For the vast majority of people who enjoy cannabis, weed is perfectly satisfying on its own. For a few, however, marijuana is an ideal delivery method for other, harder drugs. And when you mix another substance with cannabis, you end up with what we call “laced weed”. But what is laced weed, really?
In this guide, we explain what laced weed is and how its different from other laced drugs. We also lay out the dangers of consuming weed that’s laced with other substances and the precautions you can take to avoid it.
Because in every instance, you’re going to want to avoid laced weed. But first, you have to know: what is laced weed exactly?
What Is Laced Weed?
The process of creating “polydrug” combinations by mixing different substances together is called lacing.
In other words, a “laced” drug is one that’s been blended in some fashion with another narcotic.
But sometimes, drugs are laced with substances, often dangerous or deadly ones, that no one (in their right mind, at least) would consume by itself.
Any drug can be laced with another substance. But when it comes to cannabis, lacing can be especially harmful. And that’s because marijuana users generally aren’t looking for a hard drug experience.
And that brings us to the often unspoken aspect of laced drugs and laced weed in particular: lacing is often done without the knowledge of the person consuming the drug.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell without using it if some weed has been laced with another drug. And furthermore, different additives can produce wildly unpredictable results.
Still, one of the most common types of polydrugs is marijuana laced with other substances that enhance or otherwise increase the drugs’ effects.
Laced weed can also produce a combination high, where both substances react together in the body to produce effects neither could produce on their own.
How Is Weed Laced With Other Drugs?
In general, there are two ways to lace marijuana with other drugs. Both methods make it difficult to detect the presence of other drugs mixed with your cannabis.
Sprinkled Into Smokeable Weed
One of the most common ways to lace weed is to sprinkle another substance into dried flower. Typically, someone adds the lacing drug to a joint, blunt or bowl. Wrapping up other drugs with your weed in a roll, however, is easily the most popular approach.
Dipping a Wrap Into Another Drug
Adding another drug to your flower only works if it’s in solid form, of course. But for other drugs or substances that are liquid, there’s a different approach. In this case, people will dip a blunt or joint into another substance, soaking the paper and the flower with it. Once the laced joint dries, it’s very difficult to tell that it’s been laced.
What Other Drugs Are Used In Laced Weed?
What is laced weed mixed with? Any number of drugs or other substances can be laced into marijuana. But there are types of drugs that are more commonly added to cannabis than others.
One of the most common ways to lace weed is to add a stimulant like cocaine to dried flower. Smoking both in combination produces the effects of both drugs, with the stimulant overriding the mellow or depressant effects of the cannabis.
If you’ve seen the old Denzel Washington movie Training Day, you know all about the effects of weed laced with hallucinogens. The most common are PCP or ketamine, which people sometimes add to weed to dramatically increase the former’s psychedelic effects.
Opioids, heroin, prescription painkillers—all of these can be laced with cannabis to do two things. First, weed laced with depressants will significantly increase its sedative and euphoric effects, for obvious reasons. But depressants can also make the overall high feel way more intense and long-lasting.
Sometimes, weed isn’t laced with other drugs at all. Instead, any number of seemingly random substances can end up in cannabis. There have been reports of formaldehyde, laundry detergent, rat poison and even glass laced into marijuana. Weed laced with these substances can produce wildly unpredictable and dangerous results.
Why You Should Avoid Laced Weed
The dangers of consuming laced weed are multiple. But they all come back to the fact that many of the substances found in laced marijuana can be harmful or even deadly.
When it comes to marijuana mixed with hard drugs like meth, cocaine, or heroin, there’s a serious risk of overdose death. Usually, you’d consume a larger quantity of cannabis than those drugs on their own.
So if your weed is laced with them, you’re at risk of consuming too much and ending up in the hospital or dead from an overdose. Weed laced with harder drugs can also increase your risk of drug addiction.
The same holds for the other substances, which can be deadly in even smaller amounts. Things like embalming fluid and detergent are extremely toxic.
Ultimately, however, you should avoid laced weed because at the very least, you’ll have an experience you weren’t expecting. Consuming laced weed can cause strange and dangerous mood alterations, breathing problems and heart issues.
How To Protect Yourself Against Laced Weed
Fortunately, marijuana laced with other substances isn’t very common. You’re more likely to encounter laced cannabis if you’re buying on the illicit market.
Black market dealers may be tempted to lace weed for two reasons. First, they could be trying to add weight to a product to increase their margins.
In this case, the laced weed can be especially dangerous. Because, from a profit perspective, it only makes sense to use substances that are cheaper than weed—i.e. household chemicals, not hard drugs.
Second, black market dealers could lace their weed with harder drugs to increase the intensity of its effects. This is possible especially if the weed itself is really weak and low quality.
Therefore, the absolute best way to avoid laced weed is to purchase it from a legal retailer. In weed-legal states, products undergo rigorous quality control, and regulators track products from seed to sale.
If legal retail sales aren’t available in your area, however, then obtaining cannabis from a dealer you know and trust is the best thing you can do to protect yourself against laced weed.