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Yes.. Plants, herbs, whatever. The colorful stuff that used to be so intriguingly vivid and mystical. So here's a little background story:


Today a friend of mine came over, and suggested to do Nitrous Oxide. "Awesome", I thought. I could use some laughter.
One thing that HPPD taught me, is to never simply ingest *insert substance* without researching it.
Anxiolysis appealed to me at first, then later I read of its DP/DR inducing effects. Co-incidentally all the smartshops were fresh out of N2O. My friend proceeded to order it online, as he plans to share it at a party come this Friday.

 

Though being discouraged to partake in said endeavors by what I read, his excitement did somewhat spark to me.
The fragile nature of HPPD often does not allow for partaking in psychoactive substances without ill consequences, and since the onset of HPPD I've been experimenting rather loosely with the safer side of mind alteration. Kava Kava has been -as far as I can remember at least- the only substance I've been able to enjoy time after time without adverse effects. However, it is contraindicated with Levetiracetam alas (also with Clonazepam IIRC, as a precaution). The idea of having an alternative mood-lift without consequences have played within my thoughts, yet put aside by the more pressing matter of finding an actual treatment or cure. With the current trend of benzodiazepines being used for anxiolysis in HPPD, I'm sure you can all agree that having safer/healthier alternatives for anxiolysis (or just a mood-lift for that matter) would be a nice addition to the "tool box", so to speak.

 

Having had nothing but a strange mood and an arguably stranger day, I went through Erowid from A-Z. Yes, anecdotes are not the greatest resource for safety etc. but they do provide a nice starting point for finding substances that might be worthwhile, which can later be researched in fuller extent. I made a list of plants that may have beneficial potential, though I have not researched them properly. It stands to reason that this must follow. However, I figured I'd share my findings should any of you have an interest in this. Please do add anything you find relevant, even (or especially) if it includes evidence that any of the following are best avoided. Also, note that some of these plants aren't exactly the most renown of species, hence there may be relatively little information available about them. Without further a due, and merely ordered alphabetically:

 

  • ·         Achillea millefolium (Yarrow.. notes say “?????” found a report of visual improvement on ErowidOrdered an extract.
  • ·         Brunfelsia hopeana grandiflora (Manaca root) Nearly impossible to come by, unless you live near or are able to grow the plant.
  • ·         Cypripedium californicum (Lady’s Slipper)
  • ·         Erythrina mulungu (Mulungu) Ordered an extract containing this.
  • ·         Lagochilus inebrians (Inebriating Mint.. notes say "possibly visual improvement")
  • ·         Lotus’ and Lily’s (e.g. Nelumba nucifera.. notes say "priority")
  • ·         Mugwort (Artemisia.. notes say "doubtfully")
  • ·         Nepeta cataria (Catnip.. notes say "meow")
  •           Ocimum Sanctum (Holy Basil/Tulsi)
  • ·         Passiflora incarnata (Passion Flower.. notes say “possibly detrimental to vision”) Tried this. Enjoyed it. No regrets.
  • ·         Salvia’s (Non-divinorum Sage, such as Salvia officinalis)
  • ·         Sassafras (notes say: “¿MDMA precursor?”)
  • ·         Scutellaria lateriflora (American Skullcap.. notes say "sounds familiar, check for anticholinergic activity")
  • ·         Turnera diffusa (Damiana.. notes say "buy this at smartshop tomorrow") Ordered an extract.

Well that copied weirdly. Whatever.
Anyway, any thoughts to add?

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I've tried skullcap and Damiana in high doses and they are wonderful for anxiolysis, I felt warm, relaxed and content on these, almost like a mild opiate high with no ill effects whatsoever, I'd highly recommend these.

Coincidentally I've just spent a few hours looking up some herbs and plants on Erowid as an alternative to benzodiazepine use. I recall us finding the bunk Coluracetam product at the same time too, what a coincidence haha.

Anyway, sorry to go off topic, can I ask why the lotus's and Lily's are a priority? I've not researched into those.

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Thanks for the reply! Ahh that's great to hear as I've ordered Damiana today! Though I've no experiences with opiates (aside from some questionably legit Tramadol) and Salvia Divinorum (which was regarded as an opioid I believe, no?). Any drowsiness with these? Ideally I'd have relaxation without the tiredness (I'm tired enough as is).

Hehe that's funny, though you gotta admit last time was a bit more notable because it was within minutes of each other.
Cool nonetheless. I don't exactly recall why Lotus' and Lily's were a priority.. I presume I read something cool about them. Nelumbo nucifera in particular I believe. I think something to do with its long history that intrigued me. Also, I love mooncakes, and have a good memory tied to that which is somewhat faded, so I figured because smell and taste tend to have stronger memorable imprints, I might remember the memory to more vivid detail which I would appreciate. Man that was one of my happier days..

If you're looking for an alternative to BZD's, I'd suggest you check the Longecity Anxiety thread, as there's proper information regarding safety. I must add though that I've tried many from that list, and none (as far as I remember) were effective. Also, Kava is on the to-be-avoided list (IIRC), with which I strongly disagree.. So yeah it's a good starting point, but shouldn't be taken as law or anything. It does have a comprehensive collection of studies, whereas otherwise you'd spend quite the time searching yourself. In any case, preferably don't combine herbs with benzo's. Use as an intermittent replacement instead. Or that's how I would do it.

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Ah if you've not tried opiates ill try and explain in more detail. (tramadol is more of a stimulating opiate, and as for salvia, while it does bind to k opioid receptors its a far cry from your codeine, morphine opiates etc.)

With Damiana I felt very relaxed, but less clear headed than I'd have liked to be, but no drowsiness or urge to sleep, maybe very slight muscle relaxation although it is a sedative so you will feel a little sedated as to be expected, I generally felt relaxed, calm and in the type of mood where you just want to get under a blanket on the sofa and watch a movie or something, it was very nice.

Now, my experience with skullcap was profound, I was relaxed and in a good mood beforehand but I experienced a lovely tranquil state, no anxiety whatsoever, no drowsiness, just very very peaceful yet much more 'present' and more connected, I actually spent a good hour in my garden just lying back and looking at the stars after a cup of skullcap tea, although I did take around 4 grams which is quite a high dosage. I'd like to get some of this again as that experience beats any sedative experience I have ever had, Benzos included.

