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View Full Version : NFT: Marijuana may help stave off Alzheimer’s??


Adept Havelock
10-05-2006, 09:49 PM
OK, if, and that's a big if, this is proven to be true I may have to embrace the notion of a greater power/religion etc. Nothing so hysterically ironic (IMDrunkenO) could be taken as anything less than proof of the existence of the Divine and it's possession of a great sense of humor.

Marijuana may help stave off Alzheimer’s

Active ingredient in pot may help preserve brain function
Reuters

Updated: 3:31 p.m. CT Oct 5, 2006

WASHINGTON - Good news for aging hippies: smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana’s active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia among the elderly.

Those afflicted with Alzheimer’s suffer from memory loss, impaired decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills. The ultimate cause of the disease is unknown, though it is believed to be hereditary.

Marijuana is used to relieve glaucoma and can help reduce side effects from cancer and AIDS treatment.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15145917/

Halfcan
10-05-2006, 09:51 PM
Wow, that is great news man...... I think..... what was the question.... oh nevermind.

FAX
10-05-2006, 09:52 PM
I can't remember how many times I've said this.

FAX

cdcox
10-05-2006, 09:53 PM
Hemp clothing is far supprior to cotton for warmth, softness, and strength.

Pitt Gorilla
10-05-2006, 09:53 PM
Dude. Nice.

cdcox
10-05-2006, 09:55 PM
Hemp oil is believed to relieve premenstural tension.

Mecca
10-05-2006, 09:56 PM
Alright, now we have reason to get high.

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 09:56 PM
Or you could also avoid cooking with tin foil, aluminum pans or using anti-perspirant to stave it off too. That was in the NEJM once. Also read about some nutrients but forget which they were. Wonder if the THC is an anti-oxidant?

Brock
10-05-2006, 09:57 PM
I can't remember where I put that joint.

stevieray
10-05-2006, 09:57 PM
There goes my Skip theory.

Count Alex's Losses
10-05-2006, 09:59 PM
Damn. Beaten by one minute to the Skip post.

Iowanian
10-05-2006, 10:01 PM
It just makes them forget that they're forgetting stuff.

Iowanian
10-05-2006, 10:02 PM
THC can make your unborn childen mentally challenged. Thats fun too.

Bill Parcells
10-05-2006, 10:03 PM
Wow...this is like anti/info for brain disorders..it is making my head spin :)

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 10:08 PM
Wow...this is like anti/info for brain disorders..it is making my head spin :)

That's a sign of alzheimers...you need a joint.

Bill Parcells
10-05-2006, 10:09 PM
That's a sign of alzheimers...you need a joint.
What???
LOL :)

noa
10-05-2006, 10:09 PM
THC can make your unborn childen mentally challenged. Thats fun too.


If I masturbate, will I go blind?

Adept Havelock
10-05-2006, 10:10 PM
Or you could also avoid cooking with tin foil, aluminum pans or using anti-perspirant to stave it off too. That was in the NEJM once. Also read about some nutrients but forget which they were. Wonder if the THC is an anti-oxidant?


I'm not sure. I'm extremly skeptical of the science unless shown otherwise, but I did find it funny as hell.

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 10:11 PM
What???
LOL :)
That's the 5th time you've said "what?" over the past two days.
You already forgot? See what I mean. :eek:

Adept Havelock
10-05-2006, 10:11 PM
If I masturbate, will I go blind?


Your palms will get hairy too. However, Iowanian's position does have a great deal of science to back it up.

Adept Havelock
10-05-2006, 10:12 PM
That's the 5th time you've said "what?" over the past two days.
You already forgot? See what I mean. :eek:

Dude. Bummer. Why you gotta harsh his buzz like that?

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 10:15 PM
Dude. Bummer. Why you gotta harsh his buzz like that?
I'm just jokin.' He won't remember what I said anyway. So no harm done. :D

Bill Parcells
10-05-2006, 10:23 PM
That's the 5th time you've said "what?" over the past two days.
You already forgot? See what I mean. :eek:
HAHA!!!LOL

BEP..I was joking like I was brain damaged

And you finally got it!!! :D

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 10:26 PM
No, I kinda thought so.

Ari Chi3fs
10-05-2006, 10:55 PM
Last Dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the Pain.

