Candy Flipping: Everything You Need to Know

Explore the practice of "candy flipping," delving into its effects, risks, and potential benefits.

Overview: Candy flipping is the simultaneous use of LSD and MDMA to create a unique psychedelic experience. LSD affects serotonin receptors, while MDMA releases serotonin, leading to distinct but potentially synergistic effects. Dosage caution is advised, with lower initial amounts recommended. Careful preparation, adherence to set and setting principles, and understanding potential risks are crucial. Redosing with MDMA is generally not recommended. Sourcing high-quality substances and thorough testing is essential due to the illegal nature of these drugs. Candy flipping results in a longer and potentially more intense experience than LSD alone. Safety considerations include potential neurotoxic effects, dehydration, and overheating. Moderation, dosing limits, and post-experience care are emphasized. Research, such as the recent Straumann study, contributes valuable insights into subjective effects and safety aspects. Ongoing research will further enhance safety guidelines and understanding of this popular psychedelic combination.

What is Candy Flipping? 

Candy flipping, a term originating in the UK, involves the simultaneous use of two popular psychedelic drugs: MDMA, commonly known as “ecstasy” or “molly,” and LSD, also referred to as acid.

LSD, a classic psychedelic, is known for inducing profound changes in one's state of consciousness, including shifts in perception, thought patterns, emotions, and one’s sense of self. In contrast, MDMA is considered an “entactogen,” recognized for its ability to evoke feelings of euphoria, positive mood, well-being, empathy, trust, talkativeness, and heightened energy.

Like other classic psychedelics, LSD achieves its effects in part by binding to receptors of the neurotransmitter (“chemical messenger”) serotonin, specifically 5HT2A serotonin receptors. Think of LSD as the key, and the receptor as the lock, with the binding of the key to the lock triggering various cellular responses which lead to psychedelic effects. 

On the other hand, MDMA operates differently. Its chemical structure primarily triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, with a lesser impact on norepinephrine and dopamine levels. This mechanism distinguishes MDMA from classic psychedelics like LSD and contributes to its unique set of effects. 

The concept of candy flipping emerged in the 1980s, shortly after MDMA gained increased availability and popularity. Those who have had positive individual experiences with these substances may be drawn to explore their potential synergistic effects through candy flipping.

While the name suggests a blend of the sweet (MDMA) and the surreal (LSD), the combination is approached with the aim of creating a unique and profound experience. Individuals undertaking candy flipping often seek to discover how the effects of MDMA and LSD interact and influence their overall psychedelic experience. 

Candy Flipping Dosage

When considering dosages for a candy flipping experience, it's important to approach it with caution.

Common dosages for LSD range from 75 to 150 micrograms, while MDMA dosages typically fall between 80 to 120 mg. It is advisable to explore dosages used in clinical trials investigating the therapeutic potential of these compounds; for instance, clinical trials commonly use around 120 milligrams (mg) of MDMA and LSD dosages in the range of 100 to 200 micrograms (μg).

However, it's crucial to note that clinical trials involve expert supervision in therapeutic settings. Usually, it is recommended to first test the waters by using a lower dose of both substances than are commonly used. Start low and go slow. In the first ever study to investigate the effects of candyflipping in a controlled laboratory setting, conducted by Straumann et al. and published recently, participants received 100 μg of LSD and 100 mg of MDMA. 

Candy flipping is considered safe, but adding another drug to a psychedelic experience can lead to unexpected results. Careful preparation, adherence to the principles of set and setting (one’s mindset and the environment in which the experience takes place), and understanding the potential intensification of LSD effects by MDMA are crucial for a safe and meaningful candy flipping journey. 

For those interested in candy flipping, it's recommended to approach it safely, allowing several months between MDMA experiences. Generally, it's advised not to use MDMA more than once a month, with some suggesting waiting 2-3 months to preserve the “magic” of MDMA (its positive effects e.g. euphoria), and reduce potential risks to brain health, allowing the brain's serotonin to replenish.

