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Folie à Deux and Shared Hallucinations

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Among those who use psychedelics regularly, there is talk of “shared hallucinations” during which two or more people will see or experience the same things throughout the course of a trip. Healthcare professionals have dismissed the phenomenon as a “rare psychiatric condition”, but theories (and even some recent studies) exist claiming that there is way more to these shared hallucinations than meets the eye.  

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Folie à deux  

Folie à deux is a French term coined in 1877 that means the “madness of two”. It refers to a situation in which two (or more, the phrase is used loosely) individuals experience shared delusions or hallucinations. Before we get into the more interesting theories and concepts surrounding Folie à deux, it’s important to make note of the distinctions between delusions and hallucinations.   

Delusions are fixed, false beliefs and convictions that conflict with reality, despite evidence to the contrary. Many delusions also involve a certain level of fear and paranoia, although that is not always the case. Hallucinations are sensory experiences that feel vivid and real but are created by the mind. They can affect all five senses, meaning you can hear, feel, see, taste, and smell things that may not be there. 

The reason this is important, is because delusions are easier to share. If you spend enough time with someone and have in-depth conversations with them, it’s possible you will be influenced by their thoughts and opinions, eventually. The idea of sharing hallucinations is a bit more fascinating. Sure, a hallucination can stem from shared thoughts or delusions, but what if none exist? Or what about when the hallucinations people share are completely random and not related to something they have discussed previously? Or how about when two total strangers share hallucinations, as is sometimes the case at psychedelic therapy retreats?  

So far, most of the evidence is anecdotal, but this does happen a lot in people who use psychedelics or even substance-free, mind-altering experiences, like sensory deprivation and Lucia light therapy. Although Folie à deux has been documented for almost 145 years, it’s rarely discussed, poorly understood, and not recognized by the DSM-5 or any other diagnostic manual, despite therapists claiming that it’s a “mental disorder”.  

Can we transmit thoughts to each other? 

In psychonaut communities, there are numerous accounts of this happening, and it brings to mind some interesting studies about our ability to transmit thoughts to other humans. Most recently, an international group of researchers has successfully shown that brain-to-brain, or mind-to-mind communication is actually possible. As a matter of fact, they determined that people could communicate with others that were thousands of miles away, via the internet, without speaking or typing; simply by thinking.  

The team was comprised of various professionals including neuroscientists and robotics engineers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard Medical School (HMC), Starlab Barcelona, and French company Axilum Robotics. Their results were published in the journal PLOS ONE, where they laid out what they described as the “mind-to-mind equivalent of instant messaging.” In their experiment, the team used a handful of “neurotechnologies” to send messages over the internet between people who were over 5,000 miles apart.  

The person transmitting the messages was based in India, and the three people receiving the transmitted communications were in France. The team conducted their trial using two brain technologies – electroencephalography (EEG) and robot-assisted and image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation. The EEG was able to pick up thoughts from the sender, such as “hello” and “goodbye”, which were then sent to the brain-computer interface as binary code through an email.  

Then in France, another brain-computer interface translated the thoughts and utilized non-invasive brain stimulations (with the help of robotized TMS) that passed the signals through the scalps of the receivers. They saw the brain stimulations as “phosphenes”, which are flashes of light in their peripheral vision that appeared in numerical sequences to be decoded.   

After a successful trial, the team conducted similar experiments between Spain and France. They concluded with an 84 percent success rate – broken down to a 5 percent error rate on the sending side and 11 percent error rate on the receiving side. The study authors and participants were impressed with the results, knowing that humans can send messages to each other simply through the power of thought, with a hint of neurotechnology.  

According to Professor Pascual-Leone from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Neurology, “This in itself is a remarkable step in human communication, but being able to do so across a distance of thousands of miles is a critically important proof-of-principle for the development of brain-to-brain communications.” 

Can we do it without the computers?

Telepathy is the concept of vicarious transmission of thoughts and information directly from the mind of one person to another (or to many others). The term was first used in 1882 by scholar Frederic W. H. Although some sporadic telepathy studies have been conducted over the decades, these experiments have been harshly criticized for lacking proper controls and the difficulty of possible repetition. Most in the scientific community consider telepathy to be pseudoscience.  

