Simon’s Wild Lettuce (Lactuca Virosa) Guide

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Lactuca virosa, commonly called wild lettuce or opium lettuce, is a plant with psychoactive effects. Wild lettuce can be found growing freely in various regions of the world including Australia, America, Southern Europe and India.

Lactuca virosa has yellow flowers and can grow to be 2 meters tall. The name of the plant stems from its “milk-juice” (lactuca) and from the word poisonous (virosa). The milky sap is bitter, and has a narcotic smell.

This sap, lactucarium is present in all species of lettuce (hence the name lactuca), but wild lettuce has the most of this juice while garden lettuce (Lactuca sative) contains the least.

Wild lettuce has been used in medicine for hundreds of years for its various healing properties. As the name opium lettuce suggests, the plant has opium-like qualities, and has been used as a substituent for opium.


Lactuca virosa growing in the wild
Wild lettuce

Effects of the wild lettuce:

Though the effects of wild lettuce are similar to those of opium, they are decidedly milder. Opium lettuce is a sedative, said to induce  a “hypnotic state marked by strange dreams”.*

The leaves of Lactuca virosa may be boiled in water to make a tea that has slightly sedative effects. However, it is the plant’s “milk-juice” that contains the largest concentration of active compounds.

Wild lettuce may be prepared and consumed in several ways.

/See the preparation guide for details./

Consumption of the substance causes the user to feel more relaxed, often euphoric and, at higher amounts, highly intoxicated.

Lactuca virosa provides a milder version of the effects opium does without many of its side effects such as nausea. Still, opium lettuce can have negative effects, and overdose can result in death, so caution should always be exercised.


*Source: Drugs-forum


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Wild lettuce guide




 Wild lettuce – legal status


Wild lettuce is not a controlled plant in most countries. This means it is legal to buy, possess, cultivate and trade the plant and all parts of it. The substances present in Lactuca virosa are also not controlled, which means extracts made from the plant are also legal.

While opium lettuce does not seem to be specifically controlled or illegal in any countries, it may still be banned categorically. Islamic countries, to be specific, may adopt Sharia law into their legal system. This law prohibits the use of all intoxicants and considers them an abomination.

Also, laws are subject to change, so please make sure to check the appropriate legislation in your country before making the decision to buy or try wild lettuce.


Buy wild lettuce


Wild lettuce is available at several online vendors and shops. I can personally vouch for and recommend two online shops selling wild lettuce. They are based in the US and the Netherlands, respectively, and ship globally.


Buy wild lettuce – US

You can buy Wild lettuce at the following link:

Buy Wild lettuce and wild lettuce extract /Shipped from the US./


Buy wild lettuce – Netherlands

You can buy Wild lettuce at the following link:

Buy Wild lettuce /Shipped from the Netherlands./


Wild lettuce effects


The effects of wild or opium lettuce are, as the name indicates rather similar to those of opium. Both act as a sedative, though the effects of wild lettuce are much milder.

The leaves of Lactuca viruso may be used to achieve the desired effects, but the plant’s milky juice is the most effective. After extraction, the white sap changes to brown and hardens.

The main active ingredients in lactucarium are lactucin and lactucopicrin. It is thought that these compounds are responsible for the effects of the wild lettuce, though a research conducted in 1944 concluded that lactucarium has no actual effects. However, no studies since confirmed or refuted these claims.

Nevertheless, wild lettuce enjoys moderate popularity as an opium substitute and as a substance to induce intoxication, as well as to help getting to sleep.


Cognitive effects

Wild lettuce consumed in the form of a tea or smoked has been reported to have mild euphoric effects. Users may feel intoxicated and the experience is, in general, considered to be pleasant.

Lactuca virosa is a sedative and users may feel their anxiety lessen, reaching a calmer state. The most generally experienced cognitive effect is sleepiness.


Physical effects

Wild lettuce has been reported to act as a painkiller. Lactuca virosa relaxes both mind and body, which is generally considered a positive effect. However, in larger amounts, breathing may slow excessively, and cardiac arrest can occur (similar to opiates).


After effects

Opium lettuce has no after effects in the sense of a hangover. When used in moderation, no toxicity or addiction has been reported. Wild lettuce has several health benefits that persists after the primary effects have passed, see below.


