If you’ve ever had several grams of cannabis grow mold, you know the heartbreak you feel. Good cannabis is expensive, and it’s a shame to waste such a beautiful crop. If you’re worried that your cannabis might grow moldy, use proper storage and prevent your stash from spoiling.
Once mold has taken hold, there’s not much you can do. Preventative maintenance is the best solution to keep your cannabis fresh and safe for longer.
How Does Cannabis Get Moldy?
Cannabis is a dried flower. Anything naturally moist that’s been dried maintains its capacity to hold moisture. Your cannabis will happily soak up any water it can find. This creates a big problem. Your cannabis no longer has roots, and it isn’t being dried by the sun.
The moisture simply sits on the flower, and moisture invites bacteria.
Mold can form in as little as 24 hours, and it only takes a few drops of water to get the process started. If you keep your cannabis in a damp area of your home in a container that will allow air in or out, mold is essentially a guarantee.
The Dangers of Smoking Moldy Cannabis
Mold inhalation is dangerous, and it can be potentially life-threatening for people who have a mold allergy. Simply breathing the air in a room with moldy walls or floors can cause damage to your health. If you even suspect that your cannabis has mold on it, it isn’t worth taking the risk.
Toss it out.
How To Check Cannabis for Mold
Most of the time, people are acutely aware that their cannabis contains mold. If you aren’t sure if you’re dealing with mold or a particularly skunky strain, here’s how to inspect your cannabis for signs of possible mold contamination.
Touch the Flower
Cannabis flower should be somewhat firm, and touching it shouldn’t leave any moist residue on your finger. If your flower feels wet, spongy, or mushy, there’s mold inside. In some cases, your cannabis might feel like sauteed spinach. Your finger will sink right into the rotting part of the bud.
If you press down with your finger and the cannabis doesn’t spring back to its original state, that might indicate that there’s something wrong deep in the center of the bud. You might want to cut the bud in half to get a better look.
Cannabis mold is almost always white or gray in color. Visual inspections can sometimes be tricky. At first glance, it might look like the flower is covered in trichomes. A closer look will show that the texture is fuzzy rather than bumpy with little crystals.
If you aren’t sure, you can use a magnifying glass or a microscope to get a better look. Most people don’t have a microscope in their households, and it’s likely not worth the investment of a microscope just to get a better look at your cannabis.
If your smartphone has a high-quality camera, place your cannabis in a well-lit environment and zoom in. Double-tap or adjust the focus. Your phone will give you a better look at the texture of the mold, which may look like velvet or cotton candy, depending on your level of zoom.
Mildew will look like dust or mushroom spores. It might have a flaky or grainy texture. Sometimes, mildew will shake off the bud if you wiggle it. This doesn’t mean it’s safe to smoke. If the mildew was there in the first place, contamination has already occurred. It doesn’t matter how well you dust your cannabis off - it’s still a lost cause.
If the mold growth has only recently started, you may not be able to see the mold on the outside of the flower. It helps to break the flower into a few pieces and observe the center. If the cannabis is fine, it doesn’t have to go to waste. Just toss it in your grinder, roll it into a joint, and stash it in your Stori tube for later use.
Smell the Cannabis
Mold has a very distinct smell. If you’re not sure what you’re sniffing for, let your nose sniff for notes of ammonia or a wet basement smell. Your cannabis might smell like a dirty public restroom or a pile of junk that’s been left out in the rain.
Some people get tripped up by perfectly healthy cannabis that emits a similar smell. Some strains, like Sour OG Cheese, Cheetah Piss, and Sour Glue, will naturally have ammonia. This doesn’t mean they’re bad.
Skunk and child strains of skunk will smell skunky, as you may have guessed. Myrcene heavy strains, like Granddaddy Purple or Northern Lights, can sometimes smell musty.
If your strain smells the way it’s supposed to smell, and that smell happens to naturally mimic mold-like aromas, don’t use scent as an indicator. Refer back to a visual inspection and a moisture check.
Can Moldy Cannabis Be Salvaged?
No. There’s no way to pick the mold off of the cannabis. Even if you don’t see the mold, it’s still there. It’s best to assume there’s mold on every bit of flower in the container where you found the affected flower.
If one flower was exposed to moisture and contaminants, so was every other flower in the jar. The contents of the entire container should be disposed of.
Avoid Buying Moldy Cannabis
There was a time in the not-so-distant past where purchasing cannabis wasn’t as simple as walking to a dispensary and ordering it right off of a menu. People had to settle for what they could easily obtain. It was rarely fresh, the quality was poor, and it might have already had mold on it.
Now, we have a highly regulated legal cannabis market. Cannabis growers are held to high standards for product quality and safety. If you choose cannabis produced by reputable growers and sold at legitimate dispensaries, the product you receive is less likely to contain mold. You can also keep an eye out for recall notices concerning mold or other potential contaminants.
Preventing Your Weed from Growing Mold with Stori + Boveda
When you purchase safe, above-board cannabis, all you need to do is keep it the way you found it. It isn’t difficult to avoid mold growth on cannabis. In fact, you can prevent mold while preserving valuable terpenes and cannabinoids for the long haul.
Stori and Boveda are a cannabis power couple. Our inventions combined can work together to keep your cannabis fresh and mold-free for over a year.
The Stori case comes with six pods, made of durable food-grade aluminum, and secure color-coded child-proof caps.
Air, light, and moisture cannot enter the pods. The color-coded pods work with the Stori app to help you keep track of your stash. You’ll be able to input information about the strains you purchased and when you purchased them, helping you keep track of the age and freshness of your strains.
Inside of those nifty color-coded lids is a place to insert a size 1 Boveda pack. This is where the magic happens.
Boveda packs turn every Stori pod into its own humidor. The pack is all you need to regulate the humidity level inside of your pod. This will prevent your cannabis from becoming too dry or too moist.
The Boveda pack will lay down an extremely thin layer of purified water on top of your cannabis flower. This layer of water prevents the terpenes from evaporating. It’s like a little security blanket that keeps them tucked in.
The air and moisture in the pod continuously run through the Boveda pack, which will work to regulate the perfect balance. The pack will hold moisture when there’s too much and release moisture when there’s too little.
Pack Smart With Stori
Over time, the pack will begin to stiffen up. A little bit of hardening at the corners of the pack is normal when it’s working. It might develop a few hard lumps like grains of rice throughout the center of the pack. It’s time to change the pack out for a new one when the whole thing starts to harden up.
Boveda packs usually last for several weeks. Periodically check in on your pack to make sure it’s still working as intended. It might help to write the date on every pack the day you stick it in the lid. It will save you a lot of time trying to remember when you last swapped it out.
Just putting your cannabis in the right container with a special little packet will save you so much time and money. Your cannabis stays fresh and safe for a long time. You’ll never have to worry about mold wrecking your favorite strain again.