There are many reasons why people choose to experiment with psychedelics. Some do it for fun, others for enlightenment, and still for others as an attempt to heal from trauma. However, regardless of what psychedelic you try, almost all of them produce very intense psychoactive experiences. And most of the time, just one psychedelic at a time is plenty. Yet, for a bold few, just one isn’t quite enough.
Whether for fun or for the pursuit of enlightenment, mix-and-match psychedelics are more common than ever before, despite concern amongst public health and medical professionals. In fact, psychonauts have a special name for these newfangled drug cocktails: “flipping.” The most ambitious—and perhaps most risky—combination is the Jedi flip, a combination of ecstasy, LSD, and magic mushrooms. But, are the euphoric visuals worth the risk? Here’s the scoop on Jedi flipping—the good, the bad, and everything in between.
What’s Jedi Flipping?
Jedi flipping is the popular name for mixing MDMA (ecstasy), LSD (acid), and psilocybin (magic mushrooms)—a melange that only psychedelic daredevils choose to combine. For the majority of psychonauts, just one of the above is more than enough to inspire an intense and oft eye-opening experience.
So, why mix? For some, mixing the three may happen on accident, the byproduct of a particularly wild night out. Others may mix due to sheer curiosity, or an interest in chasing depths of consciousness previously unexplored. Without a doubt, the experience can be interesting to those who choose to venture into deep space. As one 20-year-old interviewee tells Vice, “My vision was blanketed in warm and intricate visuals. I noticed vastly enhanced tracers—like, my friend sat down after getting a drink and I saw [him] sit down five more times after his body had landed.”
But, as you might guess, mixing so many different and unregulated substances comes with its fair share of risks—and there’s no guarantee that you’ll have a great time.
What Does Jedi Flipping Feel Like?
Jedi flipping produces an unusually euphoric psychedelic experience. Euphoria comes from MDMA, which is famous for inspiring an overwhelmingly positive, upbeat, and empathetic mood. Meanwhile, both LSD and psilocybin inspire long-lasting visual hallucinations. The latter two can also influence mood, and all three can inspire deeply mystical and spiritual experiences.
But, ultimately, the real answer to this question is somewhat unsatisfying to get at with words alone. Jedi flipping will feel different for everyone who ventures to experiment. Your overall experience will largely be colored by how much of each substance you decide to take. If you Jedi flip with mostly MDMA, for example, then the experience would likely skew euphoric. On the other hand, if you take mostly magic mushrooms, then you may experience stronger hallucinations and perhaps a few more ups and downs.
Whether or not you take all three of the substances at the same time is also a factor. Many psychonauts may Jedi flip unintentionally, simply by redosing on something different while intoxicated on something else. It’s a fairly common scenario—you feel yourself coming down and don’t want the fun to end, so you re-up on something else. But, in doing so, you may unwittingly get yourself into potentially unsafe circumstances.
Risks of Jedi Flipping
Is Jedi flipping risky? The short answer: yes. Mixing and matching drugs is always dangerous, especially when mixing substances that are unregulated. The more substances you mix, the greater the likelihood of a negative reaction. Jedi flipping is especially dangerous to those who also take prescription medications, which can also have interactions with MDMA, LSD, and psilocybin.
Don’t be surprised by a hard come down. All three substances alter levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that are essential for everyday functioning. They also alter sleep patterns and can produce very strong hallucinations. Psychonauts who venture into the Jedi space may experience a “psychedelic hangover” for up to several days after the event—fatigue, low mood, mood swings, headache, and general malaise are all common after the fact.
In popular culture, serotonin is known as a feel-good neurotransmitter. But, the molecule does a lot more than inspire a good mood. Serotonin also controls numerous physiological functions, including cardiovascular health and nausea. Inside the brain, serotonin influences cognition, learning, and memory. So, mixing and matching drugs that affect serotonin can produce a wide range of side effects—and some may actually be quite dangerous.
Serotonin syndrome is a particularly prevalent risk when MDMA is in the mix (although other psychedelics act upon the brain’s serotonin system, too). Serotonin is vital for the proper functioning of the nervous system, but too much serotonin in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause serotonin syndrome, which brings some serious problems. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shivering, and muscle tension are the best outcomes of serotonin syndrome. At worst, serious complications like seizures and loss of consciousness can be fatal.
Flipping of any sort is popular on the dance floor, where substances like MDMA, LSD, and magic mushrooms make music and flashing lights truly come alive. But, the same risks of consuming each of these substances alone still applies when mixing them together. Most notably, the intense sweating and the rapid increase in heart rate caused by MDMA can cause people to overheat and dehydrate. In the worst-case scenario, dehydration and overheating can cause people to feel dizzy, disoriented, and even lose consciousness. If a person is excessively overheated, it’s important to move to a cooler location and seek medical attention to replace the electrolytes and fluids lost through dehydration.
