How times have changed

Remember when Bill Clinton admitted to having tried marijuana, but had to modify it by claiming he hadn’t inhaled? And even then, he had to be a big drug warrior in order to counter the “druggie” image.

In contrast, the 2020 candidates seem to be (finally) proudly admitting how much they enjoyed it.

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27 Responses to How times have changed

  1. thelbert says:

    happy valentines day everyone. it’s raining hard in san diego, hope my three little plants can handle it.

  2. NCN says:

    I’ve noted Kamala Harris is trying to reshape her cannabis vibe and image, and I’m not buying it.

    • Biden's under-roos says:

      Better that she is now able to make such a statement, rather than hiding behind the Obama defence of “Ha Ha! It’s a joke,” as she has done in the past….give her credit for “evolving” as they say in the Dems… even big dog Biden evolved on gay marriage after all, so there is hope that these ahem, liberals may eventually wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Daniel Williams says:

      Neither are Tupac and Snoop Dogg…

      • DdC says:

        Kamala Harris’s Blackness Isn’t Up for Debate
        Unfortunately for Harris, her stances on these matters were drowned out by a dumb headline. Call it #AllEyezOnMeGate. Charlamagne asked Harris whether she’d ever smoked marijuana. She admitted that she’d smoked in college—and did indeed inhale. At some point, Envy asked Harris about her favorite music. But before she could respond, Charlamagne jokingly asked Harris about what she liked to listen to when she imbibed. Harris laughed off Charlamagne’s question and instead told Envy that some of her favorite artists were Snoop and ’Pac. She also mentioned her affinity for Cardi B

  3. Servetus says:

    Change occurs quickly, sometimes with no time left over for the development of a better social well-being. Drug laws and attitudes toward drug consumption are undergoing rapid change, and in most cases do get followed by better social conditions and justice. Advances occur despite the chemophobes and authoritarians who wield their willful ignorance about science, drugs and pharmacology as part of a repressive and unjust social strategy to thwart positive individual and social outcomes.

    As James Baldwin noted: “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

    Modern changes in attitudes toward drug consumption owe their existence to less ignorance. Scientific discoveries, and applications of logic and reason to morality, continue to dispel many drug war myths that allowed prohibition to be used as a tool to promote racism or religious hegemonies.

    Instant communications and access to information makes it possible to quickly expose and fumigate unseemly and unhealthy mythologies about drugs before the propaganda infects the body politic and causes further damage. Alex Berenson’s recent book, Tell Your Children, is a good example. Mr. Berenson came under intense criticism by scientists, medical professionals, and an informed public within days of his book’s release.

    Thirty years ago authors of similar drivel were given a wide berth by the US media to disseminate their nonsense. Critical analyses of the anti-drug authors or their work was considered media heresy. People were accused of being “pro-drug”, or taking drugs, if they spoke in opposition to drug enforcement lies. It was a time when the drug war was considered by most to be a solution rather than a cause of social distress and disaster. Despite these efforts, today, 48-percent of all Canadians would like to decriminalize all drugs, and 66-percent would approve of supervised injection sites for people using opioids. Cannabis legalization is happening all over the globe. 81-percent of Americans think the drug war is a failure. The Big Lie always has a time limit.

    • WalStMonky says:


      I’m not going to pay any attention to him anymore. Nobody except the people that can be fooled all of the time care so it isn’t worth my time. If by some miracle someone figures out how to fool them into believing the truth I’ll nominate them for the Nobel Prize. In the meantime I’ll amuse myself remembering when Kev-Kev wouldn’t publish over an open comments column.

      The MSM reports that the powers that be in New Jersey have reached agreement…House…Senate…Governor and NJ will be State #11 shortly.

      The Wisconsin Governor proposes decrim and legalizing medical for cancer, PTSD and chronic pain. Nice short list that basically covers everyone that really needs it.

      We’ve got a bunch of wussies in Annapolis. They’re not going to override our Governor’s promised veto despite having the votes going in so we’re going to get to vote next year.

      Kev-Kev has been marginalized to irrelevance. I encourage everyone to treat him appropriately.

      • Grapes says:

        It’s never been about giving him (or any other dumb prohibitionist) attention. There’a always an audience, and some participants could maybe do with the extra education. To those who answered the call, a big thank you!

