japanese pot kool aid
January 16, 2006 9:26 PM   Subscribe

What powdered drink mix did they give my boyfriend in Japan to get him high?

While visiting a design office in tokyo my boyfriend and his friends were (not quite forced but) encouraged to drink a brown powder that was mixed in water. he claims it tasted and felt like drinking sand. the mixture didnt dissolve in the water very well and may have come in a large tin or box.

the powder drink, he claimed, made him feel high and sleepy all day long. while not expecting it he did enjoy it. he claims it seemed like a commercial product.

so does anyone have any idea what this is they may have been? it was seemingly readily available and used at this office.
posted by c to Food & Drink (35 answers total)
Nutmeg? I hear it has effects like pot when ingested.
posted by jopreacher at 9:31 PM on January 16, 2006

It sure sounds like nutmeg, but I've only ever heard of kids doing it, not "respectable"-type people.
posted by loquax at 9:37 PM on January 16, 2006

Best answer: Kava?

The effects are similar to what he describes. Did his mouth get numb at all?
posted by arha at 9:44 PM on January 16, 2006

Sounds like kava.
posted by pompomtom at 9:46 PM on January 16, 2006

Response by poster: i knew about its hallucinogenic properties in enormous doses but didnt realize it could be milder like pot like the link suggested. though i would imagine that he mightve tasted something more than just "like sucking the bottom of the ocean" if he were to have ingested the very flavorful ground nutmeg.

seems like an almost commonplace pasttime of this office. i cant imagine they are nutmeg heads.
posted by c at 9:46 PM on January 16, 2006

i cant imagine they are nutmeg heads.

Neither can I. For one thing, large quantities of real, fresh nutmeg is an expensive high. Moreover, I think you would immediately recognize the taste/smell -- "hey, I'm drinking pumpkin pie ... or eggnog ..."
posted by frogan at 9:54 PM on January 16, 2006

It also tends to cause heart palpitations.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:00 PM on January 16, 2006

Watch out for too much nutmeg. It can be carcinogenic, or so I have heard.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 10:32 PM on January 16, 2006

I'll bet it was a kinako drink, made of roasted soybean flour, light tan in color, which does come off as sort of sand-flavored to our western taste buds. I can't account for any high, though. Is he allergic to soy?
posted by planetkyoto at 11:14 PM on January 16, 2006

And, the nutmeg "high" is not a pleasant thing.

I'm +1 for kava.
posted by Netzapper at 11:16 PM on January 16, 2006

Kava powder is a very light gray, as I recall. So probably not that -- fairly hard to come by outside of Fiji, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:17 PM on January 16, 2006

All over Honolulu, stavros. They even have kava bars (like places to drink, not portable nutritional supplements). Also, lots of Japanese tourists come here, so they could've experienced it when they came here, liked it, and taken it back to Japan with them.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 11:28 PM on January 16, 2006

So probably not that -- fairly hard to come by outside of Fiji, too.

Kava is fairly easily obtainable in Northern Australia. Or maybe that should read "was easily obtainable." The Australian authorities declared a War on Kava a while back!

This link talks of both Japanese and Australian Aborigines using it.

posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:34 PM on January 16, 2006

I drank some kava after work once - didn't really think about it... until i almost slammed into the back of a truck because I was busy thinking about braking, like really really thinking about it.
posted by muddylemon at 11:43 PM on January 16, 2006

All over Honolulu, stavros.

This I did not know.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:45 AM on January 17, 2006

i think i've had kava here in chile, too (private party), since we're doing an geographical poll. didn't do much to me, though.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:35 AM on January 17, 2006

I can get Kava here in the eastern USA, too.

The make up of the drink sounds a lot like something my best gal accidentally ordered in a café in Portland, OR once. (Which was Kava)
posted by clango at 4:43 AM on January 17, 2006

It does sound like kava, and the kava I've seen firsthand is closer to brown than grey -- it's a think, denser powder that reminded me of flour, though I don't recall it being as smooth. It's an unusual feeling -- high, sleepy isn't very specific, but it certainly fits.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:20 AM on January 17, 2006

As I understand it, the quantity of nutmeg sufficient to have notieable hallucinogenic effects is very near the quantity required to kill you. Besides that, people retch from the taste before they get anywhere near the quantity required to work on the brain. Also, there's no mistaking the nutmeg flavor: it most certainly does not taste like sand.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:09 AM on January 17, 2006

Also, consider some experiences from the Kava page on the ever-useful vaults of Erowid.

