Fighting Hop Latent Viroid In Cannabis Operations

Last Updated: November 19th, 20236 Comments on Fighting Hop Latent Viroid In Cannabis OperationsViews: 783
cannabis disinfectant

As an industry that is unquestionably still in its stages of initial development, the cannabis field continues to encounter new challenges on a monthly basis, if not more frequently. Growers and others in the industry find that they are constantly needing to “troubleshoot” and look for solutions that are not yet readily available.

One of the most serious problems to date has only recently been identified, although in retrospect it appears to have been plaguing the cannabis industry on a large scale for years. Hopefully the ability to put a name to this problem will accelerate the ability of growers to combat it effectively and eradicate it from their plants. As with many other diseases and pests that cannabis growers face, the solutions from PCT hold great promise for an environmentally friendly, safe, yet highly effective approach to disinfection.

Hop Latent Viroid

Often abbreviated as HLVd, hop latent viroid is now known to be extremely widespread among US cannabis operations, with some researchers estimating that over 90% of farms in the state of California are infected.

Once the specific nature of this disease was identified, experts looked backwards and realized that it has most likely been the culprit responsible for widespread, highly detrimental problems in cannabis that have so far gone without explanation. Crop failures close to the time of harvest, which previously appeared to be random and impossible to prevent, appear to have been the result of HLVd infection, which can remain dormant in growing plants until late in their development.

Even worse, HLVd is easily transmitted through cloning, a process that many cannabis growers use to quickly and efficiently propagate new crops. This means that the bulk of a grower’s output could be infected with little evidence until it is ready to be harvested.

Effective Disinfecting Practices

While many products have been considered, tested, and assessed for use in the cannabis industry, growers have found it very difficult to find a disinfectant that prevents the spread of infection while protecting the health of humans and the plants themselves. More and more are discovering that hypochlorous acid (HOCl), the primary active agent in PCT’s disinfectant, is incredibly effective in this area.

PCT offers an HOCl based disinfectant that is certified to kill a long list of common pathogens on hard, nonporous surfaces. This product is currently used in a variety of industries, from oil and gas production to institutional use in schools and correctional facilities, to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. This disinfectant is also ideal for use in many of the environments within the cannabis field, from grow rooms to labs to dispensaries.

Those who have begun to use a HOCl based disinfectant to protect their cannabis crops have found it surprisingly successful in striking the delicate balance between disinfecting power and safety for cannabis plants themselves. In an industry that places a high priority on environmental responsibility, the low toxicity and lack of harmful chemicals in PCT’s disinfectant are very attractive as well.

Gaining Attention In Cannabis Operations

The leadership at PCT is very excited about the increasing use of the company’s disinfectant among cannabis growers. With infections such as hop latent viroid, fungal infestations, and other pathogens continuing to rank as a leading threat against successful cannabis harvests, an eco-friendly yet highly effective disinfecting agent is a very valuable asset. It can be used without PPE such as masks or gloves, and does not release VOCs into the atmosphere. The ease of use and storage of this disinfectant product make it more convenient to use than more toxic competitors, giving growers even more reason to opt for PCT as their disinfectant provider of choice.

Cannabis growers who are searching for the best ways to fight disease among their plants can learn more about PCT and its disinfectant solutions by contacting the company directly and talking with their resident experts. The more mature the cannabis industry becomes and the more we understand the infection threats that it faces, the more PCT’s disinfectant stands out as an incredibly successful solution. With infections rampant among grow rooms and farms in the United States, there is no time to lose in putting a powerful disinfecting program in place.


  1. Carson August 9, 2023 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this! I came across a recent blog post of yours and this one answered some of what I was interested in.

    This post brought up another question though… You say that your product is certified to address “common pathogens on hard, nonporous surfaces”. In an agricultural setting, I don’t know that any surfaces fit this description. Is your assertion that HOCL will work in this environment as well? ( Sprayed directly on to the leaves?)

    If so, might I suggest taking out an ad in a publication or partnering with/sponsoring Grow Magazine ( to get the word out? Additionally, do you have any testimonials from large growers who have used your product?

