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2C-B, MDMA, LSD, mescaline.. all the good things! - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 21st, 2013

01:10 pm - 2C-B, MDMA, LSD, mescaline.. all the good things!

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So this morning's table discussion at breakfast centred around the measures taken to reduce smoking and at what point they tip over into marginalisation or dangerous discrimination. I think this is when the sanctions against smoking crate a situation where they are disproportinately borne by groups who are already marginalised - so if it were criminalised, the cost to Maori smokers would be greater than that to white people in the same way that Maori people caught in possession of cannabis are more likely to be arrested, charged and imprisoned. Likewise poor people are more likely to suffer dire consequences of an extreme price increase than those on higher incomes. Etc. That's my take on it anyway.


So first up this morning was a representative from MAPS, presenting their comprehensive plan to have MDMA approved as a prescription drug for PTSD by 2021. They are already in stage 2 of small scale clinical trials, with some very good results. Stage 3 will involve 400-560 subjects, and another 2075 subjects if they are granted 'expanded access', which allows trials for other issues such as anxiety. They whole process has taken since 1986, and will eventually have cost approximately $20million US. And then, after approval, MDMA has to be reclassified from the US Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 to allow it to be prescribed.

In NZ, MDMA is already Class B (Schedule 2-ish), and I wonder why such trials are not happening here. We don't have an endless supply of war veterans needing help (and garnering public sympathy), and I think that probably has something to do with it.

The talk on the subjective effects and potential uses of 2C-B was exactly what it said on the box. 2C-B is related to mescaline, and has a history of use as an aphrodisiac. They surveys of people who used a pill-testing service, whose pills were shown to contain 2C-B. The respondents had an average age of 32, were generally educated (75% degree or higher), and were all experienced users of a variety of drugs.

People mainly reported distorted vision, changed comprehension of sounds, feelings of peace as positive effects. Negative reports included difficulty focusing, insomnia, and flashbacks. The study obviously went a lot deeper than this and more info was reported than I could record, including a comprehensive comparison with a variety of other drugs commonly used at dance parties. However, they concluded that while 2C-B is similar to other drugs in effect, it produces less impairment, and is often more pleasurable. It is considered sociable, controllable, not a hallucinogen (although some people described it that way, results showed the potential for an emotional bias towards beliefthat it's a hallucinogen rather than this being based in described effects overall by the group).

They found that 2C-B is not entactogenic - that is it doesn't produce the same empathic/social effects as MDMA, but it does produce sensations of being 'in' one's body. Suggested potential clinical uses included body work in psychotherapy, and perhaps in combination with MDMA for its clearer-headedness.

Then there was a talk from James Hadiman on the experiments that used psychedelics to attempt scientific problem solving before it was banned back in the 1960s. Apparently they used mescaline and LSD interchangeably for this in reasonably high doses, and they selected their subjects based on the following criteria:

- The problems they were working on had to be important - a contribution to the world.
- The problems had to be hard.
- The people had to be skilled in the field of the problem, ie getting paid for it.
- They had to have been working on the problem for a while and not made progress.

(at this point I was thinking "Gee, I know several people who fit those criteria")

They ended up with 44 problems, everything from difficult architectural problems to chemical isolations to designing dining room chairs.

The subjects described the problem solving experience as follows:
Blocks to progress were removed. They were driven to focus on the problem. Their ability to visualise and recall was enhanced (one person described walking through the building complex he was designing and seeing it as a consumer might, then being able to draw it in detail to scale weeks later). People said the way the various relationships within the problem were connected became obvious. They described "getting out of their own way", and an ability to let go of ideas that don't work. They spent time reflecting on their own problem solving process and improving that.

According to this study, these effects persisted for 46 weeks after use. There is a book that describes this experiment in more detail, but (perhaps not surprisingly considering we're in the Bay Area) it sold out in like 2 minutes and I am now trying to locate a copy from the author before I leave for home.

Meanwhile, I'm harking back to a conversation on Thursday with a guy who programs java on acid. He said that it's often some of the best coding he's ever done, but he tends to forget things like simple user interfaces and often has to go back and add those in afterwards, and that overall he's not sure whether the process is more efficient that the default method.

Other conversations include a man from Washington who's isolated a (can't remember what it's called) from a species of tree fungus that may act on viruses in the same way that penicillin acts on bacteria, and a brief interlude with Earth Erowid about the potential benefits or pitfalls of the new New Zealand laws around legal highs. He thinks it's possible they may allow things to continue to be sold while being trialled, with the caveat that they will be pulled if there are any issues. I will have to research this when I get home, because if he's right, my view of the law will become a lot less jaundiced.


I also bought a picture. I couldn't help it, this thing gave me a visceral reaction. So much so that I'm a little afraid to hang it, but it's the most accurate depiction of a particular experience that I've ever seen, and not obviously psychedelic in that hippy dippy kind of way. Oh, and some books. Oops.

Tonight, there will very likely be dancing. Tomorrow, I will very likely be a zombie. And tomorrow night, I'll very likely be on a plane! Zomg.

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:April 21st, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
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mmmm... books... mmmm...



also do you have a pocket of business cards cause you know making contacts and all..

*ponders this*
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From:tatjna
Date:April 23rd, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
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I totally did. And I came home with a pocket full from people doing interesting things as well.. and I was smart enough to write on the back of them what each person was doing so I can remember when the time comes to contact them.

Still a bit fuzzbrained, but there is another conference-related braindump or two on the way I think.
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From:pombagira
Date:April 23rd, 2013 07:39 am (UTC)
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ohh yeah after stuffing your brain with that much interesting infomation in a short time, i can understand the brainfuzz...

but yay for conference related braindumps, i have been enjoying them.. wheee

also very good idea to write things on the back of the cards.. awsome!!

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From:richaarde
Date:April 22nd, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
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Scopolamine cannabis mescaline GABA heroin PCP too (sung to the tune of this: http://youtu.be/o1RjI7G8rFw )
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From:tatjna
Date:April 23rd, 2013 04:49 am (UTC)
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That is a cool song! And I would be impressed if anyone could rattle off that many drugs in one go.
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From:plantgirl
Date:April 23rd, 2013 08:34 pm (UTC)
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Was the guy from Washington named Paul Stamets? He's fascinating & is doing amazing, ground-breaking work with fungi. In addition to some amazing ecological work in myco-remediation, he's found uses for components of fungi as insecticides, fungicides, anti-virals, & anti-bacterials. And he's actually managing to get studies done to start creating Real Data.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 23rd, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
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Sadly, I met so many people that I can't remember his name. However, we talked for several hours and he said he'll be getting in touch. So if he does, I'll find out. If not, I might chase up that name you mentioned and find out more, because it was fascinating.
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From:plantgirl
Date:April 23rd, 2013 09:44 pm (UTC)
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Here's a good starting place: http://www.fungi.com/about-paul-stamets.html

I also highly recommend his book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.
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From:pundigrion
Date:April 27th, 2013 12:12 am (UTC)
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That guys is awesome!

Totally second his book.
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