Spotting mold on bread and cheese is relatively easy. Finding it on cannabis, however, can be more difficult. Here’s what you need to know to find the fungus safely while also maintaining a clean stash of marijuana going forward. What do you look for? Is it safe to smoke moldy weed? What’s the best way to keep your supply free from contamination? Answers below to these questions and more!
What Does Moldy Cannabis Look Like?
Even if you’re not a connoisseur of cannabis or an experienced gardener, it can be easy to confuse trichomes and moldy weed. That said, keep an eye out for the distinctive grayish-white layer on mildewed marijuana – this is one telltale sign that something isn’t right. Trichomes are the luminous, sticky crystals that cover cannabis plants, giving them a unique and pleasant aroma. By contrast, mold has an ashen or chalky presence; it looks like powdery patches of white or grey on your buds.
Marijuana mold also has a powerful scent, so your nose may detect it before you notice the discoloration. Usually, moldy cannabis gives off an odor similar to mustiness or mildew; sometimes it even smells like hay.
Smoking Moldy Weed
Though it won’t necessarily cost you your life, smoking moldy cannabis is still an unwise decision. For those in good health, the negative effects of consuming this type of weed are likely to be minimal — apart from all the other risks associated with smoking anything.
If you take a hit of moldy weed, you’ll most likely experience annoying symptoms such as coughing, nausea and vomiting. However, if you’re sensitive to mold spores then these side effects will be far more severe; inflammation in your sinuses or lungs could occur along with additional issues such as:
- sinus pain
For individuals with weakened immune systems or lung conditions, breathing in cannabis smoke containing certain mold species can result in serious medical issues. Aspergillus, Mucor, and Cryptococcus are some of the fungi that may provoke detrimental infections of the lungs, CNS (central nervous system), and brain for those whose immunity is vulnerable. In extreme cases these molds could even be fatal.
Can Mold Spores be Removed or Washed Off of My Cannabis?
In short, no.
Although you might be tempted to smoke the non-moldy bits of your weed that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. If your flower is displaying even little signs of mold or mildew, throw it away and look for better options – life’s too short to waste on bad bud! Not only will this marijuana not give you what you’d expect in terms of aroma or flavor but could also make you ill if smoked.
Best Practices to Prevent Mold on Your Stash
If you want to stay ahead of mold growth and avoid the dreaded “bud rot,” proper storage is key. Exposure to hostile temperatures, light levels, oxygen levels and humidity can all promote the proliferation of unwanted fungus. Let’s recap what’s essential:
A Good Container
If you want to protect your cannabis from mold and keep it fresh for longer, glass jars with a secure lid are the way to go. Mason jars and other similar containers limit oxygen and moisture exposure, making them perfect for storage purposes. If you’re looking for something more advanced than a regular Mason jar, dispensaries offer specialized containers designed exclusively for the purpose of cannabis plant storage.
Dark and Dry
Sunlight and moisture are a surefire way to ensure your cannabis spoils. Intense heat from the sun’s rays can cause an increase in humidity, causing too much moisture if not properly sealed. To maintain freshness for as long as possible, keep your container of marijuana stored away in a dark area free of excessive warmth such as cabinets or closets – this will help you avoid any unwanted dampness and keep it airtight.
Not Too Cold
Disregard the old-fashioned advice of storing your cannabis in the refrigerator or freezer – it’s too chilly and could possibly lead to mold growth. Instead, store buds at a temperature slightly below 77°F (25°C) for optimal preservation.
Mind the humidity
To ensure top-notch quality of your cannabis, it is advised to maintain a relative humidity level between 59 and 63%. Going past the optimal range can lead to dampness in your container which encourages mold growth. To help preserve the humidity at an ideal rate, adding a humidity pack could be beneficial. Humidity packs consist of water and salt combinations that regulate moisture levels; they are inexpensive as well as long lasting for around two months.
If you want to invest in something luxurious and sophisticated, a humidor designed for cannabis is the perfect choice. With this, you can be sure of protecting your stash from drying out and get maximum flavor.
The Last (and hopefully un-moldy) Toke
Before you enjoy your cannabis, make sure to inspect it for any signs of mold. Not only will this help keep your body healthy if you have asthma or a weakened immune system, but even without these conditions, it’s best practice to discard anything that looks suspicious. The telltale signs are usually in the appearance, smell and taste – so take an extra moment to ensure the quality before indulging.
If you would like hand-on demostration of how to inspect cannabis flower for mold, a Frost Exoctic Cannabis budtender would be happy to oblige. Stop by and say hey!