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Green Dragon Roar
by Random Output
Citation:   Random Output. "Green Dragon Roar: An Experience with Cannabis (exp112527)". Nov 10, 2018.

T+ 0:00
30 ml oral Cannabis (tincture)
  T+ 0:20 15 ml oral Cannabis (tincture)
  T+ 0:30   oral Alcohol - Beer/Wine  


My secret is that I don't particularly like cannabis. Part of that is disdain for the puerile pot culture, but mostly it's just that I have a very high natural tolerance to THC. When I used it previously, the effect was mild-to-nonexistent, and what I did feel was more confusing than pleasant. Nevertheless, I have had some interest in oral THC, widely reputed to have psychedelic-like effects. I just wasn't curious enough to actually try to find any cannabis and test it out.

Then, suddenly, a big bag of weed landed in my lap. One of my new coworkers was experimenting with cannabis cultivation and accidentally grew a huge plant and offered me some of the harvest. Of course I said yes. The timing was actually perfect - the personal problems I mentioned in some of my other trip reports never quite went away, and I found myself in need of a good trip to gain some perspective. I assumed that I'd get about a dime bag's worth, so imagine my surprise when (after the world whitest hand-to-hand with another coworker) I found myself in possession of a half-ounce. Oh my.

My ability to cook here is limited, so I settled on green dragon - an ethanol-based THC tincture - as the best way to experience it. Green dragon takes a long time to reach full potency, so in the interim I experimented with the rest of my stash.

-Smoking: I have no clue where to buy papers here, but a local convenient shop sells small cigars so I tried my hand at blunt rolling, succeeding on my second attempt. The smoke from the blunt was harsh and it had very little effect by itself. Smoking a bit with a few beers created an effect that was subjectively different and better than the alcohol alone.

-Edibles: I used Oreos to make very crude edibles - three of them, which I ate at 90-minute intervals. This confirmed two things: THC does indeed have psychedelic-like effects, and those effects at the high end are terrifying. There was a brief period in which I felt as if time had stopped and I wanted very badly for it to start moving again.

-Tea: THC is not known to be water-soluble but some other cannabinoids are, so I tried mixing a tiny amount (<0.5g) of ganja in with my usual green tea, choosing a mild local strain that can withstand steeping for a long time without becoming bitter. The resulting beverage was foul but it did the trick - an hour after consuming the first cup, I was ready for bed and slept very well. Too well, in fact - I was groggy for a solid hour after waking up.

Now as to the green dragon itself:

COMPONENT #1: THE CANNABIS - This is a black box, as I don't know the strain. I'm assuming that it's some kind of sativa strain with an average THC content (5-8%).

COMPONENT #2: THE ALCOHOL - I can't get Everclear, so the next best thing is a Chinese specialty called baijiu. It's foul stuff, but a lot of fun if it doesn't kill you. I used the strongest I could find (~52% ABV), which is a little low but strong enough to work.

PREPARATION: Three weeks of mixing and it's ready to go. Given what I'm working with, this is closer to an infused spirit than a true tincture, so I can drink a little bit more than normal. Based on previous experience, I'm somewhat arbitrarily assuming that this contains something like 150-250mcg/ml, so 20-30ml is a standard midrange dose.

SET AND SETTING: My apartment in central China, a cool Autumn weekday evening, my day off.

+0:00 - I pour out ~30ml of the green dragon, slam it down and - in the first of several dubious decisions of the evening - head out to take care of an errand. I've just realized that my cell phone service has been cut off, which (somehow) disconnects my home internet as well, so I have to find an unsecured hot spot to send a few messages. The plan is to get back to my apartment before the brew fully kicks in.

+0:10 - I'm already feeling something, and it's definitely not the alcohol. My headspace is definitely altered - no euphoria or confusion, just a bit of wooziness. This is pretty much what smoking cannabis does to me, and it's not particularly pleasant.
My headspace is definitely altered - no euphoria or confusion, just a bit of wooziness. This is pretty much what smoking cannabis does to me, and it's not particularly pleasant.

