Nature’s High: 8 Drugs You Can Only Find In The Wild
Nearly every drug known to man can be found somewhere in nature. Not just heavy drugs like heroin (poppy seed) and cocaine (the magnificent coca leaf), but everyday things like aspirin (born from willow bark) and penicillin (yielded from a rainbow-colored mold). Mother Nature hilariously stashed drugs all around for us to find, but that doesn’t mean every plant we come across possesses some miracle cure — or more to the point, can get us high. With the recent debunking of the “psychedelic” pangolin mammal scales, we’ve decided to bring you a comprehensive field guide of the eight most influential drugs found in the wild…for informational purposes only, of course.
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The most "pedestrian" of psychedelics, magic mushrooms grow in warm, damp climates using manure as the setting for their gentrification. Found in abundance in places like the Pacific Northwest, these often blue-tinged, long stem mushrooms will open your third eye in no time. Technically, they're poisonous, but the feeling derived is connective and euphoric, which is why micro-dosing has become almost mainstream. Rock on.
WTF? Scientists are now saying that ayahuasca has long term health benefits. Um, buh-bye merlot. This spiritual brew, made from a special mixture of Psychotria viridis leaves and Banisteriopsis caapi vines, has been used in ceremonial awakenings in South America since the dawn of time. It combines DMT with MAOIs to tap into a part of the brain that is only ever triggered during the act of dying. Whoa. Raise your hand if you have a friend from high school who took a trip down to Costa Rica and came back a part-time shaman.
We're not sure where the name comes from, but this seed containing LSA is only a few degrees off from the chemical shape of LSD. Because the shell of the seed induces nausea, it's best prepared by grinding the seeds and soaking them in purified water for 24 hours (do it when you're making cold brew). Filter the concentrate through a coffee filter or cheese cloth and drink the remaining elixir slowly to avoid sickness and sudden onset of melting into the floor. Expect your trip to last six to eight hours.
Those who have taken the ride call it "the God drug." Like a rocket ship to some Kubrickian dreamscape filled with inter-dimensional beings, this hyper-effective form of DMT puts users on a collision course with a higher power. Trips are category 10 powerful, but only last around 15 minutes, at which point you are sucked back down into your corporeal vessel and can resume waiting on hold with AT&T. And all you have to do is lick a toad. A toxin-secreting Colorado river toad, to be exact.
This central African root can be ground into a fine powder and ingested with miraculous results. In the 1930s, it could be procured from a grocery store. In the '80s, it was one of the most effective anti-addiction drugs. Today, in the midst of the American opioid crisis, it is a Schedule 1 drug. Note: Iboga does not mix well with other drugs, so clear your system (including caffeine) 24 hours ahead of time. After the initial trip of cerebral detachment and fuzzy feelings, the comedown brings a euphoric clarity that's said to linger for months on end.
Mescaline is the main ingredient found in this small, spineless cactus that grows in the deserts of Mexico. Another spiritual and curative tool in the tribesman's arsenal, peyote will trigger intense synesthesia, turning the colors of the world into a vivid and colossal oil painting. Legend has it that it will help you connect with and see the natural world beyond the veil of the civilized mind. And it makes coyotes talk.
Kratom, a member of the coffee family, is the most widely used drug in Thailand. It is a catch-all herbal medicine used to treat everything from headaches and diarrhea, to opioid withdrawal. Unlike most drugs on this list, kratom is legal in the United States, though the DEA tried to ban it a few years ago. The bitter tasting herb is not a psychedelic, but could make a nice, hassle-free addition to your comedown kit.
What darkness lurks in grandma's garden? This beautiful flower has been known to deliver some hard-hitting, and even deadly, trips. A member of the Brugmansia genus, this poisonous plant is chock full of tropane alkaloids, which can cause serious hallucinations (as well as shut down vital organs). Whatever you do, don't chew this plant raw. If you're dumb enough to try it, dry out the leaves and smoke it. You'll trip for three days straight and everyone will hate you afterward. Hey, we all enjoy recreational activities as much as the next guy, but if you ruin Christmas again, there'll be hell to pay.