Cacti - T. pachanoi & Cannabis
Citation: Mutiny. "Island Universe: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi & Cannabis (exp72438)". Erowid.org. Sep 6, 2008. erowid.org/exp/72438
June 29, 2008
Trial 1: 1 foot T. Pachanoi + 1 bowl Marijuana
Trial 2: 1.5 feet T. Pachanoi + 2 bowls Marijuana
Trial 3: 1.25 feet T. Pachanoi + 1 bowl Marijuana
Background - I am a 25 year old male writing this report to describe three separate experiences with San Pedro I recently took part in. This was my first experience with any cactus, and I have had no experience with the pure mescaline substance itself. I have used marijuana regularly for the past three years, have tried Salvia Divinorum about ten times, I have had one minor and one very intense Psilocybe experience, a very minor Amanita Muscaria trial, and an awful experience with Morning Glory. I rarely drink alcoholic beverages, and I do not pop pills. I have never suffered from any psychological issues, nor have I ever been prescribed any medications for any. I would like to also note that I did not vomit during any of these three experiences.
I will first say that I acquired the cactus cuttings off of eBay for a pretty good price - I ended up getting four sections which ranged from 12-14” in length and 3-4” in diameter. I will note that three of these cuttings were similar in appearance, and had approx. 6-8 ribs, while the fourth had a higher count - probably 10-12 ribs.
Preparation - I didn’t have all the necessary tools available to make this the best batch, but I followed the general guidelines from the preparations I’ve read online. I took the three similar looking cuttings, removed the spines with tweezers (I found this to work better than a knife, as I could just grasp, bend, and yank out the sections) and then cut into the cactus lengthwise, so I could separate the ribs from the core. I then carefully removed the tough skin from each of these pieces. After all the ribs were prepared I put them in the blender and added some lemon. After being nearly liquified I poured the entire mixture into a CrocPot. I did not have a stove at my disposal, but this seemed to reduce the liquid well enough over several hours. I should also note that I attempted to strain the mixture with a shirt - this was a bad idea as the shirt was too fine to allow a decent sifting, and it became quite messy. I later got a plastic strainer to use, but this was for the most part too coarse to keep JUST the liquid. It is possible that I blended the mixture too much, but it is not too important.
T+ 0:00 - Having used the three cuttings for the first batch, I decided to try 1/3 of the cactus goop I had made at the time. I am aware of how difficult it is to determine the dosage, so I decided that the remains of one foot should suffice, taken over about a one hour period. First impression- this stuff is absolutely vile. This first batch still had much pulp in it, because I essentially gave up on straining it, and because I figured it would be more effective to ingest as much of the material as I could. I consider myself to have a pretty strong mental fortitude with respect to many things, so I had little problem taking it in with the aid of some Gatorade (in retrospect, a more sugary drink would have been preferred) chasers over the hour. I found biting into a lemon slice to be more helpful after taking sips than the Gatorade. I had saved about a quarter of the mixture to drink later in the hour should it have come on stronger than I expected. This was not the case, so I finished the remains.
T+ 1:00 - Started to feel nauseous. As this was the first trial with the cactus, I chose to stay put inside, and ended up sitting in a chair for most of the time. The nausea lasted for about an hour, although it was not unbearable. From what I recall the initial effects were pretty mild, similar to a slight drunkenness, and I did not feel like doing much besides sitting down.
T+ 2:00 - Effects seemed to have been pretty mild. The nausea had subsided, and some familiar changes were noticed at this point including skin sensitivity to temperature, the feeling that something “different” is going on, and minor changes in thought processes. I seem to remember feeling some tenseness in the maxillary muscles, but this is something (unique to myself) I’ve dealt with even while sober, so I think I had just been more aware of it at the time.
T+ 3:00 - At this point I definitely notice the changes in my thoughts. I would say this is analogous to an out of body feeling, except with respect only to thoughts. For example, while pondering these psychological changes I would repeatedly think of phrases such as “thinking about thinking about thoughts...” in my head. Nothing profound, just the awareness of the change due to a substance which was new to me. Besides the aforementioned effects, there were also some mild visual changes taking place, but I stress that this was only psychosomatic as I found I could stare at certain parts of the floor and see slight movement akin to the popular description of things “breathing,” whereas this did not take place when I had not focused.