  4. darkcycle says:

    It’s a case-in-point illustration of Francis’ Law (thanks for that gift, Francis, hope you’re doing well if you’re lurking about). Harvard researchers have found that male cannabis consumers have HIGHER sperm counts than non-users. For how many years have we been assailed with claims that pot use lowers sperm counts? Absolutely classic. Get a load of this, will you?

    • WalStMonky says:


      It’s got to be a very confusing time to be a prohibitionist. Are you sure that by happenstance they didn’t test a bunch of very manly men who would have had super thick spunk instead of just extra thick if they hadn’t been tricked into smoking pot by big merrywanna?

  5. WalStMonky says:


    Well here’s another shocking first: Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) has been included in the S&P Small Cap 600. IIPR is a Real Estate Investment Trust which does build to suit and purchase/lease backs of commercial medicinal cannabis facilities. I don’t own it because all of their properties qualify for civil seizure and could be easily stolen by the federal government. Those properties would also come with detailed information about its lessees giving the Feds a significant windfall for the slush fund. Anyway, my point is that Standard & Poor included it in the S&P 600 in spite of the fact that IIPR is not in compliance with Federal law. The S&P 600 also is a discretionary index meaning the company could have been excluded.

    I think the sector is getting ready to go parabolic. If it does please don’t get tempted. Parabola is a time to sell which is what I’ll be doing. Nowadays Blue Horseshoe loves American CBD…Canuckistani THC is so last year.

  6. Servetus says:

    More reefer madness looms on the horizon, despite recent changes in certain areas. A University of Michigan national survey has explored the parents’ issue of exposing children to the image of the cannabis dispensary:

    18-Feb-2019 — …Aside from the top concern involving drivers under the influence, some parents also worried about the possibility of a child finding and ingesting edible marijuana inadvertently left behind by a dispensary customer (48 percent), and teens having easier opportunities accessing marijuana (49 percent.) Other dispensary concerns included setting a bad example for kids (45 percent) and bringing violent crime to the area (35 percent).

    Three quarters of parents indicated general support for legal medical marijuana, including one third of parents who support the option for children. Just 26 percent of parents opposed medical marijuana.

    At the same time, most parents agreed that dispensaries should be banned within a certain distance of elementary schools, middle and high schools, and daycare centers. Forty-four percent of parents also believed dispensaries should not be close to places of worship. Support for such bans was equally strong among both mothers and fathers, younger and older parents, and parents of higher and lower income. […]

    Most parents (77 percent) agreed that medical marijuana dispensaries should have the same regulations as liquor stores for where they can be located. Meanwhile, 52 percent of parents said dispensaries should have the same rights as other businesses. Nearly all parents (90 percent) felt dispensaries should undergo inspections to ensure they are following all regulations.

    Nearly half of parents (45 percent) said that medical marijuana is legal in their state, and 24 percent knew there was at least one medical marijuana dispensary in their community. Only 20 percent reported that their state or community has regulations about where dispensaries can be located, while 59 percent did not know if such regulations exist. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Parents: Keep medical marijuana dispensaries away from children: About 3/4 of parents say dispensaries should not be near schools; 1/2 concerned about the risks of people driving while impaired near children’s areas

    Several objections concerning marijuana dispensaries are left out. One is the snob objection.

    Some neighborhoods and zoned business areas in rural central California, such as Fresno County, object to locating marijuana dispensaries in or near upscale business enterprises, such as real estate offices, mortgage companies, etc. The belief is that the sight of dirty filthy hippies lining up to score their pot will cause far more respectable white traditionalists to avoid the area and the local businesses. And this is for medicinal dispensaries; dispensaries for recreational weed are prohibited entirely.

    Adding to the suspense, the medicinal dispensaries are not technically legal. At any moment the county or city has the authority to raid and confiscate all the cannabis products and revenue. For this reason, dispensaries maintain low inventories and reduced cash storage on the premises in case a raid happens. Couriers transport products and cash to-and-from safe-houses or small warehouses to dispensaries to keep the shelves and cash registers at near-empty status.

  7. Servetus says:

    A criminal justice professor at the University of Kent, Dr. Alex Stevens, has demonstrated that a favorite anti-marijuana claim made by cannabis prohibitionists is in error due to a problem with an analysis on numerical data in 2015. The article is published in the International Journal of Drug Policy :

    19-FEB-2019—University of Kent researchers found no evidence that teenage cannabis use is lower in countries with tougher policies. […]

    Professor Stevens’s analysis of the data found no association between a country having a more liberal policy on cannabis use and higher rates of teenage cannabis use. The analysis controlled for differences between the countries, including their national income, and between the teenagers, including their gender, their affluence and psychological problems.

