rants from the dark side of marketing

Drugs Online

I’m not talking about prescription drugs. It’s not such a lucrative business as RX but it’s certainly a lot easier. I’m talking about cannabis, salvia and whatever other herb someone had the bright idea to smoke one day.

If you wanna jump at this niche, you are gonna need to find some good shops to affiliate with or even source the product yourself given the relatively high margins. Surely, you could just make a page for every possible keyword in this market and slap on some generic “Legal Bud” ads (http://www.herbalsmokeshop.com/affiliate.html) but their products totally suck. That would be bad spam.

Reading this post will save you hours of research but you will still need to get involved a bit. Either that or you can pull out your credit card and go get high. Let’s go over the various sub-niches:


Obviously, cannabis isn’t sold on the net itself, as it’s illegal almost everywhere. I don’t know if there’s any coffee shops in the Netherlands that accept orders online, that would be an exception. Sure, there are probably heaps of illegal drug deals done through the net, however drug dealers don’t offer you affiliate programs.

The first obvious sub-niche is cannabis paraphernalia. Bongs, rolling papers, pipes, crap made from hemp, books, clothes, lighters, vaporizers (hint: Volcano vaporizer for $500) etc. I’d say this is one of the less interesting parts of the market. This stuff is already available in headshops almost anywhere.

Then there are cannabis seeds. A pretty lucrative market since a pack of 10 seeds can sell from $10 to $200. It’s a bit of a gray area legally, because the seeds will obviously grow into plants eventually, which is illegal. Selling the seeds themselves might be legal in some cases but anyway make sure you affiliate with a shop in the Netherlands, less chances of them getting closed down by authorities. For example, overgrow.com which was based in Canada got closed down some time ago because they sold seeds. The place also had some humongous forums and was a very wealthy resource for cannabis growing.

Talking about growing… There’s grow lights, hydroponics, aeroponics, special nutrients and additives to grow bigger buds, bagged bat shit (seriously, bat guano), containers for the plants, watercooled 1000w ballasts, 500w HPS lamps and $2000 complete growing kits. This is some expensive stuff to grow cannabis with, plus they are totally legal to sell.

Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum is one of the most popular legal highs and there’s tons of shops selling it on the net. Salvia was relatively unkown until the mid to late nineties, so it was legal everywhere. It quickly got popularity because of it’s unusual high and its legal status. Australia was one of the first to ban Salvia and recently it has been scheduled in many european countries as well as a couple US states.

Salvia is a very potent psychedelic, producing a high that lasts for 15-20 minutes. It is not known to be harmful or addictive in any way. Apparently some crazy Aztec shamans used it, so that makes it safe. Despite it containing a very potent substance, it’s hard to get high smoking plain salvia leaf because you only have about a minute to get enough in your system. Thus, salvia is mainly sold in extract form at various concentrations such as 5x, 10x, 20x or even 40x. Prices range from $10 to $50 or more per gram, depending on concentration.

Salvia buyers will also be interested in butane torch lighters, as high temperature is required to release the Salvinorin. There’s also a few shops selling Salvia cuttings, so you can grow your own. Salvia seeds pop up sometimes but are extremely rare. If you managed to find a good source for cuttings and seeds, I think you’d have a good product to sell at your hands. There’s also people that will sell you kilos of salvia leaf, main origin being Mexico, for you to process into extracts and resell at quite a high margin. Again, it would be a good idea to base such a business in the Netherlands.

Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are sometimes sold in herbal shops, as they are still legal or not regulated in a few countries. There are dozens of strains for sale, either fresh or dried. They will all get you high and you’ll see nice colors.

It would be useful to note that Amanita Muscaria is not really like the rest of the mushrooms, and is more common.It’s not exactly a mushroom, it’s an Amanita. Sometimes sold in extract form, or included in smoking blends. Amanitas contains ibotenic acid and muscimol whereas “Magic Mushrooms” contain psilocybin or psilocin.

Psilocybin mushrooms are also easy to grow and there are a multitude of grow kits on the market. It’s a good product to sell, as mushroom grow kits are legal in significantly more countries than grown mushrooms containing psilocybin. There’s cheap kits for around $50, that will let you harvest 1-3 times or for those that are serious, bigger kits that include aquariums, spore prints, sonic humidifiers and more.

Legal Buds

All the legal buds,herbal buds,hydro buds are actually mere smoking blends that don’t get you high. They are all shitty products that you shouldn’t be selling. I think it’s doubtful you’ll get any return customers after they’ve smoked their lungs out with some stupid vegetable someone dried off. I’d stay away from these.

Wild Dagga, Wild Lettuce, Blue Lotus

Wild Dagga is commonly advertised as a cannabis alternative (also often included in herbal smoking blends). It doesn’t really do anything and I’ve never heard anyone say something good about it. Most herbal shops offer it for sale.

Wild lettuce is very commonly included in herbal blends. Same as above.

Blue Lotus is usually promoted as a “relaxing” herb, sometimes as a cannabis alternative. There are also some lotus extracts around. Same as above.

Morning Glory and Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds

Both morning glory seeds and baby woodrose seeds contain various alkaloids including LSA, which is vaguely related to LSD. These have actual effects but I’ve heard a lot of people saying they got zero effects from it, or just nausea. Would be pretty easy to source and/or grow as I doubt they are illegal anywhere. Same as wild dagga and the rest, it’s very commonly sold in online herbal shops.

Pills and Caps

They are crap. If I was gonna sell crap, I’d rather go with this than the herbal buds though. I blame pacman. Anyway, the pills and caps advertised as herbal ecstasy or herbal speed or herbal ghb or herbal turds usually contain similar ingredients to the legal buds.


There are various other drugs I didn’t mention such as Kratom, Kava Kava, Ephedra, Peyote and other cactii, Ayahuasca, DMT and MAOI containing plants, Absinthe and more… Maybe I’ll do a follow-up post in the future if no-one dies after reading this one..

Posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2007 at 11:51 am under Rants. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Synchronium Says:

Interesting. Are you guys by any chance the same people behind Blackhat Botanicals, that sell exactly those sort of things?

Black Hat Botanicals Says:

That’s us, Black Hat Botanicals, that is, and yes, we do sell many of these items – Salvia and Kratom Extracts, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, etc.

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