Hey Stoners! Welcome to The Johno Show I’m your host Jonathan and it’s time for this week’s Q&A. Today’s Q&A comes from my good friends over at the Velveteen Lounge Kitchen YouTube Channel and it’s all about smoking banana peels.
After my Mango Myth Busted video the other week my friends at the Velveteen Lounge Kitchen asked me if I’d ever heard of the myth where you roast banana peels to get high.
Honestly, I’d never heard of anything like that so my buddy’s sent me some documents from The Straight Dope website where Cecil, a modern day Ann Landers answered questions and gave advice. This time a character by the name of Leper Naaman wrote to Cecil saying quote:
“Getting high off of banana joints. Is there really a chemical called “bananadine”? If so, can you really get high from smoking dried-out banana skins?”
For the most part Cecil’s response was at best belittling. So let’s skip those parts and really get to the heart of the matter.
Since it’s 2002, I punched bananadine into Google.com. Seconds later I was looking at the following recipe:
- Obtain 15 lb. of ripe yellow bananas.
- Peel the bananas and eat the fruit. Save the skins.
- With a sharp knife, scrape off the insides of the skins and save the scraped material.
- Put all scraped material in a large pot and add water. Boil for three to four hours until it has attained a solid paste consistency.
- Spread this paste on cookie sheets and dry it in an oven for about 20-30 minutes. This will result in a fine black powder (bananadine). Usually one will feel the effects of bananadine after smoking three or four cigarettes.
The recipe was attributed to The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell. Mr. Powell is very vocal in seeking the book he wrote to be discontinued. He says “The Anarchist Cookbook was written during 1968 and part of 1969 soon after I graduated from high school. At the time, I was 19 years old and the Vietnam War and the so-called ‘counter culture movement’ were at their height. … The book, in many respects, was a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnam,”
Powell says he got much of the information from military manuals at the New York Public Library, although it’s likely the banana recipe came from somewhere else. The Anarchist Cookbook is still available, its author reduced to pleading that the book is “misguided and potentially dangerous.”
But you still want to know: Will bananas get you high? Of course not. The whole thing was a hoax first publicized in the Berkeley Barb in March 1967. The wire services, and after them the whole country, fell for it hook, line, and roach clip. “Smokeouts” were held at Berkeley. The following Easter Sunday, the New York Times reported, “beatniks and students chanted ‘banana-banana’ at a ‘be-in’ in Central Park” and paraded around carrying a two-foot wooden banana. The Food and Drug Administration announced it was investigating “the possible hallucinogenic effects of banana peels.”
The outcome of the FDA study I have not been able to discover. However, in November 1967 researchers at New York University reported that a chemical analysis of banana peel had found no intoxicating chemicals and that the high was mainly psychological. It was obvious at the time, at least to some of us, that the whole thing was a put-on. I’ll bet even the pranksters at the Barb didn’t expect suckers to be falling for it 35 years later.
So now that that myth is out of the way let’s do something fun and make a banana pipe.
Step 1: Cut off the tip of the banana
Step 2: Cut end of tip off
Step 3: Remove inside of bowl.
Step 4: Make a hole with a pen or straw into the banana.
Step 5: Make connecting hole on top for the bowl.
Step 6: Remove excess banana from air chamber.
Step 7: Make a larger opening on the top with the knife.