    The new study was undertaken in response to a 2015 study that had concluded there was an association between policy liberalisation and a higher likelihood of adolescent cannabis use. This study has been used in the past to justify calls for tougher policies for cannabis use.

    However, Professor Stevens found this was based on a misinterpretation of that study’s own numerical results. When taking into account the differences in cannabis use between boys and girls in different countries, and using more of the available data, a statistically significant association between policy liberalisation and adolescent cannabis use cannot be found.

    Professor Stevens said: ‘My new study joins several others which show no evidence of a link between tougher penalties and lower cannabis use.’ […]

    AAAS Public Release: No evidence tougher policies deter adolescent cannabis use

  8. WalStMonky says:


    The President of the American Bankers’ Association has requested an end to cannabis related banking stupidity. It’s good news but gave me a severe case of cognitive dissonance. That’s because my wife had worked there since 4/20/1981 until she retired on 4/20/2017 (no doubt that’s kismet.) Let’s just say that ABA was not 420 friendly when she worked there and leave it there.

    End the cannabis banking problem

    While banks generally do not take a position on legalization of marijuana, they respect the decisions made by voters in the states where it has been legalized. Those voters had weighed the societal and cultural issues that come with legalization, and they made their decision. Instead, the industry is focused on the impact of the gap between state and federal laws on banks and their ability to serve those in their communities.

    The hearing underscored the risk to public safety, financial accountability, and the efficient collection of taxes. It is time for Congress to reconcile that divide so financial institutions have the certainty they need to serve businesses that are legal in their states. It is a position banks do not take lightly, and it reflects feedback received from banks across the country. An industry survey found that 99 percent of respondents want Congress to bridge the divide between state and federal laws, regardless of whether they operate in a state that has legalized cannabis or whether they intend to serve the industry. Banks simply want the cannabis conundrum to end so they can serve their customers and communities as they always have.

    It is not just banks asking for lawmakers to take action. A bipartisan group of 19 state attorneys general last year asked Congress to reconcile the gap between state and federal laws. In a letter to lawmakers, they argued that bringing cannabis businesses into the banking system would improve accountability and increase public safety. Without relief from Congress, even banks that have decided not to serve cannabis businesses will find themselves caught in the financial web created by this booming industry. The money from cannabis businesses often goes to vendors, landlords, and employees, while the federal criminal association follows that cash.

    It really does give me a warm fuzzy when I see outsiders call it cannabis. Smile people, it won’t be long before they say uncle.

  9. kaptinemo says:

    It really does give me a warm fuzzy when I see outsiders call it cannabis.

    Just as hearing and seeing in print the coupling of the word ‘prohibition’ to the word ‘cannabis’ gives me one, as well. Doing so has markedly changed the playing field…in reform’s favor.

    Nowadays you rarely hear the word ‘cannabis’ without hearing the p-word attached to it, immediately afterward. Once the connection was made, there was no turning back. And all of it was thanks to reformer’s efforts.

  10. DdC says:

    How times have changed?

    The Oscars gift bags are full of THC, CBD,
    and therapy to calm stressed-out celebs

    Social Cannabis Consumption Taking Off
    in California and Colorado

    Barneys New York To Launch “The High End”
    Luxury Cannabis Lifestyle Shop in
    Beverly Hills Flagship and Barney’

    “Cannabis eau de parfum 100ml” $165
    “Canvas Sneakers $595”

    Gov. Newsom to Deploy the National Guard
    Against Marijuana Grows in California
    Humboldt County sheriff William Honsal told NBC news, “We’re seeing a reduced amount of trespass grows on public land in the last few years. We’ve had to actually turn away help because we don’t see the trespass grows the way we used to.” The sheriff said cartels are “pulling out” of the business to focus on methamphetamine and heroin trafficking.

    The federal Domestic Cannabis Eradication program claims to have removed 2.5 million marijuana plants in California in 2017, down from 3.8 million in 2016. That program also hit a peak in 2009 when 7.5 million plants were reportedly taken.

    So Newsence takes the pot tax to fund CAMP to bust those who can’t afford the over taxed and regulated dispensaries. Or those in situations where association would bring hardship, keeping their names off of government lists. While they admit eradicating millions of plants and not one went to those who couldn’t afford the dispensaries. Ganjawar still being waged from Nixon’s poppycock.

