Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You have NOT smoked LSD.

Let's get something straight-- I hear from people all the time that they "smoked LSD" that was mixed in with their weed and everything turned tie-dye and they saw the Lorax run across their living room. If you think that you have done this, all the "LSD effects" were entirely psychosomatic. LSD is a really sensitive chemical and by lighting it on fire you would be obliterating it. Sorry, guys.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nicotine Overdose?

Did you know you could overdose on nicotine? I sure didn't. I wasn't expecting any consequences when my best friend and I got high and then went to our favorite hookah lounge to smoke for a few hours. When I got up  afterwards and moved into the bright part of the store on my way out, I realized I was dizzy and had a pounding headache. The longer I stood up, the more ill I felt, until I could feel my pulse drumming in my ears and throat. To help me fix the headache, my friend took me to the grocery store to get something to drink and I was sure I was going to either pass out or vomit. According to my resident biologist, the nicotine had raised my heart rate to obscene levels. I even had a hangover the next day; with a headache and a complete lack of appetite. I love hookah, but I won't be overdoing it again.

Apparently, nicotine poisoning can be quite a problem. The equivalent of 30-40 cigarettes can kill a man. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pallor
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Lisps
  • Stomach pain/cramps/bloating
  • Weakness
  • Drooling
  • Seizures

Obviously, my experience was not as severe as it could have been, but I hadn't even known this was possible.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is Micro-tripping?

Totally on drugs.
Microtripping is the practice of taking tiny doses of LSD to enhance normal, day-to-day function. Those who microtrip take about 10 micrograms (about a tenth of a normal dose) every three days or as needed. It has the potential to improve creativity, concentration, sensory experience, mood, and general functioning.

I'm planning on trying it to help with my playwrighting sometime soon, so I'll let you know how it goes. My friend Barrett swears by it for attending concerts, because you have positive mental effects allowing you to better enjoy the music, but does not render you too incapacitated to function in the practical, physical world. Have you ever tried it? What do you think?

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Do you really need a grinder?

The short answer is no.

After all, what does a grinder do? The simple variety does just that-- grinds up your weed into more manageable shreds. This is convenient, sure, but not particularly necessary. Grinders with more than one layer also do you the courtesy of filtering out stems. Nice, but still nothing you can't do by hand.

Never buy a one-stage grinder. They are just a waste of money.

However, I love my grinder. I use it every time I smoke, plus to store my weed (which I generally buy in small quantities at a time). That's because in addition to the grinding convenience, it has a third layer, divided by a screen, that acts as a kief catcher-- all the pollen off the weed in the upper chambers falls down through the screen, becoming a powder you can smoke on its own.

I love kief. It's like a delicacy. While it can sometimes be harsh and hard to smoke out of bowls (you have to sandwich it in between two layers of bud), it is so tasty and the high feels so clean. And a grinder is the only way to separate the figurative wheat from the chaff. It improves my mood to look in my grinder and see a sand-castle of kief piling up, which I save to smoke with my closest friends.
Only buy a multi-stage grinder, and only if you're as into kief as I am.

If you're an elitist like me, by all means buy a grinder (the multi-stage kind advertised as having a "pollen catcher"). If not, don't waste your money because you don't need it.

Additional thoughts:

  • If you do decide to buy a grinder of whatever variety, don't buy one made of wood or plastic. They erode quickly and all the bits that come off your grinder go into your weed. Always go with a sturdy metal one.
  • To encourage kief to fall into the bottom section, put a nickel in the middle stage (in the above picture, the empty section at the top left). This will knock the particles down so they don't mix back in with your bud.
  • I find my (really really blunt) pocket knife to be a great tool to use in tandem with a grinder, as a scoop. Some grinders come with a scoop for the kief, but I bought mine second-hand and I'm not sure if it came with one in the first place. Therefore, my pocket knife serves me just as well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's All Fun & Games: The Value of LSD for Play and Creativity

The quality of LSD that I value most is how it frees you up to engage in creative play like children do. I am a relatively silly and carefree adult-- I'm all about playing in the snow and games of pretend-- but LSD is often the only thing that frees up other people so they can play with me. The removal of inhibitions and the augmentation of the senses that LSD causes really makes child's play easy and rewarding. Playing is often a component of the creation processes for highly intelligent and creative people, and therefore LSD may very well help the rest of us get into that carefree headspace more easily.

I dropped acid the other day (Friday the 13th) and I haven't tripped since this summer (if you're curious, read the post I Have Done a Good Deed). Either I had forgotten how intense the LSD experience is or we had gotten ahold of really strong acid. While I had affirmed to my friend early in the evening, who was about to have her first trip, that I was the expert among my friend group at calming down anxious psychonauts, by the time she actually needed my help (more about that below) I was tripping too hard to even quite register what emotion she was feeling. (Obviously, I regret being unable to attend to her, but once the Boyfriend stepped in and reasoned with her a little bit, the rest of her night was dandy.)

The entire trip was, from my point of view, defined by the ideas of childhood, time, and aging. We spent most of our trip watching TV (which is not my first choice of activities whether I'm tripping or not), and just as our peaks were beginning we found that Nick at Nite was airing a Rugrats marathon. This sent everyone back to their own childhoods. I'm not sure if my perception was correct, but it seemed like the Boyfriend was really riffing on the idea of the neo-childhood we were experiencing and the conversations we've been having lately about growing old together. Almost all his comments during the conversations of the night had something to do with nostalgia, or our parents' generation, or our personal futures. (Even our noob's momentary bad trip was related to time; she began to cry when the clock appeared to be moving backwards.) The entire Rugrats atmosphere got me thinking about play.

