Fun:Legal highs

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Necker cube.svg Tired of laughing? RationalWiki has a slightly more serious article about Purported legal highs.

This article covers actual "legal highs" (at varying degrees of activity, and toxicity!)


See the main article on this topic: Alcohol

Alcohol is legal throughout most of the world (except in some Muslim countries),[note 1] 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).

Comes with a number of side effects such as vomiting, spousal violence, and feeling vile in the morning.


Regular exercise can produce endorphins, which produce a feeling of euphoria, making you feel good about yourself and others.[1] So get off your lazy butt, quit trolling creationist websites, and go run a mile or two.


See the main article on this topic: Sex

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.

Note not all forms of sex are actually legal, and some countries may execute you for premarital sex or homosexuality.


See the main article on this topic: Meditation

Meditation can be a very good relaxation technique, and helps deal with stress. Need not be religious, nor even transcendental.

Legal stimulants[edit]

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 produce euphoria in moderate to high doses.[2][3] Side effects can include irritability, aggression, thirst, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat (usually harmless) and compulsive masturbation.

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.[4][5]

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.[6] Its legality varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; while the US and the UK have banned it,[7][8] it remains legal in Israel and Yemen.[6]

Salvia divinorum[edit]

Salvia Divinorum

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.[9]

However, Salvinorin A, the active constituent of Salvia Divinorum, is a dysphoriant,Wikipedia 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.

Various fungi[edit]

Psilocybe cubensis growing on dung

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.

There is another variety of interesting mushrooms, mostly legal around the globe, despite, or, rather, thanks to not being as popular as the ones described above. Genus Amanita includes a few psychoactive mushrooms, but also some deadly ones, such as the Death CapWikipedia. The most popular one, the quintessential "Mario mushroom", Amanita muscariaWikipedia (or fly agaric), thankfully is relatively easy to identify. Its main active compound, muscimol, acts as a deliriant, euphoretic, stimulant, relaxant, and causes hallucinations at fair doses. It is extremely advisable to have a trip sitter, as it is quite possible to damage furniture or hurt yourself in the state of delirious agitation. And it doesn't help that the effects can last up to 10 hours.

Wild lettuce[edit]

Wild lettuceWikipedia (not that one), usually Lactuca virosa, is a smoking herb used for its analgesic and sedative effects similar to cannabis.[10] The plant contains milky sap (white latex) called lacutucariumWikipedia that flows through the stem, leaves, and roots. An extract of this is sometimes used as the alchemists' anaesthetic. It's great for setting bones and dislocated "joints".[11] Although the standard definition of lactucarium requires its production from Lactuca virosaWikipedia, it was recognized that smaller quantities of lactucarium could be produced in a similar way from Lactuca sativaWikipedia (standard lettuce) and Lactuca canadensis var. elongata, and even that lettuce-opium obtained from Lactuca serriola or Lactuca quercina was of superior quality.[12]


Piper methysticum

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,[13] and sale of the plant is regulated in Switzerland, France and Netherlands[14] Kava is banned in Western Australia, and regulated in other parts of the nation.[15] It is regulated in much of the world. However, there are no laws against it in the United States.


Mescaline, the psychoactive ingredient in peyote. Its chemical structure resembles that of amphetamines.

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 stramonium

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.[16]


a young Mitragyna speciosa

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 opioid receptor agonists. Kratom is sold in powdered form, which is typically used to brew tea. At low doses it acts as a stimulant much like caffeine, whereas at higher doses it behaves more like a relaxing opioid. Other effects include cough suppression, a boost in antioxidants, and very mild sense of well-being.[17] Kratom is usually marketed in concentrated form, and it can be lethal.[17][18][19]


See the main article on this topic: Codeine

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. Potential effects include nausea, extremely violent vomiting, 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.[20] If one is looking at DXM for a 'trip', it is best to ensure that dextromethorphan is the only active ingredient.


Propylhexedrine and methamphetamine

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. [21][22]

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.[23] The crash is widely regarded as unpleasant and people have suffered serious escalations in blood pressure and heart rate.[24] 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.[25][26] There were also several homicides and suicides associated with its use.[26]



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.


Tabernanthe iboga

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.[27]

Morning glory seeds and Hawaiian baby Woodrose seeds[edit]

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[edit]

Papaver somniferum

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.[28] 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.[29]


Myristica fragrans

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.


Chocolate contains usually-inactive amounts of psychoactive phenethylamines. Baking cocoa contains higher concentrations and when used in combination with emulsifiers to increase bioavailability this has been used to yield psychoactive effects.[30]


Antique patent medicine with yohimbe

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,[31] which includes some pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and herbal medicines. And as with all MAOIs, consuming tyramineWikipedia while taking it will lead to excruciating pain and (most likely) a horrible death from hypertensive crisis.

Research chemicals, designer drugs and "blends"[edit]

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.[32]

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.[32]

Herbal smoking blends and designer cannabinoids[edit]

JWH-018 was one of the first novel cannabinoids sold as a designer drug

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.[32] 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.[32] 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.[33] In 2014, the DEA listed α-PVP as a schedule 1 illegal drug.[34]

Miscellaneous drugs[edit]

Etaqualone, an analogue of the infamous now illegal prescription sedative Quaalude

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."[32] "People who take NBOMes are prone to stab themselves", according to Joji Suzuki, an addiction psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.[32]

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.


