doesn’t spread viral quick.
If you can pick out bud rot carefully before harvest, you may be able to save the plant — however if the plant is additionally contaminated with botrytis mold you’re sheer out of luck.
Tropical Sativa strains
In rainy season, certain tropical sativa strains can withstand the rain and not mold out. Even some hybrids retain this trait.
These strains when exposed to the wet weather tend to develop bud rot without growing mold on top. This condition is likely due to generations of flowering in wet and rainy climates.
Slow-growing bud rot is certainly more fortunate than viral botrytis mold disese that ruins buds in a matter of days, even hours.
Strains from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam are very resilient against botrytis mold. For the grower however, some of these strains grow an incredibly long 20+ week flowering time. Breeders like myself at MoldResistantStrains.com and others in warm climates are able to work with these strains easily, but for you northern growers you’ll need to be a bit innovative to do it right.