If you’ve ever had some dry herb, you may have been told that dropping an orange peel into your stash will help you moisten it up. And if you’ve ever had the misfortune of following this advice, you may have found something green growing where it shouldn’t. Mold.
Moldy Cannabis is Bad News Bears
Mold. It’s gross, it’s stinky, and it’s not something you want in your lungs.
When cannabis isn’t cultivated correctly, it’s vulnerable to several kinds of mold. Smoking cannabis that has mold on it can lead to respiratory issues, inflammation, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, heart palpitations, and even coma and death. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk to adverse effects from moldy cannabis.
How to Recognize Moldy Cannabis
Luckily, there are some cues that will help keep you safe. Checking your cannabis for mold is a lot like checking out your herb for quality. First, look at it. If there’s mold on your cannabis, growth will start on top of the crystal-like trichomes on the very outside of your buds. If there’s fuzz on top of the trichomes, you’re in trouble. It’s usually white, but can also be green, grey, black, or brown.
Next, give it a good sniff. It should smell skunky with a bouquet of terpenes giving it a distinctive scent. If it smells musty, mildewy, chemically, or like nothing at all – it might not be safe for your body. Then you’ll want to touch it. If it’s full-on wet, it probably hasn’t been cured properly and is high-risk for mold contamination. It should feel slightly sticky, but still be easy to pull apart. Stems should easily snap.
Look at the buds again once they’re broken to ensure safety throughout the flower. And, if it looks good, give ‘er a toke – cannabis that’s bad will not smoke easily and will taste funny. If you’re coughing more than usual, if it’s extra harsh, and/or doesn’t light easily; it may be wise to back away from the bowl.
You’ll Never Find Moldy Cannabis Here
One of the great things about cannabis legalization is the ability for consumers to know what they are buying. In addition to testing for things like cannabinoid content and pesticides, laboratories also test for contaminants like mold. Check out the product label to see all of the testing your product has been through.
In addition to being tested before it gets to our cannasseurs, we store our cannabis with absolute care and recheck it consistently while it’s in our hands. And if you’re a slow smoker who winds up with dry herb, there’s safer products and methods out there than the orange peel method. But if you insist, take ‘er out the next day and don’t let the peels touch the herb to avoid moldy cannabis. (Lesson learned!)
If you’re concerned about the safety of your cannabis (or other health factors, like allergens), please feel free to stop by your Have a Heart and chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders – we’re happy to help.