Happy 4/20, world! We may not know the origins of today's celebration, but we know how it's supposed to be celebrated
. That led us to an expedition into nature that turned up four naturally occurring plants that are perfectly legal to grow, plentiful and proven to provide a buzz.
Some of these products have even been known to cause reactions stronger than marijuana, a substance that is also plentiful (but, for some, regretfully illegal).
Unfortunately, according to "scientific experiments" done by others, many of these organic substances have pretty sour after-effects that may make you forget why you wanted to get high to begin with. Read on, but tread carefully ...
You may know nutmeg as that little brown nut that, when ground, serves as the perfect topping for eggnog and an excellent additive to pies, cookies, cakes and French toast. What you may not know is that when ingested in larger quantities, this culinary must-have can cause mild hallucinations and other narcotic-like side effects that last up to 36 hours.
About a third of a cup will do the trick, but be warned: This stuff can leave you feeling like you've gone on a date with Satan.
As an experimental Yale student wrote in the Yale Free Press
, "We experienced high levels of water retention, and when we did urinate, it felt like we were holding flame throwers. For days after, our livers took the heat for our indiscretions with intense pain."
For those who grew up in less suburban settings, you may recall plucking the purplish/red berries from nearby trees and scarfing them down for a tasty afternoon snack. Others may have seen these medium-sized berries at the supermarket.
Chances are, though, you won't find any of the hard, green, unripe version lurking in grocery aisles. That's probably because when eaten, they cause your face to reposition itself into that unpreventable "Oh my god, sour sour sour!" pose.
It also may have something to do with the fact that unripe mulberries can trigger a moderate high.
In fact, reports of psychedelic side effects -- including hallucinations -- are common, but so is an overwhelming urge to barf and explosive diarrhea.
Opium Poppy Seeds
In small quantities, the poppy seed doesn't have much of an effect. That's probably why you often see them coating foods like muffins and bagels.
However, sometimes a morphine and codeine-rich sap created by the flower leaks into the seed pod. When large quantities of the seeds are soaked in water and made into a tea, drinking the stuff can result in a mild high.
One reported death
has occurred from ingestion of poppy seed tea due to an "acute morphine and codeine intoxication." Unless you're on the Universe's good side, it may be wise to sit this one out.
Turns out the seeds of these common flowers -- referred to as Rivea corymbosa
-- are a cheaper, milder alternative to LSD.
states that the two types of Morning Glory seeds used for recreational purposes most are the "heavenly blues" and the "pearly gates."
When used recreationally, the seeds are chewed thoroughly and then ingested. The chewing process breaks down the psychoactive chemicals in the seeds allowing for easier absorption.
But, before you plan your trip to the flower shop, know that seed companies are one step ahead of you. They often coat the seeds with a hard-to-remove, poisonous coating known to cause flu-like symptoms.
Other commonly occurring plants that are perfectly legal and can be used for recreational purposes include the San Pedro Cactus
, Devils Weed (Datura)
, Wild Dagga
and a variety of mushrooms.
Just be sure to check the side effects before going all Timothy Leary on us ...