Tag Archives | Mescaline

Ten Surprising Twists in the History of Hallucinogens

▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This piece was originally published on substance.com and has been republished with permission.

“Don’t stop here!” yells Raoul Duke as he swats at invisible flying creatures in Hunter S. Thompson’s semi-autobiographical novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. “This is bat country!

If all you know about LSD (full name: lysergic acid diethylamide) comes from that 1972 cult classic, you’re still armed to the teeth with anecdotal knowledge about hallucinogens. But here at Substance.com, we decided to take a deep dive into the history of hallucinogens on a bet that the psychedelic ’60s were the least of it. We were not disappointed. Here are 10 of our mind-bending finds:

1. The ancients were familiar with hallucinogens and even had special paraphernalia for their use. In 2008, two archeologists made a “breakthrough” discovery when they uncovered equipment used for sniffing hallucinogenic chemicals.… Read the rest

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British Guy Takes Mescaline, Polite and Measured Reflection Ensues

It’s been said that one of the reasons Humphry Osmond gave Aldous Huxley mescaline was because he knew Huxley had a mastery of language and was uniquely capable of conveying the experience in a way better than most others. The outcome, of course, was hallmark of psychedelic literature The Doors of Perception. Well, here Osmond is at it again with another gent possessing a gift of the gab.

Christopher Mayhew had been the president of a debating society while attending Oxford and at the time of the taping was, believe it or not, a Member of Parliament. Commenting on his experience decades later, he remarked:

“Perhaps half-a-dozen times during the experiment I would be withdrawn from my surroundings and from myself and have an experience, a state of euphoria, for a period of time that didn’t end for me. That didn’t last for minutes, or hours, but for months.”

See some of the original footage, including a follow-up interview decades later, here:

For some more interesting background, from the video description:

Humphry Osmond was the British psychiatrist who coined the term “psychedelic”.

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Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity?

Psychedelics

Illustration: Dizzy thorns (CC)

So what do you think, psychonauts? Pretty interesting article from Adam Halberstadt and Mark Geyer in Scientific American:

What would you see if you could look inside a hallucinating brain? Despite decades of scientific investigation, we still lack a clear understanding of how hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline, and psilocybin (the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms) work in the brain. Modern science has demonstrated that hallucinogens activate receptors for serotonin, one of the brain’s key chemical messengers. Specifically, of the 15 different serotonin receptors, the 2A subtype (5-HT2A), seems to be the one that produces profound alterations of thought and perception.

It is uncertain, however, why activation of the 5-HT2A receptor by hallucinogens produces psychedelic effects, but many scientists believe that the effects are linked to increases in brain activity. Although it is not known why this activation would lead to profound alterations of consciousness, one speculation is that an increase in the spontaneous firing of certain types of brain cells leads to altered sensory and perceptual processing, uncontrolled memory retrieval, and the projection of mental “noise” into the mind’s eye…

Read More: Scientific American

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