But just because something is considered pseudoscience now, that doesn’t mean it won’t change in the future if more evidence surfaces to support the theory. For a long time, the continental drift theory was considered silly “junk science”, but is now the basis for modern geology.  

In a meta-analyses of Ganzfield studies, as well as a small trial with “card-guessing tasks”, all published in 2008 in the International Journal of Yoga, researchers set to review existing information and study an individual with this ability to determine the neural basis of telepathy.  

As per their notes: “Using functional MRI, we examined a famous ‘mentalist’ while he was performing a telepathic task in a 1.5 T scanner. A matched control subject without this special ability was also examined under similar conditions. The mentalist demonstrated significant activation of the right parahippocampal gyrus after successful performance of a telepathic task. The comparison subject, who did not show any telepathic ability, demonstrated significant activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus. The findings of this study are suggestive of a limbic basis for telepathy and warrant further systematic research.” 

Meaning that, different brain activity was noted between the telepathic and non-telepathic individuals, but being a small and very limited analysis, more studies will be needed to determine if this is something that happens consistently in telepathic people, or if it was a one-off situation or fluke.  

Psychedelic telepathy

Again, this is a relatively untouched field of study, and most of what we have to go on is anecdotal evidence. However, personal accounts do count for something, and if you do a bit of online digging, you will find numerous reports of what psychonauts describe as “psychedelic telepathy”. In a 2020 study published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, 40 anonymous psychedelics users shared their experiences with interviewers. In total, 16 of them (40 percent) reported some type of telepathic experience while on psychedelics.  

Three forms of telepathic communication were reported by the interviewees. The first was a type of information exchange that allowed people to transfer both words and images to each other. The second was a state often referred to as “telempathy” which enabled users to exchange feelings and emotions. And the third was a sort of “self-dissolution and telepathic unity” where thoughts between two or more people could not be differentiated. The thought transference was so intense in some of the users, that they complained of a “lack of privacy” during their trip.  

I have experienced this myself. A game that I like to play with some of my friends when we’re on psychedelics is rooted in this very concept. It’s basic, but certainly helps to show that there is some level of connectivity occurring between people when they take psychedelic drugs. The game: I tell my friends to think of a color, to think of things associated with said color, and to really attempt to feel the color. Then I tell them to imagine sending the thought of that color to me, and I guess what it is. We do this back and forth, sending colors and sometimes numbers into each other’s minds, and the success rate is quite high… we “guess” right almost every time. Aside from some sort of psychedelic telepathy, it’s hard to explain the transference of such completely random thoughts.  

Some believe it has to do with electroreception and electrogenesis, or the ability to sense the electrical activity of nearby nervous systems. Many animals have it and use it regularly, especially aquatic and amphibious species since electricity travels through water much more efficiently than through air. Some believe humans possess this ability as well, although this theory has not yet been proven.  

Final thoughts  

Despite not being a frequently discussed topic in mainstream scientific communities, it’s a theory that’s gaining traction, especially if you’re involved in psychedelics. We know that the human body produces electrical impulses that allow our brains to communicate with other parts of the body. And we know that psychedelics help open up different neural pathways in the brain which allow for better communication between cells, as well as improved connectivity to the world around us. So is it that far-fetched to believe that psychedelics can help us communicate better with other humans as well, possibly through non-verbal and telepathic means? I don’t think so, and the hundreds of fellow psychonauts who have shared thoughts and hallucinations during a trip don’t think so either.

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2022 ballot measures

2022 Cannabis Ballot Measures: Up to Six States Voting for Recreational

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They’re not there yet, and they might not get there, but this coming November, at least three states, (and possibly six), are putting it up to voters in yet more cannabis ballot measures for recreational legalizations. Will we get up to 25 legal states by the end of elections?

2022 elections are going to be exciting with up to six states voting on recreational cannabis ballot measures. This could mean that by the end of elections, half the states of the US will be legal! This independent news platform specializes in reporting on the cannabis and psychedelics industries of the US and beyond. Check out the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for daily updates and access to tons of product promotions, from vapes and edibles to cannabinoid products including the highly popular Delta 8 & HHC. Check out our ‘best of’ lists for details, and only choose the products you’re most comfortable using.


