Some call it ‘the evolution of DMT’, others say it’s smokable ayahuasca. Changa is a relatively new phenomenon in the psychedelic scene. Researcher and changa-expert Giorgia Gaia explains.
What is changa?
Many people think it’s a plant on its own, but it isn´t. It’s a smoking mixture that may contain a wide variety of herbs. Every individual creates their own unique blend. The basis is always a DMT-extract from a natural source (for example Chacruna) and at least one herb that functions as a MAO inhibitor (often Banisteropsis Caapi). Ultimately it’s a creative process, it’s home-grown alchemy.
How is the changa experience different from smoking pure DMT?
Personally I think DMT is more scary and shocking. Even before you‘ve time to let the smoke out of your mouth you’re already in another dimension. Changa comes up more gentle and the experience takes longer: 10-12 minutes, instead of 5. Changa is natural: you can communicate with the plant spirits. Some people even use it (in low doses) to treat anxiety. Pure DMT is not handy. It’s difficult to smoke and you have to measure it very carefully. Changa is easier and you can smoke without rush. Just take some puffs from a joint and have a relaxed feeling. Also, it’s dangerous to travel around with white crystals in your luggage. Changa just looks like herbal tea…
Can you tell me about your most impressive changa experience?
That was on the dancefloor of Ozora at daytime. I took a pipe and sat down. I could see the people very well: they remained themselves but got different shapes. They had the aesthetic of an Amazonian tribe but in a very evolved way. They wore metal around their heads, futuristic haircuts, and tattoos on their face. They were dressed in a very refined way and they all looked different. From this experience I understood that linearity of time is an illusion: I saw it moving forward and backward. Sometimes in slow motion, sometimes fast forward, as you can play with an old-fashioned audio cassette. I had a look into a different timeline. I believe you can switch: you can go and see other dimensions and other evolutions of humankind.
Photo by @luke_brown_spectraleyes
Is changa something ‘new’?
For sure it’s a new cultural phenomenon that’s mostly promoted in the psytrance scene. Especially in Australia, it’s very popular. But of course, humans have known about mixing DMT and MAO inhibitors for ages. There was just no name for this specific mixture yet.
What is the best way to smoke changa?
There’s no best way, it depends on what you want to achieve. If you wanna have a breakthrough experience and see other dimensional beings: use a bong. You have to inhale a good quantity at once. If you don’t want to lose your mind completely, for example on the dancefloor or with friends, a pipe is perfect. It has a milder effect. A joint you can easily share with others. It gives a small boost to your state of mind. You may not get visuals, but you’ll likely experience an opening of the heart: a warm feeling in your chest.
What is your favourite changa-recipe?
I prefer to use a DMT-extract from Acacia acuminata, as it’s the only one that gives me sharp open eyes visuals. The effect is more calming than for example Mimosa. As a base I always take mullein. And I’d like to have a Caapi extract of at least 10x, that I prepare following the 28 days of a lunar cycle. I also really love to put an extraction of nice smelling herbs like lavender or lemongrass. In the end I add some blue lotus for the colour and a more calming effect. The recipe may differ from time to time. It’s an ongoing creative process.
And a ritual one?
Yes, some changa alchemists work with elaborate esoteric or magical rituals. I tried myself and I like to follow the lunar cycle making my extracts. I also prefer natural methods of extraction. You don’t have to use alcohol or ethanol: lemon and vinegar work just as well. You can even make a Syrian rue extract with water. It’s important that people using these plants do so consciously. Especially in Australia, the acacia trees are endangered. The older trees contain most DMT and right now they’re harvested irresponsibly. It would be nice if all changa alchemists started growing their own plants.