Fentanyl Laced Weed

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Marijuana, also known as weed, is a psychoactive and mind changing substance. (1) Weed is a natural substance and is produced from the Cannabis sativa plant. (2) Weed can be smoked, mixed with foods, or brewed with beverages. Weed affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for pleasure, thought, concentration, memory, time perception, and coordination. (3)

Effects of marijuana use include: (4)

  • Having difficulties problem-solving and thinking
  • Temporary feelings of exhilaration
  • Talkativeness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Ataxia
  • Paranoia or confusion
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Increased appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Deficits in memory and learning
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth

Even with the possibility of experiencing negative health effects, weed is the most commonly used federally illegal substance within the United States. (5) Approximately 55 million adults engage in marijuana use throughout the United States. (6) Recently, there has been some concern regarding laced weed throughout the country, leading to overdoses. More specifically, weed laced with fentanyl has become a public concern. (7) Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is classified as a Schedule II narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This means that fentanyl is illegal for recreational use, however, it can be used for specific medical purposes. (8) Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. (9) Marijuana laced with fentanyl is extremely dangerous and can lead to various adverse effects.

If you or someone you love are struggling to control marijuana or fentanyl use, treatment may be beneficial. Here at Guardian Recovery, we offer detoxification services for marijuanafentanyl, and other substances. With dual diagnosis treatment, we can assist you with recovering from both substance use and mental health diagnoses. The road to recovery isn’t easy, but you are not alone. Our trained staff will help you learn the necessary tools to reach and maintain sobriety. Contact us today to get started on your recovery journey.

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What Does Laced Mean?

A laced drug is a drug that has been mixed with other substances. This is usually done by drug dealers in order to bulk up the original product or increase their profits. Sometimes, another drug is added in order to increase the effects of the substance. This often leads to a deadly combination of substances. Obtaining a laced substance is more likely when an individual purchases a substance illegally. Reliable statistics regarding the exact amount of weed that has been laced is unknown. More research is coming out regarding fentanyl laced substances as this has become a new public health crisis.

Risks & Dangers of Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana

Fentanyl laced weed, like other fentanyl laced drugs, is dangerous and individuals may be unaware that their substance is laced. (10) Fentanyl weed can increase your chances of experiencing symptoms such as paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and psychosis. One of the main risks associated with fentanyl laced weed is experiencing an overdose.

How Fast Can Fentanyl in Weed Cause an Overdose?

Fentanyl is one of the main causes of drug overdoses in the United States. (11) In 2021, 70,601 overdose deaths occurred due to fentanyl and other opioid drug use. (12) Unfortunately, many individuals who experience an overdose due to fentanyl are unaware that they have taken it. An amount of fentanyl that is equivalent to a grain of sand can lead to an overdose, and even death. (13) Adding another substance, such as weed to fentanyl increases the chances of an individual experiencing an overdose. Even if an individual engages in marijuana use sporadically, the wrong batch could have negative consequences.

Signs of an overdose due to weed laced with fentanyl include: (14)

  • Difficulties breathing
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Discolored, clammy, or cold skin
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Losing consciousness

Experiencing a fentanyl, or fentanyl weed overdose can lead to unfortunate consequences. It is important to seek immediate medical care if you or someone you know are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

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What Are the Side Effects of Smoking Laced Weed?

According to Buzzed, a book focusing on the facts of substance use, weed is intentionally and unintentionally laced with the following substance: (15)

  • Heavy metals such as lead
  • PCP
  • Fungus
  • Heroin
  • Formaldehyde
  • Cocaine
  • Laundry detergent
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ketamine

Smoking weed that is laced with the above substances, or fentanyl, can lead to serious side effects. Understanding these side effects can help individuals identify if they or a loved one have smoked laced weed.

Side effect of smoking laced weed include:

  • Experiencing a mental disturbance
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Experiencing suicidal ideations
  • Coma

Can You Tell if Weed Contains Fentanyl?

One of the dangers of fentanyl in weed is the fact that it is nearly impossible to identify if it is present. Fentanyl is tasteless, odorless, and too small to identify with the human eye. (16) This makes it easy to be able to be disguised as other substances.

Can You Prevent Using Weed With Fentanyl?

Those who use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes don’t often anticipate that it will be laced with fentanyl. If an individual is obtaining weed illegally, there is no foolproof way to prevent it from being laced with fentanyl, or any other substance. Certain precautionary steps, such as thoroughly inspecting the substance or discarding it if there is a foul odor can be taken. Only using substances that have been prescribed by a doctor is the best way to avoid a run in with fentanyl laced weed.

High Risks of Fentanyl-Laced Weed to Young Adults

Fentanyl overdoses, accidental and intentional, have been linked to young adults. This means that there is a higher risk of fentanyl laced weed among young adults. Research is still being done in order to determine the exact reasons why. Young adults are more willing to engage in riskier behavior when compared to those who are older, though more research is needed in order to determine the exact reason why this link exists.

Prescription & Nonprescription Drugs May Also Contain Fentanyl

Illegal drug dealers and manufacturers may add fentanyl to pills that resemble prescription opioids. (17) This is mostly due to the fact that fentanyl is cheaper and can increase the intensity of other substances. This further leads to individuals ingesting fentanyl not knowing that it is present.

The Rising Trend of Fentanyl-Laced Drugs

Unforntally, there has been a recent trend of fentanyl laced drugs. Since fentanyl can be in a powder or liquid form, it is easy for dealers to add it to multiple different drugs. (18) Everyday, 150 individuals die due to fentanyl and other opioid related overdoses. (19) Many of these overdoses are not just due to fentanyl alone, but it being mixed with other substances, unbeknownst to the substance user.

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For those experiencing a dependency to marijuana, fentanyl, or another substance, Guardian Recovery is here for you. H ere, we can provide you with psychoeducation and life skills training to help you understand and conquer your substance use. With individual therapy available, you can meet one on one with one of our clinicians to learn healthy and adaptive coping strategies. Contact us today to receive a free, no obligation insurance benefits check to see which of our programs are covered by your insurance plan. One of our Treatment Advisors is ready to speak with you. Contact us today to get started.

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf
  2. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf
  3. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf
  4. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/data-statistics.htm
  6. https://drugabusestatistics.org/marijuana-addiction/
  7. https://www.live5news.com/2022/10/20/police-warn-laced-marijuana-after-drug-overdoses/
  8. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Fentanyl-2020_0.pdf
  9. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Fentanyl-2020_0.pdf
  10. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html
  11. https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/basics/fentanyl.html
  12. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
  13. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fentanyl-science-potent-deadly-1.3760244
  14. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/fentanyl-laced-marijuana#risks
  15. https://books.google.com/books?id=0SjhNDtBerYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Buzzed:+The+Straight+Facts+about+the+Most+Used+and+Abused+Drugs+from+Alcohol&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4udGM2fbRAhXFRSYKHVcCDMkQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=Buzzed%3A%20The%20Straight%20Fa&f=false
  16. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html
  17. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl
  18. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/pdf/fentanyl_fact_sheet_508c.pdf

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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