Friday, February 6, 2009

Banana Bonanza!

The Legend:  You can get high from smoking banana peels.

Status: False


Rumor has it, and just about every kid entering high school in this country has heard this rumor, that you can get high smoking dried banana peels. What a huge financial savings over more traditional drugs, like marijuana. And so easy to buy, too. Bummer that it's not true.

Even though the word bananadine has been created (sometimes spelled banadine"), and there are recipes floating around, there are no psychoactive components in bananas, banana peels or banana extracts. While the online recipe for this extraction was intended to be funny, with rips into current folklore, "Bananas are 30x stronger now than they were just 10 years ago," people have actually gone through all the steps in these spoof recipes and guess what?  They didn't get high.

This rumor seems to have its origin's back in March 1967 with a prank letter that was published in the Berkeley Barb. It has been said that Donovan's song, "Mellow Yellow" is about smoking banana peels. There is a recipe for this extraction in the Anarchist Cookbook, (Powell, 1968). You can find recipes for preparing bananas for smoking in the humor sections of some of the better drug websites.

Here's an interesting factoid for the geeks amongst us. While they can't be smoked, there are legitimate uses for banana peels outside of slapstick comedy. Banana peels can be used to remove trace metals from water, (Annadural et. al., 2003).