Citation: CDW. "A Novice Explorer's Journey to Arrakis: An Experience with Products ('Pineapple X-Spice') (exp88359)". Erowid.org. Feb 22, 2011. erowid.org/exp/88359
I have had the pleasure of experimenting with the currently legal, synthetic cannabinoid “Spice” lately, and I would like to share the lessons I have learned with others of the community. In order to be concise, feel free to skip to “My Experience” if you don't care about the details.
Male. 29. 175 lbs. In decent shape.
Previous Drug Experience: I was raised in a religious household and have only begun experimenting with drugs within the last few years. Aside from alcohol and tobacco, Spice is the first and only controlled substance I have ever tried.
I am a professional journalist by trade, and our publication recently decided to cover the growing Spice trade in our city, which had been much sensationalized by other local media sources. An an independent and rather liberal publication, we figured we would have a different take on it.
As part of our “research,” my coworkers and I went down to the local head shop and bought up a couple of grams and smoked it on the roof. It was an interesting enough experience I have since experiment about 6 or 7 times then, and I think I am now able to synthesize my experiences into a coherent and useful set of remarks and suggestions. I will refer to two specific experiences — one good and one bad — but the experience has been consistent enough you can assume these two description are indicative of all other times.
My Good Experience:
When I smoked, I used a very small glass pipe, and I only needed to use a tiny pinch of spice. I estimate that it only took about 2/10 of a gram to get as high as I can stand. This is potent stuff, and not to be trifled with. I consumed 4 glasses of wine and waited about 20 minutes for a mild alcohol buzz to kick in. Once pleasantly buzzed, but certainly not drunk, I went out to my car and smoked the spice. Using just the pinch, I took 4 big hits off my little glass pipe, holding it in for 20-30 seconds each time.
The smoke is hot and slightly uncomfortable, but as long as I suck it into my mouth slowly, I do not feel there is any danger of coughing.
By the end of my 4th hit, I can feel it starting to kick in. I can feel the temptation to smoke more, but since I have decided in advance to stop at 4, I do.
By the time I have walked back into my house, I can feel it overtaking me. I feel slightly paranoid, and I am already wondering if I did too much. From previous experience, I feel confident in my dosage and tell myself this will only last the first five minutes, which it does. The paranoia washes over me and makes it hard to complete my current task — washing my pipe — but it's only a mild annoyance, since I know it will be soon over.
By the time I clean my pipe and put my spice away, the paranoia is gone, but I am having trouble walking, and I feel like I am traveling in slow motion. It's a good feeling and it makes me giggle. I sit down with my wife and put on “Caddyshack.”
From about 10 minutes to 25 minutes into the trip, the spice has 100% control over me. I am traveling on the surface of Arrakis, and I can't even begin to perceive what's going on in the movie. I have persistent, mild hallucinations and see shapes and patterns, and the room is strobing brightly. Everything is funny. When high on spice, I feel like I have access to a different set of memories—spice memories —that I can only access while stoned, and memories of previous spice trips come flooding back to me in exquisite details.
With my spice memory bank, I been having epiphanies en masse. Certain emotional concepts seem so obvious and simple to me, like my political preferences, while complex ideas—like what will I be doing a year from now—are next to impossible to fathom. My short term memory is nearly gone, and everything that happened more than 5 seconds ago seems like a dream. Having a conversation is extremely difficult, as I will forget what I am talking about halfway through a sentence. It's not scary, though—it's hilarious.
Part of my spice memory bank that occurs to me every time is the overpowering desire to want this to become the “perfect” spice trip, and I am filled with the desire to adjust the temperature, find the right movie with the right mood, and make everything perfect. Unfortunately, I can barely move, so making any changes to my environment is not really an option. The euphoria kicks in and I am fine with my current situation.
About an hour into the trip, I have given up on Caddyshack, as I can't follow the plot, and so I go grab a Calvin and Hobbes book. I can feel myself coming down — I know this because I can now walk — but I am still thoroughly stoned. Calvin and Hobbes is extra hilarious, and I perceive it in ways that I never have before. I can only read about 10 pages before I collapse in euphoric fatigue on the carpet, but it's not a bad thing. It's a wonderful feeling, and it occurs to me that I prefer this to “real” life, which is a rather scary thought now, but it made a lot of sense while stoned.
I come down slowly and gently over the next two hours. At about the three hour mark, I come all the way out of the high all at once.
I get up, brush my teeth, and go to bed feeling a little drained, but quite good. The next day I feel a little lazy and dumb. I have trouble remembering most of my epiphanies in the same way it is hard to remember a dream, but if I focus, they come slowly back. It was a fantastic experience, and my only regret was that I was not able to get high with someone else.
My Bad Experience:
One time I smoked 5 hits with no alcohol before hand; it was a radically different and horrible experience. By the time I had walked inside, the paranoia was almost overpowering. It was not at all a physical sensation but an mental and intellectual one — it was sheer terror. I knew I had smoked too much, and I instantly regretted not consuming alcohol beforehand to calm me.
By the time I clean my pipe and sit down, I am in a strobing, pulsing psychedelic nightmare. I comment to my wife that I did too much and that I am scared. I have the insight to tell her not to worry, that I will be fine, but that am feeling terror. I have to struggle not to gasp, as my breathes are labored and erratic, and the weight of the world feels like it is crashing in on me. I feel that my mind is just not strong enough to handle the distortion the spice is causing, and I worry that I will go insane.
This feeling comes in waves for the next hour or so. The waves get less and less frequent over time, and it's not fun. After about an hour, I come down to a level where there is no longer any panic. I come out after about 3 hours of a fitful high, and I vow never to do that again.
In Summation: Is Spice Worth it?
Yes, when taken in the right dosage and in the right environment, it was a fantastic and visionary experience. I certainly plan to continue smoking it, but only under stringently controlled conditions.
Do I Need Alcohol?: I certainly do. Any dose of spice makes me somewhat paranoid, especially within the first 5-10 minutes of the high. Getting a good buzz takes the edge off this and seems to be the perfect companion to spice. On the other hand, I cannot fathom how terrible it would be to overdose on spice and simultaneously have the spins from alcohol. That would be an awful torture with devastating mental consequences.
How Much Should I Smoke?: Spice is “mixed” by headshops by people with no experience or qualifications. Dosage between units can allegedly be wildly different. Spice is not marijuana — so my friends tell me — I *can* absolutely smoke too much, and I deeply regret it when I do. I never felt like I was in any physical danger when I did too much, more of feeling like I was going to go insane. It's not fun.
Is it Dangerous?: I certainly wouldn't smoke it every day. I don't know what other chemicals or fragrances are put into it. I use a bong so I'm not eating burnt chunks from the pipe.
Does it Enhance the Experience to Quote Dune and Talk About Sand Worms?: Most definitely.
He who controls the spice, controls the universe.
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