laced weed symptoms

What can marijuana be laced with and how to recognize laced weed?

You won’t believe what people are prepared to put in cannabis! Hair sprays, pesticides, glass, and detergents are just some of the many substances used for lacing cannabis

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    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.

    What can marijuana be laced with and how to recognize laced weed? Back to video

    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.


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    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.

    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.

    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.


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    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.


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    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/formaldehyde

    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.

    If you suspect you smoked a joint laced with PCP and you notice you talk indistinctly, blink a lot and look disoriented and paranoid, the best thing you can do is to seek medical help immediately. Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images

    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.

    You won’t believe what people are prepared to put in cannabis! Hair sprays, pesticides, glass, and detergents are just some of the many substances used for…

    Bath Salts-Induced Psychosis: A Case Report

    Dear Editor:

    Over the past few years, addiction professionals have been facing a new challenge of treating people who abuse synthetic chemicals. Because these synthetic chemicals are relatively new, they may not be detectable on routine urine drug screens, and users may be unaware of the specific chemicals contained in them. These drugs, which we have collectively termed synthetic legal intoxicating drugs (SLIDs), are increasing dramatically in use leading to multiple emergency room (ER) visits and hospital admissions. 1 – 3 One such SLID, which goes by the street name “bath salts,” has similar effects as those seen with amphetamine use. 4

    A recent survey identified 35 people who reported to ERs in Michigan with signs and symptoms of bath salts toxicity, including agitation, tachycardia, and delusions or hallucinations. 2 Case reports describing episodes of transient paranoid psychosis resulting from bath salts ingestion are emerging in the literature. 5 We report a unique case of persistent psychosis a month following the ingestion of bath salts mixed with marijuana.

    Case report. Our patient was a 15-year-old boy with no previous psychiatric history. He came to the ER with complaints of agitation and psychotic symptoms. Reportedly, the patient smoked marijuana that was laced with bath salts. Soon after use, the patient became paranoid, barricading himself in his father’s home. Police were called to gain forcible entry into the house, and the patient was brought to the ER. The patient’s agitation continued to worsen, and lab workup revealed a raised creatine phosphokinase (CPK) level. Urine toxicology report was negative. Patient was managed in the hospital intensive care unit (ICU), where he continued to exhibit psychotic and agitated behavior, and at one point assaulted a staff member. He went home after medical stabilization a few days later, though he continued to exhibit paranoia at home. When the patient was continuing to exhibit paranoia a month later, his father brought him back to the hospital where he was then referred to us for inpatient psychiatric management.

    During initial interview, the patient was noted to have extreme periods of psychomotor retardation during which he was nonverbal. At other times, he appeared confused, repeating questions to himself. He would make paranoid statements, such as, “Don’t let them take me!” and “How do I get out of this?” The patient reported that nothing around him was real. He reported that his father was replaced by an imposter and his sister would be harmed by unknown people. At times during the interview, he was able to acknowledge that part of his paranoia was not real. He reported feeling scared but denied any suicidal or homicidal thoughts, intent, or plan. The patient’s family was also interviewed, and they denied any previous psychiatric history or such behavior in the patient. They further denied any history of head injury or seizure disorder and also denied a family history of psychiatric conditions. They did report, however, that the patient had used marijuana in the past without any bad side effects. As stated previously, the patient reported that he believed he had smoked marijuana laced with bath salts prior to his ER presentation. During his inpatient psychiatric stay, the patient was treated with combination of olanzapine 5mg once daily and lorazepam 0.5mg twice daily. The dose of olanzapine was increased to 7.5mg daily, and this combined with the lorazepam improved his symptoms of psychosis and agitation. He began to interact with the peers on the unit. Symptoms of paranoia improved within three days of treatment, and the patient was discharged home on olanzapine 7.5mg once daily and lorazepam 0.5mg twice daily with outpatient follow-up. The patient had no relapse of symptoms in the eight-week follow-up period. He denied current substance use. No further adjustments in the medication dosages were required.

    Discussion. Previous reports of bath salts toxicity have often occurred among individuals with other illicit substance intoxication. 2 Our patient’s use of bath salts in conjunction with marijuana use suggests a common demographic risk and the possibility of an additive risk of psychosis due to the combination. 6 Mechanistically, both substances have the potential to induce psychosis through mesolimbic hyperdopaminergia. Bath salts contain methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which causes cathecholamine reuptake inhibition, and marijuana increases dopaminergic activity through modulating effects on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum. 7 However, our patient’s psychotic symptoms were not present during previous marijuana use and seemed related to acute bath salts use, with full and sustained resolution upon discontinuation. This suggests a primary role for bath salts in producing acute psychosis.

    Synthetic substances present a real challenge to the addiction treatment community. There is currently no way to routinely test for these substances. Also the intoxication has variable symptoms of presentation. These substances are ingested, smoked, and injected as legal alternatives to stimulants that are detected in routine drug testing. 2 Our case adds to a rapidly evolving literature that indicates the potential for acute psychiatric toxicity due to recreational use of compounds, such as MDPV. Consumers, clinicians, and policy makers deliberating about the future legal status of compounds such as bath salts should be apprised of this risk.


    Funding/financial disclosures: No funding was received for the preparation of this article. The authors have no conflicts relevant to the content of this article.

    Bath Salts-Induced Psychosis: A Case Report Dear Editor: Over the past few years, addiction professionals have been facing a new challenge of treating people who abuse synthetic chemicals. ]]>