Nutmeg dosage erowid

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Skateboard-City Forum > Off Topic > General Off Topic > Nutmeg High (I'm so desperate I need a mind altering drug, but I'm too poor for weed


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mikeskatesenjois

06-11-2007, 12:06 PM

i read online that you can get high off nutmeg, is this true?


skatetogetby

06-11-2007, 12:10 PM

Maybe, Im sure it would make you really sick, though.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 12:13 PM

No.


Rock_em_tight

06-11-2007, 12:19 PM

No,how could you possibly get high off that.


yeah you actually can, check erowid.org or whatever. you have to eat like a mouthfull of it ground up and you get high for like 2 days or something, i dont really remember anything about the effects or dosage though but i think its a mild/unpleasant high


fulltimeskater

06-11-2007, 12:23 PM

according to erowid it is a deliriant and unpleasent to most people. it doesnt sound all that great.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 12:24 PM

yeah you actually can, check erowid.org or whatever. you have to eat like a mouthfull of it ground up and you get high for like 2 days or something, i dont really remember anything about the effects or dosage though but i think its a mild/unpleasant high

I would read it on erowid but their text and backround fucks with my eyes for like 10 hours after I read something on it.


Marevix

06-11-2007, 12:29 PM

Yes, but there's other active ingredients that make it less than worth the trip. It's like drinking cough syrup with guafenisin - you'll trip, and likely vomit with generally unpleasant sensations.


Skate-or-die77

06-11-2007, 12:30 PM

maybe if you mixed it with cocaine....


mkcrank mulisha

06-11-2007, 12:31 PM

No,how could you possibly get high off that.

Dude, your not a licensed botanist stfu up. All you've smoked is pot, how would know what chemicals nutmeg has?


ToxicSkater

06-11-2007, 12:35 PM

Yeah, my friend did it.
He said it lasts 6-14 hours, depending on how much you take.
He was gonna try to smoke it...but I don't think he did.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 12:37 PM

Hm, I just read up on it and it actually seems pretty sweet. I went into the spice cabinet and found a nice big bottle of nutmeg. I wanna try it but I have no way of weighing it out.


ToxicSkater

06-11-2007, 12:38 PM

Hm, I just read up on it and it actually seems pretty sweet. I went into the spice cabinet and found a nice big bottle of nutmeg. I wanna try it but I have no way of weighing it out.
Tablespoon or 2 is what I've heard works.:-!?


Marevix

06-11-2007, 12:41 PM

Hm, I just read up on it and it actually seems pretty sweet. I went into the spice cabinet and found a nice big bottle of nutmeg. I wanna try it but I have no way of weighing it out.

I've read that it only works with whole nutmeg, not pre-ground.


MullenSucks

06-11-2007, 01:25 PM

Almost everyone who does it gets horribly sick. If you wanna get high, just get trees.


xCxCxHx

06-11-2007, 01:31 PM

FUCK nutmeg get yourself a fat sacc of dank.

im getting a new bong today. its gonna be a 3 footer with perc, ice catcher, and iono if its got diffusers, but still, its going to be fucking DANK. i beeen gettin moneyyyyy


dustydust

06-11-2007, 01:31 PM

Its not really worth it from what ive heard.


Rhythman

06-11-2007, 01:43 PM

Internet = 90% bullshit.


eS_skater20

06-11-2007, 01:46 PM

Fuck nutmeg. Purple drank is where iti's at!


Just kidding. Drugs are lame, in my opinion.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 01:49 PM

Alright guys well I decided to be the lab rat for this.

I just took 2 tablespoons of ground nutmeg, apparently the effects don't kick in for like 5-8 hours, but I'll keep you guys posted.


MullenSucks

06-11-2007, 01:51 PM

Alright guys well I decided to be the lab rat for this.

I just took 2 tablespoons of ground nutmeg, apparently the effects don't kick in for like 5-8 hours, but I'll keep you guys posted.

In return, allow me to keep you posted on your life:

1.) You're an idiot.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 01:54 PM

Thanks man. If you could maybe keep me posted every couple hours so I know what's going on?


MullenSucks

06-11-2007, 01:55 PM

Thanks man. If you could maybe keep me posted every couple hours so I know what's going on?

I really don't think the stats are going to change. Probably ever.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 01:56 PM

All right, well thanks for the update either way.


xCxCxHx

06-11-2007, 01:58 PM

hahahha sucka motha i dont think you're gonna like dis shit man. i know this dude who took some awhile back, and he was fucking blowing chunks well into his trip and he felt like shit the whole time until effects wore off. i think it lasted atleast a day.


The Sinistral

06-11-2007, 01:59 PM

whats nutmeg?


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 01:59 PM

Haha, yeah I read some "experiences" on it before I did it and most didn't look to pleasing. But I mean, what else do I got going on? Might as well try to get high off household spices.


eS_skater20

06-11-2007, 02:00 PM

Well...have fun getting high on nutmeg.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 02:02 PM

Don't tell me how to have fun.


drowning_fish

06-11-2007, 02:02 PM

Yeah then after we can listen to our virtual high sound clips and choke ourselves!


MullenSucks

06-11-2007, 02:06 PM

Yeah then after we can listen to our virtual high sound clips and choke ourselves!

Don't forget smoking green tea and banana peels, that shit gets you flying.


eS_skater20

06-11-2007, 02:12 PM

Don't tell me how to have fun.

Or....what?


drowning_fish

06-11-2007, 02:15 PM

Don't forget smoking green tea and banana peels, that shit gets you flying.

Yo I'll bring the sharpies


xCxCxHx

06-11-2007, 02:26 PM

i keep dat airplane glue and keyboard duster


drowning_fish

06-11-2007, 02:28 PM

i keep dat airplane glue and keyboard duster

Are those the things that are like spray paint? Me and my friends used to ice each other with those (you turn them upside-down and it blows out ice). So fucking fun.


skate4life1

06-11-2007, 02:29 PM

^^ ya lolz, i did that to my friend in his eye on accident.


xCxCxHx

06-11-2007, 02:29 PM

Are those the things that are like spray paint? Me and my friends used to ice each other with those (you turn them upside-down and it blows out ice). So fucking fun.

yeh yeh the cold ones, theyre fun to play with when youre high n shit and they feel gooood. but some idiots fucking huff that shit and get brain damage.

on a similar note, my moms friends daughter got caught sniffing glue and she got arrested and sent to an alternative school for it HAHA


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 02:30 PM

I had a friend that used to huff duster. It was so funny when he did it his voice would get extremely deep for like 30 seconds and I would die laughing.


infulleffecttt

06-11-2007, 03:15 PM

i keep dat airplane glue and keyboard duster

Dust-off is a really stupid thing to inhale.


ruckus.

06-11-2007, 03:42 PM

Smoke weed.


atmboy136

06-11-2007, 03:56 PM

If you get like, really sick, you should tape yourself with your webcam and show us.


dustydust

06-11-2007, 03:57 PM

hows it going sucka motherfcka stopper


krewskater

06-11-2007, 04:07 PM

haha, give us hourly updates with your webcam!


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 04:09 PM

Haha nothing yet guys...Just a gross taste every once in a while.

Haha and yeah, if I do get sick I'll be sure to film it so you can all laugh at my misery.


MullenSucks

06-11-2007, 04:13 PM

Is alcohol not a mind altering drug, or at least as "desperate"?


lol yeah i wanna see some vids, i didnt think it sounded appealing at all when i read about it but i guess you never know. it could just be a really long body high, that'd be pretty cool


from erowid--- " Duration
The primary effects of a full dose of Nutmeg can last up to 24 hours. More minor secondary effects can continue for up to 72 hours.


PROBLEMS
Many people find the effects of Nutmeg unpleasant. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dry mouth can accompany the psychedelic/sedative effects."

hahaha dude hopefully you dont end up having diarrhea and throwing up for 3 days


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 04:19 PM

Haha even if I do, it's really not that big a deal.


krewskater

06-11-2007, 04:19 PM

we want footy or gtfo


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 04:21 PM

^What do you want footy of? Me just sitting here after eating nutmeg? Nothing has even happened yet, and even if it did you aren't going to be able to actually SEE the trip...


Professional Asshole

06-11-2007, 04:22 PM

FUCK nutmeg get yourself a fat sacc of dank.

im getting a new bong today. its gonna be a 3 footer with perc, ice catcher, and iono if its got diffusers, but still, its going to be fucking DANK. i beeen gettin moneyyyyy

aaaaah


lucky, i just broke the slider to my bong, im sad now.

at least i get to use this as an excuse to get a kickass ash catcher.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 04:23 PM

Also...I'm not doing this because I'm too poor for weed or whatever, I actually just bought a bag. I'm only doing it 'cause from the experiences I read it actually looks like it could be pretty good.


dustydust

06-11-2007, 04:25 PM

Also...I'm not doing this because I'm too poor for weed or whatever, I actually just bought a bag. I'm only doing it 'cause from the experiences I read it actually looks like it could be pretty good.

but nothing has happened yet? How long does it take for it to kick in?


Professional Asshole

06-11-2007, 04:25 PM

Also...I'm not doing this because I'm too poor for weed or whatever, I actually just bought a bag. I'm only doing it 'cause from the experiences I read it actually looks like it could be pretty good.

omg teh pothed


ur gonna die!1!


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 04:25 PM

but nothing has happened yet? How long does it take for it to kick in?

I read anywhere from like 5 to 8 hours.


i read 2-7 hours to kick in, depends on how full your belly is so dont eat too much


reptiskate52

06-11-2007, 04:27 PM

omg teh pothed


ur gonna die!1!
No, you idiot. Weed is harmless. Except for the fact it'll put you in a coma for 8 years, make your penis fall off and kill your firstborn


Professional Asshole

06-11-2007, 04:34 PM

No, you idiot. Weed is harmless. Except for the fact it'll put you in a coma for 8 years, make your penis fall off and kill your firstborn

i value my penis, and my first born.


DONT SMOKE WEED!


reptiskate52

06-11-2007, 04:36 PM

i value my penis, and my first born.


DONT SMOKE WEED!
You see kids, this is the attitude we need.


Spitfire

06-11-2007, 04:37 PM

nutmeg taste < shit


infulleffecttt

06-11-2007, 04:56 PM

http://youtube.com/watch?v=HxEFGnCHw1k


SNICKERBAR

06-11-2007, 05:07 PM

maybe if you mixed it with cocaine....
yea sure too poor for weed but lets mix some cocaine in it. lol


igrindtwinkies

06-11-2007, 05:49 PM

It's more like a nutmeg headache.


SoHereIAm

06-11-2007, 05:57 PM

hahaha sucka mothafcka..I'd lawl if you got diarrhea


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 06:13 PM

Haha yeah, I'm actually looking forward to the diarrhea. I don't feel anything yet.


muppet master

06-11-2007, 06:22 PM

How long has it been since you ate it?


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 06:23 PM

I ate it at like 6.


dustydust

06-11-2007, 06:24 PM

I ate it at like 6.

Haha my friend who did it got a major headache and was pooping all over the place. good luck man.


Marevix

06-11-2007, 06:25 PM

Like I said earlier, the sources I've found insist that pre-ground won't do shit.


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 06:27 PM

^Really?

On erowid I'm pretty sure I read a few where they said they just ate it straight up from bottles of it they got at grocery stores or whatever.


dustydust

06-11-2007, 06:28 PM

Im pretty sure its better if you grind it up yourself


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 06:28 PM

Yeah I'm sure it is, but whatever. I just did it to test it out.


dustydust

06-11-2007, 06:30 PM

Yeah I'm sure it is, but whatever. I just did it to test it out.

yey for being my test dummy


TehNoobBikezor

06-11-2007, 06:32 PM

Should have done the whole bottle like on youtube.


Marevix

06-11-2007, 06:38 PM

^Really?

On erowid I'm pretty sure I read a few where they said they just ate it straight up from bottles of it they got at grocery stores or whatever.

Hmm.. Might vary by brand and/or storage length. If memory serves, the psychoactive chemical degrades over time unless protected by the outer layer. Perhaps they had a recently-ground shipment?


sucka mothafcka stopper

06-11-2007, 06:40 PM

^Yeah, that could have been. Might explain why I'm still feeling nothing.


mikeskatesenjois

06-12-2007, 05:07 PM

how did it turn out for you sucka mothafcka stopper


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The Chemistry of Nutmeg v3When you think of hallucinogens, you probably wouldn’t expect to find one lurking, unbeknownst to you, in your kitchen spice rack. However, the hallucinogenic properties of nutmeg have been known for some time – historical records mention its use as a treatment for problems with the digestive system and the kidneys, and others from as far back as the 16th & 17th centuries comment on its narcotic effects. So, what are the chemical compounds that cause this?

Several compounds have been implicated in the hallucinogenic effect of nutmeg. The main compound implicated is myristicin, which accounts for approximately 1.3% of raw nutmeg. It was suggested in research that the effects of nutmeg could be due to the breakdown of myristicin in the liver into MMDA, a drug of the amphetamine class and known psychedelic. However, whilst this transformation has been observed in the livers of rats, there has been no evidence of such a transformation occurring in humans.

Interestingly, when a significant amount of pure myristicin was given to a group of subjects (twice the amount present in 20g of nutmeg), whilst 6 out of 10 showed some effects, they were much milder than expected in comparison to the effects of nutmeg. This suggests that the presence of other compounds in nutmeg must also be important in inducing the full ‘nutmeg effect’. Other compounds that have been suspected of contributing to the effect are elemicin and safrole.

Before you reach for a spoonful of nutmeg, it’s worth noting the effects it can induce. Up to 1-2mg of nutmeg per kilogram of body weight can induce effects in the central nervous system, and anecdotal records state a tablespoon is enough to bring on some of the other effects noted. These include nausea, vomiting, flushing, elevated heart rate, euphoria, hallucinations and a dry mouth; on the face of it, not a particularly cheery band of side effects.

It doesn’t really get much better – as well as some of the effects being less than pleasant, they can last for several days, with some reporting symptoms such as vision, balance and concentration problems lasting for over a week. In all, it’s probably best that your nutmeg stays confined to your kitchen spice rack.

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References & Further Reading

Sours: https://www.compoundchem.com/2014/03/24/the-hallucinogen-in-your-kitchen-the-chemistry-of-nutmeg/

Erowid nutmeg dosage

Camila Sanz,1Federico Zamberlan,1Earth Erowid,2Fire Erowid,2 and Enzo Tagliazucchi1,3,*

Camila Sanz

1Departamento de Física, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Federico Zamberlan

1Departamento de Física, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Earth Erowid

2Erowid Center, Grass Valley, CA, United States

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Fire Erowid

2Erowid Center, Grass Valley, CA, United States

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Enzo Tagliazucchi

1Departamento de Física, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

3Brain and Spine Institute, Paris, France

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Author informationArticle notesCopyright and License informationDisclaimer

1Departamento de Física, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2Erowid Center, Grass Valley, CA, United States

3Brain and Spine Institute, Paris, France

Edited by: Rick Strassman, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, United States

Reviewed by: Matthias E. Liechti, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland; Michael Kometer, University of Zurich, Switzerland

*Correspondence: Enzo Tagliazucchi [email protected]

This article was submitted to Neuropharmacology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience

Received 2017 Nov 2; Accepted 2018 Jan 4.

Copyright © 2018 Sanz, Zamberlan, Erowid, Erowid and Tagliazucchi.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Abstract

Ever since the modern rediscovery of psychedelic substances by Western society, several authors have independently proposed that their effects bear a high resemblance to the dreams and dreamlike experiences occurring naturally during the sleep-wake cycle. Recent studies in humans have provided neurophysiological evidence supporting this hypothesis. However, a rigorous comparative analysis of the phenomenology (“what it feels like” to experience these states) is currently lacking. We investigated the semantic similarity between a large number of subjective reports of psychoactive substances and reports of high/low lucidity dreams, and found that the highest-ranking substance in terms of the similarity to high lucidity dreams was the serotonergic psychedelic lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), whereas the highest-ranking in terms of the similarity to dreams of low lucidity were plants of the Datura genus, rich in deliriant tropane alkaloids. Conversely, sedatives, stimulants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants comprised most of the lowest-ranking substances. An analysis of the most frequent words in the subjective reports of dreams and hallucinogens revealed that terms associated with perception (“see,” “visual,” “face,” “reality,” “color”), emotion (“fear”), setting (“outside,” “inside,” “street,” “front,” “behind”) and relatives (“mom,” “dad,” “brother,” “parent,” “family”) were the most prevalent across both experiences. In summary, we applied novel quantitative analyses to a large volume of empirical data to confirm the hypothesis that, among all psychoactive substances, hallucinogen drugs elicit experiences with the highest semantic similarity to those of dreams. Our results and the associated methodological developments open the way to study the comparative phenomenology of different altered states of consciousness and its relationship with non-invasive measurements of brain physiology.

Keywords: dreams, psychedelics, dissociatives, deliriants, hallucinogens, phenomenology, consciousness

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Introduction

The indolic alkaloids psilocybine and psilocine are the main hallucinogenic principles of the sacred mushrooms (…). The mushrooms cause both visual and auditory hallucinations, with the dreamlike state becoming reality” (Schultes and Hofmann, 1979).

Our everyday experience of wakefulness is only one among many different states or modes of consciousness that are available to us. This experience can be diminished or even disappear during states such as deep dreamless sleep, under anesthesia, coma or in the vegetative state (Boly and Seth, 2012; Hobson, 2017). However, other brain states are characterized by more subtle modifications to the contents of consciousness. The most frequent of such modifications appear in the form of vivid dreams during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of healthy human sleep. Dreams are characterized by vivid multimodal imagery (sometimes construed as realistic “hallucinations”), loss of the sense of agency and volitional control, dissociation between the first-person point of view and the bodily self of the dreamer, suppressed metacognitive function and heightened emotional reactivity (Hobson, 2009; Nir and Tononi, 2010). Dreams during which the dreamer is aware of experiencing a dream instead of wakefulness and does not identify with the “dreaming self” but with the everyday waking self are usually termed “lucid dreams” (La Berge et al., 1981; Voss et al., 2009).