It's a great site for all things psychoactive.
posted by symphonik at 8:17 AM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: kava is sounding about right. especially the way its ingested. ill cross reference what ive learned about it with more details about his experience.
posted by c at 8:22 AM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: my boyfriends feedback:

"mildly talkative and euphoric behavior; calming, sense of well-being, clear thinking; and relaxed muscles. Sleep is restful and there are no after-effects the next day."

you found it! what i had was more tan than grey, i think. it would make sense that they would keep this is in the kitchen—those guys worked until midnight every night, so why not stay relaxed and concentrated with some kava?

posted by c at 8:44 AM on January 17, 2006

(slightly off-topic) Myristicin, one of the active alkaloids in nutmeg is not as toxic as is claimed by some -- however, from personal experience, ingesting the quantities necessary to achieve any "interesting" effects will make you wish that you'd just slammed your head in a door and had someone punch you repeatedly in the stomach instead. Then there's the diarrhea later ... you will never want to eat pumpkin pie again.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 8:46 AM on January 17, 2006

I can get Kava here in the eastern USA, too.

The make up of the drink sounds a lot like something my best gal accidentally ordered in a café in Portland, OR once. (Which was Kava)
posted by clango at 7:43 AM EST on January 17 [!]

Where did you get it? Locally or mail order?
posted by NoMich at 9:36 AM on January 17, 2006

I spent a bunch of money in 2000 for about 5 pounds of quality finely ground kava shipped from wherever the stuff is from. But I've used very little of it because of exactly the way his drink was described: it was like drinking very bitter mud. I think I could have withstood either bitter or mud-like, but not both. Anyway, it's brownish-gray in color.

One thing I considered was to somehow put it into some capsules, assuming that is possible for someone at home to do.

Does anyone know about how long that kava I bought would last? It's been kept in a plastic bag in a cardboard box in a pantry cupboard for five years.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:07 AM on January 17, 2006

Is it possible to order kava online or get it in connecticut?
posted by deeman at 10:46 AM on January 17, 2006

Every health/natural foods store i've ever worked in has carried it, in bulk, in tin containers (like powdered chocolate milk) and in capsule form (generally stocked with the other herbs. It was pulled from the shelves earlier this decade because of a scare that it causes liver disfunction, but i believe that has been disavowed ( I don't know the details off the top of my head).
posted by iurodivii at 11:18 AM on January 17, 2006

Sorry; i'm referring to Kava above.
posted by iurodivii at 11:19 AM on January 17, 2006

Doesn't the traditional method of kava preparation involve chewing and spitting by teenage virgins?
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:25 AM on January 17, 2006

Hey most of metafilter, can I get you to prepare my kava for me?
posted by ND¢ at 12:44 PM on January 17, 2006

Kava is available online from the Hawaiian Kava Center (25$/pound). This stuff is sold in supermarkets in Honolulu (there is even a kava festival). I drink Kava a lot and I would no way describe the drink as getting anywhere near stoned territory. You get mildly relaxed and talkative, and it helps reduce anxiety/ promote sleep. It is really an acquired taste. I think that it tastes like mud, but I like it!

If you are ever in Honolulu, check out Hale Noa the kava bar. The place has a really relaxed atmosphere, and great live music.

Just a note, the kava industry has worked very hard to legitimize their product. They are trying to promote kava for medicinal and spiritual purposes. They don't want it to be known as a drink for stoners.
posted by phatboy at 1:34 PM on January 17, 2006

I had a couple of bowls of kava in Vanuatu, tasted foul but the buzz was great. Numb mouth, chatty, happy.
posted by The Monkey at 3:53 PM on January 17, 2006

Long before I knew about the kava high, my boyfriend and I once bought a decent tasting kava drink at Trader Joe's and drank it on our commute home from work. I wouldn't recommend that, but I think TJ's still sells that drink. Otherwise, you can buy kava pills at any health food store in the form of Happy Camper pills.
posted by booizzy at 6:55 PM on January 17, 2006

EthBligh: has it been kept airtight and away from light? it should be okay. Think of it like cookies - it does go stale after a while.

Sticky: no. Kava is a small tree, prepared by drying and then pounding the trunk and branches (not grinding it) to a powder. Since this process usually leaves shards in the powder, kava is usually prepared by placing the kava powder in a cheesecloth, and manipulating it as water is poured over it, so that kava powder passes through but not... uh, bits.

as for finding it, I have no idea; my dad just has a stash in the closet of unpounded chunks.

I should add: my parents are Fijian-Indian, so Dad's quite familiar with kava.
posted by heeeraldo at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2006

Actually, in Fiji and some other places at least, StickyCarpet is correct. The root was chewed up and spat into the bowl in which the drink was mixed, at least for a time. Now, of course, it's rendered to a powder and squeezed in cheesecloth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:40 PM on January 17, 2006

« Older my girlfriend can't sleep...   |   Best way to send money to india? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.