+0:20 - Back in my apartment, having failed to fix my phone/internet. In the second dubious choice of the evening, I opt to pour out another ~15ml of the green dragon. I should mention that while many green dragon users report that it has an herbal flavor, the pungent taste of the baijiu is so strong that it overpowers whatever earthy taste it might have absorbed.

+0:30 - With little to do, I crack open a beer - a citrusy Belgian that I somehow found in a nearby convenience store - and put on some music.

+0:45 - I'm talking to myself a LOT right now. It's lonely here by myself and I'm feeling it in a big way. The first of the psychedelic-like effects - time dilation - is kicking in now. Every song I hear feels like it's been playing for some very long yet indistinct period of time. Inside my head, my thoughts are turning backward - I'm amazingly nostalgic, even for things that are only blurry memories now. It's not like I was a teenaged pothead or anything so this isn't some sensory trigger but an effect of the chemicals themselves.

+1:00 - I always handwrite trip journals, and the writing is always a bit skewed, but my handwriting looks flat-out different. Even through the THC fog, I can sense that I'm holding the pen differently, making swifter strokes that allow the letters to flow together. I guess it's so I can write faster - if I slow down, I might forget what I'm writing before I finish.

+1:15 - Somehow, I completely forgot that I bought snack cakes this evening. My short-term memory is vapor right now. I'm feeling a body load that's quickly ramping up in intensity.

+1:20 - With the effects peaking, I turn off the lights for an impromptu meditation/visualization setting. I hadn't planned on doing this since previous attempts were so disappointing, but the time is right for it.

I actually remember very little from this session. Overall, it was much closer to an episode with tryptamines (with their parallel lines of thought) than with lysergamides (with their immersive, spontaneous imagery). There are no visuals to speak of but tactile hallucinations are rampant. The feeling is like a fuzzy corona enveloping different parts of my body, but at other times I dissociate and can feel very little. Early on, I have a disconcerting feeling of motion that makes me nauseous, but I quickly regain control. For the rest of the session, I drift back through a line of nostalgic images which quickly swirl into an indistinct smudge of memory.

+2:25 - I finally manage to conjure enough willpower to stand up. I maintained enough rationality to remember a few things, which I write down in a manic flurry of activity that, in retrospect, makes little sense. I slug down a cup of lukewarm ganja tea that I forgot I was making and pop in 10mg of melatonin, hoping that I can get some sleep soon.

+2:45 - I kill the music and try to get some sleep. The psychedelic effects are gone; clearly I'm coming down, though as high as I got that might take a while. I do fall asleep, but awake a few times during the night, each time still feeling rather intoxicated. I don't fully shake off the effects until the following morning, some eleven hours after taking the first dose.

AFTERMATH - It's a good thing I don't have to work, because I am nonfunctional for most of the following day. I'm sleepwalking all day, robotically going through my usual weekend routine. While I don't feel sick, this is still the longest hangover of any kind I've ever experienced and I don't like it at all.

CONCLUSIONS - It's obvious that THC is not going to do the same job as classic psychedelics, despite some similarities in the effects. There are two problems. First, THC is unpredictable. I've since experimented with the green dragon a bit more, and the line between a good time and a scary time (or a good time and nothing) is one huge biological blur. Second, the experience is shallow. A dose of tryptamines can yield a rough experience, but there's a catharsis when the primary effects wear off; THC just makes me feel high.

I still have the green dragon, though, and I plan on using it, but in a much different way. Subsequently, I tried a much smaller dose (15-20ml) along with a few drinks and found that they mingled quite well - the alcohol buzz hits first, then neatly fades into the THC high, leaving no hangover since I only consumed a modest amount of each. This is, however, a recreational experience, which is a lot less interesting to me. It might also blend well with some of China's legal psychoactives (of which there are a surprising number), but that will have to wait for another time.

Exp Year: 2018ExpID: 112527
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 32 
Published: Nov 10, 2018Views: 1,716
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Cannabis (1) : General (1), Preparation / Recipes (30), Retrospective / Summary (11), Not Applicable (38)

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