“Was my weed laced?” a Handy Checklist

First off, no. Well probably not, but I’ll humor you.

Your history
Strange taste
Weird properties
What you should do!

Do you live in America? If so, chances are high that you did not get laced cannabis. Very few American dealers modify their product at all. Not much more to be said. If not, I probably can’t help you a whole lot. England does supposedly have a major problem with “soapbar” hash and other types of tainted marijuana products, but being that I live smack dab in the middle of America, I can’t speak to that with any authority.

Where did you get your weed from? If it was your normal, trusted, everyday dealer, you’re probably fine. Even if it was a new guy, it normally doesn’t make sense financially to lace weed. Most other smokable drugs are expensive, and if anything the dealer will strongly advertise the laced drug while offering a greater price.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, or that it never happens, but it is just very rare. One of the few ways for a dealer to profitably lace weed would be to sprinkle a synthetic cannabinoid on some cheap, subpar product. As long as you buy the synthetic stuff in bulk, you could conceivably lace your shwag enough to fool the unsuspecting user into thinking it was some high quality stuff.

However, this plan is not without its significant drawbacks. For one, many synthetic cannabinoids are now illegal, and are fairly hard to find. There are a lot of scams on the internet, so you may well end up giving more money to some conniving con artist than you profit off your unsuspecting clients. Not to mention, if a dealer sells tainted weed word will quickly get around, and their reputation will never recover.

Are these your symptoms? If they sound something like these, you probably just smoked too much weed:

  • Became much higher than normal
  • Visual and/or auditory hallucinations to varying intensity
  • Photosensitivity
  • Increased tactile sensitivity
  • Dizziness/vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Extremely short memory or blacked out memory
  • Intense anxiety or feeling of dread
  • Increased heart rate/blood pressure (though not extraordinarily)
  • Feelings of paranoia or persecution

Many users do not realize such severe reactions can be had to cannabis, but they are more common than you might think.

What’s your smoking history? How many times you’ve “been around the block,” so to speak, can heavily influence your experience. It’s known as tolerance, and losing it can turn a former hardened-smoker into a newbie all over again. If you’ve only smoked a handful of times, you might be caught off guard by the sheer power of the chronic. It can obliterate the mind and body, and can seem like totally different drugs from one day to the next.

Any smoker who has taken a recent break, bought a new strain, tried a different type of weed (shwag to dank or vice-versa), or even smoked out of a new device (bong, vaporizer, joint, waterfall, blunt, etc) can experience an unexpected boost to their high. Even so much as to feel “like PCP” or LSD or nearly anything else.

But why did it taste so weird? Weed can have funky flavors sometimes, even if it’s from high-quality genetics. If it has been harvested too early, or flushed improperly/insufficiently, it can have very unusual chemical-like flavors. Sometimes you’ll just get a bad flavor, even when everything was done right. Taste can be a good indicator of quality, but it can also be very misleading. I’ve had strains that looked and tasted incredible, but they didn’t get you high worth a damn.

But my weed looks weird! The same reasons it smokes and tastes funny can lead to foreign substances. If the weed has weird strings in it (or dirt, or little crystal things or whatever), it is very often a product of sloppy harvesting. People use all sorts of fertilizers and pesticides and everything else on their crop, which can cause your weed to snap, crackle and pop.

It may not be particularly healthy to smoke weed with contaminants of any type, and it would be ideal to wash it out or make isohash or something. In fact, with all marijuana the best practice is to wash it off before smoking. An easy way for that is to simply rinse it out (like you would a vegetable, but preferably over a pan to catch the little nuglets), and then stick it in the oven at about 150˚F or so to dry it out. Now, since I already know nobody is going to be washing out their weed, you might as well just smoke it, you’ll probably be fine.

There have been reports in the UK of weed laced with glass dust. I assume to give the false appearance of more trichomes, so that a dealer can charge more. Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous and harmful to the health. The problem with glass in your weed, however, is that you’ll likely not notice it right away. Unless your lungs suddenly start bleeding (extremely unlikely), you’ll simply feel fine for years. It works like asbestos, slowly creating an infinitely-expanding callous-like growth in your lungs through a process called silicosis. Naturally, more exposure gives you a greater risk, so if you suspect you’ve been sold tainted weed, find a completely new source for your stuff. Perhaps the internet.

What should you do if it happened? Probably nothing. Almost nothing it could have been laced with can kill you (unless you’re the unlucky recipient of some particularly nasty soapbar), and if so there’s almost nothing you can do about it anyway. Just wait it out, and you’ll probably feel fine after a few hours. If you’re genuinely concerned for your safety, try to take some scientific measures.

Have a third party (machine, friend or unsuspecting family member) check your pulse and (if possible) blood pressure, for example. If they’re around normal, don’t worry about anything. Many times it will feel like your heart is beating out of your chest, when in reality you have completely normal vitals. Otherwise, drink some water, eat some fruit, get some fresh air, and try to distract yourself. The number one cause of bad trips on psychedelics are over-thinking the trip. Weed is a mild psychedelic – treat it as such.

Obviously, if you genuinely think a current batch is tainted, just throw it out. If you are absolutely positive of the chemical (perhaps the drug dealer told you after the fact), look up the effects and dangers. If it’s possible to overdose on a fairly small dose, try to find out what the dosage was, and take appropriate action. But in nearly all cases, your intense high is just an innocuous weed high, and there’s no cause for concern.

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