Throughout history people have turned to some very weird sources to get high. From a 6050 BC cave painting in Algeria that depicts a “mushroom-man” to the 2009 phenomenon of getting high on mp3s, it appears that man has tried everything. Here are 7 of the weirdest:
In her book, “Wild,” Jay Griffiths takes ayahuasca while staying with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon. The drug causes lengthy hallucinations (she saw herself as a jaguar wandering through the streets of Oxford). Griffiths in her book attributes the trance it created to curing her serious depression at the time. One study by UCLA professor Dr. Charles Grob suggests that might be because “ayahuasca strongly enhances the body’s ability to absorb the serotonin that’s naturally there.” On a scarier note, ayahuasca has also been reported to cause “folie à deux” – shared hallucinations.
Datura, also known as jimson weed, is not only strange, but it is very dangerous. It can cause very surreal effects, including “phantom smoking” – puffing away at something in your hand that is simply not there. Why? Because it’s poisonous. While American teens take the risk and get high, people in India use it to commit suicide. If it can cause amnesia, you should probably stay away from it.
The only way I am getting near a poisonous cobra is if my name is Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, but ancients in the past had other ideas. Cobra venom is indeed poisonous but for cobras, that’s not a problem, as their blood can apparently counteract the poison. Some suspect that when ancients mixed the venom and the blood together they created a powerful medicine capable of healing many ailments. The venom itself has psychoactive properties and was used in mystical religious rituals. Let’s not forget the lesson of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi though – cobras are killers.
This drug makes the list because no one seems to know what it actually was. While also a generic name for a muscle relaxer, the soma we are actually talking about is an ancient plant mixture used for spiritual purposes in the Indian subcontinent and surrounding areas. They appear in the Rigveda, a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns dating back to 1700–1100 BC. People seemed to believe drinking it made them divine. There has been a lot of argument as to what soma contained and among the candidates is fly agaric, a hallucinogenic mushroom slightly different from what we know as “magic mushrooms.” The most popular conjecture is that it was made from the plant ephedra, a stimulant banned in the United States.
Yep. That creature you will definitely find me running away from is occasionally used by people to get high. One example is a heroin addict who in treatment admitted he would “use” scorpions when heroin was unavailable. He would seek out scorpions to get stung by them and would feel an instant rush. The high lasted about six hours. Intentional scorpion sting has mostly been documented in India and is in no way an advisable practice.
This is a psychedelic African plant that also functions as an aphrodisiac. Its rootbark is used in traditional medicine. What makes this plant stand out is that it’s not only the favorite of humans – chimps and gorillas have also been seen using it to get high. According to the Telegraph, gorillas will eat the root and go into a frenzy, as if they were being chased. Indeed, it seems like apes are the reason the plant is used by some tribes – they say watching the animals’ behavior is what made them discover it!
DMT is one of the central ingredients of ayahuasca, but I included it here anyway to creep you out. DMT is contained in human spinal fluid. Now considering the lengths to which people are willing to get high, you may want to watch your brain’s back so no-one takes this powerful hallucinogenic from you. DMT can cause hallucinations and euphoria and when smoked causes an instant rush with a short high lasting between 5 and 15 minutes. When tons of DMT was injected into volunteers for a study they thought they encountered aliens. So, pretty weird, no?
Article by Robyn Schelenz of the home drug test company Home Health Testing. They can test for a lot of drugs, just not things like cobra venom though.