The Seeker's Guide To
With the growing popularity of ayahuasca, it's no surprise that changa is also seeing an explosion of interest. Referred to as "smokable ayahuasca," changa is a smoking mixture infused with DMT, invented by ethnobotanist Julian Palmer.
Changa is said to provide people with a glimpse into the ayahuasca experience, without requiring a strong purge or hours of deep psychedelic journeying.
This guide is intended for seekers who are intrigued by changa and wish to engage with the topic safely and responsibly.
In this guide you’ll learn more about changa, its effects, and some of the most popular recipes.
Sounds good? Let's get started!
The Basics of Changa
Changa is a modern herbal smoking blend that allows the psychedelic molecule DMT to be smoked in a more pleasant and longer-lasting form than pure crystal DMT.
Changa is made from the plant ingredients of the most popular variations of the ayahuasca brew; Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi. The idea is that when smoked, the combination of these plants gives you a mystical psychedelic experience similar to ayahuasca, but shorter lasting.
Changa also contains other plants designed to improve the taste and smell of the smoking experience. Some mixtures even contain other psychoactive plants, allowing for endless experimentations with combinations of different entheogens.
What is Changa?
Although psychonauts have long been experimenting with smoking mixtures of DMT extracts with various plants, changa explicitly aims to recreate the popular ayahuasca recipe of P. viridis and B. caapi.
When the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in B. caapi combine with the DMT in P. viridis in ayahuasca brews, it allows the psychedelic DMT to be active for much longer in the body. Although there’s no conclusive evidence that this same symbiosis would take place in a smoked version of ayahuasca, it’s theoretically possible – and many swear by it.
Julian Palmer was the first person to really popularize this “smokable ayahuasca” blend, coining the term “changa.” The idea was to find a pleasant mid-ground between the long-lasting ayahuasca DMT experience, and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it smoked crystal DMT experience.
A mid-ground could be desirable because ayahuasca ceremonies can last many hours, and often involve unpleasant purging – while on the other side, smoking pure crystal DMT only lasts a few minutes, and can lack some of the more spiritual components of the unique ayahuasca blend.
By extracting and concentrating DMT from plants, and then mixing it with the ingredients of ayahuasca, Palmer hoped that changa would be a powerful yet accessible DMT experience that retained some of the qualities of ayahuasca.
The Pharmacology of Changa
When you drink ayahuasca, the combination of DMT with MAOIs stops your body from destroying DMT, therefore making the psychedelic experience last longer. We think the same thing happens with changa. Even though we don’t yet have conclusive evidence of this, there are thousands of anecdotal reports!
People suggest that the combination of DMT with MAOIs in changa helps the psychedelic effects of the DMT come on a lot slower, and last longer, than just smoking pure DMT. We also know that MAOIs have their own psychedelic effects when ingested or smoked, so they’ll undoubtedly be contributing to the changa experience.
As there are hundreds of changa recipes out there, and practically endless ways that you could combine DMT with MAOIs, many people include other psychoactive plants in their changa blends. A universe of pharmacological possibilities remains to be discovered!
How to Make Changa
Changa can be made at home using simple materials and readily-available plants. It's a basic smoking mixture of dried plants, with the addition of a solution of pure DMT.
DMT is illegal in most countries, but there are some places where you can order DMT-containing plants and extract the DMT to create your own solution.
From there, it's a simple process of following a recipe for your smoking blend, adding your DMT solution, and allowing the DMT to infuse itself into the plant mixture.
Almost all of the most common ingredients in the changa smoking mix, excluding DMT, are legal to obtain in most countries.
How to Make Changa
For more in-depth information about creating changa from scratch, including step-by-step instructions, click here to receive our free PDF guide!
The basic changa recipe is to extract DMT from a DMT-containing plant, then dissolve that extract into a mixture of plants that includes MAOIs.
So the most simple changa recipe is to dissolve 250mg of pure DMT crystal in a small volume of isopropyl alcohol (as little as you can), then add that DMT-alcohol solution to 1g of dried B. caapi vine (or other plant that contains MAOIs), and let the mixture dry so that all the DMT moves into the dried plants while the alcohol evaporates.
From this starting point, you can change anything you want! You can alter the concentration of DMT if you’d prefer it stronger or weaker, and use all sorts of other plants in place of, or in addition to, the B. caapi.
Other plants that contain MAOIs include Peganum harmala (Syrian rue), passionflower, and some Acacia trees.
You can extract DMT from a large number of plants, including Psychotria viridis, Mimosa hostilis, some Acacia trees, and Anadenanthera seeds.
In addition to the DMT and MAOIs, you can add all sorts of herbs to the changa mix to make it taste nicer, or to explore other sedative or psychoactive properties. We’ll share a couple of the most popular mixes below!
Popular Changa Recipes
For any changa recipes, you need to dissolve your DMT in alcohol first. The best alcohols to use are isopropyl alcohol or pure acetone. You don’t want any additives in your alcohol so that they evaporate cleanly. You’ll want to add your DMT to the alcohol in a shallow dish, and use as little alcohol as possible – probably around 10ml of solvent for 250mg of DMT.