To enhance safety, it's advisable to start with lower doses, progress slowly, prepare thoroughly, and ensure the environment encourages a positive experience.

Redosing MDMA

While redosing is a common practice in MDMA use, which involves consuming additional half-doses after the initial dose, it's generally not recommended for a candy-flipping experience. This caution is primarily due to the potential increase in neurotoxic effects when redosing MDMA in combination with LSD.

LSD does not have neurotoxic effects, but the risk of neurotoxicity with candy flipping is thought to escalate with higher doses of either substance or repeated MDMA dosing. This is possibly exacerbated by the temperature-elevating effects of both substances.

Although research on the neurotoxicity of candy flipping is limited, the combination is generally perceived as relatively safe. In the Straumann study, the researchers found no evidence of greater serotonin toxicity when MDMA and LSD were co-administered. However, moderation is strongly advised to mitigate potential risks and ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience. 

For those interested in candy flipping, it is crucial to source a high-quality and tested supply of MDMA and LSD from a reliable supplier. Given the illegal nature of these substances, dosages of MDMA in ecstasy pills or LSD in blotter tabs are not standardized, and their contents are not guaranteed.

Therefore, thorough testing should be conducted to ensure the authenticity and purity of the substances before embarking on a candy-flipping experience. Testing not only enhances safety but also contributes to a more calm mindset and a predictable and controlled psychedelic experience.

What Does Candy Flipping Feel Like?

One common approach is to start with LSD due to its longer duration (8-12 hours compared to MDMA's 4-6 hours). Some find it uncomfortable to still be tripping on acid while coming down from MDMA, so waiting until the LSD peak before taking MDMA is a common strategy.

Those familiar with the effects of LSD or MDMA can perhaps imagine what the combination might feel like. LSD induces a distinct state of consciousness, often marked by perceptual changes, closed-eye visuals, increased appreciation of art and music, amplified emotions, a childlike sense of wonder, different thinking patterns, and feelings of unity with others and the universe.

MDMA shares some effects with LSD but typically results in less intense changes in perception. Not a classic psychedelic, MDMA induces a less psychedelic state of consciousness, characterized by euphoria, prosocial behavior, empathy, and a desire to move, dance, and talk — commonly observed in recreational settings like raves and festivals.

Some candy flippers report that the combined experience is greater than the sum of its parts. The synergistic effects are often considered more enjoyable than using LSD or MDMA separately, leading to profound experiences.

While candy flipping can be immensely pleasurable, it's crucial to acknowledge potential risks. Physically, MDMA can trigger intense effects like increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, excessive sweating, jaw clenching, and muscle tension. LSD may heighten awareness of these physical sensations.

Nausea during the come-up is possible with both drugs, and challenging psychological effects, such as anxiety or fear, can occur, especially with higher doses.

In the previously mentioned Straumann study, it was found that candy flipping prolonged the duration of the acute subjective effects in comparison to LSD alone. Interestingly, both candy flipping and LSD alone produced similar experiences, as evaluated by the scales used in the study.

While no statistically significant differences were identified, candy flipping was shown to enhance certain emotional aspects. Notably, participants reported heightened feelings of happiness, openness, trust, and overall well-being, particularly in the initial phases of the experience, when compared to the effects of LSD alone.

AI image of a person experiencing the effects of candy flipping, a psychedelic practice combining MDMA and LSD.
AI image of a person experiencing the effects of candy flipping, a psychedelic practice combining MDMA and LSD.

How Long Does Candy Flipping Last?

This is not a trip to be taken lightly. Besides the potential power of the experience, it is also likely to consume a whole day.

As mentioned earlier, LSD typically lasts 8-12 hours, while MDMA's effects span approximately 4-6 hours. The duration of a candy flipping experience can vary, but it generally lasts longer than LSD alone. The Straumann study found that the combined experience of candy flipping persisted for an extended period compared to LSD in isolation.

