Moldy Weed can make you Sick

Photo credit - Poisonous Weed

If you thought smoking moldy Weed is no big deal, think again my friend.


"We raided 30 grow operations and took a  total of 407 fungal spore samples. Two independent types of tests identified elevated fungal spore levels, especially during the removal of plants from the Ops. In some cases, after plant removal, spore counts increased to levels above 50,000 spores/ per cubic meter,  with one sample over 500,000 spores per cubic meter. There is no question that some growers are poisoning their customers with mold and their toxic biochemical by-products." - Health and Safety Expert (paraphrase)

In this article we discuss:

  • How Moldy Weed can harm your body and destroy your health.
  • What kinds of Molds, Fungus and Mildew are present in Marijuana.
  • How can I tell if Weed is moldy?
  • How do Cannabis grow operations test Mold and Fungus?


Michael had Moldy Pot in Neverland

You'd think Michael Jackson, of all people would be found dead smoking moldy weed.  Yet, the man with all the king's horses and all the king's men did not have his act together.  Such is the ignorance about so many things, top to bottom, peasant to prince.  The police investigation and subsequent autopsy revealed that Jackson mistook moldy marijuana for "tar heroin".


"Black tar heroin is a type of illicit opioid formed from the incomplete acetylation of morphine. It is also called black, brown, or simply tar." - Wiki


While the moldy weed was not implicated in Billy Jean's death, it certainly did not medicate him to great health. 

Mold spores are everywhere.  The concentration of Mold depends on the conditions. Mold grows best in damp, dark and moist conditions.  Houses in the tropics can become mold infested during the rainy seasons and many conditions result.

So when you smoke a high quality Marijuana strain, you will inhale a couple of random spores.  This is not an issue. Your body can easily handle this kind of "natural" level of exposure.


When you smoke moldy Pot, however, we're talking about sucking in thousands or millions of spores (and their associated metabolic toxins), that your immune system has to deal with.  What's more, those spores can make a home in the far reaches of your lungs.  For example, a common mold called Aspergillus infests most vegetable matter, leather, fibers, and Marijuana.  Just give Asper a chance to grow and it will take over, unless you kill it, with sunlight, UV, dehumidify and some other way.


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" Aspergillosis is an infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mold (a type of fungus) that lives indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. However, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus. The types of health problems caused by Aspergillus include allergic reactions, lung infections, and infections in other organs."


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 Causes Moldy Marijuana

Mold grows in Marijuana because of "moisture lock".  If harvested Cannabis is moist when it's plastic wrapped, the container becomes a perfect incubator, or home, to raise your moldy family.  Growers that follow good MMJ Manufacturing Practices take special precautions to prevent mold from growing by packaging thoroughly dried weed with a desiccant, seal under nitrogen gas, use anti-fouling agents (non toxic).


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Some growers are not that bright nor honorable.  A shady trick is to add water to increase the weight.  At $300 per Oz, every 10% increase  in moisture means an $30 profit.  If you hold onto the moist weed for more than a few days, make no mistake, your stache WILL GO MOLDY.


Then there are the brain dead MMJ consumers who bury their weed in shoddy plastic bags.  .Bacteria, fungus and mold will get to the weed and contaminate it.  Also the THC and other cannabinoids will degrade into useless products. 


You can actually bury weed in the right containers, though it's not advised.  If you do, be sure to use a vessel that is airtight, fully dry your pot, include a desiccant (sodium sulphate is perfect) and include an antifouling agent.  Interestingly, some terpenes found in some Marijuana strains are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.  Though the industry has yet to do this, peppermint, tea tree oil, oregano, cinnamon, and clove oils stop mold in its tracks - in high concentrations, while delivering strong medicinal effects on their own.  Look for a big grower to pick up on this obvious and phenomenal anti-fouling  solution.


How can I tell if Weed is Moldy?

You can pretty much tell if there are Mold issues with the naked eye.  But really, why not do a top notch inspection job by investing $25 in a 10x magnifying glass from Ebay?  Using a black light is recommended as well.  The near Ultraviolet radiation from black lights illuminates mold.  It reflects a distinctive green hue.


identify mold on marijuana is to view it under a blacklight. Mold spores will appear a distinctive green hue when put under a blacklight.


