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Mushrooms Growing Around My Cannabis Plants: Good or Bad?

If you notice mushrooms growing around your cannabis, your first reaction might be confusion or panic. After all, when you’ve put weeks of effort into cultivating your plants, you’ll want to keep them healthy and safe.

However, mushrooms in your cannabis garden are usually no cause for concern. In fact, they could even provide some benefits to your plants.

Read on to learn more about marijuana and mushrooms, and how they can work together for optimal yields.

Mushrooms and Other Fungi: A Curious Kingdom

Fungi are fascinating things. They appear similar to plants in that they grow in soil and do not have nervous systems or muscles. However, in evolutionary terms, they are more similar to animals!

There are countless different species of fungi; some are simple, single-celled organisms, and others are far more complex.

Fungal cells tend to grow in strands known as hyphae. These hyphae are incredibly narrow and can penetrate the soil, wood, roots, and even rock. And although they are slim, some hyphae can be yards long.

DID YOU KNOW? The largest living organism in the world is a fungus called Armillaria. It is located in Oregon and covers over 2000 acres of land!

Among the most recognizable forms of fungi is the mushroom. However, mushrooms are just one part of a larger organism.

The bulk of the fungus, known as the mycelium, grows underground or in another medium such as wood. When it is mature, it produces mushrooms. They are the ‘fruiting body’ of the fungus and help it to reproduce by releasing tiny spores.

These spores travel on the wind or hitch a lift on animal fur to colonize a new area. That area could be your cannabis garden!

Why Mushrooms Grow Around Cannabis Plants

When mushrooms release their spores, they must find a suitable environment in which to settle and grow. Fungi love cool, moist conditions, without too much sunlight. The soil underneath your cannabis plants is ideal, especially if your growing area isn’t too warm.

If you are cultivating marijuana outdoors, it is easy for spores to find their way to the surrounding earth. However, even indoor gardeners could find mushrooms growing around their cannabis plants.

Spores could easily enter the vicinity through an open window, attached to your clothing, or a pet’s fur. Therefore, mushrooms growing alongside marijuana is more common than you might think.

Are Mushrooms Growing Around Cannabis Plants Good or Bad?

It’s understandable if the sight of mushrooms in your cannabis garden unsettles you. However, in most cases, there is no need to worry. The majority of fungal species are harmless, and may even offer some benefits to your weed.

Let’s take a look at why mushrooms around your cannabis could be a bonus and when they are cause for concern.

The Benefits of Fungus in Cannabis Growing

Fungi can offer advantages to many different types of plants, cannabis included. This is because they form something known as a mutualistic symbiotic relationship.

This type of relationship benefits both the plants and the fungus. Fungi have no chlorophyll and are unable to photosynthesize in the same way that plants do. Therefore, they must get their nutrients in another way.

Their solution is to bind to the roots of plants and feed off the carbohydrates and amino acids that they produce. In return, they improve the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients from the soil. It’s a win-win situation.

Furthermore, fungi can help to suppress diseases in the soil and increase plants’ resilience to harsh conditions like droughts.

Marijuana cultivators are now beginning to take advantage of this partnership to enhance the health of their crops. Many people intentionally introduce a specific type of fungus known as mycorrhizae to their gardens.

Mycorrhizae naturally improve the health of cannabis plants and could even increase their overall yield. They also reduce susceptibility to pests and environmental stressors. It is possible to purchase commercial mycorrhizal supplements and add them to your soil in order to benefit.

However, although mushrooms in your marijuana patch are generally desirable, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

The Disadvantages of Fungus in Cannabis Gardens

The problem with mushrooms is that some of them can be dangerous. While many species are edible, others can cause extreme sickness, hallucinations, and even death. And, unless you are an expert, you are unlikely to know which is which.

If you have pets or children, there is a chance that they could accidentally consume a poisonous mushroom and become ill. Although, responsible growers will be keeping their cannabis plants in a secure area anyway; sometimes, unpredictable circumstances can occur.

Therefore, it may be wise to remove any mushrooms that grow around your cannabis. However, the mycelium will still be active, so there’s a chance they could return. You will need to keep a close eye on your soil and remove any new mushrooms as they appear.

Additionally, there is one type of fungus that you will definitely want to keep away from your marijuana: Mold.

Mold can infect cannabis roots and buds, affecting the health of the plant and rendering it unusable. One of the worst things about this fungus is its tendency to strike just before harvest time, ruining weeks of hard work.

So, what are the signs of mold, and how can you avoid it?

Recognizing and Preventing Mold on Cannabis

Many different types of mold can grow on cannabis. One of the most common is called Botrytis, also known as bud rot.

Botrytis infects cannabis buds and causes them to rot from the inside out. Therefore, by the time you notice it, it is usually too late. Infected buds will look grayish-white and have a squashy or slimy texture. If you see these signs, remove the affected buds immediately, and pray.

Bud rot is most likely to afflict cannabis with dense buds. It’s one reason why it is essential to keep your plants well-trimmed to allow for proper air circulation. It is also crucial to monitor the temperature and humidity of your grow room. Like all fungus, mold thrives in cool, damp conditions.

Daytime temperatures should remain above 70°F, and at night it should not fall below 55°F. Plants can withstand around 70% humidity during the vegetative stage, but you should reduce it significantly during flowering.

Other steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of bud rot occurring include:

  • Do not overwater plants: Allow them to dry out thoroughly between waterings, especially as they approach the flowering stage.
  • Maintain a high level of cleanliness: This includes your grow room, any equipment you use, your clothing, and your hands.
  • Inspect plants regularly and remove any infected buds immediately.

It is also vital to prevent mold during the drying and curing stage. Hang buds far enough apart to allow for good air circulation while drying. Ideally, you should do this in a room with a temperature of 65–70°F Fahrenheit and under 50% humidity.

For more on how to prevent and treat cannabis mold, check out our in-depth article on bud rot.

Mushrooms Growing Around Cannabis Plants: Final Thoughts

Overall, mushrooms in your cannabis garden are no bad thing. They are a sign that your soil is healthy and can provide numerous benefits for your plants. However, you may want to remove them for safety or cosmetic purposes.

That said, there is one type of fungus you will undoubtedly want to avoid, and that is mold. It can strike right before harvest time and destroy your precious buds. Therefore, it is imperative that you carefully monitor your grow room conditions and look out for tell-tale signs.

Mushrooms growing around your marijuana could indicate that the area is too cold and damp. All fungi enjoy the same conditions, so if you find mushrooms, mold may not be far behind. Heed the warning and check that your temperature and humidity are within range, making adjustments if necessary.

7 Best THC-Free CBD Oils of 2022 Reviewed

CBD, or cannabidiol, is now a popular option for those seeking natural relief from anxiety, stress, pain, and more. Some users, though, are concerned about even trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in many CBD products. This can be because they don’t like its effects or worry about failing a drug test for work. That’s why a THC-free CBD oil is a great way to enjoy the health and wellness benefits of CBD without having to worry about THC. Below you’ll find our picks for the best THC-free CBD oils along with a quick reviews to help you select the right product.

What is THC-Free CBD Oil?

When it comes to CBD hemp oil, many people worry that they may test positive for marijuana if given a drug test. CBD and THC are two of the many naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, alongside CBC, CBG, plus terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant compounds. A THC-free CBD oil is designed to provide the natural wellness benefits of hemp extract but without the trace amounts of THC found in most

The industrial hemp used to create CBD oils contains much higher levels of CBD than THC, and CBD products can only legally contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. The minuscule levels of THC found in a CBD tincture are not enough to produce any psychoactive effects, but it’s unclear how it may affect a drug screening that tests for THC.