Conscious states sharing some of these features with dreaming occur as a consequence of neuropsychiatric disorders (Hobson, 1999; Scarone et al., 2007), can be induced by psychoactive substances (Kraehenmann, 2017) and in certain cases by direct electrical stimulation of the cortex (Herbet et al., 2014). One remarkable example of drugs1 capable of inducing experiences with features common to dreaming is the family of serotonergic or “classical” psychedelics. These substances have been known and used in different parts of the world for millennia (Schultes and Hofmann, 1979; Metzner, 1998), but it is only after the synthesis (1938) and self-administration (1943) of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann that Western society became increasingly aware of their existence, leading to gradual but deep changes in psychiatry, culture and society (Hofmann, 1980). The action of serotonergic psychedelics is based on their high affinity for serotonin 5-HT2A receptors (Glennon et al., 1984; Vollenweider et al., 1998; Kraehenmann et al., 2017; Preller et al., 2017) and is characterized by marked changes in consciousness that include simple and complex visual imagery, distortions in the sense of self and in the relationship between the body and the environment, disinhibited emotions, and alterations in cognition and thought processes (Schmid et al., 2015; Nichols, 2016).

While the experience elicited by serotonergic psychedelics has long been ascribed a dreamlike quality (Jacobs, 1978; Schultes and Hofmann, 1979; Fischman, 1983), only recently experiments in humans have provided evidence supporting a relationship between these drugs and REM sleep dreams (Carhart-Harris and Nutt, 2014; Carhart-Harris R. L. et al., 2014; Kraehenmann, 2017). This evidence comes mostly from neuroimaging experiments using LSD and psilocybin (the psychoactive compound behind the psychedelic effects of Psilocybe mushrooms) (Carhart-Harris et al., 2012, 2016; Tagliazucchi et al., 2014). Earlier studies demonstrated that LSD facilitates REM sleep in humans when administered during sleep or before sleep onset (Muzio et al., 1966; Torda, 1968; Green, 1969) and that N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT; an orally-inactive serotonergic psychedelic) induces spontaneous eye movements similar to those observed during REM sleep (Strassman, 2000).

In terms of rigorous analysis of the associated phenomenology (the first-person perspective of “what it feels like” to have an experience) evidence supporting a relationship between dreams and serotonergic psychedelics is scarcer. The recent work of Kraehenmann and colleagues established that LSD increases the “cognitive bizarreness” of mental imagery (Kraehenmann et al., 2017) (a characteristic quality of dream content; Hobson et al., 1987). Other studies have asked participants to explicitly self-assess the “dreamlike quality” of their psychedelic experience (Studerus et al., 2011; Carhart-Harris and Nutt, 2014; Carhart-Harris R. L. et al., 2014; Schmid et al., 2015; Dolder et al., 2016; Carhart-Harris et al., 2016). However, a quantitative and hypothesis-free comparison of first-person reports of psychedelic experiences and dreaming is currently lacking.

Other hallucinogen drugs2 acting through different pharmacological mechanisms can induce experiences that are also characteristic of REM sleep dream mentation. Dissociative psychedelics are chiefly synthetic anesthetic agents that disrupt the capacity for information transmission in the brain, even though such drugs can also be found in nature, e.g., muscimol, present in Amanita muscaria mushrooms. Examples include arylcyclohexamines ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) (Morris and Wallach, 2014). When administered in sub-anesthetic doses, these drugs may lead to feelings of detachment from the body, self and environment, as well as perceptual distortions and hallucinations, depersonalization (feeling the self as unreal or lacking agency) and derealization (feeling the environment as unreal) (Hansen et al., 1988; Jansen, 1993; Malhotra et al., 1996; Pomarol-Clotet et al., 2006; Wilkins et al., 2011). Some of these experiences are frequent during normal dream episodes, especially the dissociation between the first-person point of view and the bodily self, while others are more characteristic of lucid dreams (e.g., derealization) (Hobson, 2009; Nir and Tononi, 2010; Thompson, 2014). Substances termed “deliriants” (Duncan and Gold, 1982) include the tropane alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine that are present in the flowering plants of the Solanaceae family (such as those in the Brugmansia and Datura genera) (Farnsworth, 1968; Schultes and Hofmann, 1979). The anticholinergic effect of these alkaloids leads to a state of delirium and confusion with hallucinations and complex visual imagery, in contrast to the relatively simple imagery experienced under the influence of serotonergic psychedelics (Safer and Allen, 1971; Osterholm and Camoriano, 1982; Bersani et al., 2013). Importantly, this imagery is frequently perceived as real and the users might not be aware that they are undergoing a drug-induced altered state of consciousness. This feature is common to dreams of low lucidity, during which the dreamer lacks the metacognitive capacity to identify the experience and its content as a dream (Kahan and LaBerge, 1994), but is absent in the experiences elicited by dissociative and serotonergic psychedelics (Nichols, 2016).

The phenomenological commonalities and divergences between dreaming and the effects of dissociative psychedelics and deliriants have received comparatively less attention than those of serotonergic psychedelics. The neurophysiological bases for these experiences and their relationship to those underlying REM sleep dream episodes also remain largely unexplored. In this work we seek to perform a comprehensive, large-scale analysis of subjective reports of the experiences elicited by a wide range of psychoactive substances including hallucinogens, as well as other drugs having less direct impact on the general quality of conscious experience (e.g., stimulants, sedatives, antipsychotics, antidepressants). Our main objective is to determine the semantic similarity between these reports and those of dreams, directly addressing the hypothesis that the experiences elicited by serotonergic psychedelics bear a high resemblance to dreaming (Carhart-Harris and Nutt, 2014; Carhart-Harris R. L. et al., 2014; Kraehenmann, 2017). More generally, we extend this hypothesis to encompass dissociative psychedelics and deliriants, and investigate whether the degree of similarity between the associated experiences and dreaming depends on the level of lucidity.

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Materials and methods

Corpora selection

Reports of psychoactive substance use were downloaded from the “experience vaults” in www.erowid.org and are here referred to as the “Erowid corpus.” The webpage www.erowid.org is a “member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues” containing, among other resources, a large number (>20,000) of reports associated with the use of different psychoactive substances. Our research relied upon Erowid's reviewed and edited collection of experience reports, and followed Erowid's terms of use that require researchers to coordinate with Erowid's research team in order to avoid misinterpretations of their data (https://erowid.org/general/about/about_copyrights.shtml). We discarded reports that resulted from the combination of different substances. When certain reports appeared under more than one category (e.g., under “phenylethylamine” and “2C-B”) we classified them in the most specific way unless such specificity dramatically reduced the number of reports associated with each individual substance (as in the case of psilocybin mushrooms, encompassing different species such as Psilocybe mexicana and Psilocybe cyanescens). We distinguished between reports of plants or fungi and their psychoactive compounds (e.g., between mescaline and cacti such as Lophophora williamsii and Echinopsis pachanoi). Finally, we only included substances that contained at least 10 reports. The names of all 165 psychoactive substances included in this study, together with the number of associated subjective reports, their similarity to dreams of low/high lucidity (see Figures ​1, ​2) and their primary and secondary categories are listed in Table ​1.

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Figure 1

Ranking of psychoactive substances in the Erowid corpus in terms of the similarity of their subjective reports to those of high lucidity dreams (Dreamjournal corpus). The rectangles on the left/right zoom into the top 20 lowest/highest ranking substances and the pie charts indicate the proportion of each primary category. Substances are represented with circles that are color-coded based on their category (the color of the center/border corresponds to the primary/secondary category).

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Figure 2

Ranking of psychoactive substances in the Erowid corpus in terms of the similarity of their subjective reports to those of low lucidity dreams (Dreamjournal corpus). The rectangles on the left/right zoom into the top 20 lowest/highest ranking substances and the pie charts indicate the proportion of each primary category. Substances are represented with circles that are color-coded based as in Figure ​1.

Table 1

The 165 psychoactive substances included in the study, with the number of reports (N), their primary and secondary classification (the color-code is the same as in Figures ​1, ​2, and can be found in the bottom right of the table), and the ranking of the substances in terms of their similarity to high/low lucidity dreams.

NPrimarySecondaryRank (high/low)SubstanceNPrimarySecondaryRank (high/low)
Salvia divinorum1,2678/19Damiana41109/128
Cannabis8275/5Valerian41123/124
MDMA77016/94-Ho-DiPT4077/98
LSD7181/2Morphine4099/101
DXM42213/152C-D4080/100
Morning glory33438/34Blue Lotus40113/131
2C-I29540/401P-LSD4021/27
Cocaine28989/71DOB-DragonFLY3954/56
Amphetamines25071/506-APB39108/115
Datura2503/1Ethylphenidate38154/153
Nutmeg24773/724-Acetoxy-DiPT3875/94
5-MeO-DMT24743/581,4-Butanediol38135/121
DMT23615/29GBL38116/108
Metamphetamine23545/22Heimia salicifolia37144/154
25I-NBOMe23346/43Hash3725/18
Argyreia nervosa22451/42DOB3614/17
Mitragyna speciosa218161/1634-AcO-DET3683/113
2C-E20629/314-Fluoroamphetamine35158/152
5-MeO-DiPT18252/45Acorus calamus35150/149
AMT17537/26PCP3510/8
Tramadol173162/157Cyclobenzaprine33115/116
Ketamine16417/25DOI3272/82
2C-T-715768/73Yerba mate32125/117
2C-B14353/51Iboga3233/53
Dimenhydrinate14312/7Ibogaine3231/35
Amanita muscaria14235/41AL-LAD2930/32
Echinopsis pachanoi13918/24Hydromorphone2998/106
DPT13736/44Oxymorphone28159/150
Heroine13374/61A. peregrina2827/28
Caffeine11978/62Trazadone2763/64
Nitrous oxide11834/49Afrafinil27164/164
Synthetic cannabis11757/57Opium2758/59
Zolpidem11426/16MDAI26138/141
Oxycodone111117/102Mirtazapine25122/127
Kava10495/107Psychotria viridis2541/38
2C-T-210169/78Carisoprodol2581/75
Methoxetamine9539/46Betel nut2493/76
Ayahuasca9311/205-HTP24119/122
GHB88106/97Piracetam24124/147
Modafinil86134/132Amitriptyline2396/79
MDPV86146/140DOM2332/33
5-MeO-AMT'8488/89Atropa belladonna2319/12
Gabapentin76136/125Lophophora williamsii232/4
Mephedrone74142/136Sertraline23111/83
JWH-0187370/66Ephedrine22112/95
Mimosahuasca7250/48Zopiclone2286/81
Tobacco7097/77Piperazines21139/146
Brugmansia696/34-Acetoxy-MiPT2155/52
Opium (poppies)132/133Coffee2076/54
Calea zacatechichi6828/65TFMPP20110/118
Methylphenidate68107/85DMAE20137/159
Hydrocodone64103/90Butylone20102/86
MDA6344/30Banisteriopsis caapi1942/39
Methylone6294/104Phenibut19160/161
Paroxetine61128/114TMA-21949/55
Venlafaxine60145/130Lorazepam1922/10
Methadone60133/120Olanzapine18151/143
2C-C6082/96Diazepam18105/103
Fentanyl59120/123Passion flower17149/145
Alcohol5884/68Benzylpiperazine17114/112
Alcohol (hard)5759/37Etizolam17163/144
Echinopsis peruviana567/13Mescaline169/14
Alprazolam5566/36Alcohol (beer)16100/91
4-AcO-DMT5520/23Atomoxetine15141/142
Melatonin5460/105Hypericum perforatum15152/148
Bupropion54104/93MBDB15126/137
Codeine54118/1112-Aminoindan14152/156
Cannabinoid agonists5391/99Scopolamine1462/63
Buprenorphine52156/1453-MeO-PCP1364/80
Crack4885/69Propylhexedrine13129/126
Sceletium tortuosum48155/1552C-T-41292/110
A. colubrina4879/92Triazolam12157/160
Dipt4567/84Barbiturates12165/165
2C-P4556/60IAP12101/88
Catnip45130/134Meperidine12140/151
Ether4523/21Ethylone12143/138
DOC4547/472C-T-2112121/129
Yohimbe45137/149Silene undulata1148/87
Leonotis leonurus44148/158SerotonergicDissociative
5-MeO-DALT4487/109EntactogenDepressant/sedative
Quetiapine44127/119StimulantDeliriant
5-MeO-MIPT4165/74MAOIAntipsychotic/antidepressant
4-HO-MiPT4161/70OneirogenOther

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In determining the categories we adopted a hybrid criterion based on pharmacological action and the subjective effects induced by the substances. Serotonergic or “classical” psychedelics (5-HT2A agonists) were grouped based on their mechanism of action (even though their subjective effects are generally difficult to discriminate; Wolbach et al., 1962). The category of dissociative psychedelics comprised primarily NMDA antagonists such as ketamine and PCP, but also included substances with other mechanisms of action (e.g., Amanita muscaria mushrooms). The same applies to the case of deliriants, which in most cases were Solanaceae plants rich in tropane alkaloids. Entactogen drugs were categorized primarily by their subjective effects [a representative drug in this category is “ecstasy” or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)]. Stimulants included dopaminergic drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and modafinil, as well as others of different pharmacological profile. Similarly, depressants/sedatives were defined by their effect on the central nervous system and included substances such as benzodiazepines as well as different natural and synthetic opioid analgesics. Prescription antidepressants and antipsychotics (also including plants of antidepressant effect, such as Hypericum perforatum or St. John's wort) were grouped together into one category. While only two plants in the Erowid corpus are consumed primarily for their oneirogen effect (Calea zacatechichi and Silene undulata) we created a category that includes them, given their relevance for the present study. Certain substances had a large number of subjective reports but their relatively unique mechanism of action did not justify the creation of a new category, such substances were classified as “other.” Examples include plants of the Cannabis genus and cannabinoid receptor agonists, and Salvia divinorum. Finally, all substances were given a primary and a secondary category (even though in many cases those were identical) based on different facets of their subjective effects (e.g., MDMA was classified primarily as an entactogen and secondarily as an stimulant) or the fact that their mechanism of action depends on the combination of substances of different categories [e.g., the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca result from the combination of plants rich in the orally-inactive serotonergic psychedelic DMT with beta carbolines acting as monoaminooxidase inhibitors (MAOI) present in the liana Banisteriopsis caapi].

Dream reports were obtained from www.dreamjournal.net, a free service with over 15,000 users and over 200,000 dream reports. Besides the dream narratives themselves, some reports include additional information such as the level of lucidity, cohesion (both rated from one to five points) and whether the dreamer had the intent of achieving lucidity. The level of lucidity was used to separate dreams of low (1 point) and high (5 points) lucidity. A total of 2,914,498/716,189 words comprising reports of low/high lucidity dreams were obtained for the present analysis and comprise the “Dreamjournal corpus.”

While both www.erowid.org and www.dreamjournal.net are curated to avoid the posting of unrelated or poor quality content, it is impossible for the curators to assess the validity of the circumstances associated with the reports (e.g., the identity of the consumed substance or its dosage, or whether dreamers achieved lucidity or not). This point is further discussed below (see “Methodological Considerations and Limitations” in the Discussion section).

Corpora preprocessing

The preprocessing of the text corpora was performed using the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK, http://www.nltk.org/) in Python 3.4.6 (Bird, 2006). Both corpora of subjective reports were first separated into individual words after discarding all punctuation marks (word repetitions were allowed). Each word was lemmatized using NLTK (i.e., converted to the root from which it is inflected). All words were converted to lowercase and lemmatized words containing less than three characters were discarded.

Since texts from the Erowid corpus are likely to be influenced by the nature of the substance being reported, we compiled a list of words including substance names, different slang variations, and words relating to the possible routes of administration. A total of 12,465 words fulfilling these criteria were manually selected and the lemmatized versions of these words were discarded from the Erowid corpus. The rationale between this “censoring” of the corpus was to retain words relating to the experienced effects but not to the surrounding circumstances prior to the use of the substances.

Latent semantic analysis

The basis for the present analysis is comparing the profile of word frequencies between reports of each substance from the Erowid corpus and dream reports of high/low lucidity from the Dreamjournal corpus. As a first approximation, we estimated that if the word occurrence frequencies of two texts are highly correlated, the topics being described in those texts must be related. Note that this analysis is not based on the frequency of individual words, but on the relationship between all frequencies in each pair of texts.

For a large vocabulary of terms the occurrence frequencies are likely to be sparse, i.e., most terms will not appear in either text and therefore their frequency will be zero. To avoid this situation we used Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) (Landauer, 2006), a natural language processing technique based on the hypothesis that words with similar meaning appear with similar frequency in texts (Sahlgren, 2008). Before applying LSA we computed the frequency of the different words using the term frequency–inverse document frequency (tf-idf) transform, as implemented in scikit-learn (www.scikit-learn.org; Leskovec et al., 2014). The tf-idf transform computes a matrix in which rows are unique words in the corpus and columns represent “documents” (in this case, each document is either a substance from the Erowid corpus or the collection of high/low lucidity dreams from the Dreamjournal corpus). The product of the term frequency and the inverse document frequency determines the entries of this matrix. The term frequency is defined as the count of times each term appears in each document. The inverse document frequency is defined as the logarithmically scaled inverse fraction of the documents containing the term. To eliminate very frequent/rare terms from the corpus, only those terms appearing in more/less than 5%/95% of the documents were retained.

