whole nutmeg and powdered nutmeg surround a container of nutmeg extract, seen from an overhead view

Can You Smoke Nutmeg Extract?

Nutmeg has long been recognized as a valuable and tasty spice, used in everything from baked goods to eggnog.

A certain chemical in nutmeg, myristicin, has psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects. Nutmeg extract is largely made up of myristicin and is used to achieve those effects.

When used responsibly and in low doses, nutmeg extract can be safe. However, high doses can lead to serious side effects. A careful approach is crucial when using nutmeg extract. Keep reading to learn more.

What are Nutmeg and Nutmeg Extract?

In casual conversation, the term nutmeg most commonly refers to a spice with a strong aroma and somewhat sweet taste. It’s often used in sweet recipes, like eggnog, baked goods, and confections. However, nutmeg is used across a variety of savory recipes as well.

That spice is made from the seeds of fruit grown on the Myristica fragrans tree, as Bon Appetit explains. Mace, a related but distinct spice, comes from the covering of this seed. These trees are native to Indonesia but are now cultivated in other areas with similar climates.

Nutmeg has a long history as an exotic and expensive spice. It was so expensive and in demand that peddlers in colonial-era Connecticut were thought to sell fake nutmeg to locals, leading to the nickname “Nutmeggers” for state residents. Nutmeg is now much more affordable and accessible than it was in the past.

Understanding Nutmeg Extract

Nutmeg extract is a substance primarily containing a compound called myristicin, a specific chemical found in nutmeg. Myristicin extraction from nutmeg is not a particularly complex or failure-prone process. Extraction methods can be completed in many commercial labs.

If consumed at levels above the amounts used in cooking, myristicin has psychoactive effects. That means it alters perceptions and can cause hallucinations. In this way, nutmeg extract is somewhat similar to certain mushroom supplements with similar properties, such as Amanita Muscaria.

Some people looking for a psychoactive experience eat the spice nutmeg in large quantities compared to what’s used in cooking.

Others use products containing nutmeg extract. Extracting myristicin from nutmeg leads to a final product that is generally easier to tolerate. In other words, nutmeg extract is easier to consume than eating a relatively large amount of a dry spice.

Neither nutmeg nor nutmeg extract is regulated as a controlled substance in the US as of early 2024. These substances are legal for retail sale and consumption.

Effects of Nutmeg and Nutmeg Extract

Why do people use nutmeg extract products, like nutmeg extract vapes, to alter their perceptions? The body transforms (or metabolizes) myristicin into a psychoactive substance. People enjoy or, for first-timers, want to experience effects like altered vision and related effects, euphoria, and other changes in mood and feelings.

There’s no doubt nutmeg can produce these intended effects. Anecdotal reports and more thorough research have confirmed them.

However, it’s important to remember that nutmeg extract also has many side effects, some potentially severe. Taking too much nutmeg extract can cause confusion, nausea, headache, muscle spasms, and other side effects.

Nutmeg and nutmeg extract are also toxic at high doses. The Journal of Medical Toxicology shares more information about this topic. The article notes that hospitalization is sometimes required due to overconsuming nutmeg and its active chemicals.

Not everyone who uses nutmeg extract for its psychoactive properties experiences severe side effects. However, as the dosage increases, so does the potential for those side effects.

fresh nutmeg fruit and seeds sit in a basket of leaves

Vaping or Smoking Nutmeg Extract

So, can you smoke or vape nutmeg extract? Yes, it’s entirely possible to do so. Products containing nutmeg extract are legal and available on the market.

If you want to try nutmeg extract, you can limit the potential for negative side effects by taking a careful approach. What do we know about reducing harm when it comes to nutmeg extract?

Taking a Safer Approach to Nutmeg Extract

The most basic and important advice we can share is to take a slow and careful approach.

Myristicin takes a long time to work when taken orally, between one and several hours. If you choose to eat nutmeg, start with small doses and resist the urge to take more because the effects are slow to appear.

There is no comprehensive scientific research that confirms how long it takes for vaped or smoked nutmeg extract to kick in. However, the same advice applies in principle.

Take a small dose, either based on the product instructions or simply by limiting yourself to a few puffs. Wait for the effects to kick in, especially the first few times you use it. Don’t assume that, just because you start feeling the effects, they have already peaked.

Nutmeg and its extracts can be very dangerous when too high of a dose is consumed. It’s far better to take this slow and careful approach a few times than it is to experience nausea, muscle spasms, and other side effects due to overconsumption.

Because nutmeg and nutmeg extract can have hallucinatory effects, it’s also important to find a safe and comfortable place to use it. Don’t use nutmeg extract and drive under its effects. Make sure you can stay in one place. It can help to have a sober person or someone familiar with nutmeg extract present to act as a guide.

Nutmeg Extract: Final Thoughts

Nutmeg itself is legal and available for purchase. So is nutmeg extract, with a number of products containing it recently entering the market.

The appeal of nutmeg extract is similar to that of other substances with psychedelic and mood-altering effects. As is the case with any of those substances, it’s important to be in the right setting to enjoy them. It’s also crucial to avoid activities that could be dangerous while under the influence, like driving.

Nutmeg is toxic at high doses, which is a key fact to remember but also not unique to nutmeg. Take a careful and slow approach when you use it to help mitigate the potential negative effects.

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