I’ve been growing outdoors for several years successfully but recently ran into a serious problem. After an unusually wet late summer/early fall, my flowers seem to be developing some sort of mold. Parts of the colas suddenly start to appear brown, and then the brown part seems to spread throughout the buds very quickly. I’ve been cutting out the effected parts but now I’m losing close to half of my harvest to this plague. Is there anything I can do to try to prevent this in the future and also, is it safe to smoke the unaffected buds?
Bud rot is a serious issue and certainly not one to take lightly. There are a few things you can do to mitigate or avoid the problem. One is to grow in a greenhouse or hoop house so that rainwater can’t accumulate within your colas. Shake off any branches that have visible wetness on them as well, even within the enclosures, because high humidity can cause liquid to build up and this is where molds thrive. If you insist on growing outdoors, cover the plants temporarily before any rain storms and in the mornings when dew can accumulate.
You’re right to cut out any moldy or rotten parts you can see in order to keep it from spreading, but the fungus that causes rot isn’t always visible, and bud rot can spread even after you’ve seemingly removed the effected pieces.
As for smoking moldy buds: I would never recommend it, particularly for people using medical marijuana due to compromised immune systems. Airborne particles of fungus in your lungs isn’t my idea of a safe smoking experience. Like I mentioned before, the buds don’t have to be visibly effected by bud rot to still have spores on them, so you are smoking them at your own risk.