Dear Stoner: Is mold really that big of a problem? Are there any DIY testing methods to avoid smoking moldy weed?
Dear Mushy: According to a report from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division in 2018, around 15 percent of flower samples submitted to lab testing failed microbial (mold and yeast) testing that year. Add in the fact that the majority of cannabis recalls over the past eighteen months have been for microbials, not pesticides, and we’d say that mold and mildew are quite a problem for legal pot.
Methods used by state-certified testing labs aren’t procedures you can exactly duplicate at home, but a solid microscope can spot the hard-to-find microbials and spider mites that the naked eye won't. Your eyes alone can spot a variety of fuzzy molds and discolored forms of bud rot, though. Such glaring contaminants are uncommon in Colorado's licensed market nowadays, but that doesn't mean the cannabis is necessarily clean. We've seen a handful of suspect ways to burn off or conceal mold and mildew from testing samples, and there are even state-approved machines that “decontaminate” cannabis that fails microbial testing.
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