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Incredibly Eye-Opening Effects
LSD & Nitrous Oxide
Citation:   Goddess Mode. "Incredibly Eye-Opening Effects: An Experience with LSD & Nitrous Oxide (exp103522)". Erowid.org. Aug 27, 2018. erowid.org/exp/103522

 
DOSE:
3 hits oral LSD  
    repeated inhaled Nitrous Oxide (gas)
This trip report is actually not really going to be so much on the effects of something I experienced as a new type of high, but rather the same high I've already been used to but in a new perspective. Because of this there is a prelude to the experience, but I think it sets up the trip very well, certainly making it more meaningful than it would be to just skip to the meat of it anyway.

I've always been one to enthusiastically research many different things about the drugs that I'm putting into my body, and in the last few weeks particularly one of my biggest focuses has been dissociatives, especially nitrous oxide and ketamine. I've never been overly interested in the class in general outside of these two substances, and until recently didn't really have any experience with either aside from one time with ketamine; lately though, I've been using nitrous a lot when I trip. I've never really found it to do a whole lot for me otherwise. It certainly feels good and all, I just don't find it really that fulfilling of a high on its own. But, it was enough for me to warrant further research.

I think dissociatives in general have proven to be pretty revealing for me as far as looking into drugs goes; I suppose from what I had heard from people beforehand and just from the attitudes I heard expressed I had assumed that at least ketamine and nitrous oxide were probably pretty 'clean' NMDA antagonists pharmacologically speaking, unlike their 'dirty' relatives (no negative connotation given whatsoever) like DXM and ibogaine, for instance. This however turned out to be false, and while searching deeper with ketamine I quickly came across evidence for activities as dopamine reuptake inhibitor, kappa-opioid receptor agonist, and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, as well as other things which surprised me to a lesser extent.... In my last trip report I expressed a belief that the kappa-opioid activity of ketamine might be why my one experience with it, on top of 2C-I, is really the only thing that I can completely compare to combining salvia with a psychedelic, and which nitrous and DXM for me have some but not all of the qualities of. Even when I was learning these things about ketamine though, in the back of my mind I still thought of nitrous as the clean high, the more pure drug. But then, I started to become suspicious of that as well.

It was easy to find information about nitrous which was similar to other inhaled anesthetics.... Its activity as a GABA(a) PAM, 5-HT3 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, and so on. Considering what had interested me about salvia and ketamine though, I wanted to know more. I had definitely thought that the way that nitrous causes ego loss, and its general architecture for producing death experiences, was similar to salvia even if it didn't quite have all of the visuals that ketamine did, and in that way I thought it compared to very high doses of synthetic cannabinoids, and so I found myself wondering if it wasn't still at least causing a release of dynorphin or something, like cannabinoids do, thinking that maybe it just came down to a difference resulting from endogenous vs exogenous activation of kappa-opioid receptors. I was able to find some old studies which didn't exactly nail anything down, but did show me that there at least seemed to be a preference for kappa- over mu-opioid receptors in the analgesic effect of nitrous, and it was thought to be at least in part if not in full mediated by a release of endogenous chemicals in the brain. That had me satisfied for a minute, but then I thought to myself: what if I'm just overlooking something because it seems *too* easy?

When I was at work earlier today and had little more than time to waste away, I decided to see if any research had been done in any way linking nitrous oxide to the endocannabinoid system in the brain. All of these things I had read about nitrous so far were interesting, but there's still something unique about nitrous compared to other dissociatives that I had yet to feel I had quite gotten to the bottom of yet, and I wanted to know what it was. What I was able to find it first wasn't really anything too earth-shattering - there was a study saying that nitrous oxide increased the pain-killing effect of THC; yeah, who could've guessed? - but then I found something which practically made my jaw drop. (Given, I am a big neuropharmacology nerd.) What I came across was a recent study by Zhang, et al. entitled 'Involvement of endocannabinoid mechanisms in the antinociceptive effect of N2O in mice'. For those who get particularly intrigued by such things I would suggest looking it up, but to sum it up, it basically said that the pain-killing effect of nitrous could be partially reversed by inhibiting cannabinoid CB1 but not CB2 receptors, but yet that its activity didn't seem to be significantly altered by simultaneous administration of drugs which either blocked the reuptake of endocannabinoids or inhibited their metabolism. It suggested further research be done, but for me, one potential implication was clear: nitrous oxide could be working in some way to more directly stimulate CB1 receptors to cause its effect.

