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  • Smoking Ketamine | Effects & Dangers Of Ketamine Abuse

    Smoking Ketamine | Can You Smoke Ketamine?

    Depending on how it’s used, ketamine can be an anesthetic (a numbing agent) or an illegal dissociative drug. As a white powder, ketamine is often combined with cannabis joints or tobacco cigarettes for smoking.

    Smoking ketamine is a form of drug abuse. It can cause many side effects in the short term and long term.

    Short-Term Effects Of Smoking Ketamine

    Once smoked, ketamine acts on the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. It is thought to bind to opioid receptors and affect certain pathways in the brain. Ketamine affects several different parts of the brain, and as a result different parts of the body and mind.

    Because ketamine is a dissociative drug, it may affect the body without your knowledge.

    Smoking or snorting ketamine may also increase the chances of adverse effects, which can include:

    • increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • drowsiness and sedation
    • nausea
    • confusion
    • anxiety


    Ketamine may be preferred over other hallucinogens such LSD or PCP because its effects do not last as long. A ketamine “trip” usually lasts for under an hour, while other hallucinogens may last as long as 12 hours.

    Ketamine trips can cause many different experiences. It can be impossible to tell what type of trip you may have before smoking it. A ketamine trip can feel pleasant and colorful (“k-land”), seem like a near-death experience (“k-hole“), or cause an infant-like state (“baby food”).

    Memory Loss

    If a person is tripping on ketamine, they may display rapid eye movement, dilated pupils, salivation, and muscle stiffness. Ketamine’s effects on memory may lead a person to not remember experiencing these effects.


    High doses of ketamine can result in an overdose. Overdoses often lead to severe respiratory depression (extremely slowed breathing) and unconsciousness. Immediate medical attention is needed to treat an overdose.

    Long-Term Effects Of Smoking Ketamine

    Substance abuse of ketamine can lead to Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). HPPD is a state of psychosis where people may hallucinate after stopping the drug. HPPD is sometimes reported in people who have taken LSD, MDMA, ketamine, and PCP.

    Smoking ketamine can also damage your respiratory system. Other long-term effects of smoking ketamine can include:

    Is Ketamine Addictive?

    Ketamine’s Schedule III controlled status means that it has less potential for dependence and withdrawal than Schedule I drugs like heroin.

    However, some people have reported withdrawal symptoms after long-term ketamine use. More data is needed to determine how long-term ketamine use may or may not lead to addiction.

    Ketamine Abuse

    Smoking ketamine is only one form of abuse. Ketamine can also be snorted, injected, or drunk illegally. Ketamine is available in some brand name forms (such as Ketalar and Ketaset), but these uses are limited. All other forms of ketamine drug use are illegal.

    Legal Vs. Illegal Ketamine

    Ketamine is legally available as a liquid or nasal spray. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in patients undergoing surgery, as an anesthetic. 

    Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, with limited legal use.

    As an illegal recreational drug, ketamine is a hallucinogen, sold as a liquid or white powder. Many people smoke ketamine at raves and nightclubs for its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects, where they may feel completely detached from their environment. 

    In these circles, ketamine has street names like “Special K,” “Vitamin K,” “Kit Kat,” “Cat Valium,” and others.

    Ketamine abuse in any form can put your health at risk. To learn more about the different ways ketamine abuse can be treated, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Common Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)​​​
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Commonly Used Drugs Charts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    National Library of Medicine - Ketamine | C13H16CINO - Pubchem
    United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - Drug Fact Sheet: Ketamine

    Medically Reviewed by
    Davis Sugar, M.D.
    on January 31, 2023
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