T+ 4:00 - By now I had decided that the dosage I took was too low to be significant for a psychedelic experience, so I chose to spend some time in my chair listening to some music. I am a fan of some dark ambient work, and felt that this would be appropriate at the time. I was also somewhat tired so I rested with my eyes closed, and this helped to focus more on my current state during this period. I was pretty surprised to see how effective the music was altering imagery in my mind. Note that this was definitely not anything nearly as vivid as the closed eye visuals I encountered with Psilocybe mushrooms. For example, one track I was listening to made me think I was either inside or looking at a location in some Mayan ruins with large stone statue faces puking out water, and that the sound was due to this rushing of water.
The remainder of the day was pretty uneventful, but I would just like to say that I was extremely surprised at how long it felt that the substance stayed inside my body. I could feel it most in the feeling of my hands and my arms, and it was not until twelve hours after ingestion that I felt baseline. The last noticeable change I could detect was the tenseness in my mouth. There was never any jaw clenching, just a feeling that my mouth was tired from being “flexed,” you could say, for such a long period of time. I decided that although this was not a significant experience, there was certainly something to be said about its potential, and the duration in which it lingered inside me was the greatest indicator of this.
-TRIAL 2- (fast forward 4 days)
This time around I decided to make some changes to the batch. The first thing I did was prepare the last cactus cutting, blended it up and added it to the mix. I also took all of the saved cuttings of the cactus cores and blended them up separately and added to the mix. I tried to strain as much of the pulp out of the mixture as I could, and I let this cook for several more hours. Having now had some previous experience with the cactus, I had planned this attempt to be more of an adventurous time and wanted to be able to go outside for it. Fortunately this time around was fantastic.
T+ 0:00 - At approx 9:15a.m. I began to drink the mixture. It seemed slightly more difficult this time around as I am sure a gag reflex was at least still somewhat present in my system due to the inherently awful taste of this stuff. I finished my portion at 9:45a.m. To my disappointment the person I anticipated joining me for the journey, from now referred to as Z, was not able to handle drinking the goop, so I would be going it alone again. I will not write about the short time afterwards, because the results were the same as I have written above.
T+ 2:30 - It was at this time that things began to get nuts. I knew that the onset was starting to hit hard, but I also felt that I had at least a small grasp of sobriety that I could try to trim my beard before going out on the bike ride I had been waiting for. This was not the greatest idea. First of all, it was pretty difficult to use the trimmer (p.s. there was no way in hell I would have tried to use a razor) and I did a rather messy job at first. I knew I was starting to lose it, so I tried my best to clean it all up and managed to do alright. While I was doing this two significant effects were noticed - 1) I swore I saw huge, dark colored veins running throughout my face and I quickly became afraid to be grooming my face with the trimmer, and 2) the loud noise of the trimmer and its purpose alone made me think that it was the mouth of some kind of monster that was trying to eat my face.
After I was done I headed back upstairs to sit down for a minute, and watched the television as Z got ready to go. I took this time to have a chuff of some weed both to amplify the effects, and to reduce any remaining nausea. What was on t.v.? Flubber. Not exactly my kind of entertainment, but I will note that I saw some freaky looking shit at this point - faces warping and smiles being extended into scary grimaces. I immediately recognized what I was seeing as something similar to the movie The Devil’s Advocate in which one of the ladies in the clothing store scene had been putting on clothes, and her smile changed from normal to devilish. What I saw wasn’t that scary looking, but the stretching of the mouth and facial expressions were very similar. I knew at this point things would get intense.
A few minutes later I headed downstairs and got ready for my bike ride. I had wanted to do our normal ride down the hill over to the beach, but I was not sure how far I would be able to get, so I wanted to see how I did on the street outside at first. Before attempting to ride, I was sitting on my bike seat enjoying an ice cream fruit bar. It was pretty delicious, but I found it a little difficult to eat, because it was hard to discern whether I was chewing on the fruit bar in my mouth, or if I was grinding my teeth harder than normal, the addition of the pulp in the ice cream bar was not pleasant to deal with. Needless to say I ate it very carefully.
