How To Tell If Weed Is Laced

It might sound like something out of the old films about drug use and abuse, but laced weed is real and can be very serious if you get some and don’t know what you have. 

Laced weed isn’t just a nightmare. It’s very real and something many dealers do when trying to get more customers or move customers to a more profitable drug than weed. 

Here’s what you need to know about laced weed, what that means, why it’s so important to take this risk seriously, and what you can do to ensure you aren’t using laced weed. 

What Does It Mean When You Say A Drug Is Laced? 

You need to know what it means when a drug is laced. This is one of those phrases that some people can misunderstand or think it means something it doesn’t. 

A lot of the time, laced drugs are pills, like fake oxycodone or other common drugs of abuse. 

A laced drug is a drug that has another substance added or masquerading as one drug when it’s something else. 

Fentanyl is one of the most common drugs added to other substances because it can make them seem stronger and because it’s relatively easy for drug cartels and producers to get. 

But when it comes to weed, there are a lot of different substances that can get added to the drug. Often, laced weed is made intentionally, not just to make the weed stronger but to cause an addiction to other drugs. 

Laced weed might be more common on the black market than it used to be. This is because so many places are legalizing weed, and dealers need to take steps to ensure they get consistent income. Making their customers addicted to another drug that isn’t being legalized is one way. 

Unfortunately, that profit motive is in direct competition with the well-being of the people buying drugs, meaning more people are likely to be dealing with addiction and overdose problems. As a result, it’s more important than ever to learn how to tell if your weed is laced and know what to do with it if you suspect you’ve been given laced drugs. 

How Can You Tell If Weed Is Laced? 

Compared with other drugs, the one advantage you have when it comes to laced weed is that it can be somewhat easy to tell when the drug is laced. 

There are two main ways that weed can be laced before it’s sold. The first happens when the weed is dipped in a liquid form of whatever drug is used for lacing it. Since many drugs either come in liquid form or can be dissolved into common solvents without losing potency, this method lets dealers add a wide range of substances to weed. 

It’s more common for weed to be dipped when it’s already rolled into a blunt or joint, but sometimes the flower can also be treated this way. 

The other method is to sprinkle a little powdered drug on the weed. However, this method is usually only done with some trichomes because otherwise, the powder, normally white, would be pretty obvious. 

There are a few ways to detect both kinds of lacing in weed. The first is to give your weed a close inspection before using it. 

You should smell the weed first. Normally, weed has a distinctive skunky grass smell and shouldn’t smell like chemicals or sharp. However, you might be dealing with laced drugs if there are any unexpected scents in your weed. Solvents can include potentially dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde that can have their own intoxicating effects and are toxic when consumed. 

Laundry detergents and pesticides have also been found in laced weed, potentially as solvents for other reasons. 

These chemicals have strong scents, so it’s important to pay attention to even a whiff of something off. 

You should also visually inspect any weed you buy, especially if you suspect it might have been laced. If there is too much white powder or any other signs that there are chemicals that have been added, including powder at the bottom of the bag, it’s important not to use that weed. 

smoking weed

Why Is Laced Weed Dangerous? 

There are many reasons that laced weed can be dangerous. For example, the drugs that laced the weed could have dangerous interactions with your medications. 

The other big risk is that, without knowing what you’re ingesting, it’s impossible to know that you’re getting a safe dose of whatever the weed has been laced with. 

Some drugs used to lace weed can be potent and dangerous if you overdose, but if you don’t know that you’re getting those drugs from laced weed, you have no way to control your dose ahead of time. 

Worse, since many weed users develop a tolerance to the drug that makes them use more and more over time, you might use more than your dealer anticipates, and the amount of the drug in your weed could be an overdose. 

Lastly, while lacing drugs is relatively common for drug cartels and dealers, that doesn’t mean they are good at controlling the dose of the drugs. It’s easy for them to add too much of a drug so that even an average dose of weed is too much of what it’s been laced with. 

What Drugs Can Weed Be Laced With? 

Almost any drug can be added to weed, but some of the most common ones are: 

  • Cocaine
  • Prescription Opioids
  • PCP (Phencyclidine)
  • Heroin
  • LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide or simply acid) 

LSD is the only one of these drugs that can’t normally be detected with the methods we’ve already discussed, which means that it may be the hardest for you to detect. 

The only good news is that LSD is hard to overdose on, so lacing weed with that drug has fewer health risks. However, it can cause other problems like getting too high, too intensely high, or behaving in ways you normally wouldn’t in potentially dangerous contexts. 

LSD is added to the papers of a joint, most often. This is because heating LSD destroys it. However, the drug can be absorbed through your skin, so when you put your lips on the paper, you’ll start absorbing the drug. 

Touching LSD-laced weed and weed products can also lead to absorbing the LSD and getting accidentally high. 

What Are The Risks Of Using Laced Weed? 

Here are some of the most important and dangerous risks of laced weed, especially accidental. 

Increased Risk Of Overdose

When you can’t control the dose of the substance you’re ingesting, you also can’t control your risk of overdose or take any measures to prevent an accidental overdose. 

For instance, opioid users might have Narcan to reverse an accidental overdose. But if you don’t know that there are opioids in your weed, you won’t know that you need Narcan to help avoid an overdose. 

Increased Risk Of Negative Drug Interactions

Weed has very different interactions with medications compared with the most common drugs used to lace weed. That means people who understand the risks of using weed might not be prepared to use laced weed because the reactions will differ. The interactions between your drugs and any medications may be very dangerous. 

Risk Of Addiction

Many of the drugs used to lace weed can also be highly addictive, so even a single use of the laced weed can addict you to whatever drugs have been added. 

Chronic weed users are at high risk of addiction, especially if they don’t immediately realize that what they’re using has been laced or if they like the feeling of the laced drugs well enough to use them more than once, regardless of the risks. 

Unpredictable Symptoms And Side Effects

Most drug users take precautions to ensure they can experience the high of the drug without being in too much danger, either by controlling their environment, prepping before using the drugs, or taking other precautions. If you’re using laced weed, your precautions might not be effective. 

Get The Help You Deserve

How To Get Help Overcoming Addiction

If you are dealing with an addiction or think someone close to you might be dealing with one, getting help might seem out of reach. Especially if you’ve developed an addiction because of a laced drug, that can be a traumatic and frightening experience. 

The important thing is to remember that there is help and that you deserve to get help, no matter how your addiction started in the first place. 

Dealing with addictions can be complicated, and it’s often best to leave it to the experts. On the other hand, going to a treatment center may be the best option. Contact Absolute Awakenings if you’re ready to get on the path to an addiction-free life or have questions about the program and treatment options. 

 

Sources:

  1. One Pill Can Kill. Accessed January 11, 2023. https://www.dea.gov/onepill
  2. Drury A. How To Know If Your Weed Is Laced. High Times. Published July 11, 2018. Accessed January 11, 2023. https://hightimes.com/health/how-know-your-weed-laced/
  3. Marceaux JC, Dilks LS, Hixson S. Neuropsychological effects of formaldehyde use. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2008;40(2):207-210. doi:10.1080/02791072.2008.10400632
Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. She writes for popular treatment centers such as Ocean Recovery, Ascendant NY, The Heights Treatment, Infinite Recovery, New Waters Recovery, Recovery Unplugged and adolescent mental health treatment center BasePoint Academy. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being the a mother of a beautiful daughter.

Last medically reviewed January 11, 2023