Your first experience with psychedelics might be one of the most overwhelming things you will ever experience in your life. Depending on the dosage, circumstances, and type of psychedelics you take, a trip can be anything from life-changing and amazing to downright scary.
A first trip can also simply be disappointing, or an experience you did not expect. Harm reduction is crucial to all psychedelic experiences. Two main thoughts to keep in mind are: stay in a pleasant environment, and have your first experience without any expectations.
Safety and comfort are obviously key, but many additional factors can influence your trip on psychedelics. In this article, we take a look at ten tips to help you enjoy your first psychedelic experience or trip as much as possible.
Know Your Family History
Not everyone is meant to use, or should be using, psychedelics. That is completely okay. Your family history plays an important role and might be the most important factor to take into consideration.
You may have certain health predispositions that you are aware of, such as panic disorder or a heart illness. If so, do research and seek professional advice on how safe taking psychedelics really is for you.
If possible, you can also simply ask your family members. There may be a history of heart disease, mental disorder, or other illness which may compromise your own health while on psychedelics.
Know Your Source
Ideally, you want to be taking a substance from a high-quality product. This is why people often recommend taking psychedelics with friends who are experienced. It is very likely they are well-informed on what they are taking, and where it is coming from. Groups such as Dance Safe offer testing kits to check MDMA, LSD, cocaine, and ketamine.
Setting Intentions for Your First Psychedelic Experience
Not only do you want to be in the right mindset, but you also want to set right intentions. Intention setting can be totally your own personal experience. You could be looking to expand your consciousness, release trauma, enhance your spirituality, connect deeper with nature and on and on….
Although many people use psychedelics and plant medicine for personal growth. Not all intentions have to be serious, healing, or spiritual. You could, for instance, intend to watch a series on Netflix after taking a tab of acid. People have reported having their “minds blown” over having watched an entire TV series while on psychedelics. Additionally, an intention can be to have fun and connect with your friends.
Choose Your First Setting Wisely
Your setting plays an extremely important part of your psychedelic experience or trip. As a matter of fact, your setting could be the very reason your trip is pleasant or not.
Experienced users recommend first-timers do breathing work while listening to soothing music, or even watching funny videos. Overall, you want to put yourself in a situation that you find comfortable and easygoing.
Planning is also key. Set a specific time and day for when you are planning to take your dose, and where you intend to be. In general, you want to work all the details of that specific day into your first psychedelic experience.
Meditating is also a great way of controlling your setting and being present, as well as accepting your surroundings. For this reason, having a prepared music playlist can be quite helpful.
Moreover, in order to make sure any controllable exterior factors won’t disturb your trip, turning off your phone might be very beneficial. Receiving an unwanted call or text message might send your trip in a direction you hadn’t intended.
Additionally, if you are prone to feeling anxious, it is best to have no planned projects or tasks in mind. Again, these could interfere with your emotions while in the midst of your first psychedelic experience.
Using a Guide or Trip-Sitter
As with knowing your source, you want your first trip to be with someone who has experience using psychedelics and can act as a “trip-sitter.”
Most people encourage first-time psychedelic users to be with someone they trust, rather than alone. This is because a person you feel comfortable with will have the ability to reassure you, in case your mind drifts into a darker place.
A guide, or trip-sitter, acts as your ground person. This means that you have assigned someone you feel safe with. This person should be both sober, and able to talk you down if your trip starts to go bad. He or she will then be able to logically explain what is happening to you.
Using the Proper Dosage
The dosage you take can have a significant impact on the outcome of your first psychedelic experience. A first-timer should probably avoid taking the same dosage an experienced psychedelic user takes.
In general, start with a low dose. Then, as you enjoy your trip, you might want to increase the dose. In the case of acid, many recommend not taking more than one tab (120mgs).
Some people suggest, for example, that 1g of psilocybin mushrooms (“shrooms”) is a good dose in order to get “visuals.” Taking this amount on an empty stomach will help you hit a faster high, and prevent you from having to add another dose. Other users recommend 1.5ISH of shrooms, not to exceed 2g. Note that everyone metabolizes substances differently and dosing it individualized. Do your own research on dosing for you. Keep a journal of your doses so you know how each substances affects you.
Setting the Right Expectations
Setting the right expectations can often mean taking psychedelics without having any expectations at all. If you set the bar too high for your first psychedelic experience, you may unintentionally put pressure on yourself. The resulting stress can affect the outcome of your trip.
Many users recommend first-timers let go of any expectations, as some people might have strong emotions while tripping. Likewise, you may or may not experience hallucinations during your first psychedelic experience.
It is important to remember that nothing is wrong with you, and that it’s okay if your trip is different from the ones your friends are experiencing.
Be Aware of the Safety Precautions
Depending on your dosage and your own brain’s activity, you might experience a trip which misleads you into thinking that you are capable of doing something when, in reality, you can’t.
A stereotypical example of this is the thought that you can fly. This is why users say, “If you think you can fly, try taking off from the ground first.”
This is why it is important to take safety precautions before taking psychedelics. In order to make things safer for yourself and your environment, there are safety measures you can put in place.
This includes staying in a place where you feel comfortable and “at-home.” That might be your basement, or your best friend’s room. It is important that you feel safe in your environment, someplace that has positive associations for you.
People recommend bringing a bright torch or flashlight if you’re going to take psychedelics during nighttime. Granted, you are not planning on being anywhere dangerous. Therefore, taking psychedelics in a public place at night is inadvisable.
Furthermore, it is a poor idea to combine psychedelics with any other substance. For instance, many users report vomiting uncontrollably after mixing alcohol with LSD. In general, mixing two different substances could be dangerous for your health, in addition to producing a bad trip.
How to Handle a Challenging Trip
Many people suggest that the urge to fight a scary vision or feeling while using psychedelics can lead to a challenging trip. Try to “let it flow” and accept what you are experiencing. This way, you are more likely to overcome the challenging part of your trip and to return to a more positive space.
Although combining substances isn’t suggested for first-time users, some people do report that having weed at their disposition helps. If you are used to smoking weed to calm yourself down, having a joint on hand could potentially help you feel better if the trip gets too overwhelming.
Having the right mindset is crucial to a positive psychedelic experience. If you do end up feeling nervous during your trip, try not to feed into that nervousness. Protect a healthy headspace by having a plan to release negative thoughts or images during your trip.
Time distortion is often reported as being the leading cause of anxiety during a psychedelic trip. Listening to music or even a podcast can help you keep track of time, and prevent you from feeling that your entire notion of time is being distorted.
It is helpful to find something that is easy to focus on. For instance, watch a funny movie and try to focus on that, rather than paying attention to whatever negative image is appearing to you.
Using Proper Care Afterwards
In order to help you feel better when you are coming down from your trip, it is important to stay hydrated while you are tripping. Keep a bottle of water close to you and make sure you are hydrating, or ask for your trip-sitter to keep track of your water intake.
Keeping hydrated will help you prevent thirst and headache, which many users report when coming down off a trip.
While some people smoke weed when coming down off a trip in order to calm down and sleep better, you can simply take your time to process what you have just experienced.
This could be by talking to your friend, writing your thoughts, or simply meditating before taking a nap or going to sleep. Do whatever you normally would after a stressful day or a long day at work. Have a complete self-care plan for your first psychedelic experience that includes before, during, and after.
Disclaimer: Psychedelics are potentially categorized as a illegal drugs. Reality Sandwich is not encouraging the use of this drug where it is prohibited. However, we believe that providing information is imperative for the safety of those who choose to explore this substance. This guide is intended to give educational content and should in no way be viewed as medical recommendations.