While sitting on my seat eating this thing, I noticed the beginnings of the intense visual effects like I had on my major mushroom adventure. Colors began to intensify, and the brilliance of the lighting was apparent. Everything looks to be made of vivid pastels. More noticeably than that was my own awareness that I was entering into stage in which my normal thought process was being suppressed. I knew that in order for me to have a good time, and to avoid paranoia I would need to be reassured that everything would be alright, and I relayed this information to Z, so that he could remind me along the way.
T+ 3:00 - I was now ready to attempt the bike ride. One thing I immediately noticed before taking off was the feeling of looking through a fish-eye lens, although not that extreme, just that whatever was at the border of my vision (e.g. my hands below my face) seemed to look gargantuan, whereas objects center to my sight were normal sized. I didn’t have any problem actually riding my bike, but I had to go pretty slow. There were no issues as far as being unable to keep myself safe while riding. I watched out for traffic as I normally would, and I took care not to get myself into trouble, or allow anyone outside to detect my insobriety.
After riding about two blocks, I started to realize that it became difficult to tell whether parked cars were moving or not. It was a very peculiar effect caused I believe just by the movement of my field of vision, but something else caught my attention even more. It seemed that if I were to turn my head and look backward, or turn again and look forward, the center of my sight was like a wave that moved away from me forever. Think of this in terms of a bull-whip of infinite length that you crack and where the resultant pulse travels down the whip forever. I’d also describe this effect as being similar to using a camera pointed at a television which is projecting the camera’s display, the sort of infinite regress that takes place, and where you see the slightest movements of the camera carried out all the way down. This description I find more suitable for the majority of the peaking duration.
While riding my bike I also noticed something else to be quite intriguing - I found that there were often times where for a brief moment I would feel as if I were completely sober. It is possible that what I was seeing during these occurrences was just the same as any normal, sober person would be seeing, but I cannot recall exactly if this is what happened. I just know that I felt as if I were sober. At this time I also began to philosophize to myself, and uttered words of ridiculous nature, which I thought profound at the time, relaying these ideas to my Z. An example would be something akin to “everything that happens... is the effect of its cause.....” Pretty amusing for the other party, I’m sure.
We kept riding for a while, and passed some people on the way. I got a hint of paranoia, but it was controllable, seemed a lot more manageable than the paranoia experienced with the mushrooms. We managed to get over to the ATM, so Z could get out some money for the ride down - we’d anticipated getting some fruit smoothies - damn good over there. While waiting at the ATM I decided that I would not be able to make the ride down the hill, and be able to deal with being around all the people down there.
The main reason for this was being unsure whether or not I was pissing myself. The combination of the feeling that I needed to urinate, the feeling that I couldn’t tell if my penis actually came to an end (i.e. as if it blended into a stream of urine itself), and the feeling of the wind on my skin (specifically my legs) all contributed to this worry of having pissed myself. Fortunately I had not, and it is my belief that these feelings are directly attributed to variations in body temperature at the extremities, hence wet feeling penis (cold relative to body), and wet feeling skin due to the cooling effect of wind. I also spent a lot of time wiping my arms with my hands because of this phenomena. After the intense mushroom experience I had I described this feeling as if my fingers, or skin, were melting like the end of a stick of butter with a flame directed on it, except not hot in temperature, obviously. This feeling I had was no different.
The experience had continuously been getting stronger during the ride back, and we decided that a drive up and down the coast would be a good time, since I would not be able to take the intended bike ride.
T+ 3:30 - To my surprise this journey continued to get stronger. I remember looking at the clock and thinking “Jesus! I still haven’t peaked yet !?!????” I had thought “only fifteen minutes until it’s been four hours, until I really peak,” and I was amazed by how punctual it was, because when the clock hit 1:45 I was nearly out of my gourd. For at least an hour I repeatedly stated that “This is fucking unreal.” I want to now explain again what I had been experiencing. Just as I described above regarding the camera/television effect, this continued and hit me hard. I will say that another aspect of what was going on was related to time.
