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Fun Fact Friday

Did you know that some essential oils can cause psychotropic effects?

First let’s define psychotropic. A psychotropic or psychoactive substance is something that alters your mental state. These psychotropic effects are the reason CBD extract has a requirement of less than 0.3% THC federally and in most US states that do not allow recreational use of cannabis. Still, CBD extract is considered a schedule 5 narcotic on the federal level.

One of the things I found while researching this is that even lavender in high enough doses can cause psychotropic effects. According to Tisserand/Young, “the amounts of essential oils used externally in aromatherapy are unlikely to cause a psychotropic effect, no matter what oils are used.” I am left to assume he means properly diluted.
Nutmeg is a commonly used oil that can cause psychotropic effects in high internal doses. Mace being similar in constituent profile to Nutmeg may also carry some of these psychotropic effects. Clary Sage is said to have concern when used in conjunction with alcohol. When I spoke of CBD extract above, I mean the extract, not cannabis essential oil where there are only trace levels of cannabinoids in cannabis essential oil at best.

The psychotropic effects of herbs are much more likely and common than with essential oils, partially because many times herbs are suggested to be used internally.  This is just something I have found interesting.  Please note, just using herbs and oils will likely not cause any concern if using them as recommended by a qualified professional.

Anything with the ability to heal also has the ability to cause harm.

Essential oil Safety 2nd Edition, Tisserand & Young

Ruth Nelson