Rausch
10-05-2006, 11:02 PM
Same goes for nicotine.

Unless, you know, you get cancer first...

Simplex3
10-05-2006, 11:22 PM
Same goes for nicotine.

Unless, you know, you get cancer first...
You get the big C from smoking, not nicotine. If you just use the patch forever you're cool.

Halfcan
10-05-2006, 11:57 PM
Too bad they have not invented a patch for being Stoopid-a few folks on here could use it.

boogblaster
10-06-2006, 12:29 AM
Did you say anti-freeze helps you forget things..load a bowl.....

StcChief
10-06-2006, 06:36 AM
Good news for the munchies industry.

NJ Chief Fan
10-06-2006, 08:39 AM
SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY


A JAY A DAY KEEPS GLACOMA AWAY

Rain Man
10-06-2006, 08:53 AM
It just makes them forget that they're forgetting stuff.

Beat me to it. I was going to say that it doesn't prevent Alzheimer's, but rather you forget that you have it.

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 09:13 AM
THC can make your unborn childen mentally challenged. Thats fun too.

is that what Sean Hannity told you? there's zero evidence pot does anything other than get you high, make you hungry and then tired. the only negatives are it'll turn you a little dopey (burnt) if you smoke all the time. that goes away when you stop. it can also freak some people out, but those are usally people who will freak out anyway.

no cancer, no retard offspring, no brain damage, no direct sudden death. nothing.

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 10:02 AM
You're High Buddy. One you're burt....you're an 'uh dude-tard" for life.

Alot of science verifies it.....Dope causes damage to unborn children much in the same way booze(fetal alcohol sydrome, eh flatface). Even Cigarettes are proven to cause birth issues....like low birthweight. Its not rocket science and doesn't require a blacklight to see.




SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY


A JAY A DAY KEEPS a Job AWAY

fyp.

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 10:49 AM
You're High Buddy. One you're burt....you're an 'uh dude-tard" for life.

Alot of science verifies it.....Dope causes damage to unborn children much in the same way booze(fetal alcohol sydrome, eh flatface). Even Cigarettes are proven to cause birth issues....like low birthweight. Its not rocket science and doesn't require a blacklight to see.






fyp.

No science verifies it much less "alot". Booze causes big problems, cigarettes as well. reefer....not.

here's a study of pregnant, pot smoking Jamaican women done by the American Academy of Pediatrics and sponsored by the March of Dimes.

just one part of the study -

"Measurements and main results - Exposed and nonexposed neonates were compared at 3 days and 1 month old, using the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale, including supplementary items to capture possible subtle effects. There were no significant differences between exposed and nonexposed neonates on day 3. At 1 month, the exposed neonates showed better physiological stability and required less examiner facilitation to reach organized states. The neonates of heavy-marijuana-using mothers had better scores on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers.

http://www.druglibrary.org/SCHAFFER/hemp/medical/can-babies.htm

BIG_DADDY
10-06-2006, 10:59 AM
It doesn't matter what good it does or how bad legislating it is the pharmaceutical industry will demonize it therefore our country will continue destroying people's lives who choose to use it.

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 11:11 AM
It doesn't matter what good it does or what bad legislating it does the pharmaceutical industry will demonize it therefore our country will continue destroying people's lives who choose to use it.


the whole thing is so retarded it's baffling. a big thank you to the pharmaceutical industry and ill-informed dudes like Iowanian.

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 11:36 AM
Sure thing.

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_4427.asp

scroll down a little.
http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1169.asp

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/illegaldrugs.html

http://www.estronaut.com/a/pregnancy_with_marijuana.htm

http://www.webmd.com/content/article/62/71754.htm



Are there pro-MJ sites that argue against these findings? Obviously. I'm sure there are some medicinal benefits for some conditions. Its absolutely not a health supliment.

I'm not really interested in rehashing this again today.

sedated
10-06-2006, 11:36 AM
Alright, now we have reason to get high.

as if getting high wasn't reason enough to get high

sedated
10-06-2006, 11:38 AM
THC can make your unborn childen mentally challenged. Thats fun too.

:rolleyes:

no gina, no worries

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 11:39 AM
Its actually unfortunate that its not more medically effective at reducing fertility.

sedated
10-06-2006, 11:41 AM
fyp.

stereotypes are fun

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 11:48 AM
You're all right. MJ is great Medicine.