This can be particularly sensitive in the workplace that requires candidates to pass a pre-employment drug screening. And while it’s not certain that a CBD oil would contain enough THC to alter a drug test result, it can depend on what product you are using and how you take CBD oil.

In either case, most people want to avoid the risks altogether, especially if your job depends on it. This is where THC-free CBD oil comes into play. THC-free CBD products do not have any detectable levels of THC, typically less than .01%, which is often removed using a distillation processes after the initial extraction. However, there are different purification methods which can produce either a broad spectrum CBD oil or a CBD isolate depending on the remaining cannabinoid content.

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Top-Rated THC-Free CBD Oils

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

  • Best CBD Isolate – CBDistillery
  • Best Organic – Joy Organics
  • Strongest Option – cbdMD

How We Chose The Best CBD Oils Without THC

To create our list of the best THC-free CBD oils, we compared brands and products using several key factors. Here are the areas we evaluated for each THC-free CBD oil we recommend:

  • Type of CBD — We looked to see whether the product contains broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, an important distinction.
  • Strength — How many milligrams of broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate does it contain?
  • Source — Where does the brand get their hemp and is it grown organically?
  • Extraction — What type of extraction process is used and how do they distill the product to make it THC-free?
  • Carrier Oils — What type of carrier oil does the brand use in its oils? Are they all-natural or organic?
  • Testing — Is the product tested by an independent third-party lab and are the results easy to access?

Using these criteria, we created our list of top THC-free CBD oils available today. Find out more about each of our recommendations below.

Our Full Reviews & Opinions

Best CBD Isolate: CBDistillery

CBDistillery offers both full spectrum CBD oils as well as several THC free options. This CBD oil is made with pure CBD isolate, meaning it goes through a special extraction process to remove all of the other hemp compounds. It is non-GMO, third-party lab tested, U.S. Hemp Authority Certified, and comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.

  • CBD – CBD Isolate
  • Strength – 33 mg CBD per serving
  • Source – U.S.A.

Why buy: We love this CBDistillery Relief + Relax oil because it offers a potent amount of pure CBD to help promote relaxation and pain relief with zero THC. This is the perfect option for those who want a completely THC and terpene free product.

Best Organic: Joy Organics

Joy Organics has multiple flavors of broad spectrum CBD oils including Orange Bliss, Summer Lemon, Tranquil Mint, and Unflavored. Their oils are third-party lab tested, USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, cruelty-free, and feature an organic olive oil base. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee and free carbon neutral shipping.

  • CBD – Broad Spectrum
  • Strength – 30 mg CBD per serving
  • Source – U.S.A.

Why buy: We love the Tranquil Mint flavor of this Joy Organics broad spectrum CBD oil. This oil is best for easing stress and anxiety at the end of the day and to help promote a sense of calm before bed without any THC.

Strongest Option: cbdMD

cbdMD offers a wide-range of THC-free oils and products. In fact, they offer tinctures that range from 300mg all the way up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle. With so many different concentrations, and great-tasting flavors options like Natural, Berry, Orange, and Mint, cbdMD makes it easy to find the right THC-free CBD oil for you.

  • CBD – Broad Spectrum
  • Strength – 10 mg to 250 mg CBD per serving
  • Source – U.S.A.

Why buy: We love that cbdMD offers so many different strengths and flavors of their Superior Broad Spectrum formula for every type of CBD need. Use this oil to potentially help manage stress, support a greater sense of calm, and ease pain from inflammation and exercise.

The Research On THC-Free CBD Oil

Like research on other CBD products, CBD oil without THC has shown promise in helping users with health concerns like anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, arthritis, and inflammation. Both types of products work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system to produce a range of health and wellness benefits.

The main reason people seek out a non-THC CBD oil is because of concerns about drug testing. While it is unlikely that CBD products would cause you to fail a drug screening, it’s always best to stay on the safe side. Using THC-free CBD oil is a great place to start, as they normally contain .01% THC or less, but it’s necessary for you to do your own research as well.

