As the marijuana market continues to grow, and with more people across America approving of cannabis use than ever before, the demand for the plant is at an all-time high.
Without a doubt, one of the most significant issues surrounding the cannabis industry is legality, with some states having laws in place for medicinal and recreational use and others still refusing to open their doors to the herb. With that has come an influx of organized crime and the sale of low quality, contaminated, and often dangerous marijuana.
Today we are going to take a look at everything you need to know checking your weed for contamination, so you can always stay safe when lighting up.
What Are the Causes of Contaminated Weed?
For those who are experts in all-things cannabis, it is probably quite commonplace to check your cannabis and know what to look out for. However, for those who are new to marijuana – such as patients who don’t know what they need to look for – it can be both daunting and dangerous.
There are many causes for contaminated weed. It is not always down to unscrupulous dealers, but also can be caused by environmental factors. This is why the need for testing labs for ALL cannabis is a must for the future of the industry, but surprisingly, currently only 5% of weed products are being tested for harmful substances in the state of California, where the plant is legal both medicinally and recreationally!
What are the causes of contaminated weed? Here are some of the most common:
- Illegal additions of substances such as glass, paint, and medicines to bulk up weights.
- Pesticides from an improper growing environment.
- Incorrect flushing process, leaving chemicals still present.
What to Look Out for in Contaminated Cannabis
Sadly, not every grower is an honest one, and many will opt to bulk up their product weight with other things such as broken glass, sugar, sand, and even other medications.
Luckily, there are measures that you can take to avoid falling victim to contaminated cannabis.
Step One: Sight
The first sign that something could be wrong with your weed is to look at the color of it. Trust your gut instinct when it comes to your senses, if you see any of the following then there is a high chance your cannabis could be contaminated and unsafe to consume:
- White, powdery substances on the leaves or stem, which may appear almost fuzzy.
- Green or gray-colored fuzzy material; this is likely mildew or mold.
Step Two: Touch
Experienced cannabis users will recognize the familiar velvety feel of healthy cannabis. If you are unsure about your weed, look out for the following when you handle it:
- If your weed feels spongy or damp, it is likely to be unsafe to consume due to mold.
- Your cannabis SHOULD feel dry to the touch and crispy.
- Try rubbing your thumb and forefinger over the leaves – is there any powdery substance left behind on your hands? Remember, some dealers will combine other things with their weed to add to the weight or to imitate the appearance of kief.
Step Three: Smell
Marijuana is known for its pungent scent. However, healthy cannabis shouldn’t smell ‘off,’ and this can be a telltale sign that your weed is moldy. If your marijuana is sweaty in appearance or smells anything other than delightful and pungent, you are better to avoid using it at all.
On the flipside of this, you also want to avoid cannabis buds that appear dry and smell similar to freshly mowed lawns. This can be a sign that the weed hasn’t been managed correctly and may not have been correctly aired out.
If your weed doesn’t smell as it should be based on its strain-type, then avoid it at all costs!
Step Four: How Do You Feel?
The signs of unsavory cannabis extend beyond the plant itself and can have some pretty severe and adverse reactions in the user. If you haven’t spotted anything wrong with your weed but have experienced any of the following effects, stop using it immediately and contact your GP.
- Chest Pains: Smoking weed can irritate the chest, but you should NOT present with pain in the chest from cannabis. If you are experiencing chest pains following smoking cannabis, there is a chance it could be contaminated with fertilizers or pesticides.
- Allergic reactions: Unless you have suffered adverse allergic reactions to marijuana every time you have used it, you should not experience anything like itching or inflammation. If you suddenly experience these symptoms, there is a chance you’re reacting to something in the weed that shouldn’t be there.
Final Thoughts: Is Your Weed Safe for Consumption?
Buying from reputable growers is the best way to go when it comes to cannabis. However, for many who live in less liberal states, this can be difficult. Wherever possible, try to see lab testing reports and ask as many questions as you feel necessary. Your health should never be compromised, so don’t be afraid to say no to cannabis that you think may not be safe.
Let us know in the comments if our steps have helped you, and what your top tips for safe cannabis consumption are!