Marijuana is a drug that’s part of a lot of changes in terms of how it’s viewed and its legal status. For example, the use of marijuana is losing a lot of its stigma, it’s increasingly explored for its therapeutic benefits, and it’s even becoming recreationally legal in some states.

With that being said, this change in the perception of marijuana doesn’t mean it’s without risks and concerns. One of the risks of using marijuana, particularly when it’s purchased off the streets, is that it can be laced with other substances, which are often very harmful.

Infographic detailing the dangers of meth-laced weed

One area of concern people have specifically involves meth and weed, and meth-laced weed symptoms. Is meth-laced weed a thing, or is it an urban myth? If it is a true concern, what are the meth-laced weed symptoms?

What is Meth?

Before looking at meth and weed, what is meth on its own? Meth is an illegal drug that acts as a stimulant, by increasing the amount of available dopamine in the user’s brain. It’s incredibly dangerous not only because of its effects on the brain but also because it’s made from toxic substances, which can include various chemicals and other substances that can erode the brain and vital organs.

Meth can be made in home-based laboratories, and it’s very long-lasting. It often has effects that last for up to 24 hours, and its half-life is around 12 hours on average.

Comparing Meth & Weed

Before looking specifically at meth-laced weed symptoms, how do meth and weed compare to one another? First, with meth and weed, meth is highly addictive, while weed isn’t considered as addictive. Many people become addicted to meth after only using it once, while with weed, people are more able to use it recreationally or occasionally without becoming addicted in many cases. Also, meth creates a physical dependence very quickly, while marijuana doesn’t. To put it simply, when comparing meth and weed, meth is one of the most addictive drugs there are, and weed is one of the least addictive, although there is some risk of addiction with weed.

Infographic comparing meth vs weed

Meth is also a stimulant, while weed isn’t. Meth speeds up vital functions like heart rate and causes a rise in body temperature. When someone uses meth, they’re going to feel a euphoric rush or high, that includes side effects like energy and a lack of appetite.

Weed is very much different in how it affects the user. For example, when you use weed you’re more likely to feel calm, relaxed or sleepy. It can also increase your appetite.

  • A few other ways they differ from one another include:

    • Marijuana comes from the Cannabis plant, while meth is made from toxic chemicals and household ingredients.
    • As was touched on above, marijuana is a depressant, while meth is a stimulant.
    • Some of the side effects of weed include increased sensory perception, drowsiness, slowed reaction time, and in some people anxiety or panic. With meth, side effects include increased energy and physical activity, increased blood pressure and breathing, and irregular heart rate.
    • There are many possible long-term effects of meth, many of which can be severe or deadly and these aren’t a risk with weed. For example, long-term effects of meth can include violence, paranoia, delusions, severe dental problems and extreme weight loss, itching that leads to skin picking and sores, and psychotic symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Meth-Laced Weed?

If you were exposed to this combination, meth-laced weed symptoms would likely look like the opposite of what happens when you normally smoke weed. For example, meth-laced weed symptoms could include a rush of energy or hyperactivity as compared to feeling relaxed and drowsy. You might also smell the chemical smell of meth when using the marijuana, or you might feel like your heart rate or body temperature were rising if you were to use meth and weed.

Is Meth-Laced Weed a Real Concern?

In general, laced weed can be a real concern if you’re buying it off the streets. Of course, laced weed isn’t necessarily common because it would actually cause drug dealers to lose money, but it is possible. Many times if a drug dealer is going to sell weed laced with other things, they let the buyer know and charge a higher price for it. There aren’t a lot of advantages for drug dealers to sell laced weed without letting the buyer know because they wouldn’t be able to charge a premium for it.

Certain drug tests can be used to determine if weed is laced with anything else, and if you’re worried about meth-laced weed, you may be able to notice a chemical-like smell when it’s burned. There shouldn’t be any crystallized substances in weed either.

Infographic detailing how to identify meth-laced weed

Rather than looking for meth-laced weed symptoms, it’s more beneficial to look out for weed being laced with something like glass. Crushed glass can be added to weed to make it heavier, therefore allowing a dealer to sell it at a higher price. That’s something that would be significantly more common than combining meth and weed.

The only real reason it would seem drug dealers would sell meth and weed laced with one another would be to increase their meth customer base, but it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem across the nation. Unfortunately, most drug dealers can get buyers for their products without tactics like lacing weed.

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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