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For as long as cannabis has been around, humans beings have dissected and experimented with it in countless different ways. Throughout history, we have found ways to smoke it, cook with it, extract things from it, press it into concentrates, and mix it into tinctures. But another, more dangerous way that people have experimented with cannabis is by combining it with other mind-altering substances.
Some people mix weed with certain substances to exacerbate some of the existing effects of the cannabis plant, while others combine it with other things to create a whole new experience. And while not all cannabis mixtures are dangerous (and are even considered beneficial by some, such as mixing weed with herbs like lavender or rosemary or rolling a blunt with rose petals) there are also some substances that can be extremely dangerous when mixed with weed.
Weed that’s been combined with another psychoactive substance is called laced weed. Laced weed has been a problem within the cannabis community for many years, and while a lot of stoners and weed smokers like to pretend that laced weed is just a myth, it’s an unfortunate and scary reality that can come with devastating consequences.
While the evidence from cannabis research that has been done thus far backs the notion that you cannot die from marijuana consumption alone, the same can’t be said for laced weed. Depending on what substance the weed is laced with, consuming laced weed has the potential to cause severe injury or even death.
We obviously want you to have the safest cannabis experience possible, so we’re here to walk you through exactly what to look for when you’re trying to figure out how to tell if your weed is laced or not.
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Can Weed Be Laced?
Yes, weed in flower form can be laced. But thankfully, it’s not super common. It’s much easier to lace the kind of drugs that come in powder, pill, or liquid form since those vehicles are much easier to hide other drugs in. Raw weed obviously has a very distinct look, which can make it difficult for other drugs to hide in it.
But just because it’s an infrequent occurrence doesn’t mean that it never happens. The most common way that people lace weed is by lacing a joint or a blunt since the wraps make it much easier to hide the presence of other substances. Laced blunts and joints have been called things like fry’s, wet joints, and even Jefferys (you know, stroke the furry walls?) But there are other ways weed can be laced, too.
Can Edibles Be Laced?
Yes, weed edibles can be laced. Again, it’s not very common, but it does happen. And laced edibles are even harder to detect because certain ingredients and cooking processes can mask a lot––which is fortunate for your everyday bad cooking, but unfortunate in this scenario.
We always recommend only getting edibles from a trusted dispensary or online retailer. Unless you’re there watching it physically being made, you never truly know what goes into people’s homemade cooking.
Can Vapes Be Laced?
Yes, cannabis vapes can be laced. Laced vapes are especially dangerous and have recently even made headlines for sending people to the hospital with instances of severe lung injuries and death. The vapes that caused these injuries were counterfeit vapes, so we always advise that you steer clear of any vape pens or cartridges that can be bought on the street; it’s just not worth the risk.
Typically, people lace counterfeit vapes to dilute the substance and make the product go further as a way to make more money. The most common thing used to lace vape carts is Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E has a similar look, texture, and consistency to a lot of vape oils which is why it’s so commonly used. But unfortunately, it just so happens that inhaling Vitamin E oil is incredibly dangerous––it can cause permanent damage to the lungs, throat, and esophagus, and in large doses, can even be fatal.
What Can Weed Be Laced With?
Cannabis can be laced with many different things, but with what depends on the circumstance. There are usually two different scenarios where people will lace drugs: It can be done with other street drugs by people at parties to create a ‘super-charged’ high, or it can be done with dangerous chemicals by dealers used to dilute or ‘fluff up’ the looks of a bad product. Those are both scary concepts, but thankfully there are a few ways to tell if your weed has been laced with something nefarious.
While the easiest way is to avoid the risk altogether by always buying your weed products from a trusted and reputable dispensary, we also understand that the cannabis laws in America prohibit that from being a reality for a lot of people. So, it’s important to be equipped with the knowledge of what to look out for when buying weed from a dispensary is not an option.
Technically weed can be laced with anything, but there are some substances that are commonly used for lacing weed that will have very prominent effects on its users.
Disclaimer: If you believe you have ingested marijuana laced with any of the substances listed below, please seek medical attention immediately. The purpose of this article is to show you some potential signs of laced weed, but we are not medical professionals.
Heroin can be used to lace things like blunts and joints and can even be sprinkled on top of a packed bowl. The effects of smoking heroin-laced cannabis include extreme lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. In large doses, there is potential for overdose and death.
Fentanyl is used for the same purpose as heroin, except it’s a lot cheaper, much stronger, and significantly more dangerous. It’s no secret that there’s been an epidemic of fentanyl overdoses across North America in recent years, and while fentanyl-laced weed isn’t nearly as common as other fentanyl-laced drugs such as heroin and cocaine, it can still happen, so it’s important to be aware of the risk.