Haha, very cool nonetheless, it appears us HPPDers have some sort of connection!

Yeah I've checked that thread out quite a few times and tried some myself, none of which had any effect that I wouldn't call a very good placebo haha.

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Thanks for explaining :) Ah I've read it induces clarity in some.. Which is what I'm after apart from anxiolysis. But what you describe is also most definitely welcome!
As for the Skullcap: I'll have to look in to that more later. From what you describe it seems it would be very beneficial to DP!

I've spent my last €100 on my latest order, so I'll have to find out if it grows in the area. Alternatively I'll get some from the herbal store, but lately I've been very weary of leaving the house as I'm just growing tired (literally and figuratively) of the anxiety I get when I'm outside. Fucking sucks; borderline agoraphobia. I can go outside without totally freaking out, but it drains me. Hopefully what I've ordered will make it easier to do so. Sometimes I just get lucky and I don't mind that much. Like a freaking magic 8-ball my awareness is.

Were both experiences post-HPPD? If they were, they're even more inspiring. Haha guess we're all kind of on the same track :)

Anyway, here's a little update on Passiflora:
Before I begin, here's a suggested read.
I noticed there were a lot of stems (70% maybe) in my batch. If you've ever smoked pot, you know how frustrating this is.
Moreover, from what I've read it would seem that the leaves are meant to be used, and not the stems. Possibly the flower but that isn't usually done, because it would prevent procreation of the plant. So with this in mind, I set out to test my newly acquired pestle and mortar! (I threw out my grinder a long time ago)
I just spent the past 2 hours grinding, separating, sieving, and repeating those processes several times, until my finest sieve broke and I called it quits. However, I ended up with a relatively little yet substantial amount of fine grindings of what is mostly leaf. I've yet to weigh it as the process tired me out.. I really need to do some regular cardio, haha! I also ended up making a small dot of PASSIFLORA HASHISJ! Sorry for the emphasis, but I'm quite excited by this and am eager to smoke it. Yet the whole process tranced me out and I'm having a major fog episode. So I think I'll wait with consuming the refined product until tomorrow, but I might try it tonight. I'll see. Also, I divided my grindings in to 1 batch of extremely fine material, and 1 batch of less fine material. The latter I intend on smoking and the former is meant for teas (perhaps I'll try mixing both for a smoke as well). In any case, I would presume this newly refined product to be far more effective and I hope to recreate my first experience with it.

I'll update here when I do. Still have to clean out my mini-shisha/indian waterpipe/bong-type thing. Damn now I wish I hadn't thrown out my pure-pipe in a fit of cleaning frenzy. I must have thrown away at least 5 pipes in that fashion, such a waste. I might end up smoking it in a joint though.

Anyway, I'm gonna take a well-deserved break of thought right now and have some dinner. Cheers!

UPDATE: Well, I just smoked a bowl of Passiflora. Damn. Sublime taste; smooth smoke. I combined the half-a-pea-sized Passisj dot with roughly 250 mgs finely-sieved-and-grounded Passiflora on a bed of tobacco, topped with tobacco. It was awesome. Distinctly different from the tea though. Strongest effects faded within 10-15 minutes, but I'm still feeling it. And no, this was not the tobacco, as I smoked a cigarette right beforehand, and obviously I would also be able to tell the difference. I'm definitely gonna smoke 500mgs of this first thing in the morning. Definitely pleasurable, and I most certainly hope the next time will be equally (or more) effective. The tea seemed to have a first-time-is-best thing to it, but I suspect the smoke might be different. I was already really tired, but it didn't make me any more fogged up than I already was. Actually it might have waked me up a little, yet simultaneously calming effect. No comments on brain fog though.. It at least didn't worsen any brain fog. I remember thinking: "Well.. HPPD is not much more than a pity, as is unaccepted death." And with that, I felt a lot more at ease. Also happier thoughts (e.g. "Well, everyone deserves forgiveness, regardless of their mistakes."). Make of it what you will, but I certainly enjoyed it (and still am enjoying it a little). I actually smiled without the forced feeling behind it. Also; fine-motor skills seemed intact (tested via fingertip-ladder thing), though I didn't really stand up or anything yet. I did do a nice stretching of the legs, and I noticed breathing was easier and less tense (possibly as a result of anxiolysis). As a precaution though; I read some things about cyanide and Passiflora.. Well I didn't really look too much in to it, but I took 600mg Milk Thistle beforehand and rolled the dice. It's been 40 minutes and I'm still alive, so yeah. Tip: use fresh lemon juice for your shisha/bong/whatever you smoke with.

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Just smoked some again. I'm happy (yes strangely enough) to find that the effect was equally if not more so effective as yesterday!

I just went outside and felt very little discomfort (actually felt something reminiscent of confidence :S), which is unusual. This one's definitely a keeper! I'm gonna smoke this for a few days and see if any tolerance/withdrawal occurs. Definitely made my day, and helps greatly with irritability! Als, greatly reduces the strange type of paranoia I've been having since HPPD. I had little to no discomfort smoking it on my balcony, and laying back in my chair I actually relaxed for the first time in a long while. Moreover, I slept absolutely amazing last night! I also woke up quite relaxed, and I'm now overall in a much better mood.

Of course I'm gonna look more in to the pharmacology, but for the time being I'm just gonna enjoy the effects without nitpicking about possible long-term consequences.
Anyway, disclaimer as usual: always do your own research. This is my life, my responsibility. I'm just sharing my (unexpectedly enjoyable) experience. It is obvious you should evaluate its implication and safety etc. for yourself.

I'm gonna do a little more searching to see what dosages people use.. I've smoked 500mgs today, 250mgs yesterday. I read that once you're buzzed, smoking more won't get you any more buzzed. But I wonder if that once the effects dissipate, you can smoke again and achieve the same effects. Anyway, I'm gonna take it easy on this for now.. As much as I like the effects, I rather not have another addiction. But I do read that people use Passiflora as a tobacco substitute, which I find interesting. I'd definitely switch my tobacco addiction for a Passiflora addiction, if it doesn't mess up my GABAergics like benzo's do.