    • Carole Arnold August 14, 2023 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your comments! Specifically addressing cannabis, there are problems with both powdery mildew and HLVD. As in hospitals cleanliness of the surrounding areas and instruments are just as important in ensuring patient safety. For example, shears used to prune plants need to be disinfected after each use so that any pathogens aren’t being passed plant to plant. We believe that HOCl works, in a diluted form, on powdery mildew and we are testing for the HLVD pathogen as well. We will keep everyone updated as we work out the formulation and gather additional testimonials from growers.

      • Carson September 11, 2023 at 3:16 pm - Reply

        Thank you for this response!

        Is there a particular season of the year when HLVD and mildew are more of a threat? I am assuming that for Greenhouse plants it’s constant throughout the year, but I’m curious to hear when in the cycle you see your solutions being most effective for outdoor growers. Additionally, I am curious about how indoor compares to outdoor with regard to where you think your products are most effective and which type of grower do you see the greatest value-add for?

        Thank you for your time!

        • Carole Arnold October 4, 2023 at 2:09 pm - Reply

          Indoor cultivation of cannabis and outdoor cultivation have distinct differences when it comes to the use of HOCl (hypochlorous acid) products for disease prevention and sanitation. The effectiveness of HOCl products and their value-add can vary based on the cultivation method and specific circumstances. Here’s a comparison: 1. Indoor Cannabis Cultivation: Controlled Environment: Indoor growers have more control over environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and lighting. This control can help create a clean and controlled environment that is less prone to disease and pathogens. Enclosed Space: Indoor facilities are typically enclosed, which can limit the introduction of external contaminants and pests. Greater Need for Sanitation: Because indoor environments are closed and often high-density, the risk of disease outbreaks can be higher. Therefore, sanitation and disease prevention measures are crucial. HOCl Use: HOCl products can be highly effective in indoor cannabis cultivation. They can be used for surface disinfection, cleaning equipment, and even as a foliar spray to prevent disease spread among plants. Indoor growers who prioritize cleanliness and disease prevention can find substantial value in using HOCl products.
          2. Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation: Natural Environment: Outdoor growers rely on natural sunlight and environmental conditions. Plants are exposed to a wider range of outdoor factors, including potential pests and variable weather conditions. Less Controlled: Outdoor cultivation is less controlled than indoor, making it more challenging to maintain a sterile environment. Reduced Disease Risk: In an open outdoor environment, the risk of certain diseases may be lower compared to indoor environments because of greater airflow and natural sunlight, which can help mitigate some diseases. HOCl Use: While HOCl can still be valuable for outdoor growers, its application may be less frequent and focused. It can be used for cleaning equipment, sanitizing hands, and addressing localized disease issues. Outdoor growers who prioritize sustainability and minimal chemical use may use HOCl more sparingly. Value-Add Considerations: Indoor growers: Those who invest in sophisticated indoor grow facilities, have high-value crops, and prioritize product consistency and quality can benefit the most from the regular and systematic use of HOCl products to maintain a disease-free environment. Outdoor growers: Outdoor growers may find the greatest value in HOCl products during critical stages like cloning and transplanting, as well as for equipment sanitation. The value of HOCl for outdoor growers often lies in targeted use to address specific issues rather than regular, broad-scale application. Ultimately, the choice to use HOCl products and the extent of their use depends on the grower’s goals, the specific challenges they face, and their commitment to sanitation and disease prevention. Both indoor and outdoor growers can benefit from a holistic approach to disease management that includes proper sanitation practices, integrated pest management, and attention to environmental conditions.

  2. Dave August 12, 2023 at 8:18 am - Reply

    Exciting to see PCT’s Hydrolyte (HOCL) as an effective remedy for cannabis growers. Use of HOCL will keep the product safe for users as well.

    • Carole Arnold August 14, 2023 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      We are very happy that HOCl is working not only in grow room disinfection but also being tested for its effectiveness in the treatment of HLVD which is decimating cannabis crops in this country.

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