View Full Version : Herbs you can smoke to get high

10-05-2011, 02:39 AM
I'm looking for an herb that you can smoke to get high. Not marijuana, I want something a little less well known. The only other one I can think of is jimson weed, but after reading how toxic it is, I thought it would be unrealistic to have my character smoking it on a regular basis. The reason I don't want marijuana is because this is a medievel type fantasy story and marijuana feels too modern to me.

10-05-2011, 02:58 AM
Its your story and your characters can smoke just about anything they like.

In my second book, my character takes up smoking a pipe and different blends of herbs. Different herbs do different things and I never do explain what the herbs are...

As to Marijuana, its been around since the Egyptians so it is not all that modern...

10-05-2011, 02:59 AM
Not catnip. Not that I've tried it or anything...

10-05-2011, 03:15 AM
Salvia divinorum. You can smoke poppy leaves, and the leaves of angel trumpets and other related plants. DMT can be accessed from any number of plants, from acacia and mimosa trees to aquatic plants. The leaves of the coca plant can be smoked, as well.

But honestly, there is nothing 'modern' about cannabis, or the smoking of it. People have been smoking it, eating it, medicating with it, using the fibers of the hemp varieties, almost as long they've been recording history.

10-05-2011, 03:38 AM
It depends on where you set the story. Cannabis has been smoked since well before history started, but it isn't common in all areas. It would be the wees of choice in the Russian plains, central Asia, much of Africa, India, China, and other places Poppies have been known as long as cannabis has, but it wasn't as widely available. I don't know the native region of opium, but I believe that it was southern Asia somewhere. If you set the story in Europe, then you might do as the Europeans did and make beer and wine. If you set it in the Western hemisphere, then cannabis and tobacco would be the best choices.

There are other choices like salvia, but none of them were as good or convenient as the ole standbys.

Let them smoke pot.

10-05-2011, 07:20 AM
Nutmeg. Not an herb, but a spice. It has hallucinatory properties.


Siri Kirpal
10-05-2011, 08:13 AM
Sat Nam! ("Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Opium poppies are native to the eastern Mediterranean area, notably Turkey and Greece. Depending on where you're setting it, it might work.

As noted above, Nutmeg works too. I know people who've used it. And there are stories of Dutch housewifes in the late Middle Ages getting high on it. But I think it's ingested, not smoked. Though I'm not sure on that point.


Siri Kirpal

10-05-2011, 09:01 AM
Wormwood might be a good choice. There were lots of existing beliefs about it, though, if you are using the real Middle Ages. You'd have to check those out to make sure your characters follow the 'right' folklore on it for the region, etc.

10-05-2011, 10:16 AM
You might want to find one that is native to the area your story is set, or one that goes with the climate, if it's a made up place. I've tried some as research for a nonfiction book, but mostly not smoked.

Damiana is native to the southwest US down through South America. I tried it as a tea (from a health food store) and it did nothing. But smoked, it had aphrodisiac properties and also caused mild feelings of euphoria. Not "high as a kite" feeling, just pleasant. Natives have used it for centuries.

Yohimbe/yohimbine grows in Africa, I think. It is also legal here. I swallowed it in capsule form and it had aphrodisiac effects and also caused wild thoughts. I've read that it is mildly hallucinogenic. Time got away from me as I got involved in a big mental fantasy and then I realized I was kissing my writing desk, like a weirdo, lol. I have read that it can be smoked as well.

I've read that nutmeg has some kind of terrible effects, don't remember what now (headache?), but apparently so nasty that nobody has ever bothered to outlaw it.

Salvia, I believe, is a psycho crazy high that most people do not want to do again. That's what I have read, but I haven't tried it.

If you google "natural highs," there are many more. Also, look at all the different herb teas for things like "relaxation" or "energy". Most substances can be ingested different ways, and smoking tends to give much stronger effects than swallowing or drinking in a tea.

10-05-2011, 02:20 PM
Just a warning because it's making me nervous that someone reading this might get over-excitable.

Some of these can be poisonous (e.g. Wormwood in the wrong form/quantities). Play safe and don't try this at home.

10-05-2011, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the input everybody. I'm thinking of using damiana, as it seems to have a marijuana like effect, but is more obscure. So an extra thanks to fruitbat :).

10-05-2011, 03:51 PM
Just a warning because it's making me nervous that someone reading this might get over-excitable.

Some of these can be poisonous (e.g. Wormwood in the wrong form/quantities). Play safe and don't try this at home.
I'm worried about the government banning nutmeg.

10-05-2011, 08:34 PM
marijuana feels too modern to me.

Why? Marijuana has been used in shamanistic rituals for millenia.

It's use vastly predates modern society.

10-05-2011, 08:49 PM
Hashish was widely smoked in the middle ages in the Middle East (blah, blah, "assassin" etymology, etc.) and it is certainly reasonable to assume that it would be brought back to Europe by traders and Crusaders.

Datura didn't grow in Europe in the middle ages, but it was used as an intoxicant/hallucinogen in India, but then so was marijuana (bhang) so presumably any European travelor who would import one could import the other.

A fantastic resource for modern-day first-person accounts of drug use and experimentation is erowid.org.