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What can marijuana be laced with and how to recognize laced weed?
No one has ever died from using marijuana. In fact, cannabis has helped countless numbers of people cope with anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and many other conditions and symptoms.
Laced weed, however, is a completely different story.
Combining pot with other drugs and substances can be dangerous. Despite what some prohibitionists and scaremongers might want you to think, laced weed is actually rare and unusual to find. When the production and distribution of cannabis is regulated by the law (for either medical or recreational purposes), there’s usually no need to buy weed on the black market. That’s why, for example, Canada does not have as many problems with laced weed as some states in the U.S. and UK. However, not all of us have safe access to cannabis. In this article, we’ll investigate substances that are used for lacing pot, the effects of smoking laced weed, and how to tell if your weed is laced.
What is laced weed?
Laced weed is a cannabis flower that has been combined with other chemicals: drugs, inorganic substances or additives. You won’t believe what people are prepared to put in cannabis—hair sprays, pesticides, glass, and detergents are just some of the substances used for lacing cannabis.
At this point, you might be asking yourself why on earth anyone would mix this powerful and healing herb with anything else? Well, there are a few obvious reasons. Shady dealers would do anything to sell you low-quality weed to make more profit. That’s why they would want to make it appear as high-quality and heavy as possible. Besides masking the low quality, lacing weed with other stronger drugs is a way for dealers to gradually get people addicted to the drug without them being aware of it, so they always come back for more.
Another reason for lacing weed is actually no reason at all other than getting high. Some people like to sprinkle their weed intentionally with other drugs to make it more potent or to produce effects that weed normally does not have.
Substances used for lacing weed
Marijuana can be laced with almost any drug. Some dealers will intentionally lace weed with another drug to produce a different, more potent high. Let’s go through the most common drugs used for adulterating marijuana, what the effect would be if you consumed it, and why dealers and users do it.
A packed bowl or a joint rolled with cocaine-laced weed is informally called Primo. People usually lace their weed with cocaine to induce the stimulant effect of cocaine and sedative effect of weed at the same time. Weed laced with cocaine can be dangerous. It affects your lungs, heart, and brain at the same time. If you have smoked a primo joint, you’ll probably have a sleepless night and a lack of focus, which will leave you feeling numb, which could result in paranoia. Tense muscles and an increased heart rate caused by the constricted blood vessels can, unfortunately, lead to fatal consequences: stroke, heart attack or even cardiac arrest.
A joint laced with LSD is known as a rainbow joint. LSD or acid is a potent hallucinogenic drug that alters our awareness of surroundings, sensations, images, and feelings. Usually, it’s not addictive. The method for lacing weed with this potent hallucinogenic stimulant is different than other drugs. Rainbow joints are made by dabbing the end of marijuana cigarette into LSD, so when you put the joint filter tip on your lips and mouth, you absorb the substance. And that’s when the powerful hallucinogenic effects start. Even in smaller doses, this type of weed produces effects that can last up to 12 hours.
Phencyclidine, better known as PCP or angel dust, is a strong hallucinogenic drug known for its mind-altering effects. Dealers usually add PCP to weed to induce a stronger psychoactive effect. This kind of marijuana is sold under different names such as dusted weed, wet weed, fry, and super weed.
Smoking just small amounts of this compound can make you feel detached from your surroundings. This can eventually lead to aggressive behaviour with strong hallucinations, delusions, and even seizures, with the possibility of developing neurological damage.
As one of the most addictive drugs out there, heroin is among the most dangerous substances on this list. Unfortunately, heroin-laced weed is not uncommon nowadays. Heroin is a yellowish, brown powder which smells like rubber or vinegar. By smoking pot mixed with this substance, you’ll become extremely relaxed and euphoric, but not like when you use regular weed. The high produced by weed laced with heroin produces a slow heart rate, slowed breathing and confusion that is almost unbearable.
As ketamine became one of the favorite club drugs, it also found its way into rolled joints. It’s primarily used as an anesthetic in medicine, and it’s used recreationally because of its sedative effects. Ketamine can be very dangerous—dehydration, overheating, and confusion are just some of the symptoms.
Methamphetamine is a strong and powerful neuro-stimulant medical drug used for treating ADHD and obesity, but it’s also abused for recreational purposes. It can cause serious effects, including hallucinations, delusions, and even seizures.
Embalming fluid is a mixture of solvents (including formaldehyde), which is used to preserve dead bodies. Formaldehyde smells like pickles and has no color, and it’s usually added to synthetic weed. If you smoke weed laced with these substances you might experience pain in your chest, headaches and an increased heart rate, nausea and/or diarrhea, with severe hallucinations and paranoia.