Once the DMT is fully dissolved in the alcohol, you can add your dried plant mix directly to the DMT-alcohol solution, mix it thoroughly so the plant is soaked, and then allow the alcohol to fully evaporate. This might take a few days, depending on how much alcohol you’ve used. When it’s totally dry, it’s ready to smoke.
The “original” changa recipe, endorsed by Julian Palmer, includes an interesting mix of plants! To make a gram of this mixture, combine these dried plants, finely ground:
- 300mg B. caapi (the main source of MAOIs)
- 200mg passionflower (also contains MAOIs)
- 200mg mullein (thought to reduce the harshness of the smoke)
- 200mg peppermint (for flavor and to reduce the harshness)
Then, add 250mg of your dissolved DMT solution to this plant mixture and allow to dry.
Finally, add 50mg of calendula (used in some herbal smoking blends) and 50mg of blue lotus (which has mild sedative properties) into the now dried smoking mixture, to complete the recipe.
To check that everything has worked, weigh your final mixture. If you added 250mg of DMT to 1g of plant material, it should now weigh 1.25g.
Here’s an alternative recipe for changa – this one is colloquially known as “Electric Sheep.” First, mix together these dried gound-up plants:
- 330mg B. caapi (the main source of MAOIs)
- 330mg Calea zacatechichi (sedative and euphoric properties)
Then add 250mg of your dissolved DMT solution and wait for it to completely dry.
Finally, add 330mg of blue lotus – adding this last preserves its color and texture. Then it’s ready to smoke!
To store any changa blend, make sure it’s completely dry, and in an airtight container. For long-term storage, keep it somewhere dry and dark, where there are minimal temperature fluctuations.
If you’re really keen on making a great tasting blend, you can also pre-infuse the alcohol you will use to dissolve your DMT into the mix. Infusing this alcohol with pleasantly-tasting herbs and plants, like lavender or mint, can impart some of their flavors to the final mix.
Here are some more changa recipes for you to try:
The Changa Experience
Taking changa is unlike ayahuasca – it's a short-lasting experience that doesn't carry the physical investment that ayahuasca does.
Many consider changa to be a glimpse of the full ayahuasca experience. For this reason, psychedelic novices may be attracted to changa – or people who are considering taking ayahuasca but haven't made their minds up.
For those who are experienced with ayahuasca, changa can be a way of staying in touch with the plant medicine without having to return to ceremony too regularly.
What It's Like to Take Changa
Changa can be smoked through a bong, pipe, or even just rolled into a joint.
Smoking changa results in a 10-15 minute long psychedelic experience that people describe as a shortened ayahuasca trip that also has elements of pure DMT. The afterglow can last up to half an hour, depending on the strength of the changa blend.
People report that having larger doses of MAOIs within the mixture helps the experience last longer and feel more like ayahuasca. It’s been suggested that the MAOIs in the blend help to extend and soften the sometimes overwhelming visual effects of the DMT.
Unlike ayahuasca, people rarely report nausea or vomiting with changa. If you’ve made a good blend, it should smell and taste very pleasant, unlike smoking pure crystal DMT!
Trip reports often start with participants describing themselves being shot through the universe at great speeds, before reaching some kind of portal or gate – similar to the smoked DMT experience. Then the trip typically starts to gain more of a narrative, or more of a sense of purpose or message, compared to pure DMT experiences. People report a very gradual come-down that leads into a smooth and usually very pleasant afterglow.
As with all psychedelics, set and setting matters for the quality of your experience. People who are well prepared, set clear intentions, and have paid attention to making their environment calm and safe, are more likely to have a good experience. It’s also great practice to have a sober sitter with you.
When you first take changa, start with a small amount, to test your sensitivity. Sometimes people require multiple hits to start to feel the effects, so stay calm and take it easy.
Want to Learn More About Making Changa Yourself?
Get our free guide to making changa!
- Contains everything you need to know about making changa at home – including step-by-step instructions about the most common methods used by changa aficionados to create their own smoking mixtures.
- Includes diagrams and clear instructions.
- We point you towards the best places to order plants online!
What does "changa" mean?
The name was created by Julian Palmer, when he devised the smoking mixture. It is purely slang, and has no inherent meaning – and as Julian Palmer suggests, it is a uniquely Australian colloquialism.
How do you smoke changa?
Changa can be smoked in a pipe, bong, or joint. It's a smoking mixture made to be smokable in pretty much any form. It doesn't require special methods, such that are required for smoking pure DMT. As with any psychoactive substance, start off with a low dose until you are comfortable with it. Smoke in a familiar environment with a sober sitter to look after you.
Is changa legal?
DMT is illegal in most countries, so changa will likely be illegal in those places too. However, many of the plant ingredients of changa are legal in much of the world. If in doubt, always check your local laws. You may be able to create a legal version of changa that adheres to your local laws.
Do you need to add concentrated MAOIs to changa?
Some people suggest that you have to use a concentrated extraction of MAOIs to add to your smoking mix, to give you an effective changa blend. However this is not necessary, and Julian Palmer himself states that you just need to make sure your smoking mix has enough MAOI-containing plants in it.
Is changa different from pure DMT?
Yes, smoking changa can be a much less intense experience than smoking pure DMT. This is because the MAOIs in the smoking blend help to elongate and dilute the DMT experience. It is also easier to smoke changa, because you do not need to worry about burning the pure DMT crystal.
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