Q&A: What’s the Lowdown on Legal Highs?

Question:

“Hi Mary.  I’ve seen lots of adds for legal drugs online lately and was wondering whether they’re worth the money.  I have my doubts that anything legal could really have an affect, but maybe I’m being skeptical?  do any of them work and if so, what would you recommend?”

—M3tallikill

Answer:

High there, M3tallikill.  The choices of legal drugs are virtually endless and range from common kitchen spices to potent synthetic chemicals like MDPV and mephedrone.  Some of them produce consciousness-altering effects while others are largely bunk.  A few can even be deadly.

Here’s a rundown of the most common legal drugs and their classification.  (Note that some of these drugs may be banned in certain states but are readily available online):

~Stimulants~

Bitter orange (synephrine)

Sida cordifolia (ephedrine)

4-FMP (4-fluoroamphetamine)

Caffeine

Nicotine

~Depressants~

Diethyl ether

Kava

Alcohol

Phenazepam

Methylmethaqualone

~Hallucinogens~

San Pedro/Peruvian Torch cacti

Morning glory seeds/Hawaiian Baby Woodrose

DPT/DiPT

5-meo-dmt/bufotenin (toad)

Salvia divinorum

2-CT-21

Bromo-Dragonfly

DOC

TMA-2

~Opiates~

Kratom

Poppy seeds/pods

~Dissociatives/Deliriants~

DXM

Amanita muscaria mushrooms

Datura

Nutmeg

Diphenhydramine

Nitrous oxide

3-MeO-PCP

4-MeO-PCP

~Empathogens~

Methylone

Butylone

MDPV

Mephedrone

Flephedrone

MDEA

Ethylone

MDAI

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives an idea as to the diversity of the legal high market.  While some of these substances may provide mildly enjoyable or disappointing effects, others have been linked to serious adverse effects including death.  And death.  And death.

The danger of legal highs—particularly the synthetic “research chemicals”—lies in their relative newness and lack of long-term studies in humans.  While we’re aware of their immediate effects, little is known about the potential for drug interactions, adverse reactions and long-term dangers.  In addition, the manufacturers are not held to the same standards as food and drug companies, making the products more likely to contain dangerous impurities.

If you plan on trying any of these legal drugs, please take the time to research their effects and risks first.  Erowid.org is a great place to start and has info on most every substance.  I’ve included a link for you below.

Your Lawful Lady of Licit Lore,

Mary Microgram

Erowid.org: Home

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