The authors suggest that this prolonged effect may be attributed to “higher plasma concentrations” and an “extended plasma elimination half-life” of LSD when co-administered with MDMA. In other words, this means that the presence of MDMA can increase the concentration and duration of LSD in the bloodstream.

The study also notes that MDMA inhibits a metabolic enzyme called CYP2D6, and within about 2 hours of ingestion, it transforms individuals who typically metabolize drugs rapidly into poor metabolizers. This suggests that when LSD and MDMA are taken together, the interaction between these substances can lead to a longer and potentially more intense experience.

Risks and Safety Considerations for Candy Flipping

When considering the risks and safety precautions of candy flipping, it's crucial to be aware of potential harm associated with chronic and prolonged MDMA use. Evidence suggests that MDMA may have neurotoxic effects, emphasizing the importance of moderation, with approximately four times per year being a recommended limit.

Dosing is a critical factor, and starting with lower amounts is advised. Users may experience fatigue, fogginess, or even depression in the days or week following a candy flip, underscoring the need to set aside free day/s after the experience. Negative after-effects may be milder with lower doses.

Careful consideration of set and setting is paramount, ensuring a positive mindset and a comfortable, controlled environment. Having a trusted, sober trip sitter present is strongly advised, offering support in challenging situations and helping to safeguard against negative experiences.

Given that MDMA and LSD are often used in recreational settings involving physical activity, such as nightclubs, raves, concerts, and festivals, the risks of dehydration and overheating are present. Taking regular breaks to cool down and maintaining hydration is strongly urged.

While staying hydrated is essential, it's crucial to strike a balance. Users must be very mindful of their water intake during a candy flipping experience. It’s important to avoid drinking too much water, as this can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition known as hyponatremia.

The cardiovascular effects of MDMA are a concern for individuals with underlying heart conditions. MDMA use can lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, posing potential risks for those with pre-existing cardiovascular issues. It is advised that individuals with such conditions avoid using MDMA to prevent exacerbating cardiovascular strain.

Additionally, certain medications such as SSRI and SNRI antidepressants contraindicate with psychedelics and MDMA. Therefore, individuals taking these medications are cautioned against engaging in candy flipping to avoid potential complications such as serotonin syndrome, a condition that can have serious and potentially fatal consequences.

Careful consideration of individual health conditions and medication interactions is important to ensure the safety of those interested in exploring psychedelic experiences.

Conclusion: Navigating Candy Flipping Safely and Responsibly

In conclusion, candy flipping, the simultaneous use of MDMA and LSD, offers a unique and profound psychedelic experience that has gained popularity since its emergence in the 1980s. Understanding the distinct mechanisms of action of LSD and MDMA, as well as their potential synergistic effects, is crucial for those interested in exploring this combination.

Dosage considerations play a pivotal role in ensuring a safe and meaningful candy flipping journey. While the combination is generally considered safe, the importance of careful preparation, adherence to set and setting principles, and an understanding of the potential intensification of LSD effects by MDMA cannot be overstated.

The duration of a candy flipping experience, longer than LSD alone, raises awareness about the need for time commitment and thorough planning. Research, such as the recent study by Straumann et al., contributes valuable insights into the subjective effects and safety aspects of candy flipping, emphasizing the importance of moderation and responsible use.

Risks associated with chronic MDMA use and the potential neurotoxic effects underscore the significance of dosing limits, set and setting, and post-experience care. Having a trusted trip sitter, staying hydrated without overdoing it, and being mindful of physical activity levels and possible contraindicated health conditions further contribute to a safer candy flipping experience.

In moving forward, continued research into the pharmacology and subjective experiences of candy flipping will advance our understanding of this popular psychedelic combination, offering valuable insights that can enhance safety guidelines and contribute to a more informed approach for individuals seeking to explore the unique realms of MDMA and LSD in combination.

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