Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review: Poppys Pods

Inventory:  Poppy pods, Soaps, Essential Oils, Dried Flowers.
Location: ??? (U.S.)
Rating:  4.3 of 5 stars
Web Address:  www.poppyspods.com  Website is no longer up as of June 2019

I learned about Poppys Pods back in 2011, when online poppy vendors were dwindling after the Arizona poppy farm bust.  In the poppy pod heyday, you could get 30 giant pods for $25-$30 on eBay or various websites.  They were abundant and beautiful.  Unfortunately, they're far harder to find these days and the quality tends to be much lower.  Oh, and the price charged by some vendors is laughable.  At one point, a popular vendor was selling single pods for $70 apiece.  FOR ONE POD!

Luckily the market is starting to rebound from those dark days, though it's not as robust as the Golden Age of 2006-2010.  Poppys Pods is an established vendor that has been there through the good times and bad, offering small orders of decent-quality pods to trusted customers.  I heard about him through the Mycotopia.net forums where he has a stellar reputation.  I've placed about 6 orders in all, every one of which went through without a hitch.

The drawbacks are that the quality is not quite as high as the Giganteum pods sold on eBay back in the day, and you have to email the webmaster of Poppys Pods to be accepted as a customer before ordering.  He doesn't take my chosen method of payment so I had to use a prepaid debit card, which was only slightly annoying.  But he always came through with golden brown medium sized Papaver somniferum pods full of viable seeds.  No mold or pesticides.  Packaging was discreet and Poppy himself is a friendly cat.

If you enjoy crafting with dried poppies or baking with the seeds, Poppys Pods is a great supplier for all your artistic or culinary needs.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nevada Recreational Marijuana Sales To Begin July 1



Thanks to the hard work of Tick Segerblom and the state's medical marijuana dispensaries, Nevada won't have to wait until 2018 to kick off their recreational pot blitz.  Recreational cannabis sales will commence July 1, 2017 at select dispensaries throughout the state. 

The industry is projected to raise $70 million in tax revenue for the state budget in its first 2 years.  Pot shops will need both a state and local license to operate, and they can begin applying on July 1st.  Henderson is the exception, having placed a 6-month moratorium on marijuana sales back in February that will expire in August. 

For all you curious tourists out there, here's a friendly reminder of the actual law so you don't end up in a Las Vegas jail:

- Consuming marijuana is still illegal in public venues, including hotels, casinos & bars

- Driving under the influence is (and should be) illegal.

- Residents may not grow marijuana within 25 miles of a dispensary, which essentially means that only rural Nevadans will be allowed to grow their own cannabis. 

- Nevada business owners can still choose to drug test employees on the job despite the new law.  

- The limit is one ounce per person per day, and you have to pay in cash.  Also, have your ID ready.

Happy toking, Nevada!  





Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Swirl Girl Inc

Inventory:  Kratom, Nootropics, Research Chemicals, Ethnobotanicals
Location:  Midwest, USA
Rating:  4.7 of 5 stars
Web Address:  swirlgirlinc.wordpress.com

Swirl Girl is one of my favorite little-known secrets out of the midwest.  Their only customer reviews were on Zoklet, the now-defunct forum for "Bad Ideas".  You can still view some of the reviews on Swirl's website.  They offer a bit of everything, from nootropics like phenibut and PRL-8-53 to research chemicals and even a "Private List" for returning customers.  They've recently added an extensive kratom aisle to their online store that is well worth checking out.  At $95 per kilogram, the price is definitely right.  I recommend the Yellow Sunda and Red Hulu Kapuas.    

The only drawback is that they don't keep anything physically in stock, thus they have to order it from a supplier which adds a few days to your overall shipping time.  But they're great about keeping you in the loop with communication and tracking info.  I've probably ordered 20+ times from them over the years and have never been disappointed.  They don't like a lot of online buzz, so your best chance of being accepted as a customer is to email them directly.  Don't spread their name all over Kingdom Come because they're a small operation and can't serve tons of people.  (Their words).

Overall, I give Swirl Girl Inc a 4.7 out of 5 stars for excellent customer service and product selection.  If you don't mind waiting a few extra days for shipping, you should definitely give them a try.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

What's the Deal With: Benzedrex?




