2013 Winter Lectures: Charms and harms of natural medicines - Herbal highs and lows: the recreational use of psychoactive plants Event as iCalendar

13 August 2013

1 - 2pm

The natural health products industry is said to exceed NZ$1 billion in revenue (including exports). The 2013 Winter Lecture Series featured six weekly lectures that spoke to popular interest in ‘natural’ medicines, and real concerns over their quality, safety and efficacy.

Associate Professor Janie Sheridan PhD FRPharmS 

The use of plants and herbs for their psychoactive effects has a long history. Much of this use historically may have been for cultural and ritual purposes. More recently, we have seen the emergence of their use in a similar manner to that of contemporary alcohol use. Apart from tobacco, the most commonly used psychoactive plant in New Zealand is cannabis, but internationally many other plant-based substances are also used. Furthermore, New Zealand has seen an emergence of a new phenomenon of the use of less commonly known psychoactive plants, such as Salvia divinorum. This presentation will explore what is known about the contemporary use of such plants in New Zealand, in terms of context, their effects and harms.