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jimson weed seeds high

Berger, E. and Ashkenazi, I. [Jimson weed poisoning]. Harefuah 2003;142(5):364-7, 397. View abstract.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Jimson weed is UNSAFE for both mother and child when taken by mouth or inhaled.

Side Effects

Anon. Plant Poisonings – New Jersey. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1981;30:65-7.

Groszek, B., Gawlikowski, T., and Szkolnicka, B. [Self-poisoning with Datura stramonium]. Przegl.Lek. 2000;57(10):577-579. View abstract.

Anon. Jimson weed poisoning- Texas, New York, and California, 1994. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1995;44:41-4. View abstract.

Jimson weed (Datura stramonium, a member of the Belladonna alkyloid family) is a plant growing naturally in West Virginia and has been used as a home remedy since colonial times. Due to its easy availability and strong anticholinergic properties, teens are using Jimson weed as a drug. Plant parts can be brewed as a tea or chewed, and seed pods, commonly known as “pods” or “thorn apples,” can be eaten. Side effects from ingesting jimson weed include tachycardia, dry mouth, dilated pupils, blurred vision, hallucinations, confusion, combative behavior, and difficulty urinating. Severe toxicity has been associated with coma and seizures, although death is rare. Treatment consists of activated charcoal and gastric lavage. Esmolol or other beta-blocker may be indicated to reduce severe sinus tachycardia. Seizures, severe hypertension, severe hallucinations, and life-threatening arrhythmias are indicators for the use of the anticholinesterase inhibitor, Physostigmine. This article reviews the cases of nine teenagers who were treated in hospitals in the Kanawha Valley after ingesting jimson weed. We hope this article will help alert primary care physicians about the abuse of jimson weed and inform health officials about the need to educate teens about the dangers of this plant.

The nearby communities of Brampton, Midland, Waterloo and Hamilton have experienced similar problems in the past 2 years, and similar poisonings have also been reported in Quebec. A year ago, the US National Clearing-house for Alcohol and Drug Information reported that jimson weed poisonings were on the increase among teens.

Police in London, Ont., recently asked gardeners to destroy seed pods on any jimson weeds on their properties. The request came after at least 5 local teenagers ingested the seeds in pursuit of a cheap, legal high. For all of the teens, the trips ended in hospital. One 14-year-old spent a night in intensive care, drifting in and out of consciousness and hallucinating; 6 staff members were needed to restrain him.

All parts of the plant are poisonous, although the highest concentrations of the anticholinergic agent are found in the seeds (typically equivalent to 0.1 mg of atropine per seed.) A student hospitalized last month in London reported ingesting just 1 seed.

Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) is also known as devil’s apple, fireweed, stinkweed and stinkwort. It is both a potent hallucinogen and highly toxic. According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of poisoning may include dry mucous membranes, thirst, difficulty swallowing and speaking, blurred vision and photophobia, followed by hyperthermia, confusion, agitation, combative behaviour, urinary retention, seizures and coma. As one clich√©-loving nursing supervisor told the Salt Lake Tribune last year: “They are red as a beet, dry as a bone, blind as a bat and mad as a hatter.”

Detective-Constable Steve Cochrane of the London Police said the plant is not covered under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, but ought to be. “It’s very dangerous,” he said. “There’s a sense of abuse, an element of danger.” London Police intend to lay charges if sellers misrepresent the seeds as another drug. FIGURE