What Can Happen When You Try to Ingest Random Plants to Get High?

Taking random plants to get high can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, or organ failure. This article reviews the Top 10 common, legal plants that people try … and their risks

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ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Taking random plants to get high can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, or organ failure. This article reviews the Top 10 common, legal plants that people try … and their risks.


Table of Contents:

Why Ingest Random Plants?

A very common reason we try drugs is due, in part, to peer pressure. Though this isn’t the case for every person, many us can be guided or persuaded by a friend to try something new, or to take a risk.

The most common illicit drug teenagers try is marijuana. According to the Monitoring the Future study, it’s been estimated that around 36.4% of high school seniors used it at least once the previous year. Since cannabis remains federally illegal and, in certain states, legal to those 21 and over, most teens don’t have easy access to cannabis.

The result?

Some of us may either purchase a plant which gets us high (but isn’t marijuana) or seek out other plants to get a fix.

With the internet, finding these plants has never been so easy. You can look up the wide variety of different plants with different psychoactive compounds in order to know where they are and how to identify them. But what can happen to you if you take them? What are the risks?

The following is a list of some of the most common plants people use to get high. They’re all also legal in the United States. However, most come with side effects. We’ll go through the list and then we’ll invite your question(s) at the end.


Datura is a very poisonous plant that, when ingested, will cause a psychoactive reaction. This is due to the fact that it contains anticholinergic substances which produce the following effects:
  • Bizarre (sometimes violent) behavior
  • Delirium
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hyperthermia
  • Muscle stiffness

Like many of the plants on this list, Datura is extremely dangerous and often results in an uncomfortable high. Though many of us do the research, there’s one reason you make be curious and decide to give it a try. Indigenous people used to use it for spiritual reasons in similar aspects to that of psilocybin mushrooms.

KNOW THIS: It’s common for those who consume Datura to be hospitalized due to their perturbed conduct and mental confusion. Even more, the true danger of this plant is overuse can lead to extreme illness or even death due to its poisons. It’s important for those who notice these plants around their home to either educate their children about its dangers or remove them all together.

Datura has a variety of nicknames including:

  • Devil’s trumpets
  • Devil’s weed
  • Hell’s bells
  • Jimsonweed
  • Moonflowers
  • Thorn-apple


Almost every household has this spice lying somewhere around the kitchen. After a Google search, you’ll probably learn that nutmeg is a substance which can get someone high. The reason for this is nutmeg contains the chemical myristicin, a compound with natural psychoactive effects.

Still, according to a report by ABC news, most people only try to get high off nutmeg once due to how unpleasurable its effects are. An hour after ingestion, users will begin to feel:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

After a few hours roll by, the side effects continue to worsen with heart and nerve complications. This is followed by visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations similar to LSD. Luckily, it isn’t common for people to abuse nutmeg. In 2010, there was only a little more than 60 reports of teenagers using the substance. So, be warned: Too much nutmeg can result in death.

Kava Kava

At any health food store, you’re run into the natural herbal remedy of Kava Kava. Though it’s commonly associated with relieving people of anxiety and insomnia, people sometimes use it in order to induce a high. Usually, a euphoric effect might be provoked after Kava Kava is taken in too large a dose….in other words, an overdose.

Kava Kava can lead to a variety of complications, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dystonia
  • Yellowed skin

Luckily, compared to the other plants on this list, Kava Kava is one of the least dangerous. Since there are still negative consequences which can come from use, parents should warn their children about abuse.


Like Kava Kava, Damiana is commonly found at health food stores across America. It’s most notably used as a treatment for:
  • Depression
  • Digestive complications
  • Sexual dysfunction

As with most psychocactive drugs, it’s been found that Damiana holds the potential for addiction. This is due to the fact that people addicted to Damiana experience a withdrawal. Most often, people intake the plant through inhalation which produces a high unlike that of other drugs.

Parents need to warn their children about the substance considering its easy accessibility. The unfortunate truth is Damiana use can lead to common symptoms of addiction which are listed below.

Fly Agaric Mushrooms

Though it’s not necessarily a plant, this fungi has a lot of potential dangers which are often overlooked. Since they cause hallucinations amongst those who consume them, many people don’t look into the amount of poisons these mushrooms hold….they just want to trip.

It’s unlikely a fly agaric mushroom will kill you. However, it’s probable it can onset symptoms which may lead to death. For example, a common negative aspect of this fungi is salvation and sweating. In turn, this can lead to dehydration.

Though too much of this mushroom can cause death, the true danger here is misidentifying it and consuming an even more toxic mushroom. For more information on this, you can read an article we put together on the most deadly mushrooms here.

