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Passiflora Passion flowers legal high

Preparations. Altered states

Please do not ever use Passiflora to get high. They are relatively safe as they contain only very modest amounts of toxic substances, and any cyanide present is broken down by boiling. However these toxic substances include MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibiting beta-carboline alkaloids such as harmaline and harmine, which, if concentrated enough by extraction, can cause unpredictable, severe or fatal interactions both with prescription drugs and some foods and drinks. Gracie and Zarkov, psychedelic voyagers in the 1980’s, comment, ‘The dangerous interaction usually precipitates a hypertensive crisis and certain people are especially sensitive to the effects, particularly those with heart abnormalities or high blood pressure. We ourselves have had a few close calls while investigating the beta-carbolines.’

Beta-carboline alkaloids

and related alkaloids are serotonin antagonists, hallucinogens, CNS stimulants, and short term MAO inhibitors.  It is also possible that they and other substances present in Passiflora interact with benzodiazepine (Valium) receptors. The evidence suggests that these alkaloids probably have little pharmacological significance for humans in the plants as is – the levels are too low. That said there are so many Passiflora species that no work has been done on that we simply don’t know what is in them, some could be very potent. If concentrated however, small doses of substances such as harmaline (25-50mg) act as mild and therapeutic cerebral stimulant, sometimes producing drowsy or dreamy state for 1-2 hours. Larger doses up to 750mg may have hallucinogenic effects, the intensity of which varies widely with the individual. Harmaline is also one of the active ingredients of ‘ayahuasca’, a hallucinatory Indian drink of some notoriety.

Passiflora incarnata

Dried leaves smoked have been reported as giving a mild marijuana type high. Further Gracie and Zarkov (1985) extracted a concentrate from Passiflora incarnata, which contained 0.05 – 0.1% beta carboline alkaloids, compared with two other plants which contained from 2.0 – 4.0%. They comment:-

‘The high is not particularly psychedelic or hallucinogenic. One feels calm. This calming effect is particularly noted by an observer as a significant change in facial expression and tone of voice. The limbs become heavy and lethargic and visibly tremble. Hypersalivation occurs, particularly at the back of the mouth, making for a particularly smooth smoke. A slight irritation of urethra and anus is sometimes noted. At higher dosages, dizziness and nausea sets in with very little increase in the high. Closed eye imagery is at best hypnagogic. That is to say, faint, moving outlines can be discerned with closed eyes. If one has a particularly vivid imagination, ghostly outlines of figures can be discerned. The more literal minded just see dim shifting blobs of light and dark. No one who has experienced DMT or high dose mushrooms would ever call them visions. The high comes on and stabilizes after about 5 to 10 minutes or smoking. As mentioned before, it is very difficult to get higher by smoking more. If one stops at this point, the most noticeable thing would be a calm and unapprehensive state. We take particular note of this diminishing of apprehensions since we are always apprehensive before we smoke DMT so its diminution or absence is very noticeable. The passion flower is mentally the foggiest high, but curiously has the strongest “anti-depressant” effect. This may be related to the overall mix of alkaloids in the passion flower.’

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