The recreational use of ketamine hydrochloride, a dissociative anesthetic, has surged in popularity, making its way from medical settings to the streets. Originally, ketamine was exclusively employed in operating theaters to induce anesthesia. However, more recently, it has been utilized for alleviating severe pain beyond the confines of the operating room. The FDA has recently granted approval for Esketamine, a ketamine analog, for the treatment of depression.

Ketamine is classified as a dissociative anesthetic, belonging to a group of drugs that includes nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) and phencyclidine (referred to as angel dust).

Due to the pleasurable sensations it induces, ketamine is also sought after for recreational purposes. When consumed in high doses, it triggers hallucinogenic effects, leading to a state commonly referred to as being in the K-hole or K-holing. Many individuals who have never experienced recreational ketamine use often wonder about the sensation of being intoxicated with this substance.

Defining a K-Hole

Defining a K-Hole

A K-Hole is a slang term used to describe a state of existence in which a person is in a state of body-mind dissociation. It is also described as an out-of-body or near-death experience, often accompanied by vivid hallucinations, depersonalization, temporary memory loss, and even catatonic schizophrenia.

A high dose of ketamine renders the user unable to move their body or interact with their environment. In other words, the person is physically present but on a mental trip.

How Does Ketamine Work?


Ketamine chemical structure
The molecular structure of ketamine (C13H16ClNO)

Ketamine works by blocking a neurotransmitter in the brain that is called glutamate. This neurotransmitter is involved in most excitatory functions of the brain. Consequently, blocking glutamate produces dissociative feelings.

Other names for Ketamine: On the street, ketamine is also referred to as Kit-Kat, Cat Valium, Special K, Super Acid, or Vitamin K

What Does a K-Hole Feel Like?

A K-hole gives most users an “out-of-body” experience. Users have reported a “floaty” sensation where they feel as if they are being teleported to outer space. Others have described the feeling as “melting out” or losing sense of yourself. While most recreational users enjoy this experience, newer users may find it very frightening and unappealing.

K-Hole Psychological Effects

The dissociative feelings of K-holing can give the user vivid hallucinations and flashbacks.

One user has talked about the positive effect of K-holing on him. During the out-of-body experience, he watched himself buying drugs from a dealer and then going home and getting high. Then he saw himself swimming alongside his girlfriend, completely sober and realized being with her was what made him happy. “The K-hole changed my life, honestly. I saw that my happiest moments were with that girl.”

In a study of the psychological effects of ketamine in healthy volunteers, the drug induced a range of perceptual distortions, especially of vision and time. The volunteers reported a sense of being enclosed and observing life as if it were a documentary on TV.

Long-term psychological effects of using ketamine can include:

  • Disassociation
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Drowsiness
  • Paranoia
  • Panic

K-Hole Physical Effects

Ketamine will also elicit physical changes, most notably numbing. On the outside, users appear to be drooling and entirely out of control of their senses. They may also find it difficult to move or even speak and be left feeling helpless.

Other reported physical effects include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Increased salivation
  • Extremely rapid heart rate
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

K-Hole and Ego Death

Most people who have tried K-holing have reported experiencing a state of ego death or total egolessness. In this state, they completely lose their self-identity. One study probed the effects on the brain that contribute to ego death. The researchers found that at high doses of ketamine, the brain activity depicted an alternating EEG rhythm linked to the dissociative phase, where most users report vivid hallucinations. At a higher amount, the EEG activity altogether ceased, and this persisted for several minutes. Some researchers believe that this is when ego death occurs, and the individual has a near-death experience.

How Much Ketamine is Needed to Reach a K-Hole?

** These dosages are dangerously high and not recommended in any way without medical supervision **

In an interview conducted by Psychedelic Research In Science and Medicine (PRISM), one user reported getting into a K-hole after consuming upwards of 200 mg of ketamine. Another user reported a similar experience after consuming almost 400 mg. In comparison, another one got into the K-hole after about 300 mg. Based on these reports, a rough guide of 200 – 400 mg should work for most people.

However, it’s essential to note that this will vary depending on the frequency of consumption, body weight, and metabolism of an individual. A typical amount for one person could be very dangerous for another, which is why this article does not recommend any specific dosage for any specific person. Any such discussion should be conducted with qualified experts, taking into account harm reduction and best practices.

How Long Does a K-Hole Last?

For most people, the effects of ketamine last for 45 to 90 minutes. But, depending on the dose and consumption method, the effects can last for several hours.

The effects of ketamine should be set in a few minutes after you consume it. However, this is also determined by how you consume it. While medicinal users are likely to receive the ketamine intravenously, most recreational users snort it. Ketamine can also be taken orally, but this will delay the onset of action.

This is approximately how long ketamine effects take to set in:

  • Intravenously – half a minute
  • Snorted – 5 to 10 minutes
  • Orally – at least 20 minutes

Now, if you’re wondering whether you can take multiple ketamine infusions within a short time, the answer seems to be positive. According to research, Dr. Samuel Ko suggests that multiple ketamine infusions are essential to minimize depression symptoms. On top of that, doses can be administered in repeated sessions that last between 2 and 100 minutes.

Safety, Potential Brain Damage, and Addictiveness of K-Holing

Safety, Potential Brain Damage, and Addictiveness of K-Holing

The practice of K-holing, while known to be uncomfortable for some individuals, comes with specific side effects worth considering. This article dives into the safety concerns, potential brain damage, and addictive nature of K-holing, shedding light on essential aspects one should be aware of before embarking on such an experience.

The Side Effects of K-Holing

Aside from its general discomfort, K-holing can elicit adverse responses, including but not limited to extreme paranoia, complete anesthetic effects, vivid hallucinations, panic attacks, temporary memory loss, and severe vomiting. Taking these potential side effects into account, proper preparation for a K-hole experience is crucial. Alternatively, gradually building tolerance through shorter trips is a recommended approach. Examining the Possibility of Brain Damage

When it comes to the question of whether K-holing causes brain damage, occasional indulgence is unlikely to result in long-term effects. It is important to note that ketamine has been safely used as an anesthetic for years. However, caution should be exercised regarding excessive and frequent consumption. Research based on MRI scans has shown that prolonged, heavy ketamine use can lead to brain lesions, with the severity increasing over time.

Understanding the Addictive Nature of K-Holing

Extended use of K-holing can potentially result in addiction. Individuals who frequently engage in K-hole experiences may find it challenging to discontinue usage. Although the effects of the K-hole are short-lived, users often develop tolerance, necessitating higher doses to achieve the desired state.

While K-holing can be intriguing for certain individuals, it is crucial to be aware of the potential side effects, brain damage risks associated with long-term, heavy use, and the addictive qualities it can possess. Prioritizing proper preparation, moderate consumption, and mindful usage patterns is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable K-hole experience.

Is There Any Other Drug That Produces a Similar High to Ketamine?

It is possible to compare Ketamine with DMT, also known as N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, 5-Methoxy-N, or N Dimethyltryptamine, which is a psychedelic substance that elicits comparable effects to ketamine. Interestingly, when consuming DMT, it is also much safer than ketamine. Individuals also experience a profound mental detachment. Some individuals even claim that the DMT trip is visually more intense than entering the K-hole.

Final Verdict on K-Holing

For certain recreational users, K-holing is a pleasurable experience sought purely for enjoyment. On the other hand, for others, K-holing represents a transformative journey that occurs following ego dissolution. Moreover, K-holing has been associated with certain therapeutic advantages, such as its potential in treating PTSD. Regardless of the motive behind delving into the K-hole, it is crucial to remember that frequent and prolonged K-holing can result in lasting alterations to the brain.