I felt that although time seemed to have passed normally, what I was experiencing were a continuous succession of snapshots of the moments as they passed. Any signal from my senses at any moment would become the center of my attention, and that snapshot would at the next moment become a layer below or behind the succeeding moment. This is a lot like those old ‘80s video effects where the outline of an object would be drawn, except larger around the object, and then larger around the next outline and object, and then larger than the next outline and following outlines, then object. I’m not sure what that effect is called, but this was extremely similar. Each snapshot in time became the next layer outlined around the next snapshot. I’ll refer to that from now on as the EFFEKT.
Anything that I focused on, be it the center of my vision, sounds I would hear, or smells I would notice would become the focal point of my reality. This is where I believe the synesthesia to have surfaced. If I wasn’t seeing this camera/t.v. effect, the same result took place in my head with respect to any sound I heard. Although I believe the same can be said for the scents I detected, it was not as strong as sight and sound. At one point I became a little paranoid of people looking at me and suspecting I was on something illegal, because we had the windows down, and for some reason Z uttered the words “We won’t get pulled over,” which seemed like a bad phrase to mention at the time, especially as loudly as he seemed to have spoken while other people in their cars were near us with windows down as well. I sure as hell didn’t need to get the idea of being pulled over in my head at that point. We made it back home after having peaked, and the same previously stated effects lasted for the next four hours, except it of course became less and less strong.
T+ 6:00 - I spent the remaining time on the roof, and I put on some more sunscreen that smelled absolutely wonderful - like a mix between ice cream and blueberry, and then sat down looking at the surroundings, occasionally getting up to walk around. Because this was becoming less visual I chose to lie back with my Sennheiser headphones and listen to some wild music. The effekt was still taking place only it was psychological, and caused by the music. I was still amazed at how pronounced the effekt was - still stronger than what I had noticed on the first trial. Closing my eyes made the effekt even more apparent, and I could “see” this due to the sounds I was hearing. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, but I was very relaxed and enjoyed my time. It was not until around 11p.m. that I determined I was well enough to drive home safely. After all of this time I could feel the substance lingering in my body as I did the previous trial, and it was still surprising to me. All in all it was a fantastic experience.
-Trial 3- (fast forward 6 days)
As Z was unable to consume the cactus juice, I chose to take what he had left over (he was only able to take a few small sips) which I estimate to be about the dose in between the amounts of the two previous trials. It was a holiday, and everyone else in town was going to be drunk, and given the fact that this stuff would probably become less potent over time I drank it.
I will not go into great detail for this trial, but I would just say that the most intense it got was equivalent to the previous time at the point when I had been sitting on my bike seat getting ready to ride. I can say that I did enjoy a GOOD bike ride this time along the coast for a good couple of hours. It was absolutely a beautiful occasion, and just the right amount to be able to enjoy myself without losing my own self control. Being in public surrounded by thousands of people throughout the bike ride was only slightly difficult, but I encountered no problems.
Overall I would say that my time with this cactus has been quite rewarding, and I greatly respect its power. I have to say that I was surprised at the similarities between this and the mushrooms, but there were just as many differences. I didn’t find these experiences to be as introspective as I had expected, which would have been nice, but on the other hand I didn’t experience as much paranoia either. I had also expected to encounter some severe time dilation effects, but this was not the case. The least pleasant effect of this all would have to be the continuous feeling of needing to urinate, something which took place each time. I also found the tingly sensation in my hands and feet (I had worn sandals) to be annoying. I am unsure of the dosage I received for each of these trials, but I would consider doing this again with an even stronger dose except perhaps in a different environment such as the desert, and away from public eye.
The next time I try this I will perform a much more thorough preparation, possibly employing the drying/crushing/capsuling method. I also believe that it might be the case that cactus specimens with more ribs could yield a more potent dose due to the increased surface area of the green skin, which is reportedly where the majority of the alkaloids are present.
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