Cannabis Urban Legend – The White Ash vs. Black Ash Myth

white ash vs black ash

It is not quite clear where the “White Ash vs Black Ash” myth came from. It could have originated from the Catholic tradition of using the color of the ash to determine if a new Pope has been chosen. In the event of choosing a Pope, black smoke appears over the St Peter’s square when a consensus has not been reached. White smoke however signifies that a new Pope has finally been selected.

One thing that is quite clear is that the color of ash has been regarded as a determiner of the quality of marijuana in the cannabis world for a long time. Whether this method is accurate, is what remains a myth. In this article, we will discuss everything about the “White Ash vs Black Ash” cannabis myth.

What Is The White Ash vs Black Ash Myth?

It is important to fully address what the “White Ash vs Black Ash” myth is. People who believe in the myth, hold the conviction that when you smoke a joint, and the ash is light grey or white, you are smoking cannabis of very good quality. However, if the ash is black or dark-greyish, the cannabis is of inferior quality, impure and was probably treated with chemicals. Now, let us consider why white ash is believed to be cleaner.

Why Is White Ash Thought To Be Cleaner?

Of course, there is a reason why people that favor white ash believe that it is cleaner than black ash. The argument is that when cannabis is properly flushed and cured, it will be pure and natural, thereby burning with a white or light grey ash. Its purity gives it premium quality, and makes it best for consumption. On the other hand, it is believed that when cannabis is not properly flushed, it contains harmful chemicals, thereby emitting black or dark grey ash when smoked. It is believed that it could also be as a result of being over-fertilized. Seeing that proponents of the myth, believe that flushing and curing have a direct effect on the color of ash from cannabis, it is crucial to address what both terms mean.

Flushing is a general term in horticulture, but when it comes to cannabis cultivation, it is quite distinct. Simply put, flushing cannabis is the act of watering your cannabis plant solely with water, in the last few weeks before harvest. The reason for this, is to flush out all the fertilizers, chemicals and nutrients that was used during the cultivation period, to get high-quality and healthy cannabis. Going back to the argument that, flushing your cannabis plant properly might be the difference between getting white ash or black ash, research has shown that not all cannabis cultivators flush their cannabis plants. As a matter of fact, there has been arguments that flushing as an act that comes before harvest might even be harmful to the plant. Some cultivators have also said that their cannabis burned white ash even without flushing. This suggests that the color of ash gotten from a blunt, even though a possible factor, might not be directly connected to flushing.

Now that we have examined flushing, and what effect it might have on the colour of ash that cannabis joints produce, let’s discuss curing.

Curing simply refers to the process of preserving cannabis after harvest, protecting it from bacteria and degradation by storing properly. Curing typically involves shedding excess compounds, and keeping the terpenes and cannabinoids. Curing of cannabis is often confused with drying. There is one major difference between these two processes. When drying weed, moisture is removed from only the surface layers of the cannabis. Curing on the other hand, removes moisture from the interior of the cannabis flower, in order to control the decomposition process, and keep the cannabinoids and terpenes intact. Proponents of the “White Ash vs Black Ash” myth believe that when cannabis is not cured properly, it will not burn properly and will emit black ash.

While it is not clear if flushing and curing truly have a direct effect on the color of ash from a marijuana joint, it is still important to carry out these processes thoroughly. If you do not grow your cannabis by yourself, purchase from a trusted cultivator who has a track record of selling quality kush.

The Effect Of Combustion On Ash

Combustion plays a big role on the color of ash, and it could explain why your ash is burning white or dark. Research shows that when combustion takes place at a high temperature, organic material is burnt properly leading to a low concentration of nitrogen, and by extension, clear ash colors. On the other hand, when combustion occurs at a low temperature, organic compounds are not properly burnt, thereby leaving darker ash color. This shows that the color of ash, is not an indication of the quality of marijuana, rather the temperature of combustion.

Bottom line

The white ash vs black ash argument is not one that will end soon, and this is as a result of compelling propositions from both ends of the spectrum. You can however determine the quality of your cannabis without this myth. By using certain indicators, you can accurately figure out the level of quality of your buds.

One of them is the smell of the cannabis. Cannabis that have strong terpenes smell is of good quality. The kief can also be a good indicator of quality in cannabis. Cannabis plants with visible crystallization of the kief, is one of premium quality. Simply check the cannabis plant to examine the crystallization. The texture of cannabis can also be a great way to determine its quality. A dry texture is the best when looking to choose cannabis plants. It should however not be overly dry, as this is often caused by degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Fluffy plants, on the other hand indicates the presence of too much moisture.

Do you believe in the white ash vs black ash take? Let us know in the comment section below.

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