Top 10 Surprising Facts About Psychedelics

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Psychedelics


Brushing up on history and reading about new developments may be a bit boresome, but, as one might expect, there are quite a few astonishing anecdotes and crazy stories coming from the world of psychedelics. Zamnesia has composed a list of 10 of these anecdotes that we find to be particularly interesting.

Humans have been extensively experimenting with mind-altering substances since prehistoric times. Alcohol from fermented fruits and cereals has been found in archaeological sites, like the Jiahu village in China, dating back almost 7000 years BC. In Guatemala, fossils of the San Pedro cactus date back 9000 years BC. And cave paintings depicting mushrooms are thought to go back way, way further than that.

Ten things you probably didn't know about popular Psychedelics

In this modern epoch, psychedelics have taken on a more complex cultural significance. Here we are going to explore some interesting and thought-provoking facts about its recent history and use.

1. SHROOMS ARE (RELATIVELY) SAFE!

Magic Mushrooms

Contrary to popular belief, out of all the major illicit and licit recreational drugs, Magic Mushrooms are considered to be the safest of the lot, according to the Global Drug Survey 2017. The study achieved an extraordinarily high data set that is statistically significant and is comprised of over 120,000 inquiries from 50 countries. They concluded Magic Mushrooms to have the lowest prevalence of people seeking medical attention with an incredibly low 0,2%. On the other side of the spectrum, methamphetamines and alcohol are considered the most dangerous, with 4,8% and 3,2% respectively.

2. MDMA MAY HAVE CLINICAL VALUE

MDMA

MDMA is making astonishing progress in the mental healthcare arena. Rick Doblin, Ph.D. and founder of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS,) has been researching the use of MDMA to treat severe anxiety in military veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as social anxiety in autism. Various strict clinical trials have been published confirming these findings, helping pave the way for further examination onto the potential benefits of this psychoactive entheogen.

3. LSD HAS ITS OWN DAY, JUST LIKE CANNABIS HAS 420

LSD

LSD was discovered by Albert Hofmann in 1938 at the Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland, from a chemical found in the fungus called Ergot. But it was only on April the 16th, 1943, that he first became exposed to the substance by accident. He reported incredibly strong visuals and sensations. Out of curiosity, 3 days later Albert dosed again on LSD and had his famous bike ride home. Therefore, April the 19th, 1943 officially became the date of the first ever intentional LSD trip known to man, and is nowadays celebrated by psychonauts worldwide as “Bicycle Day”. Curiously, the very next day is April the 20th, the day Cannabis aficionados celebrate 420.

4. DMT OCCURS NATURALLY IN THE HUMAN BRAIN

DMT

DMT is possibly the strongest psychedelic known to man, and the active ingredient in Ayahuasca. DMT is found in thousands of plant species. Curiously, this substance is also produced in your brain, achieving its highest concentration at the time of birth... and death. DMT, also called the Spirit Molecule, is thought to be the stuff that fuels your dreams. It's known to cure deep unconscious psychological pressures. In higher doses, the number of people claiming to have spoken to alien entities is staggering. Rick Strassman, MD at Stanford University, is the current leading authority in DMT.

5. ONE OF THE INFLUENTIAL SHROOM EXPERTS WAS ALSO VICE PRESIDENT AT J.P. MORGAN

Wasson Shrooms

R. Gordon Wasson – A banker that went on to become Vice President of Public Relations at J.P. Morgan, was also an amateur ethnomycologist in the 1930’s. He is possibly one of the biggest influential figures for the public awareness of Magic Mushrooms, having written several books on the subject and even published articles for Times magazine promoting its use. At one point Wasson invited Hofmann to head down to Mexico to hunt for a plant that we now know as Salvia divinorum.

6. THE CIA TESTED LSD ON UNSUSPECTING SUBJECTS

CIA MK-Ultra LSD

Project MKUltra is not a conspiracy theory, but, in fact, actual history. The CIA developed this mind control program, unofficially, in 1950, being sanctioned in 1953. The project lasted until 1973, officially. LSD was used extensively on thousands of unsuspecting members of the population. Even within the CIA, drinks were often spiked at the Agency’s gatherings to test the outcome on intelligence officers. It was not uncommon for invitees to bring their own drinks as they soon became aware of this practice and quickly learned to mistrust the catering service.

7. PEYOTE USE IS PROTECTED BY THE US GOVERNMENT

Mescaline

The use of peyote is federally protected in the US. Bizarre as it may sound, this strong psychedelic is guarded by the government. But before celebrating with a bottle of champagne , please realise that it is legal only for the members of the Native American Church. Formed In 1914, at the time called the First-Born Church of Jesus Christ, groups of peyote consuming Native Americans managed to convince the Supreme Court that the use of this cactus was a form of religious rite. Curiously, the Santo Daime Church in Brazil managed to do the same with Ayahuasca. Peyote was also Aldous Huxley’s favourite psychedelic.

8. BASEBALL SUPERSTAR PITCHES A PERFECT GAME HIGH ON LSD

LSD Dock Ellis

Major League baseball legend Dock Ellis was a bonafide acid-head. Serving as a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 70’s, he was also living the aftermath of the flower power revolution. He was set to play against the San Diego Padres on June the 12th but decided to drop some acid as soon as he arrived at the airport the night before. Tripping balls at a friend’s house, is a night not considered to be the best pre-game prep! His friend’s girlfriend managed to convince him he was to pitch the next day. Most people would not be able to function normally under such heavy use, but despite being high as a kite, he managed to pitch a no-hitter.

9. PSILOCYBIN PROMOTES BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Brain on Psychedelics

Psilocybin encourages neuroplasticity, as the active compound found in Magic Mushrooms has been found to have a deeper impact on our brains. Neuroplasticity is the ability that the brain has (or lacks) to adapt to change. Learning occurs due to neuroplasticity. It is like connecting wires together. The more and more efficient they are, the healthier the brain. The studies by Dr. Franz Vollenweider at the Heffner Research Institute demonstrate that psilocybin influences glutamate release in the prefrontal cortex. Glutamate triggers BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) that is key to neural growth, development, and survival.

10. PSILOCYBIN CAN QUITE POSSIBLY HELP TO KICK THE HABIT OF SMOKING

Magic Mushrooms Quit Smoking

Psilocybin can instantly cure smoking addiction. Not in 100% of cases, but for some reason, it seems to happen to quite a number of people, according to the findings of Psychiatry Professor Matthew Johnson at the John Hopkins University School Of Medicine. In a placebo-controlled pilot study dating from 2013, five cigarette-addicted individuals were treated with psilocybin. All five of them quit smoking completely after just one treatment. A follow-up examination one year later confirmed that out of the five, four individuals were confirmed to have biologically abstained.

PSYCHEDELICS: HEADING TOWARDS A MORE TOLERANT AND OPEN-MINDED FUTURE

The world is filled with anecdotes and facts about psychedelics. Thankfully these stories are starting to come out without prejudice, helping demystify the negative connotations imprinted on us by misinformation and fear-mongering campaigns. Psychedelics are not to be innocently toyed with – far from it - but if used correctly, they can definitely become fantastic tools of self-exploration, healing, and creativity. The use of psychedelics is as old as Man himself, unbound from cultural or socio-economical statutes. Learn how to use them safely and discover the wonderful mysteries they have to offer.

 

         
  Guest Writer  

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

 
 
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