What Is Laced Weed And How To Identify It?

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Added 23 August 2022

When you purchase weed, you generally trust the supplier and enjoy it at your leisure. But there's a chance you may not be getting pure cannabis. Some vendors, whether intentionally or unintentionally, mix other substances with cannabis before selling them.

Cannabis mixed with other substances or drugs is known as laced weed. 

No, this does not happen with every supplier. In fact, a small percentage of suppliers do this. But how do you know whether you are smoking pure cannabis or an unadulterated one? 

In this article, learn how cannabis is laced and why, how to identify laced weed, and how to avoid it.

What is Laced Weed?

what is laced cannabis

Laced weed is where the supplier or the grower has laced cannabis buds with other substances or drugs, which can alter the cannabis bud’s flavor profile, effects, quality, etc. 

And while lacing is a common practice in various illicit drugs, cannabis is not an exception. Every year, there are various reports of cannabis users facing health problems after consuming buds they thought were pure. However, in reality, it was laced with other drugs or substances.

This practice may earn the supplier some extra money, but it can have serious health consequences on users. Such consequences range from a temporary bad trip to hallucinations, psychosis, and a lot more. More on this later.

Here are some of the reasons why suppliers lace their cannabis products:

  • Since cannabis is usually sold by weight, suppliers lace them with other products to bulk up their package and gain more profits by selling lower amounts of actual cannabis
  • Some suppliers that sell low-quality cannabis use other drugs to make the product more potent, making the product seem high quality
  • Some dealers also lace cannabis with laundry detergent or glass shards to make the buds seem more terpene-rich or add aroma to them
  • On the darker side of things, some dealers lace cannabis with other addictive drugs so that the users get hooked on their products and keep buying more and more 

This does not mean that any cannabis product you buy is dangerous. The practice of lacing weed is rare and usually occurs only when you are buying cannabis illicitly or from unreliable sources. Even in regions where cannabis is legalized, this practice still exists since there is a lack of specific regulations regarding cannabis. 

If you are buying cannabis from the street, you need to be careful not to pick the wrong dealer or purchase the wrong batch. 

However, there is a lack of reliable numbers regarding how much of the cannabis sold in the market is laced, but you will see regular news reports on laced cannabis. It’s hard to say how many people end up using laced cannabis because they generally don’t report the issue to the right authorities unless they end up in the emergency room.

What are the Common Adulterations for Cannabis?

Common Adulterations for Cannabis

Adulterated cannabis comes in a variety of styles — it all depends on the seller and their strategy of growing and selling cannabis. Sometimes, the adulteration is not intentional, but other times, it is completely intentional for the reasons mentioned above. 

If you're wondering what substances cannabis is often mixed with, here are a few:

Tiny Glass Shards

One of the most common forms of lacing cannabis is using tiny glass shards. Sellers add such shards to their buds to make the cannabis look richer in crystals. While this strategy will sell, the glass shards can cause various respiratory disorders, ranging from mild irritation to long-term damage to the throat. 

Laundry Detergent

No doubt your laundry detergent smells good. And since people also want their cannabis to smell good, many sellers add laundry detergent to their cannabis products to improve their aroma profile. 

Plus, like tiny glass shards, even laundry detergent can improve the overall appearance of the buds. 

While laundry detergent-laced cannabis won’t offer an intense high or get you hooked, it can still affect your respiratory organs and damage them. 

Lead or Other Heavy Metals

Did you know that the THC levels in modern cannabis are a lot higher than it was during the good ol’ 70s? People are looking for more potent strains to get the best experience.

Some sellers want to monetize on this and grow highly potent cannabis, but they end up using harmful chemical fertilizers that promise better yields. A lot of such chemicals and minerals are residues in the final product, which can lead to various health complications over long-term use.

Yes, there are chemical fertilizers that are completely safe, but some growers use not-so-common ones. Plus, this kind of lacing of cannabis can also occur if the grower is inexperienced and ends up using fertilizers close to the harvest season. 

Fungus or Bacteria

Fungus or bacteria lacing is unintentional but it can occur even in legally bought cannabis, and this can be quite dangerous for users. This usually occurs when the grower has not cured and stored the products well.