Fentanyl is an opioid drug used as a painkiller and anesthetic. It’s relatively cheap and is 50 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl is a very dangerous opioid, and it would be more than stupid to mix it with any drug including marijuana.
Other substances marijuana can be laced with
Believe it or not, weed can be laced with other materials and substances because they are much cheaper than some drugs and can easily make the weed appear more appealing to the eye.
Shattered, and crushed glass has been used to replicate trichomes, the mushroom-like structures on top of the buds. Glass makes the buds look like they are packed with trichomes. Weed mixed with glass also weighs more.
Some dealers mix weed with laundry detergent to make it heavier, more sparkly as well as to alter the smell. If you smoke a joint containing laundry detergent you’ll probably taste and smell the detergent almost immediately— a sore throat, nausea and difficulty breathing are some of the most common side effects.
Dyed pot is common in states and countries weed is illegal. Dealers do it to make their weed look more appealing and of better quality. Usually, they’ll color the buds in green and purple, but this type of lacing is actually not that dangerous. It’s actually really easy to tell if the color is real or not.
Fuel additives and other smell adulterants
A number of different perfumes and smell adulterants, even diesel fuel, are added to weed to mask, enhance or imitate the smell of famous strains like Sour Diesel. Some people will even store the weed along with pieces of lemon to make it seem to be rich with the terpene called limonene.
How to identify if your weed is laced?
If you suspect your weed has been laced with glass, just rub the bud on the surface of a CD. If the weed contains glass, it will leave scratches on it. Regular cannabis will not leave any scratches.
It’s also really easy to check if your buds are laced with a laundry detergent. Just pour some water in a glass, put the weed in it and shake it a bit. If your weed is laced, you’ll see the traces of suds.
Trichomes are small whitish and sticky crystals that are attached to the flower, and won’t fall off easily. If you roll and squeeze a small piece of weed through your fingers, the real trichomes will stick to your fingers and only a little bit will fall off. But if there is something else on your weed (if it’s laced) you will notice a heap of dust falling off your flower.
If you inspect your weed a little bit closer, you can tell if food coloring has been added. Take a bud and carefully divide it in half. If any artificial colors have been added, they will probably be absorbed only on the surface layers, and the color will not reach the inside of the bud. Take note if the color of the bud is uneven.
It’s pretty easy to test your weed for smell adulterants and fuels, too. Just take a piece of bud that looks the moistest and hold it over a flame. Marijuana soaked in fuel will burst into flames immediately. Buds mixed with perfumes and other odor adulterants will change the color of the flames, and can even make them pop or spark.
Also, the smell of laced weed is much harsher and smells synthetic.
The best way to be perfectly safe and enjoy your weed without having to think about all these substances is to buy from your local dispensary or a licensed producer.
Here are some additional precautionary measures:
- Get to know the person you are buying from.
- Don’t ever buy pre-ground weed. It’s easier to manipulate, to add oregano for example, so it looks like there’s more weed. When you get the whole buds it’s easier to check if they were laced.
- Let’s suppose you know what “normal buds” look like. If the weed is too powdery, smells weird, moldy or like chemicals, tastes bitter or harsh, put that joint out and don’t smoke it.
What to do if you smoked laced weed?
If you’ve accidentally smoked laced weed, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Also, you should head to the emergency room in case you feel anything unexpected, like dizziness, extreme lethargy or any other symptom we talked about above. If you feel like you need to vomit, don’t hold it in. Your body knows what’s doing, so let the toxins out.
No one has ever died from using marijuana. In fact, cannabis has helped countless numbers of people cope with anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and many other conditions and symptoms. Laced weed, however, is a completely different story.
How To Know If Your Weed Is Laced
If you’re worried you’ve got some laced weed, you’ve come to the right place. Hopefully, you’re not experiencing any laced weed symptoms. If you are, it could be time to seek medical attention. But that’s the paradox about laced weed: it’s difficult to tell if weed is laced if you haven’t used it. If you have used it, of course, it’s easy to tell—because you’re probably really messed up. So before it gets to that point, here’s how to know if your weed is laced.
How To Tell If Weed Is Laced
If you have laced weed, it was probably laced in one of two ways. Either substances were sprinkled into weed that’s already ground up and probably wrapped, or a joint or blunt was dipped in a liquid form of a drug or chemical mix. Hence, that “wet”.
Weed can be laced with harder drugs like cocaine, PCP, heroin, and acid. And aside from hard drugs, cannabis can be laced with other nasty stuff. Embalming fluid (formaldehyde), laundry soap, insecticide, even glass have all ended up in cannabis, either to try to increase its potency, its weight or its appearance.
Here’s how to tell if your weed is laced with any of this stuff.
