For centuries humans have been taking psychedelic drugs for a multitude of reasons. The indigenous populations of the Amazon Basin used ayahuasca as part of ceremonial practices and have done so for so long that the exact origin is now unknown.
The earliest recorded growth and use of opium goes as far back as 3,400 B.C. Mushrooms have featured across several cultures for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes, especially in Siberia, thanks to their ability to transport the human mind beyond reality and onto astral planes.
Many plants with hallucinogenic properties have even been used for medicinal purposes – thought to bring with them healing powers.
In the United States, it is only really in the past 150 years that regulations of pharmaceuticals and drugs have appeared in the law.
Around 1860, laws were introduced to prevent the mislabelling or improper selling of certain drugs, calling them “poisons” if they were sold for the wrong purposes. Several pharmaceutical societies also supported the listing of cannabis as one of these so-called poisons.
From there, over the years, more laws were written, more substances outlawed, and more reasons were cited for these bans. Today, in the US, the Controlled Substance Act keeps lots of drugs that give you these highs illegal and as more plants are grown, prepared, and ingested, even more laws are made, and you’re left in the middle stone cold sober.
There are actually a large variety of foods out there that you can obtain completely legally, that will still give you a psychedelic trip. The reasons that these have flown under the radar are varied, but mostly include the mildness of the highs and the fact that they are non-addictive.
The few we’ve collected on our list are all naturally occurring plants, herbs, and spices, but when prepared in certain ways, they unleash their psychoactive effects on the human mind thanks to their chemical make-up.
Spirit Science doesn’t endorse the use of these, but is merely presenting the experiences of others who have ingested the substances, for your education.
This delicious household spice that conjures up images of Christmas for most people actually conjures up something else altogether when eaten in a large enough quantity.
Around 4 to 8 tablespoons has been known to produce mild hallucinations and intoxication followed by a very deep sleep. A lot of users liken it to being mildly drunk and some report “no perception of time”.
It is not entirely clear what causes you to get high from ingesting nutmeg, though some suggest that it is the myristicin content, that when metabolized by the body, transforms into a chemical which causes a high. It is for this reason that it usually takes around 6 hours for the high to kick in.
Kava and Damiana
Some people have taken to experimentation with different parts of plants, or new and interesting combinations to produce hallucinogenic results.
By combining Kava root and the shrub Damiana, some users have experienced energized euphoria and an “increased sense of well-being”.
By itself, Kava is often “cold-infused” into a drink which, providing an effect similar to being mildly drunk. It leaves people feeling unconcerned by daily stresses and can contribute to a more restful sleep.
When combined with Damiana, which some say has “marijuana-like” effects, a more rounded high is experienced.
Fly Agaric Mushroom
Like something from a fairytale, Fly Agaric are red mushrooms with white spots, but they don’t have any elves sitting on them.
Yet. Users report highs and hallucinations from ingesting these fungi, though many report nausea throughout the high.
One user recalled, “I was constantly finding myself in new mental and physical frames of reference”.
These mushrooms don’t contain psilocybin which is what gives other mushrooms used recreationally their illegal status. They will still get you high though, thanks to the main psychoactive ingredient, the compound muscimol.
This mimics the brain signaling chemical Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) which the brain normally uses to inhibit nerve transmission to calm nervousness. This results in reduced anxiety and increased relaxation in those eating these mushrooms.
Another plant used in ceremonies for centuries, this one particularly prominent in Mexico, Salvia is a member of the sage family. It was believed that it could allow the consumer to speak with the Virgin Mary, so was an important part of religious rituals.
Salvia is one of the most mind-altering drugs out there and is certainly not for the faint of heart! The active ingredient, Salvinorin A, has been likened to hallucinogens as potent as LSD.
Even the most seasoned drug-users have been known to trip through multiple dimensions, and many have ‘end of the world’ style trips. Pretty scary!
The legal status of this drug differs from one state to the next, though you can still legally obtain it in many U.S. states, as well as in other countries around the world.
Just as our ancestors have been getting high for thousands of years, instilled with this new knowledge of the legal highs out there, you too can start a psychedelic journey (while avoiding a journey straight to jail!)