While rapé is rapidly spreading around the world as a spiritual practice, more people wonder about the real effects of rapé. What is this snuff? Why do more and more people use it? Does it get you high?
The answer to this question depends on what rapé is, but also on how you use it, and why.
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The first kick
Some effects of rapé are common to almost all rapé blends. You will feel a kick when the medicine reaches your nostrils, some tears might appear in your eyes. Your mind will become more alert and sharp, your senses will increase in reach.
Some people can experience a headache (or a sensation of cold in the head) for a few seconds, especially if the snuff is blown too hard in the nostril. Some can experience sweating and accelerated heartbeat.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The real effects of rapé, especially if it is used during a ceremony, last for a long time after the use and extend to both the physical and the spiritual realms.
The scientific approach
Most rapé is made of tobacco, wood ashes, and a combination of herbs that varies depending on which blend you use (more info on what is rapé). The physical effect of rapé on your body and mind, therefore, depends on how these components affect you.
The tobacco used in the best rapé contains a significant quantity of nicotine, which is a stimulant. Nicotine creates a feeling of well-being and relaxation and increases heart rate and the amount of oxygen the heart uses. Nicotine also increases levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure and reward. Of course, nicotine has contraindications too, and can be addictive.
The other main component of rapé is ash, which is produced by burning a specific kind of wood. Which wood? It depends.
Most Amazonian tribes produce their ash by burning Tsunu. It is the case, for example, of Yawanawa. Others choose different woods, such as Murici, Cumaru, Pau Pereira, Parica, Cacao, Mulateiro, and Canela de Velho.
The rapé produced in Goa, India, uses Banyan ash, which comes from the holy Indian tree.
The ash used in the best rapé is produced by only burning the cork of the tree, even though the growing demand for this medicine is driving many producers to break the rule and use the complete trunk of the tree.
Each tree has a different chemical composition and therefore a different effect on the organism. But in rapé, ash serves as an activator. It balances the grounding proprieties of tobacco with its firey nature and increases the effectiveness of the medicine.
Even though ash and tobacco are the main components of rapé, the herbs are equally important and are the main reason why you can find so many different blends of rapé.
The tribes that first produced rapé in the Amazon selected the plants in their habitat and according to their knowledge. So, some South American rapé contains mint, clover, tonka beans, banana peels, and cinnamon.
Goa rapé contains a selection of herbs from the Ayurvedic realm, such as Ashwagandha, Amla, and Shatawari.
Each of those plants and herbs has a different impact on our organisms and contributes to the effects of rapé on us. But the real effects of rapé, the ones that have the greater impact, come from the spiritual approach to this medicine.
If you want more details about the chemical composition of rapé, click here.
The spiritual approach
People use rapé in different ways and for different reasons. Some as a relaxation tool, some as a stimulant, as a way to quit smoking, or as a recreational tool. But rapé is above all a spiritual weapon, and when used in a ceremonial way it has the power to trigger a number of spiritual effects.
The way you use this medicine greatly impacts the effects of rapé as well. A powerful blend can increase the energy of the body, and sharpen the focus of the mind.
For example, Shiva Power rapé is sharp and strong. It hits the mind first. It is then felt in the body, giving a sense of warmth, power, and control. Yawanawa gives an immediate kick, with a grounding and cleansing effect afterward. Full Moon delivers a moderate kick at first, followed by a long feeling of gentle euphoria that calms the senses and stimulates the chakras connected to soul and sexuality.
Rapé is used as a preparation for higher ceremonies, like kambo and ayahuasca. And not by chance. When used in a ceremonial way, it becomes very powerful. It connects you to the self and detaches you from the surrounding reality to focus on your essence. It creates an emptiness in you, to make space for meditation. It opens your senses and makes you more receptive.
If you feel you belong to the spiritual community, it is probably because you feel a sense of emptiness in the society you live in. The effects of rapé, the spiritual ones, help you to take distance from that society. Even for a limited timeframe, they give you the opportunity to reconnect with your soul.
Doest rapé makes you high?
Rapé is not a drug as such. It doesn’t contain psychoactive substances (although I have come across some exceptions). But it does make you high. Because of the initial kick, of course. But especially because of its ceremonial nature.
During my ceremonies, I have seen people receiving rapé, instantly travel to another dimension, and stay there for a long time.
Traveling sometimes to a higher state of consciousness is a need that most of us have. Rapé is an ideal tool to achieve this goal. This is why, I guess, more and more people are experimenting with it.
Your intention is the key
Our mind is a powerful tool to serve our spirit. And when it comes to the mind, the intention is crucial. Now you know the effects of rapé. But the only way to experience them in full is to focus on what you want. Set your intention, and make space around you. Realize that the only way to connect to yourself is to be really present, undistracted. Achieve this, and you will feel the real effects of rapé.