Herbal Ecstasy


Know the facts and connect with support to help you address known or suspected substance use with your child.

Herbal Ecstasy is a term used to describe a combination of herbs that are legal, inexpensive, and marketed as a “natural high.” Herbal Ecstasy can be purchased over the counter in drug stores, music stores, and shops around the country. The key ingredient is ephedrine.

Also known as cloud 9 and rave energy, among other slang terms, herbal ecstasy is a term used to describe a combination of herbs that are legal, inexpensive, and marketed as a “natural high.” Herbal Ecstasy can be purchased over the counter in drug stores, music stores, and shops around the country. The key ingredient is ephedrine.

Herbal Ecstasy is sold as pills in colorful packaging that are swallowed, snorted or smoked. The packaging on these products promises “increased energy,” “inner visions,” “sexual sensations,” and “cosmic consciousness.”


Understand the risks

Ephedrine (the key ingredient in Herbal Ecstasy) stimulates the cardiovascular and central nervous system. It may cause harmful reactions in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. People with vulnerabilities to ephedrine can suffer from heart attacks, strokes, and seizures when taking the drug.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra (ephedrine alkaloids) due to concerns over their cardiovascular effects, including increased blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. The final rule became effective on April 12, 2004. The rule does not pertain to drugs that contain chemically synthesized ephedrine, or to traditional Chinese herbal remedies and herbal teas.

Identify & address use

Signs of use include heart attack, stroke or seizure in people vulnerable to ephedrine. If you’re concerned your child may be using herbal ecstasy or other substances, the following can help you address the behavior more effectively.