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Hey mate,

Yeah, both my experiences with Damiana and Skullcap were post hppd. Damiana was a very worthwhile anxiolytic, but by less clear headed I didn't mean foggy headed, it was more like it devoided my mind of thoughts, I'd describe it as more 'peace inducing' than sedating, if you know what I mean by that difference haha.

I'd definitely reccomend you look into skullcap, I only get decent results from high dosages though which I boil into a tea in the saucepan, it does seem to help DP, but beware, it tastes absolutely awful haha.

I've also tried wild opium lettuce with good results too, smoked aswell as brewed.

Your results with Passiflora sound fantastic! Since you said the effects only last 15 minutes though does that mean you're going to have to keep 20 passiflora cigarettes on you throughout the day? Haha.

I don't know much about Passiflora's mechanism of action apart from the fact it contains some of the harmala alkaloids and other MAOI's I believe?

I have great faith in herbs though, I always used to use herbs and plants medicinally pre-hppd, I was doing some research on herbs that improve vision and found a few, unfortunately I'm on my phone so I can't link to those.

Passiflora seems to be living up to it's Oxazepam competitive title in your experience then, do keep us updated with your results :)

On a side note, I can't wait to try some Kava Kava, I've heard very good things! And the fact it upregulates GABA A receptors is even more of a bonus.

All the best.

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Hey! I just had a Passiflora joint this time, so I'm gonna keep it short for now ;)
But just to clarify: the strongest effects last anywhere between 15-60 minutes I've noticed, depending on dosage. The bowl I had this morning lasted for a good 3 hours, though gradually diminishing in its effects over time, the effects were still noticeably present. I notice with the joint I'm a bit more foggy than with the bowl,  but that's possibly cause I put in a little more and I smoked it faster. (note: not the brain fog I'm used to, just a gentle pleasant mushiness I'd describe it. Not unpleasant and most definitely preferable over the usual brainfog!). Also I've noticed that although onset might be a bit on the cloudy side, as the effects diminish I actually become more clearheaded! So it's double gold: First I feel amazingly relaxed and kind of thoughtless yet not in a mind-bending way, and as those effects wear off I think clearer than I did before smoking. Anyway, as you know mere text and words often fall short of describing experiences (especially considering we've all got perceptual disorders here). For best results smoke alone (or in my case: just don't smoke around people you can't stand who are anxiously watching what you're doing.. that anxiety tends to be contagious in my case. Same thing that messed up my Iboga trip). I find if I smoke it when I'm totally alone I can basically completely (!) relax, after which I can endure social encounters much better.

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Ah that's great, it just goes to show that some herbs and plants really are alternatives to BZD's and such.

I'd be interested to see what a passiflora infused tea would do. If smoked effects last upto an hour then orally ingesting it should prolong the effects by a few orders of magnitude I would think.

The only reason I find anything sedating quite problematic is the fact that it is hard for me to concentrate or get engaged/interested in anything due to DP/DR, and sedatives seem to increase that effect.

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^Yes unfortunately a while (maybe 15 minutes) after I wrote that I got heavily (!) sedated and it became too heavy to be pleasant. I didn't notice it at first, and thought it would pass, but it stayed. I had to lay down in my bed. So here's a tip for you: don't over do it! The joint I rolled had maybe 750 mg in it.. I guess my sweet spot is between 250-500mg. YMMV depending on quality, density, etc. I'm still a bit out of it, so again; I can't really reply in full detail. It also exacerbated visual symptoms to the point where I saw hyperactive VS clouds again. I know for next time to take it easy, and preferably just stick to the bong. Because with the bong I was taking a hit, waiting a few minutes, then taking another, etc. but with the joint I just smoked it like a cigarette.. Guess the effects had a delayed onset or something. IME up to now the best way to go is to use small amounts, and to "top up" with a little bit once you notice effects are diminishing.. Leaves it more in control or something.

Anyway, I'm not feeling too coherent atm, so I'll try to explain this better once my mind's cleared up a bit. I'm starting to feel better now though :) It got quite boring at one point, haha!

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EDIT: Damn that's a lot of text. I'd understand if you skip parts. Interestingly I also apparently used a lot of emoticons. Hehe guess I'm just excited about this!

Phew! Feeling much better now. Still in a slight daze and tired, but indistinguishable from my usual fog. I'll respond in chronological order for the sake of ease :)
From how you describe Damiana, it would seem like an excellent herb to smoke in meditation or in nature! As for Skullcap; with all the weird shit I've tried (Noopept tastes putrid!) I doubt the taste will be much of an issue. Have you tried smoking it? As for the Wild Lettuce.. I'll have to look in to that later, but 'opium' doesn't sound too alluring to me.

Yeah I haven't looked too much into Passiflora's pharmacology... indeed harmaline/harmins/harmaloids whatever they're called. The huasca stuff. And MAOI's, but aren't the harmaloids (I really don't know the right word.. harmaloid would seem about right: harmalin+alkaloid.. kind of like ergoloid) what cause the MAOI?
I'd like to hear of those herbs that improve vision once you get the chance! I've now read several reports of Yarrow improving vision, so I'm quite excited to try it :)
And yes, IME Passiflora is superior to Oxazepam (or any benzo I've tried for that matter)! Plus it's not like you can make Oxazepam tea or smoke a bowl of it (don't get any ideas now :P).
Kava! Yes I'd really love to get off Keppra so I can drink Kava again :) Though IIRC it was quite on the sedating side.. The Kava Candy's were a great help for anxiety whilst travelling though! Perhaps it would mix nicely with some other herbs, though it would require reading some literature for safety's sake.

 

 

I think yesterday I actually had a Passiflora tea before I smoked, but my memory is a bit foggy now (though it seemed quicker/improved when I smoked the small amount this morning!). I'd been keeping notes for the Erowids but kind of slacked on them. I noticed that I was quite happy just writing when I did my first Passiflora tea. Come to think of it; smoking is superior to the tea IMO. The tea so far has more potential to induce sedation, whereas my experiences with smoking (aside from my latest try) have been clarifying (and to a certain extent after the effects wear off I become pleasantly stimulated, but I've been messing around with Panax Ginseng and B12 concurrently).

