Mold is gross and easy to spot, particularly when it comes to food. In the case of weed, however, it’s very different (but still pretty gross). But when you find an old joint under the couch, should you toss it out? Are there risks to smoking moldy weed?

Sadly, mold is never a good thing to inhale, no matter how much you want that weed. While it likely won’t kill you, inhaling mold could pose some health hazards to your lungs, increasing your odds for coughing and then develop a lung infection.

RELATED: Does Marijuana Have An Expiration Date?

The Rookie's Guide To Kush Weed
Photo by Cambridge Jenkins IV via Unsplash

For people who are allergic to mold, smoking could result in inflamed sinuses and lungs. These conditions could result in symptoms like sinus pain, wheezing, and congestion. In rare instances, people who are sensitive to mold could experience a fungal infection in their lungs or throats, which could be deadly, particularly if the person afflicted is immunocompromised.

RELATED: Cannabis 101: How To Tell If Your Marijuana Is Moldy

Recognizing mold in weed isn’t as easy as recognizing it in food. In marijuana, mold usually looks like a greyish or white coating, which can be easily confused with trichomes. Upon closer look, mold can look like fuzz, spots, or even slime.

Cannabis 101: How To Tell If Your Marijuana Is Moldy
Photo by Flickr user Thomas Bresson

For all users, the easiest way to tell if your weed is moldy is to smell it. Mold has a distinctive smell, one that will cloud marijuana’s natural aroma. It’ll smell musty and unpleasant, unlike skunky marijuana that hasn’t yet expired.

RELATED: Cannabis Pro-Tips: 8 Ways To Properly Store Marijuana For Freshness

The best way to avoid moldy weed is to buy your products from a certified dispensary and to always check the expiration date if there is one. The closer the weed is to this date, the more likely it is for it to be contaminated by mold. To prevent mold, storage is key. Keep your cannabis in a cool and dark place, sealed in an airtight container.

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