Updated date:

Top 3 Most Popular Drugs Derived From Nature


Zack is a research addict who has dabbled in digital art, and freelance work.

Drugs are all around us. You can literally find a drug in your kitchen. Drugs act on our nervous system when they cross our blood-brain barrier. Different drugs cause different effects and most drugs are very addictive. Some drugs are made from pure chemicals while others are derived from plants. The following drugs were directly made from plant sources.



Opiates are very popular amongst recreational drug users. It's been used for centuries as a painkiller and it's still being used today in the medical industry to relieve pain. The term opiates only refer to the natural occurring alkaloids found in the opium poppy. Morphine is directly derived from the opium poppy and can be extremely addictive.

Opioids tend to be much more addictive than opiates, since opioids are much more concentrated and has extra ingredients to make them stronger and more effective. Before morphine was invented, people gathered the sap from the opium poppy seeds. The sap would then be orally administered to patients suffering with pain. Dependence is likely to form with continuous use. The most common effects are sedation, itchiness, respiratory depression, constipation, nausea and euphoria. The euphoria caused by opiates attracts recreational use. An user's tolerance builds up quite quick and this causes the user to use larger doses. Addiction and fatal overdose are very common, and thus it's a controlled substance.



Cocaine is a popular stimulant that's used as a recreational drug. Users may feel disconnected from reality with an intense feeling of happiness. Users may form an extreme dependence, since cocaine acts on the reward pathway in the brain. Cocaine was actually never used as a recreational drug. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant which is native to South America.

The leafs of the coca plant are chewed to release vital nutrients and numerous alkaloids, including cocaine. As mentioned earlier, the leaf does contain cocaine, but it isn't concentrated and therefore dependency is rare. The main effects from the coca leaf are a mild drunken feeling, suppressed appetite and a mild feeling of euphoria. The coca leaf is not harmful in small amounts and can be used for various medical issues such as numbing and decreasing bleeding, especially during nasal surgery.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. When was cocaine first discovered?
    • Cocaine was isolated in 1859 by German chemist Albert Nieman.
    • Cocaine was isolated in 1875 by American chemist John Newman.

Answer Key

  1. Cocaine was isolated in 1859 by German chemist Albert Nieman.



LSD is a psychoactive drug that causes hallucinations. LSD was made by Albert Hoffman in 1938. LSD is known as being a semi-natural drug, because Albert discovered it from the fungus of ergot. While LSD was made in 1938, it's psychedelic properties wasn't discovered until 1943. During the 1950's, officials from the Central Intelligence Agency thought the drug could be used as a mind control substance. After they dismissed the idea, LSD became illegal to possess or use.

LSD can create intense spiritual experiences and is therefore considered to be an entheogen. There has been reports of people that injured themselves while on LSD, but it's very rare since LSD is not known to cause delirium. The effects normally lasts about 12 hours and after effects may last for a few days. The effects include visual and audio hallucinations, and sensory alteration. The users go on a trip and everyone's experience is different. Some effects are common and consistent, such as time dilation, static objects that seem to move and a general distortion of objects. Depending on the dosage; users may feel disconnected with reality, and find themselves in another dimension.

That includes my list of drugs that was made from plants. Plants can be extremely strong drugs and should never be underestimated.

© 2017 Zack Woll