If you know you’re going to take a drug test, check the testing standards of the facility to find out what cannabinoids they test for. Most drug tests check only for THC, but some may search for various other cannabinoids and could trigger a positive result regardless of what kind of CBD oil product you use.

It’s also important to note that while THC-free CBD products are generally safe to use and shouldn’t affect a drug test result, these CBD oils have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and you should check with your doctor before trying CBD if you have a pre-existing medical condition or take any prescription medications.

How To Choose CBD Oil for You

CBD oil is different than marijuana since it’s derived from industrial hemp plants, but these products may still contain trace amounts of THC. You won’t get high from taking CBD, but even inactive levels of THC are enough to deter some people from giving these wellness supplements a fair shot. However, broad spectrum or CBD isolate options are a way that you can reap the benefits of CBD, without any THC present.

What to Look For

To find the highest quality CBD oil without THC, you want consider several important factors.

Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate

There are two primary types of THC-free CBD products: broad spectrum and CBD isolate. Broad spectrum CBD products contain a wide range of valuable cannabinoids and terpenes in addition to the CBD concentration but are distilled to remove THC. CBD isolate, meanwhile, is distilled to remove all cannabinoids and plant compounds except for CBD.

We recommend broad spectrum oils whenever possible. That’s because the addition of secondary cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids can interact with one another to produce a more potent result. However, if you want to make absolutely certain that the product does not contain even trace amounts of THC, go with a CBD isolate.

Lab Test Results

To choose the best CBD oils, you want to look for products that have been independently tested by a third-party lab. This is crucial to make sure that the CBD oil is both free from toxins or harmful compounds like heavy metals and to check that it contains the correct concentration of CBD. When selecting a THC-free CBD tincture, this is especially important for determining that the product does not contain significant levels of THC. Look for brands that include a QR code on the label or links on their site so you can see the test results for yourself.

Source of Hemp

It’s important to research where the brand’s hemp was grown and how it was grown to ensure quality. Go with brands that use hemp grown in the U.S. and try to find ones that use organically or naturally grown hemp. This makes it easy to know that the hemp, and the CBD extract, don’t contain any pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

Carrier Oil

All CBD oils use a carrier oil, typically hemp seed oil, MCT oil, or olive oil. Check which type of oil the product contains to make sure you are not allergic to anything, especially if you are allergic to coconut. The best brands use both organic high-quality CBD extract and organic high-quality carrier oils.

How to Read Labels

The label of a CBD product contains valuable information that you should always read before you take it. The most important things to look for on the label include:

  • Concentration – Know how many milligrams of CBD are contained in each 1 mL serving. This is important to make sure you take the correct amount for your specific needs.
  • Added Ingredients – Check to make sure the product does not contain any unwanted artificial flavorings or preservatives. Some CBD oils also use essential oils or botanicals, so make sure you know what they are and if they are all-natural.
  • Certifications – There are a number of professional certifications and seals of approval you can look for to know the product is high-quality. Look for USDA-organic, Leaping Bunny cruelty-free, U.S. Hemp Authority, and the Non-GMO Project certifications.
  • Dosage Guidelines – Many brands include guidance on the serving size you should take when first trying CBD oil. This can help you measure the appropriate dose more accurately.

How to Use

CBD oils with no THC can be taken just like any other CBD tincture. Some brands recommend taking their oil sublingually, or holding the oil under your tongue for 30 seconds or so before swallowing. Depending on the amount of CBD and if it is a broad spectrum oil, a certain THC-free CBD oil may work better at night than during the day. If you find that the product makes you drowsy or sleepy, use it to unwind in the evening before bed. You can take other products, like CBD isolate, in the morning to help you maintain a sense of calm and wellbeing throughout the day.

Safety & Side Effects

CBD products are generally considered safe and are well-tolerated by most users, according to the Mayo Clinic. They can, however, cause certain mild side effects. These can include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

CBD also has the potential to interact with certain prescription medications, so be sure to talk to your doctor before taking CBD if you are on any prescribed medicines.

