How to tell if your weed has been sprayed with something to add weight

Published Jun 7, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / José Antonio Luque Olmedo

One of the biggest problems is that there are far too many loopholes left open to take advantage of, and even with regular oversight, a cannabis dispensary is free to operate in whatever way that they seem fit. Though there is some extra confidence that can be afforded by those who shop only through government handling facilities, if at any point in time an unsealed product goes through the hands of a cannabis dispensary owner or employees, there is still room for error which is why it’s so important to know how to recognize what to look for to avoid tainted marijuana plant flowers or concentrates.

Since there are so many possibilities out there, it’s essential that you stay diligent as an informed weed shopper, which is why we’re here today to talk about foreign substances that might be applied to your weed in hopes of adding weight. This action ultimately leaves you at risk, and the cannabis dispensary just a little bit richer than they would be had they been honest, but there are a few things that you can watch out for to reduce the chances of this happening to you.

1. Visual inspection

Sometimes all it takes is a thorough look at a batch of marijuana plant flowers to determine whether or not they’ve been doused with something that you might not want to smoke, and it’s easy to do, especially if you’ve got a good eye for the way that a particular strain or item should look. Observe the outer layers of the bud and see if any layers are resting in areas that they shouldn’t be. The buds may have spots that appear shiny, dark, or even thick like syrup, as it all depends on what is used, but luckily, it’s typically easy to spot such an abomination if you look for it under some good lighting.

2. Feel it

If you suspect that someone may have added something to your weed for weight, then an excellent way to see for sure is to give the buds a gentle squeeze and watch what happens. Your fingers should remain dry and oil-free, and the bud should bounce back a bit after being pressed, and if it doesn’t, or you notice anything other than a dry sticky trichome residue on your hands, then it’s probably either been doused in something, or cured improperly, and neither of those things is good for you as a consumer.

3. Sniff for odd smells

Since there is no way to know for certain what may have been added to your cannabis, we can’t really say for sure which scents you need to be looking for, so it’s pretty safe to assume that anything outside of regular marijuana plant smells could be a suspect. Some stronger odors to look out for might include alcohol or perfume, but what you’re dealing with may not have any smell at all, which is why this step alone is not a good test for cannabis purity.

4. Condensation

The good news is that no matter what someone might use to add weight to weed, chances are pretty good that as long as the buds are cured, it will rest on the outer layers because it can never sink quite all the way in, and this makes it easy to spot this problem by just watching your storage container or baggie for condensation. Normal dry buds aren’t going to leave any residue on a container, but those that might be doused in a weight adding ingredient will be sure to leave a trail of droplets that should be easy to see by eye.

5. The paper towel test

This very final step should only be used as a confirmation, as it will take a significant amount of moisture or an ingredient of a different color for it to show up on a paper towel, but it’s still an excellent way to verify that some kind of unnecessary ingredients may have been added to the mix. All you need is a good light, a paper towel, and a bud to do so. Gently squeeze the bud between carefully placed layers of paper towel and see if it darkens or shows any kind of residue.

In conclusion

One of the most important things to remember as you wade through this process of identification is that it is very rare that anything other than water is used in this manner, so even if you did get a wet bag of weed, the chances are in your favor that the buds are totally safe to consume. So while you might need to dry it out first, and you may not want to return to the cannabis dispensary that sold it to you for a future purchase, the risk to your health and well-being remains incredibly low.

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