Despite its name, Psychedelic Water isn’t psychedelic in the traditional sense — it won’t make you see unicorns. But it does contain a blend of psychoactive ingredients that promise a “mind-boosting experience.”
The star of the show is kava, a plant native to the Pacific Islands, where it was traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies. It’s since become a popular social lubricant due to its calming, mildly euphoric effects, and it’s caught the eyes of researchers as a potential anti-anxiety treatment. In fact, kava bars, where kava drinks are served like beer and wine, have been popping up across the U.S. for years now.
The substances associated with kava’s relaxing effects are called kavapyrones, also known as kavalactones, and they affect the brain much like alcohol does, sedating the mind and body. Doctors aren’t exactly sure how much kava a person can safely consume — the Psychedelic Water packaging says you shouldn’t have more than two cans at a time — and it’s been linked to several contentious reports of liver damage, which prompted a few nationwide bans. That said, some of those cases have since been discredited, so it’s tough to say what’s really going on there.
The other psychoactive ingredient in Psychedelic Water is damiana, a shrub native to Texas, Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Historically, damiana was believed to be an aphrodisiac, and a 2009 study found that it helps rats rebound for a second cum (excuse me while I chug this entire case). Beyond that, alternative medicine makes use of damiana for all sorts of ailments, from anxiety to headaches to constipation, and some say it has a general calming effect. Overall, though, we could use some more research to really nail down what it’s good for.
Last but not least, Psychedelic Water has a dash of green tea, which serves as a mild caffeine boost to help balance the sleep-inducing effects of kava.
When you add it all together to make Psychedelic Water, the effects of this combination are, well, debatable. “Some people describe it as a cross between a joint and a glass of wine,” says founder Keith Stein. Others say it makes them feel mellower, but that it’s super mild. Then there are those who say it does nothing at all.
I tried a few myself, and it feels like it’s putting me to sleep and keeping me awake at the same time. It’s a floaty feeling, similar to what it’s like to caffeinate after a night of little sleep. The buzz is nothing crazy, though, and I could easily go about my normal routine after a couple Psychedelic Waters. (Although, their packaging says not to operate heavy machinery after imbibing, so keep that in mind.)
Well, now that I’m in a psychedelic mood…
*makes shroom tea and stares at the wall for six hours*