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For those who want to experience the health and wellness benefits of CBD but are concerned about THC content, a THC-free CBD oil could be the perfect solution. Depending on your health goals and specific needs, you can choose between a broad spectrum CBD oil or a CBD isolate product. Just make sure you take time to select a quality CBD product using the guideline above to ensure that the CBD oil is safe and effective.

Melena Gurganus is the Reviews Editor at EcoWatch. She is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.

The Importance of Cannabis Roots: Medical Potential, History, and Current Uses

Most growers give little thought to the roots of cannabis plants beyond ensuring that they’re healthy and supplied with water, nutrients, oxygen and drainage—before discarding them at harvest time. But the roots have been used in folk medicine for millennia, and contain several compounds that may be of medicinal value.

To get to the roots of it, let’s first investigate how these roots have been used in the past:

Use of cannabis roots as medicine through history

Cannabis roots have a long-documented history of being used for medicinal purposes. The oft-cited Chinese herbal Shennong pên Ts’ao ching, dated to around 2700 BCE, mentions that cannabis root was dried and ground to form the basis of a paste used to reduce pain caused by broken bones or surgery.

It was also crushed to extract the fresh juice, or boiled to make a decoction, and in this manner used in many ways, including:

  • As a diuretic
  • As an anti-haemorrhagic to stop post-partum bleeding in childbirth (as well as other forms of bleeding)
  • To ease difficult childbirth
  • To reduce pain and swelling from bruises and scrapes

The Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote in his Naturalis Historia in around 79 CE that cannabis root could be boiled in water to make a preparation that relieved joint cramps, gout and acute pain. He also stated that the raw root could be applied directly to burns to reduce pain and blistering, but must be changed frequently to prevent drying-out.

The Roman physician Dioscorides also attested to the use of boiled cannabis root poultices to treat inflammation, gout and ‘twisted sinews’. The Greek medical writer Oribasius wrote that the ‘dry’ root could also be applied to eruptions of the skin such as subcutaneous cysts, when mixed in equal quantities with pigeon droppings—although no other source apparently makes this claim.

The English physician, William Salmon wrote in the early 18th century that hemp root could be mixed with barley flower and applied as a poultice to treat sciatica and hip joint pain. From the late 18th century up to the turn of the 20th century, American physicians would recommend decoctions of hemp root and seeds to treat inflammation, incontinence and venereal disease.

Modern-day use of cannabis roots

Traditional use of cannabis root is known to have persisted up to at least the 1960s in Argentina, where it was used to reduce fever, dysentery, and gastric complaints and to improve overall health and well-being. There’s also a hemp-root tea known as ma cha that is still consumed in Korea, although it’s not exactly clear what its medicinal benefits are supposed to be.

Many modern-day growers, as well as dispensaries and patients in the USA, utilise preparations made from cannabis root to provide subjective relief from a range of ailments. Some home-brew cannabis root ‘tea’, usually by slowly simmering the dried, powdered root (often with cinnamon bark, anise, or other aromatics) in a crock pot for twelve hours or more before straining and drinking.

If it’s put back on to boil after straining, it can also be reduced down to a gummy, tarry extract to form the basis of tinctures or liniments. Others will simmer the root in oil and water, before separating out the residual oil from the water and plant matter and using as the basis for topical medications.

Some even use the root in its dry, powdered form to make dry poultices that can help to soothe and heal burns, cuts and skin complaints such as dermatitis. There’s even one report of dried, powdered root being used to ‘draw out’ the venom from a scorpion sting—this may have some validity, as fresh cannabis juice was apparently used for this purpose in ancient China.

Today, some dispensaries also reportedly stock preparations made from hemp and cannabis root, that can be found in body lotions, salves, lip balms, massage oils and many other products.

