Changa was created by an Australian Guy
In Brazil most people think Changa appeared out of the Amazon from a mysterious indigenous origin and in Mexico most think changa is an ancient Aztec smoking mix. In neither countries do people seem to think is important to add ayahuasca vine shavings to the blend, and their blends typically contains DMT at a ratio of 50%. It would appear that the herbs are simply perceived as carriers of the DMT, allowing the DMT to be measured and smoked more easily than DMT in freebase crystal form.
Changa originated in Australia, in far northern NSW in the early/mid noughties. Since 2001 I was plotting, thinking about new forms of DMT administration. I experimented with snorting (it hurts too much) and even with injection. And I talked to other people about some sort of pharmahuasca pill, and came to conclusion that wasn’t a viable option for many reasons. So the smoking route was really the most obvious route to focus upon. I was inspired by hearing and reading of people infusing DMT into herbs, typically parsley, but also mullein and mint. Initial prototypes involved making joints of ayahuasca vine, then sprinkling DMT onto them and also making joints of mullein and peppermint and scraping goo into them. Then one time in December 2003, I infused DMT into caapi vine 1:1 or 50% DMT. When people told me that this blend was too strong, I added a blend of herbs, 1/3rd of which was ayahuasca and lowering the ratio of DMT to 25%, which I then called “smoking mix”. Funnily enough, I even know a guy who was calling this blend “smoking mix” until a couple of years ago.
Some people probably were smoking DMT with ayahuasca vine before this time, but I never heard about it. And people were smoking DMT infused into herbs (normally parsley), but I never came across this either, I was simply told about it by people on the internet or by people I met. There are a couple of brief reports online where people report smoking DMT with some kind of MAOI or even some mix of herbs, but they clearly didn’t see too much value in it or do much to spread it. Whereas, over about 5 years I did a lot of missionary work to spread this blend in many different countries. As a small example, I was giving envelopes of changa to people at the first Entheogenesis Australis conference in Victoria in 2005 and little bags to people at the 1st Amazonian shamanism conference in Iquitos in 2005.
Changa is a phenomenon that had a genesis, and this phenomenon began with my efforts. A lot of how it really “took” in Europe and Brazil, was via its introduction to key people deeply involved in the European psychedelic trance scene in 2006. I didn’t just come across this blend of herbs and give it a name. I was the 100th monkey that began to infuse DMT into a blend of herbs and truly father it until it could look after itself. There were other people at the time, who saw the value of this blend, but they didn’t even ask me how I did it, or what percentage of DMT I used or what herbs to use. They just went off and attempted to do it themselves. There also were some key people in the global DMT scene at the time, who just didn’t get it at all.
In the later noughties in Australia, people associated Changa as being “my thing” and I think that is perhaps one of the reasons that I think it didn’t REALLY take off in Australia, until after 2008, when Changa had its formal introduction to the world at the Boom festival. (I believe half a kilo fell out of the sky onto the dancefloor in a white “Alfred Vogel” bag)
Some other people in the late noughties also created their own supposed variants, “Nanga” and “Zanga”, which had no major differentiating factors in the blend, except that some individuals desired to create their own brand differing from mine! It is curious that in many countries Changa circles are a “thing”, for example, in Barcelona, I hear there are at least half a dozen individuals holding changa circles. However, Changa circles have never really taken off in Australia and I have just barely started to hear of them.
Of course, there is the phenomenon of imposters, people who claim something that is not true in order to take the credit. For some years, before I “came out” in 2010, that would have been possible for some folks to do that. I hear there is an old lady in Tasmania with white dreadlocks who claims to have invented Changa, but apparently the only people who buy this are some folks in Israel. People from outside of Australia might think that “the real person behind changa” might not come forward because of DMT’s legal situation. But what shocked and upset some of the old timers when I first got into DMT was, was how open I was about all of it and how kamikaze I was, almost desiring a court case, which never actually eventuated. I’ve always been so open, that apparently around Nimbin, there are stories which still crop up, that I am in fact a narcotics agent! There are people who think I can’t be a true blue counter cultural human, perhaps because I have a penchant for smart casual clothes rather than some counter cultural uniform. And I have also been just so open about my activities that they just cannot understand why I am not in jail. The truth is, that I’m very much aware that at this point, is that law enforcement at least on the east coast of Australia, are not at all interested in going after DMT or ayahuasca. And why would they be?
