Citation: CosmicCharlie. "Dynamic Duo: An Experience with Kratom & Cannabis (exp94222)". Erowid.org. Jan 27, 2012. erowid.org/exp/94222
I have just had what was undoubtedly the most intense psychoactive experience of my life. It is a lesson to me in underestimating the power of brain-altering chemicals, and a cautionary tale for the future, especially as regards combining drugs.
MINDSET: Interested to try Kratom, generally cavalier and casual thinking that the evening’s events will be no big deal.
SETTING: A house I was housesitting, mostly upstairs in the living room and kitchen.
This is a warm comfortable space, I have been living here about a week so it is not a foreign place to me, although H has only visited a couple times. Nevertheless we both feel quite at home. There are two dogs here, both very friendly and personable. It is a Monday night, neither H or I have commitments the next day. We are in a comfortable private home in a safe neighborhood. Initially, the room was darkened and we were listening to a mix-playlist of mellow trippy music on my stereo.
SUBSTANCES: 6g (EACH) of powdered Kratom leaf (Captain Amsterdam brand), ingested as twelve 500mg capsules. One bowl (SHARED) of cannabis (fairly sticky shit) smoked through a bong.
J (Narrator) – 22 yr old male, approx 210 lbs. Relative newcomer to psychoactives, but by no means a “virgin”. Significant experiences resulting from high-dose cannabis use (discernible psychedelic effects from weed alone), as well as 2 previous experiences with LSD, some previous experimentation with standard combos (of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine (cigars), and THC (cannabis), and very occasionally doxylamine (tranquilizer-antihistamine)). No drugs taken on day of experience, but had been smoking weed daily for the past week, and had used both doxylamine and acetaminophen as sleep aids the night before.
H (trip buddy) – 22 yr old male, approx 190 lbs. Experienced psychonaut; longtime daily stoner, multiples experiences with LSD, mushrooms, MDMA, ecstasy, 2C’s and prescription pills. Had smoked weed a couple times in the previous week, but had not used any drugs in the days leading up to this experience.
INFO ON THIS WRITING: I am writing this literally after just having come down. I took the initial Kratom dose approximately 7 hours ago, and have only within the last hour felt fully “down” from the experience. Still feeling some afterglow. This means my experience with this combo clocks in at 6+ hours. I am trying to write as lucidly and immediately as possible, but H and I will be editing this report in the morning with fresh eyes. I find myself still experiencing distractive thought patterns even as I try to set these words down. After the smoking of the weed-bowl, there is no guarantee that these events are presented in the right order.
Pre-dose: I bought the Kratom this afternoon from a local headshop in town. Clerk seemed to know his stuff, was able to describe differences between the types of Kratom offered at the shop. I purchased Captain Kratom XL’s, a product of Captain Amsterdam. The bag contained a total of 30g of crushed Kratom leaf inside capsules (just crushed dried leaf, no extracts or concentrations).
I had read some info on Kratom but not a lot, so I decided to research more in-depth before dosing. Accounts online varied very widely, both in advice for usage, and in reported effects. Some writers claim that kratom produces no effect or an effect of mild drunkenness; other writers claim Kratom is a sacred herb with visionary/hallucinogenic effects. I will say that after tonight’s experience I will NEVER believe that kratom is humbug or has negligible effects. It is a REAL drug and it can be powerful.
According to my readings, I had been given to understand that in “low” doses Kratom has a mild stimulant effect, that in “medium” doses it is a euphoriant/entheogen/tranquilizer, and that in “high” doses it can be very unpleasant. The lower threshold of “medium” (euphoriant-depressant symptoms) was given by various sources for differing strains as anywhere between 6 grams and 10 grams. I knew that I desired a Trip, so I decided I would aim for the depressant dose rather than the stimulant dose. I chose the smallest possible amount I had found given for these effects, which was 6 grams. I calculated how much kratom leaf was in each gelcap (.5 g) and set aside twelve capsules each for myself and my friend. I had read that it sometimes took a while for effects to come on, so I decided that I would wait 2-3 hours before increasing my dosage if I was not satisfied by the 6g dose (this proved to be absolutely unnecessary).
H arrived, I told him about my calculations and we agreed to enter on the 6g dose together. We were resolved initially not to smoke, drink alcohol, or do anything else that would alter our unadulterated perception of the Kratom experience.
T 0:00 We quickly swallowed twelve gelcaps each with water. I turned off the room lights, turned up my music and we settled into the comfy sofas to come up. We engaged in pleasant conversation, pretty low-key.
T+0:20 After about twenty minutes I remarked that I was beginning to feel slightly altered. H was claiming to feel nothing. This was just the most minor experience of being altered and was unidentifiable except as a slight buzz.
T+0:30 Over the course of the next ten minutes, H came up and both of us began to float in the Kratom experience. It was mildly euphoric, very warm and floating, like a much more warm version of being slightly drunk. H and I agree that the experience is very calm and enjoyable, neither trippy nor rushing.