Missouri and Amendment 3

On Tuesday August 9th, the state of Missouri announced that in November elections, it will hold a ballot measure so voters can decide if they want to legalize recreational cannabis. This ballot was not a for-sure thing in the beginning, with activists originally looking like they couldn’t get enough petition signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. By law, at least six out of eight congressional districts need to reach the signature minimum to make it on. As of Tuesday, the petition was certified by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.

The activist group Legal Missouri 2022 was behind the initiative. Said campaign manager John Payne in a press release Tuesday, “Our campaign volunteers collected 100,000 signatures, on top of paid signature collection. That outpouring of grassroots support among Missourians who want to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis made all the difference.”

Should it go through, this Amendment 3 forces a change to the constitution of the state, amending its policy on marijuana so that residents 21 and above can purchase and use the drug. In fact, should it go through, it would go into effect as early as the end of this year. This is an incredibly fast implementation, because the amendment is already written, instead of a measure instructing the legislature to come up with laws.

The new amendment includes the following guidelines for the cannabis industry:

  • Drop prohibition laws for purchase, possession, use, manufacture, sale, and transport of the drug for adults 21+
  • Require a card for home-growing
  • Allow those who are currently incarcerated for certain marijuana crimes, or who have incarceration histories, to petition for release/expungement
  • Institute a lottery for licenses and certificates
  • Ensure each congressional district gets an equal number of licenses
  • Implement a 6% sales tax on cannabis products

The reason for this ballot measure is because Missouri’s republican-led congress has repeatedly killed previous marijuana reform bills. As ballot measures are kind of the new thing in weed legalization, advocates decided it was best to take it to the people. Like many other cannabis bills, this one comes with a provision to erase past cannabis convictions for non-violent marijuana crimes, and for those who didn’t sell to minors, or get arrested for marijuana-related driving infractions.

Explained Legal Missouri 2022’s Alan Zagier, “We’re talking about people who may still be on probation or parole or even had a conviction and did their time and paid their fine but yet it still comes up and is a hindrance in housing or employment.” He said the bill would “Provide a fresh start and wipe the slate clean for really tens of thousands of Missourians who each year find themselves arrested for low level drug offenses.”

cannabis Missouri ballot
Cannabis in Missouri

South Dakota ballot measure

Missouri isn’t the only state letting the people decide the fate of recreational cannabis in November. Another state is South Dakota, and for this state, it means voting on such a measure for the second time. In the November 2020 elections, South Dakota voters passed two ballot measures to legalize both medicinal and recreational cannabis on the same day, via Measure 26 and Amendment A.

And though the story should have ended there, Governor Kristi Noem proceeded to conspire with law enforcement to bring a case against the win, in order to reverse it on the grounds that Amendment A broke the state’s law of only allowing single-measure ballots.

Noem’s participation was made clear when she made an executive order on February 8th, 2021. When this was appealed, it went to the Supreme Court. As the court is helmed by Noem appointee Christina Klinger, the ruling predictably upheld Noem’s order, ending the recreational legalization, and ostensibly taking away a voted-in win by her own constituents.

Now, the state has a new ballot measure ready to go this November, and considering the last one went through, there’s a pretty good chance this one will too. Initiated Measure 27 would legalize recreational use, as well as allowing the possession and distribution of up to one ounce. Individuals would be allowed to have three plants each, with a max of six plants per household. More than other states, this is an important ballot measure, because it works to offset a horrible injustice done to the people of the state, by their own governor.

…And Maryland

The third state with a confirmed ballot measure to legalize recreational cannabis in the upcoming November elections, is Maryland. On November 8th, residents of Maryland can vote on the Maryland Marijuana Legalization Amendment, which would allow residents 21 and above to access recreational cannabis starting in July 2023. The measure orders the State’s legislature to come up with laws to govern this new cannabis industry.

Maryland already has a decriminalization policy in place from 2014, which allows the possession of up to 10 grams or less without criminal sanctions. The state also has a medical program, instituted back in 2013.

cannabis Maryland ballot
Cannabis in Maryland

The current measure stated as House Bill (HB) 1, and was approved in the House by a vote of 96-34 in February of this year. Less than two months later, the Senate also passed the bill with a vote of 94-39, showing overall mass support in all of the State’s legislature. For whatever reason, instead of simply allowing the bill to pass into law, the legislature decided to pass the vote onto the people; similar to what happened in New Jersey, which subsequently voted in its own recreational bill in 2020. This means, should the measure get a positive vote, it was passed by both the state congress, as well as the people.

