Smart Seeds
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5 Smart Seeds You Need To Try For Yourself

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These 5 smart seeds allow collectors the chance to cultivate some lesser-known psychoactive specimens. Read on to find out more!

It seems to be a natural progression for psychonauts to begin experimenting with mind-altering compounds, and shortly thereafter cultivate the source of these substances. It doesn’t take long to become fascinated with botany and mycology. These sciences can be easily studied at home with a computer and some basic equipment, and many plant species that produce psychoactive molecules can be cultivated outdoors in mild climates, or indoors using propagators, grow lights, and grow tents.

These 5 smart seed varieties are a must in any ethnobotanist's collection.



Yopo, also known as jopo or cohoba, is a perennial tree native to the Caribbean and South America. The species is classed as an entheogen, with parts of its anatomy used to produce altered states of consciousness in healing rituals for thousands of years.

The yopo tree produces beans (or seeds) that are loaded with an array of heavily psychedelic molecules. They contain both DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine) and 5-MeO-DMT (5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine). Both of these substances are known to induce extremely potent hallucinogenic effects, where participants report being blasted out their bodies, entering alternate dimensions, and interacting with lucid celestial beings. These experiences can last mere minutes if smoked, or hours on end when ingested orally alongside monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Such effects have led to DMT being labelled “The Spirit Molecule” by some researchers.

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What Is Yopo And How To Use It

Yopo beans also contain the psychoactive alkaloid bufotenin. Bufotenin is a tryptamine related to serotonin that is associated with some psychedelic effects. The molecule is also linked to anxiety and increased heart rate in some people, so do your due diligence and avoid taking yopo if you have any health issues or are on medication.

Yopo beans can be ingested as a snuff, as they were traditionally, to induce a short but intense experience. Psychonauts often combine toasted and ground yopo beans with calcium hydroxide or baking soda.

To cultivate yopo beans, soak them in a clean water source for 24 hours (preferably distilled) and place them 1cm deep into a potting mix of perlite and sand. Water regularly and try to maintain a minimum temperature of 22ºC.

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Khat, known by the Latin binomial Catha edulis and alternative name “Flower of Paradise”, is a plant belonging to the Catha genus native to the Horn of Africa and Arabian Peninsula. The plant is a slow-growing shrub that reaches varying heights of 1–5m, even surging to 10m when grown close to the equator. Typically, fresh leaves are chewed in order to produce a euphoric effect. Other effects of consuming Khat include alertness, arousal, concentration, friendliness, constipation, appetite suppression, and increased blood pressure. Long-term use may be associated with depression and impaired inhibition, so ingest responsibly.

The stimulating effects of Khat are attributed to the chemical constituent cathinone, an alkaloid that breaks down into molecules cathine and norephedrine. Both cathinone and cathine share similar molecular structures to amphetamine.

Khat is notorious for being rather difficult to cultivate, but plants can be raised successfully with a good amount of love and care. Khat thrives in a well-draining medium, and many cultivators experience success using cactus soil mixes, vermiculite, and perlite. Germinate your seeds in a mix of these growing media and place them in a warm location away from direct sunlight. Water your seedlings only when the soil has become dry, and re-pot once they exceed 5cm in height.

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Ma Huang

Ma huang (Ephedra sinica) encompasses three species of shrub native to China, Russia, and Mongolia. Traditional use of the herb in these regions involved treating asthma, nose and lung congestion, and fever. Since these times, Western psychonauts have experimented with the leaves of the species, discovering the stimulating and appetite-suppressing effects for themselves. Ma huang leaves can be used to make a tea. Grind the dry leaves and steep in warm water for 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter and add honey to taste.

Ma huang has been associated with toxicity and side effects such as cardiovascular issues and hypertension. Again, conduct thorough research to make sure it is safe for you to consume. Ma huang is a hardy plant, is easy to grow, can tolerate varying temperatures, but does prefer warmer climates.

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Cebil (Anadenanthera colubrina) is a tree native to South America, and is closely related to yopo. This species grows to towering heights and can be found anywhere from the savannah to the rainforest of its native habitat. Cebil isn’t only genetically similar to yopo, but the two produce some of the same psychoactive compounds. Cebil seeds contain DMT and bufotenin, producing intense psychoactive effects.

These seeds are also prepared as a snuff. First, the pods are roasted to allow easy removal of the husk. The internal seed is then ground and combined with calcium hydroxide. 1g of cebil snuff is reported to produce a powerful hallucinogenic experience that lasts 30–45 minutes.

Cebil can be successfully cultivated given the right environment, and prefers warmth and humidity above all else. First, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours, then place on top of a well-draining potting mix. Place the seed slightly into the soil, but not enough to bury it. Water lightly, so as not to encourage the growth of fungal pathogens.

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Monnier’s Snow Parsley Seeds

Monnier’s Snow Parsley (Cnidium monnieri) is a plant belonging to the Apiaceae family that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. The species is found in regions of Asia such as China, India, and Korea, and also parts of Europe.

Traditional practitioners utilised the herb to assist patients with skin conditions such as rashes and eczema. The herb is also often used to boost libido, and is reported to produce nitric oxide, a chemical that increases blood flow. This is particularly helpful for men experiencing erectile issues.

The plant can be grown at home with ease. Germinate in a potting mix and keep the seedling hydrated and warm. Gradually transplant to bigger pots inside, or sow outside into beds.

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Luke S

Written by: Luke S.
Luke S. is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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