Ketamine has traditionally been used as an anesthetic for medical procedures, first in veterinary clinics and then in people after the FDA approved it for human use in 1970. Shortly after that, it began taking off among hippies and then in 80s and 90s nightclubs, according to Steven Levine, a New Jersey–based psychiatrist and founder of Actify Neurotherapies, a treatment center with locations in several cities. Still, it’s more popular as a recreational drug in the UK and southeast Asia than it is in the U.S.

Over the past decade or so, legal ketamine clinics have popped up to treat depressionOCD, and other mental health conditions. It sometimes has transformative effects for people who haven’t responded to conventional psychiatric medications, said Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist and founder of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence, which specializes in Ketamine IV therapy for psychiatric conditions that haven’t been alleviated by other methods. “It has literally saved lives for people who were ready to give up all hope,” Masand said.

Because experiences with ketamine vary so drastically, it’s hard to know what you’ll feel on it. That said, here’s what you should know if you’re thinking of trying it.

What does it feel like to take ketamine?

Aside from being a sedative, Ketamine has dissociative properties, which means it can make you feel disconnected from your body and the world. “This may be accompanied by vivid dream-like feelings and out-of-body experiences,” Masand said.

At low doses, this can be a pleasant experience, making someone feel “at one with the universe,” said James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. Or, it might give them a more objective perspective on their lives, as it did with me.

This is why ketamine can be helpful for PTSD patients, Levine said—they can work through their trauma without reliving all the emotions associated with it. Those with depression may find it helps them feel “less isolated and less alone,” he said.

But at higher doses, people can experience derealization, or detachment from reality, which can lead you to make dangerous decisions. Some people fall into the aforementioned K-holes, where they’re temporarily immobile. “It is termed a ‘K-hole’ because a person is typically unable to process any external information and may appear to be immobile and not responding to verbal stimuli,” Masand said. “It may be accompanied by hallucinations and psychosis. There have been reports of individuals taking hours to come out of a K-hole.”

Other not entirely pleasant effects of ketamine can include anxiety, dizziness, or loss of balance. Patients often don’t enjoy the experience, and make comments like “time is going slowly” or “I feel a bit sunken in my chair,” Masand said.

Ketamine might also affect sensory perception. For some people, colors get brighter and more intense, Levine said. At higher doses, many have full-on hallucinations. Others find that their hearing becomes more acute, which could explain why my friend’s dog freaked me out so much. “When we use it clinically, if somebody is in a room and there are whispered voices in another room or the other side of the building, you can clearly hear them,” Levine explained.

How long does a ketamine trip last?

Ketamine’s effects typically last for just about an hour, but they can continue for as long as a day, depending on the dose and method of ingestion, Masand said. Some people just sleep off lower doses of ketamine, but others may continue experiencing a sense of derealization the day after taking it, especially at high doses. Ketamine hangovers can also include “dizziness, incoordination, [and] impaired attention and memory,” according to Masand.

How do people use ketamine?

Recreationally, ketamine is usually snorted in powder form and occasionally taken as a pill, while in clinical settings, it’s often administered via IV or injections. Some clinics have therapists in the room supervising and talking to patients, while others leave you to yourself, often providing blindfolds or noise-blocking headphones to help you focus.

The main difference between different methods of ketamine administration is in the timing of the trip, said David Manjoubi, anesthesiologist and founder of Ketamine Healing Clinic of Los Angeles. Shots will come on more quickly and end more quickly than IVs, snorting will take longer than both, and oral administration takes the slowest to set in.

Another, newer way of taking ketamine is through a nasal spray that can be prescribed to use at home as a treatment for depression or other mental health issues. This spray is made of a type of ketamine called esketamine, which is different in molecular structure, but has the same effects as the ketamine you typically hear about. As Mahjoubi explained, “Esketamine is just another form of ketamine.”

Unsurprisingly, people have appropriated esketamine spray as a party drug, with some ravers preferring the smaller, more controllable doses. “Some people call it a princess high,” said Giordano. “It’s light and wafty, not necessarily as profound, and the incidence of experiencing the K-hole phenomenon is less.”

In another new model of ketamine therapy that’s gained popularity in the age of social distancing, some clinics will prescribe ketamine tablets for patients to take at home while they video chat with a clinician.

