What Is the Difference Between Synthetic and Organic Drugs

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People have been using drugs since the dawn of time, for numerous reasons. Some people want to achieve a certain “height”, others want to achieve a higher state of awareness, while yet others need drugs to boost their physical and/or mental performance. Of course, many drugs are medicinal in nature and can help stimulate the body and promote a faster recovery. For example, our Palm Beach detox center utilizes several FDA-approved drugs for our detox programs, allowing our patients to manage their withdrawal symptoms much easier. Drugs come in many varieties but only two types: Organic and synthetic. In this article, we will explain the difference between synthetic and organic drugs, answer some frequently asked questions, and offer some insight into possible treatment options.

What are organic drugs?

These days, many people believe that organic=good. We can observe this throughout common business practices where companies explicitly label their products as “organic”, “gluten-free”, and similar. These labels prey upon people’s belief that synthetic is bad and organic is good. When it comes to drugs, however, the fact that they are organic does nothing to warn us of the associated dangers. Many people believe that since organic drugs come from nature itself that they are perfectly safe to use. Unfortunately, not only is this not true but organic drugs can be extremely addictive and dangerous.

person smoking a blunt
Marijuana is one of the most common organic drugs.

Most drugs these days are either synthetic or an organic/synthetic combination. Heroin and cocaine, for example, are mostly organic as they come from plants (coca plant for cocaine, poppy plant for heroin). However, both drugs are created by adding chemical ingredients to their plant origins. This is what makes them so addictive. In fact, recovering from crack cocaine addiction all but requires a visit to a crack cocaine rehab center. If not treated properly, addiction to any drug can have life-threatening consequences.

Now, everyone knows that heroin and cocaine are highly dangerous. Most people will avoid these due to fear of getting addicted. However, what happens when your drug dealer says that their newest batch is 100% organic and safe? Many people will latch on to the organic part and not the drug part, thinking that they can get a safe high from them. Unfortunately, this is never the case. Let’s take a look at some of the most common organic drugs on the market and see exactly what they can do to us.

Most common organic drugs

While you may be able to find just about any organic drug on the black market, some drugs are more common than others. Here’s a list of some of the most common organic drugs sold in the U.S. today:

  • Cannabis
  • Salvia
  • Betel nut
  • Peyote
  • Psilocybin
  • Angel’s trumpets
  • Kratom
  • Ayahuasca
  • Hawaiian babies
  • Datura plants

The one thing that all these drugs have in common is that they are definitely not safe to use. Some of the organic drugs are more dangerous than others, true, but no drug is inherently safe. The “safest” organic drug that is sold en masse worldwide is tobacco, which produces nicotine. However, the difference between nicotine and other organic drugs is that tobacco does not produce any extreme effects and is therefore “safe” for general use. As for the difference between synthetic and organic drugs, organic drugs are usually less potent. That being said, all of the drugs on the list above are much more potent than tobacco and are therefore more dangerous. There are good reasons why all of these drugs are considered to be illegal in most of the world, after all.

black and white mushrooms
Some species of mushrooms contain psychoactive substances.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what these organic drugs do and why they are so dangerous.


If you know anything about drugs, you are already acquainted with the cannabis plant. This is the plant that produces marijuana, a drug that contains a psychoactive chemical called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana is most commonly consumed by smoking but it can also be consumed in other ways. As far as organic drugs go, marijuana is one of the least potent drugs you can find. Even so, marijuana has the possibility to create very nasty side effects, including memory loss, anxiety, reduced reaction time, lethargy, and even a drop in IQ!

While marijuana is not extremely dangerous on its own, as evidenced by legalization efforts in many countries and states, it is also known as the most common “gateway drug”. What this means is that many people start with marijuana and then proceed to take more potent drugs. This usually leads to developing a substance use disorder and subsequent addiction. Marijuana in and of itself is not addictive, at least not physically. However, you can get addicted to marijuana on a mental level, similar to how you can get addicted to gambling. Luckily, most major health insurance providers recognize the addictive properties of this particular organic drug and will offer rehab coverage.


Salvia is a lesser-known herb that is capable of producing hallucinations. The hallucinations themselves are produced by the activation of specific nerve cell receptors through consuming the herb. Salvia is popular among spiritual seekers, as the hallucinations that are produced by the drug are often connected to spiritual messages. While this herb might not induce chemical dependence, much like marijuana, addiction to its effects is not only quite possible but highly likely. As with all hallucinations, the state of the person’s mind will determine the experience.

Betel nut

Betel nut is the fourth-most common psychoactive drug in the world and that is saying something when you consider that the “Big Three” are alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Many drug dealers will try to sell Betel nuts as a safe drug, claiming that it is completely organic. However, since this drug has the ability to produce significant hallucinogenic effects, it is far from being safe. Furthermore, recent research indicates that Betel nut consumption considerably increases the risk of oral cancer, and esophageal cancer, and may lead to other health problems. Yes, you might not end up in IOP Palm Beach after a few encounters with the drug but prolonged exposure will usually lead to addiction. If you are at least a bit conscious about your health, you will steer clear of Betel nuts.

dried betel nuts
Abusing betel nuts can lead to serious health issues.