More cannabis ballot measures: Arkansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma too?

On August 3rd it was reported that the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners rejected a measure to allow a recreational legalization measure from appearing on the 2022 ballot. The board approval was a second stipulation, as activists already turned in more than enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Then, in a turn of events, the State’s supreme court ordered the initiative to be allowed. The case was brought by the group Responsible Growth Arkansas in response to the Board of Election Commissioners refusal to certify the measure.

What’s the new stipulation? The case isn’t over. So though the measure now must be on the ballot, whether the votes get counted remains to be seen until the case is officially settled. The placement on the ballot is because the case was expedited to force the certification from the Board in time for elections, though the Board can still argue its case for merit of its denial. Should the board ultimately win, the vote will be null and void. Responsible Growth Arkansas turned in over 193,000 signatures which is over twice the number of necessary signatures for the ballot.

North Dakota already turned in more signatures than necessary for the North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Initiative, which would legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21+. The state requires 15,582 signatures, and the group New Approach North Dakota collected 25,762. Currently the signatures are awaiting verification in order for the initiative to get certified. Unless a major issue comes up, it looks like North Dakota will let its people choose the fate of cannabis in the state come November. This is the second time such a vote was put to the people, as a 2018 measure for the same thing, did not pass.

Oklahoma is also trying to get an initiative on the ballot this November. The group Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws collected more than 164,000 signatures, much more than the necessary 94,911. The state is awaiting the verification of these signatures. In the meantime, the attorney general’s office released a revised version of the ballot in order to make it comply with applicable laws. The signature verification was outsourced to third-party company Western Petition Systems, and it looks like, once again, unless something weird comes up, Oklahomans will decide themselves if cannabis should be legalized in November.

Conclusion

Recently, cannabis ballot measures to legalize recreational use have been mainly positive, indicating a strong likelihood that as many as six new states might join the recreational crew come fall elections. If that happens, the number of legalized states increases to 25, officially signaling that 50% of states are going against federal mandate. Though its not often reported this way, this will likely force the federal government to quickly legalize, so as not to look weak compared to its states. This should be a very interesting election when it comes to both state recreational cannabis legalizations, as well as federal government reaction.

ballot measures
Ballot measures

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Amanita muscaria

Psyched Wellness is Bringing You Amanita Mushrooms – And It’s All Legal

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Magic mushrooms are the new buzz word, but they don’t all fall into just one category. Sure, there are psilocybin magic mushrooms, but there are also amanita mushrooms, for a different kind of high and unique medical advantages. Now, the company Psyched Wellness is offering amanita mushroom products, and the best part is, it’s all legal.

We all know about psilocybin mushrooms, right? Well, now there’s a new mushroom to know about, Amanita muscaria, and these mushrooms are not only legal, but come with a host of medical benefits. If you’re into independent drug reporting concerning the cannabis and psychedelics fields, this is the publication for you. We provide the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter so readers can stay updated on current events, as well as have access to tons of deals on cannabis products including popular cannabinoid compounds Delta 8 THC, and HHC, and all upcoming hallucinogenic products. Check the ‘best of’ lists for offers, and choose the products you’re most comfortable using.


What are amanita mushrooms?

When you hear the term ‘magic mushrooms’ the go-to association is with psilocybin mushrooms, the shrooms readily found in North and South America, which cause trips and highs by activating serotonin receptors. These mushrooms, along with LSD, DMT, and other compounds, are considered psychedelic hallucinogens.

This group of psychedelic hallucinogens doesn’t include other drugs we often think of as psychedelics, like ketamine. That drug, along with PCP and DXM are all dissociative hallucinogens. There is a third group as well, called deliriant hallucinogens, which includes scopolamine, the drug used to rob people by taking away their ability to argue with perpetrators. These three represent serotonergic, dopaminergic, and anticholinergic hallucinogens only.

