Marijuana is among the most commonly used substances in the United States, especially as legal use continues to become more widespread. Around 12 percent of the adult population smokes pot, a statistic that rises to 22 percent among those 18 to 29.
Marijuana is also increasingly found in combination with other drugs. For many who use marijuana recreationally and choose to blend it with other substances, ecstasy, also referred to as MDMA or molly, is a popular choice. This is particularly true for those who like to use drugs while at parties, clubs or raves. While seemingly innocuous, this combination has the potential to be very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
The Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana is a plant found organically in nature that can be smoked or ingested via edibles. THC, the colloquial term for tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the primary cannabinoids in marijuana, enters the bloodstream after consumption, either through the lungs or the stomach. When in the body, marijuana often produces a relaxed and euphoric sensation. Many people who use marijuana do so to minimize stress.
Overdosing on marijuana is extremely difficult, bordering on impossible. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t cause unpleasant effects when taken in large doses. Marijuana use can cause paranoia, trouble thinking clearly, impulsive decision-making, and, in rare cases, a form of acute psychosis that includes hallucinations and delusions.
In some people, particularly those vulnerable to mental illness, marijuana use is linked to the onset of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. This is rare but can be extremely dangerous for those affected. Mental disorders triggered by marijuana are often chronic and incurable.
The Effects of Ecstasy and Similar Drugs
Unlike marijuana, which is primarily used to relax and unwind in low key settings, MDMA, also called ecstacy, E, or molly, is a party drug. Marijuana is a habit for many people, with regular users smoking or consuming cannabis daily on several times per week, but this is generally not true of ecstacy. Ecstasy, on the other hand, is most commonly consumed at nightclubs, parties and raves. It is most common among young people, like college students and those in their early to mid-twenties.
Ecstasy provides a different kind of high than marijuana. As the name implies, it tends to induce extreme euphoria. Users often feel high levels of affection for those around them and are more alert and energetic than usual. This effect makes ecstacy appealing for clubs and parties; users have more momentum to keep the party going without feeling tired or worn out. In high doses, ecstasy can cause less than desirable side effects, like anxiety, paranoia, and episodes of confusion.
The addictive nature of MDMA is largely unknown. There’s some evidence to suggest that ecstasy isn’t traditionally addictive, but regular users may develop an attachment to the behavioral aspects of use. Chronic use of MDMA may cause heart, liver or kidney problems.
The Compound Effects of Ecstasy and Weed
For young people partying, mixing marijuana and ecstasy is becoming increasingly popular. Weed laced with molly shows up with frequency on college campuses, providing a combination drug of sorts that allows users to both relax and keep the party going.
As MDMA and weed are social drugs that are regularly used in mixed company, it’s not uncommon for both to be available at parties or other group events. Weed laced with molly, or molly and weed taken simultaneously, can cause a strange blend of the side effects of marijuana and ecstasy when taken independently. Users may feel relaxed and euphoric, as with general marijuana use, but may also enjoy the heightened elation of MDMA and increased energy.
There are a few reasons users may intentionally mix marijuana and ecstasy. Ecstasy can have an unpleasant comedown period, and marijuana can minimize the symptoms. Marijuana can also increase the psychedelic effects of ecstasy, creating a more intense high. Some users may try to extend the high of molly—a relatively short-lasting drug comparative to others—by mixing it with weed.
Dangers of Mixing Ecstasy and Marijuana
Mixing weed and ecstasy may sound like a good time, but the reality is quite different. Many risks accompany blending these two drugs, leading to the potential for both short-and-long-term consequences.
Moderation is one of the largest challenges when taking laced drugs. Because use feels different in numerous ways, including a longer high or a longer period of time before a high sets in, users may find themselves inadvertently taking larger doses than intended. This can lead to unpleasant ramifications, like nausea, vomiting, increased body temperature, vertigo, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and hallucinations. In addition, as there’s generally no easy way to tell what substances, or what quantities of substances, are in laced drugs, users may wind up taking something they don’t intend to. This can be particularly consequential for those who have a bad reaction to either marijuana or ecstasy.
Both marijuana and ecstasy can impact memory; ecstasy affects long-term memory while marijuana can compromise short-term memory. This can lead to memory loss, both during use and immediately after. Users may also make questionable decisions and employ poor judgment, leading to potential emotional, social, and legal problems. Blending these drugs can also worsen problems with cognition, including processing information. A period of abstinence often results in improvement, but prolonged and severe use can lead to ongoing challenges.
For those with symptoms of mood disorders or mental illness, using ecstasy and marijuana in conjunction can worsen side effects. Those who take weed laced with ecstasy can feel more extreme forms of anxiety and depression, which may persist after drugs wear off. Use of this mix of drugs can also reduce the efficacy of prescription medications used to manage mood disorders, leading to unpleasant side effects.
If weed laced with molly is on offer, it’s best to decline it. Even if the idea of a more intense high sounds compelling, taking both of these drugs simultaneously can be too dangerous to justify. If taking both drugs at once feels necessary, or if a satisfactory high can’t be achieved without mixing weed and ecstasy, it may be time to reevaluate drug use. A compulsion to mix these drugs in order to feel satisfied can be a sign of a substance use disorder tha needs professional treatment.
At FHE Health, our professional treatment team is prepared to address addiction issues of all kinds, including dependency issues related to marijuana and ecstasy. Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs are available. Contact us today to learn more.