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Cannabinoids in the roots

There is evidence to suggest that cannabis roots contain some trace quantity of cannabinoids (particularly CBD), and that the concentration depends on the strain, as well as being affected to some extent by environmental factors. Apparently on this basis, there are now various outlets in the USA selling powdered, ‘activated’ cannabis root ostensibly for its high CBD concentrations. However, it appears that the concentration of CBD in cannabis root is very low, and it’s doubtful that it would have any medical efficacy at such levels.

A Canadian study published in 2012 analysed Finola hemp and found that the flowers contained CBDA (the acidic precursor to CBD) at an approximately 2.4% concentration, while the leaves, stems and roots contained 0.5%, 0.04% and 0.004% respectively. The parts also contained the precursor to CBDA, a substance known as hexanoyl-CoA, in concentrations of 15.5%, 4.0%, 2.2% and 1.5% respectively. Studies into high-THC varieties are apparently not available, but it’s likely that the roots would also exhibit much lower concentrations than the flowers and leaves.

Other substances of medical interest in cannabis roots

Although the roots are primarily composed of sugars and lipids, low levels of terpenes, alkaloids and various other compounds have been isolated. In 1971, it was determined that ethanol extract of hemp roots contained the terpenes friedelin, pentacyclic triterpene ketones, and epifriedelanol.

Friedelin is thought to have hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) and antioxidant effects, epifriedelanol has been demonstrated to have antitumour effects, and several pentacyclic triterpene ketones are thought to cause apoptosis in cancer cells, as well as reduce inflammation, pain and bacterial infection and possess diuretic and immunomodulatory properties.

Several alkaloids that may be of medicinal value have been identified in cannabis roots, as well. The alkaloids piperidine and pyrrolidine have both been found in the roots, as well as in the stems, seeds, pollen and leaves. These alkaloids can be highly toxic in high doses, but in smaller doses have been found to have various medical benefits.

Piperidine is used as a chemical ‘building block’ for various pharmaceuticals, particularly those involved in psychiatric medicine such as paroxetine and haloperidol. Pyrrolidine is also used as a building block for a class of stimulant drugs known as racetams.

The roots of cannabis have also been noted to contain choline and atropine in small quantities. Choline is an essential dietary nutrient that is the precursor to the predominant neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and is thought to be crucial to the maintenance of healthy cell membranes.

It’s thought that postmenopausal women are extremely likely to be deficient in choline, meaning that hemp-root tea consumed orally could provide important benefits. Atropine is well-known as a means to dilate the pupil and relax the eye muscles. It also has bronchodilatory properties, and is used to increase heart rate during medical resuscitation.

Cannabis roots and sex determination

It appears that cannabis roots grow differently according to their gender, and that a complex set of genetic interactions determines them both. A study into hemp varieties in Russia seems to clearly demonstrate this. It showed young cannabis plants would develop into male plants 80-90% of the time if they:

  • Were cut off above the root
  • Were processed as cuttings and kept in an aerated nutrient solution
  • Had all new roots cut off as soon as they appeared

However, if roots were allowed to regenerate then 80-90% would develop as females.

The researchers also treated the de-rooted cuttings with 6-benzylaminopurine, a synthetic cytokinin (plant hormones that facilitate cytokinesis, or cell division) that is known to be involved in cell division and differentiation, as well as overall growth and development. Treated cuttings developed in 80% female plants. This strongly suggests that cytokinin production in the roots plays a strong role in sex determination in cannabis.

Making sure your roots are healthy

If cultivating with the intention of using the roots, hydroponic and aeroponic techniques are preferable as they allow for a finer degree of precision when administering nutrients, enable the grower to regularly inspect for progress and signs of ill-health, and ensure that the roots will be clean and free from soil.

Plant breeders have developed specialised systems to maximise root health and growth; the best-known technique involves integrated air-pruning of roots to encourage dense growth within a specified volume.

Air-pruning of roots refers to the natural die-off of roots when exposed to low humidity and air. There are many pots and trays designed with perforated sides available, which helps this to occur naturally.

