SAFE USE OF PSYCHEDELICS: Understanding the Effects


The onset will likely be around 30-50 minutes after which ther effects will likely come on pretty fast. If the onset is longer than expected it is never a good idea to take another dose. Partly because it can hit fully later, especially if you have a slow metabolism, but also because many substances will have a short-term tolerance that render second doses largely ineffective.


After this for about one hour the experience will peak. The peak will be by far the most intense part of the trip. Likely here we will go through the most significant illusions and emotional tumult. During the peak the sensory overload will likely be a bit more overwhelming than one asks for, but eventually this passes. It is during the peak that we are outside of our comfort zone and it is here that a lot of change can happen. We get access to these high potential and high demand alternate states of consciousness, but we do not need to be there for the entirety of the experience. In the peak we can lose time, language and our ego completely. This is scary but promotes the sensation of rebirth. 


If you should remember anything during your experience, remember that the peak will pass. After this hour or so of intense psychedelic journeying the effects plateau and the experience becomes much more manageable. Most likely this later part of the experience will be much more enjoyable. When the experience plateaus it is a good idea to reflect on what happened during the peak, as it is often so different from regular mental processing that it is easily forgotten.



Distortions of mental time 

The easiest way to describe the effects of psychedelics is that they remove sensory filters, or that they are nonspecific catalysts and amplifiers. We become through this process unable to filter out sounds, tastes, smells, visuals, touch and proprioception. This usually also means that the trip will have a component of infinity, of being outside time, since what we are experiencing right now is so immense. The result is that the whole experience will feel very long, one minute can feel as long as an hour, and certain moments can exist as if outside time completely. 

Emotional processing

Emotions similarly will not be easy to filter out. We may for example re-experience some memory over and over, and simply be unable to inhibit the associated feeling even though the event may have taken place decades ago. The way to cope with these types of experiences is to open one’s mind, to surrender to it and see whether some deeper truth about this memory or emotional discord is revealed to us. This type of direct emotional processing is how much of the healing in the psychedelic experience actually happens, and ignoring or fighting it is one of the main reasons that people end up having bad trips. 

It is mainly difficult for people since we do not choose it, we can not escape it, and it may be very different from the fairytale rainbowland we have been expecting. The truth is that, if confronted properly, these types of processes only take about as long as they would in a normal sober state. With distorted mental time however, they may feel much longer, they may feel as if they have no end. If we assume that there is no answer, that we are being cruelly victimized into feeling this way, yes, we are entering hell. If we accept that this feeling exists, we observe it, try to learn about it, from it, we are able to process deep emotional patterns and traumatic experiences, and liberate ourselves from them forever. Especially when we are first discovering these states, chances are that the emotional component will be substantial. It is through diving deep into the emotions that constantly accompany us that we can truly process them and move on, it is through running away from them that they continue to rule our lives. Here we cannot run any longer, and this is a central component to why magnification of emotions leads to such therapeutic progress. With each layer we manage to peel, we will find another one, and although we may never reach the end, we will come closer to peace, truth and self-love. 

Sensory overload

Enjoyment of the trip comes from different ways of utilizing this increased sensory sensitivity. The psychedelic state doesn’t have to involve any emotional processing at all, it can simply be a platform for enjoying music, food or a bubble bath. To improve the conditions for a good trip we need to do what we can to ensure that the sensory experience that is being overloaded is as pleasurable as possible. 

The more experience I have with these substances, the more I believe that the sensory overload and emotional processing really is possible to regulate but that it requires a conscious control of these mechanisms. This is a skill that takes time to develop. It is also something that depends a lot on the person and the substance. The possibility to exercise control in this is coupled with inner calm and mental equanimity. 

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