Wormwood, Damiana, Passion Flower, Cacti - T. pachanoi (San Pedro) & Cannabis
Citation: Professor Stinky. "Happy, Green, and Stinky: experience with Wormwood, Damiana, Passion Flower, Cacti - T. pachanoi (San Pedro) & Cannabis (ID 78904)". Erowid.org. Dec 26, 2009. erowid.org/exp/78904
For the record, I'm male, knocking on 40's door and in reasonable health mentally and physically. I'm a regular mj smoker and have more than a little experience with some other commonly used drugs. And now to the matter at hand.
I travel a fair bit, moving from one locale to another in the West frequently. As such, it can be hard for a fellow to find a new, local source for my regular green goods. Further, my long time girlfriend sadly cannot join me anymore in smoking. Frequent UAs and a very close call some while back have seen to that until she retires. Having such difficulties led me to researching additives and/or replacements. My search led me to the panoply of substances that are available. I used to think I knew a thing or two about the field. I was sorely wrong. It wasn't long before I found a few that seemed appropriate. Even better, most were available either at my local, decent natural foods store or big box supermarket. My normal additives are, at least for now, wormwood, damiana, and passionflower with San Pedro being a welcome newcomer.
My path really started while on contract in Northern Arizona. Since our housing is paid for by the company, I really wanted to tame the smell of my mj as a bare minimum with replacement being a real possibility. So I hit the web determined to find an answer. In no time I found at least one, wormwood. Within a few days I had read enough on wormwood to feel completely confident in trying it. In short order, I had visited the bulk herbs section of a nearby health food store and had purchased about half an ounce of dried wormwood for under a buck. My first thoughts ran to the economics of this if it worked within reason. Later that night, I tried my first hits of wormwood.
As I loaded a bowl and sat down to smoke, I tried to clear myself of any expectations, good or bad. I was struck by how easy a smoke it was after hitting the bowl the first time. Well, that's one important step handled. Not much point in smoking if the experience is immediately negative. A couple of hits later I felt a bit of a headchange, mild but noticeable. Almost a slight spin/dizzy sensation without approaching the 'bad' zone. After about the fifth, I thought I saw the ottoman 'jump' out of the corner of my eye. I knew this wasn't likely or even realistically possible without divine intervention since I was alone. I sat there for a moment wondering if I had actually just seen that. I chalked it up to a combination of it already being late in the day, having been smoking for hours previous, and errant (wishful) thought. I must note here that is the one and only time this has happened in nearly a year of smoking this in combo or alone (whether as straight herb or as an iso extraction).
About a week later I purchased Damiana and Passion flower, about a half ounce and a quarter ounce, respectively. Total at the register was something like 79 cents. The cashier recognized the possibility and commented on the cheap as hell price further asserting he'd have to remember that combo for later himself. I added those to my wormwood and mixed thoroughly. I then mixed some of this with an a similar volume of weed and again mixed thoroughly. I now loaded some of this up and lit the pipe. I could definitely still taste the weed, but it was now a little hidden between the other tastes. My gal said it smelled different too, more 'earthy'. Not quite so weedlike but odd enough that it could raise an eyebrow. In addition, there was another slight shift in effect. It was similar to and yet somewhat different than ww and weed together. Nuanced would be a better term as it was not only in the same neighborhood but on the same block, experiencially speaking.
I've been smoking this weed/herbal combo for many months now with no seeming ill effect. I have found, though, that I tend to smoke a bit more than I used to. This owes mostly to the fact that the herbals are very dry to start with and, as such, tend to burn more quickly. While I don't seem to be purchasing any more weed than I did before I'm not buying any less either. However, when I am out and won't be getting any for a while, the ww/damiana/p.flower combo helps. Since I've been smoking weed for many years now, going without can be a bit trying. The herbal combo tends to take the edge off of rough spots. Still, it leaves something to be desired over weed alone, whatever grade you happen to have. And that's sorta where San Pedro comes in.