Peyote comes from Peyote cactus plants. This particular organic drug contains large quantities of mescaline, a well-known hallucinogenic compound. The reason why this drug is so popular in the U.S. is the fact that Peyote cactus plants naturally grow in the U.S. Peyote is another hallucinogenic drug, one that is quite addictive in its own right. Most people that use Peyote experience losing their senses, as well as a blurred sense of time. Needless to say, these effects are dangerous in their own right, without any associated hallucinations.


Psilocybin is, perhaps, one of the first organic drugs ever discovered, due to the fact that this ingredient is found in around 200 different mushroom species. Most drug dealers, however, sell simply “Psilocybin mushrooms”. The problem with this is that many of these mushrooms are also poisonous, and not every seller will know to make the distinction. Furthermore, Psilocybin mushrooms that are not inherently poisonous can induce numerous negative side effects such as vomiting, panic, stomach cramps, etc.

Angel’s Trumpets

Angel’s Trumpet is a very poisonous plant that was native to South America. These days, Angel’s Trumpet is extinct in the wild but is still man-grown due to its powerful hallucinogenic effect. This plant contains alkaloids, chemicals that increase the heart rate and force the mind into a hallucinogenic state. Not only is this organic drug not safe to use but it is also very easy to take too much of it and experience a lethal outcome. If your drug dealer offers Angel’s Trumpets to you, saying that they are organic and therefore safe, it is in your best interest to decline. Otherwise, you may need a partial hospitalization program Florida to help you overcome your addiction. Even though you may believe that you can’t get addicted, the reality is that you may get addicted to Angel’s Trumpets before you know it.


Kratom is a subject of many drug debates in the U.S. Some people believe that Kratom is perfectly safe to use as a natural pain reliever while others argue that negative side effects are enough to warrant an illegal status. The fact remains that Kratom is a drug and that it activates the same opioid brain receptors as morphine. Therefore, using Kratom is potentially addictive.

packaged Kratom
While Kratom might not be illegal in some states, that does not make it safe to use.


Another very common organic drug, Ayahuasca is a vine that can be processed into a “spiritually fulfilling” drink. Many people consider Ayahuasca to be safe to consume but the reality is that it is not. Ayahuasca can produce extremely bad experiences when consumed, and it can even lead to death. Furthermore, many people that consume Ayahuasca experience diarrhea and vomiting.

Hawaiian babies

This innocent-sounding plant is actually one of the more potent organic drugs. Also referred to as Argyreia Nervosa, this drug not only causes hallucinations, but it can induce many negative side effects such as psychosis, nausea, and prickling skin. The greatest danger of Hawaiian babies comes from the fact that it is extremely easy to overdose on them. It is quite easy to build a tolerance to this particular drug, which means that you may need an ever-increasing amount to achieve the same effect.

Datura plants

The last organic drug on our list, Datura plants, is quite similar to Angel’s Trumpets. The plant itself is poisonous to humans and produces significant hallucinogenic effects. Abusing this drug often leads to a complete loss of touch with reality, potentially leading to many other health-threatening conditions.

One thing that you need to understand about organic drugs is that you are going to see all sorts of information about them. Some will claim that these drugs are perfectly safe, while others will downplay their side effects. The best thing you can do is to stay clear of all drugs, be they organic or synthetic. That being said, organic drugs are far less potent and dangerous than their synthetic counterparts.

What are synthetic drugs?

Synthetic drugs are used by millions of people on a daily basis. Synthetic drugs are your prescription medications, Oxydocone, Vicodin, Meth, Fentanyl, Heroin, Bath Salts, and many others. There are literally thousands of different synthetic drugs, all of which have a high potential for abuse and addiction. The difference between synthetic and organic drugs is that the latter was specially designed and made in a lab. Most illicit synthetic drugs mimic the effects of natural drugs but are made to be more potent and highly addictive.

a lab, symbolizing the difference between synthetic and organic drugs
Synthetic drugs are made in a lab.

Due to how dangerous synthetic drugs are, they are usually sold under a variety of names. Most people understand that Heroin is extremely dangerous, but when their drug dealer mentions Hero or Beast, they may be swayed to try it. Many people also take Kicker, not knowing that it is actually Oxycodone, and end up needing oxycodone rehab. To make matters worse, the market is constantly flooded with new synthetic drugs, party drugs, and designer drugs. It is virtually impossible to get information on some of these synthetic drugs, making their use questionable at best, and fatal at worst.

