Even if you’re a veteran psychonaut — someone who regularly traverses the realms of consciousness via psychedelic enhancement — it’s impossible to know what you’ll encounter on the other side of a trip. For some, that’s part of the allure: psychedelics launch you into a dimension that science nor medicine can fully quantify. In fact, we know relatively nothing about these enlightening drugs because they’ve been bound by prohibition for the last 60 years. Magic Medicine, one of the latest books delving into the realm of psychedelics, provides an enlightening framework that encapsulates the enigmatic (and illicit) nature of these psychospiritual substances.
As of late, an increasing number of scientists have been willing to maneuver through the array of bureaucratic hurdles to pursue psychedelic research. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), for instance, has been conducting experiments looking at the results of LSD-assisted psychotherapy. MAPS is also the group responsible for the recent research studying the effects of MDMA on post-traumatic stress disorder.
There’s an unwavering desire to understand these mysterious, hallucinatory compounds. And it implies what the ancient cultures have always told us: Psychedelics can facilitate healing and transformation. The research has created a cushion of acceptance unlike any other era. The last wave of semi-approval (if you even call it that) was in the ’60s. But instead of hippies dropping L on the Haight, affluent tech-employees microdose LSD at work– in Silicon Valley.
Written by Cody Johnson, the founder of Psychedelic Frontier, Magic Medicine reflects the psychedelic renaissance in which we’re currently living. The book offers a glance at 23 psychedelics: from Ayahuasca and magic mushrooms to the obscure Yopo and Vilca Beans. It avoids predicting the role psychedelics will play in years to come; yet leaves the reader with a sense of intrigue and optimism for a bright, hallucinogenic future. Here’s a breakdown of the compounds that made us trip out the hardest.
5-MeO-DMT: South America’s (Frog) Milk of the Gods
5-MEO-DMT might as well be considered the paradoxical milk of the gods. It’s one of the oldest sacraments, yet one of the newest psychedelic discoveries. Also known as Toad Medicine, it’s both rare and exceptionally common, as it naturally occurs in dozens of plants and animals—including humans. But unlike LSD or MDMA, it’s not really a recreational drug you’d find on the black market. It produces an overwhelming, profound, and sacred experience, yet men in the Yanomami tribes of South America casually use it every day.
Discovering the Colorado River Toad in 1965 solidified the enigmatic and dynamic nature of this unique DMT-compound. The venom of this specific toad genus, Bufo alvarius, has obscenely high levels of 5-MeO-DMT, which is unheard of in the animal kingdom, Johnson writes. Though many in the Bufo family produce bufotenine, a type of tryptamine, the Colorado River Toad has an enzyme that converts bufotenine into 5-MeO-DMT.
Johnson tells us that some media outlets have sensationalized “toad-licking” as a new phenomenon, but he believes these reports are exaggerated if not entirely false. “The venom contains other toxins that are destroyed by heat when vaporized,” Johnson writes. “So, the desired compounds are the only ones left in tact.”
Licking this toad can potentially make you ill, so don’t make out with a toad if you see one—your prince(ss) charming will not come to your rescue.
Tune In, Turn on, and Drop DiPT
Discovered in 1980 by chemists Alexander Shulgin and Michael Carter, DiPT is easily the strangest substance featured in Magic Medicine—and in the realm of hallucinogens, period. Instead of thrusting users into a realm of alien landscapes, there are zero visual elements with this intoxicant. Rather, DiPT is an auditory hallucinogen, and under its influence, everything sounds lower in pitch. Voices are deepened, guitars sound like giant gongs, and music loses its harmony. It can be thought of as the opposite of a helium balloon, but it affects all sounds, especially those with well-defined pitches.
The first hour or two can be intense, Johnson warns, as the vapor hits users with an energy rush likened to the onset of MDMA, and the lightheadedness and shortened attention span of most other psychedelics. Bloating, nausea, and painful inner-ear-pressure are also common experiences during the onset. The sound distortion doesn’t kick in until about three to four hours after ingestion, though, and can last up to 36-hours.
“[DiPT] is one of the more obscure psychedelics,” said Johnson told High Times in an interview. “It’s unlike anything else. Music is famously awesome on acid and MDMA. Your aesthetic appreciation for it, in general, is more poignant. But on DiPT, everything is distorted. If you listen to the sound of a violin, you’d never guess what instrument it was because it would likely sound like something from outer space.”