They should issue it to every school child at milk break, because its such a health-promoting vitamin.

I can never think of a single time a stoner has missed work.

sedated
10-06-2006, 11:54 AM
I can never think of a single time a stoner has missed work.

I haven't missed a day of work since I've been with my current company.


again, stereotyping is fun

sedated
10-06-2006, 11:55 AM
Its actually unfortunate that its not more medically effective at reducing fertility.

because we need a world full of open-minded individuals like yourself

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 12:05 PM
Sure thing.

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_4427.asp

scroll down a little.
http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1169.asp

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/illegaldrugs.html

http://www.estronaut.com/a/pregnancy_with_marijuana.htm

http://www.webmd.com/content/article/62/71754.htm



Are there pro-MJ sites that argue against these findings? Obviously. I'm sure there are some medicinal benefits for some conditions. Its absolutely not a health supliment.

I'm not really interested in rehashing this again today.

of course it's better that a pregnant woman do nothing (including weed) but it's funny that the March of Dimes sponsored study I posted differs heavily from the advice on their site. they reference no studies you can check and slide in things like " Although these findings have not yet been confirmed in humans" and " Some did not find any increased risk of learning or behavioral problems. However, others found that children who are exposed to marijuana before birth are more likely to have subtle problems that affect their ability to pay attention and to solve visual problems. Exposed children do not appear to have a decrease in IQ."

Where do any of these pages equate weed with truly dangerous substances like cigarettes and alcohol? you claimed "Dope causes damage to unborn children much in the same way booze (fetal alcohol sydrome, eh flatface)." where's your proof?

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 12:11 PM
You're all right. MJ is great Medicine.

They should issue it to every school child at milk break, because its such a health-promoting vitamin.

I can never think of a single time a stoner has missed work.

It's an adult activity, not meant for kids.

As far as work, I'm high at work right now and I make almost $100,000 a year. Pot smoking is really holding me back. Sometimes I do bail on work cause I'm too burned out to go. Other people bail because of hangovers, depression & trips to an amusement park. So what?

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 12:20 PM
Congratulations. Nuclear Physics must be very difficult without those mind-performance enhancers.

http://static.flickr.com/3/4128246_6581cf6421_m.jpg

sedated
10-06-2006, 12:20 PM
" Some did not find any increased risk of learning or behavioral problems. However, others found that children who are exposed to marijuana before birth are more likely to have subtle problems that affect their ability to pay attention and to solve visual problems. Exposed children do not appear to have a decrease in IQ."

I'm as pro-grass as anyone, but I doubt I would want my wife smoking anything when she's pregnant

BIG_DADDY
10-06-2006, 12:23 PM
You're all right. MJ is great Medicine.

They should issue it to every school child at milk break, because its such a health-promoting vitamin.

I can never think of a single time a stoner has missed work.

Sheesus man, where is this coming from? Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't you say previously you were for legalizing it?

There are all kinds of very productive people who smoke weed. I could find all kinds of lazy people that do all kinds of things like eat macaroni and cheese for example but I am not for making that illegal.

As far as passing it out at school goes that is pretty ridiculous way to make an example isn't it? It helps with migrains BIG TIME. lil momma is all the living proof I need. Cancer, if you haven't seen it help somebody here I don't know what to tell you. For people going through Chemo it's a godsend. It's great for pain in general BTW.

As far as pregnancy goes I am sure it's like anything else. If your smoking 3 joints a day it's probably not good. If you took a hit because you have a headache though I am sure it's harmless. There is so much disinformation aimed at demonizing out there it's hard to take what you read seriouly. Even the article you posted said it may harm the fetus. Yea OK

CosmicPal
10-06-2006, 12:24 PM
I had to read this post a dozen times, before I got it.