T+0:45 H and I are both agreeing very happily that the kratom is active (not a hoax) and is producing pleasant effects. Words are becoming harder to find, conversation is flowing more slowly, and the music we’re hearing is becoming more engulfing and blissful. H and I notice that we haven’t been coming up much in the last 15 minutes, and we surmise that we have plateau’d at the top of the experience level. Wanting to put a bit more kick in the evening, thinking that it will be trippy and stimulating, I suggest smoking a bowl of ganj, even though this was not in our working plan for the evening. This choice turns out to be a major decision that will shoot the night in a new direction. H and I pack a bowl into his bong. This weed is quite dank, H and I have agreed before that it is among the very best herb that we have found in our hometown. H takes the first hit and I hit it immediately after him. We smoke down the whole bowl in about 3.5 hits each. Because I am already somewhat anesthetized by the kratom, I can tell I am taking bigger, hotter hits of the weed than I normally would. I almost choke-out twice, coughing and sputtering considerably. This is slow to abate and I get up to drink some water. In the time it takes me to walk to the kitchen and drink the water, the three(ish) hits of weed begin to hit me fully. Before I sit back down, I make some remarks to H like “wow this is gonna be fun” and/or “wow I’m quite fucked up right now.”
Even after just a couple minutes I can tell the weed and kratom are having synergistic effects. The timbre of the kratom buzz is absolutely different from the feelings coming up, but the new sensations are also unlike any weed high I’ve ever experienced. I sit down in my chair and look at the ceiling. H is beginning to get restless and is walking around the room.
T+0:50 Around five minutes after we hit the weed, I notice the patterns on the ceiling are flowing and radiating. The decorative patterns in the plaster are taking on energy and have the aspect of moving dots. I remark “I’m very altered.” H agrees. I remark “I feel like I’m on acid!”. H says “I don’t know, it doesn’t feel the same. It definitely is almost as messed up as being on acid though.” I agree: “Yeah I am definitely borderline-hallucinating.” H agrees and describes that he is seeing everything around him as diamonds. The music is really interesting and dramatic to me, and H and I talk for a while about how the instruments in the music seem to have colors associated with them (slight synesthetic topic). H is continuing to pace around the couch; he seems to be somewhat distressed. I ask him “Hey buddy you ok?”
He responds “I don’t know man. This is way more fucked-up than I was expecting to feel.” H’s assessment that he might not be ready for these effects is the first time that I begin to feel something bad might be in store. H is my most trusted and experienced drug buddy, and for him to be nervous was a serious thing. H suggests we put something on the TV. I have been somewhat absorbed in the music, and internally I would prefer to keep the trip musical and introspective, however coping with H’s anxiety overrides my preferences; I want to make sure he is feeling safe; I am also beginning to become concerned about how overwhelming the experience is becoming. I ask H if he wants a deep quiet movie or light and funny, and he opts for light and funny, so I pop in a DVD with some episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head (normally this is one of my absolute favorite shows).
T+1:05 We have put on the cartoon. The dark humor, cartoon violence, and grotesque animation style are really off-putting to me. All these sensations are heightened by the drug combo, which feels like a very disorienting and distorting yet intensifying lens laid over the whole sensory environment. I am continuing to have hallucinogenic distortions, particularly the cartoon characters are seeming to pop out of the tv and seem 3d to me. H and I agree that we are both cold and I go to get us some blankets or jackets. Everything I do, even minor activities like getting water or a blanket, seems deeply surreal, I feel removed and distanced from my own actions, and I am experiencing the world in stop-motion slideshow vision.
As we continue to watch the cartoon, I close my eyes intermittently in an attempt to escape the negative feelings coming at me from the tv. The world with eyes closed is sometimes better, sometimes worse. I find myself swirling into thought patterns (mostly negative, but some positive) that repeat themselves over and over. I begin to feel unpleasant internal sensations, sometimes manifesting as sore throat, sometimes as hiccups, sometimes as nausea. My brainspace feels somewhat like I’ve taken LSD, but without the usual lightness, playfulness and clarity that usually accompanies psychedelics.
Throughout this time period H and I continue to have conversations. We both seem to be trying topics to keep us distracted from the chasm of how immensely messed up we are on these two drugs. Sometimes they succeed in distracting us, other times we end up talking about how our brains are working and why we are so very stoooooned.
Interestingly, the mechanics of our conversation seem to work as normal; I don’t believe an outside observer would have felt we were altered at all, yet we both agreed that internally we were having a stormy and intense experience.
Once this peak was reached, it remained with me for some time. I would feel at one moment that I had overcome the buzz, was beginning to come down to normalcy, only to be rocketed up again into spheres of alteration and oblivion. I often felt I was sliding sideways into experiences. I never fully lost my bearings but I spent a lot of time feeling disoriented.