As for the tea: the effects were probably longer, but like I said more sedating (albeit a contented sedation). I'd rather smoke small quantities more frequently than smoke/drink one large quantity. Perhaps I should try making tea with only 1 gram of Passiflora, however the smoking experience is so pleasant I see little reason to do so. I definitely do not like sedation, and also experience the problematic concentration issues. Mildly or briefly sedated is fine, but anything to heavy or too long and my mood takes a dive downwards (too much sedation induces depression in me it would seem, I also think that's why I don't like benzo's that much and don't enjoy Alcohol anymore).

 

Oh dear!

Never mind mate, it happens to the best of us haha. It's all trial and error really, at least you know your sweet spot now.

May your coherence return swiftly!


Haha yes indeed there's little literature available so I had to test the limits :) Now that I know my sweet spot things should go smoothly. I just have to confirm the my little theory of less quantity-higher frequency tomorrow and it will show to be consistent (as opposed to random luck of the draw ;)).
Having something that consistently works would be great! Something to rely on; not having to question if my brain will shut down at any given moment.
I'd definitely pre-roll some well measured smokes for on the go :)

Thank you by the way; my coherence seems to be slowly reconstructing itself.. Damn that previous message really took some effort to put out there.. I made so many spelling mistakes! Now I understand why I see this a lot on the forum.

If my suspicions are correct and 250mg will induce ~1-2 hours of good mood and fog-lift, I'll definitely pre-roll some and go out to the forest tomorrow.

In any case, despite the little bump in the road this afternoon, I'm equally surprised as happy (I'm almost afraid to type it haha) to find Passiflora to have such a great effect :) Now it just has to prove to maintain so.

Cheers!

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Haha, I may have been skipping parts earlier as I was at my girlfriends and on my phone, I struggle to remember what people have written sometimes, my bad!

 

Yes, both Damiana and Skullcap would be excellent tools to connect to nature, I remember feeling much more connected to my surroundings after that cup of Skullcap tea. I have tried smoking Skullcap, but it burned my throat terribly and I had a cough for about a week afterwards, so not an experience I want to repeat. I'm going to definitely purchase some more though as for some reason I noticed a distinct lessening of DP/DR, particularly DR. 

 

As for the opium lettuce, the 'opium' only comes from the fact that it secretes a fluid which is similar looking to what opium poppies secrete, no opiates in there at all, I'm not sure of the pharmacology of opium lettuce but it was pretty relaxing with nothing much else.

 

And yes I do believe the harmala alkaloids are MAOI's, although I believe there's several other compounds in passiflora that give it it's effects. It's interesting that some of the harmala alkaloids are hallucinogenic in high doses though! Here's some info I found on Passiflora:

 

The active constituent is believed to be the flavonoid chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone), which acts as a partial agonist at benzodiazepine receptors with micromolar affinity (34, 35). Animal studies have demonstrated sedative and anxiolytic effects of chrysin (35, 36). However, it has not yet been empirically tested in humans. One study showed antiseizure effects of chrysin on pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures in mic

 

The authors proposed that chrysin does not produce the cognitive impairment usually associated with benzodiazepine medications.[2][1] However, oral bioavailability of chrysin is still very poor.

 

So it's a BZD receptor agonist afterall.

 

Yeah I've been researching herbs that improve vision on a neurological level, and also herbs that may be beneficial for epilepsy (as our condition is quite similar to various acute epilepsies, HPPD can be thought of as acute seizure activity afterall. Now I'm back on my computer I can't seem to find what I was looking at though, so I'll have to do some further research. I'm definitely interested in more natural treatments for HPPD though. I've yet to try Keppra, Sinemet etc but it would be nice to find a herbal remedy that aleviates some of the more problematic symptoms. I'm particularly interested in nootropic herbs and plants, been trying to find something anxiolytic but which also increases focus, memory and attention but I think that would be rather difficult.

 

Kava definitely looks very interesting and I've purchased 100 grams, which I'm eager to try out. It's interesting that one of the main chemicals in Kava is a CB1 agonist so I hope it's not detrimental to visuals.

 

It's great that you've found a herbal remedy that works however, especially something that is more effective than Benzos. I'm not sure of the addictive nature of Passiflora, or if tolerance/addiction would be an issue, withdrawals would be worst case scenario but I can't imagine those setting in without chronic daily use over an extended period of time. I'm gonna order myself some Passiflora tincture off Amazon (I prefer to drink things than smoke things haha).

 

I have various big books on herbs/plants which I'm going to take a read of, I remember various herbs for epilepsy and visual problems being mentioned in there. Doesn't help that the books are as thick as a bible though but anything beats Clonazepam for now!

 

The herbs that are listed as anti Epileptics are:

Lobelia 

Chinese Ginseng 

Motherwort

Mugwort

Skullcap (Interesting!)

Blue Valerian (Not sure how this differs from Valerian)

Black Cohosh

Kava was listed as a voltage-gated Ka and Ca channel blocker too.

 

On a side note, has Keppra not worked for you then? 

Cheers!

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EDIT: Holy cow I really gotta learn to be concise! Sorry haha :)
 

I note how a lot of us apologize for our cognition (most of my posts seem to start out with "Sorry, I'm fogged out"), yet I'd suspect it needless for we all know this happens, haha!

Thanks for the heads up on smoking Skullcap, as I prefer smoking over oral ingestion (quicker onset, better dosage control, substitutes tobacco). I'll keep that in mind should I get my hands on it. I think I'll go with a tincture/extract in that case. Funny how in the store I thought "Well I rather try Damiana" and then the guy told me it was an aphrodisiac and I just felt awkward about buying it, so opted for Passiflora instead. Perhaps Damiana is preferable over Passiflora! I've yet to find out.

