Moldy cannabis buds can be a bummer after putting so much work and energy into your plant.
At first signs of mold, you can take off the offending bud and adjust your process or climate, and hopefully, it doesn’t proliferate more.
Sometimes, though, it affects the entire plant or harvest, and you are faced with a heavy decision.
You’ll find yourself thinking, “Is there any way to save these moldy buds?”
Moldy cannabis is unsalvageable if there will be any kind of human consumption involved. Once you have a moldy bud, throw it out before it infects the rest of your plant and crop. Consuming moldy flowers is a health risk so there is no reason to try and save them.
The best medicine is a preventative one in this case and a sign of mold is either because your plant has a suppressed immune response or there is a problem with the climate in your grow room where the mold has a foothold either due to cleanliness or humidity problems.
How to tell if you have moldy weed?
Depending on the mold and what stage it is in you can identify it through a variety of observations.
For molds like powdery mildew, you will see a distinctive white powder stain starting to show up on the fan leaves. It almost looks like some nutrient salts got splashed onto the leaves and it dried up leaving salt residue.
If your mold is white and fuzzy, then you have some rot setting in which is a sign to throw out the affected parts.
When the mold starts working its way into the cannabis buds it can be difficult to tell if you have mold or not since it’ll hide in the tight flower structure.
Most will generally start out attacking the plant matter inside the buds and then work outwards to affect the outer trichomes.
There are some distinct smells that give away moldy weed, these include:
- A musty smell, almost like hay
- An imposing ammonia smell, almost like cat urine
- Wet grass has also been a documented smell
These smells are a good indicator that you’ll need to check out your buds for any signs of mold.
If you’re in the drying phase of the grow then breaking apart some nugs will show you what’s going on inside.
Cannabis will get a brown, discolored look that doesn’t resemble the green, purple, and oranges that should dominate the color palette when it has expired or gone moldy. It almost looks like rotting vegetables as the mold eats the live tissue.
Moldy weed is best left for the composter
There are growers out there who will try and cut away the moldy bits to salvage whatever they can but by that time the spores would have spread throughout the area the bud anyways.
Associated health risks with mold exposure and inhalation are enough to cause you to not consume moldy cannabis and since that’s why you’re probably growing it in the first place, throwing it out is really the only option.