4 Ways To Tell If Your Weed is Bad

How dank is too dank? It's time to find out if your bud belongs in the trash.

As the burgeoning cannabis industry becomes increasingly legitimate, the choices given to cannabis consumers continue to grow. In states or countries where weed is legal, consumers are no longer relegated to simply taking whatever their dealer has to offer, and instead, they are able to decide what kind of flavour they're after, how much THC they want, and whether they want to consume an indica or sativa.

Instead of making a sneaky exchange from a dealers car, cannabis consumers can now visit clean and aesthetic dispensaries, often more closely resembling an Apple store than a drug store. This increasing legitimacy of the cannabis industry is important, because it instils trust into people after decades of anti-marijuana propaganda, and affords consumers confidence when they purchase their pot.

Though with all this being said, it can be easy to forget we're still talking about a plant – one that is susceptible to all the same maladies as most plants. Whether it be fungus, mould, or too many pesticides, the cannabis plant is vulnerable to a host of issues that can affect the consumer experience, and it's important to be able to tell when a plant you've just purchased isn't quite right.

In fact, Oklahoma's Medical Marijuana Authority had to recently issue a recall on cannabis products due to the presence of a dangerous fungicide. As a result, we decided to help you know what to watch out for when buying weed.

1. Mold

Mold is one of the easiest issues to detect in marijuana, as moldy weed is very distinguishable. Mold on a cannabis bud will share a similar appearance to other forms of mold you might find on foods or surfaces, often taking the form of a white, cobweb-looking growth atop the weed.

While its very rare that someone would try to sell you moldy weed, it's much more likely that mold will develop on weed you've already bought. This is typically because mold appears on cannabis when the plant has been stored in an environment that is too damp or humid, with too much moisture in the air.

In order to prevent this from occuring, it helps to store your cannabis in a jar, and "burp" it, meaning to open the lid each day for a few minutes to allow the moisture to escape from the jar.

It's particularly important to notice mold as it can have quite severe effects upon inhalation, ranging from allergic reactions and hay-fever-like symptoms, to asthma attacks and shortness of breath. If you notice mold on your cannabis, unfortunately, it's time to throw it out and start afresh.

2. Stems and seeds

These are two things you'll definitely want to avoid when purchasing cannabis. While it's not uncommon for stems to be present in cannabis flower, you want to be mindful of precisely how much stem there is. As cannabis is priced by weight, and given that you can't really use cannabis stems for anything, it's basically dead weight, and you'll be getting less bang for your buck when you purchase a stem-heavy bag of weed.

Similarly, seeds have no practical use (unless you intend to grow a plant yourself), and therefore should be avoided where possible when purchasing marijuana. Though in many ways, seeds are much less desirable than stem in a cannabis plant, as they can explode when they are heated, making for a displeasing smoking experience. Not only that, but it can take much longer to remove seeds from a cannabis plant than it does to remove a stem.

If you don't want to spend 30 minutes just sifting through the stems and seeds in your bud, it's best to try and avoid both of these when you can.

3. Appearance

Sometimes it can take a sharp eye to tell good weed from bad, particularly when it comes to the appearance of the cannabis. Good cannabis should be vibrant, with bright green hues and sometimes hints of orange. While different strains will have different colours, you want to avoid cannabis plants that look dull, faded or more grey/brown overall. If your weed is grey, it typically means that the cannabis plant is quite old, and will likely have lost potency and flavour when compared with a newer plant.

A good way to separate the wheat from the chaff, when it comes to cannabis, is to look for trichomes. Trichomes are small crystalline hairs found on cannabis, and can be found in abundance on freshly picked cannabis plants. Conversely, oxygen, time, and excessive handling can all contribute to a plant's lack of trichomes.

If you're struggling to see them on the weed you've got at home, it's likely you've got some old weed.

4. Flavour

While cannabis is revered for its aesthetic and can be highly photogenic, the truth is most people love weed because of its flavour and the experience that comes with consuming it.

A good weed should taste fragrant, with hints of fruitiness, earth or citrus dependent upon the strain you've got. If the weed you have tastes nice, it generally means it's fresh and was prepared properly. This includes flushing the plant of its nutrients and fertilisers two weeks prior to harvesting, making sure the weed has been cured effectively and that it isn't too damp. The best test for whether your weed is of good quality is taste; if it tastes good, chances are you've got yourself some primo bud.

If the weed tastes bad, or you're struggling to smoke it, there could be issues in the quality department.

So there you have it, four ways to tell whether you've got good bud or not. As the marijuana marketplace becomes flooded with new strains and different qualities of cannabis, knowing these small things can make a world of difference.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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