Citation: Anatoli Smorin. "Logic Did Not Exist in the Dark: An Experience with 3-HO-PCP & Cannabis (exp114458)". Erowid.org. Jun 9, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114458
I consider myself to be a seasoned experimenter in the world of substance use. My substance tinkering spans almost a decade and includes opioids, opiates, stimulants, phenethylamines, tryptamines, stimulants, and dissociatives. I particularly enjoy less common research chemicals, especially in combination with one another. My intent for these experiences ranges from entirely recreational to therapeutic to performance enhancement.
The experience detailed below is my first time with the arylcyclohexylamine 3-HO-PCP. I have extensive experience with similar substances, but this was my first chance to explore this particular chemical.
Cautious by nature, I started with an allergy test the day prior to my experience [<1 milligram oral], and followed this with a very conservative dosage to try and get a taste for the characteristics and nature of 3-HO-PCP.
The 3-HO-PCP ingested in this experience has undergone reagent testing, and I believe it to be pure and as advertised. The powder is mostly granular in texture with the exception of two larger crystal rocks [<8 millimeters across]. The sugary powder is eggshell white. The smell is bland, not acidic or particularly chemically. The scent reminds me of a newly constructed commercial building; like a bland beige wall has been freshly painted, the fumes of which linger in the air. In order to have confidence in the accuracy of my dosages I prepared the powder in a propylene glycol solution of 2 milligrams per milliliter. All dosages were measured with care in a fresh oral syringe.
The zolpidem taken in the experience below was from a legitimate pharmacy. The pills were white ovals featuring an ďEĒ and ď79Ē imprinted on either side, without any break mark. A pill cutter had been used prior to ingestion to accurately split the ten milligram pills into five milligram pieces.
I take 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily along with 2400 milligrams of mesalamine for a lifelong stomach condition. I do not consider either of these to be a contributor factor in this experience.
My company for the experience is my partner Kai, trusty dog Gee, and my brand new puppy, Doc. We have spent the day training and house-breaking Doc at our home up in the mountains, surrounded by snow-filled meadows, large evergreen trees, and no other people.
Extensive written notes were used in the creation of this report. I am confident that the timestamps are accurate.
I have no tolerance to any of the substances used (or anything that would cause potential cross tolerance) in the experience.
My last meal was a light one; just a bit of chicken salad at about T Ė 5:30. I was physically and mentally tired from the day full of activities and excitement when the experience began. I was excited to dabble with the new substance despite my lack of energy and given my hopes for a lighter intensity experience, this seemed like a fitting opportunity.
T + 00:00 [6:34 PM]
With a final review of my substance choice, intentions, and dosage, I squirt the small amount of liquid onto my tongue [1.5 ml / 3 mg]. The sweetness of the propylene glycol is noticeably countered by a darker, more chemical flavor. I have used propylene glycol for various solutions, mostly assorted benzodiazepines, and this is by far the most the PGís taste has ever been affected by any chemical I have mixed into it besides flualprazolam which has a distinctly sharp and ďlab bornĒ flavor.
The dosage ingestion was a quick, almost surgical event. With the 3-HO-PCP swallowed, I feel like I have barely broken stride as Kai and I work on settling Doc into the house.
T + 00:36 [7:10 PM]
I pause from laughing out loud at the thumping sound made by Docís disproportionately large paws to take stock of my condition. My thoughts arrange themselves normally as I complete a thorough self inspection. There is potentially a warming of the world going on. The slightest echo of a secret whisper, the shadow of a silhouette, of a vibration reverberates in my forearms. Similarly, my mood seems a little enhanced: a bit more upbeat and hopeful about everything I happen to think about. Both mind and body hint that Iím approaching a Ī level; Iím not as tired as I was earlier either. Despite the afternoonís constant stimulation from the never ending task of watching the new puppy, I've stopped yawning and donít feel any drag of fatigue.
My visual field is completely devoid of any alteration. There is no saturation of colors nor any of the black and white visual static that I often encounter when on substances, dissociatives in particular.
I second-guess my assessment of reaching a Ī now, but Iím not stressing to find the definitive moment of surpassing the threshold of the experience. A calmness is arriving. A calmness without any sedation. My zen is interrupted as Doc manages to sneak another sock out of the stack of clean laundry beside the bed requiring my attention. I giggle a little at the fact that this new tiny animal has already displayed an affinity to my socks over toys, blankets, or other similarly soft items that could be used as a teething device.