Recently, I had decided to stop using cannabis. I had made this decision once before in my life, or at least once that I was actually able to stick to it for as long as I wanted to; I have made countless failed decisions to do so. In my time getting to know the lovely Mary Jane, along with many of her synthetic cousins, these are some of the key things I've learned about myself in relation to cannabinoids: 1. cannabinoids make me feel much more 'high' in a sense of being separate from sobriety in relation to level of actual intoxication than any other sort of compound I've ever put into my body; 2. taking any amount of time for a break compared to my all day every day weed smoking, even if it's just one day off, makes my next dose of cannabinoids drastically more intense and deeper-feeling; 3. when I convince myself to stay away from cannabinoids for any considerable amount of time but then return to them before my body and mind have really had a chance to *completely* readjust to sobriety, even if I've been totally content without them in that time, there is a very recognizable pattern of de-stressing that I go through on multiple levels as soon as a cannabinoid again enters my system; and 4. I have always been one to be more prone to the more psychedelic effects of cannabinoids on a psychological level, even more so than with serotonergics not uncommonly, and high doses of cannabinoids give me a very emotionally intense trip which can be much deeper on a delusional level (distinct from delirium) than any other type of trip I've experienced. For this last point, I have just a couple of anecdotes to offer up as evidence.

My most intense experience to date on any cannabinoid, natural or otherwise, had come from smoking a big rip of the strain Sour Diesel, my personal psychedelic favorite, out of a friend's four foot bong, and after smoking mostly mid-grade weed for a couple of weeks. The result was the heaviest coughing session of my life, followed by the most difficult trip I had ever experienced on any hallucinogen, period. As the effects kicked in, I was filled with a growing dread and devastation. At the time I was actually experiencing a lot of panic attacks from smoking weed, and this was actually why I initially successfully was able to quit smoking for a while, but after half a year I had started working my way slowly back up into it, and what I found was that by attacking these fearful experiences head on I could come of these trips feeling like a much stronger person, and after that I would be able to be at least that high without any psychological worries. Generally my panic attacks were centered around impending death, and I'll admit that I had probably started to get sort of a big head about how well I could now handle those experiences. This, was completely different. There was no worrying about death or physical health; no, something much worse (to me) entered my mind....

At this time in my life I had actually been making a lot of progress toward accepting myself as a transsexual and making positive change in my life, but I admittedly still was nagged in the back of my mind by an insecurity I had held with me from a young age from back when I first started trying to figure myself out, the thought that maybe I was 'wrong' about my gender identity, and I was actually just crazy or unfixable. What this trip did was make that insecurity a reality. In that moment of devastation, I felt that I had just finally realized the truth, that everything was sliding into place, and I was indeed wrong all along. Everything that I thought about myself, the identity I was finally starting to become so comfortable with, and everything in my life that I had come to know and love, was a lie. This 'realization' was the most soul-crushing thing I have ever in my life experienced, before or since. It was far worse than any impending doom trip I could possibly have imagined. If I had not been prepared for an experience like this, it easily could have done some serious damage to me which would have taken quite a bit of work to recover from. Thankfully for me, however, a second of lucidity blessed me with one thought: what if I'm just tripping? In that moment, I knew... I had to hold on, to remind myself of who I am, of everything that I've accomplished and overcome in my life. It was a rough ride, especially physically as strong weed trips tend to be for me (lots of tremors, just really uncomfortable feelings which makes seizures on synthetic cannabinoids seem totally believable to me), but I came out of it... and like I had with previous weed trips, I felt stronger than ever before. That trip was a very significant milestone in my life.... It's the experience that washed away those old insecurities of mine enough to prevent them from standing in the way of me chasing my happiness any longer.

My second strongest cannabinoid trip to date, and my other anecdote to offer, came shortly after I had started smoking DMT again, and not yet using any other psychedelics, since I had also quite those when I had quit weed before. I was smoking with a coworker, and I forget what the strain was now, but it was out of his gas mask, which I was using for the first time. Wow, that thing hit HARD! This particular coworker was a high school senior and I'm in my mid-twenties at this point and had just headed over for a bowl after work so I wasn't exactly expecting to hang out all night or anything, but of course I planned to stay for at least a little bit to be friendly and just chill on the high before calling it a night. He just started playing some Xbox game and talking about some of the stuff in his daily life as of late, and I was acting pretty outwardly calm form it, but in my mind I was tripping hard. This was around the point in my life where I had started to realize how much psychedelic experiences in general can all be linked back to 'letting go', and now it was this thought that was filling my mind as an absolute truth for everything in life, and it had the same intense, for some reason devastating emotional impact that my previous strong weed trip had had as well. I knew in that moment that the only *rational* thing to do would be to start going completely insane and flinging stuff all over the room (the only time I've ever had any compulsion to do that from any hallucinogen), but for the sake of not alarming my coworker, I forced myself to keep my cool. I carried on the casual conversation as well as I could for a little bit, and then told him I was tired and ready to head home for the night. I thanked him for the smoke out, then walked back to my car, where I basically just ended up sitting because I was in no shape to drive; I was even getting slight open-eye visuals in the darkness outside. I thought to myself how lucky I was to have had my previous strong weed trip, because I really didn't know how well I would be handling that high otherwise.