This is where amanita mushrooms come in, as hallucinogens that act on a different neurotransmitter, GABA. Amanita muscaria mushrooms – AKA fly agaric, (for their ability to attract and trap flies), are also wild mushrooms that produce some trippy effects, but with an entirely different mode of action then psilocybin mushrooms. Amanita mushrooms are considered poisonous mushrooms, and contain a compound called muscimol, which is GABAergic. This means it acts as an agonist on GABA receptors, and does so in the same way as GABA itself; rather than attaching to different receptor sites like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and Quaaludes.

amanita mushrooms
Amanita mushrooms

These mushrooms also contain ibotenic acid, which is the compound more likely to make a person sick. This compound is a prodrug (a compound which is biologically inactive until metabolization), and is metabolized in the body to become muscimol. This is similar to psilocybin, which is also a prodrug, and which is useless in the human body until it changes into the other compound found in magic mushrooms, and the real compound of interest, psilocin.

Whereas psilocin acts on serotonin receptors, creating a stimulant response along with its psychedelic effects, muscimol acts on GABA receptors that calm the body down. Amanita mushrooms therefore won’t cause the same kind of ‘bad trip’ as psilocybin mushrooms, since there’s no stimulant effect. They do, however, come with their own reasons for caution in how they’re prepared and eaten, so as not to make a user feel sick. Neither mushroom group is known to cause death (despite the name ‘poisonous’), so even a bad experience with either is only temporary.

Amanita mushrooms are less well-known in the Americas as they’re not native to this region. For the most part they’re found around Northern Europe and Russia (particularly Siberia), and factor into medicinal and shamanistic traditions in those regions. This is probably why they aren’t scheduled in the US Controlled Substances list, which makes them legal to have and use in the US.

A little about Psyched Wellness & Calm

Psyched Wellness is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange under (CSE:PSYC), which used to be Duncan Park Holdings Corporation. Based out of Toronto, Psyched Wellness is a life sciences company which just finished a pilot run for its new amanita mushrooms product, Calm.

This main offering of the company, Calm, is the first approved amanita mushroom product to hit US markets. According to the company, its made 100% from amanita mushroom caps, is lab tested, detoxified to ensure no bad effects (no ibotenic acid), and can be used to “reduce stress, ease muscular tension, and promote restorative sleep.” The company is taking preorders for the product right now, and interested buyers can reserve themselves a 1 fluid ounce bottle for $49.99. Products are expected to officially hit the market in the fall.

Calm registers as a dietary supplement, which is advertised as ethically sourced. The main component, according to the company’s site, is AME-1 which was developed in the Psyched Wellness laboratories to mimic the naturally extracted compound muscimol. It does not contain naturally occurring muscimol. As this is not a controlled substance, and doesn’t require a prescription, the company is free to sell it without the same complications that currently exist with psilocybin mushrooms, which are still federally illegal as they sit in Schedule I of the controlled substances list.

medical amanita mushrooms

The company is looking to expand its product offering in the future. According to CEO Jeffrey Stevens, “It has been a long journey to get to this point, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my co-founder, David Shisel, our team, KGK Science and Vantage Hemp for all of their hard work and commitment to get us to where we are today. The most exciting part for me is that we have just scratched the surface with respect to potential uses and delivery forms for AME-1. Stay tuned for more to come from Psyched.”

Aside from this compound, the company also sells accompanying sweatshirts, bags, T-shirts, phone covers, water bottles, hats, and mugs, some emblazoned with the well-known image of the red capped mushroom with white spots. While Super Mario Brothers certainly kept this image alive for years, its new entrance into the US sales market is sure to give it an extra popularity boost in the near future.

A bit more on muscimol from amanita mushrooms

For many people, these mushrooms represent something completely new. Whereas psilocybin mushrooms have been used in the Americas for millennia, both for medical and recreational purposes, amanita mushrooms are not well-known to this part of the world. They are therefore a mystery to Americans in terms of what they can do, what to be wary of, and how they differ from standard magic mushrooms. In an interview with Technology Networks, Jeff Stevens gave some insight into these ‘other’ hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Of muscimol he says, “Muscimol is one of the main psychoactive compounds found in the Amanita muscaria mushroom along with ibotenic acid and muscarine. Although it does have psychoactive properties, the effect is very different from psilocybin or psilocin. It reacts with the GABAA receptor and when ingested, it can provide feelings of euphoria and tranquility, an altered sense of hearing and taste, changes to sensory perception and vivid dreams.”

