DIY Psychedelics: Why Grow and Prepare Your Own Plant Medicine

Jerry Toth
8 min readSep 14, 2019
San Pedro, also known as Huachuma. Native to the Andes but available in ornamental plant nurseries throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Botanical cousin of Peyote, and mescaline-bearing.

The beauty of utilizing psychedelic plants, as opposed to synthetics, is a question of intimacy. Especially when you coax a plant into life, care for it, harvest it yourself, and prepare it with your own hands.

Unless you’re a chemist, your relationship with a synthetic psychedelic is usually that of a consumer, in the economic sense of the word. Somebody somewhere has created this thing, by a method that we know little or nothing about, and we use money to buy it. In some cases, we even buy it online. It gets shipped to us in a package like earphones.

Technically speaking, this is a plant medicine.

Of course plant medicines can also be purchased like consumer products, and now they often are. This is not entirely a bad thing. I’ll be the first to admit that legally purchasing well-engineered Indica gummies online is better than furtively buying a ratty wad of dry weed from the dude in the park who says “walk with me” as he looks around and shoves a bag into your hand in exchange for a greasy banknote and then later, when you smoke it, you just feel kind of dumb.

The legal Cannabis industry is definitely a positive development, as is the decriminalization of Psilocybin and the increasingly-mainstream use of Ayahuasca. But now we’re starting to use these plants like prescription medicine purchased from behind a white counter. It’s okay, I do it too sometimes. I’m not here to beat us up about this. I merely wish to propose an alternative approach, when circumstances allow it.

Sure, you can now legally purchase Cannabis in a shop down the street…or online. But you can also grow it at home, and harvest the buds rather than buy them.

Why Grow Your Own

Even if it’s only a few Cannabis plants sitting in pots on the windowsill, or San Pedro cacti in the garden — it’s almost always more rewarding when we grow the plants ourselves.

Why? For one, I think we humans have a lot to learn from plants, and not all of these lessons are acquired by consuming them. The process of raising a plant from seed to maturity is an intimate experience. It is an example of…

Jerry Toth

Professional rainforest conservationist, cacao farmer, chocolate entrepreneur, and metaphysical explorer based in Ecuador.

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