Candy Flipping: Then, Now & Tomorrow
“There are no insignificant psychedelic experiences.” —Alexander Shulgin
What is “Candy Flipping?”
It’s a phrase that has found its way into the collective cultural consciousness in the last few years, appearing in rap songs and across message boards.
It was even used as the moniker for a UK EDM (Electric Dance Music) group in the early-Nineties.
This is fitting as the phrase was first coined in Manchester, England. The term “candy flipping” first caught on among young people in or around 1990 when Brits began tossing it around on the underground rave circuit.
Initially, candy flipping referred to taking E (Ecstasy or MDMA) and LSD (Lysergic Acid Diamide or “acid”) at the same time. The word candy represented the “sweet” feeling instilled by the Ecstasy while the word “flipping” stood for the LSD “flipping your punk ass out.”
The appeal of candy flipping among recreational drug users is obvious—the combination of euphoric and hallucinogenic substances promises an intense experience of pleasure and vibrancy. It is, in essence, the ultimate party combination.
But in this, the age of stacking, candy flipping no longer refers exclusively to the above combination. Here we will look at where candy flipping is at today and consider the risks of usage.
Candy Flipping 2000
Today, candy flipping is as prevalent as it was in the Nineties, perhaps even more so now that it has made its way to the States and has been embraced by teenagers, twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings alike.
Just last year, an enthusiastic anonymous writer extolled the virtues of the combo in an article entitled “I Fell in Love While Candy Flipping.”
In the piece, Anonymous writes, “Psychedelics showed me love beyond words and turned love into physical vibrations passed between two beings.
As a child, I was taught there were steps when it came to partnerships, such as dating, being engaged and marriage.
“I had the understanding that marriage meant love. But psychedelics reconstructed my understanding of love and taught me that love can be found between two strangers sharing similar experiences, spaces or trips.”
And Anonymous is hardly alone; there are legions of people who swear by candy flipping with E and LSD.
One experience post on Erowid echoes Anonymous’ sentiments, reporting that candy flipping produced a “higher level of love.” There are innumerable amounts of experiences documented on sites like Erowid and it is worth noting that not all of them are so positive.
By now, any sensible reader has probably thought to themselves, “Ecstasy and LSD are some pretty hardcore drugs. Combining them has gotta be a stupid idea.” Well, you might be right.
An Erowid user who calls himself Scotto offered a distinctly different take on the candy flipping trip, writing,
“I feel obliged to report one very negative experience I had during a candyflip…I laid down on the floor under a nice blanket, on top of some cushions, underneath a blindfold, and proceeded to go way, way out there…before long, things got incredibly dark and incredibly weird inside my head. The sensation was of being suddenly and vigorously pursued by vast collections of entities that were very specifically bent on doing us grievous harm.
“We fled through psychedelic corridors and churning maelstroms of energy, and the terror in me gradually increased over the course of what I’m guessing was a half an hour, maybe more. The intensity continued to build and it seemed extremely relentless; I could feel them shrieking as they chased us, these horrible ‘alien’ monsters. I had never encountered such mayhem before and was frightened beyond belief.”
In 2017, the potential for bad trips when candy flipping is even higher (no pun intended) as users are combining E and LSD with other powerful substances.
Some folks are candy flipping with LSD, Ecstasy, Zolpidem, 5-HTP and more.
Zolpidem is a sedative commonly prescribed to treat insomnia while 5-HTP is an amino acid that is a popular nootropic for anxiety, sleep, weight loss, etc.
The risk factor here lies in the fact that each of these substances possesses a slew of prospective adverse effects, the likes of agitation, abdominal pain, anxiety, headache, fatigue, gastrointestinal discord, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, light-headedness, loss of coordination, chills, sweating, blurred vision, involuntary jaw clenching, dehydration and more.
When combined, there can be seriously poor interactions between these drugs, ones that could prove life-threatening. Users who keep this in mind should take care to regulate their dosages and take all proper precautions.
As any responsible candy flipper will tell you, users should always have a sober sitter, preferably with experience with the drugs. Having a guide when candy flipping is extremely important.
As mentioned above, candy flipping has evolved in the new millennium to include a vast array of compound combinations. A fashionable off-shoot of traditional candy flipping is “hippie flipping.”
A hippie flip is when you drop E with magic mushrooms (psilocybin). Users who have hippie flipped often prefer it over the old school flip due to the majestic colors and the warmth they feel surrounding them once it has kicked in.
A user at the Blue Light forum raved about the beautiful experience of inner love, writing, “I’m a pill- popping junkie on Methadone.
I usually don’t describe things like this unless it’s an opioid, but during a hippie flip, you’ll find out so much about yourself and want to let it all out.”
This is emblematic of the bedrock allure of candy flipping—the conglomeration of potent compounds enables the user to gain a sense of inner peace and wisdom while “rollin’” or, as the term would have it, “flippin’.”
While hippie flipping has become just as trendy as candy flipping, the overwhelming majority of users prefer the old school blend (E and LSD). One user believes that MDMA and LSD are more synergistic, saying, “Shrooms and E seem to conflict more.”
The Future of Candy Flipping
As we have seen, adventurous users are trying all sorts of candy flipping these days from hippie flipping with magic mushrooms and Ecstasy to downing that sizzurp (aka “purple drank,” a mixture of Promethazine and Codeine in a glass full of Sprite with Jolly Ranchers for added flavor). [Note: You can read more about sizzurp here in my comprehensive article on the topic.]
Other variations on the candy flip include nexus flipping which pairs MDMA with 2C-B, an entactogenic hallucinogen that’s a phenethylamine analogue.
2C-B is a Schedule I substance here in the United States which means you won’t be getting it from your neighborhood drug store, only from your neighborhood dope fiend…or, ya know, that weird kid from your philosophy class who still wears space pants and chews on his eraser a lot.
Nexus flipping has become quite popular over the last few years, but some warn that the body load is too much and that the combo can literally take you down on your knees.
At the end of the day, no matter how many people are taking shrooms or whatever else, the term remains the broadest and most well-known. Candy flipping is the name of the game.
It has taken on a reputation not unlike that of the Ice Bucket Challenge or any of the other inane challenges that have cropped up and become hash tag worthy causes thanks to social media.
Candy flipping is all over YouTube as well with a plenitude of plucky YouTubers posting “first experienc