Article by Travis Cesarone, Cannabis Life Network
The quality of your buds may not be conclusively and simply determined from clean white ash. And yet, cannabis consumers “know” good weed never burns black. Dark ash seems to be a more apt description than the simple white burn. In fact, the black ash headache effect is in itself infamous among consumers.
Good resins of the plant itself will burn white which is generally indicative of quality. Yet, degraded material would contain depleted chlorophyll content, which could mean a whiter ash colour as well. It would seem that the burn cannot be the judge as clean quite so easily, at first glance. White ash created from either clean cannabis or hot dirty buds filled with headache-producing pesticides and fertilizers…a discerning headache in itself.
A greener black
Charred black remains are not so simple as a qualifier. Rather, it is a measure for multiple factors, such as moisture or chlorophyll content. Buds rich in chlorophyll, or ones not cured to perfection, can certainly burn dirty. Incomplete thermal degradation of chlorophyll will produce complex secondary compounds, however, these are not headache-inducing. Chlorophyll itself promotes oxygen. Other factors that can effectively reduce oxygen do play an important role with respect to ash color as well, including carbon and nitrogen.
Temperature, quality, and a common denominator
Headaches commonly occur from the suppression of intracellular oxygen. Acute levels of carbon are very much capable of this result. Not surprisingly, carbon-rich flowers will often burn at lower temperatures. The black ash headaches can be caused by carbon monoxide suffocation, although another chemical cannot be forgotten and left out of the picture. Nitrogen is a gas that boils at incredibly low temperatures, so it too is oftentimes responsible for darker ash. Buds saturated in nitrogen will also deplete oxygen, while simultaneously producing the lung irritant nitrogen dioxide.