Suzy Lanza, who vapes everything from kava and green tea to CBD, says relaxation is her goal. "Have you ever gotten acupuncture and felt immensely calm afterwards?" asks Lanza, who is launching a new vaporizer. "CBD sort of gets me to those levels, but on an as-needed basis."
"Not everybody wants to do mushrooms, where there's a lot of stigma attached," says Fossier, who says he experienced total ego death in a float tank. "People have always liked experimenting with their consciousness, and [legal highs] give people a way of feeling that without the guilt."
He emphasizes that he doesn't put himself in a sensory-deprivation environment to trigger a trip-out experience. "It's more of a physical reset for me, like a massage or chiropractor adjustment," he says.
Legal highs: a response to a sped-up world
Both Dr. Wetsman and legal-high aficionados agreed that in a world that sometimes feels like it's spinning out of control, euphoric experiences can be a way to slow your roll.
"In our increasingly demanding world, people crave something to make the noise stop," Dr. Wetsman says. "As long as we continue to focus on the drugs, we'll have people responding by searching for a safe and/or legal drug to use. We need to instead change our paradigm. If you feel there's something not right in your life that a drug would make better, see someone about that."