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Can Chili Peppers Cause an Hallucinogenic Effect?

Hallucinations can be caused by extremely hot chili peppers. It is thought that the hallucinations are caused by the body releasing a massive amount of endorphins to act as a painkiller against the heat of the peppers. Other foods that have been reported to cause hallucinations include nutmeg, moldy rye bread, sea bream, and caffeine. However, many of these require ingesting large amounts and can cause flu-like symptoms.

More about chili peppers:

  • The pungency of chili peppers is measured by the Scoville scale. For example, bell peppers are the lowest on the scale, with a Scoville rating of zero, whereas cayenne pepper measures between 30,000-50,000 Scoville units. Ranking highest on the scale are the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and Carolina Reaper peppers, each measuring between 2 million and 2.2 million Scoville units.
  • Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers which gives them their heat, is used in pain relievers for arthritis, headaches, and pain caused by mastectomies.
  • Chili peppers are rich in vitamins, such as B vitamins and iron. Their nutrient density varies depending on their color.
Discussion Comments
By anon1003908 — On Oct 05, 2020

I just finished doing the 1 chip challenge by Paqui. It has a 1.56 million SU rating. It was an experience of a lifetime and I felt like I was being beaten up by the reaper himself. I advise if anyone is looking to go head to head with the reaper, make sure you have 911 on speed dial.

I like to think I have a strong stomach and am perfectly okay after a day of eating the chip, but for others, that may not be the case. Also a tip: neither water nor milk works to get rid of the reaper's bite. The only option is to sit it out and experience true pain. Enjoy! P.S. I don't regret it.

By Viranty — On Oct 07, 2014

In relation to the third bullet point, despite how spicy peppers can be, I'm quite surprised to hear that they're so rich in vitamins. Despite this, I feel that the best way to get your vitamins (through peppers in this case) is by eating bell peppers. Considering how they're not spicy in the least bit, anyone can eat them, and to top it off, you can eat as many as you want to without having to worry about any negative and/or hallucinogenic effects.

By Krunchyman — On Oct 07, 2014

While I have always been a big fan of spicy food, ever since a few years ago, I have really toned it down on the kinds of spicy foods that I eat, as I had to learn this the hard way.

A while back, I tried out a Habanero pepper for the first time. Being young and foolish, I put the entire thing in my sandwich, sliced up of course. However, little did I know that I was in for quite a surprise. I didn't have to go the hospital, but it certainly left a mark on me. I even began to have hallucinogenic effects.

Nowadays, not only am I more careful with what I eat, but even more so, this article does a good job at further reinforcing just how dangerous hot peppers can be. However, on the other hand, while it's true that they can be quite dangerous, I also feel that it also depends on what kind of tolerance you have.

For example, if you're one who grew up around spicy food, what might seem hot to you, might not to the other person. On the other hand, if you're not accustomed to hot food, even jalapenos could be too much for you to handle. Overall, it all depends.

By Hazali — On Oct 06, 2014

Wow, I didn't know that hallucinations could be caused by eating extremely hot peppers. Not only is that very interesting, but even more so, it really shows you just how dangerous some peppers can be.

I mean for example, if someone ate a couple of jalapenos, they probably wouldn't experience any negative effects. Considering how they're rather low in terms of the Scoville scale, one would probably have to eat a whole bunch of them before experiencing something bad.

However, when it comes to the other peppers like Habaneros and dragon peppers, they are incredibly dangerous, and should be approached with extreme caution. Not only could they cause hallucination effects, but even more so, the peppers could burn you even if it just comes in contact with your skin.

While many people do enjoy spicy food, I feel that we all should be more aware of the effects the heat can have on our bodies. Overall, this article is a very good step in the right direction, as it sheds some light on a subject that's not discussed too often.

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