In most cases, cannabis growers work hard to ensure their product is tested for quality in labs to check for mold growth, pesticides, and contamination. Nonetheless, it is still possible to come across marijuana that wasn’t properly dried and cured before packaging. Such a mistake may cause you to have a moldy bud in your storage. Additionally, your storage environment may change without your knowledge leading to your cannabis batch getting moldy.
Therefore, it is always important to reinforce your cabinets with the proper storage conditions to prevent mold growth. For informational purposes, let’s look into the causes of mold on stored weed and how to avoid smoking buds with molds.
What Causes Mold on Weed?
Weed can accumulate fungi such as mildew and mold if stored in humid or moist environments. Moldy marijuana means that the cannabis has been exposed to moisture and improper air circulation at the dispensary shop, storage location, or growing facility. However, mold-infested weed doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad but rather alterations in the chemical makeup, making it harmful for any consumption.
Mold grows on the cannabis plant because of its organic nature. When combined with humid storage conditions, it provides the perfect breeding ground for organisms such as Cladosporium, Botrytis, Rhizopus, Aspergillus, and Mucor. Fundamentally, you should keep your marijuana dry.
Is Smoking Moldy Weed Bad for You?
Having identified how moldy weed comes to be, let’s look at whether it is safe to smoke moldy weed. Even though the sound of consuming moldy bud sounds poisonous, you shouldn’t be worried because it won’t kill you. However, you shouldn’t consume marijuana with mold.
If you have a healthy immune system, smoking moldy pot might not have adverse health effects on you. You might end up finding your weed to be unpleasant rather than hazardous and probably experience symptoms like vomiting, coughing, and nausea. However, if you have allergic reactions to mold, you might develop sinuses or lung infections along with symptoms such as wheezing, drainage, sinus pain, and drainage.
People with compromised immune systems might be affected by weed smoke with certain types of molds such as Cryptococcus, Aspergillus, and Mucor. Some of the body parts that might be affected include the brain, lungs, and central nervous system (CNS). Such potentially harmful fungi have been found in Northern California cannabis samples and even medical marijuana. Conversely, if you have a normal immune system, you will probably only develop very mild effects from inhaling small quantities of mold spores.
Moreover, people who have smoked weed severally are most likely to have inhaled mold spores from weed. Such a statistic may sound frightening, but you are likely to inhale the same mold spores in the park, such as Aspergillus, common in almost everything in the environment.
Four Ways to Spot Moldy Weed
You might be wondering how to spot mold in your weed. Considering different types of mold can grow on weed, spotting mold with your naked eyes might be a difficult task. Nonetheless, there are a few tips for spotting molds by checking your weed or analyzing your symptoms.
1. Inspect it!
In summary, an untrained eye should look out for the following visible signs:
- Cobweb-like bud textures, which are similar to spider mites webbing
- White powdery mildew
- White, green, yellow, black, or gray fuzz
- Grayish white coating
- Slimy texture
- Dark spots
You can use black light or a microscope to check for miniature traces of mold on weed that cannot be seen through the naked eye.
2. Feel it!
Before smoking weed, it is important to ensure it is crispy and dry. However, when you feel your pot has a damp, spongy, or wet texture, it might be affected by molds.
3. Smell it!
Just as you would sniff to check if food has gone bad, you can also do a smell test on your weed to check if it is moldy. Ideally, healthy weed should smell musky and earthy. However, moldy weed might give off the scent of human sweat, urine, old hay, or mildewy smell. You can also detect mold in damp weed if it smells sweet more than its earthy scent. Although, a nose test might not always work, especially for mold that has no scent.
4. Note your symptoms!
Asides from the texture and smell of weed, you might also tell if your weed is moldy through your body reactions. If you develop health problems such as excessive coughing, congestion, or chest pain, you might probably have smoked moldy pot. In case you have an allergic reaction to mold in marijuana, you might have physical symptoms and flare-ups. In the worst-case scenario, look out for unusual symptoms such as:
- Dry mouth
- Lung infection
- Chest tightness for people allergic to mold-derived antibiotics
- Itchy and red eyes
- Persistent cough
- Sore throat
How to Keep Your Weed Safe
Growers wouldn’t want to lose an entire harvest to fungi after putting in the effort, time, and resources in growing cannabis. Therefore, they also invest in storage to ensure the weed is of high quality when it gets to the customer. As a customer, you should also uphold ideal storage conditions to avoid wasting money on weed only for you to throw it away later. Below are a few tips to keep in mind while storing your weed.
1. Avoid Cold
In this case, you should refrain from storing your marijuana in the freezer or fridge. Such conditions might expose your weed to moisture and very low temperatures, which are favorable for mold development. Preferably, you should store your cannabis in temperatures just below 25°C (77°F).
2. Mind the Humidity
Another tip for keeping your weed fresh for long is practicing humidity control. At best, cannabis should be stored with a relative humidity range of 59-63%. Beyond that, there is the risk of trapping moisture in buds, causing mold growth. As part of maintaining fresh buds, you can add inexpensive humidity packs with salt for regulating moisture. Alternatively, you can invest in fancy humidors specifically made for cannabis storage.
3. Store in a Dark, Dry Place
If you don’t want to smoke moldy weed, you should avoid storing your cannabis in direct sunlight and humid spaces. Essentially, you can store your weed in a dry and dark cabinet with proper air ventilation that doesn’t get excessively hot. However, damp storage space might lead to moisture build-up and cause a moisture build-up in a leaky container.
4. Use Airtight Container
It would be best to store weed in glass jars with airtight seals to protect your pot from fungi. Specifically, Mason jars limit exposure to moisture and oxygen for maintaining fresh nugs for a long time. However, you might store damp weed in an airtight container causing a moisture lock. Therefore, if you encounter weed with mold from your Mason jar, it is because of moisture in the weed during the initial storage time.
Can You Redeem Moldy Marijuana?
Indeed, it is possible to keep your weed fresh for long, but you might also be wondering what if it already has mold? If you discover your growing weed plants have mold or your buds in storage are moldy, you should dispose of them to protect yourself and others.
You might be thinking of baking to save your moldy weed, but it is still not worth the risk. Yes, baking can kill most living spores, but the weed is still not free of adverse effects. However, mold-free weed is the best for optimal benefits to you as a user.
Moldy cannabis is completely not recommended for smoking. Mold can cause mild and adverse health effects for a person with either a healthy or weakened immune system. Starting from the grow room to cannabis use, any moldy weed should be discarded carefully to avoid the spread of mold.
Image source: merryjane.com