Picture this: you’re on the couch and feel the desire to roll up a little doobie. You pull out your trusty jar of buds, take a closer look, and… something doesn’t look right. What is that? Is it mold? Is it safe to smoke moldy weed? In this article, we’ll tell you about the dangers of smoking moldy weed, as well as the various ways you can detect those fungal invaders in your precious smokeables before it’s too late.
Consequences Of Smoking Moldy Weed
Is it safe to smoke moldy weed? Absolutely not! Moldy weed is full of mycotoxins and endotoxins which, when inhaled, can cause inflammation and lung irritation. For smokers with compromised immune systems, this means the risk of lung infection, asthma or pneumonia. The side-effects of smoking moldy weed are usually a bad headache and a nasty cough. If you smoke moldy weed too much, you could have other signs of acute mold/mildew exposure such as fatigue, general weakness and chest pain, to name a few.
Mold Resistant Cannabis Strains
Types Of Mold Present On Cannabis
There are three main types of mold which are, in turn, a category of fungus, that you’ll find on cannabis. Let’s break down exactly why they’re bad for you and what happens if you smoke moldy weed.
Aspergillus, the first of these fungi, is a fungus that produces mycotoxins that aren’t burned away when you light up that joint. Although only usually serious for the immuno-compromised, Aspergillus can cause Aspergillosis, a fungal infection that can lead to a cough, fever, chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Cannabis Strains For Concentrates
The next formidable fungus you could find in cannabis is Cladosporium, which is a common plant fungus. This type of mold doesn’t produce mycotoxins, but possible side-effects of inhaling it are hay fever symptoms, asthma attacks, or in very serious cases, developing pneumonia.
Our final foe is Botrytis, more commonly known as gray mold. This is the most common of the three that you could find on cannabis, and is also easily identifiable by its cobweb-like appearance. Like the others, inhaling this type of mold can lead to respiratory issues or even severe allergic reactions.
How Can I Detect Mold On My Stored Bud?
You’ll need to use your senses: sight and smell, though not (hopefully) taste. You’ll see yellow, gray or white mold on weed that looks like cobwebs interwoven in the buds, dark green spots, or a powdery mildew that looks like sawdust or sugar. The smell of moldy weed is also hard to miss: it often smells like sweat or urine. If you’re wondering what moldy weed tastes like, it’s pretty harsh and is followed up with heavy coughing and pain.
Catching Mold While You’re Growing
To avoid mold growth on your plants, you should keep a close eye on how the plant smells and looks. If your roots are musty and stinky, discolored, or there’s white fuzz in the soil, those are signs of root rot. Another indication of molding is yellowing, drooping leaves, which themselves can also develop suspicious white powder. The worst-case scenario is when mold affects the buds directly, making them unusable and even dangerous. So make sure to inspect buds to catch the first signs of what looks like fuzzy white/gray hairs and smells musty.
Mold Prevention Tips
Now that you know how to detect mold on your buds and plants, how about some tips on how to prevent the development of mold in the first place? The earlier you take preventative measures, the more likely you are to keep your buds healthy.
Storing Cannabis: Cool, Dark And Airtight
If you didn’t know this already, there are ideal conditions to store your cannabis to not only prevent mold, but also preserve taste and potency. Always use an airtight container – better a glass jar than a plastic bag – with some room for air. Keep it in a dark, dry area ideally around 77°F (25°C) and with a relative humidity (RH) below 65%. If you live somewhere hot and humid, using a humidity pack to store your bud is a good call.
Keep Your Crops Healthy
As for the growers among you, the conditions that your plant grows in are incredibly important to the health and success of your crop. The best way to protect against mold is to keep your plants in a clean, dry and well-ventilated space. Air circulation is crucial to maintaining humidity and temperature levels right for the growing requirements specified by each seed bank. Maintain your temperature and humidity and reduce contamination risk, and your plants should be just fine.
Just Don’t Smoke Moldy Marijuana
Bottom line, smoking weed with mold can be VERY bad for you! Even if you’re the perfect picture of health, inhaling mold into your lungs is not ideal at all and can still lead to health issues. So, can moldy buds be saved? Honestly, no – you should probably toss them out. Better safe than sorry!