Can you tell if you just bought, or about to smoke, moldy weed?
Mold and mildew release chemicals called mycotoxins into the air, and are a cause of lung infection and allergies in humans. This risk of bad weed is particularly troubling for medical cannabis patients with compromised immune systems. Any wet environment can grow mold, but dense cannabis flowers that are in their drying and curing stage is an exceptionally attractive breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungus. So, how do you know if you’re holding moldy weed?
1. Visible Signs
Look for speckled white dots or grayish green fuzz, especially when you are breaking up your weed. Growers are supposed to check their curing weed regularly for evidence of mold and mildew, as well as have their stock lab-tested. But not all producers care enough about their end user to jump through these hoops. When mold spores settle into damp weed nugs, it’s only a matter of time before they grow into fungus. Toss anything that looks moldy to the naked eye.
#Terps! Those delicious terpenes have us diving nose-first into our weed, like a wine connoisseur. And while some terpenes remind us of gasoline and skunk spray, there’s one smell that is absolutely not welcome in this bouquet and that’s mold. A fresh grass smell means that the bud is not fully cured; make sure mold spores aren’t able to get at weed that is still holding moisture. However, a musty smell means the bud has been overwhelmed with mold.
3. Physical Effects
Mold can make even non-allergic people flare up with eye irritation, mucus, or an itchy throat due to mycotoxin exposure. Some methods of smoking cannabis and even some strains are harsher on the lung than others, but smoking should never leave you feeling uncomfortable and in pain. Consuming contaminated bud that has been exposed to molds, fertilizers, and chemical pesticides can cause this, and you should stop smoking it immediately, even if it passes the sight and smell tests. Pay attention to your symptoms so you can describe them to your doctor if they escalate.
Stick to cannabis providers you know and trust, ones who test their weed at laboratories. Keep track of your stash and throw anything old, like that baggy you found from the lake last summer, out. It’s just not worth the risk to your health.