Grammy-winning Jamaican Dancehall recording artist and producer Sean Paul is an outspoken proponent of cannabis, with chart-topping tracks including Legalize It and Ganja Mi Smoke. Less well known is the superstar’s love for psilocybin mushrooms and other medicinal fungi. Lucid News caught up with the Dutty Rocker in Kingston, Jamaica, for a Zoom about shrooms.
Is smoking your preferred method of consumption, given all the options?
It depends on the mood I’m in. For the last year, the mood was like, I want my lungs clear. I don’t want to wake up with any phlegm. But, you know, when you smoke a lot, that happens. In general, smoking, to me, it’s a habit I got into. I love the feeling of euphoria and creativity and the insights I feel I get from smoking. But, I also get those things with ingesting it, and it also lasts for a long time.
It was easy for me to make that transition last year, however, back to my oils, to my teas or whatever. But it’s just so quick to roll up a fatty and smoke, you know what I mean? So, it depends on my mood.
Well, it’s quick for you. Some people are utterly inept at rolling a joint!
(Laughs) True, right? But, it’s easier for me. And it does bring about a quicker high, and it doesn’t last as long. So, there are moods I’m in. Like, I feel like I want to zonk out and just check stuff on the net tonight. So I want to eat some oil, you know? And it would last the whole night, without me having to go outside to smoke or whatever. But you know, I’m also into ‘shrooms. I’ve been doing some of that! Those two things help me to cope for now. Now and then, I drink a beer.
Do you mean microdosing or eating caps and tripping?
Again, it’s a mood because sometimes, mostly, it’s microdosing; but like last night, I was like, ‘I want to drink a lovely, strong tea.’ So, I put two nice caps in and drank the tea, and I ate the caps. Then I was zonked out for a while and woke up at 10:00 am the next day. (Laughs).
Even non-psychedelic mushrooms are very good for your cardiovascular system. Reishi Mushrooms, Lion’s Mane is good for your brain. It helps your memory. Cordyceps is suitable for generally everything. It boosts your immune system. Chaga is perfect for fighting off a lot of cancer-forming things in your body. Chaga is not from this region. I bought a lot of it when I went to Russia.
They’re not native to Jamaica, but psilocybin grows here.
I bought a lot of it and boiled some. I also found it on the net, from Alaska, and they sent it to me in a nice bag! So, now and then, I’ll make a big pot of it. I’ll keep it in the fridge and pour it in every drink that I consume, just to kind of keep whatever nutrients or protection, it can give me [from] some cancers of any sort or whatever. Keep my immune system up. You know I smoke, and I drink, so Chaga is healthy and counteracts that. It’s non-psychedelic. It doesn’t trip you out or nothing. It’s just good for you. It makes me feel calm when I drink it. I introduced my cousin to it, she drinks it, and she was like, “Wow! It made me sleep.” So, good stuff. Yeah.
What would you say is the most outlandish way you’ve ever consumed cannabis?
The tea. It’s weird because when I show it to people who make edibles every day, or they smoke daily and ingest as well, they’re skeptical. They’re like, “That’s never going to work because it’s not oil-based. The THC needs the oil to stay in.”
And I’m like, “That’s not how it works with my tea, bro.” And I’m like, “Let me show you.”
And I sit down, take the ounce, and pour hot water on it. Then I leave it on the stove. It boils up. The water turns to the color of the weeds. So, if you got mad brown weed, it turns dark brown, like coffee. If it’s a green weed with white hairs, you will see it look lighter brown. If it’s purply, this shit turned purple. I don’t know if that’s a dying leaf or anything, but it turns purple.
So, you take a little bit of that, and I drink that, and I’ll be high. And then the rest of it, I leave it to cool in the frying pan, and I put it in the fridge. The next day or whenever I’m ready for it again, I take that same part, I boil it again, and that can go on for about five days. It’s comparable to smoking for me because I smoke that ounce within three days.
So, the oil conserves it more. But with the tea, people just have not understood it. And they’re like, “I don’t understand how it keeps. Is THC supposed to be in oil to keep it?”
That’s what they say to me, but I’m like, I boil it, I drink it, and if it gets me high, I put it back in the fridge. I take it out. I boil it for three more days. I put more water on it. When it’s all boiled out, you know, every time that the water is finished, I will inspect the weed if there’s still more in there. I’ll throw cold water on it, and it shifts more of the stuff out. I’ll put that back in the fridge; warm it up the next day. And, as I said, by about the fifth day, it’s going to start smelling a little.
I haven’t perfected a method of how to preserve that beyond that point. But at that point, arguably, I’ve taken all the THC or whatever nutrients are in it. So, that’s probably the most bizarre way because a lot of people don’t do that. Never done that abroad.
In Jamaica, I went to school at UTech, and you know, we were all sitting under the tree one day, just talking about stuff. And a girl said to me, “When I was a kid, every time I was sick, my mom would make ganja tea.”
And I was like, Ganja Tea? How did she do that?
“Just boil it in the water,” she replied. I asked, “For real? I’m going to try that.”
I didn’t try it ‘till years later. And honestly, at the point when I tried it, it was about 2007. I was like, I’m smoking too much, and it’s kind of hurting my asthma, now. Let me try to do this tea thing that this girl told me about years ago. I made one cup of tea. I drank a full cup, and it made me laugh for hours!
So, it kind of hit me back to like when you first smoked your first joint, like deep high, like very high. I was like, “Yo, this is crazy.” I almost couldn’t even walk. So, I realized I have to drink a lot less, like a quarter cup. Then I got used to doing it, but everyone I show the tea to is grateful since then. They don’t really need those things that don’t make them high because at the end of it, they sip it, and within 15 minutes, they’re like, “Yo, Thank you, bro. This is crazy. It was like when I first smoked.” That’s why I like it.
Is it like a reset?
It gives you up a 15-hour high rise. It was like when I had to fly to Australia and all these long flights to Japan. I get a nice cup of tea before I go, and then I’m good for the flight and ok on them.
It kind of sounds like cannabis tea has the same effect on you that microdosing mushrooms have on me. I microdose shrooms whenever I have to take a 12 or 14-hour flight. It puts me in a more pleasant mood when dealing with uncomfortable travel logistics, and hiccups like flights diverted or unable to land because of airport traffic. Everyone else on the flight is getting aggravated, and I’m chill.
I have a funny story to tell you! My brother (Jigzagula) and I did a show in Negril, and then we had to leave Negril and come straight back to Kingston. I go straight to the airport and get on a plane. So, we packed our bags in a hotel, whatever, left for dinner. Then we were on this tour bus thing, kind of. We get to the road to the airport in Kingston. And I’m like damn! I got a bag of mushrooms. And I was like, “I’m so high already, I don’t know what to do with them.” So, my brother said to give them to him!
Waste not, want not.
Yeah! And he ate the whole bag! So, we’re in the airport, and I was freaking out because of what I had consumed. My brother goes to sit on the plane, and immediately, this dude starts talking to him. The stranger in the next seat asked him a question, and my brother just pulled his hoodie right over his head, down over his eyes, and went to sleep. He did not even answer the dude. The dude thought he was mad disrespectful. And he was like, “Yo, I’m not having it. If I answer this question, I’m probably going to freak out on the plane again.” So, he passed right out.