To apply LSA, the word-by-document matrix obtained using the tf-idf transform was decomposed into the product of three matrices using Singular Value Decomposition (SDV; Klema and Laub, 1980). Of the three resulting matrices (U, S, V), S contains in its diagonal the matrix of singular values ordered by size, and U and V are real unitary matrices (their size is determined by the number of words and documents, respectively). To reduce the number of linearly independent rows (terms) while preserving the similarity structure among columns (documents), only the first D largest singular values were retained and all others set to zero, resulting in the reduced matrix of singular values S*. We retained the D = 20 largest singular values (a comparison of the results using different choices of D is shown in Figure 8). Computing the product of U, S*, V yields a low-rank approximation of the word-by-document frequency matrix, which mitigates the problem of sparseness and provides the similarity between documents based on context-sensitive term occurrence. For instance, even though the sentences “the garden was full of flowering roses” and “a vase with daisies sits on the table” share no words in common, they will be identified as similar as they both relate to the term “flower.” Previous work has established the adequacy of LSA to classify the subjective effects of different psychoactive substances (Bedi et al., 2014).

Finally, after obtaining the rank-reduced version of the term frequency matrix we computed the semantic similarity between the subjective reports of each substance in the Erowid corpus and the reports of high/low lucidity dreams by computing the Pearson linear correlation coefficient between the associated columns of the matrix.

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Results

In Figure ​1 we show all 165 substances from the Erowid corpus ranked according to the similarity of their associated reports to those of high lucidity dreams. Each substance is represented as a colored point, the center of each point is color-coded based on the primary category of the substance and the border is color-coded based on its secondary category. For instance, ayahuasca is represented with a purple center and an orange border, indicating it is a combination of a MAOI that enables the psychedelic effects of DMT. The left (“Lowest similarity”) and right (“Highest similarity”) panels zoom into the top and bottom 20 substances according to the similarity of their subjective effects to high lucidity dreaming. The pie charts indicate the proportion of substances of each primary category within the top and bottom 20 drugs. The highest-ranking substance was LSD, followed by Lophophora williamsii (peyote, a cactus containing the serotonergic psychedelic mescaline) and then plants of the Datura genus (containing deliriant tropane alkaloids). The highest-ranking dissociative psychedelic was PCP. Among the top 20 substances the only ones that were not classified as hallucinogens were plants of the Cannabis genus whose main psychoactive effects are mediated by tetrahydrocannabinol (a partial agonist of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2; Kumar et al., 2001), Salvia divinorum (a psychoactive plant capable of producing intense alterations in consciousness mediated by salvinorin-A, a kappa opioid receptor agonist; Roth et al., 2002) and MDMA (a substituted amphetamine with entactogen and stimulant effects produced by facilitation of the presynaptic release of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine; Nichols, 1986). As shown in the pie chart, hallucinogens accounted for almost 80% of the top 20 substances. Conversely, the bottom 20 substances included neither dissociative/serotonergic psychedelics nor deliriants, and consisted mostly of depressant/sedatives such as babiturates, benzodiazepines/benzodiazepine analogs (etizolam, triazolam) and opioids (tramadol, oxymorphone), stimulants (adrafinil, ethylphenidate, 2-Aminoindane) and antidepressant/antipsychotics (Hypericum perforatum and olanzapine).

Figure ​2 shows the same information as Figure ​1 but for the similarity to low lucidity dreams. The top ranked substances included a larger proportion of deliriants. Plants of the Datura and Brugmansia genera ranked first and third, respectively. Dimenhydrinate (a medication used to treat motion sickness that is recreationally abused due to its deliriant properties at high doses; Halpert et al., 2002) was among the top ranked substances, while it was absent for the similarity to high lucidity dreams (Figure ​1).

It is interesting to note that melatonin, Silene undulata and Calea zacatechichi were the three substances with the highest difference in their similarity between high and low lucidity dreaming. The latter two are plants traditionally employed as oneirogens and purported to increase dream lucidity (Schultes and Hofmann, 1979), whereas melatonin is a hormone endogenous to the human body that has been explored as a lucidity-enhancing agent (La Berge, 2003). Conversely, the three drugs that resulted in less “lucid” experiences (according to the comparison of their associated reports with those of high vs. low lucidity dreams) were alprazolam, sertraline, and clonazepam. The first and third of these drugs are benzodiazepines, while sertraline is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class.

Figure ​3A shows the average rank of all substances divided by category and by the similarity of their reports to those of high/low lucidity dreams (the categories corresponding to MAOI, oneirogens and others were excluded due to their small number of substances). The top three categories were dissociative psychedelics, serotonergic psychedelics and deliriants, followed by entactogens, depressant/sedatives, antipsychotic/antidepressants and stimulants. A multi-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted with the ranking of the drugs as dependent variable and two grouping variables (drug category and dream lucidity). A significant effect of drug category on the similarity to dreams was observed (F = 31.34, p < 0.0001), while the interaction between dream lucidity and similarity with dream reports was non-significant (F = 0.02, p = 0.88). Afterwards we conducted post-hoc Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for the difference in the similarity to dreams for each pair of drug categories (Figure ​3B). We observed significant differences between all hallucinogen drugs and depressants/sedatives, antipsychotic/antidepressants and stimulants. No significant differences were found among hallucinogens or among the group of depressants/sedatives, antipsychotic/antidepressants and stimulants. Entactogen reports were significantly less similar to dream reports for some hallucinogen drugs, which depended on the level of dream lucidity.

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Figure 3

(A) Average substance rank (per category) in terms of the similarity of the reported effects to high/low lucidity dream reports (median ± 25th and 75th percentiles, “+” represents outliers). Higher numbers correspond to higher similarity (the highest possible rank is 165). The categories “oneirogen,” “MAOI,” and “other” were excluded from this figure due to their small sample size (n ≤ 6). The drug category presented a significant effect on the similarity with dream reports (F = 31.34, p < 0.0001, multi-factor ANOVA), while the interaction between dream lucidity and similarity with dream reports was non-significant (F = 0.02, p = 0.88). (B)Post-hoc Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for the difference in the similarity to dreams for each pair of drug categories. Black squares represent significant differences (p < 0.05) for the pair of drug categories in the corresponding rows and columns.

Figure ​4A shows that it is possible to predict the semantic similarity between reports of different substances based on their semantic similarity to dreams of high lucidity. Four high-ranking substances belonging to different categories (LSD, plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA) were selected. Each point in the scatter plots represents a substance in the Erowid corpus (color-coded as in Figures ​1, ​2) with its X axis coordinates indicating the similarity of its subjective reports to those of each of the four selected substances and its Y axis coordinates to reports of high lucidity dreams. The correlation coefficient between both similarity indices (Spearman correlation,ρ) is shown as an inset [LSD (ρ = 0.89), Datura genus (ρ = 0.87), PCP (ρ = 0.83), MDMA (ρ = 0.72)]. Figure ​4B shows the same information for four substances that rank lower in terms of their similarity to high lucidity dream reports: barbiturates, cocaine, venlafaxine and Calea zacatechichi. In contrast to the scatter plots shown in Figure ​4A it is clear that a lower correlation exists between both similarity indices [Barbiturates (ρ = −0.47), Cocaine (ρ = 0.11), Venlafaxine (ρ = −0.45), Calea zacatechichi (ρ = 0.44)]. Figure ​5 shows the same information as Figure ​4 but for the similarity to low lucidity dreams [LSD (ρ = 0.86), Datura genus (ρ = 0.91), PCP (ρ = 0.87), MDMA (ρ = 0.74), Barbiturates (ρ = −0.40), Cocaine (ρ = 0.11), Venlafaxine (ρ = −0.33), Calea zacatechichi (ρ = 0.27)].

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Figure 4

Prediction of the similarity between the subjective report of substances and dreaming experiences of high lucidity, based on the similarity to LSD, plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA (A) and to reports of barbiturates, cocaine, venlafaxine and Calea zacatechichi(B). Substances are represented with circles that are color-coded as in Figure ​1. The inset shows the value of the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (ρ).

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Figure 5

Prediction of the similarity between the subjective report of substances and dreaming experiences of low lucidity, based on the similarity to LSD, plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA (A) and to reports of barbiturates, cocaine, venlafaxine and Calea zacatechichi(B). Substances are represented with circles that are color-coded as in Figure ​1. The inset shows the value of the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (ρ).

After establishing that subjective reports of hallucinogens present the highest semantic similarity to dream reports, we investigated the most frequent terms within dreams of high and low lucidity, and for the selection of substances presented in Figures ​4A, ​5A. Figure ​6 shows a word cloud representation of the frequency of the most 40 common terms in the vocabulary of high (left panel) and low (right panel) lucidity dream reports (all word clouds were generated using www.wordart.com). The most common terms in both cases related to the setting/location (the term “setting” itself, as well as others such as “door,” “street,” “outside,” “wall,” “behind”), emotions (“fear,” “peaceful,” “happiness,” “confusion,” “anxiety”), relatives (“mom,” “dad,” “brother”) and perception (“see,” “face,” “movement”). The main difference between both sets of reports related to the frequency of the term “lucid” itself, which possibly reflected the fact that Dreamjournal users explicitly commented on their intents of achieving lucid dreaming.

We produced similar word clouds for the reports of substances with high (LSD, plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA) and low (barbiturates, cocaine, venlafaxine and Calea zacatechichi) similarity to dream reports (Figure ​7A). Consistent with the effects of these substances, high-frequency terms in reports of hallucinogens related to distortions in visual perception, emotions, and the setting of the experiences. The term “hallucination” did not appear among the most frequent for LSD reports, consistent with the fact that serotonergic psychedelics are characterized by relatively simple visual imagery. MDMA reports also included terms that relate to the typical setting of entactogen use (e.g., “club,” “boyfriend,” “alone,” “conversation,” “person”). Substances with reports of low similarity to dreaming included terms that did not relate to perception/setting/consciousness/emotion but depended on the substance, its effect and the general circumstances of its most common recreational use. For instance, barbiturate reports included frequent terms related to their effects and their intended medical use (“relaxed,” “insomnia,” “prescribe”), as well as to their addictive potential (“tolerance,” “sober,” clean”). Similar terms appeared for cocaine, another substance with addictive potential (“addict,” “quit,” “craving”). Frequent terms related to Calea zacatechichi vaguely indicated its use as an oneirogen (“lucid,” “vivid,” “visuals”), but seemed to relate mostly to the preparation of the substance and recommendations for other Erowid readers (“recommend,” “bowl,” “boil,” “ounce,” “material,” “mix,” “store,” “fill,” “add”).

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Figure 7

Word clouds for the top 40 most frequent terms in the reports of four substances with high similarity to dream reports (LSD, plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA) and in the reports of four substances with lower similarity to dream reports (barbiturates, venlafaxine, cocaine, and Calea zacatechichi) (A). (B) shows word clouds based on the average ranking of each term in the reports of the four psychoactive substances of (A) and in the reports of high/low lucidity dreams.

We computed the rank of each term in the vocabulary (in terms of its frequency in the rank-reduced tf-idf matrix) for reports of LSD, plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA, as well as for reports of high/low lucidity dreaming. We averaged both ranks and produced a word cloud in which term size is weighted by the average rank, i.e., terms that rank high both in substance and dream reports appear with the largest sizes. These word clouds are shown in Figure ​7B. The most prevalent terms related to facets of the experience that were both relevant for hallucinogens and dreams. These included terms associated with perception (“see,” “visual,” “face,” “reality,” “color”), emotion (“fear”), setting (“outside,” “inside,” “street,” “front,” “behind”) and relatives (“mom,” “dad,” “brother,” “parent,” “family”).

The results shown in the previous figures are based on retaining the components associated with the 20 largest singular values (D = 20) after performing SVD. To investigate the parametric dependence of the results upon the number of retained singular values, we repeated all analyses using D = 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70. We then computed the Spearman correlation coefficient between the substance rankings obtained for each pair of number of singular values. The resulting correlation matrices are shown in Figure ​8 for dreams of low lucidity (left) and high lucidity (right). While the highest correlation coefficients appeared close to the diagonal (indicating that the ranking of the substances changed continuously with the relative difference of the number of retained singular values), all correlation coefficients were larger than 0.995, meaning that the substance rankings were highly stable for the different choices of this parameter.

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Figure 8

Pairwise correlation matrices between the rank of the substances in terms of their similarity to dreams of low (left) and high (lucidity), computed after retaining different numbers of singular values.

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Discussion

We have applied techniques from natural language processing to a large corpus of subjective reports to investigate the hypothesis that, among a wide range of psychoactive substances, hallucinogens lead to experiences that are most similar to those reported during dreaming. Anecdotal and historical evidence -supported by neurophysiological observations- led to the formulation of the aforementioned hypothesis by different authors (Jacobs, 1978; Schultes and Hofmann, 1979; Fischman, 1983; Carhart-Harris and Nutt, 2014; Carhart-Harris R. L. et al., 2014; Kraehenmann, 2017). We support it for the first time with phenomenological evidence based on subjects freely reporting the nature of their experiences. In the following we discuss dreaming and drug-induced alterations in consciousness for three separate domains: changes in sensory perception, self-awareness, and metacognitive function. We also discuss the consistency of our results with our current phenomenological and neurophysiological understanding of dreaming, and their contribution toward a better characterization of dreaming and drug-induced altered states of consciousness.

Changes in sensory perception

Dreams and certain psychoactive substances can bring about changes in perception, predominantly visual but also auditory, tactile and proprioceptive (Hobson, 2009; Nir and Tononi, 2010; Thompson, 2014; Nichols, 2016). Dreams occurring during REM sleep frequently involve complex and vivid imagery that may not be recognized as a departure from ordinary conscious wakefulness. Dreams are highly visual experiences, full of rich imagery comprising colored and moving objects identical or similar to those frequently perceived during wakefulness (Hobson, 1988). While it has been argued that visual imagery during REM sleep can be characterized as a hallucination (i.e., as bottom-up perception Hobson, 1992a), Thompson, Nir and Tononi have eloquently defended the position that its phenomenology is closer to that of spontaneous imagination (i.e., top-down perceptual imagery Nir and Tononi, 2010; Thompson, 2014).

In contrast, serotonergic psychedelics tend to produce subtler perceptual modifications that cannot be easily classified in either category and that are frequently described as “simple” visual imagery (Nichols, 2004, 2016) [however, some exceptional serotonergic psychedelics such as N,N-diisopropyltryptamine (DiPT) primarily induce auditory distortions; Shulgin and Carter, 1979]. The nature of simple visual imagery elicited by serotonergic psychedelics is consistent with their effect at cortical areas early in the visual hierarchy (Ermentrout and Cowan, 1979; Bressloff et al., 2002; de Araujo et al., 2012; Carhart-Harris et al., 2016; Kometer and Vollenweider, 2016; Roseman et al., 2016). In addition, changes in higher visual areas have been reported for the acute effects of serotonergic psychedelics. For instance, psilocybin increased glucose metabolism in the temporal lobe, which might indicate altered processing of visual information along the ventral stream (Vollenweider et al., 1997). Psilocybin also modified relatively late evoked potentials associated with simple and complex visual imagery (Kometer et al., 2011, 2013). We can speculate that the complexity of visual imagery depends on both the dosage and the nature of the drug. For instance, relatively high doses may increase the dreamlike character of visual imagery, and certain serotonergic psychedelics (such as DMT) are prone to produce stronger and interactive complex imagery, especially with eyes closed (Strassman et al., 1994; Strassman, 2000; Shanon, 2002; Luke, 2011). Since it is difficult to obtain reliable information on dosage from the Erowid corpus (see the “Methodological Considerations and Limitations” section), the relationship between psychedelic-induced complex visual imagery and dream mentation should be investigated in the future using more controlled experimental paradigms.

The most frequent visual modifications induced by serotonergic psychedelics are elementary in nature and include color and pattern recognition enhancement (Hartman and Hollister, 1963; Oster, 1966), the presence of trails behind moving objects (Dubois and VanRullen, 2011), drifting of the visual field, and imagery that is predominantly geometric in nature (Klüver, 1942; Siegel and Jarvik, 1975; Kometer and Vollenweider, 2016; Roseman et al., 2016). This last feature of perceptual distortions has been explained by the form of the retino–cortical map and the architecture of the human primary visual cortex (Ermentrout and Cowan, 1979; Bressloff et al., 2002; Kometer and Vollenweider, 2016). These observations suggest that visual distortions elicited by typical recreational doses of serotonergic psychedelics and REM sleep dreams might differ in terms of their complexity and similarity to the visual content typical of conscious wakefulness. In spite of these differences, a close relationship between visual imagery during sleep and the serotonin system is suggested by the observation that serotonergic antidepressants alleviate the presence of complex visual hallucinations in patients with narcolepsy, a neurological disorder leading to the abnormal occurrence of REM sleep episodes (Manford and Andermann, 1998).

The differences in the nature of visual imagery elicited by serotonergic psychedelics and dreaming are manifest in the word clouds shown in Figure ​7A. In the example of LSD, the most frequent terms are related to visual perception and to the act of seeing/perceiving itself (“see,” “visual,” “vision”), to simple visual imagery (“color,” “pattern”) and to more complex concepts that could either be the content of complex visual imagery or part of the setting (“face,” “door”). This is consistent with experimental studies showing that LSD produced more elementary compared to complex hallucinations (Carhart-Harris et al., 2016; Kometer and Vollenweider, 2016; Liechti et al., 2017). High-frequency terms related to simple visual imagery were absent in the reports from plants of the Datura genus, PCP and MDMA. When ranking terms based on their joint frequency in LSD and dream reports (Figure ​7B) terms related to simple visual imagery lost prominence.

Dissociative psychedelics are not known to produce strong perceptual modifications at low doses; however, higher dosage can lead to a state of perceptual dissociation from the environment that is characterized by intense and complex visual hallucinations (Muetzelfeldt et al., 2008). In the case of ketamine, such state is colloquially referred to as “k-hole” and also results in alterations in self-awareness and the relationship between the body boundaries and the environment (to be discussed below). Deliriant plants rich in tropane alkaloids such as those of the Datura and Brugmansia genera produce complex visual hallucinations that are convincing to the user. In certain cases, the user might even interact with such hallucinations and completely lose awareness of undergoing a sensory disconnection with the environment (Safer and Allen, 1971; Osterholm and Camoriano, 1982; Bersani et al., 2013; Schmid et al., 2015). Thus, these substances might generate visual content highly similar to that experienced during dreaming. It must be noted, however, that the incapacity to identify the hallucinatory character of visual content is not a requisite for experiencing vivid and complex imagery. For instance, such imagery is experienced during dreams of high lucidity, even though dreamers are aware of the nature of their experience. Pharmacologically, realistic eyes-closed visual imagery (referred to as “brain movies” by Shulgin; Shulgin and Shulgin, 1995) can be induced by substituted amphetamines of entactogen effect such as 3-methoxy-4,5-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MMDA), even though the user easily identifies such content as artificial.

