Grit Weed

Everything to Learn About Grit Weed & Why Should You Be Saying Goodbye to It Today?

The cannabis industry has always been troubled by the black market. There are still many people who unknowingly or knowingly buy cannabis from the black market. But the supposedly ‘good deals’ are not worth your health. Compared to the legal cannabis market, the black market is not reliable. A pack of cannabis nugs that looks green and sticky may lead to other problems if consumed.

The biggest danger that people are exposed to when buying weed from the black market is the chance of it being contaminated. Often, cannabis buds are contaminated with sand, sugar, stems and even silica which we call the ‘grit weed’.

In the past few years, we saw a slight downtrend in black market sales since people, especially medical patients, are becoming more aware of where to buy the best cannabis. But the most dreaded ‘grit weed’ is still not completely out of the cannabis market.

So,  how do you avoid buying it?

Well, we can help you with all this information.

What Is Grit Weed?

‘Grit weed’ is the name given to a specific type of contamination found in marijuana. In this, weed is usually mixed with silica glass. And the only purpose of doing this is to increase the weight of the product so that the dealer can sell more.

The problem of grit weed was quite common in the UK a decade ago. However, people discovered a very quick and easy way to determine the quality of their product – by rubbing the bud on a piece of glass. If it scratched the surface, it was contaminated weed.

However, silica is not the only way of contaminating marijuana, obviously. Often, you may find some products mixed with sugar or sand too.

Either case of contamination is not good for the consumers. Especially those with a medical marijuana card. These are people who need cannabis to improve their medical conditions. According to doctors of   Cannabis Clinician Stockton, there are close to 100k medical marijuana patients in California. It is important that each one of them has access to good-quality cannabis. Using grit weed while already battling a medical condition can worsen the situation.

There have been a few very serious instances in the past due to the consumption of grit weed. People were hospitalized, coughing up blood, and even lost their voices. But even if you don’t see such a dramatic decline in your health after consuming grit weed, you may still need to visit some specialists. And if you are in the US, you may expect a very heavy medical bill.

How Can Your Cannabis be Contaminated?

As mentioned above, contaminating cannabis by mixing silica isn’t the only way weed can be contaminated. In fact, there are many other ways of tainting the herb. Here are the four most common ones.


Unfortunately, like any other industry, the use of chemicals and pesticides is quite prevalent among cannabis cultivators. Growers are afraid of their crops getting infected by pests, such as spider mites and aphids. They don’t want to lose their money. And thus, they use pesticides to save their harvest.

But sadly, there is a chance of the buds having residual pesticides even after the plant has been dried and cured. And smoking these chemicals can severely damage your nose, throat, and lungs.


While most of the cases of weed contamination are from the black market, cannabis from legal dispensaries is also not always pure. In a study conducted in 2017, the researchers found evidence of the presence of fungi even on the product purchased from a licensed cannabis dispensary.

Mold can easily grow on cannabis which is not stored properly. The risk of contamination with mold also increases when the storage conditions at your home are not upto the mark. This is why you need to be familiar with the proper ways to store your cannabis products. Luckily, this type of weed contamination can be spotted very easily by looking for some white fuzz on your bud.


The same study also discovered various types of gram-negative bacteria in the dispensary’s cannabis product. The marijuana products contained E. Coli and various other types of harmful bacteria. The best and only way to check your product for bacteria is to get it through a microbial test. Though the product we find now in cannabis dispensaries is way better than before, it’s still better to be a little bit vigilant and look for any signs of contamination.

Other Contaminants

As you see, there are numerous ways in which your weed can be contaminated. It can be during the growing process, extraction process, or storage. In states where cannabis is legal though, the issue is not as prevalent as it is in the illegal states. That’s because medical dispensaries have the responsibility of providing people with their medication, in this case, cannabis. So it needs to be of the best quality.

However, the black market doesn’t work this way. Dealers are only concerned about their profits, and nothing else. And so, they’ll contaminate your product in whatever way they can find.

However, you should also note that in many legal states too, it is not compulsory, until now, for dispensaries to check their products for fungi, pesticides or other chemicals. And therefore, even if you are living in a legal state, you must find a trustable and reputable dispensary.

How to Spot Contaminated Weed?

Weed contamination is a very serious matter. It may not affect you the first time but with regular use, it can cause serious damage. This is why you must know how to identify it before it hurts you. Let’s use all our five senses here.. Let’s learn about the remaining four.

1. Sense of Sight

An experienced user can spot the contaminated weed easily. You can identify a bud having mold or mildew by looking for a greenish/grayish fuzz or some whitish powdery speckles on it.

Taking a quick joint hit and then examining its ashes is also a potential way to check your weed for toxicity. If the ashes formed are harder and blacker than usual, the weed you are smoking is probably toxic. Also, in this case, the ash tends to stick to its place, even when you tap the joint on your ashtray.

2. Sense of Smell

You probably know about terpenes, right? These are the compounds that are responsible for providing each marijuana strain its unique scent. Usually, a marijuana flower has a very musky and sweet aroma. But if you’re getting a misty or sweet smell off your cannabis, there is a high chance of it being moldy or contaminated.

Buds that have an aroma similar to freshly cut grass are also better to be avoided. It can be due to improper drying and curing.

Also Read: What Are Terpenes And Why Should You Care

3. Sense of Touch

Place your bud between your fingers and check if it’s dry and crispy. If so, the product is probably free of any mold. But it doesn’t mean that it is totally contamination free. On the other hand, if your weed feels damp and spongy, there is a chance of it being riddled with mold. Also, if your bud feels a little sandy or powdery, it may contain some other impurities. And therefore, it’s better to avoid it.

4. Sense of Taste

Marijuana, while smoking, should give a very natural taste.  But if your weed has an unusual flavor, like a chemical or something, probably there is something wrong with it. However, there are a few strains in the market that offer you a weird flavor naturally. One more way of checking your weed is to place a little bit of it on your tongue. If it tastes too sweet, it definitely contains sugar.

The Effects of Consuming Contaminated Weed

Contaminated or Grit weed can have some severe effects on your health. Consumption of toxic weed may lead to some instances of severe chest pain. And the ignorance in treating these symptoms may even lead to death, in some cases. Such weed may cause an allergic reaction too. The symptoms may include eye inflammation, scratchy or itchy throat, and excessive production of mucus.

Some of the other side effects of Grit weed may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Headache
  • Nose Bleeding
  • Eye Irritation

Bottom Line

Marijuana, in itself, isn’t dangerous at all. In fact, moderate use of it can even help you in various medical conditions. There are a few studies that even point to the fact that it’s almost impossible for us to consume an amount of marijuana that can prove lethal. But unfortunately, contaminated weed changes the whole picture.

Consuming toxic marijuana may have some severe consequences for you. It can be extremely dangerous to your health and may make you end up in a hospital, or even worse. And therefore, it’s very important to avoid it. Though identifying contaminated or grit weed isn’t always easy, the points above can surely help you a lot. And, now, that you know about it so much, I think you have quite a fair chance of fighting it.

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