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PCP (Phencyclidine)

Common or street names: Angel dust, boat, hog, love boat, wack, ozone, peace pill, dust, embalming fluid, rocket fuel. Supergrass, superweed, whacko tobacco, and killer joints refer to PCP combined with marijuana.

What is PCP?

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a mind-altering drug that may lead to hallucinations (a profound distortion in a person’s perception of reality). It is considered a dissociative drug, leading to a distortion of sights, colors, sounds, self, and one’s environment. PCP was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic, but due to the serious neurotoxic side effects, its development for human medical use was discontinued. Ketamine (Ketalar), an anesthetic used for surgery and painful procedures was developed instead and is structurally similar to PCP.

In its purest form, PCP is a white crystalline powder that readily dissolves in water or alcohol and has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. On the illicit drug market, PCP contains a number of contaminants causing the color to range from a light to darker brown with a powdery to a gummy mass consistency.

What are PCP’s effects on the brain?

Pharmacologically, PCP is a noncompetitive NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonist and glutamate receptor antagonist, but also interacts with other receptor sites, and may have effects with dopamine, opioid and nicotinic receptors.

How is PCP used?

PCP is available in a variety of tablets, capsules, and colored powders, which are either smoked, taken orally or by the intranasal route (“snorted”).

Smoking is the most common route when used recreationally. The liquid form of PCP is actually PCP base often dissolved in ether, a highly flammable solvent. For smoking, PCP is typically sprayed onto leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana. PCP may also be injected. The effects of PCP can last for 4 to 6 hours.

What are the effects of recreational PCP use?

Many believe PCP to be one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. A moderate amount of PCP often causes users to feel detached, distant, and estranged from their surroundings.

  • Numbness of the extremities, slurred speech, and loss of coordination may be accompanied by a sense of strength and invulnerability.
  • A blank stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements, and an exaggerated gait are among the more observable effects.
  • Auditory hallucinations, image distortion, severe mood disorders, and amnesia may also occur.
  • Acute anxiety and a feeling of impending doom, paranoia, violent hostility, a psychoses indistinguishable from schizophrenia.

Physiological effects of low to moderate doses of PCP include:

  • slight increase in breathing rate
  • rise in blood pressure and pulse rate
  • shallow respiration
  • flushing and profuse sweating occurs.

Physiological effects of high doses of PCP include:

  • a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration.
  • nausea, vomiting
  • blurred vision
  • flicking up and down of the eyes
  • drooling
  • loss of balance and dizziness
  • violence, suicide

High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma, and death (often due to accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication). Psychological effects at high doses include delusions and hallucinations. Users often refer to the experiences from hallucinogens as a “trip”, or calling an unpleasant experience a “bad trip.”

As with any recreational drug that may be injected, the risk for HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases from shared needles is a possibility.

Can you get addicted to PCP?

PCP is addictive and its use often leads to psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior. Long-time users of PCP report symptoms of:

  • memory loss
  • difficulties with speech and learning
  • depression
  • weight loss that can persist up to a year after stopping PCP use.

PCP has sedative effects, and interactions with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can lead to coma or accidental overdose. Many PCP users are brought to emergency rooms because of PCP’s unpleasant psychological effects or because of overdoses. In a hospital or detention setting, they often become violent or suicidal, and are very dangerous to themselves and to others. They should be kept in a calm setting and should not be left alone.

How do you treat a PCP addiction?

People who stop ongoing use of PCP experience drug cravings, increased appetite, headaches, sleepiness, depression, and sweating as common withdrawal symptoms. While studies are looking at options for drug treatment of PCP dependence, there are no specific approved treatments for PCP abuse and addiction. Patients may need to be hospitalized and receive behavioral treatments to address abuse issues with PCP.

See Also

  • Bath Salts
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Devil’s Breath
  • Ecstasy
  • Fentanyl (Abuse)
  • GHB
  • Gray Death
  • Hashish (Hash)
  • Heroin
  • Ketamine
  • Kratom
  • Krokodil
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly)
  • Mescaline (Peyote)
  • Opium
  • Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms)
  • Quaaludes
  • Rohypnol
  • Speed (methamphetamine)
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids (Synthetic Marijuana, Spice, K2)
  • TCP (Tenocyclidine)
  • U-47700 (Pink)

Sources

  • Bey T, Patel A. Phencyclidine Intoxication and Adverse Effects: A Clinical and Pharmacological Review of an Illicit Drug. Cal J Emerg Med. 2007 Feb; 8(1): 9–14.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Hallucinogens. April 2019. Accessed June 8, 2020 at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

PCP (Phencyclidine) information from Drugs.com, includes side effects, hazards and extent of usage.