T + 00:44 [7:18 PM]
My three companions are all looking exhausted. Kai and Doc are snuggling on the bed, both fighting a losing battle to keep their eyelids open. Gee is monitoring the pair lazily, clearly emotionally drained by the constant stream of energy that her new younger brother has been supplying all afternoon.
I turn on my laptop and find myself proactively reaching out to some friends to chat about the new dog, their weekend plans, or any topic really. There is an uptick in my desire for social interaction for sure. This is a stark contrast to the rest of the crew; undeniable manifestation of the 3-HO-PCP. As I make note of this in a journal, I notice a slight pins and needles sensation warming the skin on the left side of my face.
The sensation catches me off guard. It is a clear sign of the 3-HO-PCP affecting me. Despite years of experience with strong (milligram for milligram) compounds, there is something novel about feeling effects, particularly for the first time, from a tiny amount of powder or liquid. It is too early to make comparisons, but I canít help but jot down that this reminds me of low dosage GHB experiences except with more alertness.
I clock my resting heart rate at 72 BPM which is just slightly higher than normal [typically between 60-65].
T + 01:05 [7:39 PM]
A mutual friend of Kai and Iís video calls us. We take the call without bothering to get out of bed. There is a covert dizziness manipulating my vision and internal balance. It is like spinning a quarter of a rotation (90 degrees) with a touch of ďup and downĒ wobble like when a top slows down and begins to topple over.
T + 01:11 [7:45 PM]
Thinking these occasional ďmini-spinsĒ could be due to hunger, I munch on a few potato chips and a bit of artichoke dip. The snack tastes pleasant, without any alteration from the dissociative. The sustenance is not an immediate fix however; several more times I find my vision fixed on one point on the screen and the background shifting rotationally behind it.
The chit chat is enjoyable enough but I can feel my mind wandering elsewhere. Iím certainly not sucked in and invested like I might be on stimulants. The desire for social interaction I felt earlier seems to not be satisfied, or to have disappeared. Overall, there are still not many obvious effects.
T + 01:42 [8:16 PM]
The last half hour has been a plateau of ďbarely thereĒ effects. Kai and I have been lounging in bed, talking and doing some research on puppy training. I express my slight disappointment to Kai about the lack of oomph behind the substance at this dose.
T + 02:36 [9:10 PM]
After going back and forth on if it has been too long since my first dosage to attempt a booster, I decide to go for it. At the very least, Iíll learn a bit more about dosing the substance.
I measure up three milligrams of the 3-HO-PCP solution and drop it into my mouth. Immediately my stomach flutters with excitement; perhaps something more substantial will come of tonight yet!
T + 03:04 [9:38 PM]
The left side of my head simmers from the inside out. Warmth reaches my skin's surface in a multitude of locations, seemingly arranged in a grid made up of hundreds of dots.
Before I can settle into the experience as it ramps up once again, Kai requests I help take out Doc for one more bathroom break before they call it a night.
Outside, the air is sharp with the cold bite of winter despite the warm sun rays that shone a few hours ago. During a natural lull in conversation, as we wait for Doc to pee, I find myself looking at the horizon. The farthest I can see to the southwest is a steep incline, the top of which is lined with large fir trees. The only sources of light are the waxing moon and a few stars that are poking through the overcast sky. The result is a nearly monochromatic scene; deep black trees layered on top of a dark blue sky that is fighting a losing battle before transitioning to black itself. The tops of the fir trees are cartoonish in their simplicity, looking as though they are cut out of construction paper, so flat and lacking definition that they might as well be two-dimensional. I can tell something is afoot, this is a tickle of effects, a nibble of the 3-HO-PCP experience.
We only made it as far as the middle of the driveway, perhaps 150 feet from the front door. To me though, the short walk has felt more like a mini adventure. The familiar area, a walk Iíve made countless times, suddenly grabs my attention, piques my interest, and I find myself paying attention to little details in my surroundings. The trees, once again, pull my eyes to them. I smile at the black triangular shapes, more shadow than an object that would cast one.