Sources: Drugs-forumErowidWebMD


Dangers of wild lettuce


Wild lettuce is considered to be safer than its “big brother”, opium. However, it still has some side effects and dangers that need to be considered, especially when consuming larger amounts.

Lactuca virosa is considered to be a poisonous plant by the FDA. In larger quantities, it can lead to toxicity with symptoms such as anxiety, nausea and loss of consciousness. Extreme amounts may even be lethal, as overdose can cause cardiac arrest.

Another side effect of wild lettuce is urinary retention, which is why it should not be used by anyone with an enlarged prostate (BPH). Wild lettuce may also cause an allergic response in users sensitive to the he Asteraceae/Compositae family.




Interactions with wild lettuce


Wild lettuce is a sedative, and taking several forms of sedative poses a serious health risk. If you are using any kind of sedative, consult your doctor before trying wild lettuce.

However, not all combinations are dangerous. Wild lettuce is often used in combination with valerian to create a tea to help with getting to sleep.



Wild lettuce health benefits


Lactuca virosa was used extensively in medicine in the 19th century, mainly as an opium substituent. With the advent of modern medicine, medicinal use of the plant has diminished in most countries. However, it still enjoys widespread use in Iran, in accordance with the effects recorded by Avicenna over a thousand years ago.

Wild lettuce is generally used for its sedative properties. Tea made from the leaves can help those battling insomnia, anxiety or neurosis. Wild lettuce also serves as a painkiller, especially for rheumatic and menstrual pain.

Lactuca virosa is also reported to help with asthma and coughing in general. There are also accounts of wild lettuce helping with urinary tract problems and atherosclerosis, though evidence of these effects is somewhat lacking.


Sources: WebMDrxlist, Drugs-forum


Wild lettuce preparation and consumption


Wild lettuce may be bought and consumed in various forms. The effects of each plant may vary greatly, so dosages are just an approximation. Opium lettuce is also a relatively little-known substance.

The dried leaves of wild lettuce may be used both for smoking and for making a tea. The threshold amount seems to be around 10 grams, though more may be necessary to achieve the desired effects. Still, with the aforementioned dangers, make sure to be cautious when increasing the dosage.


To make a wild lettuce tea, place 1-2 spoonfuls of the dried leaves in a cup of hot water. Let it steep for about 10-15 minutes, then filter out the leaves.

The tea is reported to have a markedly bitter taste, so using honey and/or lemon is recommended. This brew is often used as a sort of sleep-well tea.

The leaves may be rolled up into a joint and then smoked. The cigarette has a relaxing effect, with mild euphoria experienced by some users. The smoke is, like the tea, reported to taste rather bitter.

The third way to use opium lettuce is to make an extract from it. The leaves are soaked in water for several hours. The water should be heated, but not boil.

After about 8 hours, filter the brew and press the remaining liquid from the leaves as well (the leaves may now be discarded). Let the water evaporate until a gum-like substance remains. This may be smoked from an opium pipe or similar paraphernalia.

The extract may also be consumed sublingually. The effects are reported to be as strong as with smoking, but the duration is longer; up to an hour from 20 minutes.


Buy wild lettuce

Wild lettuce is available at several online vendors and shops. I can personally vouch for and recommend two online shops selling wild lettuce. They are based in the US and the Netherlands, respectively, and ship globally.

Buy wild lettuce – US

You can buy wild lettuce at the following link:

Buy wild lettuce and wild lettuce extract /Shipped from the US./

Buy wild lettuce – Netherlands

You can buy wild lettuce at the following link:

Buy wild lettuce /Shipped from the Netherlands./



Wild lettuce trip reports


“My first successful time with “wild lettuce opium” I took 8 large hits, and held them in for a good thirty seconds, then lay down on my couch. Nothing happened for about 3- 5 minutes and I wasn’t really expecting much anyway. Then a very comfortable, tingling warmth settled over my body and I was deliciously relaxed for about 2 hours.

Also, my mind seemed to move in a gentle flow rather than racing in circles. After the two hours I went to bed. I slept well and had vivid dreams. They weren’t particularly meaningful dreams, but they were satisfying.

– Excerpt from Sprout’s wild lettuce trip report

“Later, when I was sure I was feeling completely normal, I smoked it in a homemade pipe. I had not used any other drugs or medications for several weeks. I really didnt expect anything to happen with such a small dose. I was wrong, however, and soon after taking the few hits available, I felt an unmistakeable opium like high. Mild, but definately there.

