Once obscure and hard to find, powerful hallucinogenic herbs from around the globe are now available online with the click of a mouse. Type “legal highs” into a search engine, and you’ll find links to storefronts where you can buy ayahuasca from South America, kanna from Africa, and kratom from Southeast Asia.
Don’t be fooled by the search term, though. As of this writing, Salvia divinorum, one of the most popular hallucinogens available online, is regulated by several foreign countries and 13 U.S. states, some of which put it on the same legal footing as drugs like heroin and cocaine. Other substances are currently still legal in most parts of the United States, but their legal status can change rapidly.
This interactive map traces the origins of the substances that we purchased as part of our research for the story series Click to Trip: Risky Drugs Flourish Online. By exploring this map, you can see just how small the planet has become.
Some of the herbs we purchased, such as Salvia divinorum, were once used exclusively for religious or mystical purposes. In the case of salvia, shamans of certain Central American tribes took the herb to help divine the future. With a few clicks of the mouse, today you can find salvia that has been made more powerful, dried, crushed, and packaged for sale online–next day delivery optional.