Is There Fentanyl in Weed in 2023? And How to Tell if Weed is Laced with Fentanyl
Photo by Chase Fade
Fentanyl is a common opioid in the U.S., but the discovery of fentanyl-laced weed has worried consumers and legitimate sellers alike.
In an Associated Press report, marijuana confiscated from a Walmart parking lot in Upstate New York indicated that it was laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl weed is a new discovery that could cause serious problems for smokers everywhere. It also reignites the subject of how to tell if weed is laced.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss questions like, “Why are drugs laced with fentanyl?”, “Can weed be laced with fentanyl?” and “What does laced weed look like?”
What is Laced Weed?
Laced weed is a cannabis flower that has been combined with other chemicals. Some of these chemicals can be designed to decrease the quality of the weed and increase a dealer’s profit margins. These substances may include glass, pesticides, and detergents, which are dangerous to consume.
On the other hand, pot can also be combined with other drugs and additives to make it more potent or change its effects. Therefore, knowing the signs and symptoms of lacing is crucial to protecting yourself from harm.
According to American Addiction Centers, reliable statistics on how common lacing is are unavailable. Understandably, most statistics on lacing originate from news articles in the aftermath of a tragedy.
While lacing most often makes the news when it leads to disasters within communities, some recreational users intentionally lace their cannabis with other drugs to transform the experience.
However, lacing does have a sinister side. All drugs can be laced with something else to reduce quality and increase profits, but some shady dealers add addictive substances to get people hooked on other things.
This is why when some ask, “Do people put fentanyl in weed? the answer is yes, and this is often why. After all, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine, making it one of the most addictive substances available.
What Can Weed Be Laced With?
You know that fentanyl in weed isn’t a myth, but what else can you lace marijuana with?
Before discussing how to tell if weed is laced and with what, it’s important to remember that lacing your weed with anyone is always dangerous. Almost no formal scientific study exists on the impact of combining substances with weed.
So, here are the most popular things weed can be laced with.
- Cocaine – Packing a bowl or a joint with cocaine and weed is known as a Primo and is the quintessential example of combining an upper and a downer. Bringing the sedative and stimulant effects together can be dangerous because it affects your brain, heart, and lungs simultaneously.
- LSD – LSD-laced with weed is known as a Rainbow Joint and aims to produce a hallucinogenic experience. These joints are made by dipping a marijuana cigarette into LSD so that the LSD is absorbed via your lips and mouth while smoking. The effects can last up to 12 hours.
- PCP – Phencyclidine, or angel dust, is a potent hallucinogenic substance that alters the mind. This solid psychoactive substance may be sold as dusted weed, super weed, or wet weed.
- Heroin – Heroin is perhaps the most addictive drug available. Heroin-laced weed is not uncommon because of the relaxing and euphoric effects it creates. However, smoking one of these joints slows the heart rate and breathing, making it highly dangerous.
- Ketamine – Ketamine is a popular club drug that has recently found its way into joints. It’s used recreationally with weed to amplify the sedative effects of marijuana flowers.
- Methamphetamine – This neuro-stimulant medical drug is typically used for treating ADHD and obesity but has also been combined with weed. Meth-laced weed created delusions and intense hallucinations.
- Formaldehyde – Often delivered as embalming fluid, formaldehyde is commonly added to synthetic weed. Side effects include nausea, accelerated heartbeat, and severe hallucinations.
Unfortunately, experimentation with lacing has grown in popularity. Recreational users typically experiment with lacing to amplify the various effects of marijuana. However, you are putting your health at risk by consuming laced drugs.
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Can Weed be Laced with Fentanyl?
Marijuana laced with fentanyl is becoming more common nationwide. It has mirrored the growth of fentanyl as an illicit drug because it is affordable.
Fentanyl is sold as a synthetic powder or pill. In the case of weed-laced fentanyl, the powder is sprinkled into a joint. With fentanyl in marijuana, the goal is to experience heightened short-term pleasures.
So, can marijuana be laced with fentanyl? It can, but it’s an extremely dangerous practice. Fentanyl is so potent that as little as two milligrams can lead to overdose and death. So, if you like to smoke a few joints throughout the day, fentanyl in weed could kill you.
Why are Drugs Laced with Fentanyl?
Unlike other drugs used to lace weed, fentanyl on weed isn’t designed to alter its effects but enhance weed’s natural psychoactive effects.
Dealers will also unknowingly put fentanyl in weed because they often sell marijuana by weight. Therefore, placing cheap fentanyl inside increases the weight of the marijuana and allows the dealer to make a greater profit.
