Purported legal highs
| Our secret stash of|
|Highs and lows|
Purported legal highs include common foods and other substances which, if consumed in a certain way or in sufficient quantity, are rumoured to have psychoactive effects. Most frequently they are claimed to have similar effects to marijuana.
The reality of this ranges from urban legend, to some truth to the rumor, depending on the substance.
What is and isn't legal obviously depends on what jurisdiction you are in. Laws are subject to change at any time — particularly anything that gives you a high. Also please do not mistake any of this for reliable legal or medical advice.
- 1 Urban legends
- 2 Marketing ploys
- 3 Actual "legal highs" (at varying degrees of activity, and toxicity!)
- 3.1 Alcohol
- 3.2 Exercise
- 3.3 Sex
- 3.4 Meditation
- 3.5 Legal stimulants
- 3.6 Salvia divinorum
- 3.7 Various fungi
- 3.8 Kava
- 3.9 Peyote
- 3.10 Datura
- 3.11 Kratom
- 3.12 Codeine
- 3.13 Dextromethorphan
- 3.14 Propylhexedrine
- 3.15 Diphenhydramine
- 3.16 Iboga
- 3.17 Morning glory seeds and Hawaiian baby Woodrose seeds
- 3.18 Poppy seeds
- 3.19 Nutmeg
- 3.20 Yohimbe
- 3.21 Research chemicals, designer drugs and "blends"
- 3.22 Toads
- 3.23 Inhalants
- 3.24 Dreamachine
- 3.25 Gravity
- 3.26 Exhaustion
- 3.27 Pain
- 4 See also
- 5 References
The placebo effect has a lot to answer for here. Keep in mind that if any of these really did have the claimed druggy effects, somebody would have made them illegal already. Mostly these are all a bunch of woo, for silly kids who can't get the real stuff because mommy won't let them out of the house.
This was a hoax published in the Berkeley Barb newspaper in 1967, claiming the scrapings from banana peels contained a fictional drug called "bananadine", which would produce a brief marijuana-like high when smoked. It caused a brief shortage of bananas in Berkeley, California, and Donovan had a hit single, "Mellow Yellow", about the fad. Researchers have found the banana peel contains no intoxicating chemicals at all, but this has not stopped bored teenagers from continuing to conduct their own banana "experiments". You will probably have a more significant mind altering experience by actually drinking a Mello Yello or listening to The Dead Milkmen.
Catnip's (Nepeta cataria) apparent druggy effects on cats have not translated into a druggy effect on humans, but goodness knows some have tried smoking or ingesting it in an attempt to replicate the effect. Best leave the catnip for your furry feline companion, and enjoy a cold beer instead. The active chemical in catnip, nepetalactone, does exhibit very minor sedative effects in humans and has been used by herbalists in the past as a mild sedative or a treatment, but this is nowhere near a "high".
Coca-Cola and aspirin
Purportedly, consuming aspirin together with Coca-Cola gets you high. This is a rumor that has made the rounds from time to time among gullible teenagers. According to snopes.com, this rumor goes all the way back to the 1930s, and like most of the others is baseless. The original Coca-Cola formula prior to 1904 however did contain alcohol and coca leaf extract.
Along the same lines as the banana peel legend, a rumor that smoking peanut skins could get you high started among the late 1960s counterculture. As with banana peel, it takes a lot of fiddly effort and any resulting "high" is pure placebo.
Jenkem is a gas produced from fermented fecal matter and urine. First reported in Zambia, it was considered a popular "drug of choice" by US teenagers in the mid 2000's. It is widely believed to be a hoax after it went too far and ended up on an official Sheriff's Office memo.
Sinicuichi is a brew formed from plants of the genus Heimia and was used ceremonially by the Aztecs. Some publications by Victor Reko and others spread the rumor that it was an auditory hallucinogen, but almost everyone who has tried it reports that it's extremely subtle (read: indistinguishable from placebo) and not worth the effort. Oh, and it generally causes severe muscle aches the day after.
There are various quack products or methods that are purported to bring you to a "higher state of consciousness" or replicate a legal high based on dubious claims about adjusting, manipulating, or synchronizing brainwaves. I-Doser is probably the most common of these.
Can you get "high" just by listening to sounds? Only if they synchronize your brainwaves and cost $4 a time.
Actual "legal highs" (at varying degrees of activity, and toxicity!)
