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Are Legal Psychedelics a Safe Alternative?

Consider the side effects involved before choosing a legal psychedelic.

Just because something is legal does not mean it is always safe. Each person reacts to drugs in a different way, this is particularly true of psychedelics. It is up to each person to decide whether a drug is safe for them to take or not. Psychoactive drugs have an inherent danger. Since psychedelics are psychoactive drugs, they are somewhat dangerous by definition. To judge whether legal psychedelics are a safe alternative there are three things you have to know. It is important to understand what each of the legal psychedelics are, their function, and their side effects.

Salvia divinorum


Salvia Divinorum is a legal hallucinogen.

Salvia divinorum is a cousin to the mint family and grows in tropical and sub tropical regions. The plants primary function is to cause hallucinations. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people use salvia in several different ways. These ways are:

  • chewing the leaves,
  • extracting and drinking the juice,
  • vaporizing it and inhaling it,
  • rolling it into a cigarette and smoking it, or
  • putting the dried ground leaves into a pipe and smoking it.

Their effect is noted as a minimal hallucination that is similar to psychosis. There is a distinct lack of information on Salvia. It produces a short term effect that last around 30 minutes maximum. Most people describe the experience as similar to psychedelics. It is said to:

  • produce visual hallucinations,
  • change emotional states,
  • modify perception,
  • decrease a person’s ability to interact with their environment,
  • give feelings of detachment, and
  • increase body sensations.

There is no data on the health effects of salvia. This does not mean it is safe. It means researchers do not have enough information about the side effects and long term effects of salvia. It is only legal to do this drug in some states.

Fly algaric mushroom or amanita muscaria

These mushrooms are pretty toadstool like fungi. According the University of Wisconsin, they also produce a hallucinogenic effect. They have bright red caps with white spots and long white stem. People dry these mushrooms and eat them in a manner similar to psilocybin mushrooms. That is where the similarity ends. These mushrooms produce a variety of sensations like:

  • blurring of the senses such as smelling words or hearing colors,
  • an inner dialogue,
  • lucid dreaming and an out of body feeling,

Although these might sound great, they have risks aside from the fact that they are similar to several deadly varieties of mushrooms. Some of the risks involved in taking algaric mushrooms are:

  • increased sweating and saliva production sometimes leading to dehydration,
  • blurred vision,
  • watery eyes,
  • runny nose,
  • nausea
  • intense intestinal cramping,
  • body perception and motor skills are severely impaired, and
  • dizziness.

These effects last between six and eight hours depending on the amount ingested. Not much is known about the long term effects of these mushrooms and they are currently being studied by a variety of organizations. They can only be sold labeled as “not for human consumption.” Due to the dangerous nature of most mushrooms, it is not advisable to ingest mushrooms collected from the wild without a deep knowledge of the mushroom.


Regular nutmeg is also a legal psychedelic. Although it seems to be an unassuming spice, drinking too much of it leads to hallucinations. Ancient civilizations prized nutmeg for its medicinal uses. In small amounts, it is a sedative. In large amounts, it has a similar effect to LSD. It takes between 10 and 20 teaspoons to get the overdose reaction. People wanting to consume it as a drug take it in tea, hot chocolate, and in eggnog. According to ABC News Corporation, the effects of nutmeg are:

  • euphoria,
  • vivid hallucinations,
  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting,
  • severe intestinal cramping,
  • limbs feel heavy and numb, and
  • irregular heart rhythms and nervous disorders.

The desired effects of taking a large amount of nutmeg do not appear until a few hours after ingestion but the side effects appear within an hour and can last up to two days. Since nutmeg is unregulated, it is completely legal but the side effects tend to make its use self regulating.

Cough syrup – Dextromethorphan

Cough medicine containing dextromethorphan acts as a hallucinogen when consumed in large amounts. Although most people think it is relatively harmless cough medicine causes many issues. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this cough medicine is not only a hallucinogen but also causes:

  • impaired motor function,
  • increased heart rate,
  • increased body temperature,
  • acid buildup in normal body fluids,
  • depressed respiration leading to possible hypoxia and brain damage,
  • heart attack,
  • extreme agitation,
  • high blood pressure, and
  • in some rare cases liver damage.

The DEA warns of the dangers associated with cough medicine. In this case the side effects and permanent damage done makes using it as a hallucinogen undesirable.

Use your judgment

There are several other legal psychedelics such as morning glory but they are poisons. In many of the legal psychedelics dosage matters, too much has serious consequences. When considering the use of legal psychedelics use your judgment. Many of the desired effects of these substances are not worth the pain, and sickness that comes with it. It is important to remember that most true psychedelics are strictly regulated by the DEA and other agencies like it. If they were completely safe, the side effects would not include serious damage and even death. When asking whether a legal psychedelic is safe, you have to consider the side effects compared to what the drug actually does.

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