The Dangers Of Mixing Marijuana And Cocaine

Combining drugs like marijuana and cocaine is more common than many people realize. However, mixing drugs can also be much more dangerous than people realize as well.

  • Marijuana & Cocaine
  • Negative Effects Of Marijuana & Cocaine

Two of the most often abused recreational drugs are cocaine and marijuana. It is not unusual for a person who is using cocaine to also be using marijuana recreationally. Combining the two is also not unheard of.

Many reasons are given as to why people mix cocaine and weed. Some individuals believe the two substances counteract, or eliminate, the negative effects of the drugs. Others think that the combination of weed and cocaine actually improves the ‘high’.

The reality is that pairing cocaine and weed together can result in serious side effects, and place the person at a higher risk of overdose. It is never recommended to mix marijuana and cocaine.

Marijuana And Cocaine

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant, and is classified as a stimulant. A cocaine ‘high’ results in euphoria, good feelings, positive mood and increase in confidence. Cocaine use also elevates the heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Anxiety and paranoia may also occur with cocaine use.

Marjuana, or weed, consists of dried leaves, flowers and buds of the Cannabis plant. The chemical in the plant that causes the ‘high’ is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is a psychoactive substance that affects people in a variety of ways.

Some people report a depressant reaction to THC, a relaxing or calming effect. Others indicate a stimulant effect, noting elevated mood, euphoria, anxiety or increased heart beat. In addition, marijuana also has some mild hallucinogenic effects.

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Combining weed and cocaine is occurring for several reasons, the most common of them being:

  • assumption that euphoria will be intensified
  • expecting the depressant effects of marijuana to counter the stimulant effect of cocaine
  • coming down off cocaine will be easier due to the effects of marijuana

Meanwhile, there are several adverse effects and negative consequences of mixing cocaine and weed together.

Negative Effects Of Combining Marijuana And Cocaine

Decreasing the stimulant effects of cocaine with marijuana can result in an increased use of cocaine. Using larger amounts of cocaine consistently can result in cocaine dependence and addiction.

Both cocaine and weed can cause cardiovascular problems. A heart issue known as tachycardia is a side effect of both substances. Tachycardia can damage the heart muscle, cause heart attacks or blood clots, resulting in strokes. Combining weed and coke increases these risks.

Cocaine causes blood vessel constriction. When weed is mixed with cocaine, it prevents the blood vessels from constricting. Cocaine enters the blood system much faster this way, and can lead to accidental cocaine overdose.

Individuals with a cocaine addiction tend to experience more intense withdrawal symptoms if they are also using cannabis. Long term marijuana abuse often leads to rehospitalization for cocaine addiction or dependence.

Using cocaine and marijuana at the same time can result in increased levels of paranoia and anxiety, since these are the effects of both drugs on their own. It is never a safe or good idea to mix cocaine and weed.

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Cocaine And Weed – In Closing

Mixing cocaine and weed is not a good idea, and can be fatal. Attempting to calm the negative effects of one drug with another can result in increased use and potential overdose.

The combination of weed and cocaine can cause cardiovascular damage, resulting in heart attacks, blood clots or stroke. Weed affects the availability of cocaine in the bloodstream, increasing risk for overdose.

Because marijuana blunts the effects of cocaine, an individual who mixes cocaine and weed are at more of a risk for developing an addiction, dependence or substance abuse disorder.

Overall, marijuana and cocaine should not be combined. The perceived positive effects are not so beneficial to outweigh the negative consequences. Mixing these two drugs is dangerous and should be avoided.

Written by Vertava Health Editorial Team

© 2020 VertavaHealth.com. All rights reserved.

This page does not provide medical advice.

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Combining drugs like marijuana and cocaine is more common than many people realize. Mixing drugs can be much more dangerous than people realize.