:D

chasedude
10-06-2006, 12:25 PM
Hmmm... A plant that is so resilient and much better to the ecosystem than cotton. Cotton is proven to deplete the nutrients from the soil when grown. So to keep planting cotton they have to rotate it to another field to grow. Hemp otherwise is a weed, it pulls not nearly the amount of nutrients from the soil and is a much stronger fiber than cotton ever could be. As for the psychotropic effects of marijuana... It is not nearly as harmful to the system as alcohol is, plus no heavy hangover the next morning. Plus the fact that Alcohol is legal and Marijuana isn't

Marijuana has had a bad rap ever since it came to the United States. The south banned it because the mexicans where bringing it over with them when they came to farms to work. It was during the depression times and many Americans where looking for work. How to get rid of the mexicans taking our jobs?? Ban marijuana, that'll chase em out. New Orleans is another item. Jazz was born in New Orleans and Marijuana use contributed to it. Mostly African-Americans played jazz and used marijuana. Now because of red-necks and their prejudices they banned Marijuana to get back at the Black musicians. Amsterdam has had Marijuana legal for years. They have a much lower crime and murder rate than the United States. Is there something to be learned here?

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 12:27 PM
I'm as pro-grass as anyone, but I doubt I would want my wife smoking anything when she's pregnant

Same here. Iowanian claimed it was as bad as alcohol and cigarettes which is clearly not true.

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 12:29 PM
Congratulations. Nuclear Physics must be very difficult without those mind-performance enhancers.

http://static.flickr.com/3/4128246_6581cf6421_m.jpg

thanks!

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 12:30 PM
http://www.penyork.com/penyork/cheetos.gif

Buddy Rich
10-06-2006, 12:33 PM
http://www.penyork.com/penyork/cheetos.gif

HA! those look good.

KC-TBB
10-06-2006, 12:33 PM
Never listen to 'the man' he's just trying to keep us down!

LV Tim
10-06-2006, 02:49 PM
A researcher at the Scripps Research Institute . . .

Iowanian
10-06-2006, 03:39 PM
I don't see a need to rehash the same arguements with the same smokers on one side and the same non-smokers on another, but I should clarify.

Nowhere in this thread, have I said everything about the substance is terrible.

Many very beneficial pharmasuedicals are manufactured from plant extracts of various types. I have little doubt, that given some processing, there are chemicals-oils-substances within hemp that have some medical benefits for treating some ailment. Process it into a pill to be taken by prescription,and I'm sure its very medically relevant.

If people with N stage Cancer, Aids, under chemo, Alzheimers, Parkinsons et al feel better by smoking the ganja......I see that the negative consquences are of little concern....they're most likely dieing anyway....if it eases their discomfort....fine.

What I don't buy is the largest percentage of users, who are just smoking dope to get high, trying to act like medicinal benefits are the reasons they smoke, and or support their use. Its bullshit, and we all know it.

Would I legalize it if I were king? While not a supporter or user, I would......I'd put it under govt control and tax the living shit out of it.....I'd probably allow a reasonable personal use-quantity to be grown at home, if you had it affixed with a drug stamp and had it licensed.....I'd make the legal age of consumption 21.

Along with that.....I'd make a pretty severe fine for possession of more than a small quantity(tbd)......and I'd triple the punishment for illegal distribution.

I think if you come to work high....you should have a nut removed with rusty pliers. If you drive high...

BIG_DADDY
10-06-2006, 04:04 PM
I don't see a need to rehash the same arguements with the same smokers on one side and the same non-smokers on another, but I should clarify.

Nowhere in this thread, have I said everything about the substance is terrible.

Many very beneficial pharmasuedicals are manufactured from plant extracts of various types. I have little doubt, that given some processing, there are chemicals-oils-substances within hemp that have some medical benefits for treating some ailment. Process it into a pill to be taken by prescription,and I'm sure its very medically relevant.

If people with N stage Cancer, Aids, under chemo, Alzheimers, Parkinsons et al feel better by smoking the ganja......I see that the negative consquences are of little concern....they're most likely dieing anyway....if it eases their discomfort....fine.

What I don't buy is the largest percentage of users, who are just smoking dope to get high, trying to act like medicinal benefits are the reasons they smoke, and or support their use. Its bullshit, and we all know it.

Would I legalize it if I were king? While not a supporter or user, I would......I'd put it under govt control and tax the living shit out of it.....I'd probably allow a reasonable personal use-quantity to be grown at home, if you had it affixed with a drug stamp and had it licensed.....I'd make the legal age of consumption 21.

Along with that.....I'd make a pretty severe fine for possession of more than a small quantity(tbd)......and I'd triple the punishment for illegal distribution.

