Plants have evolved to produce an amazing variety of chemical compounds known as secondary metabolites. These chemicals often serve to deter herbivores, protect against pathogens and neighbors, or mitigate the effects of radiation, among numerous other uses.
The majority of us think that Cannabis is the only natural growing plant that people use around the world to get high. Most people don’t realize other plants can have the same effects when consumed. Here’s our list of 11 naturally cultivated plants that can get you high.
First on our list and rown all over the world, cannabis (marijuana) is probably the most-widespread plant with psychoactive properties. Known for its characteristic leaves, the plant is used in religious practices in India and Africa (and probably elsewhere) and is sometimes used illicitly in the United States and Europe, though its legal status is changing in many places. The active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is present in all parts of both the male and female plants but is most concentrated in the flowering tops of the female. These buds are usually dried and crushed and put into pipes or formed into cigarettes (joints) for smoking but can also be added to foods and beverages. Psychological effects tend to predominate, with the user commonly experiencing a mild euphoria and alterations in vision and judgment that result in distortions of time and space. Acute intoxication may occasionally induce visual hallucinations, anxiety, depression, paranoid reactions, and psychoses lasting four to six hours. Marijuana’s physical effects include reddening of the eyes, dryness of the mouth and throat, moderate increase in rapidity of the heartbeat, tightness of the chest (if the drug is smoked), drowsiness, unsteadiness, and muscular incoordination. Hashish, a more-powerful form of the drug, is made by collecting and drying the plant’s resin and is about eight times as strong as the marijuana typically smoked in the United States
Salvia divinorum is a plant that many know as “sage”. But this sage is not the spices you use to cook with. Salvia, as many have shortened it, is a natural plant that has long since been known to create visions in the users mind. This plant is just over a meter high and has incredibly large leaves as well. Sometimes, you can find white or purple flowers growing on the stems as well.
Datura is a naturally growing plant. It is about as common as crabgrass and grows all over the world. It’s known widely as both “The Devil’s Weed” and “Jimson Weed.” It causes hallucinations for up to 48 hours. Users have reported hearing music coming out of walls, visions of animals, and sparkles surrounding everything they see. The Daily Mail reports hundreds are killed each year from Datura abuse. It can be consumed in multiple ways, including smoking the plant in cigarettes, snorting a powdered substance made from its crushed leaves, and consuming it via brewed teas. Due to its prolific spread, and its popularity on the Internet, Datura is quickly becoming one of the most prominent ways for teens to get high legally. While it has been used medicinally and spiritually for centuries, Datura is a poisonous plant, and overuse can cause dire illness, if not death. Parents should absolutely be on the lookout for this strange spiky weed.
Kanna also known as “Sceletium Tortuosum” is a herb that works wonders for mind-alteration. It’s readily available and users mostly enjoy it because of its anxiety-reducing and mood boosting effects.
Damiana is a plant that provides effects very similar to cannabis, but it doesn’t need to be smoked or eaten to feel these effects; it only needs to be smelled. The relaxed feeling that comes over a person immediately after smelling it is the reason it’s often turned into incense. But it can also be processed in tea or into a sugary form. When taken in high doses damiana can provide for hallucinations but it is legal almost everywhere in the world, including the United States with the exception of Louisiana. When combined with cannabinoids found in cannabis it becomes Black Mamba, which is illegal in most parts of the world including the U.K.
Peyote is a low-growing plant that looks very much like a mushroom. But it’s actually a cactus and there’s only one place to find it – in the Chihuahuan Desert that covers part of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.
When used to get high, the tops of the cactus are cut and dried to create what are known as mescal buttons, which contain alkaloid mescaline that can make the person that consumed it hallucinate. There is a lot of variation with user’s experience with this psychedelic plant, not just from person to person but also from one person’s experience to their next one. It’s said that the personality of the individual, as well as their mood at the time, will have a large effect on the extent of those hallucinations. In nearly all cases though, hallucinations are completely visual and are not accompanied by sound.
Morning Glory is so prevalent throughout the world that many gardeners find it to be one of the most annoying weeds that can quickly overtake their space. But after chewing them, the seeds of this plant can provide for some serious hallucinations. To make these hallucinations even more intense, Morning Glory seeds can be soaked and then crushed into a paste. Some wait until the seeds have sprouted after soaking, as it’s said that this will increase the high and bring on more hallucinations. While Morning Glory and its seeds are legal in most parts of the world including the U.S. and U.K., extracting the LSA that causes the high from them is illegal in these same parts of the world.
For those looking for a high other than what cannabis can provide, there are many psychedelic plants grown around the world that provide both illegal and legal highs. It’s always recommended that people be careful while using them, starting in small doses and then increasing to larger doses if necessary. People should always check the laws in their area to ensure that they are not doing anything illegal or dangerous.
Anyone that’s watched Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show knows about Ayahuasca and the powerful effects this psychedelic plant can bring. This vine, which is native to South America, is cut down and then made into a tea. It’s then used to provide people with spiritual guidance, that will help provide a better understanding of themselves and the universe. It’s been said that it’s much like your life flashing before your eyes, while others have only been taken back to their childhood.
While it’s often used as part of rituals for the Amazonian people, there have been some deaths reported with its use. Namely due to the fact that some undergo serious psychological distress while under the influence of the drug. Vomiting and diarrhea are common, particularly immediately after taking the drug, and the shamans that administer it claim that this is the purging of negative energies.
Morphine, opiates and codeine are just a few of the drugs providing legal highs that come from the opium poppy. But it’s also the plant responsible for illegal highs as well, such as heroin. The drug comes from the milky liquid excreted from the unripe seed capsules. These drugs have many effects as they do their work on the brain and spinal cord. These include pain relief, helping with anxiety, sedative qualities, and giving the user a state of euphoria or mood changes. A user’s tolerance can increase the more opium they use, which is the most common cause of death in heroin and morphine users. This is because they need more of the drug to get the same high the next time they use it and that can easily lead to overdose.
Nutmeg is a plant that known by most households in the UK and has been around for for quite a number of years. It’s excellent when used as a tasty ingredient in food but also has euphoric and even hallucinogenic qualities when used in other ways. Our research has lead us to believe that it’s not the actual plant that gets one high, it’s the seeds.
Dry herb vaping the seeds can produce an awesome high. However it’s also known to have less desirable side effects such as extreme tiredness, so it’s maybe not the best choice.
Passion flowers have, in recent years, been found to create certain mind-altering effects. It is not actually the flower part of the plant that creates these illusions, but the stem and roots. The calming effects by this plant can also come from eating large amounts of the fruit it creates. Passion flowers can have many different color pets like reds and purples and each plant can look completely different from the next. The dried leaves of the plant have been known to have calming effects that often result in sleeping states.
Betel nut may seem fairly innocuous, as the leaves of this psychedelic plant are simply wrapped around the nut (or seed) with a pellet of slaked lime and chewed. Doing so will cause the user to feel euphoria and other sensations, similar to cannabis. The plant is most popular in places such as India, Thailand and Malaysia, and it’s known to be the fourth most addictive drug in the world. Those who use it regularly typically have lips and teeth that are stained in a red color. But aside from being addictive, this plant has been linked to multiple types of cancer, including that of the mouth and esophageal.