Alcohol is legal throughout most of the world (except in some Muslim countries), and it comes in a variety of refreshing flavours. Unfortunately, all of those flavors taste like alcohol (or are bitter like beer, or sour like wine).
Regular exercise can produce endorphins, which produce a feeling of euphoria, making you feel good about yourself and others. So get off your lazy butt, quit trolling creationist websites, and go run a mile or two.
Sex, preferably with another person (with consent), releases a whopping cocktail of neurotransmitters like endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine. The upshot is potentially tremendous physical pleasure followed by a relaxing high, with no negative side effects to speak of other than possibly catching pubic lice (provided that you properly use condoms) and maybe a little soreness if you don't use enough coconut oil. Put some ice on it and go again.
Meditation can be a very good relaxation technique, and helps deal with stress. Need not be religious, nor even transcendental.
Caffeine is the world's #1 most popular psychoactive drug, found naturally in delicious beverages such as coffee (Coffea spp.) and tea (Camellia sinensis), and can be eaten in the delicious products of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) or the (not so delicious) kola nut (Cola spp.). Caffeine produces a nice euphoric buzz. So does ephedrine.
Amphetamine salts (also known as Adderall) are less easy to come by--and very illegal if you get them from a dealer--but if you should obtain a prescription, they're as strong a stimulant as you could wish for. Besides being much stronger than caffeine, amphetamines crucially give you focused energy, meaning you're less likely to jitter and more likely to obsessively run around looking for chores that need to get done now, dammit! Also unlike caffeine, the mode of delivery (pill form) means you won't have to get up to take a leak afterward. They generally don't produce euphoria and are regarded as more of a business drug than a pleasure one, but some people like to use them to party late. Side effects can include irritability, aggression, thirst, and loss of appetite.
Nicotine is more problematic in that it can also produce a nice euphoric buzz but just as often a nasty headache, is highly addictive, and is most often taken by using tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff, all of which expose the body to several carcinogens. It is also worth mentioning that there are "safer" alternatives like nicotine lozenges, nicotine patches, and
electronic cigarettes personal vaporizers that can deliver more nicotine than some regular tobacco products.
Arecoline is found in areca nuts or betel nuts (Areca catechu) which are mostly used in rural parts of south and east Asia and the Pacific. These are also carcinogenic and cause a host of other problems.
Khat or qat (Catha edulis), a plant found in the Arabian peninsula and in the horn of Africa, functions as a stimulant when orally consumed. Its legality varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; while the US and the UK have banned it, it remains legal in Israel and Yemen.
Salvia divinorum is known to cause hallucinogenic experiences which are relatively brief but often very powerful. S. Divinorum was featured on the TV show 99 Things To Do Before You Die, where the presenter claimed the effect was "like coming down from the fucking mothership". S. Divinorum is legal in most countries, although its growing popularity may cause that status to change. Driving on it is possibly not the best idea.
It is, however, worth noting that Salvinorin A, the active constituent of Salvia Divinorum, is a dysphoriant, meaning that in addition to causing hallucinations, it also, separately, promotes unpleasant emotional states such as fear and depression. This, combined with the extremely rapid onset of hallucinations when smoked, offers a high potential for having a really bad trip, which may produce long-lasting negative psychological effects in particularly susceptible individuals.
Magic mushrooms (more than 200 species, mostly in the genus Psilocybe) contain the psychedelic agent psilocybin, are legal in most countries if you pick your own, and can even be sold legally in a few places. If you are tempted, make sure you know exactly what you are looking for, or preferably go picking with somebody experienced, since many mushrooms look alike and some are highly toxic, ensuring a slow, painful death. For safety's sake, always save a sample of any wild mushroom you eat; this may not be of any use at the hospital, but at least they will know what to put on the death certificate.
Kava (or kava-kava) is the unofficial drink of Fiji. It is prepared from the powdered root of the kava pepper (Piper methysticum). The drink has sedative properties, and it has also been proven to reduce social anxiety. Pharmaceutical-based kava is banned in Europe, and sale of the plant is regulated in Switzerland, France and Netherlands Kava is banned in Western Australia, and regulated in other parts of the nation. It is regulated in much of the world. However, there are no laws against it in the United States.
Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is legal in some countries, but only for "bona fide religious ceremonies". In the US, this is usually for ceremonies of the "Native American Church". Although most native tribes never consumed peyote for any reason, due to freedom of religion, it's legal. It works. It works really well in fact. San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) is also a powerful hallucinogen and is legal almost everywhere. However, unlike peyote, San Pedro is not eaten; rather, it should be brewed after preparing the cactus and removing the outer, waxy layer. The active ingredient of both cacti is Mescaline.
