The final frontier: mapping out the brain

The final frontier: mapping out the brain

Whether you choose to traverse the mysteries of the mind through science or psychoactive substances, there’s no denying that the human brain is a wonderful, complex and, at times, frightening thing. Why is mapping the brain so important? This sentiment is shared not only amongst psychonauts, but also by many in the scientific community, who over the years have sought to unravel the mysteries of the mind by mapping out the brain into distinct regions. Developing such a map would help scientists garner a better understanding of the structure, function and connectivity of different parts of the brain, which potentially could have a major impact on the medical world and further our insight into how certain drugs interact with the human mind. However, the accuracy of these maps has always been an issue of some debate. While modern magnetic resonance imaging methods are able to record blood flow in the brain during mental tasks, most maps have been constructed based on the results of a single type of measurement – a technique that can lead to incomplete and ambiguous conclusions. …

Terpenes – the perfume of cannabis

I’m sure many of the more discerning pot smokers have noticed how the fragrant smells of cannabis hint at what the high might be like. Perhaps looking for promising fruity notes as well as that visual trichrome crystalline pop. What you may not know is how those smells, which come from chemicals known as terpenes do actually effect the recreational and medical properties of your cannabis. Terpenes make the odorous and also psychoactive component of a wide variety of plants. It’s a terpene that makes lavender relaxing, and a terpene that makes saffron tea a mood lifter. Terpenes drive aromatherapy. And unsurprisingly some of those fruity terpenes are found also in fruit. When combined with THC, many of these have a direct effect on the subjective high. The terpenes in cannabis, like THC are made in the trichromes of the flowering female parts (buds). Terpenes are responsible for the complex aromas of various strains of cannabis. Simply put, they are what make cannabis have its particular intense and intoxicating smells. While terpenes have been studied for medical effects, they are …

Top Five moments in psychedelic history: Part 2, Psychiatry

I got inspired by this series idea, so I’ll definitely be bringing a few more. This week I want to focus on psychiatric history of psychedelic experimentation. Not only because it’s very interesting as general reading, but also because it showcases some of the amazing potential of consciousness altering drugs. Ancient Shamanism Since ancient times, man has used psychedelics as a means to enter the spirit world. The primary task for such states was to diagnose and heal illnesses – typically taken to mean by modern folk as colds and the like – but anything manifesting as ‘mental illness’ would have been brought to the medicine man, or shaman. In some culture’s naturally occurring altered states like this were taken as the birth of a new shaman. In one African village, such people were taken into the mountains to find a totem. A pretty vast contrast to our pills and mental wards. But we can see the link actually when we see that not only do many ancient herbal medicines actually work scientifically, but the use of psychedelics has since …

lsd space man

Top Five Moments in Psychedelic History – Part 1

I’m taking a break this week from my still ongoing plant high series, to have a little look at a few of the movers and shakers in the modern psychedelic movement. This will be a new series, looking at different time periods in drug history in various cultures. “When you study natural science and the miracles of creation, if you don’t turn into a mystic you are not a natural scientist” – Hoffman Accidental LSD Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD for the first time in 1938, looking for something else. It wasn’t until 1943 when he accidentally consumed some, that he realized it was hallucinogenic. Hoffman was a proponent of the new and modern practice of micro-dosing, seeing LSD primarily as a low dose tonic that improves the mind, and mental health. He also became quite mystical, like many who explore these drugs. He is still held as the symbol of increased research and legal acceptance for psychedelic drugs as therapeutics and mind expansion tools. “I share the belief of many of my contemporaries that the spiritual crisis pervading all spheres …

Natures Highs: Part 3 – Opening the Third Eye

There are in fact loads of psychedelics in nature. Unfortunately, some of these plants are illegal to own, and some illegal to process. So in this week’s addition about psychedelic plant drugs in New Zealand, I’ll be dividing the plants up into “Legal to own, but not process” and “Legal in general”. It’s important to note that some plants like San Pedro are common, legal to possess but processing them, such as making a tea from one, or extracting the Mescaline, as Mescaline is a Class A drug, is a felony – so please I advise you not to do this. Remember also, that if you wish to explore the self, meditation, floatation and hypnosis are effective routes! Fully Legit The plants that are fully legal are often pretty mild in effect, but effective all the same. On the less LSD like side, we have ‘Sun Opener’ which I have not personally tried, but it apparently produces a cannabis like psychedelia and colored vision. It’s well enough rated by others to be worthy of a mention, certainly not euphoric like cannabis, …

