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Insects, in the context of insects and arthropods, are generally not known to cause mind-altering effects in humans. While some insects, such as certain species of spiders and scorpions, produce venom that can affect the nervous system and cause symptoms such as pain or muscle spasms, they generally do not induce hallucinogenic or mind-altering effects. Similarly, insect bites or stings from common insects such as mosquitoes, ants, or bees can cause localized pain or allergic reactions, but do not alter a person’s mental state.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Some insects, such as certain species of beetles or caterpillars, produce toxins that can have psychoactive effects in humans. These toxins are often used for self defense against predators. For example, the blister beetle secretes a substance called cantharidin, which, when ingested, can cause severe gastrointestinal irritation and can lead to hallucinogenic effects. Similarly, certain caterpillars, such as the cat caterpillar, possess venomous spines that can cause painful and sometimes hallucinatory reactions in humans if accidentally touched.
It is important to note that while some insects may have substances with psychoactive properties, they are not used by humans recreationally or as mind-altering substances. In general, the risk of encountering mind-altering effects from insects in daily interactions is extremely low, and such effects are most commonly associated with substances of natural or synthetic origin sought specifically for their psychoactive properties.