All of the substances used when Jedi flipping can cause a rapid increase in heart rate. This fact makes Jedi flipping especially risky for those who have pre-existing heart conditions, and risker still for those who are unaware of an underlying heart condition. So, it’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately if you feel abnormal chest tightness or chest pain during your trip. If you suspect a friend is experiencing chest pain while tripping, it’s recommended that you assist them in seeking medical attention.
Reducing Harms While Jedi Flipping
As repeated multiple times in this article, mixing together different psychedelics and street drugs is dangerous. But, in the event that things are mixed-and-matched, there are some basic practices that you can take to reduce potential harms and improve access to help, should an emergency strike. What follows are general safety guidelines, but note that they are merely tips. It is impossible to be 100 percent safe with any drug cocktail, let alone cocktails of substances purchased without the regulatory protection of legalization.
Test Your Substances
The biggest single risk when consuming any unregulated drug or psychedelic substance? Purity. Most recreational substances are sold underground, meaning that there is no regulation or quality testing available to consumers. It’s difficult to know what you’re actually buying or whether or not what you’re getting is pure and unadulterated. MDMA, for example, is often cut with amphetamines or other nefarious substances. So, when you’re Jedi flipping, you’re really consuming the original drugs, plus whatever adulterants are added.
This is where testing kits come in. Test kits for MDMA and LSD can be purchased online, and they test for the most common adulterants added to street drugs. We love and trust the MDMA test kit and LSD test kit sold by nonprofit DanceSafe. However, it’s important to note that while these test kits are helpful and important, they are also not foolproof. If the MDMA or the LSD is cut with uncommon adulterants, they will not show up in a test. It’s not possible to test dried magic mushrooms. So, before consuming them, it’s worthwhile to spend some time researching to confirm the identity of the mushroom.
Keep Doses Low
Overdosing is not fun. An overdose while Jedi flipping is no exception. It’s easier to accidentally overdose with a drug cocktail like a Jedi flip. Mixing and matching are always dangerous. Microdosing or taking less than a full dose of each substance may reduce, but not eliminate, some of the risks associated with mix-n-match party drugs. Note that the combination of the substances may render the feeling of each individual one to be stronger than if taken alone.
Do Not Jedi Flip If Taking Medication
One of the leading causes of complications with recreational drug use is interactions with pharmaceutical medications, especially antidepressant drugs. For example, while overdoses of MDMA are somewhat rare, they’re more likely to occur in people taking MAOI antidepressant drugs. However, mixing recreational drugs with other prescriptions, including heart medications, pain medications, anxiety medications, and more can also be dangerous.
Even if you skip your normal dose of prescription medication, the drug may still be active in your system thanks to its half-life. The half-life of a drug is the time it takes to reduce to half potency within the human body. Some drugs, including many different prescription antidepressants, can take up to several days to completely clear from the human body. This means that there’s still potential for drug interactions for up to several days, even if you’ve stopped taking pharmaceutical medication.
That being said, discontinuing medication in advance just to experience psychedelics is also dangerous. Many pharmaceutical medications can cause withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking them. To safely come off of a prescription drug, the dosage needs to be titrated down slowly over time. For this reason, working with a medical professional is always recommended when weaning off of pharmaceutical medication.
Drink Water, But Not Too Much
Water intoxication is not something anyone should add to the mix while Jedi flipping. And while water toxicity can make you feel drunk, it can also cause unconsciousness and, in the worst-case scenario, can be fatal. Water intoxication is caused by drinking too much water, which creates an electrolyte imbalance in the body. But, this imbalance is not caused by having too few electrolytes in your system. Rather, it’s caused by having more water in the body than the kidneys can filter out in a timely manner.
The human kidney can remove a mere 0.8 to one liter of water every hour in a resting state. Intense sweating, which is common on the dance floor, can cause the body to lose water more quickly. Still, drinking more than one liter of water every hour for prolonged periods of time increases the risk of water intoxication, which is one of the top causes of harm amongst psychonauts and recreational substance consumers.
Designate a Trip Sitter
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the more you mix and match, the more likely you are to experience dangerous side effects. Anytime you experiment with psychedelic or club drugs, do so in the company of a sober friend—especially when combining different substances. A trip sitter is like the designated driver of the psychedelic world. Let your trip sitter know exactly what you’ve taken and how much. That way, should any emergencies arise, they can effectively communicate with medical professionals, who, in turn, can administer the right treatments quickly.
Trip in a Safe Place
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re out about town. But, Jedi flipping can be more than simply being carried away—this is an intense experience that can take you out of reality and make it difficult to evaluate your surroundings. To be clear, it’s always dangerous to mix and match different drugs. If you do mix and match, however, it’s important to do so in a safe and comfortable place, surrounded by trustworthy people, with easy access to help should you need it. A safe environment is important for establishing the right set and setting needed to encourage a positive trip. Although, it’s important to keep in mind that trips tend to have a direction of their own. There is never any guarantee that a psychedelic experience will be positive, especially when mixing so many substances.
Anna Wilcox is a writer, anthophile, and perpetual student. Published on Herb, Leafly, and Green Flower. Reach out on Twitter @anna_wlcx.