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Buy Ketamine for Chronic Pain

Ketamine has also been shown to have positive effects on chronic pain syndromes. Though the exact process has not been mapped out, ketamine influences pain in a variety of ways. Primarily, ketamine acts as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor inhibitor. Neurogenic pain is greatly influenced by the NMDA-receptor system and, “antagonizing this system may be a useful way to obtain better pain control.” Ketamine also has anti-inflammatory effects as well as enhances the descending inhibition of pain. Studies have shown that infusion from 4-14 days can lead to long-term analgesic effects for up to 3 months. Some side effects include, “psychedelic symptoms (hallucinations, memory defects, panic attacks),  somnolence, cardiovascular stimulation and, in a minority of patients, hepatoxicity.” However, some studies have shown benzodiazepines are able to reduce the psychotropic side effects.



A recent study looked into the effectiveness of ketamine in treating social anxiety disorder. 18 adults who were diagnosed with DSM-5 social anxiety disorder were in a randomized, double-blind trial in which intravenous ketamine and a placebo were given to the participants. After two weeks, participants had a significant anxiety reduction when measured by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS). This gives us initial evidence that ketamine may be able to help patients with anxiety, especially if they have tried other medications and failed.

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Dose and onset

How? How Much? When? For how Long?

As with any drug, the correct dose for you depends on factors such as weight, gender, metabolism, whether you have taken the drug recently or not, amongst many others.

Read our section on dosing and tolerance in ME for more information.

How you take it matters…


Snorting is the most common way of using it. People usually divide the powder out into lines with a card and snort it with a straw or a piece of paper. Snorting through one nostril over a long time can lead to nasal ulcers or damage the septum.


Ingesting ketamine results in slightly different effects to snorting or injecting. If taken as a ‘bomb” (wrapping a dose in a cigarette paper) the effects take longer to feel and the experience will last longer. Taking ketamine orally usually results in a less intense experience.

Gumming is another way of doing it. A small amount is applied on the inside of the lips or gum. This can damage your gums and lips. Gumming is not a common way of taking ketamine as most users find the taste very unpleasant.

Intramuscular injection

Injection is the most harmful way to take it. Like all other substances mentioned on our website- it’s recommended that you do not inject ketamine. Injecting also increases the likelihood of becoming addicted to a substance.

How much?


  • Light dose: 15-30mg
  • Common dose: 30-75mg
  • Strong dose: 60-125mg
  • Heavy (“K-hole”): 100-250mg


  • Light dose: 50-100mg
  • Medium dose: 75-300mg
  • Strong dose: 200-450mg
  • Heavy (“K-hole”): 500mg+

Intramuscular injection

  • Light dose: 15-30mg
  • Medium dose: 25-50mg
  • Strong dose: 40-100mg
  • Heavy (“K-hole”): 60-125mg

Source: Erowid

When do the effects kick in and for how long?

The START time below is when you will usually begin to feel the effects of ketamine from the time when you first take it. The DURATION is roughly the length of time you will experience the effects, after which the effects will start to wind off and you might start to feel the calm-down/comedown down effects.

Timeline for snorted ketamine:

  • START: 5-15 minutes
  • DURATION: 40-60 minutes
  • AFTER-EFFECTS: 1-3 hours

Timeline for ketamine taken orally:

  • START: 5-20 minutes
  • DURATION: 90 minutes
  • AFTER-EFFECTS: 40-80 minutes

Timeline for injected ketamine:

  • START: 1-5 minutes
  • DURATION: 1-2 hours
  • AFTER-EFFECTS: 2-4 hours

Ketamine may have an anti-depressive effect in low doses (20-30mg), and there are currently a number of ongoing research trials looking into this.

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What are Club Drugs?

Club drugs (also sometimes called Dance Drugs or Designer Drugs) are drugs which at one time were found most frequently in night clubs and at raves, but have since become some of the fastest growing drugs used by college students. These drugs include MDMA (ecstasy, E, or X), ketamine (special K), GHB, and crystal methamphetamine (speed, crank, crystal, tina).

What is ketamine?

Ketamine, known as Special K, Vitamin K or Cat Valiums, is an injectable anesthetic. It is most commonly used by veterinarians on large animals today. In the 1980s it began to be used recreationally as an intoxicant.

How is ketamine used?

Ketamine is either sold as a dry white powder or a clear liquid (in its original pharmaceutical packaging). The powder is made by drying the liquid. The residue from this drying process is then crushed and snorted in small doses (called bumps). In rare cases ketamine is injected intramuscularly or smoked with tobacco or marijuana. Whether smoked or snorted, the effects begin in a few minutes and lasts less than an hour.

Why do people take ketamine?

In large doses ketamine produces effects in humans similar to phencyclidine (PCP) such as dream-like dissociative states and hallucinations. It has a number of contradictory effects, including stimulant, sedative, anesthetic, and hallucinogenic properties. Users describe feeling like they are drunk, stoned, and tripping all at once.