If you don't know what Benzedrex is, you're not alone.  This innocuous-looking inhaler sits among the cold medicines and nasal sprays at CVS and other pharmacies, rarely drawing attention to itself.  It sells for $5-$8 a pop and is used to treat nasal congestion.  Or at least, that's its intended use.  (Evil laugh). 

The other use for Benzedrex--active ingredient propylhexedrine--is to ingest it orally as a form of over-the-counter speed.  An online search for "Benzedrex high" reveals a mixed bag of results ranging from glowing reviews to horror stories.  Having used these bad boys for several years myself, I thought I'd share my tips to help you get the most out of your Benzedrex experience.  I'll begin with a list of "Don'ts" for all you impulsive blokes & lasses out there. 


1.)  Firstly, do not mess with this drug if you have hypertension or other serious heart problems.  It constricts blood vessels more than most stimulants, which can raise blood pressure and heart rate severely.  Taking a low dose and avoiding exercise or other stimulants can help offset this effect, but this drug is definitely not safe for everyone.  And this next bit is absolutely vital, so I'm going to yell it:

2.)  DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, INJECT PROPYLHEXEDRINE.

It could kill you.  In fact, it's likely to kill you even on the first try.  That's because Benzedrex induces brainstem dysfunction & other serious problems when injected.  The vast majority of Benzedrex deaths have happened in injection users.  It's not known exactly why injecting this drug is so deadly, but it just is.  So do not.

3.)  Next, do not eat the cotton.  It could cause a bowel obstruction and generally increases side effects like cramping and nausea.  And it's totally unnecessary.  The cotton is just a medium that carries the good stuff, not a part of the drug itself.

4.)  Finally, do not take the whole inhaler at once.  I don't know who decided 1 inhaler = 1 dose but this is faulty logic.  Back when propylhexedrine was prescribed as a weight loss drug (Eventin) or seizure medication ingredient (Barbexaclone), doses hovered around 25mg, not the 250mg in a Benzedrex inhaler.  Start low & go slow until you know how it affects you.  The result of taking too much is likely to be hypertensive headache, vomiting, stomach cramping, heart palpitations and sheer panic.  Or worse.  Overdose is the cause of most bad trips on this substance.

If you avoid those 4 major no-nos, you should be fine.  Now here's my personal preparation method for consuming Benzedrex.  You can alter this as needed once you have some experience.


Image result for benzedrex ad
Vintage Benny ad


PREPARATION

- Open inhaler.  Remove cotton rod and place in about 1.5 (measuring) cups' worth of water.  If you prefer to start with a smaller dose, cut the cotton in half & only put half of it in the water.

- Swirl, shake or stir the cotton rod around in the water to disperse the good stuff.  Leave the cotton in.  You can add lemon or lime juice to help with extraction if you wish, but in my experience it's unnecessary.  The propylhexedrine in Benzedrex is in freebase form so it leeches out into plain water just fine if shaken/stirred vigorously enough.

- Sip gradually, drinking only about 1/4th of the total water in the cup.  You can start sipping right away--there's no need to wait after adding the cotton to water.  After drinking it down, wait 45 minutes for effects to take hold (they don't kick in right away).

- After 45 minutes, if you don't feel sufficiently stimulated, drink half the amount of your previous dose.  Wait another 20 minutes and see how you feel.  (Repeat until you achieve desired effects, putting 20 minutes between each new dose).

- Store in refrigerator when done.

- As you drink down the solution, you can add a little more water to help extract all the medicine from the cotton.  I do this to the same cotton for about a week or so until it's fully spent.  Your solution will begin to smell & taste weak as it loses potency.
________________________________

Additional Tips:

* If you save part of the cotton rod for later, make sure to put the entire inhaler back together & keep the lid on it to keep it fresh.

* If you're tempted to do a complicated extraction & smoke this drug, you should probably just go buy real drugs.  Not enough is known about how it affects the lungs to safely recommend smoking it.

* Leave the cotton rod in the water for as long as you keep the solution.  You can take it out and squeeze it when it's on its last leg for maximum mileage but throwing it away prematurely is a waste.

* If the taste bothers you, hold your breath while you swallow and chase it with soda or another strong flavored drink.

* Many people report "lavender burps" due to the lavender and menthol in the inhaler.  Taking an antacid with your dose might help prevent or lessen this effect.