Psychoactive substances belonging to the other categories included in this study are not primarily characterized as hallucinogenic and do not routinely induce perceptual modifications. Certain stimulants such as metamphetamine can occasionally induce confusional states that include multimodal hallucinations, but these states are not among the sought-after effects of the drugs and tend to be exceptions (McKetin et al., 2006). Other substances such as alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines are known for their capacity to induce withdrawal syndromes including features common to the experiences elicited by deliriant alkaloids, such as confusion, delusions and convincing multimodal hallucinations (Sellers, 1988; Schuckit, 2014). Again, these states do not represent normal recreational use and are not likely to inflate the similarity between the subjective reports of these substances and those of dreams. Thus, our knowledge of how substances of different categories impact on sensory perception is consistent with the semantic similarity between subjective reports of hallucinogens and dreams, with the caveat that deliriants could generate visual hallucinations closer to those experienced during dreams than those elicited by serotonergic psychedelics.

Serotonergic psychedelics, dreams, and cortical inhibition

While the neurophysiological underpinnings of drug-induced simple and complex visual imagery remain to be completely understood, recent neuroimaging experiments suggest that they relate to enhanced coupling between primary visual areas and higher cortical regions and to increased thalamocortical functional connectivity (Carhart-Harris et al., 2016; Müller et al., 2017). Such changes are likely mediated by the activation of serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, as activation of 5-HT2A receptors has been identified as the key mechanism of action of serotonergic hallucinogens (Glennon et al., 1984; Vollenweider et al., 1998; Rickli et al., 2016; Kraehenmann et al., 2017; Preller et al., 2017). These receptors are highly expressed in posterior brain regions linked to visual information processing (Saulin et al., 2012), causing an increase in the excitability of layer V cortical pyramidal neurons projecting to inhibitory interneurons (Andrade and Weber, 2010; Bastos et al., 2012). The highly visual nature of psychedelic experiences and REM sleep dreams is supported by increased occipital metabolism and cerebral blood flow during both states (Braun et al., 1997, 1998; Carhart-Harris et al., 2016)—but a recent report showed decreased occipital blood flow under psilocybin, which could be related to dose, effects specific to this drug, or to differences in the data acquisition method (Lewis et al., 2017). These variables aside, solid experimental evidence supports the fact that serotonergic psychedelics alter the metabolism and activation levels of the occipital lobe. An inverse correlation between the intensity of the experienced visual imagery and the spectral power of cortical oscillations in the alpha (8–12 Hz) band suggests that visual imagery induced by LSD could relate to a loss of top-down inhibition of ongoing spontaneous activity (Carhart-Harris et al., 2016), given that alpha oscillations have been implicated in the suppression of such activity (Klimesch et al., 2007; Jensen and Mazaheri, 2010). In agreement with these findings on LSD-induced visual imagery, previous studies have also linked alpha suppression to the formation of visual imagery induced by other serotonergic psychedelics such as psilocybin (Kometer et al., 2013) or ayahuasca (Valle et al., 2016). The fact that alpha oscillations inhibit large-range functional connectivity as inferred from functional magnetic resonance recordings (Tagliazucchi et al., 2012; Chang et al., 2013) supports the internal consistency of the multimodal results reported by Carhart-Harris et al. (2016).

More generally, serotonergic psychedelics appear to elicit their effects by disrupting inhibitory processes in the brain (Guilbaud et al., 1973; Haigler and Aghajanian, 1973; Vollenweider et al., 1997; Kometer et al., 2013; Carhart-Harris R. et al., 2014; Nichols, 2016; Schmidt et al., 2017). The serotonergic psychedelic psilocybin has been shown to reduce brain metabolism in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a key hub in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain that could exert an inhibitory influence in other brain regions (Carhart-Harris et al., 2012). It has been hypothesized that the dreamlike quality of the experience elicited by psilocybin relates to increased activity in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) as a result of decreased PCC-mediated inhibition (Carhart-Harris and Nutt, 2014; Carhart-Harris R. et al., 2014). This hypothesis is consistent with neuroimaging studies showing that MTL activity increases after psilocybin infusion (Tagliazucchi et al., 2014) and that such activity increases are correlated to the subjective assessment of the dreamlike quality of the experience (Carhart-Harris and Nutt, 2014). MTL activity is also enhanced in humans during REM sleep (Maquet et al., 1996; Miyauchi et al., 2009) and pathological increases in MTL activity due to temporal lobe epilepsy can result in an altered state of consciousness that is ascribed a dreamlike quality by the patients (Gloor et al., 1982). Suppressed PCC activity also is a landmark feature of human REM sleep (Maquet et al., 1996; Braun et al., 1997), suggesting that loss of PCC-mediated inhibition also underlies altered consciousness during dreaming. Furthermore, the direct electrical stimulation of the PCC has been shown to induce a state that is both similar to the serotonergic psychedelic experience and dreaming (Herbet et al., 2014). This study provides evidence of a causal relationship between disruption of PCC-mediated cortical inhibition and the dreamlike quality of the subjective experience. Further causal evidence is provided by the observation that dreamlike experiences can be elicited by direct electrical stimulation of the MTL (Halgren et al., 1978). Thus, we propose that altered consciousness during the psychedelic experience and dreaming might relate to disrupted PCC and MTL activity, providing a common neurophysiological basis for their phenomenological similarity.

Less is known about the relationship between the changes in brain activity due to dissociative psychedelics and dreaming. These substances act by inhibiting the propagation of brain activity, either by decreasing excitation (e.g., ketamine, an NMDA antagonist; Tyler et al., 2017) or increasing inhibition (e.g., muscimol, a selective GABAA agonist present in Amanita muscaria mushrooms; Frølund et al., 2002). As in the case of serotonergic psychedelics, the analysis of magnetoencephalography recordings acquired after the infusion of a sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine show widespread decreases in alpha power. Whether a mechanistic explanation for these changes can be found in the loss of PCC-mediated cortical inhibition remains to be investigated (Muthukumaraswamy et al., 2015).

From a pharmacological perspective, the similarity between dreaming and the effects of deliriant substances is paradoxical, since tropane alkaloids act by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (i.e., they are anticholinergic agents; Safer and Allen, 1971), whereas dreaming is associated with higher levels of acetylcholine (Hobson, 1992b). The acute deliriant effects of the tropane alkaloids contained in plants such as those in the Datura and Brugmansia genera are difficult to investigate in humans using neuroimaging tools, and whether their effects depend on the disruption of cortical inhibition remains unknown. However, electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography studies of scopolamine do not show the drop in alpha power that is typical of serotonergic psychedelics and ketamine (Ebert and Kirch, 1998; Osipova et al., 2003), suggesting a different mechanistic explanation for its acute effects.

Changes in self-awareness

During ordinary wakeful consciousness the first-person point of view is intertwined with the bodily location: the self is located within a body recognized as its own, with well-defined boundaries and a sense of agency over its actions and movements. This perspective can be deeply modified during dreaming and by the effect of psychoactive substances. While frequently the point of view of the dreamer is consistent with a first-person perspective, the dreamer often sees herself and her actions from a third-person perspective (Thompson, 2014). This divergence is also typical after high doses of dissociative psychedelics such as ketamine and PCP (Muetzelfeldt et al., 2008; Wilkins et al., 2011; Morris and Wallach, 2014) and is one of the defining characteristics of out-of-body experiences, i.e., experiences involving the feeling of leaving one's body or perceiving it from the outside (autoscopy) (Blanke et al., 2002, 2004; Blanke and Arzy, 2005; Bünning and Blanke, 2005).

The phenomenology of dreaming also includes the experience of “boundlessness” during which the self is either grown to encompass its surroundings or “dissolves” into them (Windt, 2010). This experience is frequently referred to as “oceanic boundlessness” or “ego-dissolution” (Millière, 2017). Serotonergic psychedelics have long been known to induce ego dissolution experiences, which have been sometimes ascribed a spiritual or mystical character (Strassman, 2000; Griffiths et al., 2006). As Albert Hofmann recalls from his first LSD experience: “Ego and the outer world are separated in the normal condition of consciousness, in everyday reality; one stands face-to-face with the outer world; it has become an object. In the LSD state the boundaries between the experiencing self and the outer world more or less disappear, depending on the depth of the inebriation” (Hofmann, 1980). As recently reviewed by Millière, 7% of Erowid subjective reports of psilocybe mushrooms, LSD, Salvia divinorum, DMT, 5-MeO- DMT, ayahuasca and ketamine describe an ego-dissolution experience (Millière, 2017). A higher incidence (≈50%) of ego-dissolution experiences has been reported in large-scale studies using questionnaires (Griffiths et al., 2006; Studerus et al., 2011); this discrepancy is likely related to the use of questionnaires vs. freely reported narratives. Consistent with these observations, ego-dissolution is also reported when LSD and psilocybin are administered experimentally (Lebedev et al., 2015; Carhart-Harris et al., 2016; Tagliazucchi et al., 2016; Liechti et al., 2017).

These observations suggest that changes in self-awareness, related either to the dissociation between the first-person point of view and the bodily self or to the loss of boundaries between the bodily self and the environment, are factors driving the semantic similarity between subjective reports of hallucinogens and dreaming. Also, the prevalence of words representing persons closely related to the narrator (“mom,” “dad,” “brother,” “parent,” “family”) could indicate altered self-referential processing during dreams and under the influence of hallucinogens. Whether both experiences share common neurophysiological bases is to be determined by future experiments. The neural mechanisms of drug-induced ego-dissolution have received more attention than their REM sleep counterparts, presumably due to the difficulty of performing neuroimaging experiments during sleep in combination with the necessity of adopting a serial awakening paradigm to probe the occurrence of distortions in self-awareness. A recent study has shown that LSD-induced ego-dissolution relates to increased global connectivity of fronto-parietal and insular regions, especially those located within the temporo-parietal junction (Tagliazucchi et al., 2016). These results are consistent with the proposition that out-of-body experiences and other alterations in self-awareness stem from a failure to integrate multisensory information at the temporo-parietal junction (Blanke and Arzy, 2005). Future studies should investigate whether this proposition also holds for disturbed self-awareness during REM sleep.

While hallucinations are occasionally reported for drugs chemically unrelated to dissociative/serotonergic psychedelics and deliriants, alterations in self-awareness (including but not limited to those mentioned in the previous paragraphs) seem to be specific to these substances and to the kappa opioid receptor agonist Salvia divinorum (Millière, 2017). This plant contains salvinorin-A, a kappa opioid receptor agonist capable of producing potent hallucinogenic effects (Roth et al., 2002). These effects include derealization, depersonalization and detachment from the self and the environment, in combination with intense simple and complex visual imagery, and alterations in auditory and vestibular input (Sumnall et al., 2011; MacLean et al., 2013; Addy et al., 2015). Thus, the effects of Salvia divinorum include certain features of serotonergic psychedelics (i.e., the nature of the visual imagery), dissociative psychedelics (depersonalization and derealization) and anticholinergic deliriants (impaired awareness of undergoing a drug-induced experience). These observations are consistent with the high similarity between Salvia divinorum reports and dreams (Figures ​1, ​2), and suggest further experimental work to elucidate the physiological underpinnings of this similarity.

Changes in metacognition and dream lucidity

As we know from our everyday experience, during most dreams the dreamer is not aware of experiencing a dream and lacks voluntary control over her actions. This lack of awareness occurs in spite of events that would stand out as incongruent, bizarre or outright impossible during wakefulness (Nir and Tononi, 2010). The suppression of the capacity to recognize the abnormal nature of such events could be linked to diminished metacognitive function during REM sleep, i.e., the diminished ability of the dreamer to reflect upon and understand her own thought processes (Kahan and LaBerge, 1994). This suppression of insight and self-reflection is consistent with the deactivation of two regions involved in metacognition: the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the frontopolar cortex (Maquet et al., 1996; Braun et al., 1997). Correlational evidence links these brain regions to metacognition (Fleming and Dolan, 2014) and their magnetic stimulation is known to impair metacognitive function (Rounis et al., 2010; Ryals et al., 2015). Conversely, it has been speculated that lucidity relates to preserved metacognitive capacity during REM sleep dreams (Kahan and LaBerge, 1994). A recent study provided support for this claim by showing that lucid dreamers have greater gray matter volume in the frontopolar cortex as well as higher activation in a thought-monitoring task, both relative to a control group of non-lucid dreamers (Filevich et al., 2015).

As in REM sleep episodes, serotonergic psychedelics decrease the oscillatory activity and functional connectivity of the DLPFC (Muthukumaraswamy et al., 2013). In contrast to non-lucid dreamers, the users remain aware of the nature of their experience and can situate themselves within an altered state different from normal wakefulness. However, both states of consciousness are characterized by increased cognitive bizarreness of mental imagery (Kraehenmann et al., 2017). Cognitive bizarreness can be defined as the presence of improbable, impossible or incongruent events during a given experience, and has been shown to be a reliable indicator of dreamlike mentation (Hobson et al., 1987). Furthermore, Kraehenmann et al. have shown that LSD-induced increases in cognitive bizarreness correlate with other aspects of the psychedelic experience such as loss of self-boundaries and cognitive control, and are mediated by serotonin 5-HT2A receptor activation (Kraehenmann et al., 2017). An important difference between the psychedelic state and non-lucid dreams is that only in the latter the disruption of metacognitive function limits the capacity for reflecting upon the cognitive bizarreness of the experience and determining the departure from ordinary wakefulness, which is possibly related to hypofrontality during sleep (Dietrich, 2003).

Deliriants are known to induce a confusional state during which the user can lose awareness of experiencing drug-induced alterations in consciousness. It is interesting to note that a larger proportion of deliriant substances ranked among the most similar to dream reports of low lucidity in comparison to dreams of high lucidity. In the first case the top three ranking substances included two deliriant agents (plants of the Datura and Brugmansia genera) while in the second case they included only one (Daturas). We must note, however, that no significant differences were found when comparing their similarity to dreams of high vs. low lucidity (Figure ​3). Thus, further study is required to assess whether the preservation of metacognitive function during lucid dreams decreases the phenomenological similarity to deliriant-induced alterations in consciousness.

A category of substances highly relevant to the present discussion is that of oneirogens. The Erowid corpus contains reports of two plants primarily classified as oneirogens: Calea zacatechichi and Silene undulata (Schultes and Hofmann, 1979). Calea zacatechichi is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America that is consumed, among other uses, for its capacity to induce vivid dreams. It is believed that certain sesquiterpenes underlie its oneirogen effects (Herz and Kumar, 1980). Silene undulata, also known as Silene capensis or African dream root, is a plant native to South Africa traditionally employed by the Xhosa people to facilitate vivid and lucid dreams (Sobiecki, 2008). While it might be surprising that the subjective reports of these two plants do not rank higher in terms of their similarity to dreaming, the word cloud for Calea zacatechichi (Figure ​7) indicates that the most frequent terms were related to recommendations, expectations, and the required preparation process of the plant. However, it is interesting to note that the subjective reports associated with Calea zacatechichi and Silene undulata increased their ranking more than any other substance when compared to dreams of high lucidity vs. dreams of low lucidity. This might relate to the capacity of these plants to restore metacognitive function during sleep, a possibility requiring further scientific investigation.

Methodological considerations and limitations

We propose that the application of tools for semantic analysis such as LSA to large corpora of subjective experiences could open the way to the development of a quantitative “comparative phenomenology” allowing to determine the phenomenological similarity between altered states of consciousness and to relate such similarity to the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms (Varela, 1996). While understanding the phenomenological subtleties of different experiences requires careful introspection and reporting (Thompson and Zahavi, 2007), the “ecological” approach of analyzing freely written subjective reports is likely sufficient to determine the degree of similarity between altered states of consciousness. Ample literature ascribing dreamlike qualities to certain hallucinogenic substances, together with the availability of large and curated corpora of subjective reports, made the present analysis a natural first choice to apply this methodology. Future analyses should address the hypothesis that certain spontaneously occurring altered states of consciousness (such as near death experiences) are induced by psychedelic compounds endogenous to the human brain (Strassman, 2000).

The large number of subjective reports available from online databases such as Erowid and Dreamjournal are one of the main strengths of our study, but also represent a source of limitations. Even though both databases are curated, there is no certainty that the substances consumed by Erowid users are chemically pure and that their identity is what the users claim in their reports. Also, Erowid reports frequently lack information on the dosage and, when present, it is not possible to corroborate whether such information is accurate. A placebo-controlled study could alleviate expectation issues in the subjective reports; however, it is unlikely that such study could include a large number of different substances and reports. It is also not possible to determine whether Dreamjournal reports are based on REM sleep episodes or on dreamlike imagery occurring at other times of the sleep cycle, such as hypnagogic or hypnopompic imagery consisting of hallucinatory content that lacks the elaborate narratives of REM sleep dreaming (Hobson et al., 2000). To compensate for the possibility of missing or erroneous information, these databases provide a very large number of reports from which a meaningful signal is likely to emerge in spite of uncontrolled sources of noise (Halevy et al., 2009).

Conclusions

In summary, we have developed a method to determine the similarity between altered states of consciousness based on large corpora of subjective reports and applied it to corroborate the hypothesis that the experiences elicited by certain drugs bear a high resemblance to dreaming. While this hypothesis chiefly concerned serotonergic psychedelics, we found that dissociative psychedelics and deliriants led to reports of experiences more similar to those of dreams. We speculate that this higher similarity could be based on the nature of the distortions in perception and self-awareness elicited by these substances, combined with the impairment of metacognitive function in the case of deliriants. Future studies should focus on these phenomenological features and on establishing a link with the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms.

