Candyflipping: Know Your Stuff, NZ with KnowYourStuffNZ

Candyflipping. The name may lead you believe the activity involves bulk-buying skittles and reselling them off at a higher price, but it is the term used to describe taking LSD and MDMA together, either at the same time (not recommended) or, more traditionally, one a few hours after the other (still not recommended).

Harm reduction info for Candyflipping:

LSD and MDMA are not recommended to be taken together. The main concern is overheating and dehydration when Candyflipping – putting you at risk of heatstroke, kidney failure and possibly death.

The risks of a bad trip are higher, along with a more general unpredictability of what your experience will be. Even if you have had experiences with either substance separately, it is not an indicator of how you will experience them in combination.

  • Do not use either LSD or MDMA if you are currently taking anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication or mood stabilisers.
    SSRIs and MAOIs act on the same parts of the brain as LSD and MDMA. You may not feel any of the positive effects if you take it on these types of medication, while increasing your risk of Serotonin Syndrome.
  • If you have cardiovascular issues, Candyflipping is a no-go.
    The increase in heart rate and blood pressure caused by the combo can be particularly dangerous if you have any cardiovascular issues.
  • Avoid taking any other substances.
    Mixing alcohol and other substances together is risky, and if you’re Candyflipping its best to leave it at just that. Stimulants like MDMA mask the sedative effects of alcohol so it is difficult to tell how intoxicated you are. Once the stimulant wears off, the depressant effects of alcohol are left unopposed, which can result in blackouts and difficulty in breathing.
  • As the effects of both LSD and MDMA are amplified when taking them together, it’s best to take smaller doses of each.
    Even at low doses, the combination of substances makes the result unpredictable.

If you’re planning on candyflipping, remember:

  • Get your drugs tested.
    Over the past summer we’ve seen a lot of eutylone being swapped out for MDMA and we’re starting to see more NBOMe in people’s LSD. It is always a good idea to test any substance before you take it to reduce your chances of having a bad experience and some pretty scary health effects (including death). Getting your drugs tested can help you make an informed choice about what you’re taking.
  • The confidence felt on MDMA can lead to increased risk taking
    Such as taking stronger doses of LSD. Set out the amounts of each substance you intend to take before you take either. Taking LSD first reduces risk of upping your dose, and eases the experience of coming-down from MDMA while tripping. MDMA can give a sudden boost of confidence that can make you feel more invincible (you’re not), so adversity to generally dangerous or ‘not a good idea’ situations is reduced. Reduced inhibitions and increased desire for hugs and general physical contact can also lead to risky sexual behaviour.

Remember: giving informed, enthusiastic consent from yourself and others around you is the number one rule before making any choices about engaging in physical contact of any sort.

  • Take MDMA orally rather than snorting
    Snorting can damage your nose, produces an undesirable ‘drip’ at the base of your throat and, if it’s something like eutylone instead of MDMA, there is a much greater risk of harm because it’s absorbed into the bloodstream quicker and doesn’t go through the liver filtration like it would if you’d swallowed it.
    With COVID-19 now present in our communities, snorting and sharing utensils also increases the risk on that front. Not sharing is caring.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on your friends and get someone to help you if it is feeling a bit too much.
    Having a sugary drink can help. If you or your friend is vomiting, or has chest pain, seek medication attention.
  • Plan your ‘trip’ ahead and let your friends know what you’re taking.
    Give yourself time to have the experience and don’t plan anything for the next day. Most people experience low mood and motivation the next day as your serotonin is depleted. LSD can also lead to insomnia. Lack of sleep increases the risk of psychosis, so take it easy for the next few days.
  • Avoid taking LSD if you have a history of mental health issues.
    If you have a history of mental health challenges or are taking any psychiatric medication, LSD can be overwhelming and bring on negative episodes.
  • Wait at least a month between your trips.
    Have at least a month between taking LSD or MDMA to give your body and brain time to recover, and so you can have a better experience. Taking LSD or MDMA more frequently will increase the impact on your study, relationships, mood and financial position.

Two potentially great tastes that can be great together — or potentially really suck

LSD and MDMA each come with their own risks, so you may be asking – What happens when you take them together?
Mixing substances isn’t a good idea. Even if you’ve taken LSD or MDMA before, the combination of the two means that the health risks are heightened, along with the risks of an all around poor experience.

The combination of LSD (a psychedelic) and MDMA (a stimulant) can intensify the effects each substance has, increasing the strength of the visuals you experience on LSD, and amplifying the feelings of warmth and connection that MDMA is famous for.

The [candy] flip side to this is that taking the two together can intensify the negative effects of each substance, too. While some people can experience a deep euphoria, others can find themselves more prone to getting caught in a ‘loop’ of negative thoughts, increased anxiety and the ol’ ego death – yikes. Because the intensity of your trip on LSD is made stronger when Candyflipping, there is more potential for your trip to become derailed onto a negative path.

MDMA at common doses (75 – 140 mg) causes your brain to release serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine making you feel energetic, empathetic and more sociable. LSD interacts with your brain in a similar way to serotonin and dopamine, and at common doses (0.1 – 0.15mg) it can cause visual hallucinations and can help you be more aware of your thoughts, leading to higher levels of understanding.

The high from MDMA usually lasts around 2.5 to 4 hours, while the LSD trip can last 6 to 10 hours. This leads to the possibility of ‘coming down’ from MDMA while still being high from LSD, which can turn the trip in a negative direction pretty quickly. For this reason, LSD is usually taken first, followed by the MDMA a few hours into the trip.

Taking MDMA first can help to ease the sometimes turbulent come-up of LSD, but decreases the overlap of the two substances’ effects. The confidence felt on MDMA can lead to increased risk taking – i.e. stronger doses of LSD. Be sure to have set out the amount you want to take before taking either substance.

Taking both at once is not recommended, as the come up of both substances at the same time can be overwhelming.
The after effects of both LSD and MDMA can last up to 48 hours. As the combination can cause a pretty intense high, naturally the comedown is stronger as well.

Be prepared for those feelings of sadness and apathy to linger for a few days after the trip. Insomnia, paranoia and brain-fog are also possible after-effects.

The Law

Candyflipping is illegal in NZ.

LSD is a Class A substance in Aotearoa, while MDMA is a Class B substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

It is also important to note that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 (yes, 1975… you read that correctly) is an outdated and harmful piece of legislation. The classification of drugs under the act does not necessarily reflect the societal harm or health risks associated with the drug. We often see it used to fuel the fires of systemic racism, and hold back progress in research and medicine.

The main takeaway: Class of drug isn’t a good indicator of risk to you or to your community.

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