Fentanyl-laced cannabis cited as causing recent overdoses in Tennessee

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Officials in Winchester, Tenn. last week responded to reports of three fentanyl overdoses. The powerful synthetic opioid was in cannabis in two of the cases, making it likely the individuals involved had no idea they were consuming the dangerous substance.

There has been much discussion around whether or not cannabis consumers should be even more concerned with the origin of their bud, building on the ‘what if it’s laced’ caution told by concerned parents for decades. Unfortunately, those fears were substantiated in Winchester when fentanyl-laced cannabis was implicated in two recent overdose incidents.

image001 Fentanyl laced cannabis cited as causing recent overdoses in Tennessee

The unresponsive individuals were all given Narcan to treat the overdose prior to receiving medical attention. Narcan, whose name brand is Naloxene, is an opioid antagonist used by first-responders to counter the nervous system and respiratory issues that can lead to death during an overdose.

As a result of these incidents, local officials released a dangerous drug alert over social media channels, warning the public that a tainted batch of marijuana is making the rounds. Police chief Ritchie Lewis stated the fact that the fentanyl was found in cannabis took the department by surprise, sharing that it is typically found in ‘harder’ drugs like heroin.

Cannabis is still illegal in Tennessee, but it is known to be used in a recreational sense, especially during the summer music festival months, Winchester police report. Officials hope that by warning the public about the potential danger, further overdose issues can be avoided, especially with upcoming music festival Bonnaroo being hosted in nearby Coffee County.

Laced cannabis is still relatively rare in the U.S., and rarer still in Canada. There are multiple reasons that drug dealers cut their products with other substances, namely cost savings.

There is risk in obtaining cannabis from illegal sources, so it is crucial for safety reasons to know what weed can be laced with and how to spot it.

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