Herbal ecstasy is the name for a group of products that mostly contain plant materials. It mainly occurs as capsules and is sold in smart shops, among other places. Its effects and ingredients vary widely. Most herbal ecstasy are ‘uppers’ and have a stimulating or uplifting effect, others give a more relaxed or ‘trippy’ effect. The energizing herbal ecstacies are the most popular. Examples include Lemon X, DNX, Spac-e, Danc-e, Flower power, and Till dawn. They are often based on caffeine, L-tyrosine, LSA and Citrus aurantium. The content of the products is not always constant. So make sure the smartshop personel takes the time to educate you.
The effect of a substance is determined by the properties of the substance itself, but also by the set and setting of the user. Here we describe the effects of herbal ecstasy in general.
The effects depend on the ingredients and therefore differ considerably per product. The uppers are the most popular. They give you an energy and a slightly euphoric feeling. The energetic effect is somewhat comparable to that of speed, but the euphoric feeling is often less intense than that of XTC.
|Positive effects||(negative) Side effects
You have feelings of being energized. Sitting still is sometimes more difficult and this energetic feeling is often expressed through the urge to dance or move.
Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
Due to increased cardiac stimulation, heart rate and blood pressure rise.
Need for contact, conversation and intimacy
Having a good conversation with someone, or cuddling, can be very pleasant and interesting.
Confusion and restlessness
Confusion and restlessness
More intense experience of touch
Physical/physical contact with other people feels different or more intense than usual. Giving a hug to someone else can be very pleasant. It can also happen that you prefer not to touch others because this can be too intense. This effect can therefore be both positive and negative.
An uneasy and tense feeling in the abdomen, which may cause discomfort. Nausea often precedes vomiting.
Euphoria, feelings of love
This substance can make you feel euphoric, like you are in love. You feel comfortable in your own skin and can experience things as pleasant more quickly.
Overheating (hyperthermia) can occur when your body temperature rises too high. Using drugs in a hot, humid, crowded environment (such as a club or indoor party, or in the sun at an outdoor festival) will raise your body temperature even further. Combined with intense, long, uninterrupted dancing, overheating can occur.
Early symptoms of overheating;
These are all symptoms that can also fall under the “normal” side effects of a drug. If the body temperature does not drop, the following symptoms may also occur:
If the body temperature rises to 40-41 degrees Celsius, the situation is life-threatening:
Depending on circumstances, overheating may also occur with “normal” doses of a drug.
Overheating is very dangerous and difficult to treat. Attempting to cool down, resting, and drinking enough water (no more than one glass per hour) is necessary to prevent overheating. Sweating is also an important way to cool down: by evaporating the sweat on your skin, it cools down slightly. But if the ambient humidity is very high (when condensate drops fall from the ceiling), sweat can’t evaporate well enough and therefore your body can’t cool down properly.
Some drugs keep you from falling asleep. Stimulants often have this effect, but even after using psychedelics or downers, sleep is disrupted and it is possible that you can’t sleep.
The airways open further, making breathing easier and faster.
Stimulation of the fight-or-flight response in the body can suppress appetite.
Most herbal ecstacies come in capsules and flashy packaging. Sometimes it is presented as a liquid or powder. The dosages are usually 1 capsule at a time and can often be found on the packaging. Since the recommended dosage may differ per product, we advise you to read the packaging carefully. In addition, it certainly does not hurt to be well informed by the employees of the smartshop; a good smartshop takes the time to inform you and has the knowledge to do so. Your smartshop products can’t tested at the drug checking service.
In general, the effects set in within an hour and last between two and four hours. The duration of action differs per product and method of intake.
Because of the different ingredients that are in herbal ecstasy, it is difficult to say anything about the risks. Most of the ingredients of herbal ecstasy have not been researched. The uppers often involve substances such as caffeine and geranamine. If those are in the list of ingredients, it is unwise to take it if you suffer from high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. It is also not recommended for people with psychological problems. The risks of caffeine can be read on the caffeine page. Little is known about the long-term effects of herbal ecstasy.
Combining different types of drugs can be risky and unpredictable. When you combine drugs you can have a higher risk of health problems. In the following paragraphs you can read about the effects and the risks of a number of combinations that occur frequently and also a about few that are extra hazardous. Also check our theme combining drugs.