T + 03:25 [9:59]
Back inside, the entire crew settles into our respective evening spots. Doc is in his crate beside the bed while Gee, Kai, and I share the bed itself. Iím a bit surprised that I am not having more intense effects. Too be honest, Iím slightly disappointed. I donít want to admit it, even to myself, but . . . Iím thinking about the blandness in a slightly critical manner.
(Similarly, I make a note to myself that next weekend when I try again: ďI must not do less than 6-8 milligrams at a minimum! Perhaps I need to take it straight from the bag? Maybe I did something to deteriorate the potency when I created the solution? Did I not research enough and mess this up somehow?Ē)
This type of reflection is the first sign of my arrival into a more psychedelic headspace although I donít truly realize that things are picking up yet.
Eventually Iím able to silence my flurry of self-imposed questions by realizing the simple fact that sometimes dosages just have to be played around with. Right now thatís a bummer, but thatís just the way it goes. Better to underdose than overdose is my motto.
T + 03:36 [10:10 PM]
Browsing articles and forums on my laptop is really scratching my itch for learning and mental exercise. Everything I read is interesting in some aspect. I seem to be losing my ability to filter quality content from more mediocre reading material. This doesnít sound pleasant on paper, but in reality Iím just enjoying myself and feeling more empathetic towards the authors and creators of the online content Iím ingesting. There is a warmth to the substance, like how whiskey warms one from the inside, but gentler, without any burning sensation. In this way it feels much more like 3-MeO-PCP than ketamine or methoxetamine, which can have a little more numbing and cold during their onset.
T + 03:44 [10:18 PM]
I weigh 155 milligrams of cannabis flower [sativa and indica hybrid] and smoke it through a glass water pipe in three large hits. This would get me borderline uncomfortably high if I was sober. I decide to increase from my typical cannabis dosage (recently I havenít been smoking on any regular cadence) in the hope of boosting the 3-HO-PCPís effects significantly.
Slight saturation and softening of my visual field come on rapidly but they are nothing radical. A sense of calm creeps in. It feels more like a comedown than a come up; similar to how things look the morning after a night of not sleeping.
T + 03:50 [10:24 PM]
ZzzzZZzzZZZzzZ Ė my tinnitus whines into a higher tone than normal. The buzzing quickens but not in a frantic way, it's pleasant and smooth sounding.
I click off the light to allow everyone else a chance at some shut-eye. Even the lowest single volume bar on my laptop seems intrusive. I twist the dial to some very mellow piano tunes and find my head nodding lightly to the beat. The sounds are fuller, smoother, and more groovy than normal. As the song ends, I am less picky about selecting the next one than I would be when sober. Every track sounds just right
as soon as it gets a few notes into its introduction.
A grumbling, gurgling stomach, probably caused by hunger, interrupts my contentedness. I donít want to disrupt everyone else by getting up, so I decide to forgo any food.
T + 04:03 [10:37 PM]
Kai asks me to shut of the computer and lie down to cuddle. The internal glow smolders inside me, as I happily oblige.
The moment my head hits the pillow, my eyelids blaze to life with full color cartoon imagery. There is complete coverage of color, the patterns and pictures reach the edge of my visual field. There is no void or background on which the illustrations flow.
A lime green hill, presumably grass, sits in front of a bright blue sky. The hill is a single shade of green, with no texture on it to speak of. Likewise, the blue sky behind the hill might as well be made of paper, cut out by a grade school child who forgot to do their art homework until just before class begins.
In greater detail is a pink, exceedingly plump, cartoon cat residing at the exact apex of the hill. It's operating a handheld bike tire pump at a pretty frantic rate. Up, down, up, down, it wails away on its small black T-shaped device. With every downward stroke, the cat puffs up to five times its original size. Bloating like a puffer fish. The lighthearted nature of the bright colored visual eases my mind's natural recoil at going from no visual effects to being rapidly immersed.
The cat continues to cycle through various degrees of inflation and deflation. Nothing else seems to be happening, which is a bit odd for my closed eyed visuals. Often I canít keep them the same long enough to fully digest or document what Iím seeing. The looping and simplistic vision almost feels out of place, like a video tape skipping and repeating. I open my eyes to check for any open eyed visuals.
I find nothing in the darkness of the room, so I decide to check back in on the cartoon cat.