NATURES HIGHS PART 2: CHASING THE LEGAL DRAGON

Nature is pretty abundant with relaxing chemicals. And we are familiar with many of them without knowing it, like lavenders powerful “linalool”, or the theanine in tea that gives you a chill feeling. When it comes to relaxing legal plants in nature, there is a lot of options here in NZ. They presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Ancient painkillers First used by the Egyptians, and introduced to medicine before opium as a painkiller; Myrrh is culturally protected as a staple of Christian ritual and religion. It was given to Jesus on the cross, in wine, to relieve his pain, and of course, it’s in the nativity story too. It’s of course mainly used in aromatherapy and church incense. Recreationally, it produces a stony dreamy space, via similar mechanisms to opium, which some have compared to Kratom in feeling. There are a variety of ways to ingest plant oils, with transdermal (rubbed onto the skin) and via steam probably being the healthiest. We don’t know a lot about overuse, and the health effects so don’t smoke oils, …

Legal natural highs in New Zealand

Natures Highs Part 1: Chocamine, the limitless legal stimulant?

Share2 +11 Tweet2 Reddit17 Share VoteShares 22Legal Highs are still available in New Zealand I’m writing a series here on entheogens and legal highs in NZ. It’s been a confusing time since the psychoactive substances act came into force. While the law has not yet provided a scientific path to legal high drug testing (at least not without animal testing), it has however opened up a black market far scarier than what Peter Dunne and the public had ever imagined. The new law also created some confusion around the definition of a psychoactive substance and what natural plants may or may not fall under the new bill. Getting high or catching a buzz from your local health store or supermarket in NZ As it turns out… nature, industry and the majority of middle class kiwis got to keep all their habitual highs, and some of them are pretty good. The way the law was applied allows for religious, cultural, gardening, food and medicinal exceptions. It quite rightly ignores the majority of herbs that are mild enough to be sold in most major …

Non-drug paths to altered consciousness

There’s a number of ways to altered consciousness. I’ll start with the more everyday changes in conciousness. Sleep deprivation is the altered state the most people are familiar with. It is anxious,  with tunnel vision, vision disturbances, muddled thinking, and yet in other places it is pleasant, where the cannibinoid Oleylethonalamine is released producing sleepiness, warmth, hunger and ease. A variety of body caused ‘highs’ can be produced. The body releases its own opiates, the beta endorphins with a variety of things, like food, sex. Also in exercise, where anandamide, natures THC is released at the same time. A good high intensity work out will give you a great clean buzz. Oxytocin, with it’s MDMA like effect on the brain is connected to bonding. But when talking about altered states, euphoria may not be what people have in mind. A number of physical conditions can produce altered consciousness, such as lack of oxygen, infection or epilepsy. Some epileptics have profound religious like experiences. A fever can in itself produce hallucinations, creating a delirient effect. When I had this, I saw totally …

How to encourage a good trip on psychedelics

Now I can’t promise anyone they won’t experience distress on psychedelic drugs, but I can say that it will pass – and equally a drug trip can be life changing, euphoric and beautiful. The first thing you should absolutely sure of is, what drug you have, and how much you should take. If you are dealing with magic mushrooms for example, you should absolutely stop over at the mushroom forum here on TripMe and get help with the ID, as well as research appropriate dosages for that species. Know your drug. Mushroom ID forum It’s hard to emphasize how important some of these things can be to those who haven’t experienced psychedelic states, but please be aware, your inner thoughts and feelings will be large, and your logic and normal capabilities diminished. It’s better to have everything in place first. Trip Setting The environment you choose to trip in is very important. You want an environment that is both happy and relaxing to you. Consider carefully how the place you are considering, makes you feel. It’s a great idea to …

microdose lad

The Inner Revolution & Micro-dosing LSD

Since the 1960’s counter cultural revolution, modern society has been influenced by a new ‘inner’ culture. Psychedelics and mysticism. The science of which has moved us from a culture of deep scepticism and stoicism, to one that routinely practices  mystic techniques such as mindfulness in psychology/psychiatry, hypnosis and NLP in sports and in business and has established the benefits of many practices like yoga, meditation, floatation and so on. Very recently we have seen a massive recent rise in the use of floatation (sensory deprivation) as a means of enhancing creatively and mental health, especially amongst competitive professionals, and it seems like psychedelics are also having a new revolution right now, as a with a similar set- success seeking millennials such as those in Silicon Valley. What is Microdosing? “Micro-dosing” is the practice of taking a ‘sub-perceptual’ dose of a psychedelic, and going about one’s normal routine. It’s said to make people more open, happy,  more productive and enhance creativity and problem solving, also increasing sporting or exercise performance without producing typically mind altered subjective effects that might interfere with …