As the roots die off, the plant continually regenerates new roots, and the root ball itself becomes thick and dense. It’s preferable to air-prune rather than allow roots to hit the sides of pots and then continue to grow around the container, as this leads to twisted, strangulated roots that exhibit reduced nutrient uptake. As well as ensuring the good health of the roots themselves, air-pruning also improves the plant’s overall health and eventual yield.

Keeping roots fed with a mister or dripper system is generally advisable. Some growers will switch the pumps on 2-8 times per day (with increasing frequency as the root mass increases in size), allowing the medium to dry out slightly between feeds.

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During the vegetative period, which of course is the period which undergoes the most extensive root growth, the roots should be directly supplied with light vegetative-stage nutrient solution and root boosting solution. Ensure that adequate airflow is provided to the outside of the pots or trays, so the roots will be exposed to the maximum fresh air and will dry out rapidly—it’s also a good idea to direct a fan (or multiple fans!) towards the roots to boost airflow.

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What to do with cannabis roots, and how to clean them

Now, with plenty of healthy roots to work with, they should be cleaned before using them for anything. Carefully remove the roots from the soil, keeping as much of it intact as possible. This is best done when the soil is still moist, as dry soil will try to cling to the roots even more.

Gently knock the roots on the ground or the side of the pot to try to let most of the soil fall off. Then cut the roots from the plant stalk (leaving a little wiggle room to work with) and remove any leaves.

Using water, rinse the roots well until (hopefully) no soil at all remains (especially if there are plans to consume them in any way). This may take a while. Don’t use hot water. Room temperature water is best, but if needed, lukewarm water can be used too. A soft toothbrush may help.

How to make your own cannabis root balm

At this point, there several things that can be done with the roots, all with their own benefits. With a little effort and perseverance, and some trial and error, it’s even possible to select a variety of strains to be used alone or in combination, to make balms and salves with a range of potency and potential uses.

Typically, the roots of cannabis are dried prior to being processed into balm. Then, the dried root mass is broken up into small chunks, or ground into powder with a pestle and mortar or a blender.

Once the dried root is broken down into a rough powder, it’s added to a slow cooker along with oil and water and gently heated for up to 12 hours, allowing the volatile compounds (including terpenoids and potentially even cannabinoids) to dissolve in the oil. The addition of water prevents the mixture from drying out and the oil from ‘frying’ the roots; the mixture should be checked every hour or so and fresh water added if necessary.

Once the heating stage is complete, the liquid is strained off and the residual root pulp is separated out and either discarded or frozen (to be processed a second time if deemed necessary). The liquid is placed in a freezer, and after some time the water will freeze while the volatile oils rise to the surface and can be scraped cleanly off. At this temperature, the oils will usually have a semi-solid, waxy consistency. At room temperature though, they will be much more liquid, and should have a smooth, translucent appearance.

Once the oil has been separated from the ice, it can be reheated and beeswax can be added to achieve a less runny, more spreadable consistency at room temperature. Trial and error is the best way to establish the desired consistency.

At this time, aromatic essential oils can be added to the mixture to improve fragrance and possibly even enhance medicinal properties.

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Potential risks of using cannabis roots

While cannabis roots no doubt possess various useful and important medicinal properties, it’s important to note that in high doses it can cause hepatotoxicity, due to the presence of the alkaloids pyrrolidine and piperidine. It’s also reported that the alkaloid content can irritate the stomach lining; thus, oral consumption of hemp-root tea is potentially riskier than topical application.

Pyrrolidine and piperidine can also act as irritants of the skin, mucous membranes and lungs. It’s unlikely that the compounds are present in high enough concentrations to present serious risk, but care should be taken to avoid prolonged or heavy use.

Certainly, hemp root extract should not be consumed in its undiluted, extract form. As a tea, light to moderate long-term usage should not present any serious risk, and as a topical, any reaction should present itself rapidly and use can be discontinued with no known long-term ill effects.

