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Cannabis plants may not speak, but they certainly can tell you if they are unhappy about something. There are a myriad of problems that can arise throughout the plant’s life cycle, and knowing what the problem could be is one of the first steps to helping your plants recover. 


Identifying Nutrient Problems


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There are several steps that need to be taken in order to determine if your cannabis plant has a nutrient problem and what the exact nutrient problem is. Cannabis plants are collector plants, meaning they soak up everything out of their soil they can. With modern testing requirements, this means growers must be careful about what is in their soil to avoid failing required testing.


Nutrient problems can arise if a plant is given too much of a particular nutrient or if it is lacking a nutrient. Plants in nature can receive the nutrients they need from the soil, but plants grown in a soil alternative need nutrients fed to them in order to reach their full potential. Many cannabis brands will use nutrients added to the water fed to the plants on a daily basis.


Additionally, different cannabis strains have different nutrient requirements. For example, certain strains enjoy having more potassium than others. If they do not receive the amount they need to flourish, they may begin to present yellowing in the leaves and suffer lower yields as an end result. 


Nutrient problems arise when a cannabis plant has an excess or deficiency in its nutrient intake. These problems can appear as physical markers on the plant. These markers can include;



If caught in time, nutrient problems can be remedied by adjusting the nutrient content fed to your cannabis plants to include more or less of the specific nutrient required by your plant. 


Identifying a Pathogen Problem


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If a nutrient problem has been ruled out, the next step is to identify if your cannabis plant has a pathogen problem. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, a pathogen is “an organism causing disease to its host, with the severity of the disease symptoms referred to as virulence.”


A pathogen can include the various viruses and viroids known to infect cannabis plants. This can include;



Pathogen problems will impact the infected cannabis plant first internally, then begin to show physical signs of infection once the plant’s health begins to decline. Physical symptoms can vary from pathogen to pathogen, but many common symptoms can include stunted growth, leaf deformity, and harvest yield decline. 


To catch a pathogen before it starts to show physical symptoms, periodic testing should be implemented. This works as a preventative measure and allows growers to identify problems before they cause extensive damage and crop loss. 


How to Tell a Nutrient and Pathogen Problem Apart



There are several ways to tell a pathogen and nutrient problem apart. The key is to use the problems the plant presents to help solve the mystery.


The first step is to observe the symptoms the plant is presenting. Are the leaves yellowing, browning, or curling? Are the buds underdeveloped? Are the stems soft to the touch or developing purple streaks? These are just a few of the items to consider when observing symptoms. 


The second step is to consider what has changed in your grow within the past month or so. Have you introduced new plants from an outside source? Are weather patterns affecting your humidity or temperature? Have any changes been made to your plants’ feeding schedule or new nutrients used? There are a lot of outside factors that could point to what is causing problems in your cannabis plant and even help determine what could fix the problem at hand. 


A pathogen is typically brought into a grow via a host. Common hosts can include other plants, animals, insects, dirty tools, and even people. On the other hand, nutrient problems are caused by an imbalance in the cannabis plant’s diet. Symptoms of both can appear similar, therefore the next step is important to get a final determination on your grow’s specific ailment.


The third step is to test. Testing can help be a final determining factor if the problem is a pathogen or nutrient problem. Verne Bio makes this step easier with our I-Test and We-Test kits. Testing can help remove some of the guesswork and help you make more confident decisions in your grow. 


Pathogen testing will help determine if a pathogen is present in your cannabis crop. From that point, a plan can be established for treatment. 


What Happens If You Do Not Treat Nutrient or Pathogen Problems?



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Diagnosing and treating cannabis ailments can be time-consuming and frustrating. But what happens if you just let your cannabis plant fend for itself?


The end results would not be favorable or profitable. Neglecting to treat nutrient or pathogen problems in your cannabis crop could result in crop loss, inefficient use of labor and supplies, and plant death. There is no beneficial reason to avoid treating your cannabis plants suffering nutrient or pathogen problems. 


Where to Get I-Test and WE-Test Kits


Looking for an I-Test or WE-Test kit for your grow? Verne Bio offers both testing kits and any needed accessories or refills directly on our website. The power of testing has never been more accessible!


At Verne Bio, our goal is to provide high-quality testing kits for growers, placing the ability of testing directly at their fingertips. The I-Test and WE-Test can be used in grows of all sizes, helping remove the guesswork that can be expensive and time-consuming. 


For questions about the I-Test and WE-Test, please contact Verne Bio at info@vernebio.com and a helpful representative will reach out to address your concerns and questions. While you wait for a reply, many answers to questions about our testing kits and informative articles about the problems facing the industry can be found directly on our blog. 




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