is marijuana laced with other drugs?

Both marijuana and hemp are cannabis plants. However, marijuana contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound behind its euphoric feeling. The law defines marijuana as any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, singling out two main species: sativa and indica. Sativa plants are taller, lighter, and mostly used for medicinal purposes, while indica plants are shorter and bushier. They are mostly used for pain, insomnia, anxiety, and muscle spasm relief owing to their sedative physical effects.

The Growing Popularity of Marijuana

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana is the number one recreational drug in the United States, with 18% of Americans reporting usage in 2019. 43% of young adults reported usage the next year, begging the question: what has made marijuana so popular? Among the many possible reasons, increased marijuana legalization is slowly changing the drug’s public perception and encouraging widespread usage. Peer pressure, curiosity, and the desire to fit in have also fostered widespread marijuana use, especially among teens.

What is Drug Lacing?

Lacing is an infamous term that refers to adding impurities or adulterants to a drug to enhance its high, reduce production costs, or make buyers hooked. It is also referred to as cutting. Most lacing agents have fatal effects when ingested and can lead to respiratory issues, an overdose, coma, or even death.

History of Drug Lacing Incidents

As strange as it sounds, drug lacing is not a new concept. Heroin and cocaine were mostly laced in the past to bulk up supply or sell cheap knock-offs at the price of original products, swindling buyers. However, the practice has recently become fatal, causing a surge in overdoses and subsequent deaths. For example, there has been a sharp increase in unintentional fentanyl use, overdose, and deaths among people buying prescription opioids from the street as some are laced with Fentanyl. In Massachusetts, the opioid-related death rate once doubled the national rate, as most street heroin was laced with Fentanyl.

Is Marijuana Laced With Other Drugs?

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States, especially among teens. Recognizing the signs of marijuana use in teens is crucial as the demand for the drug grows. Users find ways to make it last longer and provide a more intense high. Marijuana increases in potency when it’s combined with other drugs. Nowadays, marijuana is being widely distributed and laced with other psychoactive drugs. If your teen is struggling with cannabis use and could benefit from adolescent marijuana addiction treatment, contact our Los Angeles office today for a free and confidential consultation.

Marijuana Can Be Laced With Various Substances

Lacing marijuana is not an unusual practice among drug dealers. It is often done to create an addiction with the end-user, so they keep coming back for more. Below are various substances that can be used to alter marijuana:

Lead, as well as other heavy metals

According to a Smithsonian report, the influence of THC in marijuana sold today is far greater than in the marijuana sold in the 1970s and 1980s. Chemical bonding and crop development have created new strains of marijuana. In states where medical marijuana is permitted, patients often purchase commercial marijuana concentrates and add them to edibles. Many believe this is a healthier option than smoking pot, but lab tests show that concentrated marijuana is stripped of everything but the THC and is then combined with dangerous substances such as butane, garden chemicals, and metal. It has been discovered that attempts to develop more efficient THC cannabis products have resulted in massive heavy metals and pesticides as a by-product.

Bacteria and fungi

Marijuana is tainted with other substances more often than you might suspect. It is grown like other crops, with dirt, fertilizers, and soil additives. This results in bacteria and fungi that are theoretically harmful.

PCP (Phencyclidine)

Another substance marijuana is being laced with is PCP. This is a dangerous drug that is known to be “dissociative and hallucinogenic.” The altered drug produces a much stronger product with more varied psychoactive effects. PCP-laced marijuana is often sold under various street names, such as superweed, fry, dusted weed, wet weed, and more names. Some of the harmful consequences of this dangerous combination include confusion, hostility, seizures, respiratory issues, and significant neurological diseases.

Embalming fluid

Street dealers are using embalming fluid to alter the properties of marijuana cigarettes or joints. Commercial embalming fluid contains formaldehyde and ethyl alcohol. Dealers add PCP to this fluid and let the cigarettes soak in it. The result is a joint that smells like chemicals and tastes like gasoline, but teens like it because it burns slower and creates a very potent high. Negative effects of these wet joints include fits of anger, breathing problems, neurological impairments, and potentially fatal issues.

Laundry detergent

Some dealers are lacing marijuana with powdered laundry detergent. This makes low-quality weed sparkly and heavier, making customers think they are getting a good deal. Another reason they use laundry detergent is to cover moldy or rotten smells from old weed. If you suspect your weed is laced with detergent, put a small amount of pot and water in a jar with a lid and shake it. Foam or suds will show the presence of detergent.

Food Coloring

Cheap weed can be dyed with food coloring to make it look like more expensive varieties, like purple weed and rainbow weed. Some dealers add green food coloring to a batch of vegetable matter to make it look like weed buds. Although the practice is deceptive, there is no danger from ingesting colored pot.


Same with PCP, LSD is also a hallucinogenic substance, very potent even in small doses. Combining LSD with marijuana creates an intense drug that quickly leads to addiction. In fact, LSD can be addictive after just one use. It creates a psychedelic high that can last for 10 hours or more. This fast-acting drug makes users feel out of touch with reality and blissfully happy. They will continue to want more and more to repeat that feeling. When the drug wears off, though, they suffer greatly from the effects of the “crash,” namely depression and possibly suicidal thoughts.


Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, is a potent stimulant. It is made by mixing a variety of over-the-counter or prescription medications with various household chemicals, including drain cleaner, acetone, ammonia, brake cleaner, or pure lye. When pot smokers are unaware of the presence of meth, the results can be fatal, as methamphetamine overdose is quite common. Marijuana and meth can result in seizures, delusions, hallucinations, and confusion. In such scenarios, it’s critical to learn about how to properly have a teen intervention.


Ketamine is a club drug that is sometimes combined with marijuana. Overheating and extreme dehydration are major side effects of this medication. Furthermore, if the user is unaware that they are consuming ketamine, an overdose can result in several dissociation effects and fatal consequences. If you know an adolescent struggling with drug abuse, read about our Los Angeles teen addiction treatment programs. Part of our therapeutic process often includes writing a ‘goodbye letter to addiction,’ which can be a powerful step towards your teen’s recovery. programs.


Cocaine can also be mixed with marijuana. This combination creates a more intense euphoric high. Some believe that combining the two drugs helps cancel out their negative effects, namely the stimulation created by cocaine and the sedative effects of marijuana. Users sometimes mix marijuana with cocaine for personal use, but it can be sold laced. Given that cocaine is a dangerous drug, regularly smoking cocaine-laced marijuana will cause several detrimental physical and psychological effects. If a teenager you know is struggling with how to quit cocaine, contact us to learn about our teen cocaine treatment in Los Angeles.

Effects of Laced Marijuana in General

When stimulants are mixed with marijuana, the individual who consumes it will experience its added effects. If the substance is hallucinogenic, it will likely lead to delusions and hallucinations. On the other hand, depressants will result in temporary feelings of sedation and lethargy. Many other effects, often with severe negative consequences, can be experienced when marijuana is laced with other substances.


If cannabis is not purchased from a licensed dispensary, there is a slight chance it could be laced with other psychoactive substances.

We’re an adolescent rehab that accepts insurance in Los Angeles. Learn about our Teen Marijuana Abuse Treatment and Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Programs. Contact us today for a free consultation if you or a teenager you know is struggling with drug abuse.