The cat, the hill, and the sky are all gone. Their replacement is a galactic realm populated with spherical orbs made from a steel-like material that spin in gyroscopic patterns around one another. The spheres are each encased by multiple slices of ribbon, all rotating in different directions. The ensemble reminds me of a kinetic model of the solar system except infinitely more complex with almost uncountable layers.
The cosmic display fades from my mind's eye, or my thoughts distract me from witnessing it, I canít tell which. I begin to think about memories, the emotions of which seem fresh, like I am living each again right now. A theme of regret rapidly becomes apparent. Each time I shake off an unpleasant memory, my mind simply shifts to another. In the absence of a specific memory, my brain ponders my actions and motivations in general; am I a bad person? I seem to be convincing myself ďyesĒ, or at the very least, there are many things I should do to improve myself. Unsure of seemingly everything, I decide there are few options besides allowing the experience to unfold as I hold Kai tightly in my arms, wiggle my toes under Geeís warmth, and feel the weight of the wool blankets on top of me.
Despite my intention of relaxing, my thoughts pick up their pace. Walk, jog, sprint; before I know it, Iím borderline panicking. I wonder if I dosed incorrectly? Why am I nervous? Just minutes ago I wanted so badly for the effects to intensify. Now they have, and it is causing a panic.
Time is stretching, seconds last minutes. Every minute is filled with two minutes worth of thoughts.
I take my heart rate and find solace in the fact that it is 75 BPM, only slightly elevated from normal. By no means am I tripping heavily, my rational mind is still extremely accessible. Maybe it is too accessible? My breathing grows shorter. It is difficult to tell if the substances are at work, or if I happen to have stumbled into a natural rough and immersive emotional patch of time.
Shifting into a psychedelic state in complete darkness is not something I have done in a long time. Itís odd. This is especially true with a new substance for which I donít know how Iíll react.
The laptop screen casts a soft carrot-colored glow that illuminates a small section of the blanket wrapping around Kaiís side. Only a fold or two, and the hem of the wool blanketís trim is visible. Although I know the blanket is tan with a dyed red stripe, the whole surface is a bland fuzzy rust color under the light of the screen.
Through the window, piles of grey and black snow, carved and shaped by wind, are a shifting foreground. High above, an overcast sky refracts intermittent moonlight onto the snow. During these flashes, I take particular notice of the wooden muntins of the window and the large angular leaves of the snake plant [Sansevieria laurentii] looming in front of the panes of glass. Despite their differences in color and rigidity, both appear ink black, as minimalist abstractions of themselves. Their sharp black outlines against the swirling snow outside are pleasing to the eye.
Outside of these moments of lunar illumination and the sliver of room brought into view by the laptopís glow, the entire room is subterraneanly black: a complete void.
The backlit letters and symbols on my keyboard keys are especially aesthetically pleasing right now. Each curve and straight is ever so perfectly shaped. These details I see every day stand out to me as excitingly well designed, somehow more elegant than normal.
The darkness plays with my increasingly tangled mind in the familiar way that dissociatives can. There is a sense of knowing Iím being illogical but I canít shake this feeling that something is wrong. A few thoughts later I have myself convinced that Kai will be truly ďserious argument inducingĒ upset, if I choose to leave the bed.
Knowing I have the option of benzoing out of this provides some comfort, but that isnít really what I want, so the relief is incomplete.
T + 04:13 [10:47 PM]
The familiar twangs of hunger ricochet through my abdomen. Nothing seems appealing to my appetite and I still canít shake the feeling that disaster might strike if I decide to move a muscle, much less get out of bed, disturbing the dogs and Kai.
Fear, sadness, and embarrassment rule my world. These come to a head when Kai looks to me, seemingly legitimately mad, saying something like, ďIím only asking for one night of sacrifice; turn off the computer and just go to sleep.Ē. I want to comply so badly but I know it would drive me insane to lie here in the silent dark room under the barrage of increasingly fast thoughts. I frantically debate the merits and perils of my two options: leaving entirely, versus grabbing headphones and a snack to meet my needs but returning to the bed to appease Kaiís desire for companionship.
T + 04:29 [11:03 PM]
Iím screaming internally. The silence, the darkness, the everything Ė AHHH! I crack and make a break for it. The moment the latch bolt of the bedroom door clicks shut behind me relief floods through me. The illogical worries that have been ruthlessly plaguing me finally dissolve. Logic did not exist in the dark.
