Why did this weed make me sick?
November 2, 2008 12:20 PM   Subscribe

A tale of woe: I was walking in the woods and came upon a solitary cultivated plant which appeared to be marijuana by the shape of it's leaves. For reasons I can't explain (I've never enjoyed being stoned anyway), I picked one of the largely desicated 'buds' smoked it and within minutes felt horribly, horribly nauseated. What happened to me?

After lying on the floor incapacitated for a long time I managed to crawl to bed and sleep it off. I can't say whether I felt stoned, although the nausea was so bad it was almost hallucinatory. After 24 hours I still feel a little off but am basically fine.


1) it wasn't actually pot but someone's 'hemp' experiment or perhaps some other plant entirely...
2) it was somehow adulterated i.e. I was poisoned...
3) I just don't know how to prepare marijuana for smoking, wrong part of plant, not dry enough, wrong time of year, etc.

Yes I know this was a stupid thing to do.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I vote for 3- not dry enough, and possibly not the right kind of plant.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:28 PM on November 2, 2008

You could have swallowed some smoke? Did it have mold on it?

Look out when you run into plants in the woods, though- people can be really defensive of them, OR there can be a cop sitting in a tree somewhere, waiting for the plant's owner to show up. Honest.

Oh, what a wonderful free country I'm from.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:34 PM on November 2, 2008

I vote for #1 - the 'some other plant entirely' part.
posted by fixedgear at 12:54 PM on November 2, 2008

You definitely didn't cure it properly. Pot isn't ready to be smoked right off the plant, though that's extremely unlikely to have made you sick. There is a possibility that the grower was using pesticides (or more likely, some sort of deer repelling chemical) that caused a negative reaction. If that's the case, the grower would likely have "flushed" the plant before harvesting, getting rid of the nasty irritant. However, I think it's most probable that you just misidentified the plant, and it wasn't cannabis.

You mentioned that the buds were "dessicated." The buds on a healthy pot plant are anything but dry. Perhaps it was in fact marijuana, but somehow diseased.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:54 PM on November 2, 2008

What happened to me?

You got stupidly curious and managed to live to tell the tale. Take it as a lesson learned.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on November 2, 2008 [13 favorites]

Do you have anything left of it? Can you take a pic of that, or go back to the plant and take a picture of it, and then maybe send that to a mod here so we can take a look at it?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:14 PM on November 2, 2008

Yea, if it was dried out on the plant then it's likely it was not actually marijuana. If it had clearly been planted/cultivated and was not just some random plant out in the woods, then (even if it wasn't pot) it 1) had probably been treated with chemicals and 2) probably had psychotropic properties (maybe it was salvia?).

Obviously when you come across something like that the best thing to do is turn around and walk away as fast as possible. Anyone who knows much about the Appalachian regions in the US knows you really don't want to mess with other people's grow ops. They are often full of elaborate booby-traps that would make the Viet Cong proud.

Also, the nausea could possibly be related to the way you smoked the stuff, eg some people use cigar wrappings (tobacco leaves or nasty treated paper) and it can cause some ill-effects. Or maybe it was just really potent and you have no tolerance for such things.
posted by kurtroehl at 1:28 PM on November 2, 2008

Second spikelee...yougottabekiddingme: you've got to get a picture for any kind of positive ID. I'm guessing you smoked something completely random. Still, you may have found ditchweed, i.e. feral, uncultivated hemp. Apparently upwards of 98% of the "marijuana" plants destroyed every year have no psychoactive properties whatsoever.

All of which to say that if you do happen on a plant in the woods that doesn't show signs of being cultivated but does appear to be marijuana, odds are pretty good that it isn't.

Short story boring: You'll probably regret eating/smoking random plants you happen across unless you really know what you're doing.
posted by valkyryn at 1:30 PM on November 2, 2008

There's at least one ornamental plant that looks very, very much like pot - the leaves form the same pattern and are close to the same shape, but they don't have teeth along the edges. It would be odd to find just one cultivated pot plant.
posted by dilettante at 1:30 PM on November 2, 2008

Is it possible that you came across some vitex? It grows wild throughout the south.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:32 PM on November 2, 2008

If you google the phrase "plants that look like marijuana" there are a bunch of sites with picture galleries; if you remember what it looked like, maybe you could see if you recognize any of them.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:41 PM on November 2, 2008

Did you smell it? Did it smell/taste like pot when smoking? Marijuana has a very distinctive smell, and even the driest, nastiest pot will have that distinctive smell when lit. If you picked a bud off of a living plant, and it didn't smell strongly like pot, you smoked something else. (have you checked to see if you have super powers yet?)
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:42 PM on November 2, 2008

It's also possible you had a bad reaction. I have a couple of friends that react badly to dope (although in their case it's severe paranoia as a reaction).
posted by rodgerd at 1:43 PM on November 2, 2008

If it was pot then it was some individuals personal plant not a dealers (or there would have been more of them) in which case that was very uncool of you. Robbing from hippies is pretty bad karma.

If you have any left snap a pic otherwise there is no way to know, but best guess is that it wasn't what you thought it was.
posted by Bonzai at 1:48 PM on November 2, 2008

I love this question, because it starts like a fairy tale and ends like every other AskMe: should I eat smoke this?

I'm going to have to vote that it was indeed pot, and some enterprising personal plant at that, because who would go to such care and bother to plant/grow anything else? As solipsophistocracy said, it was probably treated with pesticides that made you sick. Next time you find treasure in the woods, wash and dry it thoroughly first!
posted by rokusan at 3:58 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Take a couple hours and watch Into the Wild. Spoiler Alert!!!!!!! Correctly identifying plants is not as easy as first thought and a failure can cost you your life.
posted by RobGF at 9:57 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Without seeing the plant I can't say, but you mention you don't enjoy smoking pot. If what you smoked was pot, you may have gotten hold of some that was more potent than you're used to. The extreme nausea and hallucinations sound similar to symptoms a friend described after smoking some particularly powerful homegrown. He spent the rest of evening alternating between vomiting violently and passing out curled around the base of the toilet. If you're sensitive to the effects of pot or find it unpleasant, that isn't an unusual reaction.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:27 AM on November 3, 2008

Curious as to why you are so sure it was cultivated. Was there disturbed soil around its base?

Nothiing to add, except to say that one can often find a single example of a species, growing remotely from all others of its kind - maybe it's the last survivor in that immediate area, or the first intruder into a new area. So, it could have been any one of a hundred or so pot-like species, if wild.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:49 AM on November 3, 2008

I don't know what happened to you, but I think I'm in love.
posted by Evangeline at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't know what happened to you, but I think I'm in love.

Once you've taken a few boyfriends to the emergency room, you'll get over it.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:30 PM on November 3, 2008

Oh, I'm happily married to a man who hasn't, I think, ever been to the emergency room, though I've had relationships with plenty of boys just itching for a stomach-pumping.

But I do admire the poster's curiosity and "safety be damned" attitude. There's something kind of sweet about someone who sees something on the ground and thinks, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I smoked that," and then actually acts on that impulse, however wrong-headed. It's like when a toddler eats dirt.
posted by Evangeline at 8:09 AM on November 4, 2008 [4 favorites]

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