* Don't combine Benzedrex with other stimulants or overly strenuous physical activity to avoid heart problems.


THAT'S IT!

Most people compare Benzedrex to a low-key Adderall or meth buzz.  For those of us without access to prescription stimulants, this is the only source of ADHD/fatigue/depression treatment we have so please be responsible with your use so they don't get banned.  Never steal inhalers or abuse them with anyone under age 18.  Use responsibly to avoid hospital trips & bad press.  The less things like this are discussed openly, the less attention they'll get from the FDA & other regulatory agencies.  (Yes, I know I'm breaking my own rule by discussing it here but harm reduction is important). 

Happy speeding!  🏃💨






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Review: Nyles7

Inventory:  Tianeptine sodium, Dihexa & Other Nootropics
Location: Tucson, AZ
Rating:  2.9 of 5 stars
Web Address:  nyles7.com

Nyles7 was my first tianeptine vendor.  He's a well-established eBay seller who eventually set up a website to peddle his wares.  At first he only sold tianeptine sodium but he soon branched out to offer a smorgasbord of rare compounds like Apigenin, Dihexa & Pseudocatalase.  (Hey, I said rare!)

I had about 8 orders with Nyles7, all of which went without a hiccup.  Except the last one.  My order took over a month to arrive and he ignored all my polite attempts to reach him via email.  His eBay page now shows 5 negative reviews and a message from Nyles7 about "chargebacks", which makes me hesitant to order again.  One review says his latest batch of powder is not the same as the last and he refuses to reply to emails.  I believe it only because he ignored my emails for so long.

My impression is that Nyles7's eyes were bigger than his stomach in a business sense.  That is to say, he had great plans for his nootropic business but overshot his actual ability to serve customers.  I long for the days when he only sold tianeptine on eBay.  It's unacceptable for tianeptine vendors to sell things that are not tianeptine.  If a customer has a question about purity or quality, vendors damn well better have an answer.  People have gotten sick or died from contaminated supplements before.  Buying random white powders off the internet is risky enough; it doesn't have to be a total crapshoot.  We put a lot of trust in these vendors and a lot of money in their businesses.  The least they can do is make sure their product is pure. 

At this point, I cannot recommend Nyles7 as a nootropic vendor until his eBay rating improves.  I sincerely wish him the best and hope he patches the holes in his business practices.  If things change, I'll gladly update this review. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: Biotechguru

Inventory:  4-FA, a-php & other research chemicals
Location:  Western U.S.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Web Address:  btgwholesale.ru/login

Biotechguru is a vendor who has been known on the research chemical scene for years.  He's affiliated with the person who runs a popular research chemical discussion forum that has gone by several names over the years, though I found him through Reddit.  BTG is a low-key vendor who doesn't like a lot of attention so I'll try to respect that wish with my review by keeping it short and sweet.

My last order with BTG was in early 2017.  I ordered a gram of 4-FA, one of my all-time favorite research chemicals that's been hard to find since the Chinese government banned 116 popular chemicals a few years back.  Shipping was prompt and checkout was relatively painless.  I usually have problems logging in due to forgetting my password, but that's a "me" problem isn't it?

BTG's prices are a bit on the steep side but fair considering he's one of only a handful of reliable domestic vendors for these highly coveted chems.  His current lineup includes 4-FA, a-php, 3-fpm, Hexen & 4f-php.  Registration is currently open to anyone, but he plans to go private within the next year so sign up now if you want to "take the ride" with him, as he says.  All Biotechguru products are for research purposes only and not for human consumption. 

Kratom in 2017: Strains, Vendors & Hype

Close Call: Kratom Narrowly Escapes DEA Ban

2016 was a rough year for Mitragyna speciosa, the plant better known as kratom: it narrowly escaped DEA scheduling in September when thousands of angry kratom enthusiasts, lobbyists and even politicians protested. While it's currently legal to purchase and sell, kratom's fate could change at any time.  Still, the kratom market in 2017 is booming thanks in part to the attention drawn by the DEA last year.

As a daily user of this plant, I've tried many strains and vendors and would like to share some of what I've learned with you. One trend that's risen this year is the appearance of "yellow" and "gold" strains, which are apparently just white and red strains (respectively) that are dried using a special process. And the same goes for Bentuangie, which is usually just a red strain that's fermented to give it a dark brown appearance and smoother taste.  Now that that's out of the way, let's talk vendors. 

