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    Beginners FAQ for the Psychedelic Drugs Forum 
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    Beginner's FAQ


    • I have heard you can get a bad trip. Should I be worried about that?






    Following are questions that are answered only briefly with a redirect to the appropriate thread that exists for it:

    - to do:


    - What is the best psychedelic

    I took a hit of LSD but it wasn't visual. Why?

    • It's not uncommon to have surprisingly little visuals, although usually when you have had a good number of trips and titrate* your
      dose upwards you should be able to experience them soon enough. Most of the time it is just a matter of taking a little bit more. For some people acid is generally not extremely visual, it happens but less than some might think. Visit this thread about the subject!
    • *Titrating your dose, what is it? Titrating just means starting with a low dose and slowly work your way up with steps or increments. If the steps are not too large much fewer unexpected results will be had.


    What's the most visual psychedelic?

    • Psychedelics only have certain tendencies to be visual, in different intensities and in different forms. It can be like comparing apples to oranges because visualizing complete imagery of scenes in your mind is different from seeing objects morph and distort with open eyes. There is no answer, this is a debate without end, but nonetheless much can be said about it that should satisfy your questions about this! Read here.


    Threads that are especially valuable to beginners:



    This FAQ is a work in progress and you can help out! If you know a question that is bound to be asked by people new to all this, post it below. If it is valuable to be answered here it will be added. If not then eventually the posts will be made invisible and the thread will be closed - this is in the end not a platform for discussion but only a FAQ.
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    I have never tried psychedelics but I have become interested in them, where do I start?

    OK then, space cadet!
    • At the very basis of getting around this (sub)forum that is PD... you could say there is our Psychedelic Index, where this FAQ is listed and also our so-called Big & Dandy megathreads on the really huge general topics. This is recommended to cover some really primary information, scroll to see the couple of threads listed especially for beginners. We will get back to that later.
    • Vital to getting good basic information on a lot of psychedelics and other drugs is www.erowid.org.
    • Though outdated, addition or secondary info can be found at www.lycaeum.org.

    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    So now I have picked up a couple of names of psychedelics that sound interesting to me, now what?

    • After you have become more familiar with the territory and have learned about some families of psychedelics or drugs in particular, use the Index to find almost any chemical. Then you can go into it deeper. If at any point you have questions, ask them in the appropriate topic - that way it stays clear for everyone.
    • Also, note that especially the biggest Big & Dandy threads have subthreads listen in the OP (opening post or first post of the thread), check those for a deeper focus on a particular aspect of the drug, it's use, how to store it and many more things.

    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    I have looked around the index but there is something I would like to know that is not in there, it seems!

    • It may be a lame answer but really recommended is the search engine, it shows at the top of the window but if you want to get more specific (but not TOO specific) about your query use the advanced search! A big tip is that the quick-search will search in all posts and not in title threads. That is why unintentionally the result can become a mess.
    • If the Index does not satisfy your questions and the search engine doesn't either then of course you can create a new thread. But understand that right now there are more threads created that actually fall into the topic of a pre-existing Big & Dandy megathread. If we can just ask you to try and keep the forum organized, that is all. Hopefully you will find PD informative enough for your needs and if there are any suggestions you want to make, there is a sticky thread at the top to post improvements you thought of. Hopefully we can all help each other, this is a platform supported by users for users so let's act like a community!

    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    Right now I am on medications, is it alright for me to use this psychedelic / empathogenic stimulant / research chemical etc ?

    • If you are on psychiatric medications then psychedelics are generally not a good idea. To trip you need to be stable mentally and then you wouldn't need the medication. Of course there are many different kinds of medications. Best case scenario is little interaction or a dulled trip, worst case scenario can mean life-threatening problems so do not just go combining things!
    • Still, for info please visit our medication interactions thread HERE!
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    I have read about a number of different things but it is just very hard to pick a drug to begin with, which one do I take??

    • First off: please don't create a thread asking that because we cannot tell anyone what to do here, it is one of our rules. What then?? Well what we can do even though it approaches it, is discuss which psychedelics are the easiest to deal with, the best introductions to tripping, the most forgiving and the least relentless, we discuss that HERE! But ultimately you will have to make your own choices and do your own research. It would be irresponsible to let other people do it for you, to be honest. So we have your best interests in mind!
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    3. What is an "RC" ?

