Citation: Dodo. "Hallucinatory Bad Trip Turned Blissful: An Experience with JWH-018 (exp107268)". Erowid.org. Dec 17, 2019. erowid.org/exp/107268
I was at a music festival with my cousin and a few of his friends. This particular music festival was one of the biggest festivals in Europe and on this particular night there were in fact 700 000 people there. We were standing quite far from the stage but it was still reasonably crowded around us. The stage lights were pretty strong and shined wildly.
My cousinsí friend said he had a pre-made weed joint lying around his house. Even though it was about a year old he took it with him for us to smoke. A few days after my experience I found out that it wasn't weed but JWH-018, but I didn't know that at the time. At this point in my life I had already smoked weed a bunch of times so I thought that I could handle quite a lot. I also wanted to feel it strongly this time, so when the joint was lighted I smoked quite a lot of it. I took big puffs and held them in for a long time. Thinking I could get more stoned that way I held a few puffs in for more than ten seconds. Still, I didn't really feel it so I just enjoyed the metal that was being played. Thinking back on it I probably also inhaled more because my throat had become used to smoking. Normally I couldn't inhale smoke very easily but the nights before this night I had smoked some cigarettes so my throat might've gotten used to it.
After about twenty to thirty minutes I suddenly felt myself getting stoned. Freaking stoned. At first I liked it but the feeling rapidly kept getting stronger. Over the course of about five minutes I went from being pretty stoned to feeling overwhelmed and sick.
Over the course of about five minutes I went from being pretty stoned to feeling overwhelmed and sick.
It felt as if the lights and music slowed down and kept echoing, making me feel very overstimulated. I could literally feel the flashing lights hitting me and I could feel the bass passing and pulsing through me and through the ground below me. This is when I realized that what I smoked probably wasn't cannabis. I kept feeling worse and I thought I was going to puke so I quickly walked over to my cousin to say that I wasn't feeling well. I noticed that the walking went pretty difficult. My cousin just laughed. He later said he thought I was kidding about not feeling well.
A few seconds later the world just faded out into darkness. I lost all connection with the real world and all I saw were vague lights. I seemed to have forgotten where I was in the real world and I fully engaged with this strange experience. I started panicking in my head and I thought to myself 'I really don't want this'. My mind felt super overwhelmed and it kept getting worse to the point at which I felt as if I almost lost consciousness. I was afraid that I was overdosing on some drug and that I was about to land in the hospital or even die. What contributed to this feeling was that I had never taken any drugs in my life before except for weed. I had however always had an interest in DMT and thus I had read a lot of information and trip reports about DMT, and LSD too. While panicking I suddenly recalled that when having a bad experience on DMT or LSD you just have to accept everything for what it is and let it pass over you, so this is exactly what I did.
I stopped judging the bad feelings and started accepting anything that was happening and anything that could happen. I said to myself that even if I were to die I'd accept it. I also started meditating (I had been meditating since I was 17). To stop my negative thoughts I tried to stop myself from having any thoughts at all. This is when the trip started turning around. Even though I was still disconnected from the real world I started to notice that in a way I actually felt good, I had just been resisting it.
Out of nowhere strange circles started emerging in the pure vagueness that I was seeing. I noticed a pattern in the circles -- I could see the shape of my cousinsí head, his facial features and beard outlined, formed by the circles. Then I heard his voice. 'Breathe'. I noticed I wasn't even breathing so I started breathing slowly and consciously. The real world slowly came back to me and my cousin was there right in front of me, staring me in my face. I was kneeling on the ground. My arms were around two of my cousinsí friends, holding me upright. I told the guys that I was tripping out and that I still felt a bit sick. Deciding to take it easy I sat down on the ground which made me feel better since it was darker there (less light passed through all the standing people around me).
The metal and the lights were overwhelming. I still felt the music pulsing through me. When I looked at a light I instantly felt myself getting more overwhelmed. I saw some visual hallucinations too. In particular when looking at dark areas or at shadows my mind seemed to fill them up with geometrical patterns. The people around us were looking at me and at one point the festival medics came to me, but I said that I felt okay and they went on their way. After a while the metal stopped and a reggae band called Manu Chao started playing. I loved their music and I felt great. I stood up again. I felt a bit more overwhelmed that way but I could handle it. There was a group of guys sitting on the ground in front of us. I looked at one guy and I could see his brain right through the back of his head, portrayed in a cartoonish and very geometrical manner. His brain slowly changed into a bunch of strange geometrical faces smirking at me.
The band sounded great and when they started playing a rendition of La Primavera it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard. As the people around us got drunk they started dancing more wildly. Everyone loved the band and the music. After a while I started feeling a bit sick again so I sat down on the ground again. This is when I started getting really deep thoughts about my life. I felt very blissful and I could see everything really clearly, more clearly than ever before in my life.
I felt very blissful and I could see everything really clearly, more clearly than ever before in my life.
It felt as if my mind was working faster. I could ask myself any question and I would instantly get a really thorough answer, accessing all my knowledge. I asked myself what I was supposed to do with my life and the answer I got shaped the actions I took a whole year after my experience.
The gist of it is that I had been struggling with social anxiety during my whole life. That moment I realized that it was completely my responsibility to fix it and to pursue the life I wanted. Nobody else was going to do it for me. I also realized that by taking responsibility like this I would make other people happier too. Everyone Iíd interact with would have a better experience if Iíd have better social skills. Right there I decided to start taking massive action.
After the band stopped playing we decided to go home. I wasn't feeling the trippy effects anymore, I just felt really really stoned in the car ride back. The next day my hands were shaking and the world felt very strange and different to me. That day I wrote a report of my experience on which this report is based. A few days later I felt fine.
I think that I was riding the line between taking too much and not taking too much. I think the music festival was a really bad environment to take such a high dose of this drug. The environment was way too stimulating. I really did enjoy this experience though. I am happy that I had read up about bad trips and that I was able to meditate. Those things really turned my trip around. I am not 100% sure that it was JWH-018 by the way, but it does seem to be the most likely explanation.
Itís now more one year later and my insights really did change my life. My friends didnít go out a lot so I deliberately joined a group of guys that go out and try to pick up women (in a very friendly and positive manner). They pushed me to approach strangers and to have a lot of social contact and it really made me a way more open person. I make friends more easily. People want to hang out with me. Life is good. Joining that group has snowballed in me getting into self-development which made me more focused on school as well.
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