The History of Psychedelic Drugs

Drugs aren’t a new problem for the world at large, as many ancient cultures used them in the past. There are texts that present evidence that even the Greeks could have been drug users in their time.

In the past, they were mostly used for rituals by shamans to give them visions or allowing them to speak to the dead, or in the case of warriors such as the Germanic tribes, they were designed to stimulate aggression for their ‘Berserker troops’ in battle to give them an edge. Most were herbal, tea-based, or were inhaled.


Some of these drugs that we deal with in our own time were discovered and used in ancient times as well. One example is cannabis (marijuana) which was used in Central and South Africa as a painkiller and treatment for sicknesses.

Ancient graves and bodies have been found with the traces of the drug inside of them, and bodies of shamans have been uncovered with the substance in their graves, further reinforcing this theory.


While we mostly use it to cook with, this spice can treat breathing problems such as Asthma and can even be used as a sedative. Mixing it with water also makes it less potent, and with the side effects of an overdose to worry about, the water will more than likely help keep the user safe.

It can cause blackouts, pain, and powerful fatigue if overdosed upon, so go easy on the nutmeg no matter what you use it for!

Coca Leaves

Before the seed was made into the chocolate that we all know and love, coca leaves were drank as tea and chewed as a stimulant. The drug is very powerful, with one cup of coca tea being strong enough to make a non-drug user pass a drug test.

Coca leaves also contain iron, vitamins, and calcium for a recommended daily intake, but eating the seeds as chocolate certainly seems like a better and safer alternative. It’ll taste better too!


This drug certainly sees the widest use among the population of the ancient world. With Romans, Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Indians counted among the users. The drug was used for pain relief, sleep aids, and even improving energy, much like it is used for today.


Finally, the most common type of drug that was used in the ancient world was the lotus flower. It relaxes people, putting them at ease and making them want to stay in one place, much like in the Odyssey. The flower was often brewed into a tea by the Egyptians.

Ancient drugs, today’s problems

Many of these drugs, especially Cannabis and opium, are drugs at the center of the drug debate that continues into modern times, and while the purposes of these drugs have changed their effects haven’t.

But perhaps we can turn to the ancient world for learning how to use these drugs correctly, and how to regulate them. After all, the Greeks didn’t need drug clinics!