Our knowledge of the properties of cannabis root is still in its infancy, and as the industry continues to develop, it is likely that even more uses for them will be discovered.


57 thoughts on “The Importance of Cannabis Roots: Medical Potential, History, and Current Uses”

Hi…I have saved my cannabis roots months ago, was going to use in art projects…now what? Are the roots too old and dry to process?

Good morning Jeannie,

Thanks for your comment,
If you have washed your roots with warm water, removed the excess soil and stored your roots in a dark place – they will be fine to use in your art project
This article on Cannabis and Creativity: On Imagination, Artistry and Creative Expression may be of interest to you.
Other readers are also sharing their opinions on this topic.
Good luck with your project, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

Have a good day,

Making new batch of salve. May try adding prepared roots to flower. Any suggestions. If so will try cleaning in washing machine, gentle spin, no heat.

So im new time grower with my first batch of plants, Is there any suggestions for the best way to harvest the roots from the soil without taking to many off and how long I should dry them? This helps so much Im hoping to learn lots on this journey as a grower.

I used a power washer. The root ball with dirts was about 3 feet in diameter.
Then I used a hose with a sprayer and was able to get the rest of the dirt out. It worked really well. And my roots are fine.

Thanks for your comment, this is a great tip! Happy gardening, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

With best wishes,

hi, thanks for this excellent article. I am soaking some roots in 190 proof alcohol, and will do a low heat extraction in my “source” (from extractcraft).
I just don’t know how long to soak them…a day, week month?
Any suggestions or knowledge is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your comment and your kind words, it’s always great to hear that people are finding our articles useful.

I’ve done a little research for you and the recommendation seems to be at least a couple of months. This is the article I found most useful. Please do let us know how you get on! In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

With best wishes,

Like a month ago I got ahold of a couple of roots. I let them dry out.

When they were dry I boiled them whole without chopping them. Placed then in a big pot, the water covered the roots and I added a little olive oil.

*At this point I had no clue what to do with the roots so I went with the good ol practice that if there’s any THC it should be soluble in fat. *

In another pot I boiled a liter of milk and added a bunch of leaves that were trimmed off the buds. It was a quarter gallon ziploc bag completely full of leaves. These leaves were decarboxylated properly.

I boiled both pots for about 2 hours.

Then, the root water had evaporated a bit and I ended up adding it to the milk/leaves pot (didn’t add the roots, just the water).

I let that pot boil for another hour.

I ended up with a deep green matcha late looking liquid.

It was really powerful. It would get you high.

However, it gave me so much gas, bloated stomach.

In your text says the root can irritate the stomach and Im wondering if the leaves made the stomach bloating worse like when people eat cabbage or monkeys that eat leaves.

I’m gonna try again taking into account some of your advice, I have a couple more roots. And I’ll update with another recipe.

Thanks for your comment and for sharing your story! I look forward to your next update.

With best wishes,

the milk was probably the problem in this giving you the gas and irritant to your stomach . Do you have an intolerance to lactose maybe ?

The bothering your stomache / gas / runs / irritate was it cleaning your stomache or flushing cause of it’s antioxidant and gastro propertys . Milk also becomes curded when in the stomache .. just a message that something deficent inside your stomache was fought off..

Slow cooker 24hours would be better to remove the health properties, and add other teas to lower the potency, like chamomile, elderberry and others teas to help brain functions and stomach relief, the most important thing to know is dairy mixed with anything can increase gastric responses, and how you pair the cannabis is important to how the body absorbs the nutrients, dry a detox tea and probiotic tea or antifungal teas, as these will reduce your toxins in the body and increase the healing of the endocannabinoids in the body

The irritation and upset stomach was probably due to the chlorophyll that came from the green leaves. Chlorophyll will in fact do that !

Thank you for all the information you share on this page I’m also trying to learn more about cannabis roots and oils god bless you

Pls delete my first comment as I made a typo At ‘Rick Simpson Oil and rectified it in the second. My apologies.