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what happens if you smoke bad weed

Is your marijuana bad? 5 ways to tell if you’re smoking terrible weed

While many Americans can now buy and grow marijuana legally — choosing from an endlessly varied selection of premium bud — some still have to take it wherever they can find it. Even U.S. government researchers are forced to work with terrible weed.

You don’t want to get ripped off and smoke an inferior product, of course. So how can you tell if your flower isn’t up to snuff (or puff)? Believe it or not, you don’t need a doctorate in botany or chromatography instruments to tell whether your stash is shit. Read on, dear stoner, and learn some simple warning signs.В

1. It’s full of stems and seeds В В

A good rule of thumb in buying weed is that you want weed you can actually, uh, smoke. The stems of cannabis plants — though they may count toward the weight of your gram or eighth — are pretty much useless in that regard, so the less there are, the better. Seeds are even worse; they’ll literally explode when set on fire, potentially blowing out an entire bowl or ruining your joint. Even sellers of low-grade ganja usually won’t sell you stuff with seeds in it, but if you’re continually finding a few in each bag, it’s time to find a new source.

2. Its color, scent, texture and flavor seem off

In this sense, marijuanaВ is like any produce you might buy at the grocery store: You can just tellВ when it’s healthy and ripe for consumption. Good weed has more vibrant color, like a thriving plant. It has a heady, pungent aroma and taste. It’s somewhat springy, dense and coated with sticky, frosty, crystalline trichomes — tiny glands packed with THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. Bad weed, by comparison, looks like some junk you yanked out from underneath your lawnmower. It’s paler or duller in color, sometimes brown or yellowish. It’s often dry or more crumbly, and it lacks a distinctive smell (although sometimesВ it smells like hay orВ grass). It’s also sure to taste terrible. In certain cases, this kind of marijuanaВ may have been “blasted,” or entirely stripped of its cannabinoids to make butane hash oil. Either way, avoid it. В В

3. It doesn’t get you high — or makes you feel ill

Arguably the worst thing about bad pot is that it’s not very potent — which means you have to smoke a ton of it to feel anything like the high you’re after. In that case, you’re liable to get a headache before you’re even halfway stoned. Some users have encountered weed so crummy that it doesn’t seem to work at all. If you wind up with bud that only produces noxious smoke and induces a general nausea or cranial pain, what’s the point? Ditch that garbage and find out where the dank nugs are at — because you deserve better. В В В

4. It’s moldy, rotting or poorly cultivated

As with the food in your pantry or refrigerator, you’ve got to keep an eye out for mold and rot. These can afflict even decent marijuana, and they look like the mold and rot you’re used to finding on bread or cheese — furry discolorations on the surface. Packing this crap in your bong can make you seriously sick,В don’t risk it. Another visual red flag would be larger marijuanaВ leaves attached to your nugs, which indicates a sloppy “trim” when the buds were separated from the plant. Cannabis that gets trimmed by machines (as opposed to carefully trimmed by hand) may have diminished potency, as the trichomes are disturbed, and the leaves themselves don’t offer muchВ of the cannabinoid compounds that people prize in marijuana. В В В

5. It’s not actually marijuana

Almost every stoner of experience you’ll meet has a story about the time they bought weed that turned out to be anything but. It could be anything from crushed oregano to sage to basil to a wad of old, dried-out lettuce balled up in some cling wrap. Catnip is another popular pot substitute. If it doesn’t look like marijuanaВ buds, well, it’s probably not, so keep your wits about you. The best way to avoid this scam is to get your weed from someone you trust — and never, ever that friend who runs a YouTube prank channel. If he really insists it’s the good stuff, then he should have no trouble taking the first hit, right? В В В В

While many Americans can now buy and grow marijuana legally — choosing from an endlessly varied selection of premium bud — some still have to take it wherever they can find it. Even U.S. government researchers are forced to work with terrible…

No, You Won’t Get Sick From Smoking Old Pot

That old weed in the bottom of your drawer didn’t go bad, but it’s probably not as good anymore.

As one might expect, the internet hasn’t quite managed to come to an agreement on whether or not old weed is bad for you, whether it loses potency, or even if decades-old jazz cabbage can get you just as high as it would have back then. And even bonafide science on the effects and uses of the devil’s lettuce and its active ingredient, THC, is startlingly unreliable.

So for anyone who goes through the pockets of their old jeans or finds a crumpled plastic bag from god-knows-when hidden in their sock drawer, an attempt to find reliable advice on whether to pitch or smoke their old stash is like navigating a really relaxing minefield of conflicting information.

The good news is that they probably don’t need to worry about it.

The bad news is that unless they happened to store their broccoli under ideal conditions — in a sealed glass jar stored in a dark, temperature-controlled room — they probably won’t have much fun smoking it.

Old weed can’t spoil like expired milk or cheese — smoking it won’t make you sick. But that also means you can’t always tell off the bat whether it’s still any good.

One thing to look out for is whether the weed has lost its scent. Pot is a plant, so even if it doesn’t go bad, it does degrade over time. Good weed smells like weed or, if you’re in college, that skunk that keeps getting into the crawl space of your dorm. Older weed loses its scent as aromatic terpene oils drop in potency and the THC slowly degrades. Also, it will crumble in your hands.

On the other hand, if you accidentally left your stash somewhere damp, it may have grown some mold or fungus. If you see little white spots or you smell anything other than weed on your weed, throw it out. Old pot won’t hurt you, but mold will make you pretty damn sick.

Old edibles, however, are a different story. If you baked your pot into some brownies a few months ago and forgot about them in the back of your fridge, you should probably steer clear. There’s nothing special about old weed that you baked into brownies or other food.

But get this, food goes bad after a while.

So as far as getting high goes, you should treat your expired edibles like any other weed, though if it’s been in your fridge the whole time the THC might not have broken down as rapidly. The only thing to watch out for is if whatever you concocted has gone bad as well.

For what it’s worth, you can avoid this whole mess by just not leaving leftovers.

That old weed in the bottom of your drawer didn’t go bad, but it’s probably not as good anymore.