I have very little chemistry experience in the classroom, but just looking at the formaldehyde molecule, does not indicate that it should cause any effects. It lacks that typical benzene ring that all psychoactive substances (aside from ethanol, ether vapors, and maybe a handful of others) contain. But I can’t seem to find a single page that actually proves it one way or the other! Erowid has some accounts, but most are vague and the fact that PCP was or wasn’t contained in a subject’s urine doesn’t tell me whether or not formaldehyde actually produces effects when its smoked with marijuana. Let it be known I have no interest in attempting this. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic and I couldn’t imagine inhaling it. I want to know if those few very determined (or very stupid) individuals that did smoke formaldehyde (embalming fluid also contains methanol, which would theoretically evaporate, as would formaldehyde for that matter because it is a gas at room temp) did so in vein or are have they really discovered an alternative to huffing paint (or drinking denatured alcohol).
I found one article, Neuropsychological effects of formaldehyde use | Journal of Psychoactive Drugs | Find Articles at BNET which suggests that Formaldehyde does produce some effects in the brain, even without PCP (although most “embalming fluid” sold on the streets does contain it) and that a lot of people dip their pot in embalming fluid purchased legally and claim it increases the effects.
Another article, posted on another forum, talks about the serious problem formaldehyde-laced marijuana cigarettes are causing in New Jersey. In it, a police chief describes many people he has seen who go berserk after smoking embalming fluid. He swears up and down that the practice causes people to become agitated and violent. I’d be curious to know if any of these insane individuals were actually tested. I suppose if one came up negative for PCP, there would be some foundation for believing that formaldehyde is causing the behavior. But this separation is never really mentioned.
Either both sources are entirely delusional (which I’m beginning to think they are) or there’s a bigger picture. I suppose I should state one more time that I’m not asking whether or not it should be attempted, as I think any wise person would agree that it shouldn’t. Is this just a drug propaganda rumor that has gone way, way too far? What do you guys think?