What is a ‘Trip’?
“Hey brother! How are you? Let’s grab tickets for the new Deadpool movie after lunch. What say?”
“Looked like a nice idea, but damn, I have been tripping since morning buddy!”
You might have wondered what exactly is this ‘trip‘ that all of your friends excitedly keep talking about when you ask them how the party was or what they mean when they talk about their tripping plans for the weekend. Well, here’s everything you need to know about a psychedelic trip or a psychedelic experience.
A psychedelic trip is defined as an altered state of consciousness that appears as an effect of consuming one or more psychedelic substances.
The psychedelic substances such as LSD, Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms), DMT, Salvia, Mescaline etc. on intake induce into the user a very wide combination of perceptive, cognitive, behavioural and physical effects which together, depending on the nature of the substance, constitute the person’s trip, or the high. The term ‘acid trip’ has widely been used to refer to the experiences that are associated with LSD, and has been one of the most significant factors in the reflection of the culture of psychedelia and music dating back to the colourful 1960s. However, the usage of the term ‘trip’ nowadays covers in general the entire set of experience that is offered to the user by the said substance.
The term ‘trip’ very appropriately describes the nature of the experience that is associated with these psychoactive substances – it describes the entire journey of the person starting from his room, to a trans-dimensional reality that has been unforeseen by the tripper, and then back to the where he started.
Psychedelic drugs and other psychoactive substances function by agonising, or, taking up the site of neurotransmitter receptors (like serotonin etc) in the brain, depending on the specificity of the drug. Thus with varying degree of specificity and drug action, a range of different drugs can be classified based on their various target receptors and strength of specific-binding. These drugs than compete and replace the serotonin and other molecules in binding, on the whole resulting in vivid hallucinations and other experiences of cognitive or physical nature, which in certain cases reach to an extent that the user even stops identifying his experiences from the ‘usual’ world. In simple words, while tripping the person experiences and sees the world from a different level and perspective.
Different categories of psychoactive substances produces different and unique effects during the time of the trip. Psychedelic substances such as LSD, Psilocybin etc produce the most profound visually perceptive effects such as intense colour enhancement, vibrating or double vision, appearance of trailing frames, distortions, tracers etc.
Auditory effects and hallucinations are an integral component of a trip described by psychedelic substances such as LSD, mescaline, shrooms etc. The said substances have also been seen to produce physical effects like a feeling of increased energy and control in the body.
The other most imminent kind of effects that these substances produce are the cognitive effects, which have been the root factor in the recreational, cultural, and spiritual usages of these psychoactive. Enhancement of analysis, emotional enhancement, ego inflation or death, empathy, sociability, cognitive euphoria, mindfulness, introspection, loops in thoughts etc are visibly experienced on consumption of psychedelics. DMT, the most potent psychedelic compound known to exist on earth produces a trip so intense that the trippers have given various instances of them hallucinating to geometrical patterns and fractals, having seen other ‘extraterrestrial and outer-dimensional’ beings, and experiencing higher spiritual states like eternalism, visuals and sounds of cosmic design, unity, ego death etc, in a ten-minute DMT trip, which they felt as if years have gone by, and the person waking up to a spiritually and psychologically reformed self.
A separate class of hallucinogens known as ‘Dissociatives’ (such as Ketamine, DXM, Nitrous Oxide) are substances whose trip is based on the extreme sense of dissociation and detachment from the body of the tripper and his surrounding environment. At considerable doses, the users have even accounts of them feeling as if their body is not theirs anymore, and that they have ‘stepped out’. The ‘Ketamine Hole’ is a state in the trip where the user experiences acute detachment from his physical self.
Watch the following video on YouTube – an LSD trip (POV)