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May 19, 1969

Catnip and Related Psychedelic Compounds

Author Affiliations

St. John's University Jamaica, NY

JAMA. 1969;208(7):1191. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160070068025

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To the Editor:—  The authors mention that catnip is a member of the mint family, Labiatae; thyme and marjoram also belong in this family, and these items are the principal substances used as fillers in cheap or low-grade marihuana. In the same way that lactose is used to cut heroin to increase the monetary return, these substances may be added to marihuana. Some individuals who have never seen or smelled marihuana could not detect any differences when confronted with containers of either of the substances commonly used as spices. In fact, in an experiment conducted by this writer, a group of law-enforcement agents became convinced that the substance they were looking at and handling was marihuana when it was in reality, thyme.Other members of the mint family have been reputed to have hallucinatory properties. Several years ago, Gordon Wasson described a Central American member of this species which was