He goes on to stipulate that “If it is not processed properly, where the ibotenic acid is not converted to muscimol, it can provide quite a nasty experience including sweating, nausea, loss of balance and involuntary bodily movements.” This helps explain how amanita mushrooms can cause negative effects, but don’t have to so long as the right usage techniques are employed.

In terms of why we’re only hearing about muscimol now, he says, “We believe the reason muscimol has not been studied to a large degree is because it has been mislabeled as poisonous and as such was overlooked. As a result, there’s not been a lot of scientific studies conducted on muscimol so groups like Psyched Wellness need to start from the ground up, making it more time consuming and more expensive.”

muscimol mushrooms
Muscimol

When it comes to the legality of the mushrooms, he explains, “Amanita muscaria are considered food and are principally regulated under the Federal Drug Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act in Canada and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and The Nutrition Labelling and Education Act in the USA. As a result, the challenges that other compounds face with extraction, regulation and or administration are not a factor.”

Psyched Wellness has been going over accumulated research on these mushrooms, looking for different applications. Says Stevens, “we believe muscimol could show positive indications for various mental and physical health issues, including sleep, insomnia, addiction and pain.”

Conclusion

Amanita mushrooms represent a different option in the world of hallucinogenic treatment. It’s not just about standard psychedelics anymore, and amanita mushrooms, with their main psychoactive constituent muscimol, offer an entirely different approach to helping with mental and physical health.

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cannabis sugar

Drug Myths: Does Sugar Stop Your High?

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There are many myths surrounding recreational highs. However, there are probably just as many truths. One person’s individual experience can soon spread and become gospel – drug scripture that everyone abides by. This is useful if the original case is based on fact, but very problematic if it’s not. Take the war on drugs, for example, it successfully mixed lies with truths to change opinion on drugs forever. Well, using sugar as a way to help stop a high is one of those stories.

Does it work or does it not? The belief is that sugary drinks or sweets can help end a cannabis sesh quicker, as well as also a hallucinogenic trip. I’ve used this method myself from time to time. Let’s see what truths or lies sit beneath.

To stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


Myths Around Drugs

It’s hard to ever know the truths surrounding drugs, especially when each person will have their own individual experiences. A simple example of this is that some people enjoy letting go and feeling far from their usual selves, whereas others would find that their own version of hell. This means then that already, before we’ve even discussed the science behind it, people will have different opinions. This is especially prevalent as many substances are dictated by how you’re feeling before you take them.

Alcohol, for instance, can easily turn someone violent or sad if they were feeling unhappy before consuming it. Another example is ecstasy – if someone is nervous about taking it then every little sweaty moment or increased heart rate may easily trigger their anxieties. That is why set and setting are so important when talking about all substances, despite the fact that they’re usually referred to when discussing psychedelics. Set is short for ‘mindset’, meaning that your feelings beforehand will dictate how your trip goes. ‘Setting’ is self-explanatory, meaning that where you are who you’re with will also affect the positives or negatives of your experience. BDP writes:

“People find that set and setting have a profound impact on the psychedelic experience. The more supportive the set and setting, the more likely the experience will be positive. In opposition, a less than ideal set and setting will increase the likelihood of a negative or challenging experience.Whilst being mindful of set and setting doesn’t guarantee a ‘good trip’, it’s an effective way of nudging the experience of taking psychedelic drugs in a positive direction.”

The reason people believe the set and setting theory to be true is that many agree with its sentiment. Many have experienced bad trips and many have experienced good trips, which they believe was dictated by their set and setting. But does this make the theory true? Or is it just another one of those word-of-mouth nuances that can assist people when they need it? It’s hard to prove these sorts of things, but what about the more exact scientific theories? Those ones that are surely easier to prove. Like, for example, whether sugar does help to quicken the ending of unpleasant highs. 

Sugar and Cannabis

The reason why many people believe that sugar helps to end highs early is because it’s what you’re told to do when you’re feeling unpleasant. When I first told my father that I had smoked a joint – I was about 15 and I’d literally barely had a puff – he sat me down and told me that if I ever threw a whitey and felt awful, that I should drink a diet coke to feel better. When I asked him why, he said, ‘because it will raise your blood sugar and stop you from feeling so bad’.