Laced weed with cocaine is called smoking a ‘primo.’ Some people will sprinkle powdered cocaine into a joint or blunt or on top of a bowl to get the upper effects of the cocaine mixed with the downer effects of the cannabis. Smoking cocaine creates a high-energy experience that can cause rapid heartbeat, acute anxiety, and paranoia. This can be especially dangerous for those with a heart or cardiovascular condition, and in large doses can cause cardiac arrest.
LSD or PCP
Marijuana mixed with LSD or PCP is frequently called ‘dipped weed.’ Some people like to roll a joint and dip the mouthpiece in LSD (aka liquid acid) or PCP (aka angel dust) so that when you put it to your lips and smoke it, you’ll get the effects of both the hallucinogenic drug as well as the weed. This has also been commonly referred to as “smoking wet” or a “wet joint.” If those substances are unavailable, some people are mixing in things like synthetic marijuana, which is known for causing extremely volatile highs and hallucinogenic experiences. Synthetic marijuana is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs as it has caused an alarming number of deaths in young people.
Since buds with prevalent crystalized trichomes are so highly sought after, some dealers want to replicate the crystalized look to hide the low quality of their weed. Some dealers use crushed glass to mimic the sparkling crystals that you find on buds with high levels of trichomes. This is also a way for some of them to increase the weight of their bags so that they sell less product for more money. Inhaling glass is extremely dangerous and can cause a massive risk of injury to your mouth, throat, and lungs. If you believe you’ve inhaled glass, please seek medical attention immediately.
Since weed strains like Lemon Kush and Strawberry Haze are so popular, some dealers lace their weed with artificial fragrances to try and trick the customer into thinking it’s more pungent or flavorful than it really is. While some strains do have a mild fruity scent or taste, they will never be overwhelming and will never smell or taste artificial or chemical-like. For example, lemon Kush may have a mild lemon scent or flavor, but it will not smell or taste like a strong lemon-scented cleaner.
To replicate certain scents, people will use anything from perfumes, laundry detergents, household cleaners, essential oils, and other highly-scented chemicals. Inhaling any of these is substances extremely dangerous and can cause immediate and severe injury to the mouth, throat, and lungs. If you believe you’ve inhaled any of these chemicals, please seek medical attention immediately.
Weed sprayed with chemicals like pesticides is a very common practice among certain growers. Just like vegetables, sprayed weed can be harmful depending on the pesticides that were sprayed on it. The only way to truly avoid weed sprayed with pesticides is to know exactly where your weed is coming from and where it’s grown. Make sure you trust the person you are buying from––there are plenty of organic weed farmers!
How to Know if Weed Is Laced
So, what does laced weed look like? Laced weed doesn’t really look like just one thing since there are so many different ways to lace weed. And unfortunately, there are also times that laced weed can look no different than weed that is not laced. But thankfully, there are some ways to tell if your weed has been compromised, as well as some ways to help lower your risk of encountering laced weed altogether.
- Make sure you are buying your weed or cannabis products from a trusted dispensary.
The easiest way to avoid laced weed altogether is to always make sure you’re buying from a trusted, reputable cannabis source. Legal dispensaries are the best way to go, but we also understand that not all cannabis users live in a place where dispensaries are an option. If that’s the case, make sure you know and trust the person you are buying your weed from or smoking with.
- Pay attention to the smell and color of the weed.
Weed should look and smell like weed. Natural weed does have some color variations, with some strains being bright green, some deep purple, and others with lots of orange bits. These bright colors are associated with strong, high-quality weed and are sometimes falsely replicated with dyes and other look-alike substances. If the look or smell of the weed is off, don’t smoke it.
- Pay attention to the texture and taste of the weed.
If you’ve already smoked it, and maybe it tasted weird, and you’re now worried, make sure you stop smoking it immediately. Again, weed will have some natural variations in taste––with some strains being more earthy, some sweeter, and others with a hint of fruitiness––but generally, weed will taste like weed. Anything with a strong, artificial taste to it should be avoided at all costs.
- Know where the weed is coming from.
If you’re out in a public setting and are joining a smoke sesh, make sure you are watching the weed from bud to grinder to whatever smoking vehicle it’s going into (such as a blunt, joint, bowl, etc.) It’s just as important to see the weed that you’re smoking being assembled as it is to see your drink being made at the bar. We recommend staying clear of prerolled joints or blunts and premade, homemade edibles since you can’t actively inspect the weed for traces of other substances.
- Make sure you are smoking with people you trust.
This is potentially the most important piece of stoner advice to follow: always smoke with people you trust! Not only is this important to ensure that you have a positive smoking experience, but you won’t have to worry about your friends putting any dangerous stuff in the weed.
Always make sure you’re paying attention to how the weed looks, tastes, and makes you feel. If you’re really worried, you can do things like get drug testing kits where you can test your weed for the presence of different substances. Stay aware, vigilant, and only smoke with your friends!
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Disclaimer: If you believe you have ingested marijuana laced with any of the substances listed above, please seek medical attention immediately. The purpose of this article is to show you some potential signs of laced weed, but we are not medical professionals.