    • RC stands for research chemical and it is pretty much the same as a designer drug, although "designer drug" is a term used more often by media and "research chemical" is a term used more often by the actual people using it i.e. this scene or community.
    • Research chemicals imply that there is not a lot of scientific information about the effects of the chemical compounds / drugs yet, people experimenting with them do it to explore these effects for personal reasons, general interest related to the broad variety of these compounds (in the name of science) or simply in the name of recreation.
    • The term designer drugs indicate that the compounds are designed chemically to circumvent current drug laws but a large part of the commerce behind it has the intention to achieve the same effects as popular illegal drugs like XTC (MDMA). So you could say many RC stimulants are 'wanna-be MDMA' compounds, although enough users respect these different compounds in their own right. The differences in intensity, duration and other properties can give you the option to custom fit your psychedelic experience or high.
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    Where can I find reports from people who have tried these drugs?

    • Click here for our own database of trip reports! Utilize the search engine to find specific ones.
    • Click here to visit the Erowid experiences vault, there are really a lot of reports to be found here!
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    Does LSD make your brain bleed or stay in your spine forever?

    • Clear and simple: no! These are myths and they are perpetuated among people who don't really know very much about this and people who fearmonger and demonize psychedelics out of fear and hysteria.
    • On this page of erowid a number of myths are debunked i.e. proven to be false / wrong.
    • Also visit this thread about LSD myths (which should include other psychedelics).
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    How is a trip structured?

    • Let's take an example from here:
    • Chart:
      • Total Duration: 6 - 11 hrs
      • Onset: 20 - 60 mins
      • Coming Up: 15 - 30 mins
      • Plateau: 3 - 6 hrs
      • Coming Down: 3 - 5 hrs
      • After Effects: 2 - 5 hrs
      • Hangover / Day After: -


    • ONSET: Now how can you think about a trip to be structured chronolically? It usually starts with an 'alert' which is the first sign you have that you have taken something, there is a change in yourself but it is hard to explain. You start to feel 'something' though. This usually happens somewhere near the end of the onset, which is the time between taking a drug and actually getting any significant effect.
    • COMING UP: You see a steep ramp going up in the graph above, that is the come-up where the effects manifest themselves and grow stronger and richer and more complex, it takes some time to get used to this, to adjust. Especially when it's your first time with a compound or the first time tripping in general. If it's completely your first time it can be hard to tell for some people if the trip is not very intense, because there is no frame of reference.
    • PEAK: The peak is the part of the plateau where the effects are really the strongest. People then say that they are 'peaking'. There's a peak amidst the plateau i.e. the highest point of multiple peaks that ebb and flow, and the plateau itelf is a period of average stability in effects. The plateau is not a comedown stage even though it's average overall intensity may be slightly less intense than the highest peak within it. The peak would rarely, if ever occur at the end of the plateau, and is most likely to occur at the beginning after the comeup, or a little way in to the plateau.
    • PLATEAU: When plateauing the trip stabilizes somewhat and does not really get that much stronger. But that's not the end of that: unforeseen circumstances, positive or negative, can impact the trip still at that point and can make it a lot more stronger. That is because when the set or setting changes it can have similar effects as if the dosage were different, it is that big of a factor. When we look at the graph we see that LSD comes in 'waves' quite often, the intensity can fluctuate but in average it should stay somewhat the same during the plateau and at the end start to lose momentum or power.
    • COME DOWN: That is when the effects start to decline, usually this is very relaxing and somewhat opposite to the come-up which can produce some anxiety. The trip can feel more dilated in this stage and feelings of rest or peace or re-stabilization or re-integration are not uncommon at all.
    • AFTER EFFECTS / AFTERGLOW: Some psychedelics and some trips have neutral after effects, that tell you you are still not back to your old self completely. People speak of an afterglow when the tailend feels especially beautiful and euphoric, there is reason to believe that the more content the trip had or the more extreme it was, the bigger the chance of afterglow is. After all, who wouldn't feel a sense of relief when you have just had an incredible but also difficult trip with lessons and insights. At the time it might have felt like too much but afterwards you are glad you did it because you can take something away from it!
    • RESIDUAL EFFECTS / HANGOVER: Though not a clear cut definition residual effects come after the after-effects or after-glow for example they are what still can linger after you have had a good time's sleep. Again, the more impact your trip had on you the longer it will take to integrate the experience. These hangovers are experiential and can also be said to include the spent energy from a strong trip until deep into the night for instance. Most psychedelics do not have a hangover like alcohol, it is very different.