Datura is a genus of plants found the world over. Easily recognisable by its trumpet-shaped flowers, Datura flowers and/or seed pods can be brewed into a tea or eaten raw. What follows, assuming you survive the dosage (not all do), is an intense, 24-72 hour long, swim into delusion with effects tapering off after 3 days (which the user will likely not recall). Expect to smoke cigarettes that do not exist, talk to people who are not there, and throw cats into bathtubs. Datura is not for the faint-hearted — or anyone else, for that matter. If you are tempted, be extremely cautious and have a sober sitter.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a medicinal leaf harvested from a large tree in the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asia. The active ingredients, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are mild opioids. Sold in powdered form. Think enhanced energy, cough suppression, a boost in antioxidants, and very mild sense of well-being. It is addictive and acts on opioid receptors, but at low doses it acts as a stimulant. Kratom is usually marketed in concentrated form, and it can be lethal.
Codeine is an opiate which is the active ingredient in some strong cough syrups and headache remedies. It is fairly tightly regulated as a prescription-only drug (for instance, in Tylenol 3), although in some jurisdictions certain kinds of codeine products can be sold by pharmacists without a prescription. Codeine products are often used as a stop-gap by junkies when they're out of heroin or money. As with all other opiates, repeated use is addictive, and there is a risk of overdose. Homemade codeine cocktails such as "krok" come with a plethora of extra-toxic problems. Fifty million dead junkies can't be wrong — opiates are nice.
Available in some over-the-counter cough syrups and by mail order in powder form, larger doses of dextromethorphan can cause dissociative and hallucinogenic effects, similar to those of ketamine or PCP, while also sharing a similar pharmacology, with all three believed to act as NMDA antagonists. High doses may cause one to temporarily completely lose contact with reality. Some users experience vivid, dream-like hallucinations with closed eyes, such as flying through alien landscapes and buildings, or talking to deity-like creatures. Side effects include nausea, hot flushes, double vision and anxiety. Dextromethorphan should not be combined with other drugs, particularly those that affect serotonin (though cannabis may be an exception to this rule).
This is a popular recreational drug among some teenagers, largely due to its availability. Dextromethorphan in OTC cough medications is often in combination with other drugs such as acetaminophen and guaifenesin, and if you consume the amount of dextromethorphan needed to get high you can also consume enough acetaminophen to cause liver damage or even complete liver failure causing an extremely painful death. If one is looking at DXM for a 'trip', it is best to ensure that dextromethorphan is the only active ingredient.
Propylhexedrine is an analogue of methamphetamine, in which the phenyl ring of methamphetamine is replaced with a cyclohexyl ring making it a cyclohexylethylamine rather than a phenethylamine; accordingly, it is known as hexahydromethamphetamine or by its full name N,α-dimethyl-cyclohexylethylamine. It is sold over-the-counter in Benzedrex brand inhalers (Smith, Kline & French promised it was "stimulant free) which in 1949 replaced the older Benzedrine inhalers which contained racemic amphetamine. Abusers will crack open the Benzedrex inhaler and either swallow the cotton whole (which is terribly unpleasant due to it being also soaked in menthol and lavender oil), soak the inhaler in a mild-moderately strong acid such as citric acid and drink the solution, or perform an acid/base extraction followed by several washes with diethyl ether to get rid of the menthol and lavender giving one crystalline propylhexedrine.HCl. In addition to its terrible taste, swallowing the cotton can lead to severe health problems such as intestinal blockage, and is NOT recommended. 
He told me about Benzedrex inhalers […] They were legal. They cost 69 cents. You could buy them or boost them all over L.A. […] The wads [inside] were two inches long of cigarette circumference. They were soaked in an evil-smelling amber solution. I gagged one down and fought a reflex to heave it back up. It stayed down and went to work inside half an hour. The high was goooood. It was brain-popping and groin-grabbing. It was just as good as a pharmaceutical-upper high.
|—James Ellroy relating a "freak" at the Hollywood Public Library|
Propylhexedrine, due to its poorer penetration of the blood-brain barrier, its higher affinity for norepinephrine (NE) compared to methamphetamine, and its highly vasoconstrictive metabolites such as norpropylhexedrine, make it much less pleasant and more dangerous than methamphetamine itself. Indeed it was removed from Federal and International Schedule V control (California still regulates propylhexedrine as CV) and is now regulated as an OTC substance because it was viewed to have so little abuse potential. The crash is widely regarded as unpleasant and people have suffered serious escalations in blood pressure and heart rate. In the 1980's there was a rash of intravenous abuse of the substance (particularly in Texas) which led to several cases of gangrene, hypertensive crises, strokes, and even death. There were also several homicides and suicides associated with its use.