Euphoria, well being, comfort with myself, enhanced colours. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It even had a sweet taste, somewhat similar to opium. I will begin collecting more of the substance soon. A good method of collecting the resin would be useful, as it’s a bit sticky and hard to work with. It’s not as good as real opium or marijuana, but it’s free and legal, and the stuff grows everywhere. ”

– Excerpt from Daytrippr’s wild lettuce trip report


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Share your own trip report in the comment section below (to ensure anonymity don’t use your real name or real email address when submitting trip reports)!

Some of the information presented here might be outdated or incorrect (check “last updated” below). If you are planning to try out any of the substances, make sure to to research them yourself as well.

I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use.


Wild lettuce is only one of the legal highs included in Simon’s legal high guide, check out the others as well.

If you’re interested in more legal, natural sedatives, check out Simon’s Guide to Natural Sedatives!

Last updated: 2015. 11. 23.


Simon's Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa) Guide
Article Name
Simon's Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa) Guide
A guide detailing the properties, effects and legal status of wild lettuce, including trip reports.

8 thoughts on “Simon’s Wild Lettuce (Lactuca Virosa) Guide”

  1. Bought from Shayana late last year (and did the discount et cetera that you mention), their picture shows it as leaves in a plastic jar but it came as green power in a plastic bag. Not tried it yet, but I’m meaning to this week or the next, hopefully it’s alright quality. They also sent other things I’d ordered which differed to the images, liquids in bags without identification or labels, and they sent me some free seeds, various ones, without any information as to what they are, what conditions they’ll need to grow, y’know. It’s a bit risky, isn’t it? Still, I’ll trust that it’s all safe. Have you experienced this kind of service from them?

    1. Dammit, powder* Usually I notice spelling errors before sending.

  2. I’ve looked for some time if this can cause any problems with drug testing and can’t find much information about it. Some say it can give false positive for other drugs, while others say it won’t do anything on a drug test. If anyone can give me a real response regarding this plant and drug test would be appreciated! Any one ever take a urine test after smoking some? Thanks

  3. Love it. I smoke filtered cigars and find it easy to bleed the sap/ milk from the stems by ripping off a leave and sliding the cigars across it, then smoking. It is winter now and i simply collect smaller twigs and they’re stiff enough to insert into the cigar ends.
    My last experience was this morning after sleeping only 5-6 hours. Got up and fixed a cup of coffee, then smoked a couple. Climbed back into bed, and shortly fell back into an about 1 1/2 hr dreamfilled restful nap. These were 5-6 dreams of dead parents, in different situations. Two of which i was discussing my dead father with a spirit guide. The final dream was, of sitting around a table and eating sandwiches with my family, as i spoke, they seemingly were more involved with eating than listening. I decided to stop communicating and began to eat. I awakened as i was chewing the first few bites.
    I believe, these unusually vivid dreams were due from going into a nap, after an already night of sleep.

  4. I am chronicling here my experience with Wild Lettuce for future reference and any curious inquirers.

    My history with wild lettuce starts with my brother a couple months ago. We were outside one day when he bends down and picks a spiny leaf from the ground and eats it. He offers one to me and when I ask what it is, he says it’s wild lettuce. I thought, what the heck? Wild lettuce? And I could not believe that was it’s real name, it tasted horribly bitter and was nothing like lettuce, and asked him about 3 more times what it was really called, but he simply said wild lettuce. I thought that’s just what he called it because he didn’t know it’s real name.

    I went through a period of time when I didn’t have much money, so I started harvesting this “wild lettuce” to eat in salads. It tasted awful, like an extremely bitter dandelion green, but I didn’t have much else to ate so I ate it anyway. Mixed with dandelions and pansy leaves and dressed with a sweet vinaigrette, it tasted palatable. I never noticed any effects from ingesting it, but because I was eating so much of it I decided to look it up and find out if it was safe in large quantities.

    That’s when I came across the information online about smoking it. Now, Im not much of a druggie. Got high one time before when my boyfriend shotgunned some synthetic kush smoke into my mouth while we were making out. Did not enjoy the experience at all. Felt like my head was full of helium, could not think coherently, everything was sped up and I was in slow motion. Only lasted a few minutes, but never did drugs again after that. But I was curious, and the stuff was free, and I knew my niece had been experimenting with different things, so I thought we could try it together.

