Saturday, January 14, 2012

Piracetam - Another Important Psychedelic Catalyst

Piracetam is one of the first smart drugs to come into popular use, with generally favorable but mild effects on cognition, memory, etc.

I had experimented with it in terms of everyday use and had found it to be somewhat less than impressive, although with about a pound of it on hand I recently found it to be slightly useful in small doses (~500 mg)  on "hangover" days or prior to meditation.

It occurred to me that it might be something interesting to throw into my usual mix (moderate cannabis, low dose psilocybin, nitrous oxide), and a web search indicated it might potentiate the effects of psychedelics.  It seems to have some MAO effects, i.e.
"Piracetam activated striatal and hypothalamic total MAO, hypothalamic MAO A and MAO B but exerted a pronounced inhibitory effect on MAO A and MAO B activity in the striatum."
I should mention that MAO inhibitors are something one should approach very cautiously, particularly when combining with psychedelics.  Some combinations could be life threatening, and everyone's metabolism is a little bit different.

At any rate, I had embarked on one of my usual adventures (the specific mix described in more detail here), which had gone reasonably well, and at some point I had recognized I was past the peak.  As I felt good and still wanted "more," I decided to try one 500 mg capsule of piracetam.  (Note:  I make these capsules myself, typically piracetam comes in 800 mg capsules).

The effects came on quickly, within 15-30 minutes.  It was as if the psychedelic effect knob had been turned up, with the most noticeable effect being increased visual effects.  It also increased alertness and sharpness somewhat and seemed to help keep me more present.

As it turns out, I had one of those very, very special experiences, and it turned out to be a great night for listening to music as well.  I had long been acquainted with a few shows from the Grateful Dead's spring tour of 1977, notably three shows I had from May.  But for this experience I was listening for the first time to 06-09-77, an audience recording from Winterland.  Great crowd energy on this show.  I hit a massive peak during the second set's "Not Fade Away," - blubbering, tears running down my face, sobbing with ecstatic joy, and then minutes later they hit me with "Terrapin."  Unbelievable.  Great show, I would love a soundboard of that (and on further investigation, it turns out this show is part of an official release, yay.  And on even further investigation, I'd recommend the audience recording over the soundboard.)

I found that the piracetam experience seemed to fade over a period of maybe 45 minutes to an hour, and then found it useful to re-dose with another 500 mg.  (After a number of additional experiences I'm not so sure that the re-dosing is necessary.  And that fits with the half life of piracetam being 4-5 hours.)

I then ended up listening to Miles Davis' complete Bitches Brew Sessions, just amazing, and then on the comedown I listened to Mazzy Star's seminal "So Tonight That I Might See."  For me, the music hit it pretty much dead solid perfect for the entire evening.

So, I'm very excited about adding piracetam into the mix.  Better visuals, a little more sharpness, and overall getting the experience into some very interesting psychedelic territory without the intensity of a pure psychedelic trip.

A similar perspective, "Do nootropics help further transcendence?"

And please see Revisions on Nitrous Oxide and Piracetam for more thoughts on piracetam.

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