Citation: Pyrrho. "Game of Chance: An Experience with Nutmeg (exp82704)". Erowid.org. Jan 5, 2012. erowid.org/exp/82704
||(ground / crushed)
I first learned that nutmeg could be used recreationally from Malcolm X's autobiography, in which he recalls ingesting ground nutmeg in prison as a substitute for cannabis. To paraphrase: 'a penny matchbox full of nutmeg could have the same effect as four or five reefers.'
Since reading that book I have used nutmeg likely more than fifteen times in the last year. Each time I have had a positive experience, save for the day-after symptoms, which are not explicitly negative, but can require time for rest and recovery or else lead to other problems.
Form, dosage and administration:
There is some variance as to whether pre-ground nutmeg will work. In my experience it has, but this may be among the things that varies from person to person, and perhaps even from brand to brand. The only pre-ground nutmeg I have tried was organic and seemed very fresh. The surest route, however, is to buy whole nutmegs and grind them up yourself. Two or three bigger ones will probably produce an effective dose, but I've only ever seen packs of five to eight whole nutmegs.
As for grinding, anything is possible, but simpler is usually better. My favorite method is to place the nutmegs in a few layers of plastic bags and pound them with a hammer on a hard surface until they become powder-like, although it isn't necessary to match pre-ground stuff exactly. Other methods I've heard of are to use a cheese-grater or a coffee-grinder, but I can't guarantee how effective or safe for the tool those are. Nutmegs are not very hard and are usually somewhat moist.
Most sources will tell you that somewhere in between 1-4 tablespoons is a proper dosage, but, as usual, this depends on body composition and what exactly the user wants to experience. I have never passed the supposed hallucinogenic threshold, but I have had some profound delirium at the higher end. With a few exceptions I have always limited myself to Malcolm's dosage, a penny matchbox full of ground nutmeg, which seems to be reliable in the mid-range.
In general the only option is to ingest it. I have heard of nutmeg being smoked, but to no effect. Those I know who have smoked nutmeg have always said it's terribly harsh. There is no fixed ruled as to how to ingest nutmeg; the aim is usually just to mask the pungent taste and make swallowing the stuff easy, but you can just dump it in your mouth if you've got wild hair on your nipples.
Usually I mix the ground stuff in some drink, as most others have done. The only bar is that caffeine will disrupt the effects, so don't try it with tea or coffee, and try to not to drink either for a day or so before and after. Otherwise, orange juice is a favorite and generally you can be as elaborate as you want in getting rid of the taste. One effective concoction I've had is warm milk, with enough honey and cinnamon mixed in with the nutmeg to even out the pungency; good for winter.
I should also note that it's true that nutmeg takes 4-6 hours to reach plateau, so be patient and don't take any more than what you have unless you intentionally divided and spaced out your dose, though I don't recommend doing that.
I've taken nutmeg so often that I really see no need to go into detail about a single experience, so I'll highlight the different effects I've felt on different occasions depending on what I was doing, and some exceptional things that have happened.
My first time doing nutmeg, if I recall correctly, I used simple pre-ground stuff I'd found in the spice cabinet. This time I had no matchboxes, so I mixed three rough tablespoons into a glass of orange juice and drank it with a good meal, which I think eliminates the problem of nausea that some people have reported. The effects for a first-timer, I would guess, do not set in perceptibly for at least a couple of hours. But once I passed the four hour mark I could estimate what the rest of the time would be like, and throughout that fifth hour the effects steadily grew.
In general, I find there is a warming sensation, and a pressure gathers around the eyes, which corresponds to the redness of the eyes that most people experience, almost resembling jaundice. I've heard that this is because nutmeg increases circulation, and some would say that, physiologically, nutmeg does nothing but increase circulation, albeit in an abnormal way. My heart begins to beat rapidly, so I would suggest not doing anything very strenuous.
I've felt somewhat violent and heavy-handed while on nutmeg, but those inclinations are not unmanageable, and I certainly wouldn't be uninhibited enough to punch my mother or anything. It's just as if my muscles are crying out for activity at any opportunity, even as simple as opening a door or walking.
As for the psychological effects, the word 'deliriant' really captures it: many people compare a nutmeg high to having the flu, and with good reason. More recently I experienced strong delirium while I walking around my campus; my thoughts and senses seemed more connected and fluid - a car passing would inspire a distinct line of thought, as would anything which I set my attention on. In my dorm-room, rummaging through books and websites was much more profound. Sensitivity to music increases, of course, and for me more aggressive, masculine genres are attractive on nutmeg, but anything is enhanced.
The effect of nutmeg is remarkably similar to cannabis, save for those more dream-like sensations, and if you don't have an explicitly negative experience you'll likely find yourself delving deeply and freely into patterns and ideas just like you would on cannabis. You'll probably even get the munchies.
Going to sleep during a nutmeg high may not be good idea; as your heart may still be beating rapidly, losing control of your consciousness may introduce excitations that may not be exactly healthy. I have found that closing my eyes and resting, on the other hand, can be really pleasant. Doing this really accentuates the delirium, and you'll find yourself feeling motion and pseudo-hallucinating despite that you're not receiving any visual stimuli or moving yourself; it's like a somewhat less vivid, but more coherent dream. I can really follow my thought process and all the visual metaphors your mind generates, 'flowing like a fiery liquid.'
One account says that nutmeg has the effect of making a person very non-social. I've been in the middle of a nutmeg high during classes a few times, and I've never noticed anything like this.
The most negative thing I've ever experienced after taking nutmeg didn't occur until I had already come down and, as I typically take it in the evening and go to sleep as it begins to wear off in the early early morning, the fact that I fall asleep on the stuff may be a factor. Anyway, the only complaint I have is over-sensitization, weakness and an unpleasant feeling in the gut. Light and sound can seem almost oppressive, and on one occasion I fainted from hearing a shower running in the dorm bathroom - though I should say that I've experienced the same sensitivity on mushrooms as well as weed. It feels almost the same as when you've been listening to the same musician for a long time and your ears are just physically tired of it, except in this case it affects the rest of your body. The weakness is mostly in the muscles, not unlike after a hard workout. For dealing with this I recommend a good meal.
As for the bad gut-feeling, some people have said nutmeg is hard on the liver, which I wouldn't doubt, but some will say that it causes a condition called 'nutmeg liver,' but that has absolutely nothing to do with nutmeg except in that it makes the liver look like the inside of a nutmeg. The actual effects of nutmeg on the liver are probably the same as things like alcohol or vicodin, so the same precautions apply.
Again in general, the best things to do when dealing with nutmeg are eat, drink lots of water, and take it easy.
As I've said before, I've never had any negative experiences as a direct effect of nutmeg, but as you will see if you do your research, reactions to it vary from painful sickness to intense nearly-hallucinogenic delirium. If you're a prudent fellow, you may not want to try it at all, as there can be no guarantee that you'll enjoy it. If you're more of a risk-taker, you should at least take proper precautions and try not to mix your nutmeg high with anything but cannabis and tobacco. It is one of the more uncertain and potentially dangerous things to take, but used with care it can be enjoyable - it's also legal and very easy to find and cheap.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.