Diphenhydramine (marketed as Benadryl in the US and Canada) can be found in some over-the-counter antihistamines and sleep aids. In large doses it behaves as a deliriant hallucinogen, acting by blocking acetycholine receptors, which in turn leads to a state of delirium, hallucinations, and utter confusion. Unfortunately, the "high" is almost always accompanied by profound sedation, uncomfortable muscle twitches and, in extremely high doses, nausea and vomiting. Despite this, the ease of acquiring diphenhydramine and the relatively small amounts needed to produce a psychoactive effect have made it somewhat popular for recreational use. While the term "recreational" is used, it should be noted that it can be one of the worst experiences you can have, spare datura or maybe salvia. At lower doses, it gives you mild visual distortion along with extreme sleepiness. It will also give you a drunk feeling, causing you to misjudge how far away something actually is, and bump into said things. And when you bump into something, don't expect a smooth recovery. Expect to nearly fall over. When you bump up the dose, you'll see, hear and feel spiders that are so solid that they might as well be there, and said spiders will bite.[citation NOT needed] You'll have full blown conversations with people who aren't there.[citation NOT needed] At even higher doses, people even hallucinate that they are in different places every time they blink.[citation NOT needed] This is not a fun drug. It is a living horror film. It should be noted that, also like dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine is frequently combined with pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Chronic overuse of acetaminophen is linked to liver failure, and ibuprofen, while generally less toxic than acetaminophen, tends to induce gastrointestinal bleeding when taken in excess.
The Iboga root (Tabernanthe iboga) contains ibogaine, a psychedelic hallucinogen with dissociative and oneirogenic (dream-inducing) properties with an introspective, long-lasting effect that can take over 24 hours to vanish, although the actual visionary phase usually lasts only about 4 to 8 hours. The introspection can help break various addictions, for which it has been used repeatedly. It's also been linked to sudden death, long qt syndrome, and has neurotoxic effects at larger doses.
Morning glory seeds and Hawaiian baby Woodrose seeds
Morning glory is the common name for over 100 different species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae. Rumored to contain LSD, the seeds actually contain a very small amount of a related substance, LSA (lysergic acid amide), which is structurally related to LSD but tends to produce weaker visuals (or more accurately, takes a rather higher dose to do so), and has a more sedating effect than LSD. However, given a sufficient dose, these seeds can produce hallucinations which could likely rival those generated by a moderate dose of LSD.
Urban legends and "recipes" abound on the Internet claiming to give instructions for extracting "LSD" from morning glory seeds. It is however possible to extract the pure LSA (the stuff that's actually in the seeds) so higher doses can be taken without having to eat several hundred disgusting seeds that also happen to have cyanogenic glycosides, which can lead to severe nausea. Because of this, eating enough seeds to have a full-on LSD style trip also tends to result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes generalized intestinal pain lasting into the next day. For this reason, some recommend the use of OTC anti-nausea drugs like meclizine (Bonine), or ginger (which contains documented anti-nausea compounds) The extraction processes are all fairly simple, but extracting more than one dose at a time may be problematic as the 1-4 milligram doses are difficult to measure since they're so small. Hawaiian baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) seeds also contain LSA, although in a much higher concentration, so you have to eat about 1/10th compared to the morning glory seeds.
Poppy seeds (Papaver spp.), mainly from the opium poppy (P. somniferum), can easily be brewed into a foul tasting tea which produces an opiate effect due to its morphine, codeine, etc. content. Poppy seeds do not contain morphine, but when the seeds are extracted from the poppy small amounts of opium are left on the outside of the seeds. Opium is very addictive and can cause death if care is not taken; this is especially true of plant sources of drugs because of the tendency for alkaloids to vary from batch to batch. Warning: Consuming excess amounts of poppy seeds (bagels, muffins, pastries, etc.) can yield a false positive on drug tests. US Offenders on day release are specifically advised to avoid poppy seed rolls.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) contains myristicin, which really does have a psychoactive effect in larger amounts. Also mace, which comes from the same plant. The amount of nutmeg usually used as a spice has no effect. Up to a tablespoon may produce mild euphoric effects; anything over a tablespoon can cause vertigo, nausea, extreme thirst, nasty headache, and other unpleasant effects along with a "high" and hallucinations. Unfortunately, myristicin has a horrible dose-to-toxicity ratio and a sufficient amount needed to produce a "high" will also inevitably produce vertigo and nausea. The effect is rather like a bad hangover from alcohol. Even larger doses can cause seizures or lead to a visit to the emergency room for nutmeg poisoning. Because of this, nutmeg has never gained much popularity as a recreational drug.
