Sign up ×
Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I heard somewhere that people have tried to get high by smoking oregano. Is that true? If so, did it work?

I've never tried any recreational drugs myself so I'm not interested in trying anything. I was just curious about whether that particular rumor were true.

share|improve this question
Austin, read the FAQ for the site. One of the requirements for the site is that the claims must be notable. Try to find and document places where this claim is made. link –  denten Feb 25 '13 at 0:49
I went ahead and answered, because this seems to be such a common question elsewhere. The question is in danger of being closed though, unless you bring more support for your initial claims! –  denten Feb 25 '13 at 0:50
Maybe they've heard that you could get high on common spice, but they got the wrong one? "Nutmeg was also reported to induce hallucinogenic effects, such as visual distortions and paranoid ideation. In the reports nutmeg intoxication took several hours before maximum effect was reached. Effects and after-effects lasted up to several days" –  vartec Feb 26 '13 at 17:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

A cursory search finds no supporting (non-anecdotal) evidence for or against smoking oregano for recreational usage.

A 1972 article from Human Pathology mentions oregano as a substance that can be passed off as pot to fool the buyer:

Occasionally the buyer is "burned" and finds that he may be smoking oregano, catnip, or even grass clippings.1

The US Food and Drug administration does not regulate oregano beyond checking it for insects, filth, or mold.2

Finally, there is a bunch of stuff that oregano might do medicinally, but it seems like it would relate mostly to its anti-fungal or anti-bacterial properties. A list of articles on that topic can be found at GreenMedInfo, a site that "provide convenient and open access to the biomedical research available today on the therapeutic value of natural substances in disease prevention and treatment."3

Please note that this answer does not constitute medical advice. It is only meant to summarize published research related to the topic and limited the cited sources. Consult your physician about what these results may mean for your health.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.