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In a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers from UBC's Okanagan campus have discovered that men who have used psychedelic drugs in the past have a lower likelihood of engaging in violence against their intimate partners.

Although use of certain drugs like alcohol, methamphetamine or cocaine is associated with increased aggression and partner violence, use of psychedelics appears to have the opposite effect," says clinical psychology graduate student and study lead author Michelle Thiessen. "We found that among men who have used psychedelics one or more times, the odds of engaging in partner violence was reduced by roughly half. That's significant."

Psychedelic drugs act on serotonin receptors in the brain. Classic psychedelics include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The effects vary but can produce mystical experiences and changes in perception, emotion, cognition and the sense of self. Classic psychedelics are not considered to be addictive.

"Previous research from our lab that looked at men in the criminal justice system found that hallucinogen users were substantially less likely to perpetrate violence against their intimate partners," notes UBC professor and supervising author Zach Walsh. "Our new study is important because it suggests that these effects might also apply to the general population"

The Medicine Lodge / Serotonergic psychedelics and personality change
« on: November 03, 2018, 05:34:14 AM »
Personally, after intense use of LSD, Psilocybin, and what ultimately came to a peak with a high dose DMT experience, I had noticed that deep changes had occurred in my personality. A good deal of my neurosis had vanished, and depression which I had suffered from since youth had also gone. I felt reborn, I felt as if I had let go of all that was preventing me from living a happy and productive life. I also had major substance abuse struggles, which to this day have been completely under control since these experiences.

All of these changes occurred about 7 years ago, and have been permanent and long lasting.

It was as if I had been transformed into a new, and better person. To me it was a miracle, however, to science these changes in personality that occur with serotonergic psychedelics can be explained in a far more reasonable manner:

In the past decade, an increasing number of clinical trials are reporting evidence that psychedelics or serotonergic hallucinogens (such as lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin, and ayahuasca/dimethyltryptamine) could be effective in the treatment of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders. The mechanisms responsible for these effects are not fully understood but seem to involve changes in bran dynamics in areas rich in serotonergic 5-HT2A receptors and in personality. In the present text, we present a brief and critical overview of the current research in this field, pointing out both promises and limitations of these studies.


Serotonergic psychedelics and personality: A systematic review of contemporary research.
Serotonergic psychedelics act as agonists at cortical 5-HT2A receptors and seem to induce personality changes. We conducted a systematic review of studies assessing the effects of these drugs on personality. Papers published from 1985-2016 were included from PubMed, LILACS, and SciELO databases. Three hundred and sixty-nine studies were identified, and 18 were included. Specific personality traits, such as Absorption and Self-Transcendence, seem to influence the effects of psychedelics, and psychedelic drug users and nonusers appear to differ in some personality traits. Psychedelics administered in controlled settings may induce personality changes, such as increased Openness and Self-Transcendence. Increases in global brain entropy induced by acute psychedelic administration predicted changes in Openness, and Self-Transcendence was negatively correlated with cortical thinning of the posterior cingulate cortex in long-term religious ayahuasca users. Acute and long-term use of psychedelics is associated with personality changes that appear to be modulated by 5-HT2A receptors. These changes seem to induce therapeutic effects that should be further explored in randomized controlled studies.

The Medicine Lodge / Why LSD lasts 12 hours.
« on: November 03, 2018, 05:19:50 AM »
I'm sure we have all wondered of LSD:
"How can a compound which is cleared from the blood stream in a matter of hours produce such long lasting effects?"

Well, the research below might help clear things up:

Scientists from Roth's lab at UNC captured crystallography images (images showing how a molecule's atoms are arranged) of an LSD molecule bound to a human serotonin receptor and discovered that the LSD molecule was wedged into the receptor's binding pocket at an angle no one had expected. On top of that, part of the receptor protein had folded in over the LSD like a lid, sealing the drug inside.

"Once LSD gets in the receptor, a lid comes over the LSD, so it's basically trapped in the receptor and can't get out," says Roth. "LSD takes a really long time to get on the receptor, and then once it gets on, it doesn't get off," he added.

This finding explains why LSD trips last for a full day, even though LSD doses are extremely small -- the average dose is 100 or so micrograms -- and LSD molecules are cleared from the bloodstream in a couple of hours. Given that there has been a tentative resurgence in testing LSD for some medical conditions, understanding the mechanism of its potent and long-lasting actions may help drug developers design more effective psychiatric drugs with fewer side effects, the researchers say.

Its funny, isomers of LSD such as iso-lysergic acid diethylamide are inactive, this is due to an asymmetric carbon atom at position 8, so the carbonyl with the diethylamide grouping attached at position 8 can be facing different directions in space, hence hitting the receptor site in a different way. When the carbonyl-diethylamide grouping at position 8 is facing away from the receptor site, as with iso-LSD, you get inactivity.

I'm positive that the article above is referring to the way in which the diethylamide moiety at position 8 of the LSD molecule hits the receptor site.

I never realized that the carbonyl-diethylamide grouping at position 8 was "locking" the molecule into the receptor site, and was always curious as to how LSD could produce such long duration experiences...

fascinating stuff!

The Medicine Lodge / neural plasticity and psychedelics
« on: November 03, 2018, 05:02:18 AM »
Psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies
June 12, 2018
Cell Press
Psychedelic drugs may have mind-altering powers in the physical sense, too. A new study has found psychedelics, specifically DOI, DMT, and LSD, can change brain cells in rats and flies, making neurons more likely to branch out and connect with one another. The work supports the theory that psychedelics could help to fight depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Library / Poetry/prose/creative writing.
« on: October 30, 2018, 10:20:19 AM »
In a Languorous daze
I began to languidly gaze
Upon her divine pulchritude.



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