Stoners rarely speak about getting high on moldy weed. That’s because it’s gross, and the ones caught by deprivations of nature— and hit a full blunt of moldy junk are too proud to admit it. Avoid moldy weed at all costs. Be it the super strain you found in your cabinet smelling all suspicious or the suspect nug a friend shared, moldy weed in any other circumstance is as dangerous!
Depending on the type of mold and your immune system, smoking moldy weed can cause little to extensive damage to your health. It might not kill you, but it could wreak havoc on your body. The symptoms are even worse if you use marijuana for medical reasons.
The most common cause of moldy weed is moisture and improper storage conditions. You can learn more about weed storage and how to preserve it for freshness from this article. Some unscrupulous dealers even add some moisture on the weed to add weight and make a few extra dollars.
Luckily, most reputable budtenders ensure their weed is stored in the perfect environment to ensure freshness. However, if you have never come across moldy weed, here’s how you can tell your stash is compromised.
How to Spot Moldy Weed
Marijuana comes in various shades, so it is not easy to tell when your bud has turned moldy. The easiest way to spot mold would be to use a black light and watch for a green color. Moldy weed also presents as black or dark green spots. You may also notice some grayish-white stringing from the plant and a musty odor.
To the untrained eye, trichomes and mold may look a lot alike. Which makes novice users mistake moldy weed for a cannabinoid-rich bud. Trichomes give cannabis its rich aroma and look like sticky, shiny crystals. Unlike trichomes, mold often has a powdery appearance and distinct mildewy smell that reminds you of hay. You can also use a 10X magnifying lens to spot the difference.
What Does Moldy Weed Smell Like?
Most people can identify moldy weed by its smell. Unlike fresh weed that uplifts your spirits with a distinctive aroma, moldy weed has a musty smell reminiscent of a damp basement. The smell might also remind you of hay. It’s a musty smell that you can’t mistake.
If it smells off, it’s probably not good for you.
How Dangerous is Moldy Weed?
Moldy weed contains mycotoxins that can cause a wide array of health complications. The effects can be as mild as throat irritation or as grave as lung infection that might plague your respiratory system.
Moldy weed is dangerous; don’t let any theory teach you otherwise. The popular misconception that certain types of mold can give you a better high is just that— rumor peddled by misinformed stoners. There’s neither glory, fun, nor class in smoking moldy weed. The best you can do with moldy weed is trash it. Don’t use it in your baking, in making tinctures, or hash. And smoking it doesn’t kill the mycotoxins.
Passively inhaling mold from the environment is bad enough if you have a weak immune system; there is no need to suck in a ton of spores. Even if it won’t kill you, there is certainly no health benefit to it.
If you have smoked some moldy weed accidentally, or you just wanted to experience the “moldy weed high” that is all the hype, some symptoms to watch out for include;
As the infection spreads to other parts of the body, you may also experience visible symptoms such as weight loss. Your immune system can handle the small spores of mold in the environment, but when you burden it with millions of spores of mold from a bag of weed, you should seek medical help when the symptoms set in.
If you have a weakened immune system, these symptoms can lead to serious health consequences. The most common types of mold found on weed, such as Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, and Mucor can cause severe infections in the central nervous system, lungs, and brain.
Can You Remove the Mold?
The rule of thumb is if you can see the mold, toss it. Smoking moldy weed presents too many risks, especially if your immune system is compromised.
However, if you’re hard-pressed, you can mitigate these risks by placing your weed in the oven for 15 minutes at 200°C. These high temperatures will burn off common bacterial strains, but it is not guaranteed to keep you safe.
Another method of removing toxins is by smoking through a water filter bong. This method is also not guaranteed to remove all the spores.
We recommend avoiding it altogether if you can.
How to Prevent Mold from Infesting Your Weed
The first step to keeping your weed safe from mold is to dry and cure your weed properly. Ensure your weed is completely dry before storage. Proper drying and curing is essential in keeping your mold at bay, but locking out the moisture from your stash gives you the guarantee.
Do not pack moist weed for storage as that provides the right condition for mold to grow. Exposing your weed to moisture, low temperatures, and too much light will cause the weed to mold.
Keep your weed fresh by storing it at between 59%-63 % Relative Humidity. If your environment is more humid, keeping a drier condition at 54% RH will protect your weed if you intend to store them for long.
If you store your weed in a jar, ensure you open it at least once a day. You can also check out your local dispensaries for special weed containers designed to keep your weed fresh.
Too much light can also cause the weed to heat up and produce moisture. Keep your container in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Is Smoking Moldy Weed Worth the Risk?
No. It isn’t.
The risks associated with moldy weed far outweigh the thrill of getting high on some suspect stash. Infected lungs, irritating throat, allergic reactions, and headaches! Who smokes to get sick?
Contrary to popular belief, mold does not increase potency. It contaminates your weed— making it bad, shitty for you.
Smoking moldy weed is simply not worth the risks that come with it. If you have a healthy immune system, why risk compromising it by introducing spores into your body? And if you have a compromised immune system, why risk all the medical complications of smoking moldy weed?
Moldy weed is a serious crisis that has seen authorities recall medical weed many times. Though you can trust your dealer or the dispensary, it’s prudent to take matters into your own hands and examine your weed for any signs of mold before you imbibe it. After all, it goes into your lungs— it must be clean.