From Anti-Anxiety to Anxiety
Sceletium tortuosum (extract)
by Papa
Citation:   Papa. "From Anti-Anxiety to Anxiety: An Experience with Sceletium tortuosum (extract) (exp68898)". Jun 10, 2008.

T+ 0:00
15 mg oral Sceletium tortuosum (extract)
  T+ 0:45 25 mg oral Sceletium tortuosum (extract)
I'm a 23 year old male with an average build. I'm relatively experienced with psychoactives: I've smoked marijuana more or less every day for the last seven years, eaten mushrooms dozens of times, and have limited to moderate experience with other substances that aren't necessary to list. Most importantly to this report, I've smoked Kanna around ten times, both by itself and with other substances - and I know what too much caffeine feels like.

I'd purchased the mesembrine tincture approximately a year ago from an in-country (i.e. canadian) vendor. They said it was 5mg/mL and I trust them, meaning that my 10mL bottle contained 50mg total. I'm not sure what the solvent was, but I'm guessing water. Directly after purchasing it I had tried about 20% of the bottle mixed with a glass of juice. This produced no noticeable effect, except for the fact that I was now down to 40 mg. This then sat on a cool dark shelf in a basement during the intervening time.

Okay, so, the experience. The day in question was yesterday, a somewhat ordinary monday. My boss was out of town, and the nature of my work means that I dictate my own hours, so I'd woken up late morning and was preparing to head off to work around 1 p.m. I love smoking weed and being stoned, lifted, or otherwise out of sorts at work, although I've been smoking a fair amount recently and have started to notice the negative effects I get with a couple weeks of heavy use i.e. general tiredness, laziness, and apathy. Both of these probably factored into my decision to lay off weed for the day and try the mesembrine extract.

At noon-ish (T+0), I put slightly less than half of the bottle (~15 mg) into a glass of water and downed it on an empty stomach. Within a minute I felt a significant mood lift. I took this to be a placebo coming from the knowledge that I was consuming an intoxicating substance, although in retrospect it may have indeed been chemically caused by the mesembrine. If this is the case, the oral absorption of mesembrine is very quick. This decreased over five minutes to just a 'good mood'. I got in my car and ran a twenty minute errand, [Erowid Note: Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!] belting out Desmond Dekker at the top of my lungs the whole way (justification for driving on this substance: I'd smoked Kanna numerous times and never felt it affect me in any significant way aside from slight anxiety relief).

When I returned, I puttered about for a half hour or so, in the back of my head wondering if and when further effects would surface. At T+45min I decided to fuck it and just finish the bottle (~25 mg). Within a minute of the second dose I definitely felt altered. I sat down in front of the TV. A program on Canadian poetry entirely captivated me; this is not unusual for me, but the degree was definitely increased, and I noticed my appreciation for it had at least some of the 'Whoooah, dude, no way. I'm so high' quality. The feeling is hard to describe, although it felt much like coming up on any new substance: slightly anxious and jittery. After about five minutes (T+1hr) the effects ceased to build.

For the rest of the day, I was left with the anxious and jittery feeling. This is not at all what I expected, as Kanna and its alkaloids are noted as being *anti*-anxiety, and my previous experiences were all in line with the slight mood lift I felt at T+0. The significant mood lift I expected with the increased dosage did not materialize. Instead, I felt alert and anxious, but at the same time found it difficult to concentrate. Imagine someone staring straight ahead, wide eyes and open mouth, nervous movements: that was me. Also notable was that my stomach felt irritated, although without any kind of intestinal upset, and I had a slight headache. This slowly decreased over the afternoon, and by five I felt more or less calm, although a co-worker commented that I looked 'confused' - definitely not an ordinary comment. I considered canceling my evening plans but in the end didn't have to.

So, conclusions.

1. Wikipedia lists Kanna as ~0.5% mesembrine, so 40mg mesembrine is equivalent to 80g of Kanna - an unusually large amount. I should do the math beforehand.

2. The closest analogy that I can think of for this experience is a caffeine overdose - that unnecessary anxious feeling that 'something is wrong', coupled with mild body aches. At low doses mesembrine removes anxiety, whereas at high doses it increases it in a fashion similar to caffeine.

3. Depending on your interpretation, the experience might suggest that mesembrine is absorbed very quickly by the stomach: I noticed distinct alterations immediately after both times I consumed it. However, it's also possible that the first alteration was a placebo, and the second alteration was the coincidental come-on of the first dose, which would suggest that the come-on time for oral mesembrine is ~45min. I don't know how to distinguish which of these (if either) are correct.

4. Small doses of mesembrine are enjoyable. Large ones ain't. I'll remember that.

Exp Year: 2007ExpID: 68898
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jun 10, 2008Views: 77,430
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Sceletium tortuosum (179) : General (1), Difficult Experiences (5), Alone (16)

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