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Frankincense has Psychoactive Properties

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Aug 27 08 3:24 PM

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Not sure about the essential oil, but a research study in 2008 showed that frankincense smoke relieves depression/anxiety in mice.  It was linked to a compound called incensole acetate.

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#1 [url]

Aug 27 08 11:31 PM

Interesting bleugrass. Yes incensole acetate is present in the EO.

The main chemical components of frankincense oil are a-pinene, actanol, linalool, octyl acetate, bornyl acetate, incensole and incensyl acetate.

Doesn't sound like a major part of the EO but then again EO is very potent material to handle. Smoking an EO would be even more potent.


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#2 [url]

Oct 23 08 4:53 AM

Anyone ever try chewing frankincense like gum? Apparently, this is a traditional way of ingesting it. I watched an awesome documentary on youtube called "the frankincense trail" where they showed some arab guys eating frankincense. They seemed pretty excited when the host of the show offered them some of the resin, and they each proceeded to pop a large chunk in their mouths and start chewing. 

I have been chewing small amounts occasionally, but I haven't really been able to determine how it effects me. Yesterday I chewed a big piece, over a gram for sure. I thought I was feeling kinda relaxed and euphoric afterward, but it might have been placebo. I had smoked a small amount of medical cannabis an hour or two prior, which may have prevented me from getting an accurate feel for the substance.

The taste of this stuff is kinda strange at first, but it grows on you. I actually like the taste now, and I prefer chewing incense instead of gum. It creates a warming sensation in the mouth, which doesn't surprise me. Incensole acetate, one of the psychoactive constituents, binds to TRPV-3 receptors. TRPV receptors are what allow us to feel the sensation of heat, and they also play a role in neurobiology. The active ingredient in chili peppers is a TRPV-1 agonist, which is why it produces a burning sensation. TRPV-3 is responsible for feeling warm, but not hot, temperatures, which is probably why frankincense makes the mouth feel warm when chewed. 

I could have been imagining it, but after chewing a that big piece for a while, the feeling of warmth seemed to spread from my mouth, throughout my head, and into the rest of my body. This was about the time when I started feeling the "high"  from the frankincense. Coincidence? Imagination? Correlation? who knows... Further experimentation is in order. I want to get some boswellia sacra, the most rare and expensive kind of frankincense, because it is supposed to have substantially more incensole acetate than other varieties, and this is one active constituent which has been proven to be psychoactive. Maybe that is why boswellia sacra is called "sacred frankincense."

I am really interested in the psychoactive potential of this herb, and would love to hear other peoples experiences with oral ingestion. This incense is sacred in so many cultures, I'm sure there is a reason other than it's pleasing smell.

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#3 [url]

Oct 23 08 5:36 AM

I was daydreaming about starting a thread about frankincense today... how coincidental!

This stuff has so many healing properties.  I believe anti-cancer medicine is derived from boswellia and used in germany and other places in place of chemotherapy.  It has tumor fighting properties, anti bacterial/viral, comes as resin, oil, and powdered in capsules at the health food store. 

I have used this oil and resin topically, orally, and by inhalation and vaporization. 

The psychoactive effects I get from start with the chills... thats how you know its working.  I think it affects your vanillin receptors.  It gives you a sense of clarity.  Things come into focus and get a cloudy hazy feel at the same time.  It feels sublte yet strong, somewhere between an opiate and lotus.  Myrrh and cannabis seem to synergize very well with it.  The oil applied to the wrists or temples seems to absorb just fine but it fells much stronger when taken orally as an oil, resin, or the inhaled smoke. 

I think people used it for purifications and communicating with the dead... it was used in many different religion and for its healing.

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#4 [url]

Oct 23 08 6:17 PM

I am contemplating getting the resin, because I have also heard it is a limbic system stimulant. It has some unique properties no doubt, definitely for alleviating anxiety and opening up the mind. It would be interesting to hear more.

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#5 [url]

Oct 30 08 7:00 PM

So, I just smoked a bowl of frankincense resin. It doesn't taste too good out of a pipe and it kept lighting on fire, so I would recommend vaporizing it off of a charcoal. There was definitely some psychoactive effects. I felt dizzy, in a not unpleasant way, and kinda stoned. My internal dialogue seemed to be quieted. This seems like it might be nice to smoke before meditating. The effects are noticeable, but kinda hard to put a finger on. Since I am out of cannabis, I will probably be trying this again in the near future. Hopefully I will be able to get a better feel for what exactly this drug does.

In Iran, it is traditional to burn a mixture of frankincense and syrian rue seeds. This mixture is used as a spiritually purifying incense, and to dispel the effects of "the evil eye." It sounds like it might be a nice combo to smoke! I tried burning some of this mixture on a charcoal once while coming up on DXM. I inhaled a few deep breaths of the smoke. It is hard to get an objective idea of the effects, since I was on DXM at the time, but I had a very nice, spiritual, intense trip. I'm pretty sure the rue/frankincense combo helped in this regard.

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#7 [url]

Nov 27 08 6:42 PM

So, yesterday SWIM smoked some pot and went to the grocery store.  While there, SWIM found the EO section and prmptly inhaled some frankincense and put a few drops on the forehead and temples...
WOW The effects were felt within moments, the lights got brighter, very strong clarity... these synergize so well.  Remarkable how strong it works after not having touched the stuff for sometime. 

