how to tell if weed is fake

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…

Warning Signs of a Teen Abusing K2 or Spice

Kathyrn Rudlin, LCSW, a writer and therapist in California, specializes in counseling and education for teenagers with mothers who are emotionally disconnected.

Joel Forman, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and public health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

K2, also known as Spice, as well as potpourri, herbal incense, fake pot, legal weed, synthetic marijuana, and many others, is a mixture of dried plant material and herbs laced with synthetic chemicals and sold as incense, potpourri or herbal smoking tobacco. It appeared in 2004 and was sold legally as a “safe” drug.   Though banned in April 2013 by the U.S. federal government, the drug’s use has grown in recent years and remains legal in some countries.  

What Is K2?

K2 and Spice are the names for synthetic marijuana. Though it appears similar to marijuana and is marketed as a “safe” drug, K2 is not the same. It can be leafy like marijuana, being green or beige, sometimes with a red or brown tinge, or it can be in a liquid form that is used with electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices.

K2 is not natural marijuana. It is created from any of several hundred synthetic chemicals that are sprayed onto the chopped plant material, which is smoked or inhaled as a vaporized liquid. The action of these chemicals in the brain can be similar to marijuana, but the results can be very different. The synthetic chemicals are cannabinoids, but can be far more potent than natural marijuana and have serious negative side effects not associated with natural marijuana.  

As with synthetic drugs, additives, toxic impurities and other types of drugs can be found in K2/Spice.

Because of its seemingly “natural” appearance and marketing, young people and teens especially may not realize the extreme dangers associated with K2.

Use of the drug has resulted in severe adverse reactions, including heart attacks, coma, and death—even from the first use of the drug.  

Effects of K2

The specific effects of K2 on the body aren’t entirely clear as it hasn’t been well researched, and appears to contain some unknown substances. The specific effect K2 has on a teen’s body and mind depends on numerous factors. The following effects of smoking K2 have been reported:  

  • Headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Some reported cases of tremors or seizures
  • Some reports of hallucinations at high doses

Warning Signs of Teens Abusing K2

The following behaviors are often exhibited by teens who are using K2. Parents are advised to be alert to activities and items commonly associated with the abuse of this substance, which include:  

  • Burning incense
  • Buying or using eye drops
  • Having dried plants or herbs in their possession
  • Possessing a pipe or rolling papers
  • Suspicious packages arriving in the mail
  • Secretive behaviors

The most commonly reported physical effects of smoking K2 that parents should be aware of are:  

  • Restlessness
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Pale complexion
  • Confused behavior

And while it may not necessarily be K2 your teen is using, these are all strong signs of possible drug abuse that should be taken seriously. Make sure your teen knows the potential dangers of smoking this substance. Confront your teen if you think they are getting high on K2 or any other substance before the situation gets worse.

K2, also known as Spice and synthetic marijuana, is a mixture of dried plants sprayed with dangerous synthetic chemicals growing popular with teens.