Connect with us

Cannabis Now

Cannabis Now

Patients In Non-Medical States Likely Smoking Mold or Pest Covered Marijuana

A branch of a cannabis plant covered in spider mites.


Patients In Non-Medical States Likely Smoking Mold or Pest Covered Marijuana

Photo courtesy of Quick Trading Company

It’s not a secret and it no longer holds shock value; people buy, grow and smoke marijuana everywhere– medically and recreationally– even in states where it is not legal. Some smoke for recreational fun, some for medical necessity, and some for all of the above. A problem for consumers, however, lies in the places where it still isn’t legal and its sale goes unregulated on the black market.

Outdoor producers in legal states, such as California, often export the moldy or pest-covered bud they can’t sell at dispensaries to non-legal states, where they can still fetch a decent market price despite the quality.

Patients in non-medical states are at risk of purchasing low-quality cannabis, often times containing mold or pests. Facilities in legal states where marijuana is cultivated and sold legally have regulations set up for lab testing, disposal, maintenance and storage.

According to Spark Report, “Anyone who has smoked marijuana more than a couple times has most likely inhaled mold spores from marijuana.”

Because it’s such a common toxin, mold isn’t a huge issue for the average recreational toker because their immune systems can handle it. However, people who are smoking for medical purposes have reason to be slightly alarmed, especially if they suffer from conditions that compromise their immune systems.

In section R406; B12 of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement division, “Retail Marijuana or Retail Marijuana Product that can support the rapid growth of undesirable microorganisms shall be held in a manner that prevents the growth of these microorganisms.”

Specifically, this means jars can’t be completely airtight—a manner which is conducive to the growth of toxins, microorganisms, bugs and fungi. Due to the known dangers of said microorganisms, legal states have very specific procedures for the safety of their consumers. In order to export cannabis to illegal states, most transporters will seal their product in an airtight container to avoid smells. Moreover, in order to feel safe in their own homes, consumers also tend to also keep their product in airtight containers.

Because marijuana is still federally illegal, the FDA doesn’t even step in to keep legal states safe.

In an interview with NBC News, Randy Simmons, the Washington State Liquor Control board project manager in charge of implementing Washington’s legalization law, “It’s important for us to do it because it’s public safety and there’s no U.S. FDA oversight here. Things that would be FDA rules don’t exist.”

Let that sink in. “It’s public safety… Rules don’t exist.”

The government does step in to make sure that our cabbage, broccoli and tobacco are held to these standards.

Patients purchasing marijuana in illegal states should be on the lookout for mold spores and pests. They should also open their containers, to allow airflow, a few times a day and avoid using orange/citrus peels in to keep the stash moist, a common practice. If you’re going to keep your green in a potentially dangerous environment, it is recommended that you bake your bud. Heat your oven to 300 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes; this will help kill the concerning mold.

Beatrice* illegally smokes marijuana in a non-medical state, for a serious medical condition and has strong feelings about the lack of regulation in her state. “It’s bullshit. We already have health problems. Let’s just add a little more to the mix. I don’t want to be making myself sicker. You have to start wondering if you’re adding to the problem. It would be like taking dirty anti-depressants; it wouldn’t help. You need people who know the business, know the plant, not just Johnny Pot-Head trying to make a buck. The only solution is legalization.”



  1. Terry Nelson

    February 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    If you put marijuana in a tightly closed container and it already has mold spores you will find the container full of mold, spores and strands.I worked at a dispensary in Venice Ca.that was run by a man that would NOT dispose of mold tainted marijuana. He would grind it up to put in our joints. We were a very well known dispensary and we attracted a number of seriously ill patients that absolutely had compromised immune systems. I did my best to keep the moldy bud off the shelf, but I couldn’t control what happened on my day off. There is a user friendly, hand held device that will be on the market soon that people can use to test cannabis for mold, pesticides, strength and other contaminants. As someone who knows about the questionable practices of a dispensary I think everyone who medicates should check out this device that can put testing in the palm of the consumer’s hand. I have already pre-ordered one. I believe that this is the only product like this that will be available for patients to test themselves. If you want to check this out you can get more info and when it is going to be available.

  2. roxy

    February 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Not always I think ppl that take it as serious as you all do also pride themselves in making good marijuana. You may have the stat’s that are higher negatively but, that’s ok I know I don’t smoke mold or pests.

  3. Jackson Graysteel

    February 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I’m somewhere between confused and exasperated. I’ve been trying to find a clear, definitive, and (if possible) a science-based answer to the question of whether it’s safe/unsafe to store buds in air-tight jars. But every time I set out to research this question, I come away with a different answer than the time before. This article — combined with another article published on this same website three months ago — illustrates my frustration perfectly:
    In the article, “Storing Your Stash: Keeping Buds Pristine After Harvest,” (by Dragonfly da le Luz, and published on this website Oct. 29, 2013 (see link)), the author offered the following advice on how to store buds:

    “Whatever container you use, you’ll want it to be as air-tight as possible. Any oxygen will accelerate degradation of your precious nugs. Store as much cannabis as will fit in the jar or bag; if you’re storing a small amount, use a small jar. If you must resort to plastic freezer bags, then squeeze as much air out as humanly possible before storing. Use a vacuum sealer if you have one, or invest in one if you’re storing a significant amount, as it will suck out way more oxygen than you could squeeze out otherwise.”

    The author goes on to state that: “[A]nother key factor that will enhance the longevity of your buds is airing them out. Just as you did during the curing process, open the jar — this time, once a month — being careful not to disturb the nugs, and simply let it air out for about 10 minutes before returning it to its cool, dark, dry place.”

    The language quoted above is copied verbatim from another article published less than 100 days ago on this very same website. And before anyone accuses me of cherry-picking from the earlier article, or using the quotations out of context, I’ve included a link to the article (below) so folks can judge for themselves.

    In conclusion, I remain confused & frustrated by the lack of clear (and non-conflicting) guidance on the question of how to store buds, and I would love to read an article that discusses this subject in meaningful detail, and which employs some semblance of scientific reasoning to arrive at a definitive (and logically sound) answer to the straight-forward question of “how should we store our buds?” [And while I’m not a biologist, I’m more than a little skeptical about the suggestion (found in this particular article) that mold can be killed by baking the afflicted buds at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. I don’t have time to research this now, but I don’t think mold spores can be killed so easily. (And baking buds at 300 degrees would also effectively vaporize all – or nearly all – of the desirable cannabinoids from the buds. So the net result of baking your buds would likely be: (1) mold spores not dead; (2) cannabinoids vaporized. If I’m mistaken about all or part of this, I’m sure folks will straighten me out).

    I will continue to look forward to reading a more detailed treatment of this subject soon. Thank you for your time.

    • Miranda

      February 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      I had the exact same thoughts. I think they are out to destroy our weed…baking it would most definitely destroy nearly all cannabinoids.

Leave a Reply

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

More in Medical

To Top