Free now from the bizarre self-imposed imprisonment, I turn on a dime and address my desires. The kitchen cabinets yield a much-needed snack, something quiet; Iím still a little wary of the noise certain food wrappers might make. Chips are out of the question no matter how appealing they may seem.
Relaxation overwhelms me. The familiar world, now visible thanks to dimmed lights, is extremely comforting. A creeping doubt that I had miscalculated my dosage and a horrifically intense experience lurked behind the darkness of the bedroom finally seems abolished.
The journey down to the basement is uneventful but I find myself consciously trying to be as precise as possible in all of my movements. Each step is executed with the focus of a fighter pilot. Upon reaching my destination I quickly nestle under a large pile of blankets in my lounge chair.
The bathroom is not as exciting as it can sometimes be on dissociatives. Visuals do not intensify; the textured plaster on the walls seems on the verge of dancing around, but no movement occurs. Peeing into the water of the bowl is exceptionally loud, like a child splashing uncontrollably in a pool; I aim for the porcelain. My motor skills function fine.
The whole thing feels a little like sneaking around when I was young and not supposed to be awake, afraid of being caught by parents. All my senses heighten.
A medium tone hums while a higher pitched ringing drones on as a constant auditory backdrop. This isnít annoying, and the sound seems high quality, more refined than most other dissociative-induced tinnitus, which can often be grainy and coarse.
Manic stimulation has really come to the forefront of the experience over the past few minutes. I feel like a submarine breaching the surface after being submerged in an ocean of emotion without knowing that I have been ďunderwaterĒ until now.
My writing becomes short and abrupt, skipping conjunctions and other connecting phrases, leaving only the bare essence of each thought. My hand cannot keep up with my mind even when I abandon my usual habit of writing in all capitals letters and adopt a faster lowercase chicken-scratch.
Non stop: I think and type and think and type. The two actions are so in synch that the words appear on the screen almost in real time. I havenít done anything but write and think for a while now. Even now, this very thought is being typed, or vice versa, it just canít stop.
I finally look up from the screen. I have momentarily forgotten what show I put on the television. Itís okay, no matter, Iím in a groove! There is some stimulation going on, but it doesnít have any social aspect to it. Iím content being alone, in my groove, thinking and typing.
T + 04:42 [11:16 PM]
The majority of the food I was in such dire need of has been abandoned beside my chair since I sat down. I make my way through a handful of dehydrated mangoes. They taste and feel normal. If anything, they are slightly more satisfying than usual; the flavor profile seems rich and the texture more varied. As I chew, I survey the room. The lack of visuals is a little surprising. Comparable mania from 3-MeO-PCP, or other dissociatives, would usually be accompanied by heavier alteration of my visual field.
Earlier, the darkness in the bedroom certainly potentiated the mental portion of the 3-HO-PCP. In the light, I feel the stimulation and positivity more than anything else.
Sounds are extremely amplified. My membrane mechanism keyboard, usually very quiet, now sounds like an old fashioned typewriter clanking and clacking, each keystroke ringing out into the air.
Enthusiasm swells inside me, elegantly dancing through my psyche. 3-MeO-PCP carries a similar enthusiastic current for me, but with the 3-HO-PCP it's slightly less prominent. Unlike 3-MeO-PCP this has no internal warmth. Iím cold, even wrapped in a large fur blanket.
T + 04:47 [11:21 PM]
Itís difficult to tell if Iím settling down in this more comfortable environment or if perhaps the crescendo of the effects has been reached. Things are still very present but are not as chaotic and powerful as they were a bit ago. I do notice that time is still passing slowly.
T + 04:57 [11:31 PM]
Alcohol seems appetizing, especially whiskey, something strong to warm my cold body. Despite my desire, and the potential for decreased inhibitions from my intoxication, I decide to not indulge. Recently Iíve cut back drastically on drinking and I want to keep that progress going.
Instead for heat I layer three blankets on myself. Strategically, I use the fur as a base layer for its sybaritic texture, followed by two layers of wool for insulation.