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Authors contributions

CS and ET analyzed the data. ET designed the study and wrote the paper. EE and FE designed the Erowid experience report collection system and have managed the collection of psychoactive-related experience reports since 1995. FZ contributed to data analysis, data interpretation, and to the creation and curation of a local database of experience reports.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Acknowledgments

ET was supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship. FZ was supported by a CONICET doctoral fellowship. We acknowledge insightful discussions with Facundo Carrillo, Mariano Sigman, and Diego Fernandez Slezak. We also thank the curators and contributors of www.erowid.org and www.dreamjournal.net.

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Footnotes

1The terms “drug” and “substance” are here used interchangeably to refer to psychoactive molecules and the plants and fungi containing them.

2We use the term “hallucinogen” to refer to deliriants and both dissociative and serotonergic psychedelics (see Nichols, 2004).

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References

  • Addy P. H., Garcia-Romeu A., Metzger M., Wade J. (2015).
Sours: https://europepmc.org
Nutmeg Experience Report

Myristicin



Myristicin, 3-methoxy,4,5-methylendioxy-allylbenzene, is a natural organic compound present in the essential oil of nutmeg and to a lesser extent in other spices such as parsley and dill. Myristicin is a naturally occurring insecticide and acaricide with possible neurotoxic effects on dopaminergic neurons. It has hallucinogenic properties at doses much higher than used in cooking. Myristicin is a weak inhibitor of monoamine oxidase.[2][3]

Uses

In 1963 by Alexander Shulgin speculated that myristicin could be converted to an amphetaminemetabolite in the liver by transamination.[4] This may never be verified and seems unlikely from what is known about the metabolism of the related compound safrole to piperonylic acid.

Intoxications with myristicin or nutmeg essential oil do not resemble the effects of MDMA, MMDA, or of psychedelic drugs. Myristicin can, however, be converted into MMDA using a reaction similar to the one used to convert safrole into MDMA. Effects vary from person to person, but are often reported to be a state somewhere between waking and dreaming; nausea is often experienced, but some report that using cannabis can offset the nausea.[5]

In addition to a semi-conscious state, myristicin also has been known to induce psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects.[citation needed] The dosage required to achieve such an effect varies from person to person and from source to source. The average dosage required to obtain these effects are somewhere in the region of 15 to 25 g of ground fresh nutmeg. This will vary with each nut.

References

  1. ^Merck Index, 12th Edition, 6417.
  2. ^Truitt EB, Duritz G, Ebersberger EM (1963). "Evidence of monoamine oxidase inhibition by myristicin and nutmeg". Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 112: 647-50. PMID 13994372.
  3. ^Lee BK, Kim JH, Jung JW, Choi JW, Han ES, Lee SH, Ko KH, Ryu JH (2005). "Myristicin-induced neurotoxicity in human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells". Toxicol. Lett. 157 (1): 49-56. PMID 15795093.
  4. ^ The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent by Andrew Weil at lycaeum.org
  5. ^ See Erowid: Nutmeg for various primary and secondary sources related to nutmeg/myristicin intoxication.

v • d • e

Psychedelic tryptamines

α,N,N-TMT • 2,N,N-TMT • 5,N,N-TMT • 4-Acetoxy-DMT • 4-Acetoxy-DET • 4-Acetoxy-DIPT • 4-HO-5-MeO-DMT • α-ET • α-MT • Baeocystin • Bufotenin • DBT • DET • DIPT • DMT • DPT • EiPT • PiPT • Ethocin • Ethocybin • Iprocin • 4-HO-MET • 4-HO-MiPT • MET • MIPT • 5-Me-MIPT • 5-MeO-α-ET • 5-MeO-α-MT • 5-MeO-DALT • 5-MeO-DET • 5-MeO-DIPT • 5-MeO-DMT • 5-MeO-DPT • 5-MeO-MET • 5-MeO-MIPT • 5-MeO-α,N,N-TMT • 5-MeO-2,N,N-TMT • Miprocin • Norbaeocystin • Psilocin • Psilocybin

