I wan’t to talk a little bit about herbal incenses. I’ll explain what exactly they are, how they’re made, their highs, and why they are potentially dangerous. I’ve come across many people using these, not knowing what they really are. There’s even people that still believe that they’re completely natural. (I did when I first began using them.) Although, I have smoked some completely natural blends, they have never gotten me high and have only produced a relaxing effect.
What is an “herbal incense”? An herbal incense is a blend of different herbs that is laced with research chemicals. They are sold as “incenses” and labeled “not for human consumption”, but the research chemicals that they contain are solely to get you high. They serve absolutely no purpose for an incense.
What are research chemicals? Research chemicals or RC’s, are chemicals that have been made to mimic the effects of illegal substances. They are initially created to be able to legally research illegal substances. Hence the name “Research Chemicals”.
Why are research chemicals potentially dangerous? These chemicals have a very short history of human use and are often active in extremely small amounts. Because of this, it can be very easy to overdose if you don’t know what you’re doing. Their short history also makes any possible long term effects unknown.
Why do people smoke herbal incense? There are a few reasons why people prefer to smoke herbal incense rather than marijuana. Herbal incense could be obtained legally (not anymore around here, though). It’s much more convenient to go to a store that’s always stocked rather than a drug dealer. Herbal incenses do not show up in standard urine tests. Herbal incenses are cheaper than marijuana.
What is the high like? This is a hard question to answer. The effects of herbal incenses can vary greatly depending on the research chemicals used in them, the quality of the research chemicals, and the ratio at which they’re blended into the incenses. I’ve also noticed that the effects vary greatly from person to person. The most general things that I can say about the high is that it typically produces a stimulating effect with a lot of euphoria and confusion. The high’s usually last around 20 minutes or so. After that there is a period of relaxation and tiredness. After this period has passed, it’s like you had never been high at all.
Tolerance is tricky. Most herbal incenses from my experience are very potent. I’ve only smoked a few that haven’t been. You’re tolerance to them builds up fairly quickly, as well. When first starting off, only take one or two hits. If my tolerance is built up, there’s a point of smoking where I just don’t get any higher than I already am. If my tolerance isn’t built up and I make the mistake of smoking too much, it can easily send me into a very uncomfortable high. Just one hit has been too much on a low tolerance when I had other substances in me as well. Research chemicals can be life threatening when overdosed on.
What are the side effects? Side effects vary. Long term side effects are still unknown. But I can explain side effects that I and people around me have experienced. I’ve seen a few people with low tolerance vomit and even enter seizure-like states. It’s common to get a headache after smoking multiple times in a couple hour time span. I’ve often experienced rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and light headedness. Heavy use has led to a depressive, ego death type state, lasting weeks. Heavy use has also lead to marijuana barely affecting me. This is common in many people that I have spoken to. It can take months before marijuana will begin affecting you the way it should be again.
How have herbal incenses been able to avoid the law? The herbs that are chosen for these blends are chosen for a reason. Many herbal incenses use legal herbs that already have known psychoactive properties. Although these will not actually get you high, it serves as a mask for the research chemicals because the herbs have the possibility of being behind the high. The herbs wont get you high because either you would need to use heavy amounts of them, or smoking doesn’t allow for the full effects of them to be released. Many of these herbs are stronger when digested, rather than smoked.
The government has been trying to ban each individual research chemical. There are many research chemicals and trying to ban them individually is difficult. In order to find if an herbal incense contains research chemicals, there has to be a test done for every single research chemical. There is no general test for research chemicals. They are all different from each other and need individual tests. There are even still new research chemicals being made and many don’t even have a test developed to detect them yet.
Herbal incenses are marketed, well…. as incense! They are clearly labeled “Not For Human Consumption”. Some state things such as “Free of JWH chemicals!”. This, however, does not mean that they are free of research chemicals. JWH chemicals are just a specific series of research chemicals that have been banned. Other herbal incense packages even give you directions on how to use it as an incense. They’ll say something like “Place in bowl and ignite to release the natural scent”. Like you’re just going to light your whole 4 grams of it on fire in a bowl to get a few seconds of “scent” after you paid 30 dollars for it.
Even though they managed to sneak around the law for good decade or so, many areas are placing bans on herbal incenses in general. The research chemicals themselves can still be obtained from online vendors though.
How are herbal incenses made? Making herbal incenses is pretty simple, but you deal with some chemicals that may make you think twice about smoking it.
What you’ll need:
- Research chemical of choice
- Herb of choice
- Digital Scale
- Glass bowl with lid
- Small glass jar with screw on lid
- Can of Pure Acetone
- A well ventilated area
- A place to wash your hands… frequently
As you may have noticed, you need PURE ACETONE. This is not the watered down acetone in the plastic bottles that you use to remove your nail paint with, this is industrial 100% pure acetone that can be found in the paint removal section at the hardware store in metal cans, as they would eat through plastic. This is also why you need your bowl made out of glass. The area needs to be well ventilated because acetone is harmful if you breathe it in. Yes, this stuff goes on the herbal incense you’re going to be making… and smoking… as in breathing in. Having second thoughts about smoking it yet? The acetone is needed to dissolve your research chemical because things like water is not strong enough to dissolve it. The idea is that all of the acetone will evaporate off of the incense and therefore be acetone free when you smoke it. But who knows how long the incense that you’re smoking was left out for the evaporation process before sealing it in a package. I’ve also noticed that the acetone does leave behind a residue, which I would assume isn’t healthy to smoke. You need to wash your hands frequently when making this because you’re going to be handling the acetone with your bare hands. I’ve tried to wear gloves, but the acetone eats through the fingertips so they end up doing no good anyway. It’s also easier to use your bare hands to feel the wetness of the herb to ensure it’s consistency. During the time period that I was making herbal incenses, my hands became very dry.
Before beginning, you will need to determine your chemical to herb ratio. I would always make a strong blend one ounce at a time. I would use 1 gram of research chemical for every ounce of herb, which is what i’ll use for the instructions.
What to do:
- Weigh out an ounce of herb and put it into your glass bowl.
- Weigh out 1 gram of research chemical and put it into your small glass jar.
- Fill the small glass jar with acetone, screw the lid on, and shake it until the research chemical is fully dissolved.
- Unscrew the lid to the small glass jar and pour your acetone/research chemical mixture as evenly as you can over your herb in your glass bowl. I actually used two lids for my small glass jar. One of the lids I had poked holes in to make it easier to pour consistently over my herb.
- Put the lid on your glass bowl and shake it until all of the herb is wet with the mixture. I would use my hand to feel for consistency.
- With the lid off of the bowl, wait for all of the acetone to evaporate. It should be completely dry before smoking it. To speed up the drying process, I would spread my herb out onto a cooking pan.
- You’re Done
Herbal Incenses are obviously way cheaper to make than to buy. The only thing of any cost is the research chemical. The other materials will last you a while. I mentioned earlier herbal incenses being 30 bucks for like 4 grams in the store. When you make them, you’re basically making an ounce for the price you would have paid in the store for 4 grams. Unfortunately, high quality research chemical vendors can be difficult to find. The vendors should also be based in the country that you’re located, because they probably wouldn’t go too well through customs.
These highs can be fun for a little while, but trust me, they definatly aren’t worth dying or going to the hospital for. Weed can fuck you up every bit as much and lasts way longer. Dish out the extra few bucks for a safer, natural, more satisfying high. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
**DISCLAIMER** - I am not telling anyone to use, make, or sell herbal incenses. They may be illegal or a danger to your health. This is strictly for informational and harm reduction purposes only. I am not liable for the things that you choose to do. Please take caution when using any substance.