Thanks also for clearing up the opium confusion! Interestingly I just found one of its constituents is an AChEI. Though bredan's comment makes me weary of trying, as strange head feelings are among my most intrusive symptoms.. As for Passiflora's pharmacology: bummer. Also I believe I read something about it being a GABA reuptake inhibitor of some sorts.. Hence probably best to avoid Theanine with it (just a speculation). Guess it won't be sustainable, but I didn't expect that. Also, I just smoked 100mgs (figured I'd tone it down a notch now) with no effect, but possibly because I'm tired. But perhaps there's a little tolerance from today's dosing (roughly 1250-1500mgs). I'll abstain for at least 12 hours and then try again. Today's usage was a bit overkill, hence the lack of effect. So even if tolerance was/is an issue, I suppose that if I abstain for a short period, smoking 250mgs thrice a day max thereafter would be somewhat more sustainable. It'll still be a bit of play and pull before I figure it out. Moderation is the key, right? I have some insomnia now, so I just took Melatonin for that.. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel good regardless, leaving less of a "need" for Passiflora, thus allowing me to adhere easier to said intentions of abstinence. I might be tempted to try again late in the day tomorrow, but I'll try not to.

No, Keppra hasn't worked out for me alas. Tomorrow I'm discussing it with the specialist helping me, as I intend to quit. Some might say that's too early to judge, but honestly; if it hasn't done at least something in a month, I doubt it'll suddenly start working after 3, 6 or 12.

And yes; I would love to find a natural treatment. I've also had a theory on replicating Dr. Abraham's recent study but with natural medicine. Although I have little faith in natural remedies being beneficial to vision, I do think they pose good potential for mitigating (often the more debilitating) co-morbid symptoms. I'm not fond of synthetics myself, though there are some that are particularly safe (like Colu, conveniently). I just try to keep my mind as open as possible and not go super-pharma, super-natural, or super-spiritual on anything. Keep my options open so to speak. Also, Colu is currently the only substance known to man that enhances HACU. This pisses me off because undoubtedly there's a natural substance that has the same property that just hasn't been discovered yet. There are so few studies done into natural medicine! I mean; look at Galantamine: one of the most popular Alzheimer's treatments. Derived from plants. Yes, it may seem there's much research into nutraceuticals or whatever term you prefer, but in relation to the variety of nature it's ridiculous that there's not more interest in this! If you're similarly bewildered by this, I suggest you have a read on Pharmacognosy. Derailed a bit on frustration there, hehe.

As for the multi-functional herb you describe; anecdotally it would seem Brunfelsia Grandiflora is ideal for that, however there's so little literature available and indications it may be unsafe (again: aaargh!). But there are herbs that have dual or multiple benefits, such as Bacopa, but there's the matter of acuteness of effect which we need. We can't just lay around for a year waiting for a treatment to start working! I don't know any out of the top of my head right now, but I know there are some that have these highly favorable profiles of: acute effect, anxiolysis without sedation, nootropic effect, safe, sustainable, tolerable, etc. I find anything that falls short of such a profile can't be regarded as a suitable long-term treatment, much less a cure, though things like Passiflora apparently do make good additions to the "tool box" while we search for one and are preferable over the current "tools" (e.g. Clonazepam).

Thanks for posting that list! It'll give us a basis to research from. I'm definitely gonna try Mugwort and Skullcap. I'll have to look in to the rest.
As for Kava: Yes I believe I also read something about anti-epileptic effect. And the candy's.. mwee it's been a long time I can't remember that well, sorry. I do know they tasted nice, were relatively cheap.. I found they made the perfect chaser for after a bowl of Kava :) Sucks I can't spend a dime right now else I would buy some. Though there's a reverse-tolerance thing with Kava, so candy's would be best once you've become sensitized to Kava. I just drank huge amounts of Kava for a week, cause the first few times I didn't notice much. Only thereafter I used the candy's, so I can't attest they'll have effect if you've never had Kava before. If that makes sense, haha. I know having them on-the-go made me feel more at ease, and sadly I've had to replace that with an Oxazepam in my wallet instead.

And I'm looking forward to your findings in your books! Mind I request you read of Yarrow first? Also, are they scholarly/medical books?

I'm starting to get comfortably sleepy now, so I'll call it quits.
Cheers!

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Yeah definitely don't smoke Skullcap, it made me very ill for a week and it's not worth the risk, just incase there's any chemical nasties in there that our respiratory system doesn't agree with. 

 

Ah that's very interesting regarding the opium lettuce, I've had good experience with Opium lettuce myself and never ran into any problems, in fact I still have some lying around somewhere. I smoke it sometimes mixed with Tobacco and it produces a subtle euphoria after a few rollies. 

 

As for the Passiflora, while it may bind to GABA A BZD sites, that needn't neccesarily mean it's not sustainable. I've took Valerian which acts on BZD receptors for months at a time and no withdrawals were manifested at all upon abrupt cessation. It would probably be worth doing a little research on any addictive qualities / tolerance issues to it however, but honestly I can't see it being too much of an unsustainable drug. There's a few herbs that work on GABA that induce reverse tolerance, and the real mechanism of action behind these herbs and plants is not well studied at all with very little literature available on them. I suppose the pharmaceutical companies are the big dogs though with their synthetic rubbish.

 

That's a shame about the Keppra, however, in the study it said that 25% of patients were without clinical manifestations within 1-3 months and 75% after a year, so it could possibly be worth continuing longer if there are no ill side effects, after all, if you get free prescriptions it's only a couple pills to swallow.

 

Yeah I can't see many herbs and plants being powerful enough, or for that matter safe enough in the dosages potentially required, to migitate visual symptoms. I do however think that there are many plants out there that are viable replacements for synthetics. Like you, I am not a fan of Synthetics apart from BZD's. A synthetic drug got me in to this mess in the first place after all so the hatred has grown haha. I think there's a plant out there that could potentially cure or mitigate the symptoms of most of the diseases known to man. There's thousands upon thousands of unresearched species of plant and it's such a shame that the pharmaceutical companies put all their eggs into specific synthetic classes of drugs such as SSRI's, Neuroleptics, Benzos, Opiates. 

