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Moldy Weed – How To Check For It and What To Do About It

A close up of a cannabis plant with white hair-like mold on it.

Moldy Weed – How To Check For It and What To Do About It

Key Takeaways

Mold grows on weed when it is kept in damp conditions in which mold thrives in and is always looking for something to grow on especially organic matter.

You can test if your weed is moldy from:

  • It’s look – It will have grey/white matter growing on it.
  • It’s smell – It will less dank than normal and will smell like mildew.
  • It’s taste – It will taste damp and not good.

If in doubt it is always best to throw away the weed and only smoke something you are sure of. Moldy weed is not only bad for you but it is also less potent as your regular bud meaning you would have to smoke more of it to get the same high.

To prevent weed growing mold be sure to properly store it in an airtight container away from moisture.

Mold can ruin your weed stash and might put your health at risk if you are exposed to it.

You need to protect your weed from growing mold and avoid using any weed that has become contaminated with it.

Before you throw out your stash, however, you can find out for sure if it has become moldy. You can also use some common sense measures to protect your weed stash from becoming moldy.

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives on organic matter. It can grow both indoors and outdoors. It feeds on carbon, as well as moisture, to grow and spread on the organic matter in which it has taken root.

Mold is also known as mildew and can commonly be found on organic matter that is decaying or dying. It is not uncommon to find it on plants and flowers, for example. It can also be found under rocks, on basement walls and in dark and damp corners of buildings. Even the smallest traces of mold spores can be found just about anywhere, including hospitals and doctors’ offices that most people would assume are sterile.

Left unaddressed, mold can spread quickly and overtake the areas and surfaces where it grows. It can also cause people with mold allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma to suffer from symptoms like coughing, wheezing and sneezing.

The best way to prevent mold from growing is to keep surfaces dry.

Without moisture, mold cannot survive.

Removing dead and decaying organic matter can also prevent mold from taking root and spreading unfettered.

Is Mold on Weed Harmful?

Mold is generally not toxic or harmful. However, some types of mold are known to be toxigenic, or capable of producing toxins that can harm people.

For example, someone with an allergy to mold may develop serious allergic reactions if they come into contact with it. They cannot tolerate the toxigenic qualities of the mold and suffer symptoms like coughing or skin rashes.

With that, it may be unsafe to smoke or use weed that is moldy. Even if you have never before suffered a negative reaction to mold exposure, you may not want to risk it, particularly if you have allergies or a respiratory condition like asthma.

Rather than use any weed that is moldy, it may be best for you to dispose of it.

While there is no solid consensus about if or to what extent mold damages people’s lungs, you may want to avoid exposing yourself to the possible side effects that smoking weed that is moldy can cause.

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What Does Moldy Weed Look Like?

The best way to tell if your weed has mold on it is by looking at it. Mold presents itself in a tell-tale way and lets you know for sure if your weed has gone bad and is no longer safe to use.

Moldy Weed vs Trichomes:

However, it is vital you also know how to tell the difference between mold on your weed and the weed’s natural trichomes. People who are new to using weed might mistake the two and not know how to tell them apart.

growing cannabis bud with white trichomes
Trichomes which are essential in the high you get from weed can be mistaken for mold due to their white furry appearance, different strains can be more confusing than others.

In fact, trichomes are silver in appearance and look like small hairs growing on the outside of your weed. They are sticky crystals and are what gives weed its natural aroma and are safe with which to come into contact.

macro shot of white mold on weed
The mold will appear to be like a webbing and will be growing ON the bud as oppossed to trichromes that grow FROM the cannabis.

Mold, on the other hand, looks grayish or white in color. It also may look powdery or dusty instead of silvery or shiny. If you see what looks like gray or white powder or dust on the outside of your weed, it can be safe to assume it has become moldy. You should dispose of it rather than try to use it.

What Does Mold on Weed Taste Like?

Another way to tell if you have moldy weed is by tasting it. Weed that is moldy commonly has a more dank and rotten taste and smell to it. If you believe your weed tastes and smells like mildew or rot, chances are it has gone moldy and should not be used.

Some people can smoke weed with mold on it and suffer no ill side effects. However, some people, especially those with allergies or lowered immunity, may suffer notable and negative side effects, such as sinus pain and nausea, by smoking weed that is moldy.

