Citation: DJ-DDP. "An Edgy Contentment: An Experience with MDA (exp108813)". Erowid.org. Feb 23, 2017. erowid.org/exp/108813
| T+ 7:30
An Edgy Contentment an MDA/MDMA Comparison
I am a long-time (30+ year) psychedelics/entheogenics user (including a number of major high/“heroic”-dose experiences under supervision of both of my shamanic teachers). I am also a formal practicing Zen Buddhist of 15 years, with a long-standing practice rooted in zazen/shikantaza. Having said all that, I don’t want to come off as claiming to have my psychic shit in a pile more than anybody else: I merely state that I have a pretty good grasp of my personal psychology, my mind, my body, and my spirit. Even so, I have had brief periods of over-use, but for the most part, I treat these compounds as medicines for the mind, heart, and spirit, and approach them with respect.
So, I’m one of those people for whom MDMA has (apparently) lost its magic. Over the past 20 years, I have had probably a dozen full-blown rolls, a few of which at times were the most healing, spiritually validating, and bonding experiences of my entire life (regular life, and drug-using life as well). My last truly successful roll was probably spring of 2011. After that, lack of supply, as well as lack of an appropriate experience partner, made it so that rolling was no longer really available to my life.
In Spring of 2013, that changed, and I found myself with my now-life-partner: a beautiful woman who is as interested in exploring these things (judiciously) as I am. She trusts my knowledge, my experience, and my judgement. I introduced her to MDMA—a medicine I felt could potentially benefit her in her struggles to recover from a truly difficult 2-3 year stretch of her life—in 2013. It was good. She enjoyed it, but it was very obvious to my trained eye that she did not reach the state of deep, profound grace that was possible with this medicine. That same experience, and the one or two that followed in the next year, she had a pleasant time, and I had nothing as far as a reaction goes, save for some amphetamine alertness. I’ll admit that I was disappointed, but enjoyed watching her enjoy it, while still feeling that we were both missing something. I wrote it off to weak or cut-and-bulked material.
We made a new acquaintance this past spring (2016) who had access to dark web resources (I don’t care to dabble in that realm for various reasons). It was soon apparent to me that I could trust this person completely, both from a discretionary angle, as well as a spiritual and intellectual one. From that person, we acquired some completely pure and reagent-verified MDMA, and with that, I was able to give my partner the experience I knew she needed, and the experience I knew was waiting for her (that, however, is a different write-up for another time). But even at such a high dose, I got virtually *no* effect whatsoever, save a strong amphetamine buzz, and nystagmus. I was now really beginning to feel that not only was the “magic” gone for me, but pretty much all primary affects. I was beginning to think that my legitimate use of Adderall for my ADD may have worn down my neuro-net. I haven’t taken any prescription amphs for the better part of 6 months, and thought maybe that break would help. It didn’t.
This trusted source also had access to MDA, and I’d gotten some of that as well, with the intent of exploring its potential to “open that door” again on its own, or possibly stacked with MDMA. At a minimum, it would allow me to test some circuitry that both compounds use and see if I got at least SOMETHING from a known MD** compound. I’d heard the stack has helped some regain the “magic”. Some say otherwise due to cross tolerance. I had last taken MDA (knowingly) over 20 years prior, and on that evening, in combination with (many) other things, so I was not in a place to remember much of that experience clearly. I was planning on treating this as a first-time with a totally new-to-me compound. “Beginner’s Mind”.
So, yesterday afternoon (the early summer Saturday of a three-day holiday weekend), after a moderate breakfast some 5 hours earlier, and a morning spent getting the environment experience-ready by tidying, a store run, and other regular duties one undertakes to prepare for a trip, we each took 100mg MDA in a gel cap with water. We then each commenced finishing a few final things; her a sewing project, me setting up the projector and canopy over our bed in our basement bedroom, and a shower and shave.
[-0:00] Caps swallowed.
[+0:30] First alerts. A bit of a shiver, a slight spinning sensation in my head as I work to get my InFocus, well, in focus. It passes quickly.
[+0:45] I hear her call to me from upstairs “You’d better finish up down there and get into the shower.” I call back “Are you getting alerts already?” “Ohhhhh yeah. I’m alerting all over the place!”
“Are you getting alerts already?” “Ohhhhh yeah. I’m alerting all over the place!”
I quickly finish, and head up and into the shower.
[+1:00] I’m showering and shaving, and can feel the effects start to build. I am feeling mildly but noticeably disoriented. I can feel the energy start to ripple through my body in subtle waves, as if someone had connected me to an adjustable power supply, and was playing with the knobs. Shaving is becoming a bit of a challenge. I try to finish as quickly as possible without slicing bits of my face off.
[+1:15] Downstairs now. We both agree that the safety and comfort of our bed is where we want to be as this builds up to its peak. We make our way down into our basement bedroom, where it’s cool, dark, (blessedly so) and comforting.
[+1:30] After probably four to six significant pushes up, this is the peak. It is nothing like a strong, clean MDMA roll, but there is a familiar comfort here that I find encouraging. At least that circuit in my head still responds to something. But whereas a good MDMA roll has the “exploding heart” and massive waves of empathy, this seems to have only a mildly comforting and somewhat familiar euphoria. The experience is nice, and she says that she’s enjoying how it feels. I am too, but as opposed to MDMA, where I feel a desire to express, emote, and verbalize, with this, I feel a subtle peace. I don’t feel sexual in the least (MUCH unlike MDMA for me). I feel merely content to simply “be”, which in and of itself is is not a bad thing. But in this subtle peace is a slight undercurrent of brittle edginess that, while not too unpleasant, is at times distracting.