A friend at home in our little backwater desert town has this big ol' cactus in his front yard. I had been online researching entheogens in general (after having settled on the above combo) and had therefore come across San Pedro. He was just about to tear it out when I mentioned to him what it was and contained (he had no freakin idea what it was until then). Naturally, being of like mind to me, he resolved to try it out. As did I. I recommended making a tea. Tea has been made and consumed and it is good. Those particular reports are for another time however. This is about smoking, so...
I had made some cactus tea while at home one trip after this (no pun intended) and was looking forward to having more. In the meantime I had harvested some from a local (contract wise) religious source and even bought some from a big box. I had a nice weekend planned with some friends with the resultant amount. I arrived home and wasted little time in going to see my townie friend. I'm so glad I did. We smoked a bowl of what I had gotten from another friend about seventy miles away. He and his woman then loaded a bowl that had some dried San Pedro under the weed and sparked it up. I had my reservations, even though they assured me I'd like it. They weren't wrong.
I could taste and feel an immediate difference. The taste was a bit, well, cactusy. If you've made tea, it's rather like the smell of it cooking down. With the weed, it tasted quite natural. As to the effect, Hmm... mellow and distinct. Similar to a weed buzz in itself but deeper or rounder. With the weed, it was somehow fuller feeling, more satisfying and somewhat longer lasting. A level of stoned that I usually try to achieve and either miss or blow straight past. Also seemed to numb the front of my tongue just a bit. Others have reported a similar sensation when they've tried it. Likewise, it seemed to lengthen the duration of the mj buzz appreciably. I felt contentedly high for well over two hours instead of the more normal hour to hour and a half.
I liked it so much I sacrificed about eight inches of my then stocks to this endeavor. I sliced and peeled my cactus in my normal manner (I recommend and use the Shaman's method) and set about drying the resultant pieces. I have tried several methods and believe that puting the pieces in a warm, dark area to dry is probably the best. This will likely take several days, depending on where you live. I've used both a regular oven and a convection oven both set to low temps, between 200 and 220 with success. I've even used microwave ovens for this task. Here again, use lower settings and don't be in a rush. I rushed one drying and was quite unhappy with the overall results. The water content apparently boiled very hard creating a void in the cactus that erupted and subsequetly turned a nasty brown color. Those pieces also seemed to be less effective than any others I had had to that point.
I find that if the cactus pieces are not quite completely dry, it seems to work better. What I mean by that is not bone dry, just a slight bit of flexibility left to it. I often layer the cactus under weed or even mix it directly in with my stash, if I don't want to go through the extra steps of layering. I had (as of this writing) an mj/herbal/SP mix that I was smoking daily and some dried SP that I occasionally layered under this for added affect. I smoked this for around six weeks until I ran out of SP. While I didn't notice any dramatic adverse affects from this I did start feeling a little withdrawn (dissociative?) near the end. I will certainly be adding this back into the fold, so to speak, soon. Although when I do, I will likely do less mixing and more layering but with less frequency. I believe if I only smoke the layered mix once per day or every other day, instead of all day, I'll feel the effects better.
In sum, weed by itself is grand, even cheapo mexi weed. Arguably, the most perfect drug. Wormwood, damiana, and passionflower are merely ok by themselves. In conjuction with weed, they achieve what they alone cannot and without fundamentally changing the qualitative aspect of the mj buzz. San Pedro is, in a word, AMAZING! The character of this cactus continues to delight me at every level no matter the route of intake. I've now made it into tea and drank it, eaten it and smoked it, all with pleasant results. Although I haven't been to a hard +3 (I achieved a soft +3 not long ago (I define hard/soft by duration first, intensity second)) or better yet, I fully intend to. Sooner rather than later I hope, as the locality of the current contract is prime for this sort of excursion. As with the bulk of my SP journeys, I expect to be flying solo.
Who would have thought that San Pedro could also be smoked? Not I, that's for sure. But it can. I and several others have and will continue to do so. Hope this proves useful.
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