When using alcohol, you can often find a disclaimer on the label about responsible use and how you shouldn’t mix it with other alcohols and substances. The same goes for weed. Cannabis shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol, other drugs, or opioids. But what if this isn’t your fault? What if the cannabis has been laced by someone else and you had no idea?
Laced weed is a cannabis bud combined with other additives and drugs. You can find a lot of weird stuff in laced cannabis, like hair spray, pesticides and insecticides, glass, detergent, and so on.
You may ask yourself, what reason would someone have for lacing cannabis? Well, the answer is simple – dealers often do this to make their product seem heavier and look more high-quality.
In countries where cannabis is legalized, it’s less likely to find contaminated cannabis since you can buy it at legal dispensaries. But if cannabis isn’t legal in your country, you risk your weed being laced with other drugs and opiates.
Lacing Cannabis With Additives
Drug dealers often lace weed in order to make more profit. By making the cannabis buds look more appealing and of higher quality, they hope to get a better price for their product. Apart from doing this to mask poor quality, they often lace it with addictive drugs to get consumers addicted without them being aware of it.
And in some cases, weed is laced to get a more potent product with a higher cannabinoid content (THC content) So, let’s see what illegal drugs and other substances weed can be laced with and, later on, show you how to recognize if your weed is laced.
Primo is a cocaine-laced weed, generally a joint, that’s used mostly for combining the stimulant effect of cocaine with the sedative effect of weed. Smoking a primo joint may result in a sleepless night which can result in feelings of numbness and paranoia. Moreover, using this type of joint can increase your heart rate as a result of constricted blood vessels which can, in turn, cause a heart attack and even a stroke.
A Rainbow joint is a joint laced with LSD (Acid), a potent hallucinogen drug that can alter your feelings, sensations, and images. These types of joints are made by dabbing the end of marijuana cigarettes into LSD. When you put the tip of the cigarette in your mouth, you immediately absorb the substance. The effects of this type of weed can last up to 12 hours (even from small doses).
Phencyclidine or angel dust is a strong hallucinogenic drug that has mind-altering effects. PCP is usually added to weed for more intense psychoactive effects. This type of weed can also be sold under the name dusted weed, wet weed, and super weed. The effects are getting detached from reality and even experiencing hallucinations, disorientation, delusions, slurred speech, seizures, and even neurological issues.
Heroin is a brown powder that smells like rubber or vinegar and is one of the most addictive drugs, as well as the most dangerous substance on this list. It’s so addictive, in fact, that you can get hooked on it after only trying it once! When using weed laced with heroin, you become extremely relaxed, unlike when using regular weed. The high can produce a slow heart rate and slowed breathing. A study done by Nirvana Morgan et al in 2019 shows that heroin-cannabis smokers had a higher percentage of relapses to heroin after rehabilitation, compared with intravenous users. So this is further proof of the dangers of mixing these two drugs.
Ketamine is used as an anesthetic in medicine, but due to its sedative effects, it’s also often used recreationally. Mixing it with weed can be dangerous since the side effects can be confusion, dehydration, and overheating. This type of mix is very popular in night clubs, and marijuana users need to be careful not to stumble upon this mix by accident.
This powerful neuro-stimulant medical drug is used to treat ADHD and obesity, although it’s often abused and used recreationally. Methamphetamine use mixed with weed can cause side effects like delusions, hallucinations, and seizures.
Fentanyl is an opioid drug that’s commonly used as a painkiller and anesthetic. This is a fairly cheap opioid which produces effects 50 times stronger than heroin and is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine. This mixed with marijuana, or any other drug, would be a terrible combination.
Other Lacing Additives
Apart from different types of drugs, weed can be laced with other additives, heavy metals, and other contaminants. It’s not unusual for people to put the weed among fruits to get it to mimic terpene flavor. In order to increase the potency of weed and its weight, it can even be laced with embalming fluid.
Embalming Fluid (Formaldehyde)
Embalming fluid is used to preserve dead bodies and is a mixture of solvents with formaldehyde. It’s usually added to synthetic weed, it’s colorless, and smells like pickles. Mixing this with weed can result in headaches, chest pain, increased heart rate, nausea, hallucinations, and paranoia.
Glass is used to mimic trichomes (the structures on top of the buds responsible for the psychoactive effects). By mixing weed with crushed glass it looks as if the weed has more trichomes.
Dealers mix weed with laundry detergent to add weight to it and make it smell nicer, although after you smoke this type of joint, the consequences can be a sore throat, nausea, and difficulty breathing.
This type of lacing is not dangerous if the dyes that are being used are food dyes. Dealers do this to make their weed look more appealing and for their product to have more intense colors.
Fuel additives and other smell adulterants
In order to imitate the smells of other drugs (for example, Sour Diesel), perfumes, smell adulterants, and even fuel are used to enhance the strains’ smell.
How to Tell if You Have Laced Weed?
There are a few ways that you can find out if your weed has been laced. To search for glass, you need to rub the bud on a CD surface (if it scratches the CD, it’s glass). To search for laundry detergent, put the weed in a glass of water and shake it, if it’s laced, you’ll see traces of suds.
To check for fake trichomes, roll a small piece of weed through your fingers and if the trichomes are real, most of them will stick to your fingers (only a small amount will fall off). The smell of laced weed is also a giveaway. Laced weed smells synthetic and harsher.
To check for artificial coloring on your weed, simply cut the bud in half and see if the outer layers have the same color as the inner layers. Moreover, checking for adulterants and fuels can be done by holding a bud over a flame. If the weed is soaked in fuel, it will light on fire, and if it’s mixed with perfumes, it might change the color of the flames or produce a spark.
It’s very important to check whether your weed has been laced before smoking, especially if you’re buying it from a new person who you don’t know.
Since some people use medical marijuana to treat certain medical conditions, they need to be extra careful in order to avoid laced weed.
Even though marijuana use can have adverse health effects according to a study done by Nora D. Volkow et al in 2016, consuming laced weed can have even worse side effects. In order to avoid this, you should buy weed from licensed dispensaries, if weed is legal in your country.
And in order to tell if weed is laced, you only need to inspect your weed thoroughly, using the few tricks described above.
If a loved one requires medical attention as a result of consuming laced weed, you should look for the closest ambulance where they can get medical attention.