    We took some wilted leaves and tried smoking about two of them. It smelled horrible, really bitter and acidic and kind of like strong pot, and it burned the throat very badly. Neither of us noticed any effects. We dried them for a few hours and tried again, still experienced no effects. In retrospect, I have no idea why I thought we would, I had been ingesting whole salads full of the stuff every day and hadn’t noticed any effects, so why would smoking two leaves do anything?

    But I was determined. So I did a little more research and found out that most of the chemical is in the sap inside the stems, and it’s more abundant in the mature plants. So I went outside, found the tallest plant I could, and cut off a section of the stem at the base of the plant about the size of a fat cigarette. I cut it down the middle, stuffed it with a roll of paper, and wrapped it in paper to make it burn better. I tried smoking this fresh, had to light it several times to produce any smoke. I took about 10 or 11 puffs before I started noticing anything. I felt a little mellowed out, but the effects were so slight and my throat felt so raw that I decided it wasn’t really worth it. But I felt like it had potential, and decided that I could make a stronger solution that would have a more profound effect later, and planned to put one of the plants through a juicer and dry it to produce a resin.

    My third attempt at smoking wild lettuce was several weeks after that. I was at the end of a particularly rough day, and felt stressed out and emotionally exhausted. I decided to take out the wild lettuce I had smoked earlier and see if it would help calm me any. The piece of stem I had wrapped in paper had dried out nicely, so I unwrapped it and put it back in without the paper, and lit it. It burned excellently this time, very much like a cigarette. I only had to light it once or twice, and smoke it to keep it lit, and in this way it produced much more smoke than it had when i tried the fresh plant. The smell was less acrid than when it was fresh too.

    Unlike my last attempt, this time I started noticing effects right away. After a couple puffs I felt my stress start to dissipate. It was so noticeable that, although I felt I wanted to keep smoking, I decided it would be better not to do too much.

    I took about 4 puffs in all, burning through about an inch of the stem, after which I felt very mellow and relaxed, and laid down on my bed. Several minutes later I started feeling a tight sensation in my chest, like a weight was on top of me, and felt like I needed fresh air, so I opened my window and took a few deep breaths. A few minutes later I felt a mild euphoric feeling set in. I felt very relaxed, very content. My stress was gone and my thoughts were quieted. I could only form simple thoughts in my mind, anything more than that seemed like too much work. The effects were immediate, lasting, and very noticeable. After about an hour the euphoric effects started gradually fading, and I fell asleep.

    I’d heard that native Americans used to smoke them for vision quests and that it gave you strange, vivid and insightful dreams, but I had dismissed that as new age hogwash until that night. Indeed, I had very bizarre dreams that seemed unusually insightful and useful all night long. I can only describe them as a series of “Aha!” moments. In one dream, I dreamt I called up my ex girlfriend and knew just exactly what to say to her to win her back. I woke up feeling like a genius and felt like writing down what I said. In another dream, I decided to get a job at a pizzeria, and take a night shift, because I knew Im at my best at night, and it won’t cut into my day. I arranged for an interview at 10 PM and took an energy drink to keep myself alert. Again, I woke up feeling like this was a great solution to my employment problem and decided to call up some local pizzerias. Another bizarre dream I had was that I was going fishing with my brother, mother, and this guy I knew. The dreams were very detailed and realistic. In this dream, though, we split up, and my brother and this guy never came back. After like an hour, I started worrying about them, and after looking for them and being unable to find them, I started panicking and asked my mom why she wasn’t worried about them. She replied very nonchalantly that they were probably fine, but I had a very palpable sense of panic in the dream. This is unusual because Im never like that in real life, my mom is always the one who panics and overreacts, and I’m always the one who stays calm and says don’t worry, he can take care of himself! The role reversal was really odd.

    All night long I had lots of dreams, though I forgot most of them. I woke up several times throughout the night, feeling very drowsy and half dreaming each time. In the morning I woke up feeling groggy. I also had some diarrhea and a case of the munchies, which I’m not sure is related.

    After some tea, I was eager to try the wild lettuce again and see if I got the same results as I had the night before.