This kind of lacing calls for newer cannabis growing and selling standards to ensure that the cannabis being sold is free of fungus or bacteria.


PCP is a mind-altering, dissociative hallucinogenic drug, which is quite dangerous and is often added to cannabis to make it more potent and induce a more varied high. PCP-laced cannabis is often sold under the names like dusted weed, super weed, fry, or wet weed.

When you consume PCP, you may experience an intense high along with hallucinations, confusion, delusion, aggression, seizures, and even serious neurological conditions. 

Heroin and Meth

Heroin and meth are drugs that are quite well-known in pop culture. And while the majority of people stay away from them, some sellers lace them in their cannabis products to make the cannabis more potent or hook the users on their products.

However, heroin and meth are dangerous (and can even be fatal). People who have never experienced these drugs have low tolerance and are likely to get intense trips with symptoms like extreme lethargy, altered breathing and heart rates, confusion, etc. 

In some cases, cannabis laced with heroin and meth can lead to an overdose or other serious health issues. 

Embalming Fluid 

Embalming fluid, or formaldehyde, is another product that sellers lace their cannabis products with to make them more potent. But along with intense highs, they can also produce various problems that may result in cognitive issues, neurological damage, and memory loss. In high quantities, embalming fluid can even be fatal

Do note that these aren’t the only ways of lacing cannabis. Illicit sellers use anything from niche chemicals to other herbs to lace their cannabis products.

What are the Dangers of Consuming Laced Cannabis?

Dangers of consuming laced marijuana

Laced cannabis is perhaps the most dangerous way of consuming cannabis and it can lead to an array of health problems, such as the following.

Bad Trips

The most common danger of smoking laced weed is a bad trip, which shows itself in the form of delusions, paranoia, anxiety, restlessness, etc. While bad trips are scary when you experience them, they are temporary and relatively harmless.

Breathing and Heart Problems

Laced cannabis can cause problems more severe than just bad trips. Some forms of laced marijuana can alter your breathing pattern, heart rate, and blood pressure. Long-term use of such cannabis can lead to problems that may last a lifetime. 


When cannabis is combined with substances like PCP, it can produce psychotic behavior in the user, which can drive the individual to be aggressive, commit violent crimes, or self-harm under the PCP influence. 

Add the PCP’s dangerous effects to the psychoactive effect of cannabis and you’ve got a dangerous combination of chemicals that can make the user harm themselves and others.


Cannabis in itself does not cause an overdose. But if it's mixed with drugs or substances like fentanyl, meth, or heroin, smoking too much of such laced cannabis can lead to an overdose. 

Plus, many a time, these drugs are laced in cannabis using sprayers, which can create hotspots (concentrations of the drug) on the cannabis buds. Smoke a wrong bud and you may end up in the emergency room.


While cannabis is not an addictive drug, it can induce addiction when laced with other substances like meth or heroin. The individual will not find the same kind of intense high from pure cannabis and will choose laced cannabis to fulfill his/her cravings. 

Some users can even switch to consuming meth or heroin entirely.

What are the Signs of Laced Cannabis?

What are the Signs of Laced Cannabis

It is quite difficult to check if cannabis is laced. Cannabis comes in a variety of strains, each of which has its distinct flavor, aroma, and appearance. However, there are a few techniques you can use to check cannabis before purchasing them, such as the following.

The Smell Test

Gandalf says, “if in doubt, always follow your nose.” And he is right. Your nose can help you solve many problems, identifying laced cannabis as being one of them. 

So, the first thing you should do is to take a whiff of the cannabis bud. It should smell fresh, like grass and leaves. However, if it smells anything like gasoline, chemical, or nail polish remover, it may be laced cannabis. 

For example, if you smell molten plastic in the bud, it is a sign that it may be laced with DMT. 

Ideally, you should avoid cannabis that does not possess a pleasant aroma. 

Look at it Carefully

The next thing you can do is look for white or blue crystals on the buds. Remember, many strains of cannabis have brown crystals, but white and blue crystals are a sign of laced cannabis, indicating the presence of other drugs, glass shards, or laundry detergent. 

