The Hop Latent Viroid (HpLVd), a single-stranded, circular infectious RNA, runs rampant in the hemp and cannabis growing communities.
Cannabis infected with HpLVd may or may not manifest any apparent symptoms but understanding what those symptoms can be is important to combat this virus.
HpLVd can cause physical symptoms in Cannabis sativa such as stunted growth, a brittle stem, or noticeable malformation of the leaves. Because cannabis plants grow shorter with smaller leaves and tighter node spacing during infection their buds are also stunted, growing smaller, more spaced out, and with far fewer trichomes.
On top of these physical symptoms, a dangerous element is found in its name: Hop Latent Viroid. The virus can remain latent or inactive within infected plants, making it nearly impossible to detect without testing. Overall, these contribute to the invisible problem: a lack of potency. Plants infected with HpLVd may have half the cannabinoid content of their healthy counterparts.
Controlling The Spread Through Testing
Since the discovery of HpLVd in 2017, research has been performed and there are now answers and the ability to test.
Green Leaf Lab recently announced new HpLVd testing capabilities.
The company's testing equipment can provide advanced HpLVd screening services, which allows it the ability to detect even the most asymptomatic samples and issue an alert for HpLVd outbreaks.