Features of Moldy Weed

  • smells moldy, urine-ish, catty
  • black or dark green spots
  • black light test - mold glows green
  • grey green cotton candy mold  is the most common



Testimonials from the Man on the Street


"If you look a moldy weed under a 5x or 10x magnifier, you'll see what looks like a spider web covering the bud. It's generally white or gray, but can be other colors as well.  Don't mistake the "hairs" (dried flower pistils) or "crystals" (trichomes) for mold. Neither of these forms a cotton candy like web."  - Buddhist Curmudgeon


"I've kept bags for months in dry locations without any mold." - Passage


"Either way, don't smoke it. Smoking moldy weed could leave you with a headache, systemic fungal infection, or nothing. Best not to risk it for a bag of grass." - T1000


Preventing / Treating Mold in Marijuana Cultivation

Mold needs 10% humidity to survive.  Growers should harvest, whenever possible when it's dry.  Plants should be ventilated several days before making hay.  Cut plants can be dried or cured in jars.  Be careful if you try and rehydrate over dried buds, adding too much water will make for a perfect breeding ground for mold.




While it's never advisable to smoke moldy weed, if you suspect slight contamination, then baking in an oven at 300 degrees can knock out most common forms of mold.  But be aware, some spores will likely survive.  Be careful but not paranoid, we breathe in minute amounts of spores (in healthy environments) every day, no matter what. 


Some Molds and aflatoxins are more toxic in edible form, so using moldy Cannabis in edibles is no solution.  Don't do it.  Some people think that using a water pipe can help remove mold from the smoke.  They are right, but about 15% is removed to bongs are not a viable solution.

Can we kill it with FIRE!?  


No really, many mold spores can survive fire and just about anything short of exposing it to hard X Rays.

What is one of the worst things that can happen if I smoke Moldy Weed?

If you smoke moldy weed the spores can settle into your lungs and grow large mold balls, which are hard to get rid of and sometimes have to be removed surgically.

How can I tell mold from Trichomes?


When you look for mold, don't be smoking too much Weed?  If you get paranoid though, just pop a few peppercorns.  None other than Neil Young, at age 65 learned how to chill out better with Pot. If you look closely at the buds, the trichomes can be very dense and resemble mold to the untrained eye.  If it powdery or crystal like it's not mold.  If it looks like cotton candy like and furry, its mold.

Can I cut off the moldy area and smoke the rest?

No, throw it away.  Do not pass go. Don't smoke it. Don't' make edibles with it, don't make hash oil

Can I use Fungicides to Protect my Medical Marijuana?

A fungicide, by definition is anything that kills fungi.  A fungicide can be a synthetic chemical or an organic natural substance.  Spraying your plants with thyme or various kinds of terpenes have worked for some organic conscious growers.  Just put your organic anti-fungal extract in a hand held pump and off you go.


MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes:  Do you want to access properly tested mold free marijuana?  If so, you're probably going to buy from a licensed grow operations, dispensary, cooperative or Cannabis club.    Licensed providers of Medical Marijuana to need see your  Medical Marijuana Recommendation from a California Physician.  A MMJ doctor is on staff to process your online application now.  The process is faster, easier - and cheaper than a visit to the doctor's office or clinic. 


Our online MMJ ID Card, Recommendation and Cultivation evaluation process complies with the California Medical Board Standards and Guidelines for Telehealth - click to apply,  free.



Fungal Infections - Symptoms Worldwide

Role of surgery in the treatment of pulmonary aspergillosis


Aspergillosis could be treated by surgical resection and associated with systemic antifungal therapy.  You don't definitely don't want to go there!!

How to deal with too much THC.



A mixture of psychotropic plant and fungal material in suspicious death

Microbial diversity observed during hemp retting


Qualitatively, we noticed a higher bacterial diversity (in Cannabis) in comparison to fungi. This work showed that in the different samples, the same species were present but in significantly different proportions according to ground type, harvest dates and retting durations on field.


Inhaled medicinal cannabis and the immunocompromised patient.


"We describe the results of culturing the cannabis herb, three methods of sterilization, and the measured loss of a main cannabinoid compound activity. Systematic sterilization of medicinal cannabis can eliminate the risk of fatal opportunistic infections associated with cannabis among patients at risk."


Potential exposures associated with indoor marijuana growing operations.


"We entered a total of 30 indoor marijuana grow operations (IMGO) with law enforcement investigators in order to determine potential exposures to first responders.

After plant removal, spore counts increased to levels above 50,000 spores/m(3) with one sample over 500,000 spores/m(3)"


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