    I repeated the process, taking about 4 puffs again. This time I didn’t feel much at first, perhaps because I had already felt pretty calm. I was tempted to smoke more, but decided to give it 15 minutes to see if the effects would set in before taking another puff. I watched the clock this time. After 10 minutes, I started feeling like I needed air, and opened the window. Then I laid down on the couch. My breathing became shallow amd slow again, almost like, if I didn’t remind myself to breathe, I might forget altogether. 5 minutes later I felt the euphoria start to set in. I felt calm, relaxed, very content, mildly euphoric. The euphoria lasted for about 45 minutes, after which time it gradually faded. At that time, I felt compelled to take another hit to prolong the feeling, but I’m glad I didn’t because then I started feeling some other effects. The calm, sedated feeling lasted much longer, and the slowed breathing remained.

    About 15 minutes after the euphoria left-an hour after I smoked it-I started experiencing some unpleasant effects. My face and hands felt tingly and I felt a bit like I was hyperventilating. I felt light headed, and my hands were shaking so much that I couldn’t text. I experienced this on and off for about the next half hour, during which I felt compelled to alternate between pacing, laying down, and standing by the window to breathe. I fell asleep before I experienced these symptoms the night before, so hadn’t noticed them.

    2 hours after smoking it, the effects have faded away. I really like the euphoric and calming effects it has, which I can imagine will really help when I feel restless or stressed, and I feel really tempted to try smoking larger amounts to see what kind of high I can achieve, but I’m also a bit scared too, because of how much it messed with my breathing. I almost feel like “just enough” for the high would be too much. There seems to be a fine line between “mildly relaxing” and “scary intense and potentially poisonous” when it comes to this stuff, reading some of the accounts online. But I will definitely be smoking it again.

    I know a lot of people have tried it and it didn’t have any effect on them, and after reading more about it and experimenting for myself, I think this is due to several variables that need to be taken into account.

    1. Species
    There are several different variants of the same plant, and some have more lactucarium than others.

    2. Size
    The larger and more mature plants possess more lactucarium.

    3. Season
    The plants are said to be at their highest in lactucarium when they are flowering.

    4. Parts
    The leaves have minimal lactucarium in them. I never felt anything either from ingesting or smoking the leaves. Most of the lactucarium ‘s in the milk which is most abundant in the stem.

    5. Preparation
    There are many different ways to consume the wild lettuce. Some people make teas, smoke it, boil it into a syrup, or dry the milk to make resin. I’ve heard so many different recipes that it’s hard to know which is the best one, but I have no doubt that which you choose will have a profound effect on what results you achieve. The traditional Native American way to use it is to cut the tops off the plants and collect the milk for several weeks, then dry it into a resin and smoke it. A similar recipe is to soak the plant in alcohol until it dries into a resin. The resin is the strongest way to use it. Taken in this way, a pea sized glob is said to be enough to produce some very strong effects, but also, it was noted, dry heaves and passing out, which didn’t sound fun and I didn’t have the patience for this process. It can also be boiled on low heat for several hours into a thick syrup, or used to make tea and ingested. Smoking it is said to have a more immediate and noticeable effect than ingestion. After experimenting mysef, I would say smoking dried stems is the way to go: leaves don’t have enough of the chemical to have an effect and fresh stems don’t burn well enough to release enough smoke. Heat is said to destroy some of the compound, so boiling it is unadvisable. It would probably work really well in a vaporizer. Resin has the strongest effects, but takes a lot of work to make and personally it sounds like it could be too strong.

    6. Interactions
    The strongest effects I have read about have been noted by people who were already slightly high or drunk when they tried it, and some people say you should drink green tea with it to increase the effects.

    7. Dosage
    I’m sure that individual results will vary, depending on all these factors, and on each person’s own unique chemistry. As such I think every person would have to experiment for themselves to determine the correct technique and dosage for them. I don’t have many drug experiences to compare my own experience to, but I’m a real lightweight when it comes to alcohol, so I probably am with other drugs too. Other people might need to take more than I did to produce the same effects. All I can say is start slow, though: increase the dosage incrementally until you find the right amount for you, and give it time to set in before you take more. I have read many stories about people getting carried away, taking too much at once, and having nightmarish experiences, including hallucinations, paralysis, paranoia, vomiting, and passing out. And theoretically, you can overdose and die from it if you take too much. Though I haven’t heard of any cases of that actually happening. So be careful.

    1. Forgot to mention, another effect I noticed was a heightened and altered sense of touch during the euphoria.

      1. Also, the resin is smoked.

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