Cannabis offers an extraordinary variety of psychoactive chemicals that interact in complex ways.1 The two most important molecules are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis can facilitate many different kinds of experiences, some psychedelic.
Whether a substance has a psychedelic effect is, in a large part, a matter of intention, not an inherent property of the substance.
“CBD … antagonise[s] some undesirable effects of THC including intoxication, sedation and tachycardia, while contributing analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-carcinogenic properties…”2 However, there is little research on the psychological effect of THC:CBD ratios that are mostly CBD (1:50 or more extreme).3
Administration Protocol #
To use cannabis as a psychedelic, I came up with the following protocol.
- Daytime: Cannabinoids can make one pleasantly sleepy, but if you sleep then you aren’t fully enjoying the effects.
- Fasting: There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the digestive system. Eating would add a confounding factor and make the experience less reproducible.
- Ingested: Longer duration of effect compared with inhalation, and does not injure the lungs.4 Onset is 30 min to 2 hours. Full effect peaks within 4 hours. Effects can last up to 12 hours after use. Some residual effects can last up to 24 hours.
- One week between trips: Ingested cannabinoids take days to drain out of your system. An attempted trip on the day immediately following an administration session will be blocked by built-up tolerance.5
- No extra oil: Cannabinoids are soluble in oil, but that doesn’t mean you need a lot of oil to optimize absorption. Look for Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) style extractions.
CBD isolate powder #
Try both 250mg and 500mg. Does not produce a psychedelic experience. The effect is similar to candle treatment.
Full spectrum hemp extract + CBD isolate powder #
Try 250mg CBD from full spectrum hemp extract + 250mg CBD isolate powder. Produces a gentle psychedelic experience using only hemp extract (less than 0.3% THC). It seems you only need trace amounts of THC to obtain a psychedelic effect.
Russo, E. B. (2019). The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: No “strain,” no gain. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, 1969. ↩︎
Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: the therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234-246. ↩︎
Zeyl, V., Sawyer, K., & Wightman, R. S. (2020). What do you know about Maryjane? A systematic review of the current data on the THC: CBD ratio. Substance Use & Misuse, 55(8), 1223-1227. ↩︎
What about sublingual absorption? In Nov 2021, Saoirse O’Sullivan reported that sublingual absorption has not received careful scrutiny and is unlikely to actually take place. ↩︎
Devinsky, O., Cilio, M. R., Cross, H., Fernandez‐Ruiz, J., French, J., Hill, C., … & Friedman, D. (2014). Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia, 55(6), 791-802. ↩︎