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Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? If your weed stash is running low and the only thing available looks and smells a little suspect, there is a good chance your prized marijuana has gone moldy. Unlike a vintage cheese, weed doesn't get better with the addition of bacteria.
Despite some popular misconceptions on the internet that encourage cultivating certain types of mold for a better high, the white fluffy stuff should be avoided at all costs. It does not improve the quality of your weed, and it will, in worst case scenarios, cause you some pretty serious health issues, courtesy of the mycotoxins.
For the most part, those with a fully functioning immune system will (unbeknownst to them) passively inhale mold spores from their surroundings. There is no need to panic though (unless you want to wear a surgical mask), as these spores are generally harmless.
Marijuana, on the other hand, especially if it is subject to a significant amount of mold growth, will cause a negative impact on your body. Health issues can range from mild coughing or flu-like symptoms, progressing all the way up to chest pains, an allergic reaction, and respiratory problems.
That isn’t meant as a means of inflicting the fear of God, but it should stand as a welcome warning. When given a choice between smoking dank weed or moldy weed, the decision is simple. Actually, it isn't even a choice.
While the age or length of time you store marijuana can contribute to its development of mold, the prime contributor is moisture. Wetter isn't always better, especially when it comes to storing cannabis.
For many, the main mistake is packing buds into jars after they have been harvested without allowing them to dry sufficiently. The moisture locked within the buds creates the perfect environment for mold to thrive, and before you know it, an entire harvest can be ruined.
Luckily, spotting mold is relatively straightforward. In certain circumstances, novice smokers may be fooled into thinking mold growth is actually a sign of greater THC content.
Don't worry, that is a common mishap we will help identify. That is because to the untrained eye, trichomes, white crystal-like hairs, can look like mold and vice versa. The easiest way to differentiate the two is to examine your weed under a magnifying glass.
Even though marijuana comes in a variety of colors and gives off a wide range of aromas, mold-infested weed is very telling. Visually, unusual dark green spots combined with a white powdery substance or gray fuzz are sure signs.
When it comes to the smell of healthy weed, the aroma can be incredibly distinctive depending on the strain. However, mold will be overtly musky or unpleasant. Trust your gut instinct; if it doesn't smell right, then chances are it hasn’t been dried and cured thoroughly.
Finally, the ultimate mold check comes in the form of a black light. Any mold spores present will show up as a vibrant green color. For those of us that left the rave scene behind, a simple sight and smell test should be sufficient.
If all this talk of dangerous spores has you paranoid, there are practical steps you can take to limit the chance of mold developing. Anything over 50% RH (relative humidity) becomes a prime environment for mold to propagate.
While it is impossible to gauge humidity with the naked eye, storing your weed in an airtight container when it is completely dry is a good place to start. That container will also benefit from being kept in a cool, dark place.
There are many premium containers available on the internet promising humidity control and vacuum-sealing capabilities. These represent the best option, but by following the steps listed above, your weed should remain in good condition.
For those growing cannabis, allowing your buds plenty of time to dry adequately in a dark, well-ventilated location will prevent moisture from building up inside curing jars.
Ultimately, smoking moldy weed is not worth the risks that accompany it. However, if those desperate times occur, the damage can be mitigated—to a degree. If there is a slight buildup of mold, placing the weed in the oven on a baking tray for 15 minutes at 150°C will burn off common bacterial strains.
If you are unfortunate enough to already suffer from a weakened immune system or breathing-related ailments, then honestly, the best thing to do is avoid potentially contaminated weed altogether.