As already mentioned, fentanyl and weed are usually combined because of how addictive the former is. Therefore, coaxing a community into getting a taste for fentanyl will eventually lead to addiction, further increasing the dealer’s profit line.
This is why fentanyl in pot poses such a significant threat to communities across America. According to the National Safety Council, over 67,000 preventable deaths occurred in 2021 due to fentanyl.
Photo by Randy Laybourne
What Does Laced Weed Look Like?
Figuring out how to tell if weed is laced for the beginner isn’t always straightforward. Firstly, if a dealer laces their weed without your knowledge, they will also include other substances to hide what they have done.
Many dealers may add certain detergents and other aromas to replicate the smell of specific cannabis strains or hide the smell of whatever they have laced it with.
If you’ve got weed, the first test is to rub the bud on a smooth plastic surface, such as a CD case. If the weed contains glass, small scratches begin to develop.
You can also tell if your buds have been laced with aromas like laundry detergent just by shaking some water onto a small piece of weed. You’ll see suds and other chemicals flowing out of it if it’s been laced.
Buying flower means you can also access the trichomes, the white, sticky crystals attached to your weed. Roll and squeeze a piece of weed between your fingers. Real trichomes will stick to your fingers, but if you notice dust falling off your flower, it has been laced.
You may also want to look for any artificial coloring. Divide a bud in half. The exterior color won’t reach the center if there are any artificial colors. Be wary if there are any uneven colors on the bud.
Finally, hold a small piece of weed over a flame. Any adulterants or fuels will cause the marijuana to burst into flames, whereas the presence of any perfumes will alter the color of the flame. Any popping or sparking of the weed will give the game away.
Also, don’t forget that laced weed will always smell synthetic because there’s no way of replicating that natural odor of genuine marijuana.
What Does Fentanyl Look Like in Weed?
Fentanyl in pot can be found in any number of places, including flowers, ground weed, and even sold as a fentanyl cart for your vape.
The risks are genuine. Back in 2021, the state of Connecticut reported 39 overdoses due to fentanyl-laced marijuana, although these have since been disputed. Fears at the time were focused on fentanyl in weed entering the market, but these claims were later rolled back because the investigation concluded that the contamination was accidental.
It leads us to the question, “Can marijuana be laced with fentanyl without your knowledge?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes because fentanyl smells like nothing, looks like nothing, and tastes like nothing. In other words, it’s nearly impossible to identify using the abovementioned techniques.
So, is fentanyl in marijuana, and how do you know? The only real solution is to invest in fentanyl test strips if you’re a regular smoker. These were initially designed for urine screenings, but their high-sensitivity readings can detect fentanyl with ease.
Note that these test strips can only tell the signs of fentanyl in weed. They cannot provide any information on quantity or potency.
If you suspect any fentanyl in weed, dispose of it immediately.
Photo by Wesley Gibbs
Symptoms of Laced Weed
Determining whether you have consumed laced weed is problematic because it depends on what it was laced with. In addition, the symptoms of cocaine-laced weed will differ from PCP-laced weed. And this is where the difficulties in seeking medical help come in.
So, what are the most common symptoms of laced weed?
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulties breathing
- Severe hallucinations
Fentanyl in weed symptoms can also include euphoria, sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, urinary retention, and respiratory depression. In other words, fentanyl in weed will feel nothing like weed should.
Recent Stories of Fentanyl-Laced Edibles
Can fentanyl be in weed edibles? The answer is yes. But can marijuana have fentanyl if it has been cooked or processed into an edible without destroying the fentanyl inside?
Fentanyl is a powder that must not be baked into your brownies, cookies, or gummies. Instead, it may be added afterward, such as hiding it in icing sugar or cream.
There have been some stories of laced edibles hitting the market. In Montgomery County, PA, two people overdosed and died after eating Delta-8 THC edibles. After a subsequent investigation of over 100 products, only some contained fentanyl.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old student died after a fentanyl overdose at a Connecticut high school. Authorities reported that the student had consumed laced marijuana.
The incident occurred at Bloomfield High School in February 2022, with the student overdosing within the school’s security office.
Despite these stories, can edibles be laced on a mass scale? No evidence has shown that this has occurred, meaning you don’t need to test all your edibles every time.
However, it underlines the importance of either making your own using high-quality marijuana or only purchasing edibles from a trustworthy vendor.
Know What You’re Buying, Apply for a Medical Card Today!
Fentanyl is extremely difficult to detect in weed. The number one reason why these overdoses happen is because of purchasing weed from unauthorized street dealers. With so many states legalizing medical marijuana, you can get high-quality weed by obtaining your medical card.
At Green Health Docs, we can support you in obtaining your medical card. Contact us to apply for and receive your medical card today.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.