I think if you come to work high....you should have a nut removed with rusty pliers. If you drive high...

sounds like a lot of big government to me. I wasn't rehashing anything BTW I was just pointing out tp everyone that your not as close minded on this subject as you were coming across.

Brock
10-06-2006, 05:51 PM
Along with that.....I'd make a pretty severe fine for possession of more than a small quantity(tbd)......and I'd triple the punishment for illegal distribution.

I think if you come to work high....you should have a nut removed with rusty pliers. If you drive high...

Does that mean we also would be limited to owning a 6 pack of beer at a time? ;)

CHIEF4EVER
10-06-2006, 08:42 PM
This is going to sound strange coming from a conservative but here goes. If someone wants to get high every effing day, so be it. Just don't do it in public in front of my kids and don't drive a car. My brother did 10 years for possession and I think the penalty didn't fit the crime. He wasn't dealing. He got caught growing a few plants in the country for his own consumption. Now he's a felon. His life is ruined. How effed up is that?

Bwana
10-06-2006, 09:02 PM
This is going to sound strange coming from a conservative but here goes. If someone wants to get high every effing day, so be it. Just don't do it in public in front of my kids and don't drive a car. My brother did 10 years for possession and I think the penalty didn't fit the crime. He wasn't dealing. He got caught growing a few plants in the country for his own consumption. Now he's a felon. His life is ruined. How effed up is that?

I have to admit, that is WAY screwed up.

Halfcan
10-06-2006, 10:31 PM
I think I already posted on this thread, but I can't remember.

ENDelt260
10-06-2006, 10:56 PM
I fail to see what's so inflammatory about what Iowanian said... but, maybe that's cause I'm stoned.

ChiTown
10-06-2006, 11:02 PM
http://netfoo.net/~dunderwood/reb.gif

Skip Towne
10-06-2006, 11:27 PM
I really shouldn't get in this since we have beaten the topic to death. But I don't think Iowanian has ever smoked a joint. (I could be wrong) He seems to think that since MJ lingers in your system for 30 days the effects of it last that long. In my experience, to stay high all day one would have to rehit the pipe every 30 minutes. It also seems that he lumps all drugs into one category. Just because nicotine or alcohol cause a particular problem, it doesn't mean THC will cause that problem. As for these "studies" that prove how awful MJ is, it has been my experience that every time the gubment tries to justify keeping MJ illegal with a study, NORML runs an identical study with the opposite results. They should never have passed a law to outlaw a substance they knew absolutely nothing about. But the gubment isn't known for admitting its mistakes. Prohibition is the only example of that I can think of. Even then it took something like 13 years. All they did was create a class of gangsters that were nearly as powerful as the gubment itself. I don't know how we ever win a war.

Skip Towne
10-06-2006, 11:41 PM
My last post was waaay too long. When I get started on the gubment I just can't quit. But I need to say that I meant in no way to disparge Iowanian or his beliefs. I just think he is misinformed on a lot of what he says. I've smoked for 38 years and I haven't been to a doctor in 35 of those years. Brain damage to unborn children? My daughter is a strong "B" student. Not likely in that case. I haven't had an auto accident in 25 years and the last one was because the other guy ran a stop sign. Yeah, MJ distorts time/space relationship but it also makes you drive slower. Anyhow, I like Iowanian and consider him a friend. I'm sure he wouldn't spout shit unless he really believed what he was saying was right. I just disagree with him on most of what he says. And I've been at this a hell of a long time. Now this post is waaay too long.

tiptap
10-07-2006, 01:04 AM
http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060930/bob8.asp

Journey to Ixtlan?


Chemical Enlightenment
Line up for the scientific, psychedelic mystical tour

Bruce Bower

The comfortably furnished room in a corner of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore seems an unlikely setting for spiritual transcendence. Yet one after another, volunteers last year entered the living room–like space, reclined on the couch, swallowed a pill, and opened themselves to a profound mystical journey lasting several hours. For many of them, the mundane certainty of being a skin-bounded person with an individual existence melted away. In its place arose a sense of merging with an ultimate reality where all things exist in a sacred, unified realm. Participants felt intense joy, peacefulness, and love during these experiences. At times, though, some became fearful, dreading unseen dangers.

a7722_1478.jpg

ALTERED REALITY. Mystical experiences triggered by the drug psilocybin yield lasting, positive changes in people's lives, a new study finds.
iStockphoto

The pills that enabled these mystical excursions contained psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms that some societies have used for centuries in religious ceremonies. Psilocybin boosts transmission of the brain chemical serotonin, much as LSD and some other hallucinogenic drugs do.

