Welcome back to MythPuffers, our new series that burns out various drug myths.
When it comes to smoking weed, every pothead knows how terrible it is to taste a product that isn’t fresh. Of course there’s really no way of quantifying the “freshness” of marijuana given that a. its provenance is, in most cases, unknown (at least here in NYC) b. there are an unlimited number of so-called strains, which vary in levels of Sativa and Indica and c. seasons and climates are inextricably linked to moisture and therefore affect the qualities of your weed more than you may know. That being said, if you’re living in New York in the winter, for example, either the weather outside or the electrical heat inside is probably making your weed dry in which case you might be looking for a way to freshen it up.
Preserving cannabis has been of major concern since people started smoking it — which really goes back to the beginning of time and the discovery of fire but, let’s say, since “modernity.” So, what can be done to retain the sticky properties of the so-called sticky-icky? While many methods have been suggested, this week’s MythPuffers challenges a favorite among stoners: the orange peel.
So, as it goes there’s a myth in the pot smoking community that if your weed lacks moisture, all you need is a tiny slice of orange peel to rejuvenate its freshness and smokability. Makes sense right? After all, when we think of oranges, we often think of sun and health and all around lushness, so it seems as though an orange peel would be a good candidate for freshening your pot.
However, before we delve deeper into the issue of the orange peel, let’s first talk about what we mean by freshness. The word fresh, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, means “having its original qualities unimpaired: as full of or renewed in vigor.” However, in terms of marijuana, as previously stated, more often than not you don’t know where it’s coming from, so there’s no way of telling its original state unless you’re growing it yourself.
That being said, if you’re worried about your weed’s luster, there are certain signs you can look for in order to determine the quality of its freshness. Shake, as many of you may know, is the result of dry weed breaking apart into smaller pieces, which are then left to sit at the bottom of your baggie and dry out even more. If someone tries to sell you a bag of “pre-grinded” weed, don’t buy it. They’re lying. Another pretty obvious way to tell if your weed is dry is if it crumbles all too easily when you’re breaking it apart to smoke.
Now that we’re all on the same page in terms of freshness, let’s get back to this orange peel business. Given that we agree on the idea of oranges having what one might call “moist” properties they should absolutely help to introduce moisture to otherwise dry weed. However, there’s one major problem that presents itself in this scenario: mold.
Mold is something that people pay thousands of dollars to have removed from their homes because it’s generally excepted that mold growth can be harmful to one’s health. Despite the food industry’s efforts to introduce preservative agents to produce, like oranges, for example, vegetables and fruits will most certainly grow mold if not consumed within a reasonable window of time.
You might be thinking yes, this is true, but what if you use an orange peel from an orange that hasn’t molded to freshen your weed? Well, the fact of the matter is, bacteria are inherently attracted to oil, and what is an orange other than a big ball of oil? Okay, maybe that’s not what we think of immediately, but we can all agree that oranges excrete orange oil—“an essential oil from orange peel or orange flowers”—to which bacteria will eventually be drawn. Thus by introducing a bacteria covered orange peel to a sealed bag of weed will only promote the growth of mold, and not just on the orange peel, but on your weed as well.
In conclusion, yes, orange peels can invigorate otherwise dry weed, but not without running the risk of potentially harmful mold growth. There are several other ways, however, to freshen your weed if you’re past the point of taking preventative measures. One that limits bacteria growth is best—like a wet paper towel or cotton ball for a few hours. However, if you do inevitably choose to liven your stash with orange peels because you love how it makes your weed taste like Sunkist, don’t let the peels and drugs sit together for too long.
This myth: Puffed.
[Image via Chelsea Beeler]