VENDORS

There's an endless sea of kratom vendors in this unregulated Wild West market paradise.  Who to choose?  The consensus is that brick-and-mortar smokeshops and smartshops overprice their kratom and often store it improperly, leading to staleness & lost potency.  Of course there are exceptions, but I haven't come across any.  Online vendors are the way to go.  My Top 5 kratom vendors for 2017 are: Canopy Botanicals, Swirl Girl Inc, Indo Elephant, Get Kratom & All Natural Artisan. Prices range from $95 per kilo at Swirl Girl Inc to $200/kilo at Get Kratom, but the quality and selection are what I'll be reviewing.

Canopy Botanicals' Red Jongkong is an ugly brown strain that's both potent and uplifting. I highly recommend picking it up to offset the overwhelming sedation of their Red Hulu Kapuas, which is a 100% night time strain. The Red Ketapang is also a solid analgesic/sedating choice to end your day with.  Shipping is from the East Coast and packaging is very elegant. He even threw in a sample of Bentuangie with my order, which was much appreciated.  Canopy is much revered in the kratom world and I must say the praise is well-earned.  Every strain I bought was consistently potent and fresh.  So potent I had to lower my dose by nearly half.

Swirl Girl Inc is a unique setup in that they don't have the products on hand but buy them from a supplier as soon as your order is taken. They offer a variety of kratom strains in amounts including 500 grams, 1 kilo and 3 kilos. Prices are very reasonable at $95 per kilo plus shipping. And you can buy kilos split 4 or 5 ways!  I got the Yellow Sunda, Green Banjar & Rainbow Extract, which is a 20:1 extract containing red/green/yellow strains. The Yellow Sunda was by far my favorite--warmth and smiles for days.  They ship from the middle of the country, so delivery takes about 2 days to any state once they have your package. Mine only took 9 days total from Indonesia to my door. As always, Swirl Girl maintained communication the whole time and I was given a tracking number so I could monitor the progress of my order. It was well worth the wait for that gorgeous Yellow Sunda. Swirl Girl recently added agmatine sulfate to their lineup, so I'll have to pick that up next time as I've been curious about its effects as a kratom potentiator.

Next is Indo Elephant, which offers my favorite enhanced product of all time: Luminosity. This enhanced leaf contains a proprietary extract added to their high-quality Red Horn leaf (my favorite strain!) for a true standout product. I received my sample in a trade after reading rave reviews about it on Reddit and plan to buy another ounce as soon as I run out. This is truly top-shelf product...the "caviar of the kratom world" if you believe in such things :P

I became acquainted with Get Kratom during 2016 when the DEA ban was still ongoing. Prices were high and kratom was scarce, so lesser known vendors were rising to the top of the heap. I will say out of the gate: Get Kratom's prices for a kilo--$200--are the highest I've seen, and I would not be willing to pay that much unless I had no other choice. Luckily, they also sell smaller amounts like 1oz, 2oz, 4oz, 8oz & 16oz for the frugal kratomite. Their Green Malaysian is definitely worth the extra $$$. I got the 8 oz. bag and was quite pleased with the quality.

Finally, we have All Natural Artisan, the first vendor I ever used. While he doesn't offer as many strains as some vendors, he takes pride in milling every order daily for freshness. I started with his Plantation MD (Red) strain, which sadly had no effect on me whatsoever. So I tried a bigger dose. Nothing. Then I tried the Plantation MD (Green). Whoa! While the green definitely had an effect, it wasn't a pleasant one. This turned out to be my least favorite strain of all time, as it makes my heart race and feels like a caffeine overload. My third strain was the charm: Red-Horn Kali. The perfect combination of chill and uplifting euphoria that I'd been trying to achieve all along. It's still the only strain I use by itself in my teas because it doesn't need any enhancement. Oh, and I also tried the Artisan's Red MD 12:1 Extract, which has little more effect than the Red MD strain. I sometimes smoke it in a bong or off a piece of aluminum foil as a nightcap, but that's the extent of its usefulness for me.

