Most types of mould are usually nontoxic in small concentrations. Time and again, people come into contact with these naturally occurring fungi that grow wherever moisture is present. It’s in the air you breathe and maybe in the food you eat. Your body’s immune system can easily deal with a rouge spore or two now and then. However, it’s not the same when moulds are ingested in larger quantities, especially if they go straight to your lungs.
Cannabis, like any plant, is not spared from going bad. Smoking mouldy weed can have unpleasant effects, ranging from allergies to infections. So, how can you tell if your weed has gone bunk?
Telltale Signs of Mouldy Weed
- Visible fuzz. It’s pretty easy to spot mould on weed. You must have seen white or green moulds that have formed on cheese, bread, or vegetables left in your fridge for too long. Marijuana flowers can generate the same kinds of moulds or mildew. Although trichomes usually give cannabis plants a rather dusty appearance, you can easily spot the outsets of unwanted powder or tiny hair-like fuzz that can be white, grey, yellow, brown, green, or black.
- Putrid smell. Many strains of weed produce musky aromas, but they should not stink like a damp basement or, worse, human sweat and urine. A rich, musty, damp odour suggests that your flower may have been exposed to extreme moisture and is now starting to grow mould or mildew.
- Damp flowers. Most cannabis normally dries at a relative humidity of about 45 to 55 percent and cures at 65 percent for a month or so. If you are working with dried marijuana flowers, they should feel sticky yet sort of crisp and easy to break apart. If the flower feels moist to the touch and too difficult to break apart, then it must have not dried or cured properly. This means that the flower has become more susceptible to moulds and mildew.
- Bad reaction. When you smoke mouldy weed, something will feel off and like the hit was quite rough. A headache might start to form, and from there, common symptoms might be noticeable. This could include coughing or wheezing due to harsh irritation, shortness of breath, runny nose, and light-headedness. In more intense situations, smoking mouldy weed might trigger a fever, serious allergic reactions, increased heart rate, and chest pains. It is highly recommended to seek medical help immediately when extreme cases like these happen.
What to Watch Out for While Growing Weed
Detecting the early signs of moulds and mildews on your cannabis plant can save your entire harvest. If you check your stash closely enough, you will see something similar to webby crud all over your buds. You might also find one of the most common culprits that can damage your weed: white or grey fuzzy mould. Mould can also appear like white powdery mildew on parts of the bud or its leaves as if they were rolled in confectionery sugar. Other symptoms of mould on supposedly green buds include yellow or brown fuzz, dark spots, or even slime. Other signs to pay attention to include stinky or discoloured roots, yellowish or dying droopy leaves, and white or grey fuzz in the soil.
Clear signs of mould often suggest the disease has been there for some time now. However, fresh growths of fungal infection in weed are usually invisible. Therefore, you might need a digital microscope to inspect the buds for hyphae. These are long, filamentous branches found in fungi and should not resemble the dusty appearance of the bud’s natural trichomes.
Identifying moulds on weed takes practice. Just know that if anything appears unusual or out of place on your cannabis, it could be mould. As soon as you spot a problem, do not consume it. Dispose of it properly in a place where it will not spread to other buds or contaminate your other plants.
How to Prevent Mouldy Weed
Mouldy weed is generally caused by having excessive moisture where it is stored. This could happen if, after harvesting, the grower stored the weed even when it was still wet or because moisture leaked into your stash after buying them. When the weed container is dank, fungi can easily thrive. That’s why using the right container to store your weed can help a lot to keep your stash from becoming mouldy. Your best options include glass jars, vacuum seals, and Cvaults as they can be sealed airtight and keep the fungus out.
Mouldy weed can also be avoided not just through proper storage but also by maintaining the right conditions where your pot is stored. Make sure that you keep your weed in an environment where darkness is prevalent, the temperature is cool, there is low humidity, and where oxygen is out. These are the key factors to consider to keep your stash fresh and clean.
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Smoking Mouldy Weed
Since small traces of moulds can be present on marijuana even if they are not visible, it is important to pay attention to how you can protect yourself from potential health issues.
The safest way to keep yourself from smoking compromised weed is to buy only laboratory-tested cannabis products from regulated dispensaries. Some cultivators illicitly produce weed that retains leftover chemicals from fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides.
To help you reduce the risk of smoking mouldy weed, here’s what you need to do.
- Pick only the buds that emanate pleasant smells and avoid the ones that have weird musty undertones. Steer clear from damp flowers with a grassy scent.
- If you are growing cannabis, invest in putting up a greenhouse before the weather gets bad.
- Keep the grow rooms clean and make sure that humidity is controlled.
- After harvest, dry the weed out properly and store them in airtight containers in a dark, dry, cool place.
- Don’t forget to give your weed a once-over before consuming, and never use the ones that have been left out in the open or gotten wet.