There’s no need to smoke in order to take advantage of the stimulant known as nicotine, found in tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) as well as other plants of the nightshade family. In fact, while I enjoy smoking every once in a while, I absolutely discourage smoking addictive substances such as nicotine unless done within a ritualistic context.
When tobacco is smoked for its nicotine content, light doses range from 0.2 to 0.8 mg, while a strong dose starts at 1.5 mg. (One cigarette contains approximately 2 mg.)
Even just one or two puffs of a cigarette could saturate half of the nicotine receptors in your brain, but since the effects are so short lived and addictive, most smokers rarely settle for such a low dose.
Effects may begin as fast as 5 seconds after inhaling the smoke, and can last up to 45 minutes with the possibility of aftereffects lasting for up to 3 hours. (Nicotine’s half life is 1-2 hours.)
Some people smoke a mixture of tobacco and cannabis. It is interesting to note that the THC in cannabis is suppressed by nicotine, while nicotine is potentiated by the THC. Nicotine also suppresses the effects of alcohol.
Rather than smoking tobacco though, I recommend eating nicotine for a more prolonged effect.
Wait, what? How do you eat nicotine?
Did you know that bell peppers and tomatoes (especially green, unripe) contain a significant amount of nicotine?
Ingesting nicotine through diet was found to be neuroprotective and may have the power to prevent Parkinson’s disease.
However, if you’re looking to induce an altered state of consciousness, you will need to ingest more nicotine than what you can get from eating nightshade vegetables.
Use nicotine patches that release nicotine into the body through the skin.
These transdermal patches are designed for slow release of nicotine over 24 hours. There are patches with different amounts of nicotine per patch, delivering different amounts of nicotine per hour.
I recommend using the patch with the least amount of nicotine you can find to minimize side effects.
When using nicotine patches to induce an altered state of consciousness, there’s no need to leave the patch on for 24 hours. It is best to remove it immediately when you’re done. So for example, if you need to spend some time concentrating on a project at work, only wear the patch during that time, and when you’re done, remove it.
Nicotine causes an increase in acetylcholine levels in the brain, thereby enhancing concentration, and bringing about an alert state of consciousness of arousal and wakefulness.
Nicotine is said to produce an invigorating, stimulant effect and hunger suppression when inhaled in short puffs (low dosage) and a relaxing, even paralyzing effect when inhaled in deep drags (high dosage). Sedative and anxiolytic effects are caused by release of β-endorphin and serotonin. Very high dosages may bring about a deliriant state along with hallucinations.
The state of consciousness caused by nicotine (when it is not consumed habitually) is also characterized by light-headedness and dizziness, cognitive euphoria, enhancement of focus, memory, and motivation, increased libido, and thought acceleration.
The following plants contain nicotine:
- Acacia retinodes (swamp wattle)
- Arum maculatum (cuckoo pint)
- Asclepias syriaca (Syrian milkweed)
- Camellia sinensis (tea plant)
- Capsicum spp. (pepper)
- Cestrum spp.
- Cyphomandra spp.
- Datura spp. (specifically D. metel)
- Duboisia spp.
- Equisetum spp. (specifically E. arvense, also known as field horsetail)
- Erythroxylum spp. (specifically E. cuneatum)
- Lycopodium spp. (specifically L. clavatum, also known as club moss)
- Mucuna pruriens
- Nicotiana spp., most notably Nicotiana rustica (wild tobacco) and Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)
- Solanum spp. (eggplant, potato, tomato, etc.)
Nicotiana spp. is sometimes used as an ingredient/admixture/additive in:
Nicotiana rustica is a very potent variety of tobacco with a high concentration of nicotine in its leaves as well as high levels of harmala alkaloids. It is often used as an entheogen by South American shamans. The Aztecs used it like peyote for divination and magical healing. Wild tobacco is said to generate hallucinations that are dreamlike and chromatic, involving multisensory perceptions, brilliant occurrences of light, and tunnel experiences. It allows its users to gain intuitive knowledge and spontaneous insights.
Using a nicotine patch may reduce the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, slow-wave sleep (SWS), and total sleep time in a dose-dependent manner. It may also cause increased REM latency, sleep onset latency, and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stage 2 sleep time.
Dreams may be long, a bit disturbing, and lacking in visual vividness compared to those produced under the effect of other dream supplements, such as alpha GPC and galantamine.
Nicotine Patches Dreams and Lucid Dreaming
While it may take up to 8 hours to reach the peak level of nicotine when using a patch, I recommend putting it on only during your lucid dream attempt, and removing it immediately upon waking up.
Since nicotine is addictive and disruptive to the normal sleep cycle, I recommend only using nicotine rarely (no more than once a week) and in small doses.
For best results, spend the first half of the night (ideally 3-4 sleep cycles) in natural sleep, then wake up, put on the patch, and go to sleep for an additional 1-2 sleep cycles, hopefully enjoying some musical lucid dreams.
I have had no side effects, unless I leave the patch on while sleeping. This has produced extremely intense, psychedelic dreams […] The dream itself wouldn’t have been that spectacular, if it weren’t for the amount of *detail* involved. I could see individual blades of grass, hear the direction voices were coming from, feel the mud between my toes, and although the water lacked any real sense of temperature I could feel water from the sprinklers. A spurt once hit me in the ear, and it sounded just like I would expect it to. I have never had this many senses fully present in a dream sequence before […] I also had a wonderful sex dream, and a dream in which I listened to about 5 songs that never existed, and all of them were normally structured and sounded fantastic. Finally, I awoke in the middle of the night, and kept drifting in and out for a while. Then, something very odd happened. The line between dreaming and wakefulness disappeared. I actually started to hallucinate when I was awake, and when I lapsed into sleep my dreams continued from my last point of consciousness without a hitch […] I then unknowingly passed out, and in a dream went to hit my lightswitch, to find it was covered by a piece of paper. I tore it away and tried to turn the lights on, but the electricity was out. I became acutely aware that something in my room didn’t want me to see it. I freaked out and awoke to find I was still facing my wall where the cursive had appeared. I sort of remember that various things of this nature occurred several times in a row, and I always awoke at the point where the hallucinations began. I then made it a point to force myself to stay awake during the hallucinations. My eyes tried to close, but I forced them to stay open with considerable effort. I looked at the light on my ceiling, and it grew strange angles and took on a gelatinous shimmer. Then a large black tentacle started to extend through my ceiling next to the light, waving around and making a loud humming. I found I was unable to move. The humming increased in intensity and became an electric vibration that ran strongly through my whole body.
Another person reported experiencing a lucid dream:
REM sleep must have hit, and with it, the slow release of around 40 Marlboro’s worth of nicotine. A vast cinematic experience followed, like a dream but like I was viewing someone else’s dream. But I recognised various landmarks and symbols and faces and soon realised that this was my own subconscious I was walking around in. With some kind of instinct, I took control of this landscape I was in (a sub-conscious rendering of my home town Newport) and began to play with it. I started flying because I just wanted to, (it was actually the same sense experience as swimming – but through the air this time!). I also summoned people from my past I had not seen for a long time and was shocked at how accurate their rendering was, since I had thought I had forgotten what these people had looked like. The only truly awe inspiring moment for me though was when I realised I didn’t have to be located in just one dream so I switched the whole backdrop of my mind to the Akihabara district of Tokyo […] I woke myself up that night. A conscious decision to awake and write everything I saw and did, down.