Have you opened your bottom drawer lately, only to find a small ziplock filled with weed you bought so long ago that you can’t even remember how long it’s been there? How do you know if it’s still good to smoke? What should you look for? Does weed get moldy and go bad? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions or something related, you’re going to want to continue reading on. We’ll clear up all of the doubts you may have about storage of your weed including it’s ideal shelf life, how to examine it for mold, and much more!
Recently there have been reported deaths related to contamination of cannabis with a dangerous mold; these findings are not to be taken lightly. If you suspect mold on your weed, you should take these findings seriously and examine your product more thoroughly. Failure to examine your weed could be potentially dangerous to your health if it has in fact been contaminated with mold. Mold contains mycotoxins and endotoxins which together provide a dangerous combination and could negatively affect your health.
See #4 in our FAQ to find out more about these toxins.
How long does weed last? Under ideal conditions, many say that weed can last anywhere from 1 week to 6 months or longer, depending on the storage method. Now, we wouldn’t necessarily suggest keeping your weed that long but if for some reason you have a bulk amount that can’t be consumed quickly, then looking into storage options which allow you to keep it longer will be essential.
Air is one of Cannabis’s worst enemies when it comes to drying out or becoming moldy. Take a look following the section on Examining Your Weed For Mold, where we’ll share some storage options for preventing mold growth.
Examining Your Weed For Mold
There are several ways to check if your weed has sprouted mold (Aspergillus). The most truthful indicators of moldy weed will be recognized by using your senses.
6 Signs Your Weed Has Mold
- Visually you will see a cluster having developed if the mold is present everywhere. These clusters are not to be confused with Trichomes, which contain THC and other compounds. To know if your weed has Trichomes or mold, see #5 in our FAQ.
Observe the texture and feel. Damp or spongy weed could indicate the presence of mold. The best indicator to know if your weed is too moist is to crush it between your fingers. If there is no sound then the weed is too moist.
A musty smell may be present. Remember, different strains will produce varying smells.
Discoloration in the weed may be apparent if mold is present. Colors could range anywhere from black to white.
Wondering what the taste of moldy weed is like? It tends to be very sour and unpleasant. Note the aftertaste of the flavor when you smoke the weed; if it’s anything but fresh and earthy, there may be a problem with your weed. Do not continue to smoke it if you notice an odd taste.
The last and final sign your weed has mold, and arguably the most important, is the reaction it will have in your body. Sometimes smoking moldy weed can trigger symptoms like the sniffles or coughing while in others it could stimulate an allergic reaction. If you experience chest pains or flu like symptoms, which don’t subside, after smoking your weed, you’ll want to see your doctor immediately.
Note: Not all the weed that has been infected with mold will be easily spotted, especially if the dispensary has simply cut off the mold from the product before packaging it for sale. For this reason, it is extremely important to buy from a reliable source (ADD AFFILIATE LINK).
4 Ways To Help Prevent Mold From Growing on Your Weed
If there are no visible spores on your weed or any clear signs of mold but you suspect that it may be susceptible to grow mold, there are a few measures you can take to try and ensure that mold doesn’t begin to grow. Remember, if mold is already present, there is no real way to cleanse the weed of mold; no amount of heat will kill the spores. As a report from 420 Shack reads, ‘The spores can survive pretty much anything this side of hard radiation, So. NO, you cannot kill the spores with fire’.
If you bake your weed, you may be able to stop the initial process of the development of spores that can’t yet be seen. You can spread the weed onto a flat sheet and bake for roughly 10 min at 200 degrees F.
Growing your own? Air circulation will be your best friend and will help ensure that the growth of mold or its spread will be halted. If you suspect mold on any part of the plant, remove and dispose of it immediately so it does not contaminate any other part of the plant.
When smoking with a bong, you’ll be able to reduce a good percentage of contaminants through the process of water filtration that will be taking place.
You can extract the cannabidiol from the weed into a concentrate with alcohol at a temperature of 200 degrees F. This process should help eliminate the majority of the spores or damage caused to the weed.
Ideal Conditions - Prevent Mold
To prevent mold from growing on your weed you should ensure that your weed is kept under any one of the following conditions.
Seal in an airtight container
Medicine bottles work well if you’re only holding it for a week or less but if you plan to keep your weed longer, look into storing it in an airtight jar. If storing in a jar, it’s advisable to remove the lid daily and check for moisture using special test strips.
As mentioned above, if you freeze your weed it can last months. Remember to vacuum seal the bag it’s in before freezing.
Using a humidifier
In a contained space (some use an aquarium tank) and without allowing the weed to touch the humidifier, you’ll be able to keep your weed from drying out and getting moldy. Make sure that you are only using purified water in the humidifier and are changing it roughly twice a week. Many reviewers comment that a Blimpie humidifier works really well for this application!
* If using a humidifier, make sure you know exactly how much humidity your weed should be exposed to and for what period of time. Too little moisture in the air will cause the mold to dry out but too much moisture will be a perfect breading ground for mold.
The longer you keep your weed, the less potent it will become, the flavor may change, and the rate at which it is smoked may be less, meaning that it will burn faster as it has dried up over time.
Can you smoke moldy cannabis? What are the dangers?
If your mold contains a dangerous fungus, it could very well cause your body incredible harm which is why we suggest that if you find mold on your weed you should safely discard it. For those with a weak immune system, any encounter with a dangerous spore of fungus could be deadly. To be on the safe side, we suggest throwing away any weed that has mold on it. Better to be safe than sorry.
Microscopic spores and toxins from the mold, if smoked, will make its way into your lungs and could very well continue growing within the lung tissues. If this starts to happen, the outcome will not be a favorable one.
What are the main factors in the likelihood of my weed growing mold?
The amount of weed you have, the thickness of the bag or container you’re storing it in, and the air tightness on that container will all be main factors to whether your weed will mold and roughly how long it will take before this happens.
What are mycotoxins and endotoxins?
Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by micro fungi and appear on the exterior of mold spores, in cracks and crevices of the plants. If weed is picked and dried with these, the mold spores will likely stay present and spread.
Endotoxins are what are released when bacteria is decaying. These are the more harmful toxins which are extremely dangerous if exposed to on a regular basis.
Can I use another method besides a humidifier to ensure my weed doesn’t dry out?
Yes! For periods of shorter storage, you can add an orange peel to the inside of the container where the weed is being stored, always remember that it can’t touch the weed or the mold will spread.
Trichomes or Mold?
The easiest way to know if your weed is covered in mold and not just trichomes is to look at it. Mold will form on top of the trichomes which will appear as white crystals around the bud; it will resemble a thin fur whereas trichomes have more of a texture similar to resin.
Are there other ways of how to get rid of mold on weed or to prevent mold from growing on my weed?
The best way to ensure your weed doesn’t grow mold is by storing it properly, as mentioned above, but also by making sure you are handling it properly. One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t risk cross contaminating your weed is by cleaning out your ‘weed box’. Also, keep note of the temperature of your house and moisture in the air. These two factors will have an effect on the likelihood of your weed growing mold.
Keep it or Throw it?
Good weed should appear green and have a slight purple tinge to it; white crystals will surround the bud and the overall product should make a crisp sound when crushed. When smoked, the weed will have a pleasant and distinct aftertaste and earthy smell. If for any reason the weed you have doesn’t pass the test of the senses, examine it closer for mold. If you believe your weed has developed mold and you’re asking, can you smoke moldy cannabis? The answer is yes you can but we advise you not to! Smoking moldy weed could cause havoc on your body and provide horribly dangerous adverse affects.