It was on the comedown, after the Boyfriend and I had separated from our friends, that I really began experiencing the idea of play. Alone in the basement of his house, while he tucked his gal pal into bed upstairs, I began to imagine, on purpose, that the house was eating me. That I was in the belly of a gigantic, rumbling beast and who knows what was going to happen next. When Boyfriend came back, I reported this to him and he expressed concern. "No," I said. "It was fun. The house is a big warm animal but when it started making rumbling and creaking and gurgling noises I imagined it was about to digest me." He then stripped down into his boxers to go to bed and I commented, "I like those boxers! They make you look like a sailor!" so as we were settling down and talking about the evening, I addressed him like a wizened sailor (to his annoyance). :) After he fell asleep, I began thinking about our animal existence and how removed we are from it-- all the viscera that, as civilized humans, we rarely have to deal with. Usually I get grossed out by anything that's even the slightest bit gory, but in that moment I felt that I could deal with anything that life could come up with. I began attempting to disturb myself, which is generally really easy, but right then I was invincible. Then the idea of violence morphed into the philosophy of sexual violence, and whether the practice of consensual violent sex was, at its base, a negative subconscious aberration or a natural and innate desire. I am curious about the phenomenon of BDSM and other violent and rough sexual practices, so I began to try to disturb myself that way, by imagining the most violent sexual scenarios possible. It didn't work. But it occurred to me that the subconscious is full of really interesting things that seldom get dealt with in art, and from now on a closer understanding of our fucked up subconsciouses will be informing my writing.

Actually, just before my trip I had been reading The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman, which had an entire chapter about studies done about the effect of LSD on creativity. While some reported that they did not have the attention span to work on a specific project, most were amazed by how readily new problem-solving insights showed up and could be implemented. The key point here is that the scientists' measure of success was its "real life" use-- how it benefited us in our competitive capitalist world.

From this trip, I took away a broader understanding of my mission as a writer and a greater openness to play.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vaporgenie Video Review

Check out the video I made just after I got my new Vaporgenie vaporizer!

Text recap:

I just got a Vaporgenie (Amazon, $59) and I rate it 5 stars. Portable, easy to use, stealthy, cheap. Cons: not always tasty, takes a few hits to work, really saps lighters.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Update: Responsible Drug User's Oath

In my post about the Responsible Drug User's Oath, I did not attribute the text to anyone in particular because I wasn't sure of the origin. My reader DDAA has since informed me that the original source was everything2.com, which happens to be where I got the information in the first place. Thanks!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Grapefruit Juice and Drug Bioavailability

I was flipping through my collection of drug-related books and articles and I found that quite a few were related to grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice? That sounds like my experience with mangoes amplifying a trip, which I wrote about here if you're curious. I thought maybe there was some correlation, so I investigated furthur.

Drug bioavailability is the percentage of a drug that you ingest that actually makes it to its biological target. When you take a drug orally, whether it's LSD or aspirin, some of it is metabolized (digested & taken apart) before it can reach your bloodstream. If you inject a drug, its bioavailability is 100%. Grapefruit juice will increase the bioavailability of certain drugs by interfering with the metabolizing process, and therefore increase their effectiveness and potency.

Scientists first discovered this when they were experimenting with the effects of mixing alcohol and another drug, felodipine. With their test subjects, they used grapefruit juice to mask the flavor of the alcohol mix as they drank it, and it ended up increasing the bioavailability of the felodipine. Even a single glass of grapefruit juice, taken within 24 hours of the administered dose, will create these effects.

Other scientists found that cytochrome, which occurs naturally in the small intestine and is responsible for the metabolizing of certain molecules, is what the grapefruit juice inhibits. Though it's not known exactly what chemical in the juice causes it, they have narrowed it down to a few theories: naringin (which doesn't occur in other fruit juices and is known to limit metabolism), quercetin, kaempferol, furanocoumarians, and bergamottin. In case you were curious.

What does this mean for recreational drug use? Well, unfortunately, not much. Though it increases bioavailability in a variety of substances, it doesn't do so for all of them. One chemical it does affect is setraline, also known as Zoloft. It is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, or SSRI, meaning that it prevents your body from reabsorbing and metabolizing serotonin, a neurological chemical that plays a part in keeping you happy. By keeping more serotonin active in your body, your mood stabilizes. By increasing the bioavailability of SSRIs, grapefruit juice makes them more potent. LSD also functions by serotonin-- it blocks serotonin's receptors because of its similar shape. Therefore, grapefruit juice shouldn't have an effect on LSD and related hallucinogens, unless you're taking an SSRI already, and then it will make the LSD even less effective.

Of course, I am not a biologist or a chemist; just a careful reader and researcher. If I drew an incorrect conclusion or you know something more on the matter, please tell me in the comments and I will edit the post.

tl;dr: To the best of my knowledge, grapefruit juice will not make hallucinogens any more potent, and will actually decrease potency furthur if one is already taking an SSRI.


Food-drug interaction: grapefruit juice augments drug bioavailability-- mechanism, extent and relevance
by A. Dahan and H. Altman
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Best Christmas Present Ever!

I suppose it's a little late to be buying it for any stoners on your list, but I really have to brag about this awesome Christmas present I received in a Secret Santa trading game.

No, it's not actually Dr Pepper. It's what I've dubbed the Stash Can-- it's meant to look and feel like a real, unopened can of Dr Pepper, but you can unscrew the top (as pictured below) and you can shove incriminating things in there. Like perfectly legal tobacco products.

In my opinion, this is a must-have stoner gadget, especially if you live in a communal, searchable place like a dorm. Just don't stick it in the fridge or someone might try to pop the tab and drink out of it...