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Nepeta cataria

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a mildly sedating herb with a long history of medicinal use. Its benefits include a wide array of uses, from antitussive and astringent properties to sedative or even slightly stimulant properties; typically infusions and extracts of the plant are used for sedative and antispasmodic purposes and to aid digestion.[1] The plant terpenoid nepetalactone is the main active secondary compound of catnip and can be extracted through steam distillation for more concentrated use in medicinal applications.


[top]Introduction to Catnip

[top]Using Catnip

[top]Ways of Administration



The effects of Nepetalactone (the main "psychoactive" chemical in Nepeta cataria) can be administered to the body via smoking. Catnip may be smoked just like any other herb that can be smoked. Although some individuals claim not to be affected by this method of ingestion, there are many experience reports that recommend smoking as a more preferable method. There are many reports of Catnip being mixed/smoked with Cannabis.


[top]Effects of Catnip

[top]Combinations with Catnip

Catnip is not known to interact negatively with any other herbs or drugs. It is often included in herbal tea mixes with other mild sedative herbs.

[top]Different Uses for Catnip

[top]Pharmacology of Catnip

[top]Chemistry of Catnip

[top]The Dangers of Catnip

There are no known dangers associated with the use of catnip. This plant can safely be used at high doses and can safely be combined with many other herbs and drugs. There are no known deaths associated with the use of this plant.

But smoking this plant is damaging to the lungs just like smoking any other plant. Concentrated preparations like essential oils can are more likely to be dangerous as are higher doses. And it is possible that some individuals will be allergic to this plant or have other negative reactions.

[top]Growing Catnip

[top]Forms of Catnip

The most commonly used species of catnip is Nepeta cataria. This species is used most prevalently for medicinal purposes and it has the most effect on cats compared to other species in the genus. The dried herb can often be found in pet or grocery stores being sold as a recreational substance for cats.

Dried herb meant for cat consumption tends to have a weak potency and many people attempting to use this form of catnip report that it has little to no medicinal or recreational value. Dried herb sold specifically for medicinal purposes tends to be more potent and effective, but the potency will vary with the age of the material, storage method, and the location from where it was harvested due to genetic variations and environmental factors.

The highest quality of catnip is obtained by collecting wild plants, properly drying, and properly storing them in an air-tight container. This ensures that the least amount of volatile active compounds will be lost.

Other species of catnip are used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Some of these species are also reported to have stronger medicinal properties, particularly the hybrid Nepeta x faassenii.

[top]Legal Status of Catnip

[top]United Nations

No forms of Catnip or any of its chemical constituents are listed as controlled substances by the International Narcotics Control Board.


No forms of Catnip or any of its chemical constituents are controlled substances in the US, although the plants may be considered invasive or noxious weeds in some areas.


No forms of Catnip or any of its chemical constituents are controlled substances in the EU.

[top]Other Countries

No forms of Catnip or any of its chemical constituents are known to be controlled substances in any countries.

[top]History of Catnip

[top]More Catnip Sections

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Created by Alfa, 13-02-2012 at 02:18
Last edited by NeuroChi, 09-01-2016 at 16:50
Last comment by gonzochef on 20-11-2015 at 17:23
2 Comments, 14,224 Views

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