    • Many trips are not like that of LSD, they have a peak that hits like a massive wave, then decreases in intensity before really dropping off. There are different kinds of so-called pharmacokinetics possible that mean long outstretched come-ups are possible or long come-downs (usually they go hand in hand), but some drugs can also hit very fast and have a really short peak. It's all possible.
    • To consider another graph that shows the temporal intensity here is that of mushrooms:

    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    I have an RC (research chemical) in pure form. Now what? How do I use it?

    • Most research chemicals have specific small doses that you cannot guess just by looking at it (called eyeballing), furthermore without a scale you can not always be as sure that the amount you think you have is precisely that instead of more or less. So, a major investment but not one that necessarily has to be cheap, is a scale accurate to preferably 0.001 g or 1 mg. There is a thread on it here.
    • When you get a scale that shows only a display of 0.01g then DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that 0.01g is 1 mg. 0.01g is 0.010g is 10 mg! A factor 10 difference can get you into a lot of trouble and you would not be the first.
    • An addition to using a scale is what is called 'liquid measurement' or the 'volumetric method'. The idea is that you can make a solution by putting your chemical in a solvent. That solvent can be water (preferably distilled water available in many places) but better is to have it contain alcohol (ethanol). Don't use household or cosmetic products that contain ethanol, it should be something like vodka. The reason is for proper storage which is also covered in another question in this FAQ. If you want to read more about it visit the Big & Dandy Liquid Measurement Thread.
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    What's the best way to store my acid?

    • You can visit this thread for it but here are some things to know that should answer many initial questions...
    • The basics of storing things and chemical stability are these: storing well means preventing degradation.
    • Degradation is a term for unwanted chemical reactions that turn your active drug into something else. One of such reactions is oxidation.
    • Each chemical is sensitive to different factors to different extents, depending on the type of degradation reaction we want to prevent.
    • The key factors that determine the rate of most of these reactions are these:
      • Water / moisture, also the water present in normal air.
      • Temperature: a general rule is that for each 10 degrees Celsius you lower the temperature the reaction (like degradation) goes at half the rate. So basically placing something properly in the deepfreeze will multiply the shelflife by more than 16! Because you go from 25 degrees ambient temperature, to -20 in the freezer, is more than 40 degrees difference, so 4 times those 10. 2^4 = 16.
      • Oxygen: this is needed for things to oxidize. We need it to breathe for the same reason but need to make sure we use airtight containers to stop oxygen refreshing.
      • Sometimes: light, especially UV-radiation that is in normal light like sunlight. LSD is sensitive to this in particular but other compounds may be as well.
    • So, all these considered what is done best? It depends on how serious you want to take this but as a rule eliminate as many factors as possible. LSD in aluminum foil in an airtight baggy out of light is good. For longer storage putting it in a fridge or freezer is
      better. But especially when working with those you need to get a dessicant (drying material), like those sachets you might find with
      products you buy that have to remain dry (shoes, beef jerky, I don't know). They absorb water from the air.
    • An ideal situation would be to put your chemical in something protected from light (optional), seal it in a vial or mini mason jar (displayed below) together with a dessicant baggy. Then put that in the fridge or freezer.
    • Pay attention! If you take it out of the freezer or fridge as long as it is colder than room temperature it will attract condensation,
      water from the air making drops. So after taking it out of the freezer do not open it but first let it warm up gradually until it is at room temperature. THEN open. Otherwise moist air will go in and make things wet.


    On the left: mini-masonjar ; on the right: glass vials.



    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    I took acid or mushrooms or something similar a few days ago. Can I do it again right now?