When I first found the study suggesting a cannabinoid action of nitrous oxide, these weed trips, which were ancient history for me, were the first things that suddenly popped into my mind again. Something about the uniqueness of nitrous oxide just clicked into place so easily for me: the emotional intensity and delusional mindset I get on high, fully psychedelic doses of nitrous is literally the exact same one that I have so far gotten exclusively on cannabinoids. I even described my experience with it in previous trip reports as giving me a feeling of coming into some knowledge that could destroy everything I've ever known and loved, if I could remember what it was while sober - it was literally *exactly* the same as my strong experiences in the past, just more emotionally detached, and physically relaxing instead of uncomfortable. I started to think about it theoretically as how it could be that nitrous, by being a stronger NMDA antagonist than CB1 agonist, is actually allowing for a deep and thorough exploration of extremely powerful cannabinoid trips by forcing you into submission and reversing the physical discomfort and even danger that a cannabinoid would normally cause through its dissociative and anesthetic properties. If this were the case, it would also pretty well explain why my ketamine and DXM trips lacked this quality, despite being strong and often delusional in their own sense. Needless to say I was intrigued; I could never say anything definitively without having the actual binding studies done for me of course, but I was already starting to become pretty convinced from a combination of the study I found and personal experience that there could at least be a definite connection between nitrous and cannabinoid receptor activation.

So, at this time it had been about a week and a half since my last time smoking weed, which was at the beginning of my previous LSD trip and when I had finally resolved to quit again for the time being, this time purely for overuse, emotional abuse, and the tension headaches it was causing me to be super baked all the time. I had felt no remorse at all for this decision and actually was noticing all kinds of wonderful effects: increased clarity of thought, motivation, and even frequent and very controllable lucid dreams, which I had also trained myself for during my last long break from weed but which had sort of disappeared after my return to regular use. But nonetheless, I was certainly intrigued by this new potential for nitrous. I already knew that I liked nitrous with psychedelics more than weed; it enhanced my trips in a very similar and similarly sexual way, but at the same time it didn't leave me feeling robbed of lucidity quite the way that weed did, even though it could take my far deeper into the experience than weed ever could. It felt stronger, but less demanding of focus. I started thinking to myself that this could just be due to its shorter duration and the fact that its anesthesia was blocking a lot of body attention that cannabinoids normally give me, rather allowing for a fuller exploration of the psychedelic mindset. Again, all just theories, but they fascinated me. I had only used nitrous one time since quitting weed, with 4-AcO-DMT, and only once in a very small dose to stave off nausea. To me, this whole area still seemed pretty unexplored.

I had actually been expecting to trip on 4-HO-MET the previous night, but had decided against it at the last second. As I was preparing for that trip, it just occurred to me that I really wasn't tripping for any reason other than because I could. The psychedelics are plentiful, and it's been about a week since my last trip so tolerance wouldn't be a major issue. With that in mind, I just called the whole thing off. Back when I had started smoking DMT again I went through a phase of smoking it almost every day for a couple of weeks, and I quickly learned that using it every day rapidly becomes pointless. It starts to shut me out, and the only experiences that really stand out are the ones where I either wait for it to find me or decide to do it because it feels like the absolutely *perfect* time to, and not just because it's available. When I followed those guidelines it was always a powerful and beautiful trip, so I had adjusted my behavior for it. Now, last night, I was starting to think that it was time to apply that mindset to other psychedelics as well.... I had had my fun with being super excited to start tripping again, and getting even further with it than I ever had before, but now it was time to start treating my psychedelics with respect and getting the most out of them that I possibly can. I resolved to see how I felt during the next two days when I had time off, and to just see if any perfect moments for tripping found me. The very next day, today, I ended up hanging out with a close friend with plans for him to crash at my place overnight, and I had just recently had a wonderful LSD trip with this same friend, so we decided to dose together again for the night.

