Lactuca virosa is a close relative of normal lettuce (Lactuca sativa) that can be bought in supermarkets. L. virosa contains substances that produce similar, but milder psycho-active effects than opium from Papaver somniferum The plant is used centuries because of its sedating and anaesthetic properties. In the 19th century, doctors and pharmacists regularly used lactucarium, a plant extract, when normal opium wasn't available. Lactucarium is a safe opium substitute, because it is not addictive and even large amounts of lactucarium never lead to overdosage. In the 70's, L.virosa was very popular in America. There it was sold under multiple names like Lettuce opium, l'opium and lettucene. EFFECTS :
Sedation, euphoria, dreamy conditions, anaesthesia (pain relieving).
A few hours.
Wild lettuce can be prepared as a beverage and can be smoked as an extract : -Let the wild lettuce soak, for one night, in liquor (10 grams/300ml). -Filter the beverage. It is now drinkable, but it can also be made into the extract, lactucarium. -The liquid (min. 500ml) should be vaporized, leaving a brown residue. -Never use a aluminium vaporizing dish, always use a glass or porcelain. The residue can be scraped off and it can be smoked in a similar manner as opium. Lactucarium smells like opium and tastes as bitter. The best way to smoke lactucarium is to use an opiumpipe, because direct contact of the extract with fire lessens its effects. After heating, the lactucarium starts to bubble and the smoke should be inhaled.
Lactucarium can be extracted from the leaves and roots of L. virosa. The extract consists of lactucin, lactucerol (taraxasterol) and lactucinic acid. The three psycho-active substances are structurally unrelated to the opiates obtained from Papaver somniferum, but they produce similar effects. They both produce the same sleep-EEG pattern, namely, alpha-waves.
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