Do not lick (Bufo americanus).

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.

With the possible exception of nitrous oxide, 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.[35] It’s also not uncommon to just straight-up fucking die on the spot, through a lovely condition called “Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome”.[36] When it comes to harm reduction, inhalants are so dangerous that the only advice that can possibly be given to prevent horrible health and psychological effects is “don’t use them”.

Nitrous oxide (nangs, whippets, laughing gas, etc.)[edit]

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."[37] 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 in many jurisdictions to have and use when not under medical supervision. It is worth noting, however, that in some areas such as Australia, it is legal to own the canisters for culinary purposes as long as they are not used recreationally. This leads to the classic “I was baking a cake” excuse for having dozens of empty nangs on you. Additionally, in many of these jurisdictions, the legal responsibility for preventing recreational nitrous use depends almost entirely on the distributor rather than the user — in these places, you wouldn’t want to crack a nang right in front of a cop, but otherwise, it’s unlikely that you’ll get in much trouble for it.

Nitrous is essentially a short-acting dissociative anaesthetic (like ketamine or PCP); while the drug affects a broad range of receptors, the euphoric, dissociative, and analgesic properties are believed to primarily be the result of NMDA receptor antagonism.[38][39] Nitrous may also lead to a false absolutely correct feeling of discovering the secrets of the universe.[40] Of course, the problem is that it wears off within seconds to minutes, and with it, the memory of what the “secret” actually was. It also significantly potentiate the effects of other hallucinogens; for example, combining nitrous with LSD usually leads to massively increased visuals (to the point where geometric patterns may consume one’s entire vision or allow one to perceive autonomous entities within the geometry), as well as often causing instantaneous “ego death”.[note 2] Interestingly enough, some tentative evidence suggests that nitrous oxide may also have some of the powerful and fast-acting antidepressant effects of ketamine.[41] While the results are promising, the evidence at this point is very limited, and we would STRONGLY recommend against using nangs to self-medicate.

While there is not much research on the rates of nitrous oxide addiction, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be habit-forming in some people, due to its short duration (which encourages compulsive use and redosing), as well as its intense euphoric effects and the aforementioned state-dependent feelings of profound revelation.[42] If more evidence confirms the aforementioned possible anti-depressant effects of the drug, this may also play a role in addiction and habituation. This can lead to some pretty nasty effects, as chronic high-dose usage can easily lead to severe nerve damage and degeneration due to depletion of vitamin B12.[43] While there is no known “rule” for how much nitrous oxide causes these effects, some basic common sense harm reduction techniques can help minimise the chance of these effects occurring. For example, it is a good idea to not use nangs multiple days in a row, make sure you get enough oxygen when doing them, and keep use within reasonable limits (anything more than 20-30 canisters in a day is likely excessive). It is worth taking this advice with a slight grain of salt, as the simple fact is that it is fairly difficult to figure out how much nitrous oxide is or isn’t likely to lead to B12 depletion. Consequently, much of this information relies on a combination of occasional scientific research, anecdotal experiences in the drug community, and ideally, an abundance of caution — when in doubt about how much of a drug is safe, always take the safer path.

And for what it’s worth, don't mix it with gasoline in your car's engine either. Sure, it’ll increase performance, but it's also a good way to add an extra 100,000 miles of wear to your engine. Additionally, do not consume automotive-grade nitrous oxide under any circumstances. It will usually contain adulterants such as sulphur dioxide in order to deter substance abuse.[44] Seriously, if you can’t find nang canisters and you’re that desperate to get The Gas, just fuckin buy some whipped cream. Jesus Christ.

Model airplane glue[edit]

Toluene: possible, but not recommended.
Now I want to sniff some glue

Now I want to have somethin' to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue

All the kids want somethin' to do
—The Ramones — Yeah, the lyrics are as stupid as the practice.

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.


An array or odorizers

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.


See the main article on this topic: Oxygen therapy

The Psychoactive They Cannot Deny.[45]

Binaural beats[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Binaural beats

Can you get "high" just by listening to sounds? Only if they synchronize your brainwaves and cost $4 a time. See also: I-Doser

Brainwave woo[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Brainwave woo

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.


A home-made Dreamachine

The Dreamachine was invented by Brion GysinWikipedia, William S. BurroughsWikipedia, and Ian SommervilleWikipedia. 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.[46]

Ganzfeld experiment[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Ganzfeld experiment

God helmet[edit]

See the main article on this topic: God helmet


Sky boat with head rushes

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.


I'm soooo tired.

Exhaustion is free and legal.[47]


See the main article on this topic: Pain

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). Spicy Foods also cause pain (the burning sensation on the tongue) and, thus, also release endorphins.