 

I suppose it's much more cost effective for the pharmaceuticals to just push the drugs that are already selling well out there, than to spend money researching plants and herbs. Who knows, with a little research there may be entirely new structural compounds out there that could do all manner of benefit to mankind. Anyway, I'm rambling on a bit here so I'll leave it at that haha.

 

Ah I'll have a look into those herbs, that's what I'm trying to do at the minute. Researching all I can and just basically guinea pigging myself and going through trial and error. Not that I'm wasting money, I'm researching into things that could have a good chance of relieving symptoms somewhat, whether it be anxiety, DP/DR, brain fog or whatever else, I'm making educated purchases haha.

 

Can I ask what benefits Kava gave you? Did it reduce DP/DR or visuals at all? It seems to be very similar to a cross between alcohol and a mild dose of cannabis from what I've read, which I did enjoy back in the day.

 

Yes I'll have a read up of Yarrow for you, although the index page is about half a book thick so I'll post when I find anything :) They're a variety of books but yes they're more medical/scholarly in nature, like herb/plant bibles! 

 

To be honest, my HPPD mindset has changed a little as of late, before I was in the mindset that I must cure this as soon as possible and I'm not going to stop until I do, but now I'm more of the opinion that I have it, it sucks, and I've gotta find a way to live with it as best as I can, and any treatment or cures that come along or that I happen to try are simply a bonus. I suppose you could call that 'acceptance'? 

 

Cheers mate!

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So here's a little update on my Passiflora experience:
After precisely 12 hours after my last smoke I smoked 250mgs.
Another 250mgs an hour later.
125mgs an hour later.
There my notes stop.. but I think I've smoked 125mgs maybe once or twice more, one of which was directly before sleeping.

So far I've been able to enjoy the smaller dosages more, and I even prefer 125mg over 250mg. However, the clarity inducement I experienced with my first 1-2 times are not so pronounced anymore, and can be absent. A pity it is. But I do get relaxed.

Another effect I've noticed are dreams. Recall in specific. I've slept great the past few days mind you, however I've had some strange dreams with recurring themes. I think tonight I'll sleep in my bed and see if that'll make a difference. Note: I also took Melatonin the past 2 nights.

Anyway, I'm not going to smoke any today. Whilst it does relax me, I suspect I might be developing some kind of tolerance. So I'll be diligent about abstinence and leave it for today, possibly longer. I think this might be best enjoyed in moderation.

One other things I've noticed is that I've had absolutely no orthostatic hypotension when I smoke this stuff. Maybe yesterday morning once, but after I smoke it it just doesn't happen anymore.. Perhaps it has some effects on blood, as I do sometimes feel my heart beating a little faster after smoking some (though not anxiously, actually it's just a nice reminder that I still have a heart). I don't know, but I thought this was worth noting, because this happens at least 5 times a day for me usually, if not more.

Other than that.. Hmm my memory is not so much improved, and I haven't made too much notes yesterday... I do seem less excited about it in my notes. What can I say? It's a decent smoke, but the first few times were the best. Definitely mellows me out, but I can get tired if I overdo it. I know last night I had some, was being quite mellow on the porch, only for a phone call to kill my mood. Sick and tired of people telling me what I should and shouldn't do and telling me how to deal with this. Giving all sorts of "advice" I've never asked for, imposing their ideas about my situation upon me. Though I notice I'm not as frustrated as I normally would be about the usual inability of people to understand this situation.

Ohh I just saw you replied. I'll make a second post in a minute.

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Alright I'll still avoid opium lettuce though.. Besides, there are enough other plants to play with.


You are quite correct with that theory on Passiflora's sustainability. As mentioned above I may be noticing some tolerance, but definitely nothing extreme and certainly no uncomfortable cravings or whatever. 

Yes the Keppra.. Well the problem is that it will prevent me from trying certain other things (and I can't drink Kava :().
Also, I have some theories on Keppra and why it's unlikely to work, which I'll spare you from here. But most importantly it is hindering further progression and experimentation. Also it may be worsening my memory. I'm aware of the study.. it seems great, however there's so little info in it, and honestly what defines "clinical manifestations"? It's a rather old study (2005) and they speak of "flashback frequency" expressed in number of flashbacks, and not a word about persistent symptoms. This hints at the possibility that they've mistaken flashbacks for HPPD (consider the flawed DSM diagnosis as well, from which they likely took their reference/diagnosis). So it's not as convincing as it may seem, or to me at least. Moreover it would make more sense for changes to occur gradually should they take time to occur. Conversely if they were to occur rapidly, changes would be noticed rather acutely (as some people have had). Neither of these I've experienced (apart from transient placebo), which makes me wonder. Surely after 3 months of use, even if not on the full dosage, at least some gradual improvements should have been noticed by me? Perhaps a slightly flawed logic, but I sincerely doubt Keppra is going to work for me with all things considered. Plus even if it did, I'd still rather have Coluracetam :D

Hehe guess I needn't add any more to what you've said about synthetic vs. natural medicine. Also, I'm not aware of any case of HPPD being caused by solely natural psychedelics (and that was not primed by prior synthetic psychedelic or other drug use). This is also a reason why I think that whole study of native psychedelics users (what was it? Peyote? something like that) is a rather weak argumentation, as most cases of HPPD do seem to be (co-)induced by synthetic drugs.
 

Ah I'll have a look into those herbs, that's what I'm trying to do at the minute. Researching all I can and just basically guinea pigging myself and going through trial and error. Not that I'm wasting money, I'm researching into things that could have a good chance of relieving symptoms somewhat, whether it be anxiety, DP/DR, brain fog or whatever else, I'm making educated purchases haha.