Categories: Neurotoxins | Phenylpropanoids

Sours: https://www.chemeurope.com/en/encyclopedia/Myristicin.html

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L E G A L H I G H S A Concise Encyclopedia of Legal Herbs and Chemicals with Psychoactive Properties by Adam Gottlieb 20th Century Alchemist * * * This book is not intended to promote or encourage the possession, use, or manufacture of any illegal substances. The material herein is presented for reference and informational purposes only. The laws applicable to the drugs described herein may change. Remember -- even legal drugs may be dangerous. Consult your physician before consuming any drugs. For wholesale orders and inquiries contact Merchandising Service of America, Inc., 417 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123. For individual copies of other books by the 20th Century Alchemist, write to: Twentieth Century Alchemist P.O. Box 3684 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (C) 1973 20th Century Alchemist * * * INTRODUCTION The materials discussed in this book are legal despite the fact that they have psychotropic properties. Some are far more potent than many controlled substances. They have not been designated as illegal by any state or federal codes, because they are relatively obscure and have never been subjected to abuse. Although chemicals such as mescaline and lysergic acid amide are controlled by Title 21 of the United States Code (1970 edition), their plant sources (except for ergot and peyote) are not so controlled. It is therefore legal to possess San Pedro cactus, morning glory seeds, Hawaiian wood rose, etc., as long as there is no indication that they are intended for other than normal horticultural or ornamental purposes. The materials listed here are legal at the time of this writing. They may be outlawed at any future date. It may be of some interest to some readers that the Church of the Tree of Life has declared as its religious sacraments most saubstances in this book. Because these substances were legal at the time of the Church's inception and incorporation, their use cannot be denied to members through any future legislation without directly violating the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom. Those interested should send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Church of the Tree of Life, 405 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94133. Although there exist both state and federal laws against Psilocybe mushrooms and peyote, we have included these in our book of legal highs. We do so because of the glaring weaknesses in the legislation regarding these. Peyote is allowed to members of the Native American Church, because it was in use by the Plains Americans as a religious sacrament long before the caucasian immigrants and their progeny devised laws against it. Even today, a number of legitimate cactus nurseries still ship cuttings and seeds of this cactus to all parts of the country with apparent impunity. Many species of psilocybin-bearing mushroom grow wild throughout most parts of the United States, and can in no way be controlled. Since the original publication of this book, there has been a virtual mushroom revolution. Head shops and mail order houses now sell complete kits for home cultivation of _Psilocybe cubensis_ (spores included). The flagrant ignorance of the law-makers is reflected in the fact that in Title 21 the alkaloid _psilocin_ is misspelled as _psilocyn._ This small error is a product of the same mentality that classified cocaine as a narcotic in the 1922 Amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act and deliberately retains the error to this day. The purpose of this book is to provide the user with concise reference information on various legal psychotropic materials. These include plant materials in their crude hebal form, and chemicals either synthesized or extracted from natural minerals. For each item there is a brief description of the material, the method of preparation, dosage and use, analysis of active constituents, effects, contraindications (side effects, dangers, etc.), and names of commercial suppliers. The latter are given as letter codes. The corresponding names and addresses are to be found in the section titled "Suppliers." Because of increasing interest in horticulture of psychotropic plants, sources of seeds and live plants are also given. Some of the materials discussed are very dangerous and are strongly disrecommended. They are included because many people have already shown an interest in experimenting with them. We feel that it is important to discuss them while clearing indicating their dangers. Although we feel confident in the accuracy of the information in this guide, we can in no way assume responsibility for the experiences of persons following these data for personal drug use. This book is intended as a contribution to the world of information and general knowledge. It must not be construed as encouragement or endorsement, by the author or publisher, of the use of any of the materials herein described. # # # LEGAL HIGHS HIGHS ADRENOCHROME SEMICARBAZONE -- 3-hydroxy-1-methyl-5,6-indolinedione semicarbazone. Material: Oxidized eniephrine (adrenaline) with semicarbazide. Usage: 100 mg is thoroughly dissolved in just enough alcohol, melted fat (butter), or vegetable oil and ingested. Because of its poor solubility in water these must be used to aid absorption. Effects: Physical stimulating, feeling of well-being, slight reduction of thought processes. Contraindications: None noted. Acts as a systemic hemostatic preventing capillary bleeding during injury. Adrenochrome causes chemically induced schizophrenia. Its semicarbazone does not. Supplier: CS. ALPHA-CHLORALOSE -- alpha-D-glucochloralose. Material: Synthetic chemical prepared by reacting chloral with glucose under heat. Usage: 350-500 mg orally. Effects: Euphoriant affecting CNS in a manner similar to PCP (phencyclidine), accompanied with mental changes like those from smoking hashish. Contraindications: Although a central depressant, in some individuals it may cause nervousness. Less toxic than PCP or chloral. Dangerous if taken with even small amounts of alcohol (even beer). May cause convulsions. Supplier: CS. ASARONE -- 1,2,4-trimethoxy-5-propenylbenzene or 2,4,5-trimethoxy-1- benzene. Material: A chemical related to mescaline and the amphetamines found in the roots of sweet flag (_Acorus calamus_) and _Asarum_ spp. It is chemically the precusor of TMA-2 (2,4,5-trimethoxy-a-methyl-4,5- methylenedioxyphenylethylamine), a hallucinogen with 18 times the gram potency of mescaline. Asarone is converted to TMA-2 in the body by aminization which takes place shortly after ingestion. Usage: 45-350 mg orally on empty stomach. Individual sensitivity varies widely. Effects: Simultaneous stimulant, hallucinogen, and sedative. One or another of these traits may be more pronounced depending upon the dose and the individual. CNS stimulant, antispasmatic. Contraindications: Should not be taken with MAO inhibitors. Supplier: CS. ATROPINE SULFATE Material: Sulfate of tropane alkaloid found in belladonna, datura, and several other solaneceous plants. Usage: 0.5-5 mg orally. Effects: Competitive acetylcholine inhibitor at receptor site (postganglionic junction). Does not prevent acetylcholine liberation. Hallucinogen, similar to scopolamine, but producing more excitement and less stupor. Potentiates other psychotropics, including opium, cannabis, harmala alkaloids, mescaline. Contraindications: Highly toxic. Side effects include dryness and soreness of mucous membranes, blurred vision, urinary retention, severe hallucinations, retrograde amnesia lasting several hours to several days. Not recommended without expert supervision. Possible brain damage from large amounts. Supplier: CR. BELLADONNA -- Deadly Nightshade. _Atropa belladonna_ L. Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Leaves and roots of perennial herb found in wooded hills and shaded areas of central and southern Europe, southwest Asia, and Algeria, and naturalized in USA. Usage: Crushed dried leaves 30-200 mg or root 30-120 mg taken orally or smoked. Active Constituents: Atropine, scopolamine, and other tropanes. Leaves containe 0.3-0.5% total alkaloids, roots 0.4-0.7%. Effects: Hallucinogen, hypnotic, anticholinergic. Contraindications: Extremely toxic. Even moderate doses could be fatal. Root contains apoatropine which can be lethal even in small amounts, especially when taken orally. Use not recommended. See ATROPINE and SCOPOLAMINE. Supplier: Seeds RCS. BETEL NUT -- _Areca catechu._ Family Palmaceae (Palm family). Material: The large seed of this Asian palm tree. Usage: It is wrapped in the leaf of the betel pepper (_Piper chavica betel_) and sprinkled with burnt lime, catechu gum from the Malayan acacia tree (_Acacia catechu_) and nutmeg, cardamom or other species. This morsel is placed in the mouth and sucked on for several hours. Active Constituents: Arecoline (methyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-1- methylnicotinate), a votalite oil, is released from the nut by action of saliva and time. Betel leaf contains chavicol, allylpyrocathechol, chavibetol and cadinene. Effects: Arecoline is a central nervous system stimulant. It increases respiration and decreases the work load of the heart. Betel leaf has mild stimulating properties. Contraindications: Excessive arecoline from immoderate use or from unripe nuts can cause dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions. Frequent use stains mouth, gums, and teeth deep red (caused by catechu gum). Long-term overuse of betel nut is said to weaken sexual potency. Supplier: Areca nuts and betel leaves, MGH; young palms, RCS. BROOM -- (_Genista,_ _Cytisus,_ _Spartium_ spp.). Family Leguminosae (Bean family). Material: Blossoms of any of several species including Canary Island broom (Genista canariensis), Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), and Spanish broom (Spartium junceum). Usage: Blossoms are collected, aged in a sealed jar for 10 days, dried, and rolled into cigarettes. Smoke is inhailed and held. Active Constituents: Cytisine (a toxic pyridine). Effects: One cigarette produces relaxed feelings for 2 hours. More causes deeper relaxation and longer-lasting effects (4-5 hours). Relaxation is deepest during 2 hours and is followed by mental alertness and increased awareness of color without hallucinations. Contraindications: Usually no undesirable side effects or hangover. Some persons experience mild headache immediately after smoking. Broom flowers are extremely toxic when ingested. Has heart- stimulating properties like digitalis. Supplier: Common in parks and gardens. Dried broom, MGH; viable seeds and plants, RCS. CABEZA DE ANGEL -- _Calliandra anomala._ Family Leguminosae (Bean family). Material: Resins of shrub with feathery, crimson flowers found in level or mountainous places and near streams in southern Mexico and Guatemala; sometimes cultivated as ornamental in California. Usage: Formerly used by Aztecs. Incisions made in bark, resins collected after several days, dried, pulverized, mixed with ash, and snuffed. Active Constituents: Unidentified. Effects: Hypnotic, induces sleep. Also used medicinally for dysyntery, swellings, fever, and malaria. Contraindications: None known. Supplier: Seeds and cuttings, RCS (inquire). CALAMUS -- Sweet flag, rat root (_Acorus calamus_). Family Araceae (Arum family). Material: Roots of tall, fragrant, sword-leaved plant found in marshes and borders of ponds and streams in Europe, Asia, and North America from Nova Scotia to Minnesota, southward to Florida and Texas. Usage: Roots are collected in late autumn or spring, washed, voided of root fibres and dried with moderate heat. Root may be chewed or broken up and boiled as a tea. Doses range from 2 to 10 inches of root. Root deteriorates with age. Usually inactive after 1 year. Store closed in cool dry place. Active Constituents: Asarone and beta-asarone. Effects: A piece of dried root the thickness of a pencil and about 2 inches long provides stimulating and buoyant feelings. A piece 10 inches long acts as a mind alterant and hallucinogen. (See ASARONE.) Contraindications: The FDA frowns upon the sale and use of calamus and has issued directives to certain herb dealers not to sell it to the public. An FDA directive is simply a polite word for a threat of hassling without a law to back it. At present there are no laws against calamus. Some experiments have indicated that excessive amounts of calamus oil can increase the tumor rate in rats. Many of the Cree Indians of Northern Alberta chew calamus root for oral hygiene and as a stimulating tonic. They apparently suffer no unpleasant side effects. In fact, those who use it seem to be in better general health than those who do not. Supplier: Dried root, MGH; viable root, RCS, GBR. CALEA -- _Calea zacatechichi._ Family Compositae (Sunflower family). Material: Leaves of a shrub from central Mexico and Costa Rica. Usage: 1 oz. of crushed dried leaves is steeped in 1 pt. water or extracted into alcohol. Tea is drunk slowly. A cigarette of the leaves may be smoked to increase the effect. Active Constituents: Alkaloids have not been found in calea. Psychoactive components uncertain but believed to be in aromanic and bitter principle. Effects: Feelings of repose after 30 minutes with increased awareness of heart and pulse. One oz. clarifies mind and senses. Larger amounts may induce hallucinations. Contraindications: None known. Supplier: Must be procured in Mexico. Oaxaca marketplace. CALIFORNIA POPPY -- _Eschscholtzia californica._ Family Papaveraceae (Poppy family). Material: Leaves, flowers, and capsules of common wildflower. Usage: Materials are dried and smoked. Active Constituents: Opium-related alkaloids: protopine, chelerythrine, sanguinarine, alpha- and beta-homochelidonine, and several glucosides. Effects: Very mild marijuana-like euphoria from smoking last 20- 30 minutes. Concentrated extract of plant may be more potent when ingested or smoked. Contraindications: No apparent side effects. Not habit-forming. Appears to be ineffective when used again within 24 hours. Supplier: Grows wild (protected by California law; misdemeanor, fine for plucking). Seeds, B, FM, G, NK, RCS. CATNIP -- _Nepeta catoria._ Family Labiatae (Mint family). Material: Leaves. Usage: Leaves are smoked alone or with tobacco in equal parts. Also, extract is sprayed on tobacco or other smoking material. Active Constituents: Metatabilacetone, nepatalactone, nepetalic acid. Effects: Mild marijuana-like euphoria, more intense and longer- lasting with tobacco. Contraindications: No harmful side effects known. Tobacco is harmful and addicting. Supplier: MGH or pet stores. Extract in aerosol from pet stores. Viable seeds; B, FM, G, NK, RCS. CHICALOTE -- Also called Prickly Poppy. _Argemone mexicana._ Family Papaveraceae (Poppy family). Material: Seeds and golden sap from unripe capsules of prickly- leaved, yellow flowered perennial found in dry fields and roadsides of southwestern USA and Mexico. Usage: Capsule is pierced or opened, sap collected, dried, smoked, or ingested like opium. Active Constituents: Protopine, berberine (morphine-related alkaloids), and several isoquinilines. Effects: Sedative, analgesic, and euphoriant. Mild hallucinogenic effects from seeds. Contraindications: None known from discreet use. Continued use can aggravate glaucoma and cause edema or dropsy. Supplier: Viable seeds, RCS. CHODAT; HSIAO-TS'AO -- _Polygala sibirica_; _P. tenuifolia._ Family Polygalaceae (Milkwort family). Material: Yellow-brown roots with acrid-sweet taste, from plant native to temperate Asia (northern China and Japan). Usage: 1 tbsp. brewed as tea or powdered and combined with other herbs. Taken daily for several weeks. Active Constituents: Senegin (7% of dried weight). Effects: Many medicinal uses. Used in Taoist medicine to improve memory and mental powers. Contraindications: None known. Too much may induce vomiting. Supplier: This when available, or related speices _P. senega,_ MGH. COLORINES -- _Erythrina flabelliformis_ and other species. Family Leguminosae (Bean family). Material: Bright red beans of woody shrubs or trees found in southwestern USA, Mexico, and Guatemala. Usage: 1/4-1/2 seed is chewed and swallowed. Active Constituents: Undetermined toxic indole and insoquinilines. Effects: Stupor and hallucinations. Contraindications: Extremely toxic. Not recommended. Supplier: Grows wild in flat, dry areas. DAMIANA -- _Turnera diffusa._ Family Turneraceae. Material: Fragrant leaves of shrub found in tropical America, Texas, and California. Usage: 2 tbsp. leaves simmered in 1 pt. water. Tea is drunk at same time as pipeful of leaves is smoked. Active Constituents: Undetermined principle in oily fraction of extract. Effects: Mild aphrodisiac and marijuana-like euphoria lasting 1- 1.5 hours. Regular, moderate use has tonic effect on sexual organs. Contraindications: Smoke harsh on lungs, best used in water-pipe. Tea has slightly bitter taste; honey may be added. Some say excessive long-term use may be toxic to liver. DILL -- _Amethum graveolens._ Family Ubelliferae (Carrot family). Material: Oil from seeds. Usage: Oil is ingested. Active Constituents: Dillapiole (non-amine precursor of 2,3- dimethoxy-4,5-methylenedioxyamphetamine [DMMDA-2]). Effects and contraindications: See PARSLEY. Supplier: Spice section of grocery stores; herb dealers, MGH. Viable seeds; B, FM, G, NK, RCS. DONANA -- _Coryphanta macromeris._ Family Cactaceae (Cactus family). Material: Small, spiny cactus from northern Mexico and southern Texas. Usage: Spines are removed and 8-12 fresh or dried cacti are consumed on an empty stomach. These may be chewed or crushed and brewed for 1 hour as tea. Active Constituents: Macromerine (L-alpha-3,4-diimethoxyphenyl- beta-dimethylaminoethanol), a beta-phenethylamine 1/5 the gram potency of mescaline. Effects: Hallucinogen somewhat similar to mescaline. Contraindications: Should not be taken in large doses with strong MAO inhibitors. Otherwise none known. Supplier: Cuttings, AHD; seeds, RCS, NMCR. EPENA -- Also called yopo. _Virola calophylla._ Family Myristicaceae (Nutmeg family). Material: Red resin beneath the bark of tree found in rain forests of Colombia and Brazil. Usage: Resin scraped or boiled from bark, dried, pulverized, mixed with ashes, and snuffed. Active Constituents: N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 5-methoxy-N,N- dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), bufotenine. Effects: Powerful instantaneous hallucinogen. Peak effects last about 30 minutes. Color and size changes, dizziness. Aftereffects: buoyant feelings, pleasant stimulating lasting several hours. Contraindications: Excessive dose may cause headache and confusion during first 5 minutes. May cause nausea on full stomach. Physical pain or discomfort may be amplified during first 10 minutes. MAO inhibitor. Supplier: No local source of epena. DMT and bufotenine illegal in USA. See 5-MeO-DMT. 5-FLUORO-A-METHYLTRYPTAMINE Material: Synthetic tryptamine. Usage: 25 mg is ingested. Effects: Hallucinogen and stimulant; causes dream-like state similar to psilocybin, but without drowsiness or lassitude. Contraindications: MAO inhibitor. (See list of incompatible materials.) Supplier: CS. Note: Other methylated tryptamines with similar psychoactive properties include: 6-fluoro-alpha-methyltrypta-5-methyltryptamine, N-methyltryptamine, 5-methyltryptamine. The dosage, effects, and contraindications are about the same for these as for the above. Some of the non-methylated derivatives are also active. These include 5- and 6-fluorotryptamine and 5- and 6-fluorotryptophan. FLY AGARIC -- _Amanita muscaria._ Family Agaricaceae (Agaric family). Material: Mushroom with red caps and white flakes found in birch or pine forests during rainy season in north temperate zones of eastern and western hemispheres. Usage: Mushrooms are collected and dried in the sun or in oven at 200 degrees. No more than one medium-size mushroom should be taken until individual's tolerance is determined. Active Constituents: Muscimol; and ibotenic acid, which converts muscimol upon drying. Some muscarine is also present but because of its difficulty in passing the blood-brain barrier it is believed not to be responsible for psychoactive effects. Effects: Effects vary with individuals, source of mushroom, and dose. The usual pattern is dizziness, twitching and possible nausea after 30 minutes, followed by numbness of feet and twilight sleep for 2 hours, with colorful visions and intensified awareness of sounds. After this, one may feel buoyant with great energy and strength. Hallucinations and distortion of size are common. Entire experience last about 5-6 hours. Muscimol is an hallucinogen which affects the central nervous system. Ibotenic acid causes flushing of the skin and lethargy. Muscarine is a highly toxic hallucinogen. Contraindications: Before harvesting these or any mushrooms for ingestion one should establish positive identification. Several closely related amanita species are extremely toxic. These include _A. pantherina,_ _A. virosa,_ _A. verna,_ and _A. phalloides_ (destroying angel). Large amounts of _A. muscaria_ can also be fatal. Three mushrooms is the absolute maximum recommended. Note: Most ingested muscimol is passed unaltered into the urine. Siberian mushroom users make the practice of drinking this urine to recycle the psychoactive materials. Supplier: Must be gathered from nature. GI'-I-SA-WA. _Lycoperdon marginatum_ and _L. mixtecorum._ Family Lycoperdaceae. Material: Puffball fungus found at high altitudes in temperate forests in Mexico. Usage: Puffball and/or spores are ingested. Active Constituents: Unidentified alkaloid. Effects: Half-sleep state with non-visual hallucinations (voices, echoes, and other sound). Contraindications: None known. Supplier: Some related species grow wild in USA. GUARANA -- _Paullinia cupana_ HBK. Family Sapindaceae (Soapberry family). Material: Seeds of woody liana from forests of Brazil. Usage: Seeds are allowed to mold, are ground, mixed with cassava flour and water to form paste, and dried in cylindrical shapes. For use 1/2 tsp. is scraped from cylinder, dissolved in 1 cup hot water with honey, and drunk. Active Constituents: Caffeine 5% (2-1/2 times that of coffee). Effects: Stimulant. Contraindications: Long-term excessive use of caffeine may cause nervousness, insomnia, habituation. Supplier: MGH. HARMINE -- 7-methoxy-1-methyl-9H-pyrido (3,4-b) indole. Material: Indole-based alkaloid found in several places including _Banisteriopsis caapi_ (from which the South American hallucinogenic brew yage is prepared), _Peganum harmala_ (Syrian rue), _Zygophyllum fabago_ and _Passiflora incarnata._ Usage: 25-750 mg harmine (see effects) is ingested on an empty stomach. In its hydrochloride form harmine may be snorted (20-200 mg). Injection dosges are smaller: SC 40-70 mg, IV 10-30 mg. Absorbed poorly through stomach. Small doses (20-200 mg) effective intrabuccally and sublingually. Effects: Harmine and related alkaloids are serotonin antagonists, hallucinogen, CNS stimulants, and short-term MAO inhibitors (100 x MAO inhibition of improniazid but lasting only several hours). Small doses (25-50 mg) act as mild and therapeutic cerebral stimulant, sometimes producing drowsy or dreamy state for 1-2 hours. Larger doses up to 750 mg may have hallucinogenic effect, the intensity of which varies widely with the individual. Doses of 25-250 mg taken with LSD or psiolcybin alter the quality of the experience of the latter. Telepathic experiences have been reported with this combination. Contraindications: Harmine is a brief MAO inhibitor. It should not be used with alcohol and certain foods and drugs (see list). When snuffed, harmine may be slightly irritating to nasal passages. Large amounts may depress CNS. Since individual sensitivity varies this may occur with 250-750 mg. Supplier: CS. Note: Notes on other harmala alkaloids: Different harmala alkaloids vary in potency. The equivalent of 10 mg harine is 50 mg harmaline, 35 mg tetrahydraharman, 25 mg harmalol or harmol, 4 mg methoxyharmalan. Harmal alkaloids are synergistic (mutually potentiating) and are therefore most effective when combined in an appropriate balance. Tropines (belladonna alkaloids) also potentiate harmals. Harmol and harmalol (phenols) in overdoses can cause progressive CNS paralysis. HAWAIIAN WOOD ROSE, BABY -- _Argyreia nervosa._ Family Convolvulaceae (Bindweed family). Material: Seeds within round pods of climbing plant found in Asian and Hawaiian forests. Usage: Seeds are removed form pods, white layer is scraped or singed from seed coat and seeds are ground and consumed or soaked in water, strained, and drunk. Dose 4-8 seeds. Active Constituents: D-lysergic acid amine and related compounds. Effects: LSD-like experience with extreme lassitude. Nausea may be experienced during first hour or two. Total experience lasta bout 6 hours. Tranquil feelings may continue for 12 or more hours afterwards. Contraindications: Pregnant women or persons with history of liver disorders should not take lysergic acid amindes. Supplier: MGH. HAWAIIAN WOOD ROSE, LARGE -- _Merremia tuberosa._ Family Convolvulaceae (Bindweed family). Material: Large, black seeds within lantern-like pod of Hawaiian vine. Usage, Effects, and Contraindications: Similar to baby wood rose. Dose 4-8 large seeds. Supplier: RCS. HELIOTROPE -- _Valeriana officinalis._ Family Valerianaceae. Material: Roots of fairly common garden plant. Usage: 1/2 oz. boiled for 5 minutes in 1 pt. water, strained, and drunk. Active Constituents: Chatinine, valerine (alkaloids), valeric (propylacetic) acid. Effects: Tranquilizer and sedative. Contraindications: Has unpleasant smell but tolerable taste. May add honey. Supplier: Herb, MGH; seeds, RCS. HENBANE -- _Hyoscyamus niger_ L. Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Various parts of hairy, sticky biennial or annual found in waste places, roadsides, and sandy areas of Europe (sometimes USA). Usage: Leaves and seeds are smoked in India and Africa for inebriating effect. Brew made by boiling crushed roots. Active Constituents: Hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and other tropanes. Effects: Hallucinogen and sedative. Hyoscyamine is similar to atropine but more powerful in its effects upon the peripheral nervous system. Contraindications: Same as thornapple. European sorcerers of middle ages claimed that excessive use can cause permament insanity. Supplier: Must find in habitat. HOPS -- _Humulus lupulus._ Family Cannabinaceae. Material: Flaky-textured and pleasantly bitter fruiting parts of perennial vine used as a flavoring in beer brewing. Usage: May be smoked like marijuana, extracted into alcohol or steeped in water (1 oz./pt.). Active Constituents: Lupuline (a resinous powder chemically related to THC). Effects: Sedative: When smoked gives mild marijuana-like high with sedative qualities. Contraindications: Excessive use over a long period may cause dizziness, mental stupor, and mild jaundice symptoms in some individuals. Note: Several popular books on the cultivation of cannabis have pointed out that hops vines may be grafted to marijuana root stocks. The result is a plant which appears to be a normal hops vine but which contains the active constituents of marijuana. This means that people can raise their own marijuana disguised as hops and not be discovered by law agents. Because of this the government has asked hope growers to refuse to sell hops cuttings to the general public. There are no laws against hops but they are now difficult to obtain. Hops are mostly propagated from root cuttings. Viable seeds are rare. Supplier: Dried hops, MGH; viable seeds, RCS; viable root, WP. HYDRANGEA -- _Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora._ Family Saxifragaceae. Material: Leaves of common garden shrub. Usage: Leaves are dried and smoked. One cigarette only. Active Constituents: Hydrangin, saponin, and cyanogenic substances. Effects: Mild marijuana-like high, subtoxic inebriation. Contraindications: Too mujch may produce more cyanide than the system can metabolize. Not recommended. Supplier: Live plants; nurseries, RCS. INDIAN SNAKEROOT -- _Rauwolfia serpentina._ Family Aponcynaceae (Dogbane family). Material: Root of shrub native to India. Usage: 50-150 mg of root is chewed and ingested. Active Constituents: Reserpine, rescinnamine, yohimbine, ajmaline, serpentine (indole alkaloids). Effects: Lowers blood pressure, tranquilizes mind without causing stupor and ataxia. Effects are delayed for several days to several weeks because reserpine must be converted in the body into secondary substances. Used medicinally to treat insanity and by holy men to produce states of tranquility conducive to meditation. Effects last for several days. Contraindications: See RESERPINE. Supplier: MGH (inquire). See RESERPINE and RESCINAMINE. INTOXICATING MINT -- _Lagochilus inebrians._ Family Libiatae (Mint family). Materials: Leaves of Central Asian shrub. Usage: Leaves are dried and steeped to make tea. Active Constituents: Unidentified polyhydric alcohol. Effects: Tranquilizer, intoxicant, mild hallucinogen. Contraindications: None known. Supplier: MGH (inquire first). IOCHROMA -- _Iochroma_ spp. Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Leaves of shrub of small tree with tubular flowers (purple, blue, scarlet, or white) found in wooded areas of Peru, Chile, and Colombia (especially Andean highlands); also cultivated in gardens in USA. Usage: Leaves are smoked or made into tea. Active Constituents: Unidentified (probably tropanes). Effects: Hallucinogen. Contraindications: Insufficient data. Caution advised with all tropane-bearing materials. Supplier: Cutting, RCS. JUNIPER -- _Juniperas macropoda._ Family Cupressaceae (Cypress family). Materials: Leaves and branches of bush or tree found in northwestern Himalayan area. Berries of some juniper species are used in gin. Usage: Leaves and branches are spread upon embers of fire. Person places blanket over head while inhaling smoke. Active Constituents: Psychotropic agent uncertain. Nonacosanol,beta-D-glucoside of beta-sitosterol, sugiol (a diterpene ketone), and several glycosides and aglycones have been isolated. Effects: Intoxicant, hallucinogen, and deliriant. Causes user to move about in agitated, dizzy manner for several minutes, then collapse into hypnotic trance. Experience lasts about 30 minutes during which user may experience visions of communication with supernatural entities. Contraindication: Not specifically known, but obviously not for frequent use. Probably hepatotoxic. Supplier: Berries, MGH; plants (some species), RCS, nurseries. KAVA KAVA -- _Piper methysticum._ Family Piperaceae (Pepper family). Material: Root pulp and lower stems of tall perennial shrub from South Pacific islands, Hawaiian Islands, and New Guinea. Usage: In the islands two methods are used. If dried kava roots are simply made into a tea, the water-soluble components are released and it acts as a mild stimulating tonic. If materials are first chewed, then spit into a bowl and mixed with coconut milk, powerful narcotic resins are released in emulsion. Those who do not wish to pre-chew the root may do either of the following for the same result: (1) 1 oz. pulverized or finely ground kava is mixed with 10 oz. water or coconut milk, 2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil, and 1 tbsp. lcithin and blended in an osterizer until liquid takes on milky appearance. Serves 2-4 persons. (2) Extract resins with ispropyl (rubbing) alcohol in heat bath, remove solvents by evaporation. Redissolve in just enough warmed brandy, rum, or vodka. Honey may be added to sweeten. A small cordial glass per person should be enough. The first method emulsifies the resins, the second method dissolves them in alcohol. The latter is the more potent method because alcohol swiftly carries resins into the system. Active Constituents: Kawain, dihydrokawain, methysticin, dihydromethysticin, yangonin, and dihydroyangonin (resinous alpha pyrones). Effects: Pleasant stimulating after 30 minutes (sooner in alcohol). After another 30 minutes euphoric and lethargic sedative effects are felt but with unimpaired mental alertness. Depresses spinal activity, not cerebral activity. After a time, one may desire sleep. Total experience lasts 2-3 hours. Aftereffects: pleasant, relaxed feelings. No hangover. Contraindications: Generally nontoxic. If fresh root or alcohol extract is used excessively for several months, it may become habit- forming and cause yellowing, rashes, scaliness or ulcers of skin, diarrhea, emaciation, loss of appetite, reddening and weakening of the eyes. These symptoms disappear rapidly when kava intake is stopped or reduced. These conditions do not occur with normal use (once per week in islands). Used normally, kava is stimulating to appetite and generally beneficial. Supplier: MGH. KHAT -- _Catha edulis._ Family Celastraceae (Burningbush family). Material: Fresh leaves and stems of shrub or three found in wooded areas of Ethiopia. Now cultivated in neighboring lands. Usage: Fresh leaves are chewed or brewed as tea. Active Constituents: Norpseudoephedrine, vitamin C (which helps to counteract some bad effects of the drug). Effects: Stimulation, euphoria, mental clarity, followed occasionally by hallucinations terminating in drowsiness, sleep, or depression. Respiratory and pulse rate increase. Contraindications: Initial use sometimes accompanied by dizziness, lassitude, epigastric pain, decreased cardiovascular capacity. Prolonged use may result in cardiac diseaes, appetite loss, reduction in sexual drive, delirium tremens. Supplier: Cuttings, RCS (inquire). KOLA NUTS -- _Cola nitida._ Family Sterculiaceae (Cacao family). Material: Seeds of African tree. Usage: Seeds are chewed or ground and boiled in water, 1 tbsp./cup. Active Constituents: Caffeine 2%, theobromine, kolanin (a glucoside). Effects: Stimulant and economizer of muscular and nervous energies. Aids combustion of fats and carbohydrates, reduces combustion of nitrogen and phosphorus in the body. Contraindications: Long-term excessive use of caffeine may cause nervousness, insomnia, habituation. Supplier: MGH. KUTHMITHI -- _Withania somnifera._ Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Root-bark of shrub found in open places and disturbed areas of South Africa, tropical Africa and India. Other parts of plant used medicinally as local pain reliever, leaves to rid lice, fruit to make soap. Usage: Root-bark boiled as infusion. Active Constituents: Somniferine, withaferin, and other alkaloids. Effects: Sedative. Contraindications: No apparent undesirable side effects. Given safely to infants in North Africa. Supplier: Cuttings, RCS (inquire). LION'S TAIL -- _Leonotis leonurus_ R. Br. Family Labiatae (Mint family). Material: Resins from leaves of tall South African perennial shrub found in gardens of warmer parts of U.S. Usage: Dark green resin is scraped or extracted form leaves and flower parts and added to tobacco or other smoking mixtures. Dried leaves may also be smoked or chewed. Active Constituents: Unidentified resinous materials (possibly leonurine). Effects: Euphoric, marijuana-like experience. Contraindications: Persistent use may lead to habituation (same degree as tobacco). Supplier: Some Southern California nurseries; RCS (inquire). LOBELLA -- _Lobelia inflata._ Family Lobeliaceae. Material: Leaves, stems, and seeds of North American plant sometimes called Indian tobacco. Usage: May be smoked or steeped -- 1 tbsp./pt. water. Active Constituents: Lobeline -- 2-[6-(beta-hydroxy-phenethyl)-1- methyl-2-piperidyl] acetophenone -- and related alkaloids. Effects: When smoked, produces mild marijuana-like euphoria and improves mental clarity. Tea acts simultaneously as a stimulant and relaxant. Lesser amounts tend to act as stimulant; larger amounts as a relaxant. Also, may cause tingling body sensations and altered mental state. Contraindications: Has acrid taste, causes unpleasant, prickly feelings in mouth and throat. May cause nauseea, vomiting, and circulatory disturbances. Smoking may cause brief headache in persons subjects to migraine. Supplier: Herb and herbal seed, MGH; viable seed, RCS. MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE -- _Catharanthus roseus,_ formerly _Vinca rosea._ Family Apocynaceae (Dogbane family). Material: Leaves of everblooming subshrub native to Madagascar, now grown as ornamental throughout USA and found in Florida. Usage: Dried leaves are smoked. Active Constituents: Indole alkaloids resembling ibogaine: akuammine, catahrosine, vindoline, vincristine, vinblastine, vincamine. Effects: Euphoria and hallucinations. Vincamine improves mental ability in cerebrovascular disorders. Contraindications: Causes immedate reduction of white corpuscles. Excessive or prolonged use causes itching and burning skin, hair loss, ataxia, and degeneration of muscle tissue. Strongly disrecommended. Supplier: Plants, nurseries; viable seeds, RCS. MANDRAKE -- _Mandragora officinarum._ L. Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Various parts especially parsnip-shaped root of perennial plant found in fields and stony places of southern Europe. Usage: Brew made from boiling crushed root. Active Constituents: Scopolamine, hyoscyamine, mandragorine, and other tropanes. Effects: Hallucinations followed by deathlike trance and sleep. Contraindications: Same as thornapple. Said to cause insanity. Not recommended. Supplier: Must be obtained in Europe. MARABA -- _Kaempferia galanga_ L. Family Zingiberaceae (Ginger family). Material: Rhizome of stemless herb found in New Guinea, India, Malaya, and the Moluccas. Usage: Rhizome chewed and ingested. Active Constituents: Unidentified substance(s) in volatile oils of rhizome. Effects: Hallucinogen. Contraindications: None known. Has long history of medicinal use. Supplier: MGH (inquire). MATE -- _Ilex paraguayensis._ Family Aquifoliaceae (Holly family). Material: Leaves of small evergreen tree found near streams in forests of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Usage: Leaves steeped in hot water and drunk. Active Constituents: Caffeine and other purines. Effects: Stimulant. Not as upsetting to system as coffee or tea. Contraindications: Long-term excessive use of caffeine may cause nervousness, insomnia, habituation. Supplier: MGH, health stores. MESCAL BEANS -- _Sophara secundiflora._ Family Leguminosae (Bean family). Material: Red bean of evergreen shrub found in Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. Usage: 1/4 bean or less is roasted near a fire until it turns yellow, ground to meal, chewed, and swallowed. Active Constituents: Cytisine (a toxic pyridine). Effects: Vomiting, intoxication, and increased heartbeat, followed by 3 days of drowsiness or sleep. Contraindications: Extremely toxic. Even just a little too much (1/2 bean for some) may cause convulsions and death. Was used in ritual by Plains Indians before they had peyote. Now it is no longer used. Supplier: Grows wild on limestone hills. Viable seeds, RCS. 5-MeO-DMT -- 5-methoxy-n,n-dimethyltryptamine. Material: Indole-based alkaloid found in seeds, pods, bark, and resins of several South American trees, including _Piptadenia peregrina_ and _Virola calophylla,_ used in the snuffs yopo, epena, and parica. Usage: 3.5-5 mg are places on top of parsley flakes in a small- bowl hash pipe and smoked in one inhalation, or broken into fine particles and snuffed. Effects: Overwhelming psychedelic effects occur almost instantly, softening to a pleasant LSD-like sensation after 2-3 minutes. Changes in perception may occur including brightening of colors and macroscopia (size changes). Total experience last 20-30 minutes. Contraindications: Some persons experience dizziness, disorientation, and sensations of pressure during first 2-3 minutes, especially with larger doses. If this occurs it is best to try to relax and flow with the experience because it will quickly pass and give way to more comfortable feelings. One should not take 5-MeO-DMT on a full stomach or when feeling bloated, as pressure and nausea may occur. The drug leaves no hangover or undesirable aftereffects. One usually feels pleasant stimulated for several hours afterwards. If taken too soon before retiring, it may interfere with sleep. Because of intense initial effects one should never use this substance while driving. Very large doses, sufficient to cause heavy blood rush to the head, may rupture weak capillaries in the brain. Continued to excess this might eventually impair mental functions. MAO inhibitor (see list of dangerous combinations). Supplier: CS. MORMON TEA -- _Ephedra nevadensis._ Family Gnetaceae. Material: Above-ground parts of leafless desert shrub found in American Southwest. Usage: 1/2 oz./1 pt. water boiled 10 minutes. Active Constituents: D-norpseudoephedrine. (Note: In contrast to the Asian species _E. equisetina_ and _E. sinica,_ _E. nevadensis_ contains little or not ephedrine.) Effects: Stimulant. Also relieves congestion and asthma. Contraindications: No serious side effects known. May depress appetite if used to excess. Supplier: Dried herb, MGH; viable seed, RCS. MORNING GLORY -- _Ipomoea violacea._ Family Convolvulaceae (Bindweed family). Material: Seeds and to a lesser extent all other parts of plant except roots. Strongest varieties are: Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, Flying Saucers, Wedding Bells, Blue Star, Summer Skies, and Badoh Begro (Mexican variety). Usage: 5-10 grams of seeds are thoroughly chewed and swallowed or may be thoroughly ground and soaked in 1/2 cup water for half an hour, strained and drunk. Active constituents: D-lysergic acid amide and ergometrine. Effects: LSD-like experience lasting about 6 hours. Contraindications: Persons with history of hepatitis or other liver disorders should not take lysergic acid amides. Ergometrine has uterus-stimulating properties and should not be taken by pregnant women. Some suppliers treat morning-glory seeds with poison to discourage use as a mind alterant, or with methyl mercury to prevent spoilage (symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea). If treated seeds are planted, toxins are not transmitted to next generation. Some persons wearing treated seeds as beads on bare skin have developed rash. Supplier: Untreated seeds, MGH. NUTMEG -- _Myristican fragrans._ Family Myristicaceae (Nutmeg family). Material: Seed of tropical evergreen tree found in East and West Indies. Usage: 5-20 grams of whole or ground nutmeg is ingested. Active Constituents: Methylenedioxy-substituted compounds: myristicin (non-amine precursor of 3-methoxy-4,5- methylenedioxyamephatemine [MMDA]), elemicin, and safrole (non-amine precursor of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine [MDA]). These and other aromatic fractions combine synergistically to produce psychotropic effect. Terpenes enhance absorption. Effects: Possible nausea during first 45 minutes, followed in several hours by silly feelings and giggling, and then dryness of mouth and throat, flushing of skin and bloodshot eyes, heavy intoxicated feeling, incoherent speech and impaired motor function. This is followed by tranquil feelings, stupor with inability to sleep, euphoria and twilight state dreams. Total experience lasts about 12 hours, followed by 24 hours of drowsiness and sleep. Contraindications: May cause temporary constipation and difficulty in urination. Nutmeg oils increase fat deposits on liver. Safrole is carcinogenic and toxic to liver. Beneficial as spice or in small amounts; not recommended as hallucinogen. Supplier: Grocery stores; viable seeds, RCS. OLOLUIQUE -- _Rivea corymbosa._ Family Convolvulaceae (Bindweed family). Material: Seeds of vine found in mountains of southern Mexico. Usage: 15 or more seeds are thoroughly ground and soaked in 1/2 cup water. Active Constituents: D-lysergic acid amide, lysergol, and turbicoryn (a crystalline glucoside). Effects: LSD-like experience lasting about 6 hours, with relaxed feelings afterwards. Nausea may be experience during first hour. D- lysergic acid amide is a hallucinogen. Turbicoryn stimulates the CNS and has anti-tension properties. Contraindications: Persons with a history of liver disorders should not take lysergic acid amides. Supplier: Must be procured in Mexico. PARSLEY -- _Petroselinum crispum._ Family Umbelliferae (Carrot family). Material: Oil of seeds. Usage: Ingested. Active Constituents: Apiole (non-amine precursor of 2,5- dimethoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine [DMMDA]) and other unidentified olefinic substance with an allyl side chain which is the non-amine precursor of 2,3,4,5-tetramethoxyamphetamine (Tetra MA). Effects: Uncertain (stimulant-hallucinogen?). Useful as stomachic in small doses. Contraindications: Psychotropically effective doses toxic to liver and harmful to kidneys. Not recommended. Supplier: Herb dealers, MGH; viable seed, RCS, B, G, NK, FM. PASSIONFLOWER -- _Passiflora incarnata._ Family Passifloraceae (Passionflower family). Material: Leaves and stems of perennial vine native to West Indies and southern USA, now cultivated throughout world. Usage: May be smoked, steeped as tea (1/2 oz./1 pt. boiled water) or reduced to crude alkaloidal mix. Active Constituents: Harmine and related alkaloids. Approximately 1 g mixed harmal alkaloids per kg. Also several unidentified alkaloids. Effects: Smoked, very mild, short-lasting marijuana-like high. Tea, tranquilizer and sedative. Harmala alkaloids are hallucinogens. Contraindications: Other materials in crude alkaloid reduction may cause nausea. Harmala alkaloids are short-term MAO inhibitors. See list of dangerous combinations. Supplier: Herb, MGH; seed and plants, RCS. PEMOLINE -- 2-imino-5-phenyl-4-oxazolidinone. Material: Hydantoin-group chemical prepared synthetically. Usage: 20-50 mg orally. Effects: Mental stimulant with very little CNS stimulant, lasting 6-12 hours. Contraindications: No serious side effects. Insomnia may occur if sufficient time is not allowed between taking permoline and retiring. Supplier: CS. PEMOLINE MAGNESIUM -- [2-imino-5-phenyl-4-oxazolidinonato(2)-] diaquomagnesium. Material: A complex from equimolar mixture of pemoline and magnesium hydroxide under study in Abbott Laboratories as an adjunct to learning and memory. Usage: 50-100 mg taken orally each morning for 10-14 consecutive days. The effects are cumulative. Results are most noticeable when combined with high protein diet, abundant vitamin C and balanced B complex intake, and adequate calcium and magnesium consumption. For more pronounced and immediate effects as a cerebral and CNS stimulant, 200-500 mg of pemoline magnesium may be taken at once. Effects: Larger dosage acts as a CNS stimulant and psychic stimulant, improving mental faculties, especially memory, for 6-24 hours. Its effects are similar to the amphetamines without causing dryness of mucous membrane tissues and cardiac stress. Smaller consecutive doses act as mild CNS and psychic stimulant and accumulate magnesium in cerebral synapses. Magngesium acts as a catalyst conductor in the synapses of the brain's memory centers. Taken in this manner magnesium pemoline may increase efficiency of memory up to 560% in both young persons and senile older people. After completing the series these effects may last from several weeks to several months, tapering gradually. Effects can be regained by taking booster series when needed. It can be taken either while or while attempting to recall learned material. Assists RNA formation in brain. Contraindications: Large doses (or even smaller doses if taken too soon before retiring) may interfere with sleep. Supplier: CS, RX. PIPILZINTZINTLI -- _Salvia divinorum._ Family Labiatae (Mint family). Material: Leaves of plant found in southern Mexico. Also used for same effect are leaves of _Coleus blumei_ and _C. pumila,_ common house plants. Usage: About 70 large fresh leaves are thoroughly chewed and swallowed or crushed and soaked in 1 pt. water for 1 hour, strained, and drunk. If osterizer is available leaves may be liquefied in water. Active Constituents: Uncertain, believed to be an unstable crystalline polyhydric alcohol. Effects: Similar to psilocybin with colorful visual patterns, but milder and lasting only 2 hours. Contraindications: Some people experience nausea during first 1/2 hour; otherwise no unpleasant or harmful side effects known. Supplier: _S. divinorum_ must usually be procured in Mexico. It is extremely rare. The Church of the Tree of Life (405 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133) has a large specimen, one of the few existing in the USA. They will send a rooted cutting to anyone who donates $100 or more to the church. Coleus plants may be bought in any nursery; coleus seeds B, FM, G, NK, RCS. PSILOCYBE MUSHROOMS -- _Psilocybe mexicana._ Family Agaricaceae (Agaric family). Material: Carpophores and nycelia of this mushroom, found in southern Mexico and of other chemically related species (see below) found in North and South America. Usage: 4-20 fresh mushrooms are consumed on empty stomach. Number depends upon size, species, time of harvest, and individual's tolerance. Active Constituents: Psilocybin and psilocin. Effects: Musculare relaxation and mild visual changes during first 15-30 minutes followed by giddiness, straying of concentration, visual and auditory hallucinations, lassitude, and feelings of disassociation without loss of awareness. Peak 1-1.5 hours after ingestion. Total experience approximately 6 hours. Contraindications: Taken too soon after food may cause nausea. Mazatec Indians claim that constant use of these mushrooms over extended period will accelerate aging process. One death (6-year-old boy) was attributed to the ingestion of a large number of _P. baeocystis,_ which contains baeocystin and nor-beaocystin. Normal use by adults does not indicate toxicity. Supplier: Many species may be found wild throughout USA and Canada. Among them are: _Psilocybe baeocystis,_ _P. caerulescens_ (strongest variety), _P. caerulipes,_ _P. cubensis_ var. _cyanescens,_ _P. cyanescens,_ _P. pellipes,_ _Conocybe cyanopess,_ _Copelandia cyanescens,_ _Panaeolus foenisecci,_ _P. subbaleatus,_ _Pholiotina cyanopoda._ Do not consume mushrooms gathered wild until positively indentified by expert mycologist. RESCINNAMINE -- 3,4,5-trimethoxycinnamoyl methyl reserpate. Material: Indole-based alkaloid in _Rauwolfia serpentina._ Usage: 0.5-2.5 mg orally. Effects: Hypotensive, sedative, tranquilizer similar to reserpine. Contraindications: Similar to reserpine but less severe. Supplier: CS. RESERPINE -- 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoyl methyl reserpate. Material: Major active indole-based alkaloid in _Rauwolfia_ spp. Usage: 0.05-2.5 mg orally. Effects: Hypotensive, sedative, tranquilizer. Depletes serotonin and norepinephrine in brain tissue. Delayed but prolonged effect. See INDIAN SNAKEROOT. Contraindications: Usually safe if not taken in overdoses or excessively. Too much, or in sensitive individuals, may case nasal stuffiness, diarrhea, slowed heartbeat, drowsiness, fatigue. Too frequent use may cause weight gain. MAO inhibitiors interefere with serotonin- and norepinephrine-depleting action of reserpine. Supplier: CS, RX. SAN PEDRO -- _Trichocereus pachanoi._ Family Cactaceae (Cactus family). Material: Tall branching cactus from Peru and Ecuador. Usage: A piece 3 inches in diameter by 3-6 inchest long is cut, peeled and eaten (do not waste that which clings to the inside of the skin as it is most potent), or instead of peeling, msh it or cut it into small pieces and boil in 1 quart water for 2 hours, strain, and drink slowly. Active Constituents: Mescaline (1.2 g/kg fresh weight), homoveratrylamine, 3-methoxytyramine. Effects: Similar to peyote but more tranquil. Takes 1-1.5 hours to come on; lasts about 6 hours. Contraindications: Some people experience nausea from mescaline. It is best to take mescaline, peyote, or San Pedro slowly over a period of 45 minutes to avoid chemical shock to the system. Supplier: Cuttings, AHD, NMCR; seeds, NMCR, RCS. SASSAFRAS -- _Sassafras officinale albidum._ Family Laureaceae (Laurel family). Material: Aromatic root-bark of North American tree. Usage: Brewed as tea (1 oz./1 pt. water). Oil fraction extracted in alcohol or distilled. Safrole is not water-soluble. Starting dose 100-200 mg of extracted and dried oil. Active Constituents: Safrole (non-amine precursor of MDA [3,4- methylenedioxyamphetamine]). Effects: Tea in large doses acts as stimulant and induces perspiration. Safrole (MDA) stimulant, hallucinogen; aphrodisiac in large doses, euphoriant in small doses. Contraindications: Safrole is toxic to liver (avoid repeated use). Increases incidence of tumors in laboratory animals. Excessive doses may cause vomiting, shock, aphasia, and death by central paralysis of respiration. Normal use as tea is safe. Supplier: Fresh root wild, eastern USA, collected in early spring or autumn. Dried root, MGH; young trees, RCS. SCOPOLAMINE HYDROBROMIDE Material: Hydrobromide salt of tropane alkaloid found in belladonna, datura, and other solanaceous plants. Usage: 0.5-5 mg orally on empty stomach. Effects: CNS depressant, anticholinergic, sedative in small doses (0.3-0.8 mg). Euphoriant, hallucinogen, and narcotic in larger doses. Takes effect within 15 minutes; last 4-12 hours. Contraindications: Dry mouth and mucous membranes, blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, hot dry skin, headache, restless fatigue. Must not be used by persons with cardiovascular disorders or glaucoma. Excessive use may cause brain decomposition. Not recommended. Supplier: CS. SHANSI -- _Coriaria thymifolia._ Family Coriariaceae. Material: Purple berries of frond-like shrub found in Andes and of similar species (_C. japonica,_ _C. muscifolia_). Usage: Berries are eaten. Active substances also in leaves. Active Constituents: Cathecholic compounds, sesquiterpenes: coriamyrtine, coriatine, tutine, and pseudotutine. Effects: Stimulation, hallucinations, and sensations of flight. Contraindications: Little known about this substance. Some tribes regard it as toxic. Large doses may cause stupor, coma, convulsions. Supplier: Some nurseries carry related species. SHICUICHI -- _Heimia salicifolia._ Family Lythraceae (Loosestrife family). Material: Leaves of plant found in Mexico to Argentina. Usage: Plucked leaves are allowed to wilt slightly, are crushed in water (or liquefied in blender), permitted to ferment for 1 day in the sun, and drunk. If fresh material is not available dried herb may be steeped in hot water and allowed to sit in sun for 1 day before drinking. Ten grams dried herb or equivalent of fresh leaves suggested as starting dose. Active Constituents: Cryogenine (1-carbamyl-2-phenylhydrazine), an alkaloid. Effects: Pleasant drowsiness, skeletal muscle relaxation, slowing of heartbeat, dilation of coronary vessels, inhibition of acetylcholine, enhancement of epinephrine, slight reduction of blood pressure, cooling of body, mild intoxication and giddiness, darkening of vision, auditory hallucinations (sounds seem distant), and increased memory function. Contraindications: No hangover or undesirable side effects. Overindulgence causes golden-yellow tinge to vision on following day. Continued immoderate use may eventually hamper memory. Supplier: Must be procured in Mexico (Oaxaca marketplace). SO'KSI -- _Mirabilis multiflora._ Family Nyctaginaceae (Four-o'clock family). Material: Root of magenta-flowered perennial found at elevations of 2500-5000 ft. on hillsides among rocks and shrubs throughout aArizona, Utah, Colorado, and northern Mexico. Usage: Large root is chewed and juice is swallowed. Used by Hopi medicine men for diagnostic divination. Active Constituents: Unidentified. Effects: Hallucinogen. Contraindications: None known. Root of similar species _M. jalapa_ (four-o'clocks) may possess similar activity, but is also powerful emetic. Supplier: Viable seeds RCS. Plants found wild in southwest USA. Caution: _M. multiflora_ has 2-5 flowers per calyx; _M. jalapa_ has only one. _M. jalapa_ seeds, RCS, FM, NK, B, G. SYRIAN RUE -- _Peganum harmala._ Family Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family). Material: Seeds of woody perennial native to Middle East. (Roots also active but seldom used.) Usage: 1 oz. seeds are thoroughly chewed and swallowed. Most effective when combined with other psychotropic materials, especially those containing tropanes. Active Constituents: Harmine, harmaline, and harmalol. Effects and Contraindications: Hallucinogen; see HARMINE et al. Supplier: MGH (inquire). THORNAPPLE -- _Datura inoxia_ Mill. Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or seeds of short annual herb found in dry open places and garbage dumps of Mexico and southwestern USA. Usage: Stems and leaves smoked to relieve asthma or produce mild intoxication. Roots and seeds for divinatory uses. Root is crushed in water and drunk. Leaves and seeds added to ganga (cannabis) in India for extra effects. Active Constituents: Scopolamine, atropine, hyoscyamine, and other tropanes. Effects: Hallucinogen and hypnotic. Contraindications: Excessive amounts toxic. May cause blacking out and severe headaches. Yaqui Indian brujos claims that smoking or ingestion of flowers will cause insanity. See SCOPOLAMINE and ATROPINE. Supplier: Seeds, RCS. Other similar species include: _D. fastuosa,_ _D. metel,_ _D. meteloides_ (toloachi), _D. stramonium_ (jimson weed). See also tree daturas, atropine, scopolamine. TREE DATURAS -- _Datura,_ subgenius _Brugmansia_; includes _D. candida,_ _D. suaveolens,_ _D. sanguinea,_ _D. arborea,_ _D. aurea,_ _D. dolichocarpa,_ _D. vulcanicola._ Family Solanaceae (Potato family). Material: Various parts of short tree with drooping, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers native to South America found in many gardens throughout USA (especially California). Usage: Leaves are sometimes smoked. Other parts brewed in hot water. In Andes small amount of seed is pulverized and added to beverages. Infusion given orally or rectally in adolescent ritual among some western Amazon tribes. Active Constituents: Scopolamine, hyoscyamine, norhyoscyamine, and other tropanes. Effects: Leaves similar to _D. inoxia._ Seeds cause mental confusion, delirium followed by fitful sleep with colorful hallucinations. Contraindications: More toxic than _D. inoxia._ Excessive amounts may cause amnesia. Supplier: Seeds of _D. arborea,_ _D. candida,_ and _D. suaveolens,_ RCS. See also ATROPINE and SCOPOLAMINE. L-TRYPTOPHAN -- 1-alpha-aminoindole-3-propionic acid. Material: Amino acid essential to human nutrition. Usage: 5-8 grams are ingested on empty stomach. Effects: Drowsiness, euphoria, and mental changes similar to mild (5 mg) dose of psilocybin. Contraindications: Tendency to fall asleep. Excessive use could cause dietary amino acid imbalance. Supplier: CS, 500 mg tablets from some heatlh food stores. WILD FENNEL -- _Foeniculum vulgare_ Mill. Family Umbelliferae (Carrot family). Material: Oil from seeds of feathery-leafed weed bearing yellow- green umbels with anise fragrance found in waste places of southern Europe and west coast USA. Usage: 5-20 drops of oil orally. Active Constituents: Estragole (non-amine precursor of 4- methoxyamphetamine [MA]). Effects: Epileptic-like convulsions and hallucinations. Contraindications: Epileptic syndrome is undesirable. Constituents in the oil are toxic to liver and harsh to kidneys. Normal amounts as used in flavoring are apparently safe; hallucinogenic dosages may be disastrous. Supplier: Grows wild. Seeds, MGH; viable seeds, RCS. WILD LETTUCE -- _Lactuca virosa_ et al. Family Compositae (Sunflower family). Material: Extractions from leaves and roots of weed native to Europe. Usage: Materials are extracted in juicer, dried in sun or low heat and smoked like opium. Active Constituents: Lactucarium (lettuce opium) contains 2% lactucin plus latucerol (taraxasterol) and lactucic acid. Effects: Sedative similar to opium but less pronounced. Formerly used in medicine as opium substitute. Contraindications: Large quantities may be toxic. Supplier: Viable seeds, RCS; dried leaves, MGH. Some lettuce opium is also found in other _Lactuca_ species including market lettuce, but amounts are usually insignificant. WORMWOOD -- _Artemisia absinthium._ Family Compositae (Sunflower family). Material: Leaves and stems of common herb. Usage: Bitter essential oil is extracted into alcohol. Sometimes combined with Pernod or anisette to make absinthe. Active Constituents: Absinthine (a dimeric guaianolide), anabsinthin, and a volatile oil mainly consisting of thujone. Effects: Narcotic. Contraindications: Excessive long-term use of liqueur may be habit-forming and debilitating. Ingestion of volatile oil or liqueur may cause GI disturbances, nervousness, stupor, and convulsions due to thujone. Supplier: Dried herb MGH; viable seeds RCS. YAGE -- (Pronoucned ya-hee; also called ayahuasca.) _Banisteriopsis caapi._ Family Malpighiaceae. Material: Lower parts of stem from vine found in Amazone and Orinoco basins of South America. Usage: Stem is pounded in mortar, usually with other local psychoactive materials (mostly solanaceous plants), boiled in just enough water 2-24 hours, strained, reduced to 1/10 volume. 4 oz. cup is drunk by natives. Others should start with 1/4 this amount. Active Constituents: Harmine, haraline, harmalol, and tetrahydroharmine. Approximately 500 mg total alkaloids per 4 oz. cup prepared as above. Effects: Trembling within a few minutes followed by perspiration and physical stimulation for 10-15 minutes, then calm with mental clouding, hallucinations, increased color, blue-violet shades, size changes, and improvide night vision. Harmala alkaloids are short-term MAO inhibitors. Contraindications: See HARMINE et al. Supplier: MGH (inquire). YOHIMBE -- _Corynanthe yohimbe._ Family Rubiaceae (Madder family). Material: The inner bark of a tropical West African tree. Usage: 6-10 tsp. of shaved bark boiled 10 minutes in 1 pt. water, strained and sipped slowly. Addition of 500 mg vitamin C per cup makes it take effect more quickly and potently (probably by forming easily assimilated ascorbates of the alkaloids). Active Constituents: Yohimbine, yohimbiline, ajmaline (indole- type alkaloids). Effects: First effects after 30 minutes (15 minutes with vitamin C), warm, pleasant spinal shivers, followed by psychic stimulation, heightening of emotional and sexual feelings, mild perceptual changes without hallucinations, sometimes spontaneous erections. Sexual activity is especially pleasurable. Feelings of bodies melting into one another. Total experience last 2-4 hours. Aftereffects: pleasant, relaxed feeling with no hangover. See YOHIMBINE. Contraindications: Tannins and alkaloids make tea somewhat bitter and unpleasant. Addition of honey may help. Slight nausea may be experienced by some individuals during first 30 minutes. Vitamin C lessens this. MAO inhibitor; see dangerous combinations. See also YOHIMBINE. YOHIMBINE HYDROCHLORIDE Material: Yohimbine is one of several indole-based alkaloids found in _Corynanthe yohimbe,_ _Rauwolfia serpentina,_ and several other plants. Usage: In hydrochloride form it may be either ingested or snuffed. Dose 15-50 mg (amount size of 1 line of cocaine equals 10 mg). Effects: Central stimulant, mild hallucinogen, sympathomimetic with both cholinergic and adrenergic blocking properties, serotonin inhibitor, hypotensive (decreases blood pressure), and activator of spinal ganglis affecting erectile tissue of sexual organs (aphrodisiac). Taken orally first effects occur after 15-30 minutes. Snuffed first effects occur within 5 minutes. Initial effect may include subtle psychic and perceptual changes, stimulation similar to concaine, and warm spinal shivers. Total experience lasts 2-4 hours gradually tapering. Contraindications: If taken too close to bedtime may cause insomnia. If taken while physically exhausted hypotensive properties may be sharply exaggerated. Should not be used by persons with ailment or injury of kidneys, liver, or heart, or inclination towards diabetes or hypoglycemia. MAO inhibitor (see list of dangerous combinations). Anxiety may also occur. Sodium amobarbitol or Librium alleviate this. Imipramine may worsen it. Nauseau may occur from ingestion of yohimbine, but is not likely when snuffed. Can result in heart palpitations, severe blood pressure drop, and breathing difficulties if taken within 48 hours of having taken any amphetamine, even Dexamyl type diet pill. Supplier: P, CS. # # # FOR THE READER * * * SUPPLIERS The companies listed here are straight, legitimate businesses. Their function is to provide herbs, botanicals, or chemicals in general. They do not expect that their products are to be used psychotropically. Type your order, sound normal, do not ask questions about dose, use, effects, etc. If they think that you are using their products as drugs, they will probably refuse to do business with you. If an item is not in their catalog inquire about its availability before ordering it. Include stamped, self-addressed envelope with all queries. Include 50 cents for postage and handling when requesting catalogs. LETTER CODES USED IN THIS BOOK AHD A. Hugh Dial, 7685 Deer Trail, Yucca Valley, CA B W. Atlee Burpee Seed Co.: 6450 Rutland, Riverside, CA 18th & Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia, PA 615 N. 2nd, Clinton, IA CS See CHEMICAL SOURCES, below. FM Ferry-Morse Seed Co.: 111 Ferry-Morse Way, Mountain View, CA Stephen Beel Dr., Fulton, KY G Germain's Inc., 4820 E. 50th, Vernon, CA 90058 GBR Gardens of the Blue Ridge, P.O. Box 10, Pineola, NC 28662 MGH Magic Garden Herb Co., P.O. Box 332, Fairfax, CA 94930 NK Northrop-King Seed Co.: 2850 South highway 99, Fresno, CA 1500 N.E. Jackson, Minneapolis, MN NMCR New Mexico Cactus Research, P.O. Box 787, Belen, NM P Paracelsus Inc., P.O. Box 93, Barrington, NJ 08007 (Supplies a product called Yocaine. A 100 mg sample and information may be obtained by sending $3 to their address.) RX Available through prescription (formerly available through chemical companies). WP Wine and the People, P.O. Box 2914, Oakland, CA 94618 * * * CHEMICAL SOURCES In earlier editions of _Legal Highs_ we gave the names of several companies which seel various chemicals described in this book. Since that time, government restrictions have tightened. These companies have been ordered not to sell to individuals who are not part of an established research laboratory. Whenever we have published the names of suppliers of chemicals, the governmental authorities have made it a point to contact these companies and emphasize these restrictions. They are apparently not as concerned about herbs, plants, and seeds as they are about chemicals. Most the chemicals mentioned in _Legal Highs_ are available from hundreds of chemical companies throughout the United States. To find the ones which carry the substances you seek, look in the annual listing entitled _Chemical Sources USA,_ which may be found in any university library, or may be ordered from the publisher, Directories Publications, Inc., Flemington, NJ. This directory has thousands of chemicals and tells which companies handle each substance. Because of the restrictions, it will be necessary to give the impression that you are a professional researcher who is using these substances on nonhuman subjects. It may be helpful if you have a letterhead printed for your research group. Make your inquiries simply, soberly, and discreetly. Good luck. * * * DANGEROUS COMBINATIONS Unless one is very experience in pharmacology, it is unwise to experiment with combinations of drugs. Even when using a single drug, thought should be given to all substances, both food and drug, which have been taken recently. Most primitive people fast or at least abstain from certain substances for several days prior to taking a sacrament. Substances most universally avoided are alcohol, coffee, meat, fat, and salt. Some drugs potentiate others. For example, atropine will increase the potency of mescaline, harmine, cannabis, and opiates. Many of the substances discussed in this book are MAO inhibitors. MAO (monoamine oxidase) is an enzyme produced in the body, which breaks down certain amines and renders them harmless and ineffective. An MAO inhibitor interferes with the protective enzyme and leaves the body vulernable to these amines. A common substance such as tyramine, which is usually metabolized with little or no pharmacological effect, may become dangerous in the presence of an MAO inhibitor and cause headache, stiff neck, cardiovascular difficulties, and even death. MAO inhibitors may intensify and prolong the effects of other drugs (CNS depressants, narcotic analgesics, anticholinergics, dibenzazepine antidepressants, etc.) by interfering with their metabolism. In the presence of an MAO inhibitor, many substances which are ordinarily nonactive because of their swift metabolism may become potent psychactive drugs. This phenomenon may create a new series of mind alterants. However, because of the complex and precarious variables involved, it is risky and foolish for anyone to experiment with these possibilities on the nonprofessional level. The most commonly used MAO inhibitors include hydrazines, such as iproniazid, Marsilid, Marplan, Niamid, Nardil, Catron; also non- hydrazines such as propargylamines, cyclopropylamines, aminopyrazine derivatives, indolealkylamines, and carbolines. MAO-inhibiting materials discussed in this book include yohimbine; various tryptamines, especially 5-MeO-DMT and the alpha-methyltryptamines; and the various harmala alkaloids. The latter are especially potent inhibitors, but, like yohimibine and the tryptamines, are short- lasting in action (30 minutes to several hours). Some of the commercial MAO inhibitors listed above are effective for several days to several weeks. Among the materials which may be dangerous in combination with MAO inhibitors are sedatives, tranquilizers, antihistamines, narcotics, and alcohol -- any of which can cause hypotensive crisis (severe blood pressure drop); and amphetamines (even diet pills), mescaline, asarone, nutmeg (active doses), macromerine, ephedrine; oils of dill, parsely or wild fennel; beer, wine, cocoa, aged cheeses, and other tyrosine-containing foods (tyrosine is converted into tyramine by bacteria in the bowel) -- any of which can cause hypotensive or hypertensive (severe blood pressure rise) crises. * * * FREEDOM We uphold the right of the individual to do with itself what it wishes, when it does not harm or transgress the rights of others. We believe that it is better to grant people their natural right to use upon themselves any substance they desire while supplying them with factual information on use and misuse, rather than to attempt in vain to curb abuse through legislation. We are not children; nor are we stupid. As adult human beings we are responsible for ourselves and have the right to make our own decisions. Those who use the information in this book for personal experimentation are offered the following advice: 1. Begin with doses below those given. If no undesirable side- effects occur, gradual increases of dosage may be tried on separate occasions until desired effect occurs. 2. Do not combine drugs unless you know what you are doing. See section titled DANGEROUS COMBINATIONS. 3. Allow rest periods of at least one week between experiments. 4. When experimenting be relaxed, well rested, in good health, and momentarily relieved of responsibilities. 5. Do not permit yourself to become dependent upon any of these substances for relaxation, stimulation, etc. Seek your high in health, love, and awareness. Learn techniques of yoga, tai chi, etc., for relaxation. Employ meditation for consciousness expansion. STAY HIGH -- STAY FREE
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