The only real visual effects I/we are experiencing are mostly due to the nystagmus. There was a distinct LSD-like stupor that would creep in from time to time. There were moments where I felt that I could nod off, but kept myself rooted in the experience by shifting position in bed. The reports of MDA having a “deliriant” flavor at times are accurate. At times it felt like LSD, at times Ketamine. It never got overpowering, but did have a bit of an insistence to it that I had to work with to keep from coloring over the good feelings of relaxation. I was glad to have only taken 100mg. I felt very confident that more than that, or a booster of the same material, would simply be too much CNS stimulation, and too disorienting, moving the experience quickly into the negative for us both. We agree that the visuals I'm projecting on our bed canopy are not only unnecessary, but mildly annoying and distracting, so I shut them off. This is a more internal experience, and the darkness with dim twinkle lights and ambient chill-out music is definitely more comfortable.
[+3:00] Coming down from the mountain. The amph characteristics are now very apparent for us both, vastly more for her than me. Sweats, lethargy, the mild exhaustion of having been so stimulated, yet so at peace; the body confusion that comes with the dichotomy of deep relaxation by way of amphetamines. She is feeling cracked out. I, being more hardened to amphs, feel a bit groggy, but generally okay. I make mac & cheese.
[+3:30] We eat. It’s good, but we eat it a bit joylessly. The nutrition helps her edgy feelings. We watch humorous TV until we agree it’s time for bed, easing down as we can.
[+7:30] Bed. She takes an OTC sleep aid. I smoke cannabis (GSC). I know I’ll be awake for a bit more. As she sleeps, I wind up getting my typical second wind from amphs, get horny, and a mild erection, but ignore it, and watch physics documentaries on my phone. I suddenly feel an urgency to use the bathroom, head upstairs, and have a surprisingly large bowel movement. Not uncontrollable, and not anywhere close to diarrhea. The reports of MDA having GI affects are also correct, but not really as a laxative, but more a bowel stimulant. I will have another movement similar to this at about +14:00.
FOLLOW UP & SUMMARY:
Over-all, it was a positive experience, but mild in its positivity. As of my writing this [+26:00] she’s still weighing the price she paid for what she got, but earlier in the day, we agreed that on a 1-10 scale, it was a “soft six”. We also agreed that more would not likely have been pleasant. Again, I felt encouraged that I got something out of the experience that was similar in effect to what she was experiencing (it bothered her the past few times that I hadn’t), but while I did feel a not-unpleasant deep relaxation and euphoria, it was devoid of empathy, heart-opening, and any real sense of eroticism or deep connection. Interestingly, it felt a bit of a selfish experience. A bit hollow. Not profound in the least. To borrow from PIHKAL; “This is a stoning intoxicant”. Even so, I was further encouraged by this compound at least showing me that MD** compounds may still hold *something* for me, either in a stack/combo, or after a *significant* vacation from them (legal and otherwise) in order to give my brain time to rebuild the wear and tear that they do to the neurons that facilitate the “rolling” experience. If I do stack, I’m thinking of a 1:4 MDA/MDMA stack that totals 200mg, with the MDA dropped 30-45min prior to the MDMA, hopefully “opening the door” for the MDMA. I will likely try this at the new year, and if I don’t get positive, synergistic results, it’s on the wagon for the foreseeable future.
Two things to add in closing: Firstly, there has been much scuttlebutt in forums on wether MDA and MDMA are cross-tolerant, particularly for, and from, people exactly like me who—for one reason or another—have lost the MDMA “magic”. Many say they *have* to be cross-tolerant because they are both MD**. But speaking for my own first-hand experience, I agree with Shulgin’s statements in testimony to the DEA when asked about them both, saying there is no cross-tolerance, because they are two completely different molecules. I was able to feel the MDA affect me strongly at 100mg, while having felt almost nothing from a 250mg MDMA dose six weeks ago. YMMV, but there you have it.
Finally, I do see that there is healing, therapeutic potential for MDA in guided session with a trained spiritual guide or therapist. Unlike MDMA, though, where one desires to emote, emotionally purge, or verbalize, with MDA, the experience is more internal, more placid, and less bonding. In a therapeutic session, the guide would be most important, skillfully steering the conversation and the exploration on behalf of the patient, with the understanding that more may be going on inside than the patient may volunteer, but they will respond if prompted. If not, though, I think most people experiencing MDA will be surprised at how *little* they feel like doing, expressing, or experiencing, *especially* those who have had significant MDMA experiences prior to their first MDA session.
In closing, I’ll say this: MDA and MDMA do, in fact, share a few experiential attributes, but the share is very subtle, and there are significantly more differences than likenesses, both in effect and intensity. Those who have done MDMA first will sense a familiarity, but may be disappointed when that familiarity doesn’t grow to the size and depth that they have come to know and love. One should be prepared for this, lest they become disappointed with the MDA experience, and have that disappointment color the rest that MDA may have to offer them. MDA is truly and quite obviously more a “true” amphetamine, with the body load to go with it (yet another attribute that may color a person’s experience). For those not used to the amphetamine come-down, it could be significant, so the user should be aware, and prepare for more aftercare than a typical roll. Magnesium, ALA during the experience and the come-down, and 5-HTP (only the day after to start resupplying the serotonin system) were found to be very helpful.
MDA has a utility, and its own set of benefits, and is most certainly not “MDMA-lite” as some would have you believe, and should not be compared in an apples-to-apples fashion. It’s more like comparing apples to crab apples. Both are of the genus Malus, but with MDMA being your typical orchard apple (with familiar, sweet fruit from a lovely tree) and MDA being a crab apple (harsher, harder, bitter fruit from a tree full of sharp thorns), everything about the experience is different, not least of which is the taste in the mouth one is left with. The analogy goes even further insofar as one came before the other in the evolution of the familiar form we look for today, and while that is part and parcel of where the familiarity and similarity is born, that is also where it ends.
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