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Fentanyl Laced Weed: 3 Myths You Should Stop Believing Now

By Ashley Hinson
Fentanyl lacing of illicit drugs has augmented the opioid crisis. But should you be concerned about fentanyl in marijuana?

Fentanyl-laced drugs have been found circulating within America’s illegal drug trade during recent years. At the same time, marijuana use and marijuana legalization are becoming more common. You may have also heard rumors about fentanyl laced weed that periodically gain traction online. But what is fact, and what is fiction? Read on to explore three myths regarding the presence of fentanyl in marijuana.

Myth 1: Fentanyl laced weed has caused widespread fatalities.

Fentanyl is a tasteless and odorless synthetic opioid. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) notes that fentanyl’s effects are “intense” and “short-term,” and that the opioid is frequently added to heroin.  

According to the DEA, fentanyl is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. This is why it is especially dangerous when it appears in a substance without the user’s knowledge. A fentanyl dose as small as 2mg can result in fatal overdose. 

“Overdoses overall are on the rise, and not only opiate overdoses are high in 2021, but also methamphetamine and cocaine overdoses are on the rise. Fentanyl is, unfortunately, a big part of this,” Weinstein says.

However, should the public worry about fatalities resulting from fentanyl laced weed? “There is no scientific data that would validate the assumption [that fentanyl-laced weed is causing widespread fatalities] thus far,” Lawrence Weinstein, MD, ABHM, FASAM, FAMA, and Chief Medical Officer at American Addiction Centers, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

Myth 2: Drug dealers lace weed with fentanyl to cause dependency.

Fentanyl has indeed been confirmed to be present in certain street drugs, including crack cocaine. But have laboratory analyses confirmed the drug’s presence in marijuana?

According to the Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN), there have been no laboratory-confirmed cases of fentanyl laced cannabis. The rumor that drug dealers lace weed with fentanyl to cause clients to develop drug addiction is not substantiated, or financially sound. According to OHRN, fentanyl has a high-profit margin, whereas marijuana has a low-profit margin. In other words, lacing marijuana with fentanyl wouldn't make financial sense. 

Additionally, fentanyl's high potential for fatal overdose makes it a bad option for producing dependence. “The idea they would enhance dependency does not hold water because of the lethality of [fentanyl]. That’s truly a myth,” Weinstein says.

Myth 3: Testing positive for fentanyl and marijuana means that you used adulterated weed.

According to the OHRN, residue from a bag or a surface can cause cross-contamination of fentanyl and marijuana. And testing positive for both fentanyl and marijuana doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve used fentanyl laced weed. 

“It is more likely that that person also may test positive for other substances for fentanyl. [Fentanyl] is much more prevalent to be used in cutting opioids. It doesn’t mean that other substances cannot be laced with fentanyl, but based on frequency and likelihood, it is most likely other substances that one would need to be tested for,” Weinstein says. 

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