Along with visually inspecting your weed before using it for mold, you can get a pretty good idea if it is moldy from its taste. If it does not taste fresh or is reminiscent of mildew, you should assume it has mold in it and avoid using it. Even if you assume you will not suffer negative side effects, you may not want to risk exposing yourself to mold.

What Causes Mold on Cannabis?

The most common culprit that causes mold to grow on cannabis is moisture. When your weed becomes exposed to water or high humidity levels, it can easily grow mold on it.

In fact, many weed users make the mistake of spraying their weed with water to keep it from drying out and becoming useless. They believe the water will help keep the bud fresh and prevent it from becoming dehydrated.

This common mistake, however, more often than not leads to the weed becoming moldy. As much as you might be tempted to spray your own stash with water to keep it hydrated, it is better for you to avoid this ill-advised tip entirely.

Rather than spray it to keep it hydrated, you can use other methods of storing and preserving it to keep it fresh. You can try placing it in an airtight container, for example, to keep it from drying out or becoming stale. You also avoid having to throw away ruined weed because you sprayed it with water and caused it to become moldy.

moldy cannabis bud rotting on the plant
The mold will not always grow after harvest, it can appear while the bud is still on the cannabis plant.

How to Fix Moldy Bud

When your weed becomes moldy, it can be convenient just to toss it out and replace it with fresh weed. However, if you are truly intent on remedying your moldy bud, you may try several tips that might restore its freshness and safety.

You could try a method called decarboxylating it. This method of fixing your moldy bud involves baking it in a 230 degree oven for 35 minutes. Baking the weed at this temperature may kill off the mold in it and make it safe to use again.

You could also try to use a water pipe to filter the mold off your weed. Filtering it may remove enough of the mold to make it safe to use. Still, you should be aware that no amount of filtering it is 100 percent effective and will still leave you with some mold on your bud.

Finally, if you feel guilty about throwing away moldy bud, you can always compost it. This option allows you to get some use out of it, even if you cannot smoke it.

Will Moldy Weed Get You High?

Weed that is moldy is less potent than fresh weed.

You might have to smoke more of it to get high. You may find that you cannot get the same type of high from a moldy bud as you can from weed that is fresh and free from mold.

Even more, moldy bud can invite a host of negative symptoms that might make you regret smoking it in the first place. It can cause side effects like:

  • Excess coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sinus pain
  • Sinus drainage
  • Lung infection

When you want to avoid having to smoke more weed than usual or experiencing side effects that can be inconvenient and painful, you should dispose of or try to remedy any that has become moldy. Before you use it, you should inspect any weed you have for signs of mold and avoid using any you suspect might have mold growth on it.

How to Prevent Mold on Weed

moldy cannabis indica flower in someone's palm
Improper storage is the cause of mold growing after harvest, using a suitable container is key to preventing the growth of mold and mildew.

Preventing mold from growing on your weed can be as simple as storing it correcly. Chances are you have plenty of DIY airtight containers in your own kitchen or bathroom that you can use in which to store your weed and protect it from mold. They can include:

  • Pill bottles
  • Airtight zipper food storage bags
  • Glass mason jars
  • Plastic food containers

By keeping your weed in proper storage where air and moisture cannot get to it, you can minimize the chances of it growing mold and becoming useless. Humidity packs are a good idea to keep the levels of moisture down and prevent mold growth.

You can also rehydrate weed in a safe and effective manner to prevent it from growing mold. Again, you should resist spraying it with water. Instead, to rehydrate your weed, you can place moist lettuce leaves or fruit and vegetable peels in with it. The moisture from the peels or lettuce can transfer to your weed and rehydrate it.

You can also place moist cotton balls or paper towels with your weed. Likewise, you can place fresh weed with weed that is old and drying out to rehydrate it.


Mold can grow on your weed quickly and easily if you fail to protect your stash. Once your weed is moldy, it can be too unsafe and unpleasant to smoke. You might face having to throw it out and replace it with fresh weed.

You could try to remedy it by baking or filtering it. However, you can prevent mold from growing in your weed stash by storing it in airtight containers and rehydrating it properly.

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