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  • Post Time Posted June 13, 2019
Cannabis diseases are one of the most troubling problems cannabis cultivators of all stripes face. From foliar issues to soil-borne ailments, cannabis diseases are the result of one of three issues: pathogens, bacteria and fungi. Left unabated, conditions across these three disease spectrums can lead to some or total crop loss.

Similar to pests, proper diagnosis of a disease is often contingent on identification. Whether dealing with leaf septoria, powdery mildew, bud and root rot, fusarium or verticillium, the first step is classification, followed in timely fashion by a solution in hopes of being able to stem the problem or eradicate it entirely.

In the context of cannabis cultivation, fungal outbreaks are the most common culprit. These are almost always caused by internal conditions like poor air circulation, high humidity, temperature, overcrowded plants and poor genetics. Fungal disease can also be spread by pests, which find their way into a crop by way of unsanitary practices and equipment.1

An Overview of Cannabis Diseases
Three of the most common disease types are powdery mildew, bud and root rot, and leaf septoria. Appearing as a white chalky powder, powdery mildew is ubiquitous in many cannabis operations, though it is quite visible and can be somewhat easy to treat with the proper organic or chemical sprays. Leaf septoria causes leaves to scab and yellow and the disease is often caused by a nitrogen deficiency. Bud and root rot are self-explanatory, and pose one of the greatest threats to cannabis crops, particularly at the end of an outdoor harvest.

Soil-borne diseases that often make an unsightly and untimely appearance during the cultivation process are fusarium and verticillium. The former is a fungus that blocks the flow of nutrients and causes systemic death to cannabis plants by rotting its roots. Verticillium, on the other hand, looks similar to fusarium but it causes a wilting of the plants that can, ultimately, lead to a total crop failure.

In addition to conventional diseases, there are a number of issues that growers also need to be looking for. These problems include heat stress, nutrient burns, PH regulation problems, watering issues and nutrient problems like overfeeding and deficiencies. Again here, it’s best to have a working understanding of pests and disease to be able to mitigate these variables, and detect whether there is a crucial issue at play, or simply a small theme that needs to be tweaked.3

References:
  1. "Bacteria? Virus? Fungi? Diagnosing common cannabis diseases." https://www.maximumyield.com/bacteria-virus-fungi-diagnosing-common-cannabis-diseases/2/4950
  2. "Three disease to watch for in cannabis production." https://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/crop-inputs/three-diseases-to-watch-for-in-cannabis-production/
  3. "Identifying and treating common cannabis ailments." https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-identifying-and-treating-common-cannabis-ailments-n90

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