Johns Hopkins psychopharmacologist Roland R. Griffiths and his colleagues have taken psilocybin out of its traditional context and far from the black-light milieu of its hippie-era heyday. Griffiths' team is investigating the drug's reputed mind-expanding effects in a rigorous, scientific way with ordinary people.

In the group's recent test, psilocybin frequently sparked temporary mystical makeovers in volunteers who didn't know what kind of pill they were taking. What's more, some of these participants reported long-lasting positive effects of their experiences.

As a control in the test, the researchers used methylphenidate—an amphetamine known as Ritalin when used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Methylphenidate rarely produced a mystical experience, although the researchers were intrigued that a few people did have that response.

Griffiths' study, published in the August Psychopharmacology, combines research on psychedelic-drug effects—which have received little attention in the past 40 years—with a burgeoning scientific interest in the roots of spirituality (SN: 2/17/01, p. 104: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20010217/bob7.asp). The new findings put psychedelic studies on the road back to respectability, Griffiths says. In the 1950s and 1960s, preliminary research had suggested that LSD and related substances—now regarded as powerful but nonaddictive drugs—aided in psychotherapy, addiction treatment, and creativity-promoting programs.

However, the excesses of researchers such as the late Harvard University psychologist Timothy Leary, as well as widespread illicit use of psychedelic drugs, led to legal restrictions that halted most psychedelic research.

Now, the scientific and clinical promise of drugs such as psilocybin can be fully explored, in Griffiths' view. "With careful preparation, you can safely and fairly reliably occasion a mystical experience using psilocybin that may lead to positive changes in a person," he says. "Our finding is an early step in what we hope will be scientific work that helps people."

Spirit trips

Griffiths' recent work was inspired by an unusual 1963 investigation conducted by physician and minister Walter Pahnke. Half of 20 Protestant seminarians randomly received psilocybin before listening to a radio broadcast of a Good Friday service. The rest took a B vitamin that caused the skin to flush.

After the service, many members of the psilocybin group reported unusual spiritual experiences. Four of them had full-blown mystical reactions, which they said included ecstatic visions and a feeling of oneness with God.

In interviews conducted 6 months and 25 years later, members of the psilocybin group attributed many more positive changes in attitude and behavior to the Good Friday service than vitamin takers did. Psilocybin-induced mental states had apparently triggered lasting improvements in people's lives, researchers concluded.

During Pahnke's study, however, participants sat together during the broadcast and could easily tell whether others were acting out of character. Such observations could have affected their reactions to what they had ingested. Griffiths' team tried to minimize the power of expectation by not telling most participants which drug they were taking and by administering pills to one volunteer at a time.

The team recruited 36 physically healthy adults, ages 24 to 64, who had no serious mental disorders themselves or in their immediate families. All but one volunteer had graduated from college. None cited any previous use of psychedelic drugs. Each reported at least occasional participation in religious or spiritual activities, including church services, prayer, and meditation.

At the start of the study, each volunteer met several times with a psychologist or social worker, who later sat with participants during drug sessions and offered support if needed.

Each of 30 randomly selected volunteers attended two 8-hour drug sessions, the second occurring 2 months after the first. At one session they received a strong dose of psilocybin and at the other a high dose of methylphenidate. No participant was told which drug he or she ingested—only that it might be either of the two substances.

The remaining six participants received methylphenidate at the two sessions without being told what the pills contained. At a third session, they took psilocybin pills after being told what was in the tablets.

After taking psilocybin, 22 of the 36 volunteers described having mystical experiences, the scientists say. All but three of these cases occurred in volunteers who didn't know what kind of pill they were taking. Mystical events typically included a sense of merging with an overarching reality, perceiving unity in all things, transcending time and space, and basking in overwhelming feelings of love and other positive moods.

At the end of psilocybin sessions, 25 participants—including 3 who hadn't reported mystical encounters—rated the experience as among the five most meaningful and spiritually significant events in their lives.

After taking methylphenidate, four volunteers reported mystical experiences as well. They, too, ranked the experience among the top five in their lives.