I never knew there was any contention at all that Changa was not my invention, until a thread popped up on the DMT Nexus a couple of years ago, spearheaded by Nick Spacetree aka Nen (A Kenyan Australian man who first discovered Acacia Obutisfolia, who didn’t seem to think people should smoke DMT at all and never really participated in the community until he popped up on the dmt nexus some years ago) and David Nickles aka Snozzleberry (An American glass blower very skilled at inserting himself into power politics in the psychedelic scene), with some cameos from a couple of old timers in the scene. This thread might have inspired some people to believe the detractive hype, but to people who were actually around Byron and Nimbin in the mid to late noughties, who went to psychedelic trance parties, who attended the ethnobotanical meet ups and conferences, and who actually participated in the community, I’d be very surprised if there is any contention at all as to where Changa originated from. And that is because I was fairly open about sharing it with people and I was one of the more vocal and open people in that scene, which also did lead to me also having a bunch of detractors.
Now I have people in the psychedelic world trying to tell me to stop being such an egotist, or they say the plants were simply working themselves through me, and so I cannot really take credit – or they tell me, I can only claim credit for giving changa its name, but not for “inventing” it. I’d say there are just too many people who were around at the time for this to be a contentious issues, key people in the scene who saw its genesis and arrival into the world and there are also many people who went on this adventure with me as well.
It isn’t ultimately important where changa came from, or who came up with it, but there are the actual true events here which are very intriguing and interesting indeed! Some of those events are written up in Graham St John’s meticulously researched book “Mystery School In Hyperspace: A cultural history of DMT”. So go talk to him and set him straight, if you think some guy you met in Burningman in 1984, was the REAL inventor of “changa”!
The word Xanga exists because I didn’t write Changa down on a piece of paper
I wondered where this word Xanga came from for a long time, as it popped up in articles and in random fb group posts and I wondered why people continued to use this word when it is a nonsensical spelling. Finally on a facebook group a couple of years ago, I understood that one of the people I gave a little bag of changa to at the 1st Amazonian Shamanism conference in Peru in 2005, went back and introduced this blend to the breaks and burning man scene in the Bay Area of the United States.
I don’t remember too much of our discussion, but I remember telling him, “In Australia we think breaks is the epitome of a lame music genre”
And he replied, “I won’t tell you what we really think about Australians”!
So I omitted to write “Changa” down when I gave him the envelope, and for some mysterious reason, he thought Xanga was the correct spelling and so for some people that spelling still sticks. But please lord, can we burn this “Xanga” meme with fire and let it go forever? Sure, you Americans can call it “Charn-ga” if you like, I’m not too offended, but Xanga is like a mutant mistake of a spelling, please lets correct this mistake!
Ayahuasca is an important, if not essential, ingredient of Changa
Some people call a Changa blend without the ayahuasca vine, the unwieldly title “enhanced leaf”. The English guy who first took changa to Brazil in 2006, who I showed how to extract DMT, didn’t see the importance of adding ayahuasca vine to the mix, even though he regularly drunk ayahuasca. And ayahuasca vine is not readily available in Brazil, but Mimosa Hostilis from which to extract DMT from is readily available. Without Ayahuasca in the changa, the ayahuasca will not truly activate the other herbs, the duration will not be the same, and the same smoothness will not be there.
I am a big fan of Syrian Rue taken orally, but right from the start, when people showed me some blends they had made with Syrian Rue seeds, I just found them just too hard to smoke. I have also smoked blends with Syrian rue extract in them, and also have found them far too harsh to smoke and with no obviously beneficial effects.
Changa is definitely NOT an evolution of Ayahuasca, those views are only really espoused by one guy, who called himself Chen Chen Dorge. I knew Chen Chen Dorge from the ayahuasca.com forums as Tikal, and had sent him the writeup I had written about Changa in 2008. He then lorded over the changa threads on the dmt nexus forums, until I appeared on the scene in late 2010, at which he point he promptly disappeared.
In the original changa article, I mentioned that a 10x ayahuasca vine mix could be made, which was an experiment by a friend of mine called “Irate Scotsman”. He thought it was too strong and heavy, but Chen Chen Dorje promoted this idea on the dmt-nexus, until he eventually concluded that blends containing straight ayahuasca vine were much better. Which leads us into the next thing people should understand about changa.
Adding more MAOI’s into Changa isn’t necessarily going to make it better.
Adding extra harmalas, from Syrian rue, I have found to be counterproductive, as with increased harmalas, come a heavier body load, the potentials for headaches, pressure in the head, an emphasis on the body and bodily processes, and perhaps the experience may become too emotional and personal and less cosmic and transcendent. When making an ayahuasca brew, you don’t want to give people too much ayahuasca vine, as they are going to have all the negative experiences emphasised with a heavy body load, such as nausea and not being able to walk properly.
Some people seem to default to adding 10x Ayahuasca vine or harmalas from Syrian Rue, thinking that the MAOI from vine will not work alone, but it does. Just with caapi vine alone, the duration will be extended and you will get good effects from just using a good source of ayahuasca vine or leaf in your mix. You can still get 30-40 minute experiences sometimes even if you just add caapi at a ration of 30% of your overall blend.
