Laced weed is of the reasons that a pure and legal market is best. It’s bad enough worrying about what chemicals were used to grow your weed, but some people are concerned about laced weed that has been contaminated with something more dangerous. It’s extremely rare, but dealers in rough environments have occasionally resorted to lacing the weed they sell with other ingredients. If you have to purchase from an underground source, it’s best to be wary.
Why mess with a good thing?
Weed could be laced for a variety of reasons. Beefing up the effects of a weak batch of weed with stronger drugs could help to hide the poor quality, or gradually addict customers to a harder, and more profitable substance. It could be a marketing ploy, for a combined high.
Most personal users who lace their own weed will add cocaine or LSD. A joint or bowl laced with cocaine is called “primo”, and a joint with LSD-laced paper is often called a “rainbow joint”. It is also not unheard of for users to add heroin, meth, PCP, and MDMA, in order to make those drugs “go down easier”.
There are more nefarious adulterants as well. A desperate dealer can use dangerous means to improve the appearance of low-grade weed. Crushed glass can make it sparkle with the appearance of more trichomes, making it appear more potent. Powdered laundry detergent could be sprinkled in to give the appearance of lots of kief, and manipulate the smell.
Dealers have even been known to give nostrils a false kick by spraying weed with diesel fuel, skunk spray, perfume, or putting it in a bag containing fruit peels or moldy cheese to make unremarkable weed resemble the odors of powerful, signature strains. Even spraying or dipping buds in food coloring and powdered sugar is not unheard of. Most often, weed is simply
Even spraying or dipping buds in food coloring and powdered sugar is not unheard of. Most often, weed is simply moistened or mixed with oregano or other plant material to add weight.
What can laced weed do to me?
Besides possibly not getting you high, laced weed can give you the effects of any other drug it is laced with. For other substances, it can make you exhibit any or all of the following symptoms.
- Trouble falling asleep
- Decreased appetite
- Lowered heart rate
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty Breathing
- Feeling light headed
- Organ failure
How can I tell if I’m smoking laced weed?
There are some smart shopper tips to help you keep from getting ripped off, or worse, poisoned.
- Testing for glass: Rub a bud that seems extra coated in shiny crystals on a CD, bud will not scratch the surface, but glass will.
- Testing for Detergent: Take a small piece and put in a glass of water and swish around. If suds form, detergent or soap is present.
- Fuel additives: Take a bit of bud that appears moist, and hold it over a flame. Fuel soaked herb will flare up, unlike normal bud.
- Other smell adulterants: Perfumes and chemicals added to mask or enhance smell will also tend to change the color of the flame applied to the herb. If it begins to pop or spark, you also don’t want to smoke it. As they burn, they also smell harsh and chemically. Even herb that smells potent will have a more mellow flavored smoke.
- Color additives: If buds have been soaked in a coloring solution, say to give “purple” buds, then it will soak into stems as well. IF they were just sprayed, the coloring will be only on the outside of the buds, so crack one open and look at the color distribution.
- General adulterant testing: The trichomes on herb can come off if pressed or knocked loose, but won’t simply dump off like dust. They are either milky white or amber in color. Tap a bud on a black surface, and if it shakes out dust like a vacuum filter, don’t trust it. Check for the color, and the best way to know for sure is using a jeweler’s loop or a 420 Scope to see what it really is up close.
The ultimate check for other drugs is to use a drug testing kit. Snooping parents and wary clients can purchase these online affordably, and they work similar to police roadside testing kits. You can find them on Amazon.
Basic buying advice
- Never buy weed that is already ground up.
- Only buy from a reputable source.
- If they won’t let you inspect the bud, don’t buy it.
- If they won’t smoke a bowl of it with you, don’t buy it.
- If you are rushed or intimidated into leaving quickly, don’t buy it.
- If they try to offer you other products, like hard drugs, for a deal, don’t buy it.
- Trust your instincts.
- It’s better to throw away a bag of weed than end up in the hospital or worse.
Putting it in perspective
I sincerely hope you never have to deal with bunk weed or bad dealers. As legalization spreads, they are slowly being pushed out of the market, but until dispensary prices become more competitive and legalization makes it to your neck of the woods, they are still out there.
When it comes to getting quality herb, it’s okay to be a little paranoid. Look what they add to regular food to make it more appealing, and you will see that modifying products is more widespread than you thought.
Just relax, though. This practice is still extremely rare except by personal users with their own stuff. Much of the hype of laced weed is a scare tactic promoted by prohibitionists and the police. Even hardcore street gangs want repeat customers, and knockoff or laced weed is a quick way to lose reputation.
Usually, the only time you will hear about potentially laced weed is from a newbie or light smoker who isn’t used to the effects of more powerful strains getting paranoid while really high.
I’m super high! Did they lace this with something?
No, we all smoked it. You are just being paranoid. Chill out and snuggle this teddy bear, you baby.
As a personal note, sharing laced herb is a big no-no. At least not without fair warning. The last thing you want is your friend freaking out and calling the cops because the grass in the lawn is full of demons trying to eat them. I have been around folks who smoked Primo and Rainbow, and it is not the surprise experience you want from your herb, trust me.
Have you had that one friend who swears everything is laced? Have you ever bought bud that was pumped up to sell better? Share your experience on social media or in the comments below.
His other positions include Co-founder and product design for Cool Vapes and Creative Director for Ergrow Systems.
He is also Founder / President / Creative Director for The Official Cannabis Book of World Records.
Unity through Compassion!