Morning Glory Seeds

It’s illegal to extract the psychoactive chemicals from morning glory seeds. However, the seeds themselves are legal and can be purchased at most gardening stores. The high it induces is considered to be very similar to that of LSD. Most people chew these seeds or crush and smoke them in order to experience this.

Morning glory seeds aren’t the most dangerous plant on our list. The short-term effects include nausea and vomiting whereas the long-term effects include liver and neurological damage.

Blue Lotus

As has been for many years, people consume the Blue Lotus as a means of experiencing its psychoactive compound, apomorphine. This tends to cause relaxing effects many have used for the sake of relieving anxiety. In fact, there are a select few who use is as a substitute for marijuana.

Compared the rest of the plants on this list, the blue lotus is probably the physically safest. Still, this isn’t to say it doesn’t come with dangers. Just as with other psychoactive chemicals, it’s very dangerous to drive or operate machinery. Even more so, too much of a dose can cause psychological damage.


The salvia plant is legal around the world even though most stores don’t typically sell it. The primary reason is the plant’s psychoactive effects are some of the strongest on this list. People who consume salvia claim to feel a very powerful psychedelic experience for about fifteen minutes.

Though there will be those to claim it gives them a spiritual sense of themselves, there’s really no way of telling how it will effect each individual. In many cases, people will experience something known as a “bad trip” where the mind can’t handle what’s happening and paranoia sets in. When it comes to a “bad trip on salvia”, the consequences can be very significant considering some become at a loss as to where they are or what’s happening.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Signs of Addiction

Are you afraid someone you love is facing a drug problem. What about addiction? Do you fear this addiction might lead them to try dangerous plants as a means of getting their fix?

It can be difficult to pinpoint just what an addiction looks like. You may be unsure as to whether you’re overthinking the entire situation. Luckily, there are signs to keep an eye out for.

To begin, we can identify what an addiction is through what’s called, “The Three Cs of Addiction”.

  • CRAVING and compulsive abuse.
  • CONTINUED abuse even with negative consequences.
  • Loss of CONTROL over how much and how frequent the abuse is.

It should be noted, not every drug causes the same symptoms. Therefore, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what kind of addiction you may be struggling with. For example, someone facing a stimulant addiction will have different signs than someone facing a depressant addiction. Still, the signs of drug addiction can be categorized into the following three categories, each of which goes has a list of things you can look out for:

1. Behavioral Signs

◦ Discussions primarily around drug-related topics
◦ Disturbed sleep patterns
◦ Financial difficulties
◦ Isolated characteristics
◦ Legal issues
◦ Missing important engagements
◦ Missing responsibilities (i.e. school/work)
◦ Relationship complications
◦ School/work problems

2. Emotional Signs

◦ Confusion
◦ Defensiveness
◦ Denial
◦ Diversion of discussions
◦ Inability to handle stress
◦ Irritability
◦ Loss of interest in activities which previously interested
◦ Minimizing the seriousness of problems
◦ Obnoxiousness
◦ Placing blame on others
◦ Rationalizing

3. Physical Signs

◦ Change in eating habits (loss or gain of weight)
◦ Dilated pupils/red eyes
◦ Excessive sniffing or running nose
◦ Over-active
◦ Pale appearance
◦ Redundant speech patterns
◦ Under-active
◦ Unusual body odor

If you have observed any of the above signs within your loved one, you have the opportunity to find help. It’s important you seek this out as soon as possible!

Where to Find Help

It can be difficult to know where to turn in order to find help.

Give us a call!

Whether you’re struggling with addiction or someone you love, we’ll talk you through the process. Our hotline number will direct you to trained recovery specialists who understand addiction. We can even verify insurance for you.

Plus, there are a large number of resources available. To begin, you can contact your family doctor or physician. S/He can assess you initially and help outline your personal requirements so you can discover which type of treatment is best for you.

As you go about this process, you’ll also want to seek out the most competent and experienced clinical psychologists for the psychotherapy segment of your treatment. For a more concise internet search, you can check out these options:

If you’re looking to talk to someone immediately, you can check out the following Helplines:

  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence HopeLine 1-800-475-HOPE (4673)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse – Drug and Treatment Information 1-800-6224357
  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Substance Abuse Helpline (available 24/7) 1-800-923-4327

Furthermore, you can always call us for more information on how to find the right treatment facility. We offer a 24 hour, confidential hotline.

We’re happy to help!

Your Questions

If you have any further questions pertaining to other plants people use to get high, we invite you to ask them below. Or, ask us about how to find addiction help. We can direct you to the right mental health professionals.

If you have any advice to give on these topics, we’d also love to hear from you. We try to reply to each comment in a prompt and personal manner.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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