What are the short-term dangers of taking ketamine?

Ketamine blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate at one of its receptors, causing a user to feel distanced from his/her environment. But ketamine also causes the user to feel euphoric and insensitive to physical pain. When ketamine is used as an anesthetic in humans, it is used with another drug to prevent hallucinations.

Are there long-term consequences to taking ketamine?

Because ketamine has only recently been used as a recreational drug, there are no studies available on its long-term effects. However, there is some anecdotal evidence that low-dose intoxication can impair learning ability, attention, and memory. Like other hallucinogens, ketamine can also cause severe flashbacks. Frequent use and higher doses can cause disruptions in consciousness, leading to neurosis or other mental disorders.

How do I recognize a problem with ketamine?

Some of the signs of problem use are:

More frequent use.
Needing more and more to get the same high.
Spending time thinking about ketamine.
Spending more money than you have on the drug.
Missing class, work, or failing to finish assignments because of ketamine use.
Making new friends who do it and neglecting old friends who don’t.
Finding it’s hard to be happy without it.
If you find that you can’t stop using ketamine, remember there’s help available.

Is ketamine addictive?

While no studies have been done to measure ketamine’s physically addictive properties, it is acknowledged, even by its proponents, to be psychologically addictive. Timothy Leary himself has described ketamine as the most powerful of psychedelic drugs. For people who want to feel dissociated from their environment, this drug can be dangerously appealing and there are many reported cases of addiction.

Is ketamine illegal?

Yes, taking ketamine is illegal and its possession, use, and sale carry heavy prison sentences and fines and disciplinary consequences at UCSC.

How do I help a friend who’s having trouble with drugs or alcohol?
If you are concerned about a friend’s drug or alcohol use, this page contains information about different ways to help them.

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How to cook liquid ketamine to crystal form


Bring 1 pot of water to boil (2 if your doing a whole 50ml bottle) place half (or 25ml) onto a normal ceramic plate.

Once the water has boiled, bring the temp down to a low setting and place the plate on top of the pot. (many of you may notice this is how you melt cooking chocolate)

(the reason I recommend using only half the bottle or 25ml is because any more takes longer to cook)

Within a few minutes you will see the edges turn to crystal. You can even watch as the Ketamine ‘skins’ over the top to look like a sheet of ice (ice as in frozen water) Leave this to ‘cook’ for about half an hour or so.

When you return look VERY closely to see if there are any little patches of bubbles bubbling up underneath. If so leave for another five min or so. If your NOT sure, just get a knife and scrape across the plate. if its cooked it will just all scrape off nicely. If you do this and you still see its a little wet, obviously it’s not done yet.

When its done, turn of the stove, grab a tea towel, lift up the plate and dry it underneath (and yes this will be hot so be careful) You can then get a razor or Card and scrape it into a nice little pile to do what you wish.



Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic developed in the early 1960s and used in human and veterinary medicine. The drug is primarily used for anesthesia.

In the 1950s, phencyclidine (PCP) was developed as an intravenous general anesthetic, but because of its severe side effects, ketamine was developed as a dissociative anesthetic to replace PCP.

Street Names

Various street names for ketamine include K, Special K, Vitamin K, super acid, super c, bump, cat Valium, green, honey oil, special la coke, and jet.

What It Looks Like

Ketamine usually appears as a clear liquid or a white or off-white powder. However, it can be sold illegally in pill or capsule form. It is tasteless and odorless.

How It’s Used

In medical settings, ketamine is given intravenously to induce and maintain anesthesia. In substance abuse settings, it can be ingested by mouth in pill or capsule form. Ketamine liquid form, it can be injected into a vein, consumed in beverages, or added to smokable materials. Some users inject the drug intramuscularly.

Who Takes Ketamine?

As a street drug, ketamine has become popular as a “club drug,” used by teens and young adults at dance clubs and events known as raves. Because it is odorless and tasteless and can be added to beverages without being detected, it has been used as a “date-rape drug.”

As a date rape drug, ketamine can cause the victim to not be able to speak or move. It can also induce amnesia so that victims may not be able to recall events that took place while they are under the influence, making it an even more effective date rape drug. BUY KETAMINE ONLINE


For the drug abuser, the effects of ketamine are similar to PCP, but not as severe and with a shorter duration. Users describe the high from ketamine as a pleasant sensation of floating or a dissociative state of being separated from their bodies. The drug can produce hallucinogenic-like effects, lasting a short period of time, from one to two hours.