Snacking is appealing, my appetite is not very depressed. This is not particularly noteworthy perhaps as I can eat on most dissociatives compared to some other friends who find food unappealing while in the thrall of even light experiences. The lack of salt in the batch of food I brought downstairs is disappointing. A bar of chocolate, a blueberry scone, and dried fruit are all are too sweet for my current craving. The kitchen upstairs has what I want: chips, crackers, toast, etc. Unfortunately, I still canít justify making noise walking through the house. That seems like a bad idea. Perhaps a touch of appetite suppression is going on after all. Normally Iíd eat whatever I had around: Iím victim to severe late night munchies in a very real way. Now however, the food Iíve brought downstairs is easily ignored.
T + 05:26 [12:00 AM + 1]
The magic has all but worn off. Some ďawakenessĒ lingers but the euphoria is gone. Despite a pleasurable drowsy downer-flavored mood, sleep doesnít seem likely to happen naturally.
T + 05:31 [12:05 AM + 1]
Five milligrams of zolpidem goes down the hatch. The positivity and physical glow have fallen off significantly even in the past five minutes. Iím hovering around a Ī at this point.
T + 06:00 [12:34 AM + 1]
Another five milligrams of zolpidem seem like a fine idea given that the experience of the 3-HO-PCP seems completely over and I would love to get a full night's sleep.
T + 06:18 [12:52 AM + 1]
I begin to have the feeling that my brain is going offline; slipping into sleep despite my eyes remaining open and certain parts of my brain being obviously still operational in the waking world. I decide now is a perfect time to journey back upstairs to the bedroom. The walk is uneventful; no stumbling or major coordination issues. The movement does seem to shake some of the oncoming sleepiness, so I eat another five milligrams of zolpidem as I climb into bed beside Kai.
Once horizontal and comfortable, I can tell the last five milligrams was not necessary. I will be in a ďdead to the worldĒ state of sleep very soon.
T + 06:31 [1:05 AM + 1]
This is the last glance at a clock I can muster before conking out into dreamless sleep.
Iím not sure I would have gone through the effort of bringing this report to a finished product if it were not a first time experience. The effects were light in intensity, especially compared to my expectations. Since this initial venture I have enjoyed perhaps fifteen additional experiences with 3-HO-PCP. These have ranged from similarly mellow evenings to what I would call ďmedium/highĒ intensity experiences. These have included single dosage 15+ milligrams insufflated, 40+ milligrams over the course of an evening, and others with notably less material ingested. I have not yet had a ďholeĒ experience with this substance and it seems elusive for me. Eventually, I plan to explore the upper end of my personal dosage chart with 3-HO-PCP but Iím not in a huge rush to do so. Thus far, my favorite way to use it has been repeated oral administration of 3-6 milligram dosages taken every few hours. This seems to foster plenty of the good mood and warm interior glow that I really enjoy. I find that I remain extremely functional with this type of dosage schedule and it can function similarly to how one might enjoy a few beers over an evening. At this level I find the substance to be mostly physical and mental, without any notable visual effects.
My inhibitions drop slightly with this substance. It is difficult to say if I make decisions I would not have, had I been sober, or if I just have an easier time making the decisions (less overthinking). Probably more so the latter. I generally donít feel blurry or intoxicated in a classic sense (ex. alcohol) when taking lower doses of this chemical.
The physical effects in this first experimentation were pleasant but minimal. There was not significant enhancement or minimization of tactile sensory. I never reached a point where my body felt entirely foreign and the body warmth that I experienced was not attached to any blasting euphoria or increased bodily sensitivity.
Despite some of the dark moments during the onset of the experience I would not classify this as a bad trip by any means. It was challenging, but more unusual than difficult. Iím also not sure I like using the term ďtripĒ to describe this initial experience. This was more of an intoxicating event than what typically comes to my mind when someone mentions a psychedelic trip.
It never occurred to me during the experience that the significant (for me) amount of cannabis smoked might have played a larger role than I realized in the moment. I actually didnít pick up on the potential connection between smoking and the paranoia/worrying until a few passes through reading and editing this report. Disentangling which effects came from which substance in a combination experience can be very difficult, even one as simple as 3-HO-PCP and cannabis. My final gut assessment is that cannabis was more of a primary substance, rather than just a contributing one. That being said, the setting during the onset of the experience was equally as responsible as the cannabis in my mind.
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