Eventually I decided that the Beavis and Butt-Head cartoon was too eventful and grotesque, and I asked H if I could put in a slower movie, the meditative and beautiful “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.” H agreed and I switched out the DVD
T+1:55 I don’t recall whether I first threw up right before or right after the DVD changeover. I suspect it was after. Thoughts of my sense perceptions had made the nausea seem very overwhelming and intense. To be honest, I was surprised to be experiencing this level of nausea after smoking half a bowl of weed. Thinking about it made it worse, and it became more and more urgent until it was inevitable that I would throw up. I had set out a bucket for this purpose (having read that kratom sometimes causes nausea), and I grabbed it just a few minutes before I would begin heaving. I threw up my stomach contents (mostly water made greenish by kratom powder), and heaved a few more dry retches.
(WRITING BREAK: At this point I went to bed. After this, all recollections are from the next morning T+14:00)
The experience of the movie continued to be somewhat distorted. I often felt I was watching the environment through layers of lenses. My breathing was a very irregular sensation. Again, closing my eyes sometimes helped and sometimes made matters worse. I got stuck on a lot of repetitive thought loops about how messed up I was, how slow time seemed to be passing, whether I would be okay again at the end, etc.
T+2:00 An alarm goes off on my phone. I set it to remind myself when it would be time to up the kratom dosage if we weren’t feeling it. Both H and I laugh at the alarm and agree that we do NOT want any additional kratom tonight, thank you! The idea of taking more kratom sounds absolutely stupid.
T+3:00 I throw up a second time. H has not vomited all night, though. Vomiting definitely helps: at least it alleviates the fear that I will continue coming up as more kratom is absorbed. The vomiting has dehydrated me, I can feel that my lips are dry and chapping—this sensation is incredibly weird to my high brain. Time seems to be passing at once slowly and quickly. The eating of the kratom and the smoking of the bowl seem like events of the distant past, yet H and I are both surprised how quickly the movie gets to the end.
T+4:00 Significant effects are still being felt, although we are definitely coming down. We have put on another DVD (Ravi Shankar in Concert)—which is very pleasant. We begin verbally debriefing the trip. We both agree on a few things. (1) This experience is among the most fucked-up we have ever been on drugs (for me, it is definitely THE most altered), (2) It was not an inherently negative experience, it was just entered upon too cavalierly. If a day could be set aside and a safer environment and no commitments the next day provided for, this could be much more fun. (3) We are clearly going to survive, the worst of the experience has passed and nothing worse than throwing up a couple times has occurred. Therefore if we do ever try this experiment again, we can do so with more knowledge and less fear. (4) The experience is both like and unlike the experience of purer psychedelics. It is heavier, more skewed, less revelatory and blissful. It is nevertheless absolutely a psychedelic (in the sense of mind-manifesting) experience. We surmise that Kratom actuates the more psychedelic aspects of weed. (5) We were both really glad that the other one was present. We agreed this was an experience we would NOT prefer to have alone.
T+5:00 The come-down on this combo is extremely pleasant. The effects slowly fade, leaving a feeling of fun and buzzed-ness that slowly subsides back to baseline. The Ravi Shankar Concert is fun to talk about, and the Indian music is very blissful in our warm come-down state. The Ravi concert was the perfect pick for a come-down movie, in fact it is so positive that it makes me think we should have watched it while coming up to help keep us calm. (H and I interestingly didn’t always agree which stimuli were best. I felt that more eventful movies were more overwhelming and that slower, more peaceful movies (or no movie at all) were the answer. H felt that the slower movies left too much time in your own head and that the quicker movies were better distractions—interesting difference). I am able to keep some food down at this point, which helps me feel better.
T+6:30 We agree that we are almost entirely down, and we decide to hit the hay. H crashes on my couch, I head to my bed. As my laptop is in my bed, I write the first half of this trip report.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I have heard lots of people bitch about the cost/effectiveness ratio with Kratom; they claim Kratom is too expensive for not as much buzz. I will agree that buying kratom does seem to put a hurt on the wallet, however for the price I paid, H and only ate about $10.50 worth of kratom each. Actuated by one bowl (maybe $3.50 worth) of weed, this produced an unbelievably altered experience. Considering how much entertainment $14.00 will buy you out in the real world, I would say that Kratom gives all the bang for your buck you could ever want. In the end, I must state that Kratom IS a sacred herb, it is a powerful mind-altering substance, and that folks thinking of taking it and especially combining it should know that they are in for an intense experience and be safe. Have fun out there!
HANGOVER NOTE: This combo definitely produces an after-effect the following day. I have just returned from a lunch meeting and I must say that I felt dulled-out and ever-so-slightly detached the entire time. It is liked the most intense weed hangover I have ever experienced. I am reconfirmed in my conviction that, if I’m ever going to try this combo again, I MUST have the next day completely free.
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