A friend asks…
1. What brands/varieties of poppers are the best right now in the US?
2. Are poppers actually getting less powerful as they’re subject to ever-increasing state regulation, or did I just build my tolerance to a point where no poppers are going to do the job that I remember them once being able to do?
Here’s my general canned response to these and similar questions (or rants about the golden age of poppers):
- It’s often the luck of the draw when purchasing poppers. Occasionally, you get a bad batch. The vendor may have had manufacturing issues. The retailer may have stored them too long before resale. The shipping process might have exposed them to an extensive amount of temperature differences. It’s unfortunate, but a fact of life we must deal with.
- After purchase, the location where you store and where you use your poppers makes a difference. The chemical bonds take very little energy to start degrading into a combination of water and the ‘headache maker’ residual chemical compound. If you are in the shower or near the pool or wet area, you will likely get less staying power out of ta bottle. The same is true for keeping them in the freezer–unless you live in a desert area like Arizona or the mountain West where there is almost zero humidity in the air. When you pull them out of the freezer in a non-desert climate, the cold bottle will interact with the humidity and cause condensation on the bottle. That moisture will cause faster degradation, even inside the bottle. Little bits of moisture can work in through the seal quite easily. Store poppers in a cool, dry place. If you must store them in the fridge, leave them out an hour or so before opening the bottle.
- Even a little sunlight heats the bottle up and degrades amyl and butyl compounds. To see this principle in action, take a bottle outside on a sunny warm day. Within minutes, one can feel the temperature change in the bottle. An exothermic reaction triggered by the photons from the sun is underway inside the bottle. Poppers packaging is designed to hamper this reaction, but direct sunlight is a very strong enemy.
- I never knew the Golden Age of Poppers. Most X’rs, Millenials, and Post-Millenials didn’t either. Having said that, we only hear rumors about how good poppers used to be. Formulas today may not be as potent as days of yore, but it’s likely that the golden age is more myth than reality. There is no government agency in the USA, Canada, or the EU that is tracking down popper vendors to verify the formula inside (at least that I am aware of). A more logical explanation is faulty memory and a combination of poppers with other substances or mentalities during the golden age.
- The body will build up a tolerance to poppers, especially if used daily. Cells in the body will create additional smooth endoplasmic reticulum to detoxify the invading substance. Take a break, rotate formulas. After several weeks, that cell will cease maintaining non-essential components and return you to normal.
- Last, but not least, there are two words that determine the ‘BEST’ poppers on the market: Human Physiology. Everybody and every BODY reacts differently to poppers. One man’s ‘God Damn, that shit makes me think I can go to the shoulder if I take one more hit of that!’ is another man’s ‘God Damn, did you buy those poppers in 1997?’