I didn’t really understand it at first, especially as when you feel that awful you can barely bring yourself to eat or drink anything. But nonetheless I took it as gospel and used the theory many times whenever my friends found themselves ‘overdosing’ on cannabis. As you’ll probably know, when you’re growing up and experimenting with drugs, this kind of thing happens a lot. I’d pull out a can of the finest cornershop diet coke I could buy and help my intoxicated mate sip it down, feeling like I’d saved their evening. But in reality, had I actually done anything? Well, Way of Leaf writes:

“When you smoke cannabis your blood sugar drops, convincing your body that it is hungry. This response is how our body reacts on a day to day basis in order to keep us nourished and not starving (imagine if our body never knew that it needed food?). When your blood sugar drops your body is screaming for more energy so it craves a meal. While this alone won’t dampen your blissfully high feelings, consuming foods with high sugar content can – which is often the type of food that those with the munchies reach for.”

As you can see, when you consume cannabis your blood sugar drops, meaning that your body does require energy. Oddly enough, the munchies are almost the other side of the same coin. When you’re experiencing a pleasant high, it’s likely that your body will start craving sweet and carb-filled foods, but when you digest them it will be a far more pleasurable feeling than if you’re sipping a coke whilst experiencing a whitey moment. Nonetheless, the same thing happens. The high slowly subsides. Or does it? The answer seems to be yes. The cannabinoids within cannabis, mainly THC, have blood sugar lowering qualities. Anything that counteracts this will, in turn, reduce the effects of the THC – the main psychoactive element of weed. This means that digesting sugar whilst high will speed up the process of ending your high. 

Sugar and Psychedelics

Cannabis isn’t the only drug that sugar can supposedly reduce the effects of. Psychedelic drugs like acid and magic mushrooms are also, theoretically, conquered by sugary drinks and sweets. When I was travelling in Amsterdam and purchased some magic truffles I was told exactly this. Magic truffles are legal in the Netherlands and have much the same level of potency as psilocybin magic mushrooms, except they are picked from underground, in their infancy. When I bought a box of the strongest truffles in Amsterdam I was told by the shopkeeper – as well as by the packaging itself – that eating or drinking sugar would help quicken the end of the trip. But does this actually work? Does psilocybin, like cannabis, also lower your blood pressure? On a blog called Shroomery, one user denies this sentiment, saying:

Actually I don’t believe sugar kills a trip.I like to eat sweets during the come on and it never has affected any of my trips to a noticeable degree. Also the aztecs ate the mushrooms with honey. And chocolate even is a weak MAOI according to Terence McKenna Land. It could still work as a placebo however: when you strongly believe it will help kill the trip it might just work to some degree”

So is digesting sugar to stop a trip just a placebo? Now, in some cases, placebos can be as effective as actual remedies. But the issue with placebos is that once you know the scientific truth, they no longer work. So, the question is, is there no proof that sugar genuinely does affect a hallucinogenic trip? There’s a product known as ‘trip stopper’, which contains the glucose dextrose that can supposedly neutralise the trip. The product description says:

“Minimizes the bad trip effects. The valerian helps you relax, which will decrease the effects and helps the dextrose to neutralize the psilocybin effects. Use if the trip you are in takes less pleasant turns, take the 2 Dextro tablets in your mouth and let it dissolve slowly. The dextrose helps to neutralize the trip effects. Then take the 4 Valerian capsules and take them with a large glass of water.”

Of course it is possible that these products are simply taking advantage of a social belief based on a placebo. But, then again, if sugar doesn’t affect a trip in any way, then why do so many people believe that it does? Perhaps there is some truth in it, or alternatively the only way to find out is to try it for yourself. 

Conclusion

It has been known that sugar can help to reduce the effects of cannabis highs and psychedelic trips. This theory has been passed down generations and is often given as advice to new users of recreational substances. With cannabis, it seems that there is some truth behind it. THC lowers blood sugar, which is then counteracted when sugar is digested. However, what about psychedelics? According to magic truffles packaging and certain products, It seems that sugars and sweeteners can neutralize the effects of psilocybin. However, there doesn’t seem to be enough actual evidence to back this up, excerpt for word of mouth. But what do you think?

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