[create] Documentation


  1. There was an attempt to ban it in the United States. It went poorly.
  2. “Ego death” is a term used within the drug community to refer to an effect of intense hallucinatory experiences in which the subject does not perceive their own individual autonomous identity and experience — it’s a fairly difficult concept to describe to people who haven’t experienced it, but perhaps a loose description is that the subject does not think “I am experiencing XYZ” but instead that “XYZ is simply happening." Essentially, it is a combination of a dissolution of the psychological boundaries between the perception of oneself and the rest of the world, combined with suppression of long-term memory of one’s identity.


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  5. "IARC Monographs Programme finds betel-quid and areca-nut chewing carcinogenic to humans." World Health Organization. 2003 August 7.
  6. 6.0 6.1
  9. Driving on Salvia
  10. Wesołowska, A.; Nikiforuk, A.; Michalska, K.; Kisiel, W.; Chojnacka-Wójcik, E. (2006). "Analgesic and sedative activities of lactucin and some lactucin-like guaianolides in mice". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 107 (2): 254–8. doiWikipedia:10.1016/j.jep.2006.03.003. PMID 16621374. 
  11. Wild Lettuce (L. virosa extract) - Erowid Exp. - 'Testing the Homebrew'
  12. King; Felter; Lloyd, John; Harvey Wickes; John Uri (1898). King's American DispensatoryWikipedia. Cincinnati: Ohio Valley Co. p. 1114–1117, see Lactuca.—Lettuce and Tinctura Lactucarii (U. S. P.)—Tincture of Lactucarium. 
  13. "Europe Explains Its Stand on Kava from the Pacific". Radio Australia. March 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  14. C.I.J.M. Ross-van Dorp (2003). "Besluit van 23 April 2003, houdende wijziging van het Warenwetbesluit Kruidenpreparaten (verbod op Kava kava in kruidenpreparaten)"
  15. [Islanders shocked as Australia moves to ban kava] by Stefan Armbruster (10 Jul 2015 - 4:56pm) SBS (Australia).
  16. Monkshood, Belladonna, Cannabis, Poppies - Opium, Mandrake & Datura ('Flying Ointment') - Erowid Exp. - 'Interesting with Drawbacks'
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kratom: Legal High and Lethal Poison Nature's Poisons
  18. Kratom has 'deadly risks,' FDA warns by Nadia Kounang & Sandee LaMotte (3:42 PM ET, Tue November 14, 2017) CNN.
  19. Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. on FDA advisory about deadly risks associated with kratom (November 14, 2017) U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  21. On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine by Nicolas Rasmussen pp. 103-105 — Google Books Preview
  22. Erowid Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex) Vault
  23. Wesson DR. “Propylhexedrine”. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1986 Jun;17(2-3):273-8. - PubMed abstract
  24. phanerothyme. "Can Cause Significant BP Increase: An Experience with Propylhexedrine & Perindopril (ID 58504)". Jan 8, 2007.
  25. DiMaio VJ, Garriott JC. “Intravenous abuse of propylhexedrine”. J Forensic Sci. 1977 Jan;22(1):152-8. - PubMed abstract
  26. 26.0 26.1 Anderson RJ, Garza HR, et al. "Intravenous prophylhexedrine (Benzedrex®) abuse and sudden death." Am J Med. 1979 Jul;67(1):15-20. - PubMed abstract
  30. Chocolate - Erowid Exp. - 'Preliminary Solvent Retrospective'
  31. Yohimbe: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings… WebMD
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 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.
  34. Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308: Rules - 2014
  35. "Inhalants". National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. 
  36. Bowen, S. (2011). Two Serious and Challenging Medical Complications Associated with Volatile Substance Misuse: Sudden Sniffing Death and Fetal Solvent Syndrome. Substance Use & Misuse, 46(sup1), 68-72. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.580220
  37. — Nitrous oxide
  38. Yamakura, T., & Harris, R. A. (2000). Effects of gaseous anesthetics nitrous oxide and xenon on ligand-gated ion channels. Comparison with isoflurane and ethanol. Anesthesiology, 93(4), 1095–1101.
  39. Emmanouil, D. E., & Quock, R. M. (2007). Advances in understanding the actions of nitrous oxide. Anesthesia progress, 54(1), 9–18.[9:AIUTAO]2.0.CO;2
  40. Some bloke said some guy said some other guy did it
  41. Nagele P, Duma A, Kopec M, Gebara MA, Parsoei A, Walker M, Janski A, Panagopoulous VN, Cristancho P, Miller JP, Zoumski CF, Conway C. “Nitrous Oxide for Treatment-Resistant Major Depression: a Proof-of-Concept Trial”. Biological Psychiatry. 2014.
  42. For example, see the “addiction and habituation” section of Erowid’s experience vault for the drug
  43. Flippo, T. S., & Holder, W. D. (1993). Neurologic degeneration associated with nitrous oxide anesthesia in patients with vitamin B12 deficiency. Archives of Surgery, 128(12), 1391-1395.
  44. [ Close [13] "Holley performance products, FAQ for Nitrous Oxide Systems".] Holley. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  45. Oxygen (filtered atmosphere mixture) - Erowid Exp. - 'The Psychoactive They Cannot Deny'
  46. Flickers of the Dream Machine: The Definitive Headbook edited by Paul Cecil (2000) Codex Books. ISBN 1899598030.