Citation: Floating Tuxedo. "Smoking to Stop Smoking: An Experience with Tobacco (exp38989)". Erowid.org. Apr 30, 2007. erowid.org/exp/38989
Since Nicotiana Glauca, or Tree Tobacco is being sold along with other entheogens at online stores. Nicotiana Glauca is a completely different entheogen, in my experience, and it should be given more attention and research for what it is.
That being said, I want to start off by saying that I’ve been wanting to give up smoking for a while now. I am 35 years old and have been smoking rolled cigarettes or 'rollies' as they call them since I was 33.( I was never a big fan of regular filtered cigarettes although I'll take one on occasion if I'm really jonesing.)
Even though the thought of one day dragging around an oxygen tank is far from my conscious mind, it still hangs there at the back like some nagging thought to remind me.
But far more present is the nagging of my friends and loved ones who hate second hand cigarette smoke, and the guilt that plagues me whenever I smoke near children.
In short, I LOVE smoking, but I hate being a pariah. In an overpopulated world where smoking has gone from being socially acceptable to being an annoyance, a smoker finds him or herself increasingly alone. Having to leave friends midway through a conversation at a bar to go outside and smoke a cigarette, for instance. Being bored at a bus stop and lighting up a cigarette, only having to walk 15 paces away the next moment when a mother pulls up a carriage, and then sweating which way the wind is going to be sure that smoke doesn't go into that baby's precious lungs, getting dirty looks from mothers. Freezing one’s ass off in New York City when one goes outside a bar to light up, only to find that one can't light up because the wind is ever so forceful. Trying to shield a lighter to make sure it doesn't go out. Yeah, yeah yeah, you smokers out there know what I'm talking about. Yeah yeah yeah, we've all heard the commercials 'She's got her momma's eyes, but she has her daddy's lungs.'
In short, I'm trying to quit for social reasons.
But then try going without a cigarette for a day! It's so easy to say I’m going to quit when I take a drag of that cigarette and feel the tingle of nicotine up my legs and spine. But after the first ten nicotine-free hours, I begin to hate all the non-smokers and their propaganda being shoved down my throat, and I want to run to the outside of the bar and huddle with the other smokers, where I can feel good about myself again, and complain about an anti-smoking campaign that is as aggressive as Hitler's was.
I decided to try quitting. While buying Ayahuasca, I came across an interesting product at an ethnobotanical store called Nicotiana Glauca. Tree Tobacco, a special kind of tobacco that not only contains little to no nicotine, but is supposed to fight nicotine cravings because it contains a similar alkaloid called anabasine, which binds to the same receptors as nicotine does. So I did a Google search about it.
Very quickly, I found that there was a dearth of information on this stuff. I mean, it's almost like a complete blackout. I went to five different ethnobotanical stores on-line and they all used practically the same quote, as if it were copied and pasted into their websites. It goes like this:
'Nicotiana glauca AKA Tree Tobacco was considered the most powerful of the Nicotiana species. Like all of the Nicotiana, it was used for many medical treatments.
'Some are studying Nicotiana glauca to be used as a treatment for nicotine addiction since it does not contain nicotine. Instead, Nicotiana glauca's active ingredient is anabasine--an alkaloid similar to nicotine.'
But other, more scientifically oriented botany sites describe N. Glauca as 'highly toxic,' even fatal to livestock and humans. There are horror stories of people dying while ingesting the stuff orally. And, it is in the Nightshade family, the same family as those legendary hallucinogens: Datura, AKA Jimsonweed, Belladonna, etc. Yeah. The plants that can either give you the most magical trip or kill you on the first toke.
So I decided to give Tree Tobacco a try. I got these green, dried leaves in a Ziploc bag in the mail. They smelled like oregano, and people at the Barnes and Noble bookstore cafe gave me funny looks as I rolled it. I figured that the more obvious I was, the less suspicious I would be. Here I was, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in a mall bookstore cafe, rolling green, leafy stuff. I was almost hoping a cop or security guard would come by so I could laugh at his face and say, ' It's only Tobacco, mister! You got nothin' on me! So Ha!' But nothing of the sort happened. Instead I rolled my first cigarette at about 4 PM and began puffing, tentatively at first. I noticed that this stuff has the tendency to go out. I had to keep reaching for the lighter to get it going again. The smoke was sparse and thin.
Then, about five minutes later, I began to notice subtle changes come over me. I began to feel giddy and light-headed, but not in the overpowering way that regular nicotine cigarettes do. I also felt this need to giggle and laugh in a purgative way, sort of like I did on psilocybin mushrooms, albeit with much less potency. My head began to feel cloudy as it had on my first few marijuana experiences. But again, the duration was shorter, and with less potency. I also felt the hunger that turned to slight nausea the way I and others described on our first tries with nicotine.
But one thing that was absent was the immediate, spine-tingling rush that comes up my legs and back as with regular cigarettes. Anabasine seems to be weaker than nicotine in certain areas, but stronger in others. There was definitely a “stoned” feeling, that was deeper than the cheap rush of a Marlboro or American Spirit.
My friend and I went to see Blade III, Trinity at the movie theater, and as I walked down the darkened aisle toward my seat, the lights on the floor seemed to almost flicker and vibrate. I wasn’t sure if it was the drug or if they would’ve appeared that way anyway.
I also noticed my desire to smoke a cigarette or chew a pinch of Copenhagen waned, and I could feel relaxed during a time when I would ordinarily be jonesing.
Later that evening, I proceeded to smoke another N. Glauca cigarette, this time with beer, as I was accustomed to doing with regular cigarettes. I wanted to see how beer would go with N. Glauca.
Unlike cigarettes, however, the effects of the beer seemed to bulldoze over the tree tobacco, rather than the other way around. Typically, I would smoke a cigarette to “bring me back up” from the doldrums of beer. That way, I could drink for a much longer period of time, and I often used cigarettes to pace my drinking. I would stay up all hours of the night at parties this way, without becoming too drunk or sick.
But with Glauca, I felt MORE sleepy, as if the Glauca was intensifying the depressiveness of alcohol. N. Glauca almost seems to be opposite to regular cigarettes. Before I went out to smoke the Glauca, I was in a mall at a food court, drinking Amber Bock and feeling restless, anxious, and bored, and I wanted a smoke. After inhaling a few puffs of Glauca, I found my desire to smoke going away.
Later that night, at about 9 pm, at home, I had a third Glauca cigarette with a beer. This time, I began to feel very sleepy and dreamy. I nodded off on the couch halfway, and began to hear very vivid monologues in my head about city planning in Miami, and about Haitians being screwed over by the government, and all sorts of things. Neither of which I am involved in. It was very introspective, yet at the same time very extrasensory. On waking, I began to wonder if my mind was tuning in to some etheric channel like a radio.
It was getting close to midnight, and now I was really jonesing for a regular cigarette. I wanted to smoke Glauca and regular nicotine back to back, to see what the difference between nicotine and anabasine was in proximity to each other. So I went and smoked a regular cigarette, and then rolled a big fat Glauca cigarette.
This is what I have decided: Nicotine is the Yang of Tobacco, and Anabasine is the Yin. Nicotine hits me hard, up the spine, and Anabasine withdraws me into a cloudy world of sleep and dreams that is no less pleasant. Anabasine has its place.
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