On rare hallucinogens and the long/terrible path of the psychonaut


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Expert Pharmacologist
Jul 6, 2021
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People who are immersed in self-analysis (by temperament) or who study the mental structure from a professional point of view have always been attracted to the topic of psychoactive substances, which on the one hand is a culture-modifying phenomenon (by analogy with disease-modifying therapy), and on the other hand is a pharm-zone for clarifying the role of this or that neurotransmitter system (neurotransmitters and neurohormones) in normal and pathological mental functioning.


I recommend that you begin your study of this subject with history, since many of the tools have not changed in thousands of years of human existence. You will most often encounter mushrooms (psilocybin- and muscimol/muscarin-containing) in the literature, then (most likely) you will remember your familiarity with plants of the cannabis genus (Indian species, sativa, ruderalis), if you are lucky you will learn about salvinorin-containing plants (Salvia divinorum, Coleus blume and others). At about this point 50% of readers will run out of imagination, but I'll help you continue.
By the way, psilocybin mushrooms are often associated in the minds of researchers with the tryptamine group. I want to surprise you. The fact is that magic mushrooms are capable of producing phenylethylamines, yes, yes, they have enzymes for this. In the literature, the maximum PEA concentrations I've encountered have been around 150 µg/g from a fresh mushroom. I think that after getting this information, many people's questions about the major and side effects will fall away.

The next step may be to explore mescaline-containing plants (Williams' lophophora and Echinopsis), although the classical way of using it will only suit those with a strong stomach and the synthetic alternative looks more adequate, but it is a departure from the very mystery of purification through vomiting and spiritual liberation. Surprisingly, a janitor I know's first entheogen was cholinolytics from Mandrake (as far as I know, they are still available everywhere). I don't think it would occur to you to ingest the seeds or smoke dried nightshade leaves (scopolalia, bellflower, belena, datura and so on) containing scopolamine, atropine and other M-cholinolytic starters, because these are some of the most dangerous tools for the brain, which ends in long-term asthenization and complete amnesia during intoxication. This is where 75% of readers may already stumble and begin to realize that they know less about hallucinogens than they thought they did.

So, what are the molecular targets we touched on above?
  • 5-HT2A
  • GABA
  • Kappa opioid **ah yes, opium poppy does produce a hallucinogenic effect too (if you take oneroid for a mystical state of mind)
  • CB1 receptors
  • M-cholinoreceptors.
Some people have NMDA receptors on their tongue, but synthetics are the first to come to mind. Here too, there is a natural source, though not selective, it is ibogaine-containing plants of the Cuthrus family, which are used in the rituals of the Bwiti tribe. This is where 80% of the readers of this post will start scratching their hair.


Slowly the exotic begins
In Pakistan, to create the "dancing world" effect, local scorpions are caught, their stings crushed and smoked. The effect lasts up to 10 hours and can replace heroin for addicts. You can learn about the religious use of California Pogonomyrmex, which is a type of ant, in my next post here (bb.gate). The peptide ligands of the kininin receptors from these ants will put any pharmacologist (even me) in a daze, as it is very difficult to interpret the mechanism of hallucinations.

95% of readers at this point can already get a separate lecture on hallucinogens.
The rarest ways of "getting high" in general overturn the idea of the role of neurotransmitters in the realization of mental functions, because the most sophisticated ways include the impact on the molecular channels of proteins. Not only does salamander brandy have a hallucinogenic effect, but it also whips one's libido sky high and often causes an outbreak of sexual disorientation. The secret of the salamander's epidermal glands itself contains the strongest neurotoxin, salamandrin, which is of unknown effect, but according to the happy accounts such brandy has an anesthetic effect on the tongue, which speaks in favor of cannalotropism.


The Brazilian ritual of cambo, consists in applying to the skin wound the secretion of the frog bicolor phyllomedusa, which contains the opioid peptide dermorphin (incidentally, it is a potential analgesic). Dermorphin enters the brain through the lymphatic system, although it has a low capacity for penetration through the brain, its potency is enough to induce severe vomiting and mystical experiences, probably through mu- and kappa-agonism.

Acuamma alkaloids can be included in the same receptor list, but only tropene, which has the name "andromedotoxin", which is obtained from the Sagandale plant, can be specifically attributed to cannals. Imfefo and musk kabarga extract act as allosteric CB1 modulators, whose effects are strange, mind-cleansing, sobering.

The discussion about entheogens is endless, but the important thing is that there are still a lot of keys to the door of perception hidden, and we have to dig them out.

Let's go!
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