Top 5 Psychoactive Plants You Need to Know About
Legalization and decriminalization initiatives are happening all over the country and the world. As a result buzzwords like psilocybin, LSD, or dimethyltryptamine get a lot of attention. However, there’s hundreds of other psychoactive plants, some of them might even growing in our own backyard. So, What are the Top 5 Psychoactive Plants You Need to Know About?
These five plants grow all over North America, however that doesn’t make them legal so always know where local law enforcement stands before you forage, grow, or consume.
San Pedro Cactus
Let’s start with the echinopsis pachanoi or trichocereus pachanoi known as San Pedro cactus. It grows fast and at high altitudes. It’s native to the Andes Mountains and South America. The rest of the world has to cultivate cacti in controlled environments.
This cactus has a long history of being used in Andean traditional medicine. Historically, it was the go-to medicine of the shamans. In fact, it has been used for healing and religious divination for over 3,000 years.
Archaeological studies have found evidence of it’s use going back over two thousand years. Moche culture and Chavín culture Peruvian historians . Although the Roman Catholic Church authorities did attempt to suppress use. Likely due to its association with rain cults and pagan rain gods, this failed. As a result, there is a Christian element in the common name “San Pedro” from the name Saint Peter. The name is attributed to the belief that just as Saint Peter holds the keys to heaven, the effects of the cactus allow users to reach the heavens while remaining on earth.
The San Pedro cactus contains a lot of alkaloids, including the mescaline. About 5% of this cactus is made up of mescaline. It’s a psychedelic compound found in other species such as, Lophophora Williamsii or Peyote. Some people believe this cactus holds additional psychedelic compounds just beneath the skin.
Morning Glory or Turbina Corymbosa Linnaeus Rafinesque could be growing in your own backyard. This aggressive creeper vine which has pretty flowers and seed pods that contain a potent alternative to LSD. It’s known as “D-lysergic acid amide” or LSA and it’s what’s known as a precursor chemical to LSD.
These plants grow from seeds in soil and typically have a small succession rate. It follows this plant produces many seeds and drops them everywhere. Unlike the cactus, it requires a more tropic climate, large amounts of water and hates frost.
Seeds, leaves and roots can be ingested whole or broken and immersed in water. In order to have the hallucinogenic effects you would need 100 to 200 Morning Glory seeds. Once ingested the effects last about 4 to 8 hours. People have reported feelings of tranquility, dysphoria, psychedelic visuals, and color visions but not enough data exist to recommend anyone try this at home.
Reed Canary Grass
This tall grass goes by the name of phalaris arundinacea, or reed canary. It’s found in wet areas, but grows just about anywhere. This includes industrial or contaminated environments. It’s invasive and finds a way to thrive in ditch banks and along side the road. As one of the most versatile plants on this list it can also grow in dry and wooded areas. It’s the kind of plant that can dominates a wet field.
This species of Phalaris may also be used as a source for the substances N,N DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and 5-OH-DMT or bufotenin, as well as, beta-carbolines and Hordenine. Although the concentrations of these compounds is lower than in other potential sources, such as Psychotria viridis and Mimosa tenuiflora, large enough quantities of the grass are sometimes refined to make an ayahuasca brew.
Purple Double Angel Trumpet
The Double Angel Trumpet or Datura Metel is a shrub-like annual in zones 5-7 or a short-lived, shrubby perennial in zones 8-10. It ordanes a beautiful double flower that jumps out and grabs your attention. It’s unlike any flower you’ve ever seen.
Chinese medicine utilizes Datura Metel as one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The Chinese call it yáng jīn huā. Ingestion however is discouraged and should be treated with extreme caution. Datura metel is toxic and banned in India except for use in Ayurvedic medicine.
Datura metel may be toxic if ingested in a tiny quantity, symptomatically expressed as flushed skin, headaches, hallucinations, possibly convulsions or even a coma. The principal toxic elements are tropane alkaloids. Ingesting even a single leaf can lead to severe side effects.
Last on our list, is Mimosa Hostillas or Mimosa tenuiflora. This plant has bark that contains large amounts of calcium oxalate crystals and a great deal of starch and tannins, as well as small quantities of alkaloids, of which N,N DMT amounts for about 1%.
Mimosa Hostillas is the prime ingredient in a psychoactive brew called Jurema. . In this form, it is psychoactive by itself when vaporized and inhaled. In addition, the isolation of the chemical compound yuremamine from Mimosa Tenuiflora represents a new class of phyto indoles, which may explain an apparent oral activity of DMT in the plant.
These 5 plants are just a drop in the ocean of over 500+ psychoactive plants that hide on this vast planet, often hidden in plain sight from the unacknowledged eye. Look forward to our next article on plants. There we will learn what substances eaten in combination can elevate an experience.