    • Psychedelics like those produce tolerance very quickly, even a single trip can make you tolerant for a number of days up to 1-2 weeks.
    • Be sure to visit the Big & Dandy LSD & Mushrooms Tolerance Thread where this is discussed and also quantified into a graph. In other words you can read here how much tolerance there is in the average person after a certain number of days.
    • In general it can be said that it is good to wait a week or two anyway, not only for tolerance but also to allow yourself to really integrate the trip. Even if you think you are fine, be open to the possibility that everyone needs time to process unconventional experiences. If you trip too often you can lose a magical quality or feeling of novelty. That is because trips make you conscious about yourself and your life, you can receive insight but there still needs to be done something with it. If you keep tripping without experiencing actual content in life in between, then there is nothing new to review. And the trips can get lame and empty eventually. Don't let that happen.
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    What are some risks of tripping and how big are they?

    • To start with some good news, most psychedelics are quite benevolent on the body and certainly the classic psychedelics that have been researched for a pretty long time, like LSD mushrooms and mescaline appear to do no real harm physically. But still let us remember that they are very powerful mind expanding drugs and that they can promote mental and spiritual processes that can be unwanted or detrimental.
    • Psychedelics are not classically addictive, often they can actually have the opposite effect because a trip can be hard to endure instead of easy and recreational. Psychedelics increase your awareness which usually does not allow for a lot of escapist behavior. The more easy and recreational a psychedelic is though, the more it can be abused. But there is no real craving that is not in line with the will of the user.
    • Much experience tells us that a mentally stable person is very unlikely to get psychosis or schizophrenia or other precipitated illnesses or disorder without strong factors of stress or a latent condition. It can be genetic that someone is predisposed to mental instability or sensitivity. Such a person can get into trouble especially if little care is paid to set & setting. Sometimes this predisposition cannot be detected in time and that can be a tragic accident, but it does not happen alarmingly often and one might argue that there could have been many more triggers or so-called luxating factors, that would cause a similar illness to precipitate.
    • The experiences can be very extreme and spiritual in content. This can cause a spiritual revolution in people and make them question who and what they are and what their place is in life and the universe. This can happen without asking for it, and for many there is no way back but only a way through it. This can be troubling or even somewhat traumatic, but it can also teach you a lot about yourself that is priceless.
    • Flashbacks, they are not really caused by the drug itself but by the extreme nature of some experiences. Similar to a deja vu, some triggers can make you re-experience very intense experiences vividly as if you were back there. If the experience was horrible then the flashback can be expected to also be bad. But if the experience was emotionally neutral (it just was) or very positive, then such a flashback is not a problem. They happen but not very often at all, and even if they happen they are definitely not all bad. Visit the Flashback thread for more info.
    • HPPD (Hallucinogen Peristing Perception Disorder) is something else that is seen and chances of it increase when frequency of tripping is abnormally high. Some people, again, are very sensitive to this though. Many trippers have symptoms of this but do not have the disorder itself because they are fine with them and call them 'free visuals' or 'tripping on demand' so to speak. Others are bothered by it though. It is not something one should worry about when trying psychedelics but it is definitely something to remember when you are doing it more often and often. Visit the HPPD Thread for more info.
    • To conclude one doesn't need to be scared of psychedelics but instead be very respectful to your use of them. Consider set & setting very well and evaluate your own emotional and mental state before taking them. That way you can prevent some things listed above. Tripping is often about exploring new territory but the bigger leaps into the dark you take the less predictable the outcome is, so be careful with that and first learn how to actually take steps into this territory of mind exploration. If you do take these precautions seriously then most of the things above can be minimized to a level that is hard to quantify, but seems to be acceptable. If you do not want to risk anything at all, simply don't trip. But realize that the majority of things in life puts you at risk of something or another, and harm reduction and safety precautions are the best way to be able to do these things well.
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    What does a + or ++ or +++ etc mean?

    • These notations mean an intensity on Shulgin's scale.
    • Alexander Shulgin, writer of the books PIHKAL and TIHKAL, invented a way to express the level of intensity in the following manner:
      • - not really used but it designates no effect at all.
      • +/- also rarely used, it designates not being sure if there is an effect happening or if it is placebo or anticipation or something else.
      • + a definite effect is happening but it is so mild that it stays on the background, whether you like it or not.
      • ++ a stronger effect is happening that one can really go into if wanted, but it can also go to the background if so inclined.
      • +++ a strong effect that is undeniable and that will not go to the background, whether you like it or not.
      • ++++ a very special level, this is sometimes used equal to ego death or mystical states, however it is not originally meant to designate those states, rather it is meant to designate a truly life-altering trip independent of the primary intensity of effects but depending on the secondary deeper lasting insights and effects. They may make you see the world in a way that can never be reversed or make you make a very serious change in your life.

    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    How many micrograms of acid is on a blotter?
    &
    I have some blotters, they have a certain print. How many should I take for a good trip?


    • It depends, we can't know that really. Unless it can be tested at a laboratory which is possible in a few countries like the Netherlands and Spain it seems. There are many different kinds of prints and you cannot see from that how potent they are i.e. how many micrograms they contain.
      If there are tested blotters that are geographically very close to you it may be possible, especially if the print is a rare or uncommon design.
    • How strong is it, in probability? Consider the following estimation of dosage on a blotter. It is a course guess not based on real data except experience and anecdotal suggestion, though I am trying to get it supported by actual data from test labs. Please note that this chart includes blotters that actually contain any LSD at all. Some of them are just inactive and others contain compounds like DOX. Those have not been quantified / guesstimated.






    • So most of them are around 75 ug, but they can be much weaker or stronger than that!! It's nothing to gamble with.
    • Now, what can you expect from certain doses? Here are a few typical descriptions of effects to expect from certain doses:
      • g = micrograms = 1/1000 of a milligram is 1/1000000 of a gram!
      • 25 g - threshold, you can feel an alert and a feeling you can't quite put your finger on. Things might seem a little more lucid to you, you just might feel more energized in the slightest but it is so mild that you might doubt it's anything real at all. A +/- .
      • 50 g - mild, it is enough to get a feeling for it and get into a more crystallized, lucid or clear headspace. You might feel like your visual field is augmented but actual distortions are probably still quite around the corner at this point. It is a nice way to get acquainted with LSD, that much is sure. You should not expect to be overwhelmed. This would be a + .
      • 75 g - light to moderate, it is all more evident at this point and there is less need to really try to pick up on the effects. Besides a big smile on your face I would not be surprised if you would get some visuals at this point and feel like you are tripping. You can do something with this trip and start exploring better. But it still does not have a very large potential to drag you along in its intensity. Expect a ++ .
      • 100 g - moderate to somewhat strong, at this dose you can really have some serious fun. Visuals should not be a big problem at this point and the trip can be quite complete and envelope you. Without effort some ego dissolution can easily become apparent. This is a proper dose that a good number of people might say is enough. Not that more is really unwanted but you should not miss out on a whole lot. It should still be possible to function at this dose but expect to be noticeably altered anyway. A ++/+++ .
      • 150 g - strong, it starts to get more serious here and you can definitely get surprised by some intensity especially on the peak. Parts of it might get you carried away but with some previous experience this should still be manageable. A very nice dose indeed, nothing pathetic about this! Distortions and morphing can be very original and stunning. This has significantly more potential for dissolution of boundaries, so be prepared to get as acid washed as the jeans you are wearing. (++) / +++ .
      • 200 g and higher - intense, fasten your sealtbelt because objects melting at this point would not be uncommon at this point. From here on out shit gets deep, it really may not be easy anymore to have a purely recreational time. More ego loss and things you may have never experienced before. Just extraordinary, much more easily a +++ .


    • So now you will understand it is a hard question to say how many you should take, because if they are strong one or two hits can blast you away but if you are weak one hit or less can be a little disappointing or have hardly an effect at all while you may be anticipating something serious.
    • As a rule, start low with any batch of drugs you have newly acquired. Evaluate the reputation of your source if he or she made any claims about the potency, and without experience to go on better be safe than sorry. If you are a beginner, "when in doubt double the dose" is silly. You can always do more a next time, but you cannot take it back when you discover that you are in way over your head. These are not toys, so treat tripping well, treat yourself well... and have a wonderful time!
    • Visit this thread on the subject for further reading and discussion.
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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    #17
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    Solipsis, what do you think about copying(moving?) this FAQ to "Drug FAQs" forum?
     

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    ^I don't think it would get read if it was moved there, though it might be an idea to link to it/duplicate it in that forum.
     

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    Good idea, let me copy it there
    Trippers, please start at the Beginners FAQ - Read the PD Rules and BLUA - Use the Psychedelic Index and/or the advanced search engine
     

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