Feelings of extreme fear or dread emerged in 11 of the 36 volunteers after taking psilocybin and in none after taking methylphenidate. Those who encountered negative reactions nonetheless completed the sessions with assistance from the psychologist or social worker.

Positive effects of psilocybin seemed to last beyond the sessions. Two months after their last drug session, 29 participants reported moderately or greatly increased well-being and satisfaction with their lives as a result of psilocybin experiences. The others cited no such changes, but none described any declines in well-being in response to the psilocybin use.

Interviews with family members, friends, and coworkers of each volunteer confirmed the reports of long-lived improvements in mood, attitudes, and behavior.

The researchers are now analyzing results of a 1-year follow-up of participants.

Griffiths also plans to explore how brain processes unleashed by psilocybin compare with neural activity in people who experience drug free spiritual epiphanies. "There's good reason to believe that similar brain mechanisms are at work during profound religious experiences, whether they're produced by fasting, meditation, controlled breathing, sleep deprivation, near-death experiences, infectious disease states, or psychoactive substances," he says.

Deep hypnosis

Although it's not news that psilocybin stimulates mystical experiences, Griffiths' study offers important improvements over earlier studies, asserts psychologist Etzel Cardeña of the University of Lund, Sweden. First, in most instances, neither the participants nor those assisting them knew which drug was being administered. This approach enabled researchers to distinguish genuine drug effects from placebo reactions. Second, the researchers verified participants' reports of psilocybin-induced improvements by talking to their families, friends, and coworkers.

Cardeña studies yet another way that people enter life-changing spiritual realms. Some folks spontaneously undergo mystical experiences during periods of "deep hypnosis," he contends.

From a group of 147 college students, Cardeña identified eight women and four men who entered trance states with ease. Dubbed hypnotic virtuosos by Cardeña, such individuals can direct their thoughts inward and, in no more than a minute or two, become hypnotized on their own. None of the 12 students in the study reported being in a meditation program or currently using psychedelic drugs, although 3 had ingested such substances years ago.

In a silent, dimly lit room, each participant induced a self-hypnotic state under three conditions—while lying on a bed, pedaling a stationary bicycle at a comfortable rate, and sitting on a stationary bicycle equipped with a motor that propelled the pedals, moving participants' feet at a moderate rate. Sessions ran for 17 minutes.

Participants reported an initial period of moderate hypnosis characterized by spinning sensations, a feeling of lightness, loss of touch with the external world, and perceived bodily changes, such as enlarged hands.

They then reached a state of deep hypnosis, which became more intense when the students were lying still, Cardeña says. The experiences while in deep hypnosis closely resembled mystical journeys taken in Griffiths' psilocybin sessions. Reports included a sense of floating or flying, of one's mind leaving one's body, of merging with a light, and of being one with everything, as well as powerful feelings of love, wonder, and freedom.

In another parallel to Griffiths' findings, participants occasionally noted that the unusual occurrences of deep hypnosis scared them.

Still, at the end of the experiment and 8 months later, the volunteers mentioned only positive effects of the deep hypnosis, Cardeña reported in the January 2005 International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. Favorable results included increased personal insight, fewer nightmares, and enhanced inner peace. In other words, these people enjoyed the inner benefits of a self-induced mystical encounter without ingesting any mind-altering drugs.

"It's about time that psychology and related fields started taking seriously mystical and other anomalous experiences," Cardeña says.

Life changers

In 1935, a man named Bill Wilson cofounded Alcoholics Anonymous. He had recently undergone a self-described spiritual revelation that caused him to stop drinking alcohol. Two decades later, before legal restrictions largely ended studies on psychedelic drugs, Wilson backed research that suggested a use for drug-induced mystical experiences as part of alcoholism treatment.

Griffiths and his colleagues now plan to follow up on that research. They will try to determine whether psilocybin indeed fosters a spiritual insight that people can use to break alcoholism's grip. They also want to examine whether psilocybin sessions ease depression and anxiety in end-stage cancer patients.

A few treatment-focused investigations of psilocybin are already under way. In pairs of 6-hour sessions separated by 1 month, psychiatrist Charles Grob of the University of California, Los Angeles administers either psilocybin or placebo pills to patients with life-threatening cancer. Patients then typically lie still with their eyes covered while listening to relaxing music. Grob and two assistants sit with each patient during these sessions.