STRAINS 

2017 has seen the rise of many novel strains that were either not existent in previous years or not nearly as popular. Gold Bali is the Belle of the Ball at the moment. It is made from Red Bali leaves that are dried using a special proprietary process, apparently yielding something greater than the sum of its parts. Since kratom is not actually grown in Bali, Gold Bali is most likely made from red-vein kratom grown in Borneo. Another popular newbie on the block is "Jongkong" which apparently refers to a forest region in Borneo. Then we have "Banjar" strains, which are grown in the Sumatran forest. You writing this down? :)

GIMMICKS & HYPE 

Despite all the tinctures, extracts and enhanced products on the market, plain powdered leaf still offers the best bang for your buck. Extracts raise your tolerance without providing additional beneficial effects like euphoria...not to mention they're expensive. If you ARE going to buy an extract, stick to 20x or below. Products labeled "100x" and higher are a marketing ploy and should be avoided.  Terms like "Super" and "Premium" have no real meaning and should also be ignored. Many of the place names like "Vietnam" or "Thai" are not reflective of where the plant was grown since kratom is illegal in Thailand and not grown in Vietnam or Bali. (The only islands it is grown on are Malaysia, Sumatra & Borneo).  If you come across animal names like "Dragon" "Tiger" or "Eagle," well...rest assured that the vendor himself conjured it up to boost sales.

I guess that wraps up my Kratom 2017 review. What are your favorite strains and vendors of 2017?



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Review: Mysterious Bolivian


Inventory: Coca Leaves & Other Ethnobotanicals 
Location: Boston, MA 
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Web Address:  mysteriousbolivian.com

The Mysterious Bolivian is a website with a unique product offering among ethnobotanical vendors. Technically, their product line--specifically coca leaves in their natural form--is illegal to import into the U.S. But as far as anyone knows, this law is rarely if ever enforced. Their selection has grown exponentially in the past year to include kratom and hemp brownies (!), which makes them appear even more enticing/edgy depending on how you view things.

I ordered 2 items: the whole coca leaves and Liquid Coca Extract (no longer available on the website as of this writing). The whole leaves are pretty straightforward--dried coca leaves you chew with baking soda or another high-pH substance to activate the good stuff. Your mouth quickly goes numb, which is useful if you have a toothache. I also found it helpful for altitude sickness while driving through the mountains of Utah and Colorado. The numbness is followed by a mild stimulation akin to a cup of green tea.  No, really.  If you're looking for a strong energy buzz, stick to espresso.

The Coca Extract was more of a novelty product; something high-end to show off to friends at a fancy party. It tastes disgusting and also has the famed mouth-numbing effects. You're supposed to hold it in your mouth for a minute or so as it absorbs orally before swallowing. You can also add it to drinks like soda or liquor shots.  I didn't feel much of a head change from the liquid, but maybe I was doing it wrong.

Overall, the plain leaves are a better deal for the money and seemed to provide a more noticeable effect. As for the service? Don't expect to get what you order in a timely manner from Mysterious Bolivian and you won't be disappointed. Their Facebook page is full of complaints by customers who have waited weeks or months for their order. The longest I waited was 5 weeks, which was due to a stocking issue with the Coca Extract according to the person who took my order. They seem very disorganized as a company and often take orders for things they don't have in stock. The customer has to initiate communication and be on the ball or risk falling to the bottom of the pile.

 Regardless of the slow shipping time, I give Mysterious Bolivian 3.5 out of 5 stars for their unique product lineup and quality offerings. You won't find these items ANYWHERE else on the internet, whether you shop on the clearnet, deep net or somewhere in between.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Introduction (Hello, It's Me)

Hello, fellow Psychonauts! Let this be the formal introduction to my blog. Here, I will review a variety of legal mind-altering substances from nootropics and ethnobotanicals to research chemicals and pharmaceuticals. I'll help you find the most reliable vendors while steering you away from the scammers.

Disclaimer: I make no claims about the safety or legality of the substances I review. Readers are responsible for knowing their local and state laws. All information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Adventures in Psychonautics is not responsible for your health or safety. With that said, let our journey begin!

 --- Cordially Yours,

The Psilly Psychonaut

Getting a Stimulant Prescription

Stimulant Summer couldn't be off to a better start for this little blogger.  My psych doctor gave me the green light to ask my physicia...