Haha seems we both have more or less the same approach now :)

Kava was mostly great for anxiety.. but it was also a long while back when I was feeling a lot worse than I am nowadays, so I'm curious to what'll happen if I were to drink it now. Note that it might induce some sedation. Actually I found it quit mild though. It might clear the mind, yet not in a nootropic sense. On a side note: I added Holy Basil to the above list, and whilst reading about it I read of someone who wrote that Holy Basil's effects were more noticeable than Kava or Ashwagandha, and better too. I lost the link, but it's only an anecdote anyway. But that won't surprise me, for Kava can be quite subtle. It's not going to blow your mind or anything, and actually it may take a few times before you notice what it is exactly doing. Also reading up a little more on Holy Basil I found that it has AChEI properties, and people report acute benefits (one person reported using it prior to public speaking). Sadly, there's no Erowid page for it. I do know that it is used as a meditation herb. I'll be looking further in to this though.
Yes people use Alcohol and Cannabis to compare with Kava, but honestly there's nothing quite like it. I remember I felt as if their was just a cool breeze flowing through my mind. I definitely wouldn't compare it to either of aforementioned substances.

Ahh must be expensive books then! I've been looking for books like "Botany for beginners" or whatever, but most seem to be written in a magic-property/folkswisdom type of fashion alas, and the more expensive books where those used for actual education. If you can recommend a book I'd appreciate it :) Thanks for looking into Yarrow. It seems it's arriving tomorrow (yay!) so I'm curious how it will help (if at all). Also, both my Damiana and Yarrow extracts are non-alcoholic, so if I don't like the oral/sublingual administration or if it's too strong, I could sprinkle a drop or two on a smoke and see how that works.

 

To be honest, my HPPD mindset has changed a little as of late, before I was in the mindset that I must cure this as soon as possible and I'm not going to stop until I do, but now I'm more of the opinion that I have it, it sucks, and I've gotta find a way to live with it as best as I can, and any treatment or cures that come along or that I happen to try are simply a bonus. I suppose you could call that 'acceptance'? 

Haha same here! Well more or less. I'm still devoted to finding a cure or treatment, but also have come to think "Well.. what can I do about it in the meantime?". As much as it sucks to say, I believe (for me personally) that I need something outside myself to help me within. Hence acceptance is a bitch, because I'm in a state of "need". And you know, Maslow's pyramid and all.. And yes mindwork is great, meditation can be great, however I still believe that HPPD is also very much so biological/physical/neurological in nature. Hence a combination of both is likely to be more effective.  So I guess in a way I've sort of accepted that I might not find (or be able to buy haha) a panacea any time soon, however I do recognize the need for something else to help me recover from this, or at the very least to help the mind. And so the recent interest in nootropic/psychoactive herbs. In other words.. The mind is also a physical thing I've come to learn, as strange as it may sound. After all; they don't treat Alzheimer's with (solely) meditation either! (that was a bit of an extreme example)

I guess there are different forms of acceptance, which alas for me at least are currently ineffable. So the "living with it the best that I can" for me does involve the way I think about it, yet also what I can do about it in the meantime even if that means it's not going to be a "true" cure (supplements/nutrition/herbs/medicine to help the brain). I don't know if any of that makes things any clearer, haha! In a way I've also grown what I can only describe to be more accepting. Oh I guess what I mean is the (probably aforementioned) division of healing the mind and healing the sight, whereas I believe the former has priority. And as for the latter.. Well yeah I have a lot of faith in Coluracetam for that, but ultimately I haven't been able to confirm that as of yet. I'd just like something to help me while I'm waiting.. Or at least not to feel like all I'm doing is waiting, which may despite all odds be in vain. 

Well I went off-topic just typing out my thoughts there. Haha forgive me, but it helps at times.

Anyway Sam, looks like we're on to something here, with the trying out herbs and plants. Let's hope we can expand the "HPPD tool box" (if you have a catchier term do say so haha) so others may benefit as well. Perhaps once more data is collected we can have pinned post of what can help.. The list is rather small atm I believe (more or less Magnesium, B vitamins, Melatonin, L-Theanine, NAC, and perhaps a few more), so it would be great if we can add to this. Also for those who smoke pot because they miss it, and then have worsened symptoms, some of these herbs may prove good alternatives that don't worsen symptoms.

I have the feeling I'm being a broken record now, so I'm just gonna call it quits! I'll report back tomorrow with my experiences with the new goods. Cheers!

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Yeah, the lettuce is nothing special really, I'd take a cup of Chamomile tea over it any day.

 

Indeed I shouldn't think there would be any massive tolerance with Passiflora, and certainly not to the extent of having to double your dose every few weeks to sustain the same effects.

 

Fair enough on the Keppra front. I did notice the study measured Keppra's efficacy of lowering the frequency of flashbacks, I'm not sure what that means at all, but it did seem to me to suggest more HPPD like symptoms than flashbacks, as I've never heard of anyone having brief flashbacks multiple times a day after ingesting psychedelics, it's usually either HPPD in the case of 24/7 persisting distortions, or a flashback every few months / years or so that are commonly reported after LSD ingestion. Furthermore, I have no idea why Keppra would help with the type of flashbacks that are distinct from HPPD anyway. Either way, it's not the best written study in the world by any stretch of the imagination. I just remember reading somebodies thread, copied and pasted from the old forum which gathered everyone's experiences with Keppra and it seems quite a few people got relief from Keppra, especially on the DP/DR front. I'm rambling now anyway, it's something I'd like to try in the future though.

 

Yeah that study was conducted on over 1000 members of some tribe who all had multiple experiences of Mescaline (From Peyote indeed), none of which reported any symptoms of HPPD at all. I have heard of HPPD being caused by mushrooms as I believe there are one or two members on here that have mushroom induced HPPD, one of which cleared up after 6 months naturally I believe, but they do seem to be caused by synthetics. Lysergides and Phenethylamines in particular. What I have noticed is that people with HPPD usually had some element of anxiety during there trip, maybe this caused excitation in an already overloaded brain and, pardon my language, fucked things up even further. Who knows.

 

Ah Kava does sound quite nice, especially with how long it lasts (up to 12 hours I've read). I've ordered 50 grams of Borogu Kava (supposedly with 30% kavalactone (sp?) content, the problem being I have no idea how to prepare it or dosages etc. Looking forward to trying it though which should arrive in a couple of days. 

