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Mold on cannabis is a genuine concern that every cannabis consumer is scared to come across. Why? Because nobody wants to see a stash of their favorite green and purple flowers go to waste. But that’s exactly what happens when your cannabis gets moldy.
In this blog by Online Medical Card, let’s cover some of the basics of how to identify mold, fix it and prevent it from growing. Another crucial question is answered here – what happens when you smoke moldy weed?
Spotting mold on a loaf of bread or some vegetable that is thrown at the back of the refrigerator isn’t hard. You see a fuzzy white growth and you know exactly what it is. However, when it comes to a cannabis bud, this distinction becomes a little tough.
The growth that we so commonly associate with mold can get confused with the actual glistening trichomes of a cannabis bud. These trichomes are small hair-like structures with crystalline glands that give off a white/ gray color. Unlike mold, which is completely unnecessary and can even pose a threat to the consumer’s health, the trichomes pack together THC, CBD, and other crucial cannabinoids that turn the plant therapeutic.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to identify moldy weed or distinguish the mold from these trichomes, especially for new consumers.
If you’re wondering what does moldy weed look like, look at other factors besides the trichomes. Here are the signs of mold to look for.
All of these signs are clear giveaways of any moldy growth on your bud. You can use a microscope yourself to check these out if you’re unable to inspect them with your naked eye.
Generally, mold and mildew produce small branching filaments called hyphae. These do not imitate the naturally occurring trichomes or growths of weed, so they can be told apart. If you find any unnatural, out-of-the-ordinary growths, you might be looking at the mold. Another way to inspect them clearly is by using a UV light. It’ll make the small spores much more easily visible.
Lookout for these signs while buying cannabis from a dispensary or a retailer. You should also inspect for these signs if you’re growing cannabis at home or are about to use a stash that has been stored away for a little while.
Apart from the 5 physical determinants, a moldy smell (something very similar to a moldy room or basement) is also an obvious sign of (you guessed it) moldy weed. This type of weed has a dominant stench of urine or sweat, both of which will make you retract your steps pretty quickly.
And finally, if you are unable to identify the signs of mold by looking or smelling the bud, you will surely recognize its depreciated condition through the taste. The taste of moldy weed is most closely compared with the taste of hay. Even if you’re unaware of how that tastes, you’ll be able to tell the flavor of a skunky earthy strain from a moldy one.
The real question here is “Can I Fix My Moldy Weed?”
Unfortunately, no. Even when you’re able to identify the gray-white growth as mold, it is difficult to get it off. If you decide to scrape it off, you might end up scrapping all the trichomes off too. Since these trichomes contain THC, CBD, and other medicinal cannabinoids, without them, the flower will lose its major potential.
Even if you can remove the obvious visual signs of mold, there are possibly some spots left. Smoking this cannabis that has already been infested with mold is nothing short of a health hazard. In this case, it is recommended to dispose of the bud and get a new one. But before you do that, learn the basics of storing your weed the right way, so it doesn’t get moldy with time.
When it comes to protecting your weed from any unwanted white fuzz, the right storage can be a game changer.
It is best remembered that mold grows in warm, wet, and humid regions. This is exactly the type of environment that you must avoid to ensure that your weed remains healthy. Whether you’re home growing your cannabis or have bought some from a local dispensary, creating the optimal temperature and environment for your yield is crucial.
In the case of a store/dispensary-bought cannabis flower, you can do the following.
Your weed needs to be away from any unnecessary presence of oxygen, moisture, or heat that can promote its growth. In such a case, an air-tight container is a perfect solution. Get a container with little extra space for as little airflow as possible. Also, ensure that the container is rid of any moisture before you store the weed inside the container.
Extreme temperatures are not ideal for your weed and can eventually lead to the growth of mold. So we do not recommend cold storage. Your best bet is to store the weed in an air-tight container in a dark corner, away from any direct light or water sources.
To keep your weed mold-free, it is preferable to store it somewhere away from light and heat sources and wet areas. Weed can be best stored at a humidity of 59-63 percent and any more than that can lead to mold.
Even direct light and heat tend to trap the moisture inside the container and increase the chances of mold growth.
To avoid this from happening, you can store your weed in a tinted container, inside a cupboard (that is not inside your bathroom or closely situated near your stove). You can even add a humidity pack so that any unwanted moisture within the container gets absorbed.
Make sure that the cannabis you buy is from a trusted dispensary and not a shady dealer. This in itself will increase the chances of you obtaining a well-preserved, high-quality bud. At the same time, always examine the cannabis flower you’re about to buy. Borrow a microscope from the budtender and peek into the deep crevices of the herb to check for any unwanted or unexpected growths.
In the case of home cultivation,
This type of equipment will ensure that there is no unwanted moisture or dampness across the room so it doesn’t ruin the plant.
Sometimes, you might be unable to recognize that your flower has mold, and that might lead you towards the worst sesh of your life. Not only because this weed will be the worst tasting and smelling weed you’ve ever consumed but because it can have some very serious health reprecussions.
In such a case, we do not expect the weed to have any major health threats to any healthy individual. However, you might experience some common symptoms like coughing, nausea, lung irritation, etc.
You can also show signs of more serious or even life-threatening conditions, though rarely. Some of the serious conditions might include:
Mold balls are actually balls of mold that can grow inside your lungs and might require surgery to remove. In these cases, visit a healthcare professional at the soonest.
As per a US Davis study, researchers found lethal molds in samples that they procured from 20 Northern California growers and dispensaries. While this type of weed might not have an effect on healthy adults, it put patients with weaker immune systems at risk.
Did You Know: Some molds even produce antibiotics, such as penicillin. Those who are allergic to penicillin can have a violent reaction after smelling it. At the same time, those who try to treat their infections by smoking moldy weed can put their health at stake.
Weed gets moldy and you can’t undo it. But you can prevent it from growing mold. Storing it in an air-tight container, away from any direct heat, air and moisture is your best bet. At the same time, thoroughly checking every cannabis flower that you grow at home or buy from a dispensary can help avoid consuming moldy cannabis. Remember that nothing is worth the risk of consuming moldy cannabis. While the chances of any serious symptoms are low, it is always advised to not take the risk.