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Arundo donax

Arundo donaxArundo donax is Uncontrolled in the United States, however, it is not approved for human consumption. This is a gray area of the law because the plant contains 5-MeO-DMTBufotenine, and DMT, which are classified as Schedule I drugs.

Addictive Potential: None

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown

Mechanism of Action: Increases Serotonin when combined with an MAOI


Arundo donax is also known as Giant Cane, Carrizo, Arundo, Spanish cane, Colorado River Reed, Wild cane, and Giant reed. The entire plant contains 5-MeO-DMT, and the flowers also contain DMT and 5-MeO-NMT (Shulgin, 1997). Along with 5-MeO-DMT, the roots also contain DMT, 5-MeO-NMT, Bufotenine, bufotenidine, and dehydrobufotenidine (Shulgin, 1997).

When combined with peganum harmala, Arundo donax has been reported to produce “bright hypnogogic-type visions” and “an extremely tranquilized ‘weak’ feeling” (J.G., 1992). Still, nausea, dry heaves, and allergic reactions were also reported (J.G., 1992). Remember, even though some people are willing to ingest Arundo donax, it is unreasonable to assume that it is in any way safe to use recreationally.

Arundo donax is currently legal to buy, sell, and possess in the United States.


Arundo donaxThe combination of 5-MeO-DMT and MAOIs has been linked to serotonin toxicity and death. Although no cases of death have been specifically associated with the consumption of Arundo donax and MAOIs, several deaths have been associated with the use of 5-MeO-DMT and MAOIs. As explained by Shen et al. (2010), “5-MeO-DMT is often co-abused with an MAOI such as harmaline to enhance hallucinations. There are two levels of interactions between harmaline and 5-MeO-DMT, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic. When deamination metabolism is inhibited by harmaline, the systemic and cerebral exposure to 5-MeO-DMT, as well as to the metabolite bufotenine, is sharply elevated and prolonged. Meanwhile, harmaline and 5-MeO-DMT both act agonistically on the serotonergic systems. As a result, coadministration of harmaline potentiates 5-MeO-DMT drug responses and sometimes leads to severe or fatal serotonin toxicity…” Thus, due to the content of 5-MeO-DMT in Arundo donax, serotonin toxicity and death are potential health considerations.

Bufotenidine produces muscle relaxing effects, which may be toxic. According to DeKorne (1993), bufotenidine contained within the roots of Arundo donax has demonstrated a “curare-like” toxicity.

General MAOI warnings. When ingested orally, MAOIs inhibit the catabolism of dietary amines. Sufficient intestinal MAO-A inhibition can lead to hypertensive crisis, when foods containing tyramine are consumed (so-called “cheese syndrome”), or hyperserotonemia if foods containing tryptophan are consumed. The amount required to cause a reaction exhibits great individual variation and depends on the degree of inhibition, which in turn depends on dosage and selectivity.

The exact mechanism by which tyramine causes a hypertensive reaction is not well understood, but it is assumed that tyramine displaces norepinephrine from the storage vesicles. This may trigger a cascade in which excessive amounts of norepinephrine can lead to a hypertensive crisis. Another theory suggests that proliferation and accumulation of catecholamines causes hypertensive crises.



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