My friend, who is not a regular tripper, decided to just take one hit and see where it got him (he later expressed wishing he had taken two, but wasn't disappointed by the effects). The last time he and I tripped we had each taken four hits, and at that time what I found was that those four hit me *way* harder than I had expected, in several ways even stronger than my LSD trip prior to it which had been on three times that dosage. With this in mind I decided to go with three hits this time and see how I faired, and, finally getting to the experience, I dosed at 7:25 PM, our T+0:00. This particular friend is still a regular weed smoker and knows that he's more than welcome to continue smoking in my presence, but I have to admit that sometimes it does make me feel a little bit left out. This time, however, I was prepared. I had plenty more nitrous than I would even need for the whole evening just in case I felt like using it, which I'm currently trying to do on a 'if it feels right'-only basis with psychedelics, to not overdo it. When my friend was smoking plenty of weed around T+1:00 though, I figured it was time to join him in a ritual of furthering my intoxication in at least the closest way that I could approximate. I had already been feeling considerably stimulated from the LSD at the time, much more than I would have expected from that dose. I definitely felt as though my weed break had made a significant impact on my psychedelic sensitivity, but, even with all of the nitrous as a cannabinoid thoughts that had been going through my head, I didn't think to adjust for this when preparing my balloon (refer back to point 2 of key things I have learned about myself and cannabinoids). I ended up using one taunting charger on a balloon that I only afterward realized had a hole in it, so I didn't get a whole lot out of that, but I was ready for more. With a new balloon in hand, I started loading eight chargers.

I had put on a sexy song that I liked listening to on a significant LSD trip of mine in the past to show my friend, and just to have as a background for the nitrous. Honestly, I'm not sure I can even remember getting through the first half of the balloon, and I certainly don't remember anything beyond the very beginning of the song. In fact, I barely remember anything at all, other than that I was having the most emotionally intense and far removed from reality trip I've ever had in my life. Everything in this reality and this life had been completely left behind me, and I was genuinely shocked to find when I suddenly sat up that this world I'm familiar with still even exists to begin with. I expressed this to my friend and he asked for more details, but I was already starting to lose most of it beyond just a heavy remaining feeling of dissociation. By the time I sat up the song was already over, and apparently I had been rolling around laughing and curling up in a ball on the floor while out in the ether. But, as intense as I recall that trip being, what interested me *far* more is what had come immediately after it. If you'll refer back to point 3 of key things I've learned about cannabinoids and myself, you'll recall that there is a completely recognizable behavioral pattern for me which characterizes a 'relapse' on to a cannabinoid after a short to moderate break, which so far nothing but a cannabinoid has ever been able to cause in me (for common sense reasons). What I had found upon my reentry into this reality is that nitrous has caused this to occur, in its complete and utter entirety. The feeling that I had, in terms of subjective high, felt to me practically indistinguishable from smoking a massive amount of strong weed all at once after a decent tolerance break. I know what feeling baked feels like, especially on LSD, and I was BAKED. I even had the giggles, which also made me think about how that laughter stands out for me as unique to nitrous among dissociatives (in my experience anyway), just more things to think about.

Normally nitrous tends to fade away very quickly for me, but on psychedelics it sticks around for a little while, and this time was no exception. It started to dawn on me very strongly how much this weed-like activity I was getting from nitrous was probably normally just flying under my radar because of the fact that I had a lot of cannabinoid tolerance and I was always high at all times anyway, so it becomes hard to distinguish a difference. I was also amazed at just how powerful that balloon had been, but that's when I sort of started to realize that if there was this significant overlap with its effects then I probably just used way more than I needed right now because my cannabinoid tolerance is low, pushing myself into amnesiac territory but leaving myself with some strong lingering effects. At that point it started to occur to me that the way I was using nitrous was not the only right way to do so. When I had first started using it with X she always loaded big balloons for herself and I, and I just kind of took that as the thing to do, because I was treating it basically like a straight to ego death hallucinogen. But now I was sort of realizing that, if I wanted to, I could actually load much smaller balloons and sort of chill on them for a while, basically just bringing myself up to about the level of what I would for a weed high and then letting it sink in before taking another hit. Since I tripping with my friend who would be smoking weed for the duration of the experience, I figured that there was no better time to test this practice out than by just matching him, balloon for bowl, whenever we felt like upping our trips a little bit. Not constantly, just every now and then.