 

They are expensive books I believe, but they're not my books, they're from family members who are herbalists and holistic types (educated hippies I guess you could call them haha!) Might be worth having a talk with them too actually, but I'll fish those books out and get back to you on that :)

 

Yeah I'm still very devoted to curing this too, I think as time has progressed I have accepted it more and more, in the beginning it was horrendous and I would wake up every morning and think 'Damn, I've got another day of this to deal with?' but now I expect to wake up with it. It's a case of getting used to the altered perception, both visual and mental. The main problem I have is that I am constantly thinking about the symptoms (Am I still DP/DR'ed?, how's my snow today? etc) which stems from my obsessive personality I think.

 

I have that mindset too, it's more counteracting the 'guilt' and 'shame' I feel for basically fucking myself up, I feel that if I'm searching for a cure and trying different thinks it makes me feel better about my HPPD in the first place, if you know what I mean. The worst part for me is I feel I'm missing out on living my 20's, and the longer I have to deal with this the more life I feel I've missed out on. What gives me hope is the long timers on the forum that are living pretty normal lives with families, wives, good jobs etc.

 

I'm also praying for a natural recovery, however long it takes, like some of the lucky ones have been fortunate enough to receive!

 

But yeah, we're definitely on the right track here. That's all we can do at the end of the day, try different things, document our findings and try more things! I agree that the list of recommended supplements is definitely lacking, and I think the herbs/plants routes might be a better way to go, there's only so much vitamins/supplements can do and there aren't all that many out there that would be beneficial to us, and the ones that have are listed anyway.

 

To conclude my paragraphs of cognitively impaired rambling, I took a quick look through one of the books yesterday and found a few more anti-epileptic/sedative herbs and plants, I think there were about 20 or more, which I'll definitely post once I find them again. I recall reading about a particular herb/plant that seems to improve vision in the dark, I can't remember the name but that one looks interesting. 

 

At the minute I'm working on a word document with a list of all the herbs/plants/supplements/whatever that are LIKELY to help, with a bit of info on the pharmacology / active ingredients and my experiences with them when I do try them. 

 

As for the HPPD toolbox name, how about 'Arsenal of plants for the perceptually challenged' haha!

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Just throwing this out there, there is a herb called water hyssop, which was able to almost completely reverse induced epilepsy and status epilepticus in rats. It also has anxiolytic effects and has been shown to improve general cognitive function in Alzheimers patients.

 

I know I tend to put a lot of emphasis on the epilepsy - HPPD similarities, but of course HPPD is indeed similar. This looks quite good actually, it significantly outperformed carbamazepine in Epilepsy treatment too.

 

http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-02-28/common-herb-water-hyssop-reverses-epilepsy-treats-and-prevents-other-brain-disorders/

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You speak of Brahmi/Bacopa (by which name it's more renown)!

Here's the vid that mentioned both Tursi and Brahmi in meditation:



I'd love to give Brahmi a good try, but the downside is that you have to take it for at least 3 months to notice any benefits(sound familiar? haha).
That's why it's not on the list.
If it outperforms carbamazepine, then why is the latter still on the market? Nevermind, I didn't ask ;)
Anyway this was in the AlphaBrain product I took for about 3 weeks, which didn't do much. However I suspect that quality may have also been an issue.
Though Brahmi is definitely on the list of what I'd like to grow should I ever regain the discipline to do so.

I'll reply to your other msg later.. brain's in a little funk :)
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You speak of Brahmi/Bacopa (by which name it's more renown)!

Here's the vid that mentioned both Tursi and Brahmi in meditation:

I'd love to give Brahmi a good try, but the downside is that you have to take it for at least 3 months to notice any benefits(sound familiar? haha).

That's why it's not on the list.

If it outperforms carbamazepine, then why is the latter still on the market? Nevermind, I didn't ask ;)

Anyway this was in the AlphaBrain product I took for about 3 weeks, which didn't do much. However I suspect that quality may have also been an issue.

Though Brahmi is definitely on the list of what I'd like to grow should I ever regain the discipline to do so.

I'll reply to your other msg later.. brain's in a little funk :)

 

Ah I see, I didn't know it was that! 

 

That's a shame, yes it does sound familiar unfortunately haha! I just thought it was quite interesting and I have a tendency to post anything that sparks interest.

 

Ohh I don't know, surely it can't be the fact the Pharmaceutical companies profit on Carbamazepine could it? ;) 

 

I'd like to try it though, the fact that we don't really know the pathogenesis of HPPD is quite annoying as you don't really know which neurotransmitters, receptors, ion channels to hit/block/agonise/antagonise etc, aside from research and educated guesses. I'm trying to move away from the GABA A agonists a bit, while they do migitate symptoms HPPD is obviously far more complex than GABA dysfunction. Interestingly I took a 5HT1 agonist earlier and felt a little less spaced out.

 

Ok mate, mine is too today, got struck with a migraine with aura! Fun times.

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Oh, by the way, I really recommend the book 'The encyclopaedia of psychoactive plants'

 

It's really easy to digest when you're a little fogged out and has a complete A-Z of known Psychoative plants, and goes into great detail about them and lists the title of the plant, then breaks them down into:

 

Family

Uses as Medicine

Psychoactive Products (Pharmacology)

Constituents (Alkaloid contents, what the active chemicals are)

The psychoactive part of the plant and how to prepare

Ritual use

Preperation and dosage

Cultivation

 

Etc etc, although for each plant there's usually around 3-5 pages, it's really good, I'm on page 132 of over 4000 haha.

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Wow thanks for that Sam! Just had the "look inside" on Amazon. They even list Voacanga and Tabernanthe! Looks really comprehensive.. Though for the time being I won't be able to buy it haha. Financial priorities and all.. But it's on the list :)

Anyway I'd reply to the other message but I'm feeling like I'm in a haze.. Got my new order in and I just went "Fuck it" and took a lot of stuff, including Damiana last night, add to that sleep deprivation from the night before... Yeah haha! Perhaps after I take a siesta... Cheers!

Note: what is zombie weed? haha.

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No worries mate, yeah it's really interesting and thorough. As for the cost goes, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post this but I have an electronic copy that could potentially find it's way to you.

 

Haha it's ok, I feel a bit hazy today too! Getting over the residual effects of that damn migraine with aura. So none of the stuff you took from last night helped at all then?

 

And I can't say I've ever heard of zombie weed haha.

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