So the key to understanding Changa is that it doesn’t take much smoked ayahuasca to inhibit the MAO-A inhibitor, even 100 micrograms will do the job. Say you have 1 gram of Changa and 300mg of vine was used to make that changa. Considering that caapi vine averages 0.5% harmine content, which is about 15mg of harmine in that 1g. Then you have 10 smokes in that 1 gram, which is 10 doses of 150 micrograms, enough to inhibit MAO. The interesting thing is, that if you add a 10x ayahuasca concentration, that would only bring the amount of harmine to 1.5mg per smoke. (1.5mg looks like a grain of salt!)
Using too many MAOI’s in a changa blend is going to result in a heavier experience, with often greater body load. I find I get a headache if I use too much Ayahuasca (if for example, if I soak ayahuasca vine in ethanol and use too much), which might be for example the equivalent of 1g of total caapi vine to 1g of DMT. That would mean, that maybe a few hundred micrograms is more than enough to inhibit MAOI’s when you are smoking ayahuasca. Interestingly, some of the best vine I ever added to changa was some of the weakest I ever used, so that I needed 200g of this vine to inhibit MAO’s in a brew, when normally 50 grams will do the job.
Taking Syrian Rue tea orally before smoking Changa (or any form of DMT) appears to be the most effective way to extend duration and depth, with the duration easily extended to 30-40 minutes. I have been in contact with people who prefer this technique to any other combination of medicines, including ayahuasca.
Stronger is not better when it comes to DMT
Changa was originally designed as a sub-breakthrough experience, as a way to smoke DMT in a smoking mix of 20-25%, which people could approach with more regularity, than the breakthrough experience of smoking DMT in crack pipe or bong, which most people only wanted to experience at most, only a few times.
I keep hearing from people all around the world who have smoked strong Changa, not knowing what they were getting into, and getting the beegeezus scared out of them so much so that they are scared to try it again. Changa came about in the climate of many people being terrified of DMT in Australia in the early noughties, after many people there had experienced the shot out of the canon freebase smoking experience. In that instance of smoking changa, people could then make friends with DMT, have more gentle “sub-through” experiences. And yet the thing about sub-breakthrough experiences, is that they can be super intense as well.
Many people seem to only have one reference point for whether a “drug” is good or not, whether it is strong or not. DMT is already strong enough, a good changa blend should be like a fine wine, smooth to smoke, the effect should last a good while, and it should enable a smooth and friendly experience. The good thing about Changa is that you can decide the dose yourself, even just taking one small puff on a joint, is enough to brighten colour, amplify perception and clarify the activity of the mind, and bring alignment to the thoughts.
You don’t need to use acetone or any kind of solvent to make Changa
Propaganda outlets of the Russian government, such as “the DMT nexus forum” (At least that is what I randomly overhead on a plane flying to Costa Rica from Mexico), promote using solvents like methanol and acetone to make changa. The issue with this is that acetone and methanol can leave residues which can be toxic to smoke.
I think the best solvent you can use is pure ethanol, as it will dissolve DMT in the cold, but this can be tricky to obtain. Vodka I find to be the friendliest and next best solvent, although some heat may need to be applied to get the DMT to dissolve and you will need to dry the herbs a bit more, say compared to ethanol. I know people who have just melted the DMT on a plate on a steam bath, and then combined with the herbs which works just fine, although this process doesn’t actually infuse so much into the herbs. You can just melt the DMT into a splash of vodka on a plate and this technique works very well.
The correct Australian pronunciation is Chang-ah!
So the name Changa originally appeared to sound “ocker”, almost ridiculously “bogan” and “aussie” sounding. But in different languages it can mean different things, in Spanish it means woman who looks like a monkey, and it also refers to a bushbaby, a little nocturnal primate that lives in Africa. If you want to impress your Punjabi taxi driver, say “changa”, as you leave the taxi as an expression of approval and thanks.
In Europe, the agreed upon pronunciation appears to be Chan-gah or Chun-gah. In North America, it is mostly pronounced Charn-gah. This appears to be one of these, you say tomato, I say tomatoe situations.
To make matters more confusing, in Australia, there are some Liberal/Conservative voting wankers, presumably “cultured” Australians, who insist on calling this smoking blend “Chung-ah” and spelling it “chunga”. Make no mistake, if I ever hear this word pronounced that way in my presence again, you climate change denying pansies are going to get a chinese burn that is going to burn your wrists for some hours.
Just remember the Russian cartoon Katerok tells us of the correct pronunciation. Also, keep in mind how you pronounce Changi airport, it is not charngi airport, or chunghee airport, it is Chang-e airport, not chang-eye! Neither is changa pronounced chang-A, but chang-ah!