TikTok Users Are Consuming Nutmeg to Get High. Here’s Why the #NutmegChallenge is Dangerous
- Teens on TikTok are participating in the #NutmegChallange, which involves drinking nutmeg mixed with water to produce a hallucinogenic high.
- However, ingesting too much myristicin, the potent compound in nutmeg that causes the high, can be dangerous with side effects including nausea, palpitations, headaches, and dehydration.
- In some cases, toxic doses of myristicin have caused organ failure and in other cases, it’s been linked to death when used in combination with other drugs.
- One study found that toxic symptoms have been observed with a nutmeg dose of as little as 5 grams, which is equivalent to two teaspoons or two-thirds of a tablespoon of grated nutmeg.
Nutmeg Challenge Resurfaces
Whether its Tidepods or spoonfuls of cinnamon, it seems like we can always count on internet users ingest things that are pretty dangerous for them. The latest risky trend that has appeared on TikTok has been dubbed the #NutmegChallenge and it involves mixing the spice with water, then drinking it for a hallucinogenic effect.
Now, if that sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because its something people have actually been doing for years, buts it’s now recirculating amongst young people bored in their homes. Teens have been posting videos of themselves trying out the concoction and documenting what their experiences were like.
TikTok itself might not have caught on to the trend yet because as of Tuesday morning, the official description under #NutmegChallege refers to a soccer move in which one dribbles a ball between an opponent’s legs.
The majority of the videos that actually appear at the top of the search results, however, show people talking or joking about the spice, not the soccer term.
Why the #NutmegChallenge is Dangerous
So here’s what you need to know about consuming nutmeg. Can it make you high? Well, the short answer is yes, but there are risks associated with using it recreationally.
Nutmeg contains myristicin, a potent compound known to cause psychoactive effects. If taken in large amounts, it can be dangerous.
A study on nutmeg intoxication that appeared in The Netherlands Journal of Medicine found that in large quantities, “nutmeg has toxic effects including hallucinations, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, agitation…Because of these effects it is occasionally used as a recreational drug.”
Meanwhile. a 2018 report from Healthline said, “In some cases, toxic doses of myristicin have caused organ failure. In other cases, nutmeg overdose has been linked to death when used in combination with other drugs.”
As far as why we can eat it in food without issue, the Healthline explained that we actually consume a very small amount of it in meals. “Small amounts of nutmeg can be used safely in cooking. Most recipes only call for roughly 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg per recipe. These recipes are often split into multiple portions, leaving the actual exposure to nutmeg very insignificant.”
So a toxic among of nutmeg might look like less than what you would expect. The study in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine said, “Toxic symptoms have been observed with a nutmeg dose of as little as 5 g, which is equivalent to two teaspoons or two-thirds of a tablespoon of grated nutmeg.”
People who try to get high using nutmeg on TikTok seem to typically ingest about 2 tablespoons of it, but the effects can take hours to kick in. That sometimes prompts people to take a second dose after falsely believing that the amount they consumed wasn’t enough.
Overall, research on nutmeg intoxication specifically is pretty sparse, but there are enough studies to suggest that consuming too much myristicin in dangerous. And even if consuming nutmeg doesn’t kill you, side effects can include nausea, palpitations, headaches, and dehydration. These effects can last for 10 or more hours so it’s probably safe to say that there are better ways to keep yourself entertained.
See what others are saying: (Heavy) (The Daily Dot) (HITC)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Associated Press) (People)
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.