Article at a Glance:

  • Meth-laced weed has been reported around the world.
  • Because meth can be deadly in overdose, meth-laced weed poses a dangerous overdose risk.
  • Buying marijuana from legal dispensaries is the best way to avoid laced weed.
  • Street marijuana can also be laced with a variety of other drugs and chemicals.

While marijuana that has been legally purchased at licensed dispensaries is heavily regulated for its chemical contents, the same is not true for marijuana bought on the street. One of the dangers of buying drugs off the street is that it is nearly impossible to know for sure what you’re getting. Many drugs — including weed — are laced with other substances. This includes the stimulant methamphetamine or meth.

The Dangers of Meth-Laced Weed

It is very dangerous when one drug is laced with another. The combination of meth and marijuana can lead to serious side effects for the person using the marijuana. These include a risk of overdose from meth, which can be deadly. Meth side effects can add on to the marijuana side effects, including appetite loss, psychosis, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest and seizures.

Infographic detailing the dangers of meth-laced weed

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to meth-laced weed, you should seek help by calling the National Capital Poison Center at 800-222-1222 or use online help via the Poison Control webpage. Alternatively, you can seek emergency medical attention by calling 911.

Symptoms & Side Effects of Laced Weed

The symptoms of meth-laced weed can vary, depending on how much meth is in the weed and if the weed is laced with additional substances.

That said, meth-laced weed symptoms are often the opposite of what happens when a person smokes marijuana. For example, they could include a rush of energy or hyperactivity as compared to feeling relaxed and drowsy, which are more characteristic of a marijuana high.

How To Tell if Marijuana Is Laced With Meth

It can be difficult to know if marijuana is laced with meth. However, one clue is that the marijuana may have an uncharacteristic chemical odor while burning. Experiencing side effects that are common to meth, such as a fast heart rate, high blood pressure and overheating, are also clues that the marijuana may be laced with a substance like meth.

Why Is Weed Laced With Meth?

Weed can be laced with meth for a variety of reasons. One important reason is that lacing weed with an addictive stimulant like meth can get people hooked on the weed more quickly. Once addicted, they may continue to seek out the same street drug dealer for the combination, increasing the drug dealer’s business. Other times, the weed is laced with meth or another drug to mask poor-quality marijuana. Sometimes, people who take meth will deliberately lace it with marijuana in an attempt to soften the come-down from meth after a person gets high.

Meth vs. Weed

Although both meth and weed are often taken recreationally as street drugs, there are a lot of differences between them.

Meth Weed
Type of Drug Stimulant Psychotropic
Legal Status Schedule II controlled substance, but often illegally created in labs Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, but legal in some states
Mechanism of action Increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, the body’s feel-good chemical Binds to the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, enhancing relaxation
What it looks like Available as a pill or in powder form, but can also be sold as “crystal meth” in the form of a rock which sometimes looks like a fragment of glass A dry mix of flowers, stems, seeds and leaves from the Cannabis sativa plant, which may be green or brown in color
Effects on the body Wakefulness, increased physical activity, appetite loss, rapid breathing and heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and overheating Dizziness, nausea, fast heartbeat, facial redness, dry mouth, and tremor
Effects on the mind Anxiety, confusion, trouble sleeping, and psychosis Relaxation and pleasurable feelings
Deadly in overdose Yes Yes, when combined with other substances like meth

Is Meth-Laced Weed a Real Concern?

Meth-laced weed has been reported around the world. However, it is difficult to know the scope of meth-laced weed, as many people who take drugs are reluctant to report their bad drug experiences to authorities out of fear of getting into legal trouble. Although marijuana aficionados often claim that laced weed is rare, in truth, it is difficult to know for sure.

Other Drugs and Substances Marijuana Can Be Laced With

Many reports exist of marijuana being laced with other substances besides meth. Sometimes, these substances are other drugs, like heroin, fentanyl, PCP, and ecstasy (MDMA). Although marijuana is sometimes laced with these substances to mask poor-quality weed, other times, the drugs are deliberately used together to influence each other’s high.

Marijuana can also be laced with non-pharmaceutical products. These non-pharmaceutical products range from dangerous items like crushed glass and laundry detergent to inert ingredients like fruit peels, oregano and even cheese. Sometimes, the marijuana may be laced with scents to give off a powerful smell – these can include combinations of diesel fuel, skunk spray and perfume.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a meth addiction or marijuana addiction, help is available. Our helpful representatives can answer your questions about addiction treatment and discuss options that can meet your unique needs. Contact us today to get started.

  • Sources

    Keeton, Claire. “Warning: your weed could be laced with meth.” Sunday Times, May 21, 2020. Accessed April 5, 2021.

    U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drugs of Abuse.” April 2020. Accessed April 4, 2021.

    Herb. “What is Laced Weed? The Effects, Risks, and How to Identify It.” August 12, 2019. Accessed April 4, 2021.

  • Medical Disclaimer

    The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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