To help you avoid potential dangers, here are some of the most common designer drugs that are sold in the U.S.:

  • Molly
  • Spice/K2
  • Flakka
  • Bath salts
  • Smiles
  • DMT

Each of these designer drugs is extremely dangerous, as their abuse will often lead to fatal outcomes. Here’s what you need to know about each:


This drug is sold as a “pure” version of ecstasy. While this may indicate that the drug is safer to use, it is anything but. What this drug does is alter the senses and provide an effect akin to stimulants. However, the problem with Molly is that it is usually mixed with other chemicals to make the creating process less costly, creating very unpredictable side effects. In fact, according to a recent CNN report, only around 13% of the drug that was seized by law enforcement officials in NY actually contains its original substance. Most of the time, Molly was “laced” with other substances such as MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and methylone.


More commonly referred to as fake weed, Spice or K2 is a synthetic cannabinoid that is several dozen times stronger than its plant-based counterpart. Needless to say, the heightened effect comes with nastier side effects and greater addiction potential.


Also referred to as gravel, Flakka is an alpha-PVP synthetic drug. This drug produces powerful hallucinogenic and stimulant effects, and it is extremely addictive. Even a small grain of Flakka is capable of producing a considerable high and have you wondering does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover drug rehab. The best thing you can do is whenever you hear the word “Flakka”, simply turn around and walk the other way.

Bath salts

The mostly innocuous name “Bath Salts” hides a very dangerous synthetic drug. This drug is so potent that only a small sniff can increase your heart rate, blood temperature, and blood pressure “through the roof”. Snorting bath salts is similar to taking almost a dozen lines of cocaine at the same time! Bath salts are also often mixed with other substances such as mephedrone, MPDV, and methylone, further enhancing their potency, negative effects, and addiction potential.

synthetic orange and blue bath salts, representing the difference between synthetic and organic drugs
Bath salts are an extremely potent synthetic drug.


Also known as 2C-C-NBOMe or 2C-I-NBOMe, Smiles is a highly potent hallucinogenic synthetic drug. It is quite similar to LSD and mescaline and is used mostly as a “Party drug”. It can most commonly be found while exploring the club/rave scene, and most dealers downplay its considerable negative effects.


DMT, also known under its street names Nexus, AMT, Blue Mystic, and Foxy, is a drug that combines phenethylamines and tryptamines, both of which are highly addictive psychoactive substances. Similar to Smiles, LSD, and mescaline, this drug creates considerable hallucinations and provides an energy boost to its abusers.

The main issue with designer drugs is that you can never know exactly what you are getting. Since all of these drugs are highly illegal, it is very common that the drugs themselves are tampered with to lower their production costs and increase the risk of addiction.

The difference between synthetic and organic drugs

The primary difference between synthetic and organic drugs is their origin. Organic drugs come from nature while synthetic drugs come from the lab. The second difference is potency. Organic drugs are usually much less potent than their synthetic counterparts. Furthermore, many synthetic drugs are specially designed to be addictive and to increase the retention of their users. Then there’s the difference in how your body processes the drugs. Synthetic drugs are much harder to process, as their chemical composition is extremely complex. Organic drugs, on the other hand, are much simpler and easier to process. That is not to say that organic drugs are not dangerous, quite the opposite.

a stop sign in a forest
The best thing you can do is stop using both organic and synthetic drugs.

Chemical reactions

All drugs, be they organic or synthetic, create a chemical reaction in the brain. The longer you use a drug, the higher the chance of addiction and negative side effects. That being said, synthetic drugs are specially made to maximize these chemical reactions. Furthermore, aside from a few special exceptions, synthetic drugs have a much higher overdose potential.

No drug is safe to use. Even organic drugs that have been classified as safe, such as alcohol, have a high addiction potential. That said, synthetic drugs are much more dangerous. While you may be able to recognize organic drugs on sight, this is impossible to do with synthetic drugs. You have absolutely no way, short of conducting an extensive lab test, to figure out what you are taking. Your dealer might tell you that they are giving you LSD, for example, but they might be giving you Smiles instead.

The inability to distinguish what you are taking is probably the most important difference between synthetic and organic drugs. With organic drugs, you can at least visually see if something is out of order. You don’t have this option with synthetic drugs. That said, organic drugs can also be laced with various chemicals, making “hybrid” drugs. The most common hybrid drugs include heroin, opiates, and cocaine. These drugs all come from nature but are then processed with extra ingredients. Heroin, in particular, can be laced with both organic and synthetic drugs, making it highly volatile.


As far as safety is concerned, there is little difference between synthetic and organic drugs. They are all unsafe and can produce significant negative side effects. Organic drugs may technically be somewhat “safer”, but you can still overdose and die from them. Therefore, the best thing to do is always to refrain from using any drugs.

If you recognize that you have a drug problem, the best thing to do is seek help immediately. At Bright Futures Treatment Center, we specialize in treating all sorts of substance use disorders, regardless of their origin. If you need to know even more about the difference between synthetic and organic drugs, feel free to get in touch with our professional medical staff. We will be happy to provide you with any information you may require!

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