Datura: A Comprehensive Overview


Datura, known by various names such as devil's trumpet, moonflower, jimsonweed, and more, constitutes a genus of nine poisonous flowering plants within the Solanaceae family. This article explores the various aspects of Datura, including its distribution, chemistry, pharmacology, cultivation, and the profound impact it has on physical, cognitive, and visual aspects of those who interact with it.

Table of Contents

  1. Distribution and Historical Use

  2. 1.1. Overview of Datura Species

  3. 1.2. Historical Use in Shamanic Practices

  4. Chemistry of Datura

  5. 2.1. Psychoactive Constituents

  6. 2.2. Tropane Alkaloid Structure

  7. 2.3. Variability in Chemical Composition

  8. Pharmacology

  9. 3.1. Action on Acetylcholine Receptors

  10. 3.2. Deliriant Classification

  11. 3.3. Risks of Overdose and Poisoning

  12. Cultivation

  13. 4.1. Preferred Soil Conditions

  14. 4.2. Impact of Nitrogen Fertilization

  15. 4.3. Harvesting Process

  16. Physical Effects

  17. 5.1. Potency and Variable Effects

  18. 5.2. Tropane Alkaloid Impact

  19. 5.3. Dangerous Physical Symptoms

  20. Cognitive Effects

  21. 6.1. Negative Cognitive Impact

  22. 6.2. Sleepiness and Wakefulness

  23. 6.3. Motivation Suppression and Increased Libido

  24. 6.4. Amnesia and Anxiety

  25. Visual Effects

  26. 7.1. Deterioration of Visual Aptitude

  27. 7.2. Suppression and Distortions

  28. 7.3. Hallucinatory States

  29. After Effects

  30. 8.1. Stimulant and Deliriant Aftermath

  31. 8.2. Common After Effects

  32. 8.3. Possibility of Delirium and Psychosis

1. Distribution and Historical Use

Datura is found throughout temperate and tropical regions globally, with two prominent species, Datura inoxia and Datura stramonium. Historically, it has been utilized in shamanic practices across the Americas, Europe, and India.

2. Chemistry of Datura

Datura's psychoactive components include tropane alkaloids like scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and atropine. These compounds exhibit structural similarities, with variations influenced by factors such as location and growing conditions.

3. Pharmacology

Tropane alkaloids in Datura act as competitive antagonists at muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, inducing delirium, sedation, and hallucinations. The plant poses a high risk of fatal overdose, leading to hospitalizations among recreational users.

4. Cultivation

Datura stramonium thrives in rich, calcareous soil, with nitrogen fertilization increasing alkaloid concentration. Harvesting involves cutting the entire plant when the fruits are ripe but still green.

5. Physical Effects

Datura's physical effects range from sedation and abnormal heartbeat to motor control loss and nausea. The plant's potency varies, making it extremely dangerous, even leading to death.

6. Cognitive Effects

Datura induces generally negative cognitive effects, including extreme paranoia, sleepiness, and motivation suppression. Increased libido and amnesia are reported, along with anxiety and cognitive dysphoria.

7. Visual Effects

Contrary to psychedelics, Datura degrades visual aptitude, causing visual acuity suppression, double vision, and hallucinatory states involving autonomous entities and landscapes.

8. After Effects

Upon "coming down" from Datura, users may experience anxiety, cognitive fatigue, depression, and visual acuity suppression, potentially leading to temporary or long-term psychosis.

In conclusion, while Datura has historical significance in certain cultural practices, its potent and unpredictable nature makes it a dangerous substance with severe physical, cognitive, and visual consequences for those who interact with it. Extreme caution is advised, and its use is not recommended due to the associated risks.


In conclusion, Datura is a genus of flowering plants with a rich history of use in shamanic and medical contexts. However, its potency, variability, and the presence of toxic tropane alkaloids make it an extremely dangerous substance. The physical, cognitive, and visual effects induced by Datura can lead to severe consequences, including death. The cultivation and use of Datura are strongly discouraged due to the associated risks and lack of safe dosage parameters. Caution and awareness about the dangers of Datura are essential for public safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the common names for Datura?

A1: Datura goes by various names, including devil's trumpet, moonflower, jimsonweed, devil's weed, hell's bells, and thorn-apple, among others.

Q2: What are the principal psychoactive constituents of Datura?

A2: The tropane alkaloids scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and atropine are the main psychoactive compounds found in Datura.

Q3: Is Datura used for medicinal purposes?

A3: Historically, Datura has been used for shamanic and medical purposes, but its use is highly discouraged due to its dangerous effects and unpredictable potency.

Q4: How does Datura affect cognitive function?

A4: Datura induces generally negative cognitive effects, including extreme paranoia, confusion, and delirium. It can lead to a complete inability to communicate or understand normal language.

Q5: Can Datura cultivation be done at home?

A5: While Datura can be cultivated, it is not recommended for home cultivation due to its toxicity and unpredictable potency. It contains dangerous levels of tropane alkaloids.

Q6: What are the risks associated with Datura use?

A6: Datura poses a high risk of fatal overdose, with potential hospitalizations among recreational users. Deliberate or inadvertent poisoning has been reported.