So on the way home SWIM goes into an Indian ice cream shop and behold, there was Saffron and pistacchio ice cream and another ice cream called kulfi that had a lot of cardamom in it, so having never seen these before ordered a cup with a few scoops of both. 

 Tastes amazing and exotic first of all.  Within a few minutes SWIM started feeling the rush before even finishing the bowl of ice cream.  SWIM was starting to trip

SWIM goes home and smokes another bowl of pot and within minutes started having a DMT style trip with the 3rd eye opening up into a spiralling world of colors.  It was easy to snap back to reality unlike smoking DMT which SWIM feels is a ride thats hard to stop. It was easy to go back to that space too.  Since then I've been trying to look up Saffron and Cardamom after hearing about SWIMS amazing experience. 

The ice cream man told me that SWIM picked the 2 flavors that go best together...   These people eat this stuff everyday along with Chai which has nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and coriander among other flavors... these people knew for a long time about this stuff.

SWIM also told me that he didn't eat any meat before his shopping ice cream adventure and really thinks that may have something to do with the whole experience.

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#8 [url]

Nov 30 08 8:47 PM

Swim has been trying to burn the gum resin with mixed success, no real psychoactive potentiation. The EO remains unclear also. Have not tried to use cinnamon, chamomile, or pistachios/cardamom EO with it yet. SWIM would like to see more on combining frankincense EO with other potentiators.

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#9 [url]

Dec 1 08 1:45 AM

Swim has been trying to burn the gum resin with mixed success, no real psychoactive potentiation. The EO remains unclear also. Have not tried to use cinnamon, chamomile, or pistachios/cardamom EO with it yet. SWIM would like to see more on combining frankincense EO with other potentiators.


taking a lighter to plain EO's probably wont have much success. try taking a rolling paper drop a few drops onto the rolling paper as it sits on a plate and spread the EO out and keep dropping till its drenched, then let it sit for a few hours to dry and roll it if you want. but a better option might be to shred the paper into little tiny squares big enough to fit into a bowl and smoke the shreds on top of a screen. or if you REALLY want to get effects take a backup bottle of EO and let a paper or 2 sit inside the bottle for a few days, then pull them out let them dry and shred, smoke. this last suggestion might be a little on the potent side be careful.

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#10 [url]

Dec 1 08 2:52 PM

There is the holy annointing oil thread which talks about frankincense getting used with myrrh and cinnamon, cannabis/calamus depending on who you talk to and a few other herbs with mixed translations... 

smoking the resin balls seems to work fine...   it also seems to have more effect when you dont use it too often... like wait a day or 2 between experiments.

you can buy boswellia in capsules in health food stores so id imagine (just a guess) that a few drops orally would be fine. 

i really like what the stuff does.  totally meditaitive. 

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Posts: 1,663

#11 [url]

Jan 23 09 2:11 AM

Has any more progress been made with this plant? If it's an opiate with alpha-pinene in it, that would be seriously big news as far as mental enhancement goes. Plus the 5-HT1A agonism of pinene probably prevents the slight addictive potential it might have.

I'm wanting to try it with myrhh. Wasn't myrrh supposed to be an opiate as well?

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#12 [url]

Jan 23 09 4:06 PM

Took 2 deep inhales of burning frankinsense "rocks" last night. Mild mood improvement and an "odd" feeling. Nothing like an opiate or anything else I could compare. Not profound enough to make me write off placebo, but noticable enough to make me consider trying again in about a week. Smoke is harsh and my lungs aren't used to smoking anything for about a year or so now.

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#13 [url]

Aug 19 09 5:16 PM

A few days ago I tried chewing and smoking frankincense resin. My resin was from the species Boswellia carterii which is just a synonym for Boswellia sacra that's growing in Somalia.

I did not experience much of a psychoactive effect from chewing about 1g, but this might be because I was out on a strenuous hike in the woods. Perhaps the effects were overshadowed by the effects of exercise. I found the taste to be pleasant and if it where readily available I think I would prefer it to gum.

Later in the day I smoked about 300mg of resin. Once again I found the taste to be pleasant and the smoke wasn't too harsh IMO. The psychoactive effects were a little stronger than chewing but still mild. Mostly a light sedative effect and a quieting of the mind.

All hail King Neptune and his water breathers!!!! maayyonaaaze!

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#14 [url]

Aug 20 09 2:44 AM

i find frankincense feels somewhat like a dopamine agonist, your better off rubbing the oil on all your chakras smoking some right after eating some and sitting cross legged and breathing slowly for 120 seconds or more. i should also mention higher grades of frankincense oil can be wiped inside of the nasal cavity and inhaled sharply, this is more simple with things safe to snort that you can suspend the oil in. i like frankincense mostly because i find it has anti-addictive properties similar to D2 agonists in witch i am consistently able to reproduce total resetting of certain receptors and entire neurotransmitter systems.     

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#15 [url]

Aug 22 09 12:46 AM

Well I didn't have the oil and I'm pretty sure that the resin would not absorb topically.

From what most people have posted, it seems that frankincense has mild effects. I tend to need higher doses of things in order to get effects. Maybe I need a higher dosage?

All hail King Neptune and his water breathers!!!! maayyonaaaze!

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#16 [url]

Aug 22 09 7:04 AM

Maybe I need a higher dosage?


this is most likely not the case, instead try taking it 3 times a day for 2 weeks then take a large dose.
you will notice the effects far before you get to the end of the week.

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