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 The Guide to Cheap Legal Highs: Capsaicin

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jul 28, 2001
In this installment of the Guide to Cheap Legal Highs, we look at one of the least well known legal highs in the world: Capsaicin.

[editor's note, by the Adequacy staff: We disclaim all responsibility for whatever results you may experience from this, including any kind of bodily harm. This is presented solely for entertainment purposes. Yeah, just like the psychic hotlines. And, if you have any heart or respiratory condition, don't even bother to try this out.]


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Capsaicin provides an excellent high when smoked. Certainly one of my favorites. You certainly have to be sober to prepare this, though, and know the procedure well; please study it carefully before trying it. Also, do it in a well-ventilated place and use an electric stove.


  1. 40 oz. vodka
  2. Coarsely cut up dried Habanero peppers
  1. Get three bowls: two big ones (one glass and one metal) and a small one.
  2. Put the metal one on the stove and pour the alcohol into it. Start the stove in a temperature hot enough to boil the alcohol, but not high enough to boil the water. (Given that kitchen stoves are not precision instruments, this will involve trial and error.)
  3. Then put an empty tuna can in the middle of this bowl and put the little bowl on top of it. This keeps the little bowl from the heat. (If you don't do this, the little bowl could explode.)
  4. Then put the glass bowl on top of the metal bowl and fill it with ice water. Since alcohol has a low boiling point, as it evaporates it will condense on the bottom of the ice-filled top bowl and drip into the small bowl. Thus the small bowl will fill up with very concentrated ethyl alcohol. (You have to empty out the small bowl ocassionally; otherwise, it will overflow.)
  5. When you think all the alcohol in the liquor has boiled off, let it cool. Get a large jar and fill it with the dried Habaneros. Pour enough alcohol to cover the peppers plus some more, close the jar and let it stand for at least a day. Shake it whenever you get the chance.
  6. After at least a day, filter the mixture through a cheesecloth. Wearing gloves, squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much of the liquid out. The mixture should be reddish.
  7. Now we boil the alcohol off in the stove-- try to make the temperature as low as you can, again.
  8. When you think all the alcohol has boiled off, store the mixture in a jar and let it cool off.
The result is concentrated Capsaicin extract, which when smoked with a vaporizer will give quite an amazing high. It relaxes you a lot and gives you quite a nice trip. A favorite of globalization protesters in particular; I learned how to do this back in the Seattle WTO protests.

If you try the recipe, please report results right here.


This might actually work (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by Big Hips and Bouncy on Sat Jul 28th, 2001 at 03:19:55 PM PST
I was skeptical of this at first, but when I thought about it for a while I can see that you should get a high!
Suppose you have some of this capsaicing stuff. Well, the active ingredient is the stuff that makes it spicy - it reacts with your body tissues. When you smoke it, this spicy active agent is burned, and in fact becomes inactive. But because the spice plant has other drugs in it (various opiates, mostly - this is why you feel so woozy after a big curry:)) you get the woozyness without the harmfull spicyness.
A good idea, and I think I'll try it out!

/-~Big Hips & Bouncy~-\

nope :) (none / 0) (#35)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Aug 2nd, 2001 at 11:51:40 AM PST
The spicyness is certainly not made inactive - I can attest to this as I've roasted chillies to make chilli oil and the smoke, while it does nothing at all to me, makes my room-mates cough like hell and run away :)

Good article, wrong site (none / 0) (#30)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jul 28th, 2001 at 03:44:44 PM PST
Doesn't this belong on Smokedot?

40 oz Vodka? (none / 0) (#31)
by sputnik on Sat Jul 28th, 2001 at 11:37:28 PM PST
Hmm. I think I'd get impatient trying to make this stuff. I'd probably be better off just drinking the vodka... Hell, 10 ounces, and I'm under the table.
Mmmm. Stolichnaya.

pepper spray (none / 0) (#32)
by buridan on Mon Jul 30th, 2001 at 07:15:28 AM PST
ahhh yes, i remember my first pepper gas incident. It didn't get me high at all, though the adrenaline caused by running like hell to get it out of my eyes did have significant effect. One can acheive a high realted to capscaisin of course and that is to eat chili's until your body puts out enough endorphins to make you high, this does not take a real long time, though it does require a fairly high tolerance of hot food.

Not bad. (none / 0) (#33)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Jul 30th, 2001 at 03:24:46 PM PST
Start the stove in a temperature hot enough to boil the alcohol, but not high enough to boil the water. (Given that kitchen stoves are not precision instruments, this will involve trial and error.)

For those of you with adquate thermometers, ethanol boils at 60C, and water at 100C. You could buy grain alcohol, which in the US runs about 75% ethanol, and shorten this distillation step.

he result is concentrated Capsaicin extract, which when smoked with a vaporizer will give quite an amazing high. It relaxes you a lot and gives you quite a nice trip.

Interesting, but I wouldn't have predicted it. "Hot pepper high" usually results from the following: Capsaicin receptors are also pain/heat receptors. Overstimulation causes the release of endorphins, the so-called "opiates" naturally made by the body. (Endorphins are also the source of the "runner's high".) I've had nearly hallucinogenic highs from ordering off the native (as opposed to Americanized) menu at Thai restaurants in Chinatown.

But in the interests of getting it right, I did a Medline search to see whether there were effects of injected (much like inhaled) capsaicin. Curiously enough...

Uragoda CG. Chilli grinding as an opening to the study of occupational lung disease. Ceylon Medical Journal. 45(4):159-60, 2000 Dec. (And we think RSI is a problem.)

In all seriousness, the literature does point to neuronal effects of injected capsaicin in rats and other experimental animals. From what I can tell, it certainly would mess with the body senses (kinesthesia, touch, temp, etc.) and with certain aspects of physiology (blood flow), all of which could be considered psychotropic. We live in a bodymind, after all.

Anyway, I was going to pooh-pooh this, but it turns out that it would probably work. If nothing else, it describes out to make a crude distiller.

(Three guesses as to who this is...)

Guess 1 - DJBonghit? (none / 0) (#34)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Jul 31st, 2001 at 03:41:14 PM PST


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