Fentanyl Laced Weed

Fentanyl Laced Weed

We all saw the story, News Channel 5 reported that fentanyl-laced weed was found by the Winchester Police Department. While this story first aired back in 2019, it still sparked panic among Tennessee residents. Everyone talked about the dangers of fentanyl and how this could really harm the public. However, a new story was released this past September from News Channel 11 out of Johnson City. It stated that there have been no samples of marijuana testing positive for fentanyl. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) reported that they have found fentanyl in meth and cocaine, but not in marijuana.

At ReVIDA® Recovery, our goal is to bring as much knowledge to our communities as possible. We work to bring education and resources to those in need. So, is fentanyl-laced weed a real thing? Is it dangerous if you accidentally get some? Is marijuana use potentially putting you at risk? Read on to learn everything you need to know to keep yourself safe.

What Does Laced Mean and What Drugs Are More Common?

Laced is a term used to describe adding one substance to another. When selling substances, dealers can add other substances in order to stretch their inventory and increase profits, which puts people at risk. Lacing, mixing, and cutting are all similar terms for this process. Mixing or cutting can mean any substance is being added to the drug, whether to add more volume or increase effects. Typically, with lacing, the substance being added is another drug to increase the effects. One of the most common drugs used for lacing in our society today is fentanyl. It has been mixed with many drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The dangerous question becomes “is my marijuana contaminated?”.

Mixing Fentanyl and Weed, A Deadly Combination?

While we mentioned above that fentanyl-laced weed has not been found in Tennessee yet, that does not mean it cannot happen. However, if you are using weed and fentanyl at the same time, the effects of each can clash with one another. Fentanyl is a depressant while marijuana can have depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogenic effects. Typically, weed will amplify the mood you are already in. If you are feeling relaxed from using fentanyl, weed will increase those feelings.

If you are using fentanyl regularly, you may be showing signs of fentanyl addiction. Polysubstance use – using more than one substance at the same time – can cause physical and mental health problems. Managing a polysubstance use disorder does not have to be permanent, and help is available in the Appalachia area.

The Dangers of Smoking Weed Laced with Fentanyl

When smoked together, weed and fentanyl can cause serious problems. Fentanyl slows the central nervous system, while marijuana can cause slowing and altering of the body and mind. In high doses, marijuana can cause hallucinations and psychosis. When mixed with fentanyl, these mind-altering situations can be extremely difficult to navigate. It is hard to remember events that have already happened and if they were real to begin with. Risky behaviors are more likely to take place, such as unprotected sex or reckless driving. These can lead to life-threatening consequences.

The Effects of Smoking Fentanyl-Laced Weed

When it comes to smoking fentanyl or weed, the overall consensus is that these contribute to harm reduction. However, smoking fentanyl can cause a slew of side effects. Some fentanyl side effects include:

  • Itching
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Increased anxiety or depression
  • Lethargy

Smoking marijuana is not seen as a big threat. Marijuana binds to THC receptors in the brain, which happens naturally with THC-like chemicals. While there are some side effects that some people find unpleasant, most of the side effects of weed are mild. They can include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Altered senses or sense of time
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Psychosis
  • Slowed or impaired movements

Is My Marijuana Contaminated – Risk of Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid, 50-100 times more potent than morphine. For those that do not typically use opioids, a fentanyl overdose is more likely to occur, even after just one use. Signs of a fentanyl overdose include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Bluish tint to the fingernails and lips
  • Unconsciousness or coma

Weed mixed with fentanyl is more likely to cause an overdose due to both being depressants. While certain types of marijuana can have stimulant effects, most often it gives a feeling similar to a depressant. Fentanyl slows the central nervous system, which controls functions like breathing and heart rate. Even a single dose of fentanyl in weed can cause breathing to stop altogether, leading to an overdose.

If a fentanyl overdose is ever suspected, seek medical attention immediately. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, it is called hypoxia. A person with prolonged hypoxia can endure lasting brain damage. Narcan® (naloxone HCl) is the first response to a fentanyl (or any opioid) overdose. First responders carry this at all times, and it is available at certain convenience stores. Make sure to be honest with the medical professionals about all substances used and if Narcan® (naloxone HCl) has been administered. This will give them all the information they need to treat accordingly.

How Can You Tell if You Have Laced Marijuana?

Fentanyl is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. This makes it extremely difficult to tell if your marijuana has been laced with it. The only way to tell for sure is to use fentanyl test strips. In March of 2022, Tennessee officially took fentanyl test strips off of the paraphernalia list. That makes the strips 100% legal to process, and the government in the state of Tennessee has been working to make them readily available to the public.

To use a test strip, mix a small sample of cannabis in water. Dip the strip into the water to the “max” line. Lay the strip flat to dry for at least 5 minutes. If a singular red line appears in the middle of the strip, it is positive for fentanyl. Two red lines indicate a negative result, and the second line can be slightly less red or pink.

Resources For Getting Treatment

Seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder is a big step in the right direction. There are so many stigmas that come with both fentanyl use and substance use disorder treatment that are untrue and harmful. One of the reasons many avoid treatment is fentanyl withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and life-threatening, which keeps the person using it. Addiction treatment facilities with detox programs are equipped to handle these symptoms and make the transition to fentanyl-free as seamless as possible.

More and more facilities and programs are using a harm-reduction approach to fentanyl addiction treatment. This is a great way to put the person first, and address addiction on their terms to help ensure success.

Here at ReVIDA® Recovery, we believe in treating our patients on the individual level. No two opioid use disorder stories are the same, and we pride ourselves in learning about you as a person first. We use medication-assisted treatment (MAT), therapy and counseling, as well as outpatient services to reclaim the lives of our patients and help them find success and lasting recovery.

If you or someone you love is managing a polysubstance use disorder or a fentanyl addiction, the road to recovery is through this door. At ReVIDA® Recovery, we are here to help you reclaim your life and your health, and build a strong and rewarding future in recovery. Call us today at 423-631-0432 to schedule a consultation.

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FAQs: Information About Weed That Is Fentanyl Laced

What are the side effects of smoking weed laced with fentanyl?

Side effects of smoking fentanyl-laced weed include psychosis, mood changes, slow or impaired movements, and itching.

How dangerous is it to smoke weed laced with fentanyl?

By smoking weed laced with fentanyl, the chance of an overdose increases.

How to tell if weed has been laced with fentanyl?

The safest way to tell if weed has been laced with fentanyl is to use a fentanyl test strip.