The effects and risks of combining vary enormously per drug. Therefore, be well informed by the store. It is especially important to pay close attention to the following drugs if you plan to combine:
- Syrian rue/Peganum harmala
- Banisteriopsis caapi
- Salvia divinorum
Very little is known about the risks of herbal ecstasy and there is no real safe use of drugs. The risks can be limited, read the Unity tips for this:
- Go to a good smartshop and get well informed about the different products and their effects
- Stick to the dosage stated on the packaging
- Use only if you feel good mentally and physically
- Use it in a calm, safe and familiar environment
- Do not use if you have psychological complaints or if you have immediate family with schizophrenia or psychotic episodes
- Do not combine with other drugs or alcohol
- Do not participate in traffic
Unity tips for using drugs
- When using a drug for the first time, take only a small dose to see how your body reacts to the substance
- Only use drugs when you are feeling well
- Use drugs recreationally, not to combat psychological issues like fatigue
- Avoid using drugs if you have (had) psychological afflictions or if you have a family history of psychological diseases (such as depression) in your family
- Test your drugs before use at a drugs-testing service
- Make sure to prepare a good set and setting for drug use
- Only use drugs sparingly. Keep track of your use over time.
- Decide in advance how much you are planning to use over the evening, and stick to that.
- Do not combine drugs with other substances or medicines
- Do not participate in traffic after drug use
- Prevent infectious diseases; Use your own snorter/sniffer and do not share paraphernalia with others
- After insufflating, rinse your nose well with lukewarm saline water (for example, by using a nasal spray or nasal douche)
- Are you, or one of your friends not feeling well? Keep an eye out for one another, take care of each other and visit the first aid (if one is available)
- Call 112 in a life-threatening situation
- Eat healthy before and after drug use. In particular, foods with lots of antioxidants and vitamins (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, kiwi, broccoli). This is perhaps the most important tip! It can be difficult to eat during and after drug use, but make sure to try to eat something anyway. Eating well is a great way to reduce the hangover! If you can’t hold in solid foods, try juices, breakfast drinks, and smoothies.
I am planning to use herbal XTC with another drug. What can the consequences be?
Combining different drugs is extra risky and unpredictable. If you combine, you are more likely to have problems with your health. For more information, check the theme Drugs and combination use.
Little is known about the combined use of herbal ecstasy with other substances, but it is generally not recommended. In addition, many products are already combinations of various herbs that are composed in such a way that together they have a certain optimal desired effect. Because it differs greatly per herbal XTC what is in it, it is difficult to give a good answer. Be informed about the ingredients and effects. See if those ingredients can be combined or not.
I am taking medications and want to take a herbal XTC. What do I have to think of?
Combining drugs with medications can be risky. Little research has been done on many combinations. The Jellinek website contains a ‘medicine matrix‘ where you can read what the risks are per drug and per type of medicine.
Be especially well informed about the ingredients and effects of a herbal XTC. These can differ considerably between the herbal XTCs.
What about the law and herbal ecstasy?
Herbal XTC is generally legal, but it is possible that smart shops secretly sell illegal substances as if it were legal herbal XTC. If one of the ingredients is banned, it is often replaced by another, still legal, substance. So you can assume that smart shops only sell legal products. This does not mean that you can also take it to a party. Some party organizers also don’t allow legal herbals because they can’t control the ingredients. They can’t tell from the outside whether something is legal or illegal.
How did the use of herbal ecstasy start?
The first herbal XTCs appeared on the market in the late 1990s when the first smart shops were opened. They started by combining different substances to develop legal alternatives to the ecstasy that became illegal in 1988.
The ingredients have changed a lot in recent years. Until April 2004, ephedrine was one of the most commonly used herbs in herbal ecstasy. It was then replaced by a number of other products, including geranamine, which has a similar effect to ephedrine. Geranamine is also no longer allowed.
Herbal ecstasy can have different effects. Some are energetic, others more trippy or calming. So be well informed about the effects, ingredients and dosages of the herbal XTCs.
Every time a substance is banned, they adjust the formula of the herbal XTCs.
What if I have medical complaints after the use of partydrugs?
Some complaints after using drugs can last longer, A medical explanation or even treatment may then be necessary. The Brijder has set up a national consultancy for party drugs related medical complaints. If you have medical complaints after the use of party drugs, you can call the consultancy: 088 – 358 29 40. This service is only available in the Netherlands.