Plant Cultivation

Moldy Weed: What Does It Look Like & Can You Smoke It?

what does moldy weed look like

How to Tell Moldy Weed & What Happens If You Smoke It

Unlike other issues that weed growers will encounter, say, cannabis leaves curling up, moldy weed would be less easy to spot and identify, as it resembles the trichome from the appearance. So, how to tell if weed is moldy becomes tricky. Moreover, can you smoke moldy weed? Don’t worry, we will get you covered by all about moldy weed. First, let’s get to know mold weed by what it looks like. 

Table of Contents

What Does Moldy Weed Look Like

Inexperienced cannabis growers or users don’t know exactly what does moldy weed look like. What’s worse, mold weed and trichomes can be really confusing. If you are one of them, we’ve gathered unique visual indicators when identifying moldy weed vs trichomes:

Moldy weed: Gray to white coating (spider web alike) with a powdery finish that covers the surface of your weed. In some occasions where your weed gets moldy for a long time, you can even spot bud rot and root rot.

moldy weed

Trichomes: On the contrary, trichomes are small, sticky, and shiny crystals that appear as tiny, hair-like structures. When observed closely, trichomes even have a sparkling or glittering effect, which is nothing alike the fuzzy effect of mold weed. 

milky white trichome

From the two pictures above, we bet you can have a basic inspection of moldy weed vs trichomes. If that’s not enough, you can further tell if the weed is moldy by the aroma. 

The moldy weed smells really weird and unpleasant, distinct from the desirable scents found in fresh, high-quality cannabis. It often emits a musty or mildewy smell, similar to a damp basement or wet cardboard. In some cases, it may even carry hints of a hay-like or rotten odor. 

Can You Smoke Moldy Weed & What Will Happen

Smoking moldy weed is not likely to put your life in danger, as they are not considered toxic. However, it is discouraged due to the potential health risks it poses. Unlike benefiting from the pleasant flavor of normal cannabis, what happens if you smoke moldy weed? 

  • Respiratory Issues: Aspergillus spores present in moldy cannabis can irritate your respiratory system, leading to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma or allergies may be particularly susceptible to these effects.


  • Allergic Reactions: Mold exposure can trigger allergic reactions in some people, including sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes, and skin rashes. If you have a known mold allergy, moldy weed is what you should avoid smoking. 

Whether you have a generally healthy or weakened immune system, smoking moldy weed is probably not fatal but it’s not recommended either. 

Why Is Weed Moldy

You may wonder what causes your weed to be moldy. Apart from the primary catalyst, which is the high level of moisture, other factors such as ventilation and storage can also make your weed moldy. Let’s see how they aggravate your cannabis growth in detail. 

Excess Moisture: If cannabis plants are exposed to high humidity levels during cultivation, drying, or storage, the moisture content in the buds can increase, creating an environment conducive to mold development. 

Note: It’s not suggested to spray water on cannabis to keep the plant hydrated, as this method is more likely to make your weed excessively moist. To maintain the ideal grow room temp and humidity level, options such as well-crafted ventilation systems, inline fans, and humidifiers/dehumidifiers are more recommended. 

Inadequate Air Circulation: Insufficient airflow around your cannabis will probably impede moisture evaporation and create stagnant conditions. Without proper ventilation systems, moisture can accumulate, leading to mold growth.

Poor Storage Conditions: Just like storing food, improper care of cannabis, especially in humid environments or in containers that do not provide adequate air exchange, can result in mold contamination. 

Additionally,  inadequate drying and curing processes can also contribute to mold growth since the moisture can be trapped within the buds and therefore promotes mold formation.

Can I Fix Moldy Weed

No, once weed becomes moldy, there’s no way to either fix or restore it. Perhaps you are thinking about removing or scraping the moldy part to rescue undamaged cannabis, unfortunately, doing so will only destroy or take away the trichomes that contain all the active components. In other words, cannabis becomes invaluable.  

There do have some solutions that claim to work for moldy weed but trust me, they are not worth the risk, for your health's sake. If you discover mold on your cannabis, it is best to toss it off and start your next cannabis cultivation. Wish you good luck this time. 

How to avoid mold weed in the first place? Let’s read on to explore.

Preventing Mold Contamination [Effective Solutions]

The key to preventing mold weed lies in storage, including the surrounding temperature, humidity, and airflow. Any wrong implementation in terms of these conditions can result in mold weed.

No Fridge or Freezer

Contrary to common belief, storing cannabis in the fridge or freezer is not recommended. The low temperatures and exposure to moisture actually boost mold growth instead of preventing it. Storing cannabis at a temperature slightly below 77°F (25°C) would be a good idea. 

Use Airtight Containers

Opt for glass containers such as Mason jars with airtight seals. These containers create a barrier against oxygen and moisture, effectively limiting mold growth. Alternatively, you can go for pill bottles, airtight zipper food storage bags, plastic food containers, etc. 

glass weed container

Choose Dark & Dry Environment

Sunlight can generate heat and trap moisture, while a damp environment without proper sealing can lead to excessive moisture. Therefore, keep your container in a dark and dry cabinet or closet that does not absorb direct sunlight. 

Ensure Proper Airflow & Ventilation

Aspergillus, a common type of mold, thrives in warm, humid, and poorly ventilated environments. To avoid it from growing, replace the humid air with fresh and dry air by applying the helpful equipment mentioned earlier in the post. Here at Spider Farmer, we offer quite a few ventilation products that aim to do so. 

Besides, the ideal humidity levels for keeping your cannabis are between 59 and 63 percent. Anything beyond the range will possibly breed mold weed. 

FAQs about Moldy Weed

  • How does mold affect the potency of cannabis?

Mold significantly reduces cannabis potency by degrading cannabinoids and terpenes, leading to a loss of desired effects and flavors.

  • Should I throw moldy weed away?

Yes, consuming moldy cannabis can pose a series of health risks, including nausea, inflammation of your sinuses or lungs, coughing, allergic reactions, etc. As long as mold weed is not eatable, there’s no need to keep them. 

  • What does bad weed look like?

Bad weeds may exhibit visible signs of mold or mildew, such as a powdery coating. It can also appear discolored, damp, or emit a musty odor. You should avoid consuming weed that shows these characteristics.


About Ciki

Ciki has been navigating the digital world of SEO for over 3 years, applying her expertise originally in the software sector before turning her attention to indoor gardening. Merging her tech-savvy background with a passion for nature, Ciki offers a unique perspective on gardening, blending modern techniques with time-honored traditions.

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