The evil weed

What’s the straight dope on Jimson Weed? Every year there’s a story about some kids who eat it and wind up in the hospital. Everything I’ve read says that it is highly toxic as well as hallucinogenic. Is it possible to get the hallucinogenic effects without the toxicity and, if so, is it worth it?

I’m more curious than experimental- I’ll typically avoid anything that has side effects that include “psychoses, coma, seizures and death”.

Jimson weed contains atropine, which is indeed dangerous. It was once used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but it’s medical use is very limited now. Atropine isn’t the only drug in Jimson weed, but is the most significant one.

Atropine can cause a rather unpleasant, very disoriented hallucinogenic experience. A former roommate of mine took some Jimson weed, and just has a vague memory of a conversation with police, in which he was telling them that he didn’t know where he was. It turned out that he was standing in his front yard.

Belladonna also contains atropine.

Short answer-- no, the danger and the “trip” are both dependent on a dangerous drug. However very few people who have had that hallucinogenic experience once are ever going to want it again.

It’s one of the few things I haven’t tried.
What I’ve heard from friends is the same as
what Undead Dude says. No fun.

Is this the weed that causes you to see leprechauns?

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

Likewise, I’ve heard nothing but bad reports about Jimson weed. I also had a roommate with a bad personal experience.

If you’re interested in doing a little reading on the subject, Carlos Casteneda’s books cover the use of Datura, especially, as I recall, the first one, The Teachings of Don Juan.

President of the Vernon Dent fan club.

      • This reminds me of three youngsters a few years back. They heard stories about mushrooms that had halucinatory effect growing locally, so they tried to find some. They are a couple that they found, that LOOKED right, and all ended up in the hospital. Extreme problems for all - heart/liver/kidney distress, and one kid almost suffered complete kidney failure and his life was for a day or two in danger.
      • The funny part is that the mushrooms they were looking for were named “Regal Laurels” or something like that, but the ones they ate were named something like “Avenging Death Angels”. I lauuughed! The news shows showed samples of the two mushrooms and they looked EXACTLY alike. Responsible authorities urged people not to pick their own wild mushrooms. - MC

A leprechaun drug native to the southwest US and Mexico? Sounds like those leprechauns would be seriously lost.

I bet that most people who have taken Jimson weed would have far preferred to see something as interesting as leprechauns.

The idea of a leprechaun drug sounds about as goofy as many of the misconceptions I have heard about the effects of LSD.

Most of the reports I’ve heard of haven’t been good. Anybody have any “positive” stories about its use, i.e. friendly leprachaun encounters?

I also found that intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly delivering, selling, and/or possesing JW on school grounds (only grades K through 12- its cool if its a nursery or vocational school) in Tennessee is a misdemeanor. I really can’t see how they’d prove intent other than a sting operation.

[[Is this the weed that causes you to see leprechauns?]] – ruadh
“That’s where I saw the leprechaun – he told me to burn things.”

It was in Discover a couple months ago - in the Vital Signs section. A guy was brought into ER with some condition nobody could figure out. Finally somebody told the doctor he’d been seeing leprechauns and that tipped the doctor off that his problem was he’d taken this particular weed. I’m not making this up honest :slight_smile:

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

OK, I found the reference. It’s the April 1999 issue of Discover, the author is Pamela Grim, and the subject, according to the Discover website, is “What causes the delirium of a very sick young man who blames his troubles on leprechauns?”

the url is but unfortunately the article isn’t online.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

      • Doesn’t some drug - crystal meth, I think - make one see “shadow people”? A friend more adventurous than I says they look exactly like the shadow-demon figures in the movie “Ghost”, but I myself am innocent of such substances. - MC

uh … (cough, cough) it’s not crystal meth.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

This is the same idea that throws me as the leprechaun thing. In my experience, the specific interpretations of halluncinations have more to do with the person than the drug. The drug may provide a certain type of hallucination, but what the subject sees in that will vary a lot.

IMHO, most halluncinations caused by meth ('cept at high, dangerous doses), are really a result of sleep depravation.

My ex insisted that there was a specific kind of mushroom, native to Europe that would cause eaters to hallucinate “little people”.

Who knows, but I thought it was kind of interesting when European folklore calls a circle of toadstools a “fairy circle”. That and the old legend that if you ate fairy food, you would forever pine away for its taste. (I’ll leave the obvious gay jokes to others.)

“Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment.” - Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher

While were on the subject of drugs and evil weeds (and I don’t want to start a new thread), is there such a thing as Devils-Foot root? There was a Sherlock Holmes story (The Cornish Horror/Devils Foot) that dealt with it- supposedly inhaling the smoke drove you crazy. Is it fictitious (like the Lemur serum story) or does it go by another name and D.F.R. was what it was known as at the time?

Interesting factoid about Jimson Weed/Nightshade - my grandmother was what I guess you could call a ‘wise woman’. She was part Cherokee and knew what herbs, etc. to use for different things. Poultices made of Jimson Weed or Nightshade leaves were used to bring abscesses to a head so they could be opened up to drain. Another ‘old wives tale’ that may have had a basis in reality if the atropine content could be responsible for this action.