It may be easy to determine if old bread or cheese is moldy. However, mold on weed isn’t always as easy to spot, and smoking moldy weed could lead to an experience you don't want. Here's a look at the dangers of mold on marijuana, how to spot weed molding, and how to prevent the problem in the first place.
The Dangers of Smoking Moldy Weed
If you accidentally smoke moldy weed, you’ll likely be fine - it’s typically more of an unpleasant experience than a dangerous one - but smoking mold is not a great idea and can lead to:
If you are allergic to mold (a relatively common allergy), smoking moldy weed can cause inflammation of your respiratory system, particularly your sinuses and lungs. This can result in asthma, congestion, and sinus pain.
Certain fungi can be especially dangerous. In a UC Davis Study, researchers examined samples purchased from legal cannabis dispensaries. They discovered Cryptococcus, Mucor, and Aspergillus – fungi linked to lung infections in people with weakened immune systems.
What does moldy weed look like?
For the most part, mold on weed will show up as a grayish or whitish, often webby coating (but the exact colors of the mold can vary). The mold will likely be coating outside areas of the bud, but it can also be deeper within the flowers.
Trust your nose. Moldy weed usually takes on aromatics not common to the cannabis plant, smelling mildewy or even a little like old hay.
Moldy Weed vs Trichomes
Trichomes are shiny, sticky crystals that form on cannabis flower. Trichomes look almost like sparkling glitter. By contrast, mold will take on different appearances depending on the type. You may see spots that look powdery and white, gray and fluffy, or even black.
How to Fix Moldy Bud
Unfortunately, once you've got mold on weed, there's not a lot you can do. Some people will trim away what appears to be moldy and then smoke or vape what's left, but even this is questionable. Mold spores can be microscopic, and when you're dealing with tightly bundled clusters of flower, it can be really hard to tell where there is mold and where there is no mold. Therefore, when in doubt, throw it out just to be safe.
How to Prevent Mold on Marijuana
Proper storage is the key to keeping mold away from your weed. You will need to control everything from temperature and light to oxygen exposure and humidity in the storage container. Here are a few tips to keep weed fresh.
Avoid hot or frigid temps
Storing your stash in the fridge or freezer is not a good idea. Likewise, you don't want to put your weed outdoors in the cold or heat. The best temperature range is above 50°F (10°C) and under 77°F (25°C).
Watch the humidity levels
To prevent mold from growing, the level of moisture in your cannabis has to be controlled. Shoot for humidity levels between 55 and 65 percent - above that range, conditions become more favorable for mold growth, while below that range, cannabis can become dry and crumbly. Maintain the appropriate level with a humidity control device.
Use the right storage container
When you intend to store weed long-term, make sure you are using a container built for the purpose. A glass jar is best, but look for a jar that has an airtight lid, something to keep out the light, and can accept some level of humidity control. For example, our Evergreen Storage Solution contains a glass jar with a silicone sleeve and a humidity control pod to prevent mold and keep your weed fresh.