Mixing psychedelics goes by many names in pop culture: hippie flipping (MDMA and mushrooms) and candy flipping (MDMA and LSD), to name two. Depending on how you go about it, the experience can be life-affirmingly euphoric or severely overwhelming. But is it ever worth the risk?
The combination of psychedelics and psychotherapy is gaining increased acceptance and well-warranted research. But what about combining psychedelics and other psychedelics?
Psychotherapy aside, explorers of altered states have been self-administering combinations of substances for decades. They get creative with their cocktails, venturing to amplify the effects of each compound.
The co-administration of psychedelic mushrooms with cannabis, LSD, MDMA mainly remained limited to the experimentation of younger adults until recently. In the past few years, mainstream interest in psilocybin has touched every sector of society, from moms to professional athletes.
This invites experimentation of legal mixtures in these jurisdictions, such as cannabis and psilocybin, meanwhile illegal combinations like MDMA and mushrooms and LSD and mushrooms are sure to still be used in regions even where they’re illegal for self-styled spiritual or recreational purposes (we’re realistic).
While these mixtures may sound like a gateway to a delightfully strange sojourn through the edges of consciousness, is it actually a good idea? What does science say about how psychedelic substances affect the consumer when taken in tandem?
What the Flip?
“Flipping” is a colloquialism used to describe different MDMA drug combinations. In addition to hippie flipping, you’ll hear of candy flipping (MDMA and LSD), kitty flipping (MDMA and ketamine), nexus flipping (MDMA and 2CB), and plenty more, as you might expect from the curious psychonaut community.
MDMA and Mushrooms
People mix mushrooms and MDMA to enhance the effects of each psychedelic. They venture to merge the trippy visuals and nonsensical laughter of psilocybin with the serotonin-soaked full-sensory rapture of ecstasy.
Even in their pursuit to explore the ridges of reality, most are aiming for a somewhat balanced effect. However, as always, mixing two or three or more substances introduces more neurochemical complexity — and risk. Research on psychedelics isn’t proliferating because of their (mostly) illegal status, and studies examining the effects of mixing two or more psychedelics are in an even shorter supply.
However, there is avid anecdotal research and discussion advocating for ideal doses and timing; according to experiences shared on Reddit, the Shroomery, and other forums, most find success starting with mushrooms and ingesting MDMA about one to two hours into the psilocybin experience, or after the initial “peak.”
Most experience an irksome comedown after a few hours of heightened mood on MDMA. As you imagine, if you’re still tripping on mushrooms during the comedown, emotional challenges can arise.
What Are the Effects of “Hippie Flipping?”
The effects of any flip depend on several factors: the order in which you take the mushrooms and MDMA; how long you wait in between; the dose of each; the purity of the MDMA; your inner emotional state; your surrounding environment; and the unchangeable: your biology and psychology.
With so many factors involved, it’s no surprise that the subjective effects of hippie flipping can vary substantially from person to person and trip to trip.
Throughout the journey, you’re likely to experience a montage of emotions and sensations. Mixing MDMA and mushrooms will likely confront you with highs, lows, and all the intensities in between. The full spectrum of feelings is impossible to define, but a collection of online reports cite some common themes, including strong visual effects, euphoria and social bonding, elevated senses, and confusion.
LSD and MDMA
The term candy flipping refers to the mixing of LSD and MDMA. This combination first came to public consciousness in the early 1980s, a few years after MDMA became popular and easily available.
Those who “flip” do so to increase the potency and duration of MDMA-like effects while decreasing the chance of overdosing on MDMA. Traditionally, candy flipping opens with LSD and introduces MDMA around four hours later. This timeline enables consumers to feel the full effects of LSD before adding the euphoria of MDMA.
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to mixing illegal drugs, and a candy flip combination, as cute as it sounds, is no exception. The outcome and intensity can vary a lot, even if you duplicate the exact dose you took when you had a good trip.
Older scientific research maintains that the combo results in an extra-intense MDMA experience. Anecdotal evidence, however, paints a different picture. Some say you get a blended experience that features the good and the bad of each psychedelic in equal measure.
Others say that the MDMA launches you right back into the LSD trip, which can be either fantastic or miserable depending on the vibe. There is also the eternal risk that the substances you’re sourcing aren’t actually pure but a hectic blend of other psychoactive substances masquerading as MDMA or LSD. This means there’s potential you’re cocktailing unknown substances in unknown amounts, which could be: at best, not be the experience you wanted and, at worst, have fatal consequences.
Ensuring a Flip Doesn’t Flop
When anticipating potential side effects, you must take heed of all the different factors that can make your hippie flip a terrifying flop. Be intentional with your dosing because, like with most substances, the most unwanted side effects emerge from overestimating how much you need to have a good experience.
It cannot be emphasized enough that LSD and psilocybin, especially when combined with MDMA, can usher in challenging and strenuous states of mind. Those with a personal or family history of mental illness or other health concerns should carefully consider the risks associated with a flip of any design.
Michelle Janikian, the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion, wrote “What You Need to Know About Smoking Weed While Tripping” for Double Blind in 2019, and the sentiment stands for psychedelic combinations of any kind. “The main concern,” she wrote, is the consumer’s “mental and spiritual well-being, because cannabis can have an unpredictably strong effect when mixed with psychedelics.”
Listen to our own interview with Michelle Janikian below for more psychedelic insights.