Johnson explains that Shulgin, the chemists who discovered DiPT, believes we should be researching the drug more because it might be able to tell us a bit about the nature of hearing.
Beyond the (Peyote) Button
When you think about psychedelic cactus, Peyote is usually the first that comes to mind. Few people know about the magic of San Pedro, which has essentially thrived in the shadows of obscurity for more than 3,000 years. Found throughout South America and the Andés, this unique cactus is associated with the native peoples of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile.
Today, the cactus is used among indigenous communities in these areas in a syncretic way. The ceremony often includes Christianized elements, like images or statues of the Virgin Mary and angels, or rosary beads, Magic Medicine details. Alongside these Catholic icons are often objects that represent the important spirits of their ancestors.
“Modern day [San Pedro] ceremonies are a mixture of cultures,” Johnson writes. “It’s hard to see exactly what it would have been like some 600 years ago without the elements of Christianity. But the story of psychedelics, in large part, is also the story of colonialism.”
The Mescaline-laden cactus yields an eight to 12-hour trip, usually including all the hallmarks of psychedelia: kaleidoscopic visions, life changing epiphanies, intense feelings, and distortions of time and space. Those who consume the green cactus-goo often say the experience is meditative, emotional, and a way to stare into the essence of one’s own consciousness and understand its relation to everything else.
Mad Honey: The Mystical Viscous Goo
No, mad honey is not a viscous concoction made by the Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland. Rather, it’s produced by a particular species of azalea, mountain laurels, and rhododendron flowers that contain a chemical called “grayanotoxins,” which affect the central nervous system. It has a history as both a biological weapon and prized inebriant, as it causes dizziness, convulsions, tingling extremities, hallucinations, vomiting, problems with breathing, and an altered state of mind. A spoonful of madness-goop, though not lethal, is enough to cause noticeable mental and bodily effects, including a mental high, sensations of movement, and spatial distortion.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of mad honey is the fact people have used it since 401 BCE. The Athenian army once gorged on the sweet nectar while traveling back to Greece after waging war against Persia—they obviously didn’t know what it was. The Athenians were incapacitated for days by diarrhea and nausea.
More than three centuries later, Roman troops suffered a similar fate while trying to invade Persia, except they were ruthlessly set up. Familiar with the dangers of mad honey, the Persians laid out pots of the sweet nectar as a trap for the Romans to find. And it worked. The Persians defeated the horribly disoriented Roman army with hardly any trouble.
Some scholars even hypothesize that mad honey might be responsible for the prophetic trance states endowed upon the Oracle of Delphi. If true, would this alter history?
Hallucinogenic Fish and Sea Sponges: DMT Dreams of the Sea
Yes, you read the heading correctly. There are visionary fish and psychedelic sea sponges that can make you trip your face off. (We always knew the character of SpongeBob was rooted in truth.)
In some cultures, especially among islanders in Polynesia and the Indian Ocean, there’s an ongoing tradition of intentional fish intoxication, but for the most part, such trips are accidental and unpleasant. Who likes nausea, dizziness, disturbing nightmares and feelings that make you think you’re dying? We’re pretty sure no one does.
The best known fish to cause hallucinations is the Sarpa Salpa that live off the coast of Africa, Hawaii, Australia, and the Mediterranean. But they aren’t the only ones to cause hallucinations. There’s a whole host of “dream-fish” species and, apparently, the intensity of the trip increases when you eat their heads. So, if you ever embark upon a trippy fish head, proceed with caution.
In 2014, however, the first species of psychedelic sea sponges were discovered that contain a molecule seen nowhere else in nature: 5-Bromo-DMT. Sponges, Johnson explains, are the “clandestine chemists of the ocean floor and have churned out unusual compounds for millennia without attracting notice.”
Magic Medicine states there are an estimated 8.7 million species in the world, one-fourth of which are thought to live in the ocean. Somehow, we know more about the ocean than we currently do psychedelics—and we’re only just beginning to understand the complex ecosystems of the sea.
The post Psychedelic Sea Sponges to the Colorado River Toad: Magic Medicine is a Rabbit Hole of Hallucinatory Wisdom appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.