Grob has studied six patients so far, tracking them for 6 months after completing the sessions. He plans to investigate six more patients before publishing his findings.

"Even without having a classic mystical experience, these patients do pretty well after psilocybin sessions, and their anxiety often decreases," Grob says.

Another study, directed by psychiatrist Francisco Moreno of the University of Arizona in Tucson, is examining psilocybin as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. This condition is marked by anxiety and a need to perform repeatedly certain behaviors, such as hand washing. Results are promising, Moreno says, although he won't discuss the findings in detail until their upcoming publication in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

In the meantime, Griffiths' paper has attracted some surprising supporters. Psychiatrist Charles R. Schuster of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit says that the new investigation will hasten explorations of the neural basis of drug-induced altered states of consciousness. Schuster, the former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, calls the treatment of drug addiction with psychedelic substances "entirely conceivable."

Psychiatrist Herbert D. Kleber of Columbia University in New York City agrees. Former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Kleber cautions that only well-prepared individuals—such as those in Griffiths' study—are likely to reap lasting benefits from drug-related mystical states.

Kleber looks forward to investigations of whether mystical experiences triggered by methylphenidate and psilocybin activate the same brain regions. Activity in the brains of people who show minimal reactions to psilocybin should also prove intriguing, he says.

Not everyone finds Griffiths' study enlightening, however. The new data simply confirm the longstanding knowledge that psychedelic substances disturb perception, cause disorientation, and sometimes instigate fear and paranoia, remarks David Murray, special assistant to the current director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Clinical benefits of psilocybin have yet to be demonstrated, he asserts.

"Psilocybin might grow hair on bald men—we just don't know," Murray says with a chuckle.

Even ardent proponents of psychedelic-drug research acknowledge that, after lying dormant for decades, the field faces many unanswered questions. It's been a long, strange trip, and it's far from over.

Rausch
10-07-2006, 01:20 AM
You get the big C from smoking, not nicotine. If you just use the patch forever you're cool.

But those things taste like $#it...

Iowanian
10-07-2006, 11:11 AM
I'm really not interested in doing this whole thing again..but I'll clarify for future reference...

I have never smoked a joint. Never will. Couldn't if I wanted too...never smoked a cigarette either, nor taken a drag? Why? 3 reasons. 1. During my formative years, I watched 2 of my grandparents puking up chunks of bloody lung and die of lung cancer. 2. My gut issues prevent it...sometimes, being too near someone smoking a cig is enough to make me physically vomit. Not because its "too gross"..it just effs up my guts, like alot of things. 3.

Where I grew up, the MJ smokers I knew were pretty much all dirtbags, and my family was pretty much the "damn druggy hippy" mentality....so it was engrained in me not to use, and that it wasn't acceptable. I'll clarify that in my teens, alot of my friends used. I've been around ALOT of drugs....I've been in rooms with 5 gallon bucketS full of fresh picked. I know alot of people who are successful professionals who use it like beer, and have no ill effects. I've had good friends ruin their lives with drugs. I've had a friend killed over drugs(MJ). I know 3 people who have ODd. My best friend from HS, has been in prison, lost contact with his 3 kids whom he's never taken care of....from drugs.

Now, with that out....I don't consider MJ on the same level of things like Meth, coke, Heroin, acid et al.

As to Skips comments about the effects, and length of time.....He's right that I don't know how long a person "stays high"....Obviously, I'm smart enough to know that because its in your system for 30 days, it doesn't effect you that long.....I assume its like beer....I know how being buzzed and or drunk affect me, and for how long.

I know I don't want someone drunk on the road....I know I don't want a drunk operating equipment near me either.

The difference between beer and MJ? I can drink 1 beer in the evening, because beer tastes good. I don't get a buzz, I don't become impaired. Can the same thing be said for smoke?

Oh yeah....skip, I'm specifically talking about a woman, smoking dope during pregnancy affecting the kid......not because she used 6 months prior.

Sorry for the dissertation.



My last post was waaay too long. When I get started on the gubment I just can't quit. But I need to say that I meant in no way to disparge Iowanian or his beliefs. I just think he is misinformed on a lot of what he says. .

Brock
01-07-2007, 10:48 PM
hello - I think I'm a little lost here