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Is Smoking Catnip Dangerous?


It may come as a surprise to many, but smoking strange things to get high is nothing new. From smoking herbs and plants to smoking dried animal dung, some people try anything they can to give themselves an altered state of consciousness. Believe it or not, one of the substances people try is catnip.

While it has long been thought to be harmless for cats, smoking it can have some potentially dangerous effects on humans. In this article, we will explore what catnip is, how smoking it affects humans, and what you should do if someone you know is smoking catnip.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip, also known by the scientific name Nepeta cataria, is an herb from the mint family. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses, with its leaves often being used in teas to help aid digestion and soothe headaches.

Probably the most popular use for this plant, however, is among cats — hence the name. When cats smell or ingest catnip, they experience a euphoric reaction that makes them feel energized and playful. As a result, catnip is commonly used by cat owners as a treat for their pets. But some experimental smokers also try to use this herb as a recreational drug for humans.

Can You Smoke Catnip?

The answer here is yes — people can smoke catnip to get high. However, there are many risks associated with smoking catnip, and human bodies do not necessarily process the herb in the same way that cats’ bodies would.

How Smoking Catnip Effects Humans

Smoking catnip can have a range of effects on humans, and these effects depend largely on the quantity smoked. When smoking catnip, the active ingredient nepetalactone enters the bloodstream and causes physiological changes, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

In small doses, people often report feeling relaxed, energized, and euphoric similar to the feelings experienced by cats when they ingest or smell catnip. However, smoking too much catnip or doing so regularly can have some decidedly unpleasant side effects.

Side Effects of Smoking Catnip

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Why Do People Smoke Catnip?

There are a few possible reasons why people try smoking catnip. Some may think that smoking it will give them the same euphoric effect as cats experience when they smell it.

Others may be looking for an alternative to smoking marijuana since smoking catnip is much cheaper and easier to obtain than cannabis. For instance, in the United States, marijuana is still illegal or strictly regulated in many areas of the country. Catnip, on the other hand, can be legally purchased in most pet stores or online.

Finally, some users may be smoking catnip as part of a concoction known as the “catnip cocktail.”

"Catnip Cocktail" and Drug Misuse

The smoking of catnip is sometimes referred to as a “catnip cocktail" when the herb is mixed with other substances. Catnip is often combined with other mind-altering ingredients like marijuana and alcohol, which are then smoked together to achieve an altered state of consciousness.

However, this practice is extremely dangerous and should never be attempted. Smoking these substances together with no knowledge of what they are or how they interact with each other can lead to serious health risks. A catnip cocktail can cause extreme physical and mental harm that could lead to hospitalization.

Is Smoking Catnip Addictive?

One silver lining is that smoking catnip is not generally considered addictive. Smoking catnip does not typically lead to physical or psychological dependency as smoking other substances can.

That said, smoking catnip can still lead to psychological dependence or the development of unhealthy habits. And if someone is consuming catnip as part of a catnip cocktail, one or more of the other substances used may be more prone to physical addiction.

Signs Someone Is Smoking Catnip

If you suspect someone is smoking catnip, there are a few signs that could indicate it. These include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Increased energy and euphoria
  • Unusual odors on clothing

What to Do If Someone You Know Is Smoking Catnip

If you know someone who is smoking catnip, it’s important to talk to them about the dangers of smoking and suggest alternatives for relaxation, such as yoga or meditation. It’s also important to encourage them to get help if they feel they need it. Many organizations offer assistance with drug misuse, such as The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA provides a variety of services for people struggling with many different types of substance misuse and can even be contacted via their 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

Other Commonly Misused Legal Substances

Unfortunately, in addition to the smoking of catnip, many other legal substances can also be abused. These include cough syrup, aerosol sprays, and smoking herbal incense. However, these are not approved consumption methods and can often have unforeseen physical and mental consequences. So if you or someone you know is misusing any of these substances, it’s important to cease use and seek help immediately.

Get Answers with Countrywide Testing

If you are concerned about a friend or loved one’s substance misuse, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. But first, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Countrywide Testing has the answers you need. We offer discreet, at-home drug testing kits that will help you get confirmation of drug misuse and help them on the road to recovery.

Countrywide offers an array of drug testing products for workplace testing, healthcare emergencies, law enforcement purposes, and individuals trying to stay clean after rehab.

Our test kits are convenient, affordable, and ship to you quickly. Plus, our lab is accredited by SAMHSA, so you can rest assured your test results are handled in accordance with the highest industry standards.

Want more information on how Countrywide can support drug and medication safety? Just contact our team today.