Wild Dagga Effects (Leonotis leonurus)

Wild dagga (dacha), a South African bush with red, cream, apricot, white, yellow, but usually orange flowers, is also known as Lion’s Tail, but its scientific name is Leonotis leonurus.

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Commonly referred to as “wild cannabis” or “wild dagga,” cultures from South Africa, China, and Vietnam have been known to smoke this herb for its euphoric benefits, often as a social substance for giddiness and laughter.

Wild Dagga (Leonotis leonurus)
Wild Dagga (Leonotis leonurus)

Wild Dagga Effects

The onset of the psychoactive effects of wild dagga is 15 minutes, while their duration is approximately 1 hour. When smoking or vaping it, the onset can occur much faster and be as little as 2-3 minutes.

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When dried, the aromatic leaves and flowers of this intoxicant can be smoked or consumed orally to induce a narcotic inebriation reminiscent of that produced by the THC in marijuana. Indeed, dagga literally means “hemp,” thus wild dagga is “wild hemp.” It is sometimes called Kanna, but true Kanna is Sceletium tortuosum.

While the effects of this marijuana substitute are milder than those and not as potent as those of Cannabis and Datura, careful cultivation is said to increase its psychoactivity and hallucinogenic properties.

Most commonly, wild dagga generates a mild calming effect. It may also cause a sense of comfort, soothing, and well-being, as well as mild euphoric buzz, excitement or elation, visual changes, and lightheadedness.

Other reported effects include a heightened sense of awareness, a pleasant sense of lightheartedness, a head buzz, extroversion and increase in confidence, anxiety reduction, memory improvement, grounding, sense enhancement, mood improvement, slight giddiness, stimulation, and increased color perception and mental clarity.

Very high doses may induce mild visual hallucinations.

The effects of wild dagga are reported to be highly variable among individuals, but some speculate that one reason why some people do not experience anything under its influence is that non-psychoactive or less-psychoactive species, such as Leonotis nepetifolia (Lion’s Ear/Klip Dagga), and plants from Leonurus Spp. (e.g., L. sibiricus, L. artemisia, and Leonurus cardiaca), are often sold to unwary customers.

Wild dagga is a medicinal plant. The extract exhibits sedative, antispasmodic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and hypoglycemic effects and may inhibit acetylcholine and histamine, possibly making it a sleep herb. Some claim it induces deep meditative sleep.

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Is Wild Dagga a Dream Herb?

I do not know if wild dagga can be used as a dream herb. I came across sources that claim that wild dagga suppresses REM, possibly making astral projection and dream work more difficult. On the other hand, there are those who claim that it may serve as a dream potentiator and even induce lucid dreams.

As a dream herb, wild dagga is probably most beneficial as a relaxant and can help attain a deep state of relaxation when it’s hard to reach one naturally.


Wild dagga can be smoked on its own or as a part of a “legal high” smoking blend. One recipe for such a smoking blend contains equal parts of

  • Leonotis herbage
  • bog bilberry leaves (Vaccinium uliginosum)
  • Aristolochia herbage (Aristolochia triangularis)
  • papaya leaves (Carica papaya)
  • and marsh marigold herbage (Caltha palustris).

There are some who claim that wild dagga may be an excellent potentiator of whatever other herbs it is blended with. This may result from the fact that leonurine is a vasodilator, which can facilitate the spreading of other active ingredients throughout the bloodstream.

For a stronger effect, it is possible to rub the resin off the leaves and smoke it alone or mix it with tobacco or other smokable herbs.

It is often suggested to not smoke wild dagga, but to either drink it as tea (a water extract) or vape it.


An average dose is 3.2 grams. At this dosage, an Azarius experiment revealed that out of 45 participants, 8 people felt nothing. The average dose among the other 37 participants was 3.5 grams. Most described a calming and relaxing effect. Some reported euphoria. And very few people said it has stimulating and psychedelic effects. Cognition, sociability, and time perception were altered during the experience. The intensity was ranked 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.

As for the 20x extract, the oral dose is 0.4 to 1 gram.

There is no reported tolerance.

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Experience Reports

Many experience reports can be found on Erowid.org. I suggest going over them as a good starting point for the exploration of wild dagga.

I chose to quote one here which has to do with my own main field of interest: dreams.

I ground up the leafs in my mortar & pestle (just preference, I like the stone on stone feeling as opposed to the electric grinders). I then packed a nice little wooden bowl that I bought for my ‘legal’ herbs, which is roughly about enough for 6-7 pulls, and then on top of that, I placed 3 of the choicest flowers from the bag. The smoke itself was slightly harsh, but bearable. Not unpleasant tasting, but I suggest mixing it with some other of your favorite smoking herb, just to cut the slight roughness in the throat. It did produce from me a little more phlegm and saliva, but nothing too bad. The feeling I got from it was that of very mild marijuana buzz. No insightful musings or anything psychedelic, just a calmed, relaxed, mellow state of being. This lasted for about 20 minutes or so, until I went to sleep. Now, this is where dagga really worked her magick. So, I had a pretty deep sleep, and I had one 2-part dream, that I can remember, just before the damn alarm went off. now, lately I haven’t been remembering my dreams. I used to have very vivid dreamscapes […] as of late, I haven’t been able to recall any very vivid dreams. This is how the dream went… Well, in summary, Wild Dagga is a good herb to smoke for relaxation, as well as a tool to go into deep REM sleep and take a journey to your subconscious mind. I highly recommend it.


Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, sweating, tiredness, headaches, and thirst.

The main downside is that wild dagga may be habit-forming, which is why it should be used with caution, especially for people who have an “addictive personality.”

According to Wikipedia, wild dagga is illegal in Latvia and Poland.

Procuring Wild Dagga

It’s possible to purchase wild dagga in many plant nurseries or order it online. The plant can also be found in many parks and gardens. Get the flowers though rather than the leaves when possible since they are more potent and taste better than the leaves.

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