“Smoking cannabis on LSD seems to potentiate the effects of both, so you end up with a sort of stronger effect of both substances,” said Gomez. LSD and weed are synergistic, which means marijuana can make hallucinogenic visuals more intense. It can make you start tripping again if you smoke it as you start to come down.
There are so many different kinds of antidepressants on the market, each with unique biochemical interactions, it can be hard to sum up how they will make a single person feel, let alone by throwing LSD into the equation. However, when acid was first being explored as a psychiatric tool in the ‘50s and ‘60s, many clinical trials combined LSD with an antidepressant. With some antidepressant drug classes, such as SSRIs or MAOIs, the effects of LSD are diminished or don’t come on at all.
“That’s a really sort of nasty spiral you could get into, trying to balance those two substances,” Gomez said. “I’ve actually seen somebody end up in the hospital just from straight alcohol poisoning because of that combination.”
“Combining LSD or another psychedelic with MDMA produces a particularly intense trip. The combination has stronger effects than you’d expect from the individual drugs,” said Matthew Baggott, a neuroscientist who studies the pharmacology of psychedelics. “Unfortunately, the combination also increases the toxic effects of MDMA, including on the neurons that make serotonin. Too much dopamine release in a brain that’s already working overtime can produce a lot of oxidative stress [an imbalance in body chemicals that can lead to cell and tissue damage].”
“You can think of it like dance moves. Psychedelics dance with the serotonin receptor and remind it of certain moves that it had forgotten,” Baggott said. “Next, messenger molecules inside the cell copy the moves and the whole party changes. Different psychedelics have different dance moves. And they dance with the receptor for different amounts of time. LSD doesn’t grab a partner as soon as it arrives, but once it starts dancing, it really embraces the receptor and dances for a long time.”
Resnick reported the “experiences produced by LSD-25 were either very markedly attenuated [reduced] or did not develop at all.” A year later, this experiment was reproduced by famed LSD researcher Stanislav Grof, who gave acid to 11 patients taking an MAOI called nialamide. Even doses as high as 400 micrograms failed to produce much and the resistance lasted as long as two weeks after the antidepressant was discontinued.
Gomez stresses that if you ever plan to combine any two or more drugs together, do as much research as you can, and do it sober. “You don’t want to decide five hours into an LSD trip that you’re gonna try a new drug,” he explained. “That happens pretty often, somebody’s like, ‘Oh, we’re coming down, do you want to snort X, Y or Z?’ That can certainly lead to experiences that people really enjoy and are thankful for. It can also do the opposite. That’s probably a decision you want to make on a clear head.”
Tripping on acid can be one of the most profound experiences in some people’s lives. Just a tiny speck of LSD (scientifically known as lysergic acid diethylamide) will trigger an experience that can last 12 hours, depending on the dose and purity. It gives users a teeth-rattling “trip” packed with amplified colors that ripple and flow across their distorted perception of time and space. Ego, or the sense of self, can disintegrate into the soul’s ectoplasmic goo.
LSD and stimulants
Despite being relatively non-toxic, LSD is powerful and mixing it with other drugs can be a risky ride.
Saturday January 12, 2019
Known as the most potent hallucinogen, DMT, the active ingredient in ayahuasca, packs the most powerful psychedelic punch. DMT is an incredibly fast-acting substance, with an onset of about 10-60 seconds when taken alone. The trip itself is around 10-20 minutes. Because DMT is so fast acting, using it with cannabis is nearly impossible, and is not at all recommended. However, using cannabis before or after using DMT may help process insights from the DMT experience
Known for their ability to incite ego dissolution, feelings of connectedness to nature, profound visual changes, and intensified sensory experiences, psychedelics also have physiological effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate, and can cause nervousness, paranoia, and panic.
Mescaline, or peyote, which acts similarly to LSD and psilocybin, can also cause nausea. Cannabis could be useful to help ease nausea caused by mescaline, but only after several hours into the trip and just a small amount to take the edge off. Cannabis may also heighten the overall psychedelic experience, including enhanced sights, sounds, and psychological insights
Cannabis interacts with the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate the body’s system of homeostasis, which is your body’s way to keep your internal environment stable and in the “Goldilock’s zone,” where everything is just right. The health benefits of cannabis are well-known, but cannabis also produces side-effects, like feelings of panic and anxiety, hypertension (high blood pressure), hypotension (low blood pressure), and rapid heart rate.
The active molecule in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, has been known to cause anxiety in some people. If you are prone to anxiety or paranoia with cannabis, or magic mushrooms for that matter, this is a combination to avoid. Conversely, if you find cannabis to be a useful tool to reduce anxiety, it may be helpful in smaller doses. Should you choose to include cannabis with psilocybin, using about half of what you would normally use will make for a better psychedelic experience
Mixing cannabis and psychedelics is definitely not for people new to either substance. Using them together can make for a too-intense experience that may be hard to manage and process physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, with the right know-how and dosing, cannabis can be a very complementary substance to a psychedelic journey. Should you decide to use psychedelics and cannabis simultaneously, be sure that you are in safe, familiar, and comfortable surroundings, and be in the company of someone you know well and trust.
And Josh isn’t alone. Many people who use them together say that cannabis, especially with LSD, can enhance visual effects and make the trip more intense. However, it may also magnify some of LSD’s less pleasant aspects, like paranoia, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
Here’s how cannabis may interact with other psychedelic drugs:
Many people who consume psychedelics feel that cannabis enhances the overall effects and experience. But is this scientifically true? Learn more about combining marijuana with psychedelics as we explore the potential effects.