When conducting spring cleaning, who among us doesn’t eventually uncover a plastic baggy containing leftover weed tucked in the couch or buried in the desk drawer? As tempting as it may be to immediately celebrate the discovery smoke one up with your friends, you’re going to want to tread with caution. You don’t want to inhale a nasty fungus that might have grown over the years. Who wants to taste bad weed (unfortunately, it just isn’t the same as bad pizza)? Using your five senses, here are some guidelines to tell if your weed has gone bad. It should be noted that some of these cases are truly hazardous to your health.
One of the more obvious ways to tell if your weed has gone bad is to give it a careful visual inspection. While some strains have white resin coating the leaves (like White Widow or White Rhino), you might want to think twice if you find grey or whitish spider-like strands. Also be wary of any brownness, black fuzz, or black spots or spores; these are signs of mold. If accessible, a black light or magnifying glass can help in determining whether you’ve got an unwanted substance on your weed.
The Smell Test
In addition to a quick visual one-over, a smell test can help identify dank weed. We all know what weed usually smells like. That’s your baseline. Moldy or mildewy weed smells more like dirty gym, fecal matter, and rotten onions — essentially nothing you’d want to put in your mouth. Sure, there are some strains that have been described as “skunk,” “moldy cheese” or even “cat piss.” But to use the analogy of Justice Potter Stewart with pornography and describing the threshold for obscenity, you’ll know mold when you smell it.
Texture & Sounds
The next two quick ways for detecting whether you’ve found bad weed are the tactile texture and the sounds your bud makes. If that rediscovered trove is quiet and makes no sound when you touch it, that could mean that it has absorbed a lot of moisture, an ideal component for mold growth. What you should listen for are “snaps” like a twig, versus “cracks;” the latter means that you’ve got old, dry bud. Similarly, if your bud easily starts crumbling into dust and it’s passed the first two tests, then you’re essentially just left with mediocre weed (taste and potency are correlated with dryness).
Of course, if you’ve gone through all of these tests, you’ll know immediately whether your year-old marijuana is good or bad by the taste. The former will taste like, well, weed. The latter? Weed plus a few extra flavors that’ll probably diminish the experience. If you’re just looking to get euphoric buzz, smoking old marijuana (sans mold) isn’t all that different drinking a few left-opened beers from the night before. And we all know how that feels.