It may be apparent, yet consuming moldy cannabis can cause serious health risks – particularly to the lungs. Additionally, vapes and concentrates present many of these very same hazards. Fortunately, being attentive is the best kind of preventive medicine! In this article we will discuss how to identify potential wellbeing dangers from smoking contaminated weed as well as ways in which you can recognize it and ultimately prevent its consumption altogether.
What are the risks of smoking moldy weed?
According to board-certified OB-GYN and cannabis specialist Dr. Melanie Bone, the primary concern is a potential reaction to mold spores – some people may be more susceptible than others. A mild response caused by breathing in mold could include coughing or irritation of the throat.
If you experience a coughing fit or throat discomfort, particularly if it’s significant to extreme in nature, this could be indicative that your smoking habits need to be curbed. While mold might not always be the cause of these warning signs—you can try reducing cannabis consumption first and examine whether there is any improvement.
Besides typical respiratory ailments, individuals who have a heightened susceptibility to mold might endure an intense throat and lung infection.
An alarming study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has revealed that most weed samples acquired from non-dispensary sources were contaminated with fungi. This is a major cause for concern, as inhaling moldy cannabis can lead to serious lung infections. In 2016, research indicated that individuals who smoke marijuana are more susceptible to invasive fungal infections such as mold than those who don’t use cannabis – an eye-opening discovery which supports the CDC’s advice against smoking pot for people with weakened immune systems or organ transplants.
It is well-known that long-term use of marijuana bongs has a negative effect on the lungs, however recent research in Respirology Case Reports reveals more startling findings. The authors reported that marijuana inhalation had an even greater detrimental impact than cigarette smoking! Although it remains uncertain where these patients got their cannabis from in either 2016 or 2017 study, one thing is clear: care must be taken when engaging with this drug to minimize potential damage.
How much moldy weed do you need to smoke to be adversely affected?
The impacts of smoking moldy marijuana can be greatly varied, both in the short and long term. As Bone explains it, “Some people may experience noticeable negative effects immediately while others only feel consequences years down the road; it’s impossible to tell who will be affected.”
Moldy marijuana can have a range of adverse effects that are unpredictable, so it’s essential to be mindful when consuming cannabis. Fortunately, there are clear indications which will help you recognize and stay away from moldy weed entirely.
Can you tell if you have smoked moldy weed?
As Bone explains, one of the most reliable indicators that your cannabis is moldy is its smell. If it smells like an old sneaker or a musty attic, you should take extra precautions and look for other clues that would suggest mold presence.
In order to protect yourself from potential harm, only consume cannabis that looks fresh and is not close to its expiration date. Even if a product hasn’t expired yet, it might still be susceptible to the growth of mold or other hazardous substances; therefore, inspect your weed carefully! By doing this simple check prior to smoking you can rest assured knowing your purchase was made safely.
If you’re the unfortunate recipient of moldy marijuana, a coughing fit and sore throat are expected short-term effects. On the other hand, if far more serious issues arise like difficulty breathing, it is vital to seek medical assistance immediately.
How to avoid moldy weed
For the finest quality cannabis, always purchase from a licensed dispensary. To differentiate between trichomes and mold, take a closer look to inspect for size differences; while both appear white and powdery, spores of mold are much larger than microscopic trichomes.
By taking a nearer look at weed, you can more easily differentiate between mold and trichomes. For example, using a black light will reveal that moldy plants will glow green. Without magnification tools such as microscopes or black lights, spotting fuzziness on the surface of the bud along with spots or slime may be telltale signs of possible contamination by molds.
If your weed has been lucky enough to stay mold-free until now, there’s no assurance that it will remain so if you don’t store it right. To keep your marijuana fresh and safe from mildew, make sure to limit its exposure to light and dampness. Make sure you pack the herb up tight in a container and stow away in a cool spot–not the refrigerator!
Do I need to worry about old vapes or concentrates becoming moldy?
Not only are aged vaporizers and concentrates breeding grounds for mold, but it’s also best to exercise precaution with these cannabis products. According to Dr. Bone, “It’s always better safe than sorry; don’t take the risk of long-term lung issues.” Therefore, when you’re uncertain – get rid of it!