Most of our night doesn't require too much description.... We mostly spent it just listening to music, watching trippy videos, going out back to enjoy the night sky and fresh air, talking about friend things, and other psychedelics activities. The whole time, I felt utterly fantastic. I was definitely becoming more sensitive to the psychedelic state as of late, and now that I don't have my huge weed tolerance holding me back either, I felt that I could probably get as far as I wanted on even two hits next time, which is a pretty revolutionary change for me. I got lots of good tryptamine-style stretches in, which felt almost so good that I felt like I could be having the most incredible orgasm of my life right then and the feeling of release still wouldn't be enough, I just needed more!! The nitrous, in the meantime, was doing its job beautifully. It was enhancing my trip in literally every way that smoking weed would do for me, including making it even more sexual (which I've noticed DXM actually blocks for me) and even giving me a bit of an appetite after I had done it enough. With the new way I was using it, it basically felt exactly like smoking weed for my trip, only, as I've said before, without pulling the focus to my body, and without robbing me of lucidity, as I could at any time easily just wait a few minutes for it to dissipate back into my clear LSD mindset, even though things such as the visuals would still be strengthened. I was having a truly blissful trip. At one point when we were out back, the first and so far only time I've ever done nitrous outside, I even nearly cried while laughing because of just how immensely, incomprehensibly beautiful and awe-inspiring this life and our consciousness are. My thoughts frequently drifted to wishing I could be with X, and just thinking about how much fun it will be when we can have these kinds of experiences together more again.

After a while my friend and I decided to snack to satisfy our munchies, and I ended up eating some delicious leftover stuffed crust pizza that had been in the fridge. Like I said I actually felt that the nitrous had made me hungrier than I would normally be on LSD at this point (some time around T+3:30 I believe) but it also wasn't enough to make me want to just stuff my face like weed does, which I also thought was nice. After our meals we ended up watching the whole first season of Bravest Warriors (for the first time on LSD - hilarious! as expected) and then some anime while he continued to smoke weed and I continued to sip from my balloons, and then not long after I finished off my first case of 24 chargers, I decided to call it quits for the night and head into my bedroom while he took the living room. I wanted to get some rest before tomorrow (now today as of this writing, I can hear the sounds of morning beginning outside), but it's not urgent, and I knew that there was no way I'd be falling asleep right away after taking LSD and not having weed to help with insomnia, at only around T+6:00. That's when I decided to start typing up this trip report, which became a much more engaging task than I really expected it to, and so now here I am still wide awake and feeling a little bit psychedelically altered, though mostly just filled with afterglow energy. Hopefully I'll at least be able to get a little bit of sleep once I finish up here! A quick bathroom visit not that long ago welcomed me with the sound of my friend snoring in the living room.

Now, what am I left with? Of course, there's no way that I can prove that nitrous oxide has significant cannabinoids effects at the moment, but I personally feel just about as convinced as I could ever need to be unless the day comes along that some scientific study tries to sway me into thinking otherwise. As far as I'm concerned, nitrous fulfills all four of my 'cannabinoids and me' criteria fully and completely without fail
As far as I'm concerned, nitrous fulfills all four of my 'cannabinoids and me' criteria fully and completely without fail
, so at the very least, to me there is no difference anyway.

I had recently started to become concerned that maybe nitrous wasn't as deep as I originally thought when I started using it, but now I'm thinking that I just needed a little bit of attitude adjustment. I've always found that the weed trip tends to be pretty much the same for me conceptually every time I do it too, and it's just the context that makes it different, even at those delusional levels. That's what I had been thinking about nitrous, but now I see that maybe I was just creating a self-limiting environment for the nitrous in this way by constantly pushing for the complete dissolution of self, which hardly allows for varying contexts at all. Rather, the way I used it the way I used weed before seems much more meaningful and useful to me for the kind of trip I was having this time, and is likely the way that I'll use it in such cases from now on. However, I have to note that I'm also fascinated by the amazing versatility that nitrous has to offer me. I can go slow with it and treat it like smoking weed, or I can just go all out at once, basically having a full on weed-like trip only at synthetic cannabinoid overdose complete ego death breakthrough kinds of levels, but without the overdose factor. This is a wonderful thought for me, because the only time when I would ever break out of my normal weed smoking habits was when while tripping very hard, like at a visionary level, in which case I would just smoke more and more weed like my life depended on it to take myself as far out as possible, as those visions alone were enough to create their own context even with the high being that strong, so it was always deep and interesting no matter what. With everything that's happened here in mind, it just makes me think that nitrous will substitute even for this, and do far better than weed alone ever could have done for me. This thought makes me very, very excited; I truly cannot wait for the first time I get to try nitrous with an already visionary psychedelic experience, as it has yet to happen so far.

So, that should about wrap things up. It's about time I got myself some rest; I have a lot of things to think about later when I wake up, and just about life in general. In the meantime, I'll send all fellow psychonauts who have gotten this far all of my love; I am wishing the very best for you all in your lives and future travels! But for now, I bid you adieu.

Exp Year: 2014ExpID: 103522
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Aug 27, 2018Views: 2,062
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Nitrous Oxide (40), LSD (2) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Retrospective / Summary (11), Combinations (3)

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