How To Know If Your Weed Is Laced With Cocaine
Cocaine is a white powder with the texture of powdered sugar. It usually smells faintly of the chemical solvent used to extract the drug from the coca plant. The taste is metallic and bitter, but smoking it will numb your mouth to the sensations pretty quickly.
Unlaced weed should only drop a few white crystals (trichomes) from its buds. If more powder than that is observable, you could have cocaine in your weed.
Cocaine Laced Weed Symptoms
Cocaine-laced weed might sound like a fun way to lace cannabis, but it’s super bad for you. Smoking cannabis laced with cocaine is very dangerous for your heart, lungs, and brain.
Symptoms include intense heart pounding and shallow breathing that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. You’ll also feel numb, paranoid, extremely agitated and high-energy.
How To Know If Your Weed Is Laced With PCP (Angel Dust)
Angel dust is similar in appearance to cocaine, but it has a very distinctive, harsh chemical taste.
To know if your weed is laced with Angel dust (a.k.a. PCP), examine it the same way you would for cocaine. Look for too much white powder on the outside of the buds.
Unfortunately, PCP can also be dissolved in a liquid that you can dip a joint into. When the joint dries, it will leave behind white crystals, but they may be harder to detect.
PCP Laced Weed Symptoms
If you’ve smoked weed laced with PCP, you’ll know it without a doubt. PCP is a powerful hallucinogen, and it will quickly detach you from reality. Look for severe disorientation, numbness, slurred speech and completely erratic urges and behaviors.
Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you’ve smoked weed laced with PCP.
How To Tell If Weed Is Laced With Acid
Another cannabis cocktail involves combing LSD and cannabis. Detecting acid in your weed, however, is a completely different matter.
Heating LSD breaks down the drug. That means smoking acid won’t produce any effects.
But that’s not how people lace weed with acid. Instead, the process involves dosing the mouth tip of a joint or pre-roll with acid. When you smoke the wrap, your mouth absorbs the LSD, and away you go.
Acid Laced Weed Symptoms
Acid and weed combine to produce a powerful, hallucinatory high. You’ll also experience some impaired coordination. You’re in for a serious trip.
If that trip turns bad, you’ll start to experience paranoia and anxiety, which a cannabis high can sometimes exacerbate. But at least you won’t have to worry about dying from LSD-laced weed.
How To Know If Your Weed Is Laced With Dangerous Additives
Sometimes, weed isn’t laced with hard drugs, but with dangerous chemical adulterants. These can include things like soap, formaldehyde, fuel, glass or even bug spray.
You can use what you already know about those substances to detect them in your weed. You might lose some bud in the process, but if you’re worried it’s laced with this stuff, it’s definitely worth it.
How To Tell If Weed Is Laced With Glass
For weed you suspect is laced with glass to make it look like it has more resinous trichomes, take out a bud and a CD you don’t care about. Rub the bud against the CD. If there’s glass in your weed, it will make unmistakable scratches on the CD’s surface.
If you’ve never heard of CDs, or don’t have any, any soft, smooth plastic will do.
How To Know If Your Weed Is Laced With Detergent
Soap suds up. So drop a bud into a small amount of water and swish it around. If bubbles or a soapy film appear in the water, you’ve got bad tree.
How To Tell If Weed Is Laced With Solvents or Other Chemicals
Formaldehyde, fuel, and other chemical additives are usually flammable. To see if your weed has been laced with these substances, hold a bud over a flame and watch what happens.
If it flashes up, sparks, pops or behaves unlike normal weed, throw it out along with the rest of the batch.
General Laced Weed Symptoms
In general, if you’ve smoked laced weed, you’re going to have an experience that doesn’t resemble a typical high produced by high quality, unadulterated cannabis.
So look for things that don’t usually happen when you use cannabis. Excessive energy or agitation. Weird mood swings. Problems with breathing or with your heart rate. Dizziness and lack of coordination. Vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress.
Consider Getting a Drug Testing Kit
If you’re really concerned about laced weed, the best thing to do would be to find a new source for your cannabis.
Try to buy from someone you trust or talk to someone who has procured cannabis from a source without issue multiple times.
Sometimes, however, especially after a bad experience, you might want to know exactly what kind of drug your weed was laced with. In that case, it makes sense to use a drug testing kit and be sure to understand common drug detection times.
Home drug testing kits can be bought at affordable prices from many pharmacies and online retailers.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to worry about laced weed or how to tell if weed is laced. As cannabis becomes more mainstream, legal and regulated, products will become safer and more consistent.
If you're worried you've got some laced weed, you've come to the right place. Hopefully, you're not experiencing any laced weed symptoms. If you are, it could