At Highgrade Labs, we strive to bring you the most pertinent information related to the legal cannabis industry. In this blog, we will cover why cleanliness in cannabis cultivation is so essential as well as the best practices you can implement when growing cannabis.
Cannabis Health & Safety Concerns
Cleanliness can affect the health and safety of the cultivators, consumers, and the plant itself. Let’s get right into the specifics:
Potential hazards of unclean cannabis cultivation:
Unclean cannabis cultivation can create several hazards, but here are just a few examples of the most prevalent:
- Pesticides and other chemicals: Cannabis plants are often treated with pesticides and other chemicals to protect them from pests and diseases. However, these chemicals can harm the plants and the people who work with them.
- Mold and mildew: Cannabis plants are susceptible to mold and mildew, which can produce harmful toxins.
- Waterborne pathogens: Cannabis plants are grown in water, which can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
- Bacteria and viruses: Unclean growing conditions can lead to the growth of bacteria and viruses on the cannabis plants.
- Heavy metals: Cannabis plants can absorb heavy metals from the soil, which can accumulate in the plant material.
Most importantly, a lack of cleanliness can create health hazards, but secondarily, it can affect the quality of the cannabis you are working so hard to grow. Some ways that cleanliness can improve quality include:
- Preventing contamination: A clean environment can prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, and other contaminants that can impact the quality of cannabis.
- Maintaining potency: Cleanliness can help maintain the potency of the cannabis plant by preventing the growth of contaminants that can impact its chemical composition.
- Enhancing flavor and aroma: Cleanliness can help preserve the flavor and aroma of cannabis by preventing contamination and maintaining freshness.
- Meeting regulatory requirements: Cleanliness is often a requirement for compliance with regulatory standards for cannabis cultivation and processing.
- Protecting consumer health: Cleanliness is essential in ensuring that the final product is safe for consumption and does not pose any health risks to consumers.
Compliance & Regulations
If nothing else compels you to keep your cannabis cultivation clean, there are laws and regulations in place that require you to adhere to certain guidelines when growing cannabis.
These regulations vary by state and county, but some common legal requirements include obtaining a license, following specific cultivation and processing methods, and testing for contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and microorganisms.
In addition, regulatory bodies often require growers to maintain a clean and sanitary environment during cultivation and processing to prevent contamination and ensure product quality.
Best Practices for Cleanliness in Cannabis Cultivation
Now that we’ve covered why you should incorporate cleanliness in your cannabis cultivation, let’s talk about how you can do that.
Cleaning and sanitation procedures:
- Establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cleaning and sanitation.
- Using cleaning and disinfectant products that are safe for use on cannabis and that meet regulatory requirements.
- Developing a cleaning schedule that addresses all areas of the cultivation facility, including equipment, tools, and surfaces.
- Regularly testing surfaces and equipment for contaminants to ensure that cleaning procedures are effective.
- Documenting all cleaning and sanitation procedures to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Implementing pest management strategies to prevent pests from entering the facility and damaging the plants.
- Establishing strict protocols for visitors and employees, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand hygiene practices.
- Monitoring and controlling environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and ventilation to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
- Using water treatment systems to ensure that the water used for cultivation and processing is free from contaminants.
- Conducting regular audits and inspections to identify potential areas for contamination and implementing corrective actions to address them.
Staff training & education:
- Providing comprehensive training on cleaning and sanitation procedures, including the use of cleaning and disinfectant products.
- Providing regular refresher training on cleaning and sanitation procedures.
- Ensuring that all employees are aware of the importance of cleanliness in cannabis cultivation and the potential consequences of non-compliance.
- Providing training on the use of PPE and hand hygiene practices.
- Encouraging employees to report any potential issues or concerns related to cleanliness and contamination.
Highgrade Labs: Removing the Guesswork from Cannabis & Hemp Testing!
Cleanliness in cannabis cultivation is essential to prevent harm to the plants and people who are involved. Additionally, it helps improve the quality of the resulting products and keep growers on the good side of state regulations.
Highgrade Labs specializes in several processes in testing cannabis, including myotoxins and mold.