Sure, finding a perfectly ripe avocado feels good, but have you ever tried ayahuasca? Cancelling plans for a night in is cool, too – but it’s got nothing on CBD.
Psychedelics have been used for centuries to help humans reach altered states of consciousness – travelling to new cognitive dimensions with the guidance of a shaman or, more recently, a therapist. These heightened states can induce feelings of bliss, pleasure and a deep chill – as well as assisting in the formation of new neural pathways, helping you move beyond limiting self-beliefs and unhelpful habits in favour of greater consciousness and clarity.
We’re not talking artificial compounds or Breaking Bad-style labs, here people. These are all-natural, tried-and-tested organic compounds that can have a positive effect on the human psyche. As our friend-in-fungi Michael Pollan writes, “The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy. We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes – but in many more cases, these are the drugs that can make you sane.”
Here are four plants that can give you a natural high.
Cannabis, marijuana, weed, pot, grass, hash – there’s no doubt you’ve heard of this green fiend, celebrated for its ability to alter consciousness, inducing euphoria, relaxation and decreasing a variety of physical and mental ailments such as chronic pain, nausea, insomnia and indigestion. As legendary as Snoop Dogg himself, cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the world.
Nerd alert! There are over 483 known psychoactive compounds in cannabis. The main element, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is one of at least 65 other cannabinoids, including the super versatile cannabidiol (CBD). While cannabis plants have been grown for over 5,000 years, evidence suggests it was first smoked for psychedelic effects 2,000 years ago in the Pamir Mountains on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
How do you microdose it? When smoked, the effects of cannabis can be felt within minutes. If you’ve cooked up hash brownies, expect the feels to kick in 30 minutes later. Depending on the amount consumed, you might experience feelings of elation, deep peace or relaxation for up to six hours. Fo’ shizzle my nizzle.
What is it? Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in over 200 species of fungi. It’s been used for centuries in religious rituals – and more recently, as a means of psychedelic therapy.
Nerd alert! The first scientific trial including psilocybin occurred in 2016, where 19 patients were treated with a microdose of psilocybin. After a month, over half of the participants found that their depression had reduced by 50% and that the positive benefits lasted for three months. Clinicians concluded that magic mushrooms can ‘reboot’ our brains.
How do you microdose it? We’ve got a full guide to micro-dosing psilocybin. Check it out.
What is it? Ayahuasca is a brew or tea made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the psychotria viridis leaf. It’s a powerful psychedelic combining DMT (a potent psychedelic drug) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which work together to produce a longer-lasting high.
Nerd alert! Ayahuasca is considered an entheogenic drink. An entheogen is a psychoactive substance that induces changes in perceptions, mood, consciousness or behaviour. Whatsmore, ayahuasca has been used for centuries by Indigenous tribes in South America as a vehicle for spiritual development.
How do you microdose it? Less of a micro-dose, more of a brew-of-choice. Ayahuasca is traditionally used in ceremony over the course of one night. Some users report experiences of visions and vomiting, others say it took them on a journey through their life, revealing the things they needed to change. Wild, huh?
What is it? Like ayahuasca, iboga is derived from plant matter; the root bark of a West African iboga shrub. It was traditionally used for medicinal and ritual purposes in African spiritual traditions but gained popularity in the West during the 1960s as a stimulant and method of treatment for opiate addiction.
Nerd alert! In the past three years, two studies have been conducted linking larger doses of ibogaine (the active compound in iboga) to the significant reduction of withdrawal systems from opiates as well as the temporary elimination of substance-related cravings. Despite this promising research, iboga remains classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S.
How does it feel? First-hand accounts report experiences of vivid hallucinations and psychedelic journeys, as well as physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, lasting up to 72 hours. In some circles, these effects are considered beneficial and even healing. They figure the more you purge, the more you heal.
While we’re always down for new experiences (and more Fun), we’re all about professional guidance and advice. These potent psychedelics shouldn’t be misused or administered without expert support. In other words, don’t try this at home, kids. Stick to our brain-boosting, organic chocolate instead. Shop now.
Written by Sarah Frish