The yohimbe root (Pausinystalia yohimbe) has variously been claimed to be a stimulant, a mild hallucinogen, and an aphrodisiac or sexual aid (often included in "herbal Viagra" concoctions). Scientific studies have shown it may be effective in treating erectile dysfunction; yohimbine.HCl (an isolate of the active alkaloid) is a prescription medication in some countries for that very purpose. This alkaloid is a potent α-2 adrenoreceptor antagonist and can dilate small blood vessels, enhancing the turgidity of male and female genitalia. This α-2 antagonism gives yohimbine/yohimbe extract both physical and mental stimulant properties. It lacks notable hallucinogenic effects, however, and is dangerous when taken in high doses due to its hypertensive impact. Yohimbe is also an monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) and should not be taken with other MAOIs, which includes some pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and herbal medicines.
Research chemicals, designer drugs and "blends"
These synthetic chemicals are "designer drugs", a drug concocted in a laboratory with a similar enough chemical composition to an illegal drug to mimic its effects, but not itself technically illegal. However, it should be noted that in the United States the Analogue Act makes it illegal to sell an otherwise legal drug for human consumption that mimics the effects of a scheduled substance, hence this is why these drugs are often sold as "Not for human consumption." Blends will be typically marketed and sold as "bath salts", "plant food", "bonsai fertilizer", "incense" or other such innocent descriptions.
The active ingredients of these blends are often also available in pure form as "research chemicals", although tracking down a legitimate source of pure research chemicals is often more tricky. Usually, little research is available on these drugs due to their novelty, and they don't last very long as most countries ban them within at most a few years of appearing on the market, prompting the manufacturers to create new ones.
Herbal smoking blends and designer cannabinoids
Often called "K2", "Spice", and other names, herbal smoking blends are mixtures of common (and benign) herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals similar to THC; these include novel compounds such as the naphthoylindole JWH series of compounds, THC analogues such as HU-210, the aminoalkylindole WIN series and others. Some of these cannabinoids are extremely potent and potentially dangerous, specifically, because they may have smaller margins of safety. One compound that is currently under temporary Schedule I scheduling, AM-2201, is possibly the most potent compound of its class. AM-2201 is active at doses as little as 500 µg; doses exceeding 2 mg are known to cause panic attacks and vomiting and doses exceeding 10 milligrams can cause convulsions.
Many designer stimulants have been developed and sold. These compounds include substituted amphetamines, cathinones, pyrovalerones, dipheyl stimulants, etc. Common substances sold include ethylphenidate (ethyl analogue of Ritalin), α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP), dimethocaine, 4-fluoro(meth)amphetamine, etc.
Stimulant blends are often sold as "bath salts" or "flakka", and don't always include what they say they include nor do they always contain legal substances (many are found with banned substances such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone and 4-methylmethcathinone). These drugs have witnessed a lot of media attention for the sometimes bizarre and violent reactions experienced by some users. This tends to happen more with proprietary blends than pure substances. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) was banned by the DEA in 2011, when it was found to be ten times more "potent" than cocaine. In 2014, the DEA listed α-PVP as a schedule 1 illegal drug.
Other compounds include legal benzodiazepine and benzodiazepine derivatives such as phenazepam and etizolam, opioid derivatives such as O-Desmethyltramadol (active opioid metabolite of tramadol), methaqualone (Quaalude) analogues, GBL (breaks down into GHB), and novel alcohol analogues.
NBOMes are sold as LSD analogues. Undesirable effects of NBOMes include "delirum, paranoia, violence, seizures, racing heart, [and] spiking blood pressure." "People who take NBOMes are prone to stab themselves", according to Joji Suzuki, an addiction psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
There appears to be no end of this onslaught of novel psychoactives; for every drug banned ten more pop into existence with each one more sketchy and unknown than the last.
