Works for Me...
Citation: Dell Tamale. "Works for Me...: An Experience with Calea zacatechichi (exp8583)". Erowid.org. Oct 16, 2003. erowid.org/exp/8583
After attending a course on lucid dreaming, I decided to order some zacatechichi.
About fifteen minutes from going to bed, I took two moderate hits, holding them in for 15-30 seconds. Since I hadn't tried it before, I though a minimal dose would be prudent; better to feel nothing rather than make oneself sick on mysterious mail-order plants :>
It's very bitter smoke, though I found it enjoyable with an extra strong mint as a chaser.
I felt an immediate a numbness of the throat, along with subtle 'upper' feeling - not unsimilar to cocaine. Retinal after-image also increased - like I'd just taken a hit of cannabis.. Mild feelings, but definitely off baseline. They lasted about 10 minutes or so.
(At the time, I attributed much of the feeling to nervousness, smoke inhalation, bright lighter flames in the dark, and the bitter taste of the stuff alone, but, sharing the stuff on subsequent occasions and partaking of heavier doses confirmed my initial observations. Mild effects, but this is not an unpleasant party smoke.)
So, to sleep.
Feverish would be best description of my dreams - more psychedelic than dreamlike. I woke frequently throughout the night - very unusual for me. Also, when I woke, I was imediately alert. I only remember short dream fragments from the earlier parts of the night. They felt like they weren't dreams I was having in the REM state, more like hypnogogic activations during other parts of the sleep cycle, but I could be wrong.
The first fragment I remember was the vivid image of a car chassis moving away from me on an assembly line, superimposed with a flashing circuit board, which was flashing and strobing in and out of vision, very fast. The level of detail was markedly greater than I am used to in a dream state, and also more psychedelic in nature; it seemed to share something with like a geometric pattern effect, as I would expect from a whole load of weed, or other hallucinogen; >definitely< not baseline. I woke up feeling a 'feverish' feeling similar to that I have experienced from cannabis.
The second was the recollection of the sound of a girl's voice, echoing and fading away. Also extremely vivid - to the point that my thought imediately before waking was 'That's far too real-sounding to 'belong' here,' - i.e. in the dream state. (My main dream test has been to listen to sounds in my environment; in my dreams there is always something missing from the sound - a lack of clarity and detail. I would have missed this sound entirely, if I had remembered to do a dream test at that point.)
I seemed to recall about twice as much of the last dream before waking than I usually do. I won't put down the entire dream here, since it's mostly irrelevant to the drug experience. The dream involved vandalism, and being chased by the cops in helicopters, and hiding in garbage cans with ex-coworkers and kindergarten playmates - the usual dream stuff and nonsense :> The 'feverish' feeling and visuals of the first two fragments I remember weren't present in this last dream - this felt like a normal dream, only really long.
I didn't achieve lucidity, though the state I was in felt markedly more activated and alert than normal - it felt like lucidity would have been easier to acheive and maintain, should I have remembered to reach for it. Maybe next time :>
Subsequent experimentation, in social settings, and involving other drugs (Cannabis, Blue Lotus, minor alcohol) didn't cause nearly as much dream activity, though I did wake up, alert, a number of times during the night. I would assume that the alcohol, which causes a suppression of the same pathways that the Calea work on, numbed the response. (Perhaps the Lotus also blocked vividness and recall, but I'm guessing, from it's codeine-like feeling).
In summary, this stuff works for me, is a pleasant, mild high while awake, and causes increase in the vividity and recall of dreams.
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