Citation: triplemango. "Decay and Distortion: An Experience with Phenibut & 5-MeO-DMT (exp115407)". Erowid.org. May 7, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115407
TLDR: An anxiety-free trip doesnít equal a Ďgoodí trip. You can take phenibut and still have a terrible 5-MeO-DMT trip. Phenibut may even contribute to a negative trip.
Beautiful day, good set and setting. Have journeyed with 5-MeO-DMT over 20 times in the past 2 years. Healthy, mid-thirties female with extensive experience exploring other entheogens.
Was curious about mixing phenibut and 5-MeO-DMT after hearing about how it can reduce anxiety and promote a positive trip. In retrospect, I shouldnít have messed with a good thing - as Iíd never had a bad 5-MeO-DMT trip and a certain amount of anxiety going into these kinds of things is quite healthy. I had taken 5-MeO-DMT approximately 20 times at various doses up to 12mg over the last two years. They each included a sense of cosmic consciousness, melting into the One, and really good insights on the way back to baseline.
Test drove 250mg of Phenibut HCL on its own for the first time five days earlier. I took the capsule as soon as I woke up, and didnít consume anything else for an hour afterwards. Had a good day, no anxiety, but it may have been a good day without notable anxiety anyway. It may have added a slight sense of warmth to my day, or it may have been a placebo effect.
On the day I combined phenibut with 5-MeO-DMT I took 250mg of phenibut upon waking, and another 150mg phenibut an hour later (as I heard from the Phenibut subreddit that the phenibut potentiates itself). Again, I waited at least another hour after that before eating. I took the 5-MeO-DMT approximately 5 hours after taking the phenibut.
In terms of phenibut effects on itís own, again it was subtle. If I did feel effects, it was a bit akin to the pleasant sensation of soft warm water on your skin and a blunting of any bodily anxiety I may have otherwise felt , eg about being late at one point. I donít think I was more prosocial then I would have been otherwise, though only interacted with a few people who I know quite well that day.
A trusted friend sat for me while I took the 5-MeO-DMT (I had already served her). I started with a small amount (~4mg). It didnít feel as strong as I expected, almost nothingÖ but in retrospect it did feel a bit off. We were running a bit low on time at this point, and maybe my judgment was marred by the phenibut. I then took a ~10mg hit. The Ďcome upí felt longerÖ I generally hold the medicine in for at least 10 seconds and by the time I exhale Iím well on my way. This time I exhaled and it was still another second or two before I was Ďhighí. No brief moment of fractals behind the eyes... smoother come-up but in an unpleasant yet fluidy sort of way.
While I felt like I was present for the whole time, in talking to my friend afterwards Iím not sure that I was. She says that it was ~15 minutes before I asked for her hand, and that in the meantime I looked Ďlike a peaceful angelí - relaxed, no signs of distress. In my mind, it was *maybe* two minutes before asking for support. So either I blacked out for part of it, or what felt like two minutes was actually 15. From the time that I calmly asked for her hand to Ďcoming backí enough to sit up was about 8 minutes according to her. And I never felt distressed, I just really didn't want to experience what I was experiencing. It never 'felt' like 10mg to me, it felt more like 5mg - probably because I don't have an account of those ~15 minutes.
It felt really chemically. My previous experiences with 5 havenít been visual at all except for some brief fractally things as its catching, but this one felt kind of visual. Like if you have a beautiful image and then you put a bunch of pricks in it randomly and twist them, distorting the imageÖ but the image is beyond 3D and all the dimensions as twisting and distorting and decaying, and thereís no fractals but more and more distortion points that donít line up in a good way and it keeps getting worseÖ and I also really felt it viscerally in my body. It felt extremely unpleasant other than that I trusted it would be over when the medicine wore off. There were no mental insights. No feeling of mystical unity.
There were no mental insights. No feeling of mystical unity.
The height of what I remember of the experience had that timeless 5-MeO-DMT feeling of Ďthis could be foreverí but my mind was still there enough to remember that I was high and it would (hopefully) wear off after 10-20 minutes. I held onto the thought of it wearing off very strongly, remembered my breath, and asked for my friend's hand and held it to the centre of my chest. Having that contact and pressure in the middle of everything else going on helped a bit, but not as much as I hoped. At some point I remembered that I could open my eyes and my vision was fine; the world did not look distorted. I held my hands to my face and they felt warm and I could feel them vibrating/buzzing - in a disconcerting, electrical kinda way. I also felt what I can best describe as discomfort in the blood vessels/area right below my skin in my forearms. There wasn't really a story to go with the experience.
My nervous system and emotions seemed pretty stable, no elevated heart rate. If anything I would have valued a more emotional release after that experience. Iím a fairly experienced psychonaut and maybe this helped in terms of my mindset and staying calm, witnessing, knowing that I just need to ride it out (though also awareness that especially with 5 the trip doesnít necessarily end when the initial effects wear off :/ )
Itís really important to know one can have a terrible, anxiety-free trip. The absence of anxiety doesnít mean a good trip. Itís possible that the phenibut both made the trip bad and also contributed to a sense of relative calmness during it and afterwards. Itís also *possible* that the trip would have been awful without the phenibut and that the phenibut saved it from being worse than it was, but my sense is that the phenibut was a factor in why it was so bad. This life is such a Mystery! It didnít feel like any other trip that Iíve had with 5 before, including trips that had challenging elements on the way out (back to baseline). Sleep was rough for about one week after the trip.
I would *never* combine phenibut and 5-MeO-DMT again. I really hope that Iím still able to have positive experiences with 5-MeO-DMT on its own again after this. Iím definitely going to give it some time before trying again though, and will start really small. Consciousness is precious, and so is the vessel of a healthy human body to experience consciousness in.
Our ability to connect with anxiety (to a certain extent) is an important safety mechanism. It helps us know when something is off. Better to be able to discern between anxiety that is overblown and have the choice to keep going, rather than not be able to feel anxiety at all or something stunting one's connection with an internal guidance system that leads to less-good choices.
Possibly related: I did get one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine ~22 days earlier (right before it was banned for folks under 55).
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