Bufotenine is an alkaloid with hallucinogenic effects found in the secretions of a few species of toads, which unlike most species in the frog order often have glands on their backs used to deter predators. While some toads (usually in the genus Bufo) secrete hallucinogens through these glands, others secrete poison. Some people have tried licking toads to get high, although it doesn't generally work and is a good way to make yourself horribly sick. (You might also make the toad feel uncomfortable when licking it.) The cane toad (Rhinella marina) can cause paralysis.
These are a subgroup of drugs that all work similar to anesthetics, generally by increasing cell membrane permeability, increasing GABA activity and causing a blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAr). These are often found in household products, such as computer duster, air fresheners, butane, model glue, paint thinner, gasoline, etc. These types of drugs tend to be used by adolescents, poor people and the homeless.
Inhalant abuse is extremely dangerous to your health and can cause permanent damage to your respiratory and central nervous systems. Many solvents are particularly nasty because they strip the myelin sheath off of nerves causing permanent neurological damage.
Laughing gas, or "whipits"
N2O (nitrous oxide) is used as a propellant for food products dispensed via aerosol cans, most notably whipped cream. It is also used by professional racers and suburban kids who have watched too many Fast and Furious movies to violate their engines' horsepower limit. If the can is not shaken, it is possible to get propellant without product from the can. Laughing gas does make the inhaler "high." Restaurant employees are often frustrated at finding that the "full" case of whipped cream is completely useless due to the dishwashers having "consumed" all the propellant. It is also possible to purchase propellant "refill" canisters, bypassing the need to worry about getting a mouthful of whipped cream. These canisters are broken open using specialized devices called "crackers" and the nitrous oxide is usually released into a balloon to prepare for inhalation. The canisters, crackers, and balloons are often available at "head shops" as an all inclusive package. Note: nitrous oxide obtained from sources other than aerosol cans (e.g. dentists or doctors) is illegal to have and use when not under medical supervision. And to be on the safe side, don't mix it with gasoline in your car's engine (sure it will increase performance, but it's also a good way to add an extra 100,000 miles of wear to your engine). Incidentally, going to your nearest speed shop to buy a bottle of the stuff is a dumb idea (Automotive-grade nitrous oxide has some sulfur dioxide mixed in specifically for this reason). Nitrous oxide may lead to a false feeling of discovering the secrets of the universe.
Model airplane glue
Before they took the fun out, toluene was the active ingredient in glue for assembling styrene plastic models. Manufacturers started phasing it out of model glue in the late 1970's. A person should only use it if they are really stupid and really hard up. It is very hazardous to your health, damaging many major organs, and not a particularly smart thing to use. The same goes for abusing other solvents. Just say no. There's a reason the Ramones are dying young.
Various chemicals, including amyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite, cyclohexyl nitrite, are legally sold as "video head cleaner" or "room odorizer", usually in adult book stores. It is illegal to sell these as a recreational drug, but that is practically the only real reason anyone buys them (although maybe somebody wants their room to smell of sweaty socks). These drugs produce a "high" of rapid onset when the fumes are inhaled, claimed by some to enhance orgasms during sex. Poppers are often associated with gay culture.
The Dreamachine was invented by Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, and Ian Sommerville. It emits pulses of light at a constant speed, corresponding roughly to the brain's alpha waves. When one closes one's eyes in front of the machine, one experiences complex multi-colored patterns in a hypnotic state. Some people may experience epileptic seizures from usage.
If you place your head between your legs for about five minutes and quickly lift it up, the sudden change in blood pressure causes a light euphoric effect and blued-out vision. It makes for an interesting way to kill time in class.
The ultimate legal high also involves gravity.
Exhaustion is free and legal.
The body's response to pain includes the release of (possibly large) quantities of endorphins, which are endogenous morphine analogs. A large variety of activities geared toward large-scale endorphin release is available if you roll that way (or are open to experimentation).
- The Dead Milkmen — Smokin Banana Peels
- Chemistry.About.com — Nepetalactone
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- Driving on Salvia
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- Yohimbe: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings… WebMD
- Designer drugs hit dangerous lows to bring new highs by Kate Baggaley (3:00pm, May 5, 2015) Science News Vol. 187, No. 10, May 16, 2015.
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- TheSite.org — Nitrous oxide
- Some bloke said some guy said some other guy did it
- Flickers of the Dream Machine: The Definitive Headbook edited by Paul Cecil (2000) Codex Books. ISBN 1899598030.