The latest trend today with teens is not getting drunk with hard liquors nor getting high with pills from their parent’s cabinets. Rather, the new fad is smoking these so-called “legal weed” or incensed drug, which are easily accessible in the market. We are not talking about marijuana being legal, but those herbal smoke blends bought in herb shops. Yes, selling these legal herbs is legal in some countries including the United States.
Researchers already claimed that most of these herbal smoke blends contain certain amounts of JHW-018, a synthetic substance that creates similar Marijuana effects. However, apart from JWH-018, this incensed drug also contains a legal herb that contributes and even enhances the effect of these marijuana alternatives. And, one of these legal herbs is Damiana.
What is Damiana?
Turnera diffusa, the scientific name of the Damiana herb, is a plant usually found in the Southwestern parts of the United States and Mexico. It is actually a native shrub of Central and Southern America, Mexico and the Caribbean usually referred to as Herba de la Pastora or old woman’s broom. Originally utilized as a sexual stimulant during the Mayan civilization, it has potential reproductive and sexual pleasure enhancer properties. Aside from that, Damiana may also induce a euphoric dream-like experience ideally suited for treatment of stress, anxiety and depression. It may also have a mild diuretic and laxative effect as reported by some users. However, it still needs evaluation of FDA for its safety, effectiveness and purity. Thus, potential risks and benefits are still in question as of the moment.
Effects of Damiana
The method of consuming Damiana, ingested or smoked, creates varied effects. When taken orally may or may not show these following effects:
- Increase resistance to stress
- Antibacterial effect
- Alleviate anxiety and stress
- Aphrodisiac (increase sexual desire, improve performance and sexual impotency, increase frequency of sexual intercourse and orgasm)
- Improve gastrointestinal conditions (laxative effect)
- Memory enhancement
- Diuretic effect and aids in control of bedwetting
- Treatment of headache
When smoking Damiana, anecdotal reports show that it causes euphoria or induce hallucinogenic effects. Since, it also gives a “high” experience, it may become a potential substitute for marijuana.
Damiana can possibly be short-term MAOi, a class of antidepressant drug. Although there is still no scientific evidence to prove such claim, reports from experienced first-hand users say it is indeed probable. Assuming it is a MAOi (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), it works as an inhibitor of MAO-A and MAO-B, responsible for inactivation of neurotransmitters resulting to treatment of depression and nervous exhaustion.
However, higher doses of Damiana may also lead to undesirable effects such as: disorientation, dizziness, headaches and even insomnia. Other less common adverse reactions include: dry mouth, feelings of lightheadedness, constipation, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, excessive high or low blood pressure and hallucinations.
Why is Damiana a main ingredient in Herbal Smoke Blends?
The answer is very simple: It doubles the potency of herbal smoke blends such as K2, Spice, Spice Gold and DamiDagga to name a few. According to some reports from researchers, the ratio of Damiana to Spice affects the potency of the herbal smoke blend. For example, a 1:1 ratio of Damiana in a regular legal weed provides at least a 3-hour in-the-head type of feeling compared to a 2:1 ratio creating a better “high.” Since, you use a lesser amount of JWH-018 and other ingredients compared to Damiana, tolerance acquisition is slower. Even if you get lesser effects from Damiana herb, there is still possibility of experiencing the MAOi effect due to its active chemical activity of binding with MAO A and B enzymes.
In conclusion, the effects caused by herbal smoke blends do not only rely on JWH-018 but includes its other ingredients. So, whenever you feel “high” smoking any legal weed, it is not because of the JWH-018 alone. All of its components are working together in order to achieve the desired effect that user seek the most.
This Article is written by Lena Butler, contributor of Test Country Articles.
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