In case you missed it the first time: the article below was originally posted back in 2005. Enjoy this little time capsule from ten years ago. A time when men were men, women were women and people apparently stole Hydrangea plants for fun?
The Netherlands has encountered a short, surprising hype in December, caused by the news that Hydrangea may have a hallucinogenic effect. The plant that grows in many gardens, has frequently been stolen in different parts of the country, which no one understood because the plant is not rare or of high value.
We received a phone call with the question whether Hydrangea is psychoactive or not. Not a bad question, who knows we are holding ourselves back from a new best-seller here?
The hype caught up on us in the blink of an eye: the media came with the opinion of Harald Wychgel of the Trimbos Institute, the national institute for addiction treatment.
According to him only one type of Hydrangea can be used as a drug. This kind comes from China and Japan and is called Hydrangea paniculata. It gives a marihuana like high when you smoke it. But this is highly dissuaded because the leaves and roots contain cyanide, a highly poisonous substance.
Wychgel does not believe that the hydrangea have been stolen for this reason, and we share this point of view. There are many kinds of plants that have psychoactive effects: nutmeg and poppy seed for example. For the Dutch, when seeking a high it’s smarter and much easier to visit a coffeeshop. And of course, anyone can inform himself at an (online) smartshop for other psychoactives.