Substance Use

What Are Sherm Drugs? Smoking PCP or Embalming Fluid

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What Are Sherm Drugs?

Have you heard someone talking about sherm but don’t know what it means? Sherm drugs refer to smoking marijuana joints or tobacco cigarettes dipped in PCP or embalming fluid. PCP, also known as “angel dust” on the streets, and embalming fluid are dissociated drugs. PCP use is most common among young adults and high school students. So it’s vital to understand what sherm drugs are and their adverse effects.

If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome addiction, we can help. Zinnia Health offers a range of rehab programs at treatment centers nationwide. For immediate professional treatment assistance, please reach out to one of our addiction specialists either online or by phone at (855) 430-9439.

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What Is Sherm Slang?

Sherm is the slang term or street name for tobacco or marijuana cigarettes dipped in PCP or embalming fluid. Many people call these dipped joints and cigarettes “wet drugs.” You may also find that sherm is referred to by some of the many nicknames used for PCP, embalming fluid, or sherm drugs.

Common street names for PCP include: 

  • Angel dust
  • Boat or love boat
  • Crystal joints
  • Elephant tranquilizer
  • Embalming fluid
  • Hog
  • Killer weed or superweed
  • Ozone
  • Peace pill
  • Rocket fuel
  • Sawgrass or supergrass
  • The sheets
  • Tic tac
  • Zoom

Common street names for embalming fluid include:

  • Dip
  • Illy
  • Fry
  • Wack
  • Water

Common street names for weed or tobacco laced with PCP or embalming fluid include:

  • Sherm
  • Shermans
  • Wet drugs

What Does Sherm Have in It?

Sherm drugs can be cigarettes, weed, or other leafy materials laced with PCP or embalming fluid. Dealers often use embalming fluid to dissolve PCP or enhance the effects of marijuana. Both are categorized as hallucinogenic and dissociative drugs, producing mind-altering “out of body” and hallucinations.

What Is the Drug PCP?

PCP stands for the substance phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (or phencyclidine). On the streets, PCP is a synthetic drug most commonly called angel dust. In the 1950s, PCP was developed as an intravenous anesthetic for surgery patients. It’s no longer used for medical purposes because of its adverse effects. As a dissociative drug and hallucinogen, PCP is highly addictive.

PCP is a white crystal-like powder that dissolves in water or alcohol. On the streets, PCP is illegally available in various forms, including:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Liquid
  • Crystal
  • Powder

Depending on its form, PCP can be injected, smoked, snorted, or swallowed. Users often mix PCP with marijuana, tobacco, and other leafy substances like parsley, mint, or oregano.

PCP, along with the human and animal anesthetic ketamine and the cough medicine dextromethorphan (DXM), is a type of drug categorized as a dissociative anesthetic. That means it makes you feel detached from your environment, and lights and sounds may seem distorted.

What Is the Difference Between PCP and Sherm?

There are a few key differences between PCP and sherm, as many think they’re the same. For one, PCP is a single drug synthetically made by mixing several easy-to-obtain lab chemicals. Secondly, PCP can be consumed alone or with other drugs, and it comes in several forms.

On the other hand, sherm is a term used for any type of cigarette dipped in PCP, embalming fluid, or both. Sherm drugs are a combination of drugs consumed by smoking to achieve a prolonged and enhanced high or euphoria. That’s what it means when someone speaks of smoking sherm.

What Do You Use Embalming Fluid For?

Embalming fluid contains formaldehyde and other solvents, including ethyl alcohol and methanol. Morticians in funeral homes and scientists in medical laboratories use embalming fluid to preserve bodies and specimens.

Dealers get embalming fluid either from stealing, people in the funeral industry, or chemical manufacturers. People use embalming fluid to make marijuana cigarettes burn slower and longer. It’s also used to enhance the high that weed produces. 

When it comes to substance use disorders, Zinnia Health has you covered. Whether addicted to sherm drugs or some other substance, our wide range of therapies offers treatment options that can be tailored to your needs. Simply call our 25-hour hotline at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about the treatment process.

What Are the Effects of Sherm?

If you smoke marijuana or other street drugs, you may not always know what you’re getting. So, how do you know if you’ve done sherm? Sherm use causes many adverse effects, particularly on your central nervous system (CNS).

The side effects of smoking sherm will vary from person to person depending on the dose, how it was consumed, and what it was taken with. PCP and embalming fluid have similar dissociative and hallucinogenic effects. As mentioned, many people smoke sherm that contains both.

According to phencyclidine toxicity information published by the National Library of Medicine, PCP can cause the following symptoms:

  • Agitation and confusion
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Muscle rigidity or loss of muscle control 
  • Violent behavior 
  • Self-injury due to intoxication
  • Seizures
  • Muscle damage to major organs
  • Heart attack
  • Coma

PCP rarely causes complications to the respiratory system. However, smoking formaldehyde-laced cigarettes does affect the lungs. Following are some of the side effects of embalming fluid aside from the similar CNS effects it may cause:

  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Lung damage
  • Airway ulcerations
  • Respiratory failure

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shared the following statistics involving PCP use in the US:

  • In 2020, 546 case mentions, 212 single exposures, and two deaths
  • In 2021, 438 case mentions, 165 single exposures, and one death 

In addition, in 2020, there was an increase in the initial use of PCP as reported by Americans 12 and older — 30,000 to 52,000 individual PCP users. As such, while the number of deaths may not be as high as fentanyl and other opioids, it still can be dangerous.

What’s more worrisome is that many young people are using. PCP is psychologically addictive and can lead to drug tolerance, use of high doses, and dangerous withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop. 

Get Help for Your Drug Addiction

Cigarette and marijuana smokers may attempt to prolong or enhance the effects of these drugs. Dealers often sell joints laced with PCP or embalming fluid, known as wet drugs, sherm drugs, or simply sherm on the streets. The changing legal status of marijuana in many states and the easy accessibility of PCP and embalming fluid may influence the rise in sherm use among young people.

While not as life-threatening as other drugs, sherm use still puts you at risk of experiencing addiction, tolerance, and many harmful effects, including seizures, coma, and heart attacks. 

Help is just a phone call away when you look at all that Zinnia Health offers. Our substance use and mental health treatment programs include everything from detox and outpatient care to inpatient rehab and aftercare. Call our drug helpline at (855) 430-9439 — we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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