To start off this report, I want to say that I just can’t recommend anyone to take any dose of Datura. I took Datura, not because I wanted some sort of horror experience, but because I assumed that all the tales of people having terrible experiences were a product of excess doses in unexperienced people. This was too optimistic of an assessment. Unlike friendlier entheogens like San Pedro cactuses and psilocybe mushrooms, the Datura experience has an intrinsically grim character.
I’m now under the impression that there’s something intrinsic to this plant that just seems hostile to humans. It’s very hard to dose this plant and the effects are hard to time. No matter the dose you take, it seems that you need to be prepared to feel strange for the next 48 hours. I would take my Datura before going to bed, experience the effects, be sober throughout the day, then the next night I would feel the effects again.
I have followed all the right precautions. I started out with tiny doses and I’ve found that I’m highly susceptible to the effects of Datura. I would take these tiny doses spaced out with time periods of at least a week between them, to avoid having the alkaloids build up in my body.
With all my other entheogenic experiences, it felt like the entheogens want to help you. With Datura, it feels like this plant tries to trick you, like it wants to fool you into taking bigger doses that allow it to show you hell on Earth. Taking Datura feels like talking to a girlfriend who wants to draw you in, but doesn’t want to make you happier.
I put them outside during nice weather, but sometimes the leaves will get damaged, giving me some material that I harvest. The doses this gives me are always very small. The highest dose I have experienced is about 5 milligram of dried plant material that I ingested. That’s very little, but it’s enough for me to experience the effects, I seem to be highly sensitive. The doses that I generally see people recommend online for dried leaf are much higher, so I want to warn people to be skeptical of anything you read.
You might imagine that I am just experiencing a placebo at such a tiny dose, which I did consider, but I find it highly unlikely. I have experienced very intense dark dreams, distortion of colors, a sense of dissociation, dry mouth, a stronger heartbeat and most importantly: The vision of a big yellowish daddy longlegs spider above my head when I woke up, that disappeared again when I looked away and looked back at it.
There are already cognitive effects measurable at just 0.15 milligram of scopolamine given to subjects, so I’m convinced this is not placebo I experienced. It’s also known that alkaloid content actually decreases as leaves grow older, so again, considering the very young leaves I ingested, for me to experience the effects at these tiny doses makes sense to me. Let it serve as a warning, not to underestimate this plant.
The spider was at exactly the correct place to be plausible, as I had a bit of old spiderweb hanging there, that I’ve never bothered to remove. It was a highly realistic hallucination that occurred just as I woke up. I would have these sort of hallucinations very occasionally as a teenager upon waking up, but I haven’t experienced something like this in years.
Datura reminds me of the episode “Playtest” from Black Mirror: Some sort of artificial intelligence that tries to figure out how it can terrify you and that uses tricks to prevent you from having control over it. It’s a fascinating experience, that has had positive aspects for me, but I can’t really recommend this to anyone else, not even to people like me who are very experienced with psychedelics.
I would recommend it if I thought that the tiny doses I take give a controllable experience, but it feels more like opening the door for someone with agency of her own, so I just can’t recommend it. It’s too unreliable and deceptive to recommend.
Before I began growing the plants I sometimes took one seed of Datura Innoxia during the day to see the effects on walks through the forest, but I would experience nothing I can discern from placebo. I consider my first real time with Datura Innoxia to be when I took a few milligram of dried leaf material from a very young plant before going to bed. None of my experiences have been with more than five milligram of dried leaf material. I think I’m really exceptionally sensitive to the effects.
During my first such experience with a few milligram of Datura Innoxia leaves I had a beautiful very vivid dream, of a kind of modernist mansion on top of a cold rocky mountain, during a cloudy day. Here I could see old books that I could read, of what seemed like the diary of a woman describing her emotions. There were visions of people with robes, who were producing beautiful chants, almost reminiscent of something Dead can Dance would produce.
For me it felt like a welcome, an introduction into the world of Datura. The experience can best be described as one of awe. It was a dark dream, but in no way did it scare me. I very rarely remember my dreams and they are never as vivid or emotionally intense as this, so this definitely stood out for me.
Although Datura for me is a dream enhancer, the only dream enhancer I’ve experienced so far that actually works, it’s by no means a sleep aid. I’ve taking three or four of these tiny doses now, but except during the first time, it prohibited me from easily falling asleep. During most nights I felt the libido enhancing effects, my whole being lusting for pale self-absorbed goth girls.
My heart would be pounding and I would feel disturbed by the visual anomalies I would see around me. The colors of my bedroom just didn’t make sense. The visual noise I experience in the dark would be significantly enhanced, I would feel somewhat dissociated from my body and the whole room had a grim desaturated yellowish texture.
I would have experiences that I can’t properly characterize as either hallucinations or dreams, but something in between. At one point I felt like I was laying in the dark on the floor of my bedroom instead of in my bed itself. The floor felt as if it was made of soil, instead of being a hard floor. I thought to myself “what the hell is going on here” and then I snapped back into my bed.
It was a rather unwelcome surprise, to discover that the effects for me would generally return during my second night, with reduced intensity but nonetheless present. It really drives home the point that you’re not the one in control here: You’re at the mercy of whatever alien intelligence it is that you’re introducing into your nervous system when you ingest this plant.
It’s often said that some Datura varieties are gentler than others, because they have less atropine compared to scopolamine. Stramonium is supposed to be gentler than Metel, Innoxia is supposed to be gentler than Stramonium and Wrightii is supposed to be gentler than Innoxia. I’m not convinced of this. It may be more accurate to say that there’s a spectrum of sedating to stimulating daturas, with Innoxia and Wrightii representing the sedating side of the spectrum compared to the stimulating side of Metel and Stramonium.
The active effects of Datura come from the tropane alkaloids found in these plants, which block your nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These receptors seem to function as part of the error correction mechanism, in your brain’s attempt to faithfully reveal to you a model of the external world your physical body inhabits. Turn off this error correction mechanism by taking Datura and your body can fail to timely update its model of reality, as evidenced by the spider I saw that disappeared when I looked away and looked back at it.
I can’t really recommend anyone to take this plant, but I know people are going to take it anyway. Overall, if you take one thing away from this report, let it be that you need to err even more on the side of caution when taking Datura than you think. The visuals you get are generally unpleasant, the effects last very long, set on very late, are unpredictable and indistinguishable from reality. Unlike with classical psychedelics, you don’t recognize that your visual hallucinations are hallucinations while you’re experiencing them.