The last thing medical marijuana patients want to think about is moldy weed. Not only is it gross, but smoking or vaping moldy weed can be harmful to your health, especially for patients who are elderly or have a weakened immune system.
Unfortunately, because mmj is not federally regulated and because testing laws differ from state to state (with some states not requiring testing at all), the presence of mold and other contaminants in medical cannabis is a very real possibility if you obtain your mmj from a dispensary that doesn’t have rigorous quality control and selection standards.
For this reason, every medical cannabis patient should know how to spot mold on their medicine—and how to avoid buying tainted weed in the first place.
How can I tell if my weed is moldy?
The two best ways to detect the presence of mold on your mmj are by sight and smell. Visually, mold will look like fuzz, fur or even cobwebs around the buds and may appear white, gray, green, yellow or brown. Other signs of mold are dark spots or spores on the buds and discoloration on the roots. Mold spores can also be identified easily with a black light, under which they will appear green.
Next, use your nose to detect the presence of mold. If your bud gives off a slightly sweet, mildew-like odor instead of the characteristic musky scent of high-quality cannabis, it likely contains mold. If you are used to using a specific strain and it suddenly smells different than normal, that is also a good indication; trust your instincts and don’t use it.
It is also worth noting that trichomes—those tiny crystalline hairs on the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant—are sometimes mistaken for mold, but they can be quickly exonerated if they exude their normal pungent (in a good way) aroma.
Always store your mmj in a cool, dry place, and keep an eye out for these signs your weed has been contaminated by mold.
How does moldy weed happen?
If you have ever left a container of strawberries in the fridge too long or let a loaf of bread linger on the countertop, you have likely seen the effects of opportunistic mold spores.
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moist environments, and if the conditions are right, it is just as happy to take up residence on your weed as it is to hang out on your food. And, mold can affect both live marijuana plants and processed that is leaf ready for consumption.
Fun fact: Cannabis plants actually contain several chemical compounds that act as natural fungicides, and some strains will be less susceptible to mold than others. However, there is also the human factor to take into account, and many of the reasons behind moldy weed have to do with how it is grown and handled before it makes its way into the hands of mmj patients.
Among the most common factors that can lead to mold growth are moisture and a lack of air circulation. The tight bud structure of the cannabis plant makes it an ideal breeding ground for mold, so maintaining a low-humidity environment with plenty of air flow is essential.
Poorly manicured buds are more susceptible to mold because the leaves and stems hold a lot of moisture, and buds that have not been dried and cured properly are also more likely to develop mold. The addition of fruit peels (used to enhance the flavor of buds) can also introduce added moisture and contribute to mold growth.
What are the health hazards of consuming moldy weed?
The most common effects of smoking or vaping mold-contaminated mmj include respiratory inflammation and infection, which is often accompanied by chest pain, difficulty breathing and coughing. In some cases, patients will experience nausea, vomiting or gastrointestinal issues.
All of these effects can be extremely dangerous, especially for older patients and those with weakened immune systems (such as from cancer or HIV/AIDS), who may not be strong enough to fight off the infection.
How can I avoid buying and using weed that has been contaminated by mold?
Patients who purchase their mmj from a quality dispensary should never have to worry about moldy weed. Here at Desert Rose Dispensary, our goal is to continually improve upon the existing system and take the necessary steps to guarantee the products we sell are pure, safe and effective. That includes making sure they are free of mold and other harmful contaminants.
All of our medical marijuana products undergo lab testing through our vendor partners, of which we are highly selective. Because our experienced technicians know exactly what to look for when it comes to clean, safe and potent cannabis, we typically turn back 20 percent of the product sent to us and make it a point to document any evidence of mold, contaminants or discrepancies in potency.
At Desert Rose, we believe all patients should have access to superior-quality medical marijuana.
Arizona remains one of the few states that does not require medical cannabis testing in any form, which only makes us work harder to provide our patients with the cleanest and most potent mmj products to help them feel better and continue to do the things they enjoy.
We work hard to keep our prices low while still maintaining the quality of our dispensary menu, and our caring and knowledgeable dispensary staff looks forward to helping you find the treatment that works best for you.
Desert Rose recently extended our hours from 8AM-10 PM 7 days
a week. Additionally, our tax free deals will be from 8AM-10 AM and 8PM-10PM every day!