The first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word "nutmeg" is probably not that is used as a drug. Using nutmeg to hallucinate sounds like a crazy idea, but yes, it is possible. It is used as a narcotic because it is cheap, legal, and easily accessible. 

What is Nutmeg?

nut, coconut, nutmeg
Jessica Yeh
Nutmeg is a spice that comes from the seed of a nutmeg tree that is native to Indonesia and is also known as the Myristica fragrans. This plant also produces mace, a weapon commonly used for self-defense. The use of nutmeg in the kitchen is nothing new. It is used in beverages such as eggnog and apple cider, apple pie, and some cheesy dishes like lasagna. Nutmeg can be purchased in two different fashions: whole or ground. While the ground version is more convenient, it is said to lose flavor faster. 

When used properly, nutmeg can help with digestion, bloating, and passing gas. You can also add it to your toothpaste to help obtain fresher breath or alleviate painful mouth sores. A less commonly known use is as a hallucinogen. 

So Am I Going to Hallucinate?

nut, nutmeg
Brittany Chacon

People have been using nutmeg as a hallucinogen since the middle ages. Today, the most common users of the spice are teenagers and inmates. It is typically smoked when being used as a drug; it is used to achieve euphoria at a low cost. When consumed in high quantities, nutmeg has properties that are hallucinogenic. Myristicin, an organic compound found in nutmeg, provokes mind-altering effects when taken in large quantities. Myristica contains allylbenzene derivatives and terpines. The high can last up to two days, similarly to LSD.

One will find themselves trying to get high off of nutmeg to reach a giddy hallucination. The dose needed to reach this state of mind is far more than any amount that would be used for a culinary dish. To obtain hallucinations, one would need to have at least 2-3 teaspoon. Misuse is voluntarily and rarely accidental. 

What's Gonna Happen?

Symptoms primarily affect the cardiovascular and nervous system. Within the first hour of a nutmeg overdose, one will experience severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (sorry if that’s TMI). In some places such as India, it is actually used as a natural digestive. After several hours, visual and auditory hallucinations will begin. Visual hallucinations include color and space puzzlement. 

Other mental side effects that will come later can be a floating sensation, anxiety, and fear. Physical side effects can be dry mouth, blurry vision, facial flushing, and urinary retention. Because the hallucinogen property takes this much time to kick in, users will find themselves taking more than necessary to achieve a high prematurely. 

Should I Try This?

Overall, using nutmeg to hallucinate is not worth the risks. I defiantly do not recommend it. It is toxic and can even be fatal. Using nutmeg as a hallucinogen will cause negative effects well before the intended euphoria. Many who use nutmeg for this purpose do not try it again because the adverse effects outweigh the positive. Right now, the FDA has no plan to regulate nutmeg.