A lot of claims about how to detect drug fentanyl-laced weed appeared without the need of citation on Facebook and it seems to be primarily based on a single single, years-old anecdote.
On April four, 2019, the following warning appeared, containing the claim that cannabis smokers can detect fentanyl contamination by smell:
Yesterday, this post popped up in our private facebook group:
Collectively, each posts have a lot more than 60,000 shares, that is why it is time to clear up irrespective of whether this is accurate or not.
An assertion in the comments matched what we encountered seeking for any documented situations of fentanyl-contaminated marijuana. If you verify Google, you will not be capable to discover a lot of details about circumstances exactly where cannabis has been laced with fentanyl.
We lately reported the following incident:
Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff warned the public that cannabis laced with fentanyl has created its way to Sullivan County. We consider this could really properly be some sort of scare tactic by the police to retain men and women from consuming cannabis. Anyway, let’s get back to the Popcorn smell rumor.
In March 2018, BuzzFeed reported:
[The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)]’s press workplace, in turn, referred to “anecdotal reports” of fentanyl in weed from police departments, particularly a 2015 Vancouver police report claiming “fentanyl-laced marijuana” was killing drug customers. The following year, nevertheless, Vancouver police officers told neighborhood newscasters that they hadn’t really observed this.
… The mistaken police reports could possibly have come from weed that tested optimistic for fentanyl on ultrasensitive test strips that can detect the drug at concentrations as low as a single-billionth of a gram. Weed handled by dealers and men and women who could possibly use all sorts of drugs will probably have trace amounts of fentanyl, related to the way that research have discovered US currency broadly contaminated by cocaine. “The optimistic samples are from levels of contamination that are not clinically meaningful,” Ciccarone stated. “They are not felt by the individual.”
The other proof of cross contamination comes from toxicology tests on men and women who died of an overdose. That is not a sign of drug dealers purposefully adding fentanyl to marijuana, but rather that a lot of drug customers take all types of drugs.
“The smoking gun,” [epidemiologist Dan] Ciccarone stated, would be a optimistic test of a marijuana sample that contained micrograms to milligrams of fentanyl. (As small as two milligrams can be a lethal dose of fentanyl, according to the DEA.) No such record seems in the scientific literature.
A search of NIDA’s archives did not return any results for incidents of fentanyl-laced weed. Broader searches for incidents in which marijuana was tainted with fentanyl led back to reiterations that no such contamination had ever been verified, along with reports that explicitly described reported incidents as “rumored.” In a single instance, Narcan was administered to a student solely due to the fact of a rumor about fentanyl-laced marijuana:
The incident is nonetheless beneath investigation. It is unclear what, if something else was in the oil-primarily based THC and it has been sent to a laboratory for testing[.]
Info about the purported olfactory properties of fentanyl largely claimed it has no discernible odor or taste, or, alternatively, that it has a faint “powdery” scent. The latter claim was anecdotal, as was a description in a February 2017 short article mentioning “popcorn” — the feasible supply of this distinct rumor:
Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin says fentanyl is a “tidal wave” hitting Ontario and the opioid is a “game changer” due to the fact it is a lot more deadly than crack cocaine, meth or OxyContin.
In 2015, neighborhood police had 12 seizures of fentanyl. In 2016, it climbed to 69, with an extra 15 drug seizures sent to the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto to establish the substances was, or contained, deadly fentanyl.
Most of the seizures had been in powder type, says Det. Ian Young. On the street, it is recognized as china white or popcorn heroin due to the fact when fentanyl is smoked it smells like burnt popcorn, says Young, who lately spoke at a conference on opioids.
That short article was about fentanyl alone, not marijuana-laced fentanyl, and it was primarily based on an anecdote from a single police detective in Canada who stated that fentanyl itself, not laced marijuana, smelled like popcorn when smoked. But the bigger share of details about fentanyl indicated that it is mainly odorless and tasteless.
Despite the fact that cross-contamination of fentanyl has been reported in cocaine, the manner in which it occurred did not logically carry more than to provide chains of illegal marijuana (which is not powder primarily based):
“Nobody desires to kill off their buyer. Nobody’s attempting to place fentanyl in their shit to get their coke prospects [to switch] more than to heroin when their small business is coke,” [Tino Fuentes, a harm reduction and overdose reversal specialist] says, particularly given that there’s a opportunity that mixture could kill them. The a lot more probably culprit, he continues, is accidental cross-contamination.
It goes like this: Dealers rush the cleanup, sloppily wiping down the region with a rag, which suggests traces of fentanyl stay. Then they start to reduce and package a different solution — in this case, cocaine — on the exact same table, with the exact same tools.
Many 2018 news articles reported that no a single had unearthed a single case of fentanyl-laced marijuana, and we had been unable to discover any subsequent incidents of stated contamination.
So if fentanyl-laced pot is not really a factor, exactly where did these rumors origin from? Nicely, when it comes to the “misinformation” that continues to be spread by the White Home – utilizing the information collected by NIDA — all of it is primarily based on anecdotal proof from neighborhood police departments. But all of these reports were sooner or later established to be false. Even the reality-checking web site Snopes found no evidence to recommend that this drug mixture is not a reputable concern.
Also, almost all details about fentanyl’s scent indicated it was odorless or faintly powder-scented, not that it smells “like popcorn.” The inherent danger in such details becoming spread as “better secure than sorry” was lulling recreational drug customers into a dangerously false sense of safety with respect to detecting contamination from drugs such as fentanyl.
Lengthy story brief, this is clearly a rumor.