Check the Texture

You can also roll and squeeze a tiny part of the bud between your fingers. The white to amber trichomes should break apart into a sticky powder. But if they do not, the cannabis may be laced with glass shards or laundry detergent. 

Regardless of the strain, cannabis buds should be sticky, but if they are grainy, you need to tread carefully. 

The CD Test

An old test to check for cannabis purity is rubbing the bud on a CD. Pure cannabis should not scratch the CD’s surface at all, but if you notice any scratches on the CD, the cannabis may be laced with glass shards or other substances. 

Smoke it

If you have already purchased cannabis, you should watch out for the taste. Laced cannabis will taste harsh, often accompanied by a chemical or metallic flavor. The metallic flavor is an indication of pesticide lacing, which is a result of improper growing practices. On the other hand, a chemical flavor is due to the presence of synthetic drugs.

Another sign of laced cannabis is that it pops and sparks when you light it, which is a sign of contaminated cannabis. 

The Laundry Detergent Test

If you suspect the crystals on your buds aren't resin but laundry detergent, you can do a simple test to check. Place a small piece of the bud in an airtight container with some water and shake it vigorously. If you see any soap sud, it is laced with laundry detergent. 

Notice the Flame

Imagine you purchased Sour Diesel and it contained real diesel — you wouldn’t want that. If your bud smells of fuel, break off a moist piece of the bud and light it on fire. A fuel-laced bud would flare up, not burn off. 

You can also check the flame’s color when you light your joint. If it appears weird, your cannabis may be laced with chemicals like smell enhancers. 

Apart from these tests, there is not a lot you can do to test your cannabis for adulteration. So, if you ever suspect your cannabis of being laced, your best bet is to toss the bud and find a new supplier. It’s better to lose a few bucks than to risk your health. 

What Happens if You Smoke Laced Cannabis?

effects of laced cannabis

Laced cannabis comes in so many forms that it's difficult to identify the exact consequences. It causes different effects, depending on what drugs or substances have been laced within. 

Here are some of the common symptoms users experience when they consume laced marijuana.

  • Cannabis laced with central nervous system depressants will produce extreme lethargy or sedation
  • Hallucinogenic drugs, like LSD, laced with cannabis produce delusions or hallucinations
  • Stimulants like meth or cocaine can make you feel intensely focused, happy, or energetic
  • Drugs that cause downers, like heroin, can induce extreme lethargy, nausea, or relaxation in you when laced in with cannabis
  • Cannabis laced with glass, fungi, or laundry detergent may cause coughing, vomiting, or sharp pain in the lungs or throat 
  • If the cannabis is laced with inert plant materials to increase the quantity, you may not experience any high at all
  • Other symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing difficulty, lightheadedness, dizziness, dissociation, altered heart rate, blood pressure, etc.
  • Some forms of laced cannabis can also induce insomnia, appetite changes, jitters, irritability, aggression, psychosis, delusions, jitters, etc.

If you notice any of these symptoms after smoking up and know that it is not just a bad trip, you have consumed laced cannabis. The below section discusses what to do if you accidentally consume laced cannabis.

What to do if You Consume Laced Cannabis?

what to do if you consume laced marijuana

If you experience any negative symptoms after consuming cannabis, you need to act quickly. While you cannot overdose on cannabis and cannabis bad trips are temporary, laced cannabis is a lot more dangerous and can cause an overdose. 

If your symptoms are severe, you should ask your sober friend to rush you to the hospital. Medical help is the best way to deal with laced cannabis consumption. Medical professionals can help you reduce the negative effects and get through it well under supervision.

Look out for symptoms of a drug overdose, like rapid heart rate, stressed breathing, paranoia or confusion, chills, slurred speech, etc. If you notice these symptoms, you should immediately call the emergency helpline number of your region. 

How to Avoid Purchasing Laced Cannabis?

How to Avoid Purchasing Laced Cannabis?

Pure, unlaced cannabis is completely safe to consume and the worst thing that can happen is the rare bad trip. However, you can’t always know whether the cannabis you’re buying is laced or not. 

