This may sound obvious, but consuming moldy weed may present certain health hazards, particularly to the lungs. Less obvious is the fact that vapes and concentrates may pose some of the same dangers. Luckily, knowledge is the best preventative medicine. Here we’ll cover how to assess the health risks of smoking moldy weed, how to tell if you’ve encountered moldy weed, and how to avoid smoking it at all.  

What are the risks of smoking moldy weed?

“The main concern is a reaction to the mold. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. A mild reaction to inhaling mold might be coughing and throat irritation,” said Dr. Melanie Bone, board-certified OB-GYN and cannabis specialist.

Coughing and throat irritation, when moderate or severe, should be warning signs to scale back on smoking, whether mold is suspected or not. Mold is not the only factor that can cause these symptoms, so reduce your cannabis smoking if you find yourself experiencing a hacking cough or burning throat.

Other more serious symptoms may also arise from smoking moldy weed. “On the opposite end of the spectrum, those who are very sensitive or allergic to mold might experience significant problems with a fungal infection in the throat and lungs,” said Bone.

How much moldy weed do you need to smoke to be adversely affected?

Just as the psychoactive effects of THC differ among individuals, so do the short and long-term effects of smoking moldy marijuana. “Some smokers will be affected right away, while others may not evidence any obvious untoward effects, even years later. It is unpredictable,” said Bone.

The unpredictability of moldy weed side effects means that consumers should exercise caution before lighting up. Fortunately, there are several key indicators that can help you identify and avoid moldy marijuana.

Can you tell if you have smoked moldy weed?

moldy weed

Before you smoke a joint or a blunt, there are ways you can tell if it is moldy. Odor, for example, is one of the surest ways to identify mold. “If it smells like old sneakers or your grandmother’s attic, look carefully for evidence of mold,” Bone said.In addition, the closer the product is to its expiration date, the more likely it is to have acquired mold. If a cannabis product is past its expiration date, you should assume that it is moldy and unsafe to consume. Further, you may be at greater risk of ingesting mold or other hazardous substances if you smoke roach weed.

Symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Fever (in rare cases)
  • Stuffiness
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Reduced ability to smell
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea

Other symptoms can develop if the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body

Anyone who has smoked marijuana more than a couple times has most likely inhaled mold spores from marijuana. That may sound alarming, however, it’s important to remember that you are likely to inhale the same or similar mold spores while taking a walk in the park. The most common type of mold, Aspergillus, occurs naturally in almost everything in nature.

Small amounts of mold spores have little effect on people with normal immune systems. But even the healthiest of individuals will get a royal headache if they smoke Pot a la Mold. If you’re smoking MMJ to treat your asthma, AIDS you are especially at risk.

What does moldy weed smell like

Another method for determining if your weed is moldy is through the sense of smell.

Depending on the type, the smell of mold can be like urine, sweat, hay, cat-like, musty or stuffy.

For maximal certainty, it’s best to combine both visual and odor detection techniques together.

Tips for amateur growers

When growing weed, there are numerous things you should always do, and several you want to avoid. First of all, don’t use fruit peels as fertilizer, as they can introduce mold spores.

For additional security, try growing strains that are high in anti-fungal terpenes such as limonene, eucalyptol and trans-nerolidol. The presence of these terpenes makes cannabis plants increasingly resistant to mold.

If you’re growing in a closed environment, use fans to keep the level of fresh air optimal.

For outdoor growers, there are four aspects to consider:

  • Grow plants suited for your climate
  • Grow your weed in a moderately windy area
  • If your plants are covered in morning dew, give each of them a proper shake
  • Use an overhead tarp in case of rain

You should regularly save cuttings in case mold infects your crop.

Also, make sure that you’ve carefully trimmed your buds before you start the drying process, as they retain less moisture. Desiccants are also a fine option when you’re packing your cannabis.

If mold happens, make sure to dispose of the infected plants immediately, in order to prevent further contamination. You should apply anti-mold agents to sanitize your grow room.


It’s important to understand that mold poses a very serious health risk, and reputable cannabis growers take it extremely seriously.

There were several big recalls because of mold in 2019, most notably in Michigan (48 pounds), Ontario (55 pounds), and Colorado (an undisclosed quantity).


moldy weed

If you happen to be purchasing your stash from a reputable cannabis club, coffee shop or your marijuana dispensary, then you really shouldn’t have to worry about moldy weed. But unfortunately, you do, because mold does not discriminate between amateurs and professionals, all it requires is optimal conditions, even post harvest.

A botched curing job or improper storage by the cannabis retailer can turn a Kilner jar full of weed into a furry mess of fungus. Wet weed is a breeding ground for fungus and an invitation for mold.

Even after a slow and careful drying, ideally, in simple brown paper bags, curing is the final step and too often where it all goes terribly wrong.

Another unpleasant characteristic of moldy weed is its mildew-like smell. Sometimes it can be more like hay, but something is always off with the scent of moldy bud. It pays to give your potential stash a whiff as well as the initial eyeball inspection.

Most high-end cannabis retail operators are not too keen on the customers getting overly touchy feely with the weed menu.

Only and we really mean only if it’s kosher with the budtender, it’s best to sample a spliff or a pipe hit, providing a full hands-on touch and taste test is permissible. If you get the green light, always go for it, the best hits are free hits anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *