[stc: this was written by our established contributor Lotus, who is a frequent user of psychedelics and occasionally rides motocross stoned]
Tripping for the first time on a psychedelic can be a very stressful time for any person. Most people have no idea what to expect from a drug like LSD, psilocybe mushrooms, or mescaline, and the rumors and myths surrounding these drugs can make it difficult to tell fact from fiction. I’m going to try to tell you some things to help you out on what can be a life-changing experience, so that it’s a change for the better, and not the worse.
Nobody can fully prepare you for what you’re going to experience on a psychedelic, so you must keep that in mind at all times. Remember that there are risks of permanent mental issues, but they’re fairly low. If your family has a history of schizophrenia, or you believe you have latent mental issues, I would highly discourage the use of any psychoactive drugs (this includes marijuana, psychedelics, etc).
Once you’ve decided that you want to take the step into a psychedelic world, you should always know that you will come back out of it. It can be an overwhelming experience sometimes, but it won’t last more than a few hours, so try not to freak out and think it’ll never end. I’ve personally gone through every type of trip, from the confusing, to the magical, to the hilarious, to the downright terrifying (some of which I’ve documented right here on Stoner Culture). I’ve come out of every single one of them, and usually better than I went in.
Alright, so you’ve accomplished the most difficult part of any psychedelic adventure, and decided you’re going to do it and procured the necessary chemicals. What comes next is totally up to you. I prefer to have a meticulously planned trip, with activities, alternate activities, and things set up for me to avoid any type of involved thinking during the actual trip. I love playing guitar, so having an amp set up and ready to go is a must. Anything else, including recording equipment, art supplies, video games, etc, I prefer to have ready to go before I dose. Some people just like to go where the trip takes them, with no planning. Again, it’s totally up to you.
As far as dosing, it’s difficult to know how much to dose. With LSD, I’ve had single hits that were plenty to handle, and two hits that were fairly underwhelming. I usually start out with one, wait about an hour, and use my judgement as to whether I should re-dose or not. Some people prefer to take it all at once, again it’s totally personal preference.
With LSD, I usually like to take it by sticking it under my tongue for about 5 minutes, then swallowing the material. I don’t think it particularly matters, however, as I’ve swallowed them immediately and tripped just fine. With shrooms, I usually just eat them slowly, breaking them up into pill sizes, then washing them down with water. They taste kind of nutty to me, and even though I’m extremely picky when it comes to foods, I can stomach them no problem. Some people can’t stand the taste, and prefer to grind them into smoothies or some other type of drink to make them easier to go down. Mescaline is difficult, as it comes in such a wide variety of methods. If it’s a pill, just take it. If you’re extracting it, I’d recommend extracting it as much as possible, as the goo tastes absolutely terrible. As far as DXM goes (and some people would even count this in the psychedelic category), I usually prefer the drinkable kind. The pills work fine, too, but when you take a lot of them they all burst and disrupt your stomach more so than the liquid form.
With most psychs it will usually take no less than fifteen minutes, and no more than an hour to kick in. Other extenuating circumstances can drastically affect this time, however. I recently took some acid, then went mountain biking, and it took two hours to fully kick in. My hypothesis is the adrenaline slowed it down, but who knows? Just be patient, and give them a few hours before you fully blow them off as bunk.
During the actual trip, there are many activities that are appropriate, but you should keep in mind that your mind is in a fragile state, and treat it as such. I would avoid any movies or even video games that are overly violent, and probably not watch anything involving serious topics, like news stories (that doesn’t sound any fun, anyway). Any really colorful visually appealing shows should be great fun.
Music is usually indescribable. Get a nice set of headphones, or a nice set of speakers, and blast whatever music you usually enjoy. You’ll find that music is far more spiritual than usual, and it may be difficult to find something you can stick with. I usually like psychedelic rock (go figure), and some choice favorites are Jimi Hendrix, Tool, Pink Floyd, Mars Volta, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, and the Smashing Pumpkins.
I would fully recommend having a “trip sitter,” someone who you trust, that will be able to keep an eye on your during the trip. Ideally this person will be an experienced tripper, with a fairly laid back attitude, who is excited to help you on your journey. It’s an amazing benefit to have someone to drive you around (something that is highly discouraged to do by yourself while you’re tripping), and generally help keep you grounded in reality. Especially on your first trip, I would suggest having a friend around to help you out. I have tripped alone, and it’s usually just not as fun as tripping with people.
While taking other drugs to supplement the experience, like cannabis, nitrous, MDMA, or DMT can be fun, I would suggest waiting until you are fairly experienced and comfortable with the psychedelics before attempting this.
The final suggestion you should take into consideration is tripping in a comfortable environment. Keep in mind that while tripping in an outdoor setting can be really fun, you’re also usually miles away from a safe place. You don’t want to have a freak out and then require a 45 minute transport to a safe area (as I once did, and wrote about on this site). As far as tripping in public areas (like concerts or movies) I would recommend against it at first, but only you will know whether or not you’re ready. Once you’re tripping you’ll be able to tell whether or not you’re a social butterfly, or you’re like me and you’d rather just sit in a fairly isolated area and jam to your favorite tunes.
Psychedelics are probably my favorite drugs, even if I don’t use them more than a fraction as much as other drugs. They’re absolutely the most intriguing activities I’ve ever been a part of, and they never cease to amaze me. Use them with discretion, don’t overdo it, and you’ll be just fine. If you have a good mindset, and a good place to trip, you should have an incredible experience that you wont soon forget.