What Does Moldy Weed Look Like?

07/01/2024
LOOKAH

What Does Moldy Weed Look Like

Finding moldy marijuana is one of the last things you want to encounter when you're smoking bongs.

Unfortunately, it's a common problem.

Moldy weed is more than just a huge, icky disappointment it could be dangerous.

Learn how to spot mold, why your stash gets moldy, and the proper cannabis storage steps you take to prevent it from happening again.

What Does Moldy Weed Look Like?

Discoloration-weed

Inexperienced cannabis growers or users don’t know exactly what moldy weed looks like.

What’s worse, mold weed, and trichomes can be confusing. 

If you are one of them, we’ve gathered unique visual indicators when identifying moldy weed vs trichomes:

1. Discoloration

One of the most obvious signs that your weed is moldy is discoloration.

Weeds are usually bright green, and you start to see brown or yellow patches, which can signify mold.

2. Loss Of Color

In addition to fading, you may also notice that the weed has lost color like a thin layer of dust.

If the weed becomes dull, it could be a sign of mold.

3. Change In Texture

Another sign that your weed is moldy is a change in texture.

If your weed feels slimy or mushy, it has likely been infected with mold.

4. White Powder On The Surface

If you see a white powder on the surface of a weed, it can sometimes be mistaken for kief.

However dense buildups of white powder can indicate the presence of powdery mildew, which can be a sign of mold.

This powder is mold spores, which can cause respiratory problems when inhaled.

5. Bud Rot

Darker colors of mold may signify bud rot, as they could be a type of mold called botrytis.

This is a severe form of mold that can cause the weed buds to become spongy and fall apart easily, a definite sign of internal mold growth.

What does moldy weed smell like? 

One telltale sign of moldy weed is its smell.

Moldy weed typically gives off a musty or mildewy smell, which is distinctly different from the plant's natural aromatic profiles and can range from piney to citrusy.

If your weed smells more like a damp basement than a fresh herb, it's likely got mold.

Similarly, the taste of moldy weed is notably unpleasant and can deviate significantly from the typical flavors of weed.

Instead of a clean, pure taste, moldy weed may taste harsh and leave an undesirable aftertaste.

What Causes Mold on Cannabis?

moldy-weed

You may wonder what causes your weed to be moldy.

Apart from the primary catalyst, which is the high level of moisture, other factors such as ventilation and storage can also make your weed moldy.

Let’s see how they aggravate your cannabis growth in detail.

1. Low temperatures

If temperatures are too low, exposure to moisture can result in mold growth.

2. Excess Moisture

If cannabis plants are exposed to high humidity levels during cultivation, drying, or storage, the moisture content in the buds can increase, creating an environment conducive to mold development.

Note: It’s not suggested to spray water on cannabis to keep the plant hydrated, as this method is more likely to make your weed excessively moist.

To maintain the ideal grow room temp and humidity level, options such as well-crafted ventilation systems, inline fans, and humidifiers/dehumidifiers are more recommended.

3. Inadequate Air Circulation

Insufficient airflow around your cannabis will probably impede moisture evaporation and create stagnant conditions.

Without proper ventilation systems, moisture can accumulate, leading to mold growth.

4. Injury

Injuries to the plant can increase the chances of mold growing on the weed.

5. Poor Storage Conditions

Just like storing food, improper care of cannabis, especially in humid environments or in containers that do not provide adequate air exchange, can result in mold contamination.

Inadequate drying and curing processes can also contribute to mold growth since the moisture can be trapped within the buds and therefore promote mold formation.

What Happens If You Smoke Moldy Weed?

a-woman-smoking

What happens if you smoke moldy weed?

No surprises here: it can cause serious harm.

On one end of the spectrum, symptoms of smoking moldy weed could be less severe (but still undesirable).

You might experience nausea or vomiting.

On the other end, there’s a whole world of bad.

Intentionally inhaling aspergillus spores runs the risk of developing aspergillosis.

This lung infection may cause symptoms like fever, trouble breathing, chest pain, and coughing up blood.

This fungal lung infection spreads to the blood vessels and travels throughout the body.

Invasive aspergillosis can cause dangerous symptoms that may require antifungal treatments, observation by hospital staff, or even emergency surgeries.

The Aspergillus spores are also capable of causing severe allergic reactions in some people.

Other consequences of smoking moldy weed include exposure to aflatoxins, which can cause liver and lung cancers.

Patients are also at risk for developing cryptococcal meningitis or fungal sinusitis.

While it's true that Aspergillus spores are all around us, the likelihood of breathing enough in to cause health complications is typically low.

However, this is not the case when Aspergillus is smoked and inhaled.

This is especially true with certain strains of Aspergillus, which may be more likely to cause severe infections than others.

For this reason, it's always best to play it safe and avoid smoking any moldy weed.

Can Moldy Weed Be Salvaged?

Ultimately, there is no way to 'fix' your weed if it becomes moldy.

Mold presence on weed is not just a minor nuisance; it poses serious health risks, especially when smoked or ingested.

Salvage Techniques

While there are ways to salvage moldy marijuana, the safety and efficacy of these methods are questionable:

1. Decarboxylation

Some believe that decarboxylation (a method of activating cannabis by heating it to activate its psychoactive compounds) may also kill certain types of mold spores.

However, this method does not remove all toxins produced by mold, such as mycotoxins, which remain in the weed even after heat treatment.

2. Excision

Even if you try to scrape it off the surface, doing so will destroy or scrape off the trichomes that contain all the THC.

Unfortunately, once the mold is visible on marijuana, it's ruined. 

While some mold is visible, some mold is hard to spot.

If you remove all the cannabis flowers that have visible mold, you could still unintentionally smoke the mold.

It's not worth the risk.

Safety Issues

The key issue with trying to save moldy weeds through heat or other methods is that not all mold spores and toxins can be removed.

Aspergillus is a common mold on weeds that produces heat-resistant spores and may survive processes such as baking or inhaling.

How To Prevent Cannabis Mold?

Prevent-Cannabis-Mold

Proper storage is the key to keeping mold away from your weed.

1. 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 cannabis plant storage.

2. 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.

3. Not Too Cold

Disregard the old-fashioned advice of storing your cannabis in the refrigerator or freezer – it’s too chilly and could lead to mold growth.

Instead, the best temperature range for weed storage is above 50°F (10°C) and under 77°F (25°C).

4. Mind the humidity

To ensure the 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 getting maximum flavor.

Conclusion

Moldy weed has no place in your Dab Rigs.

It can be dangerous, even when smoked at high temperatures.

Your best course of action is to throw out the affected stash and start fresh with a new bud, and a new airtight storage container control pack.