Citation: hamcat. "A Very Unexpected Trip: An Experience with Gabapentin & CBD (exp113695)". Erowid.org. Apr 22, 2020. erowid.org/exp/113695
I was recently prescribed Gabapentin for chronic back pain issues I've been dealing with. For the last four nights I'd taken my prescribed dose or 300mg nightly before bed, and occasionally an additional pill in the morning. A couple nights ago as I was getting ready to go to bed my back was feeling particularly uncomfortable. I took the regular gabapentin dose around 10:45pm and got in bed to do some work on my laptop. After about 45 minutes I decided that to help me fall asleep through all the discomfort I should take a capsule of CBD oil [20 mg] I'd purchased from a local float therapy spa I go to for pain management. I've taken these particular capsules a few times before, and they are much different from any other CBD product I've tried—it doesn't give me any of the more psychoactive elements of smoking/ingesting regular weed, but there is an intense mind and body sluggishness that I haven't found from other CBD products, almost like a benzo. (Though recreational cannabis is legal in my state, having purchased the capsule from a non-dispensary business I have to assume that there's no THC, but they make the capsules in-house so there isn't any packaging that says exactly what's in it. I'll have to ask next time I go in.) I worked for another 20-30 minutes and then tried to go to sleep.
I usually sleep with a fan on for white noise, with the TV on for comfort, and with the blanket over my head to block out the TV (I know it's weird, don't ask). I turned on the fan, put on Ocean's 13, turned my lights off, pulled the blanket over my head, and closed my eyes. Almost instantly I started having very vivid closed eye visuals, geometric patterns and fractals, lights and shadows swirling in and out of each other, some very Alex Grey-esque imagery. My brain started telling me that things could get weird but not to worry because I'm creating everything. I opened my eyes back up and thought to myself, this can't be happening, I must have just dozed off into a very weird dream. I tried closing my eyes again and instantly the visuals came back, this time a series of unfamiliar faces flashing quickly, an all seeing eye, two elephants walking—I basically started watching a very surreal cartoon inside my own mind, all this in the span of just a few seconds. Normally this would be a lot of fun, but not knowing why this was happening I started to freak out a little (plus, I had work the next morning and really just wanted to be able to fall asleep).
I opened my eyes to try to get rid of the visuals again, but underneath the blanket I could still see two balls of energy sitting in front of me. I pulled the blanket off expecting everything to go back to normal, but the designs on the Kleenex box next to my bed were swirling and vining all around. I thought "the fan must be blowing it and giving it weird shadows," but when I moved the box away from the fan it continued. I looked at the TV and George Clooney looked like an oompah loompah. At this point I'm convinced that either I accidentally dosed myself with some of the LSD I have in my fridge, or that I'm having a psychotic episode. I begin to hear very lovely and calming classical music playing, I check the TV volume but it's on mute, and there's nobody else awake in my house who could be playing it. A very pleasant wave of relaxation washes over my body—my back pain is completely gone, though moving my muscles is a bit difficult, and all the various muscles in my legs start to twitch rapidly in a weird but not unpleasant way.
At this point I realize my computer is right next to me, so I search "gabapentin ps..." and the search engine automatically offers "...ychedelic visuals," which immediately takes away any fear I'd had about what was causing this. I read several experiences and posts about how at high doses gabapentin can be a psychedelic, and how smoking weed potentiates these effects, although in pretty much every post I read the writer had taken far larger doses of gabapentin than I had. I have a decent amount of experience with mushroom and acid trips, as well as with various pharmaceuticals, so I figured there's nothing I can do to end it so I might as well just buckle up and try to enjoy the ride. I closed my eyes again and tried to guide the images that were popping up as if it were a lucid dream, but that did nothing. My conscious mind had zero control over what my unconscious mind wanted to show me. I wasn't really in the mood for a totally passive trip, so around 12:30 I got up and started doing some house chores that I'd been putting off. The music in my head came in and out intermittently, the people on the screen's skin still looked all color-warped, and the body high was still very strong, but the open eye visuals pretty much went away. The last time I remember looking at my clock was around 1:40, at which point I tried to go to sleep again. I think around 2 the closed eye visuals subsided and I finally fell asleep.
The next morning my back pain was very bad, but I didn't take a gabapentin just for concern that I'd somehow bump back up; I didn't have any grogginess like I might if I'd dropped acid or rolled. The following night I took my gabapentin again without any CBD and there was no psychedelic effect.
The following night I took my gabapentin again without any CBD and there was no psychedelic effect.
I'm very curious as to why this happened at such a low dose. I'm a decently big guy—6'2, around 200 pounds—and I'd eaten a full dinner that night. I'm no stranger to drugs—I actually had on a previous morning also taken a 10 microgram micro-dose of LSD (I do this a couple times a week to help with depression) along with my morning gabapentin and didn't seem have any kind of effect through the day.
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