You need to be wary and avoid purchasing laced cannabis at all costs. You can use the following tips to avoid laced cannabis:

  • Never purchase ground cannabis
  • Avoid buying it from someone who will not let you inspect the product 
  • Use the above-mentioned tips on identifying laced cannabis while inspecting the product
  • Do not purchase cannabis that smells, looks, or feels odd
  • Avoid purchasing cannabis that appears to have impurities or is extremely glossy
  • Avoid purchasing cannabis illicitly. Choose reputable dealers
  • Read the product reviews before purchasing the product
  • If you suspect your cannabis is laced, you should toss it — it’s not worth the risk

Is Laced Cannabis Different from Synthetic Cannabis?

Is Laced Cannabis Different from Synthetic Cannabis?

While both laced and synthetic cannabis should be avoided, they are not the same. Laced cannabis is actual cannabis mixed in with other substances or drugs, whereas synthetic cannabis is not cannabis — it is similar-looking herbs (like tobacco) mixed with synthetic cannabinoids. 

Synthetic cannabis became popular after John William Huffman (Clemson University)’s study of cannabinoids and formulas for synthetic cannabinoids became public in 2008. And this product is aimed at the consumer who is looking for a cannabis alternative. 

Synthetic cannabis is sold under names like Synncanns, Spice, SCs, or K2. These products are illegally made and sold to consumers using marketing buzzwords like completely natural cannabis, cannabis substitute, or organic herbs.

However, synthetic cannabis also has the potential for severe side effects and abuse. Synthetic cannabis is not a legal alternative to cannabis.

Synthetic cannabis is made with a chemical analog that binds to the CB1 receptors, producing similar effects as THC but on a much more intense scale. This is because THC has partial efficacy, but synthetic cannabinoids have maximum efficacy. In fact, synthetic cannabinoids can be 600x more potent than THC!

Here are the problems with consuming synthetic cannabis:

  • You are not consuming cannabis, but rather a mix of synthetic cannabinoids and herbs that resemble cannabis buds
  • Synthetic cannabis is harsher to smoke and can cause throat burn and lung-ache
  • It has the potential for severe side effects and addiction
  • Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, racing heart, chest pain, headaches, blackouts, high blood pressure, kidney damage, psychosis, and internal bleeding
  • Your body cannot process synthetic cannabinoids as it can do with the phytocannabinoids present in cannabis 

Like identifying laced cannabis, you can also identify synthetic cannabis in the following ways:

  • Synthetic cannabis is often sold in plastic zip-lock bags or foil packs and may contain stickers like “not for human consumption”
  • It may look like a mix of herbs like ground-up grass or tobacco
  • Synthetic cannabis tends to have a harsh, chemical smell to it with an undernote of tobacco or grass 

Summary: What is Laced Weed and How to Identify It?

Our love for cannabis has us purchasing and trying out different products, whether out for recreation or medicinal purposes.

However, a few dealers give a bad rep to the majority by lacing their cannabis with other products and substances. Whether they are looking for more profits, recurring clientele, or trying to grow the biggest buds possible, they are hurting their consumers.

You need to be alert and avoid any kind of cannabis that smells or looks funky. Always choose dealers that are reputable and licensed, and avoid buying cannabis from the streets. 

Laced cannabis is now a rare thing, but it can still happen. However, take this information with a grain of salt because it would make it very expensive for a dealer to spike weed with fentanyl, heroin, or cocaine since they are much more expensive than cannabis. From a financial standpoint, it doesn't make sense. But, if the primary purpose is to get users hooked to addiction, it could happen. 

This article does not intend to scare you, but to make informed purchases so you end up buying clean cannabis, not the one laced with harmful drugs or substances. 



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What in the actual fuck
@Ezzjaybruh, the articles are not meant only for the people on this site. And, you can get laced weed if you don't buy from a reputed supplier.
@Silverback_Guerilla, yeah let’s just scare the shit outta ppl
@Ezzjaybruh, this just seems like a ridiculous topic on a site where everybody grows their own....I
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Yeah...I'm not a fan of this article. Sounds like it came from someone who doesn't even smoke.
OMG, my weed is laced with incidental cosmic space dust!