10 Psychoactive Drugs You Can Grow at Home

Photo:  Yarygin (Shutterstock)
Photo: Yarygin (Shutterstock)

These ten plant (well, nine plants and one fungus, to be technical) can be grown in your home, backyard, or greenhouse, and all of them can get you high. Some are so hardy they’ll grow on your lawn whether you like it or not, and some require real horticultural skills and years of commitment. In terms of legality, they run the gamut from “completely fine” to “you will go to jail,” depending on the plant, where you live, and what your intentions are, so consider this all informational, and don’t do actually do anything you read about on the internet, ever.


Photo:  Zoe Lyons (Shutterstock)
Photo: Zoe Lyons (Shutterstock)

Marijuana is the king of “grow-it-yourself” drugs. It doesn’t take a lot of care or specialized knowledge to cultivate, and it’s probably either legal in your state or it’s “illegal,” but who would bother hassling anyone over a couple of pot plants in the backyard? (Famous last words, I realize.) You don’t even need a backyard—you have plenty of room in your closet for a personal-use amount of weed and plenty of companies will sell you an all-in-one kit to get you started. In terms of “getting high,” a lot of people seem to enjoy marijuana’s effects.

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Salvia divinorum

Photo:  Jakgapong Pengjank (Shutterstock)
Photo: Jakgapong Pengjank (Shutterstock)

Chewing or smoking the leaves of Salvia divinorum, aka “sage of the diviners,” produces a short, intense psychedelic experience that some people like but a lot of people hate. Either way, it’s easy enough to grow. Salvia plants propagate through cuttings, not seeds, and you can buy the plants online or at a local garden store. A semi-tropical perennial, salvia needs a fair amount of water and will die if it gets too cold, so you might have to grown it inside depending on where you live. The flowers are pretty too.

Opium poppies

Photo:  Eva Pruchova (Shutterstock)
Photo: Eva Pruchova (Shutterstock)

It’s amazing that one of the most “serious” drugs—heroin—comes from innocent poppy flowers. Cultivating your own supply of opium/heroin presents serious legal and logistical problems, but growing the actual plants is easy. You can buy poppy seeds on Amazon, your local garden store, or scrape them off your bagel. Planting poppy seeds in the ground for the pretty flowers is perfectly legal, but using the resulting plants to produce narcotics is extremely illegal. It also requires a lot of space—it takes 10,000 to 12,000 seed pods to produce one kilogram of heroin. This is why people generally don’t make homegrown heroin in the U.S., but it’s not like it never happens.

Magic mushrooms

Photo:  Yarygin (Shutterstock)
Photo: Yarygin (Shutterstock)

The fad drug of the moment, psilocybin mushrooms aren’t especially difficult to buy in most places if you know some lowlifes, but you can also make your own if you’re OK with breaking the law (depending on where you live). Growing mushrooms is conceptually a little different from traditional houseplant-growing because mushrooms aren’t plants, but at its basic level: You add spores to a growth medium, throw in some “food,” and wait. There are a lot of variables between those steps, though. This video is a good place to start if you’re looking for a simple solution—all you need is a bag of rice and some spores.


Photo:  Alex Polo (Shutterstock)
Photo: Alex Polo (Shutterstock)

The great thing about growing things to get high is that almost anything you grow can get you high if you really want it to. Even the lowly dandelion. These guys will grow anywhere, whether you want them to or not. The flowers of this humble weed can be brewed into dandelion wine if you add sugar and yeast and have patience. I’m sure dandelion wine tastes gross, but it will definitely get you drunk. You can ferment a ton of other plants for wine, beer, or liquor too, like, say, grapes.

Morning glory

Photo:  Alex Polo (Shutterstock)
Photo: Alex Polo (Shutterstock)

The seeds of the some kinds of morning glory plants contain ergot alkaloids, a substance chemically similar to LSD. Unlike LSD, morning glories can be grown in your garden legally. I wouldn’t try it though, unless you just like the flowers. To get high from morning glory seeds, you need to eat a ton of them and it’s reportedly not easy to control the dosage. Taking too much can lead to negative physical effects like seizures and death, and no one really knows the long term effects of regular usage.


Photo:  joanna wnuk (Shutterstock)
Photo: joanna wnuk (Shutterstock)

Growing your own kava is a challenge for a home horticulturalist. The plants require very specific conditions to thrive. Outdoors, you need nutrient rich soil located at around 500 to 1000 feet above sea level in a tropical area. Lots of shade. Loose soil. Lots of water. Lots of humidity. Should you succeed in replicating these conditions in your house for three years, you can harvest the mature kava plant’s roots and brew some tea. Having sampled a strong tea from a local kava house, the result is, “I guess maybe I’m feeling a little more relaxed, kind of?” So it’s a lot of work for little reward.


Photo:  ZayacSK (Shutterstock)
Photo: ZayacSK (Shutterstock)

Jimsonweed, or Datura stramonium, is a member of the nightshade family, which should tell you all you need to know about whether to use it to get high. You shouldn’t; it’s poison. Ingesting Jimson weed can cause convulsions and death, but if you survive, you’ll hallucinate. According to users, these are not the groovy, “Oh, wow, everything is trippy!” hallucination you get from mushrooms. They are bad, “I’m going crazy and the universe is on fire,” psychosis-style hallucinations that can last for three days. But at least Jimsonweed is easy to grow—it generally doesn’t require fertilizer or any excessive care, as long as it doesn’t get too cold. Plus, very pretty flowers.


Photo:  Svetkins (Shutterstock)
Photo: Svetkins (Shutterstock)

Whether you can get high from wormwood really depends on your definition of “getting high.” It contains thujone, a substance that can cause seizures and death if you ingest too much of it, but it reportedly has medicinal and “getting high” effects as well. Wormwood is a popular folk remedy for a lot of ailments in different cultures. It’s in vermouth and absinthe too, that notorious and mysterious green spirit that tastes like Jägermeister. People used to believe that the wormwood in absinthe caused hallucinations, but it’s probably just the alcohol. Either way: You can grow wormwood easily at home and buy the plants online or at a garden store.


Photo:  Anna Hoychuk (Shutterstock)
Photo: Anna Hoychuk (Shutterstock)

Ingesting catnip probably won’t do too much to you, but your cat likes to get high too, so you might as well add it to your herb garden. Better yet, grow it in a little patch outdoors and let Fluffy roll around in—she’ll love it! A catnip high lasts about ten minutes, followed by a half hour or so where they are immune to its hypnotic effect. Fun fact: Catnip works on lions, leopards, and jaguars too.

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