    FDA on CBD Edible Crackdown:
    We Will Continue to “Closely Scrutinize”

    Since its inception the FDA refused to test Cannabis. After IOM medical studies they never started research. Now they want to hinder the industry with more stalling and drug worrier nitpicking. Its just another plant.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Spoke Out On
    Weed Legalization and Racial Justice
    in Congressional Hearings
    ’73% of cannabis executives in Colorado and Washington are male, 81% are white.’ — The legal cannabis industry is not righting the wrongs of the war on drugs and @AOC is on it.

    “Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?”
    ― Bill Hicks

  11. DdC says:

    Who’d a thunk it?

    Researchers Prove Munchies are Real,
    Then Reveal Most Popular Stoner Snacks

    Cachexia (Wasting Syndrome) and Medical Cannabis
    Recent studies point to medicinal cannabis as helpful in treating cachexia (wasting syndrome).

    Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome
    Medical cannabis contains cannabinoids that are proven to be effective in increasing appetite by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

    Wasting Obesity on Ganja

    ☛ Oh but remember the daze of Klintoon & McCzarbarry?

    ☛ Thalidomide studied as weight therapy
    Thalidomide for treating HIV/AIDS-related weight loss
    is now being offered by Celgene Corporation.

    ☛ Thalidomide v Cannabis
    “Celgene has also represented to physicians that Thalomid can be used to treat various cancers, for cancer patient ‘weight loss,’ and to promote a feeling of’general well-being’ in these same patients.”


    Anything But Cannabis!

  12. Servetus says:

    A unanimous US Supreme Court decision in a drug case is intended to limit abuses inherent in civil asset forfeitures on a national scale, however it will be up to local law enforcement and legislators to clean up their act to meet constitutional standards. The authoritarians are not expected to relinquish their authority or power voluntarily:

    Feb 20, 2019 — The decision in Timbs v. Indiana means change is on the wind for the widespread and chronically abused law enforcement tactic of civil asset forfeiture. It will also have sweeping implications for other monetary punishments levied by state and local governments, including the grubby spiderweb of municipal court fines whose cumulative effect is to make poverty itself a jailable offense in many jurisdictions.

    But though the unanimous ruling gives defendants a powerful new tool to combat abusive practices by local cops and fine-happy judges, it is not a self-executing change. There will be no lightswitch moment when people simply stop being victimized by abusive forfeiture actions like the one that led to Tyson Timbs’ $42,000 Land Rover being confiscated by Indiana officials in 2013. […]

    Law enforcement groups have virulently opposed past efforts to curb the abuse potential baked into a system where people with guns and badges get materially rewarded from illegitimate thefts of private property. Though the national Fraternal Order of Police often touts its support for the final version of a federal forfeiture reform package passed in the 1990s, the FOP only got on board after securing changes to the original bill that made it ineffectual in the eyes of forfeiture critics.

    “It’s not because police officers and prosecutors are evil, but because lawmakers have put them in a position where they’re trying to fund their operations by taking property from people. Sometimes without even convicting them of a crime,” said Hottot.

    “Nothing motivates a person to lobby for their interests more than money. And police and prosecutors are a very powerful lobby at state legislatures.” […]

    …the Eighth Amendment’s “excessive fines clause” applies in state and local courts not just federal ones. […]

    It’s not police or prosecutors who are evil, but the lawmakers who instigated asset forfeitures knowing such policies would be abused and to what effect. Such determinations have been available for decades, or even centuries if asset forfeitures are considered that were employed by the European inquisitions resulting in similar abuses and corruption.

  13. Servetus says:

    The use of illicit drugs by certain people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is shown to be associated with an attempt to self-medicate. Darkcycle’s previous postings that discussed the use of psychoactive substances by people with mental disorders to self-medicate continues to be supported by new scientific evidence:

    25-Feb-2019—Some variations in the gene LPHN3—associated with … ADHD in kids and adults—could favour likelihood to smoke, consume alcohol, cannabis and other addictive substances, according to an article published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, from the Nature Publishing Group.

    The findings are based on the study of around 2,700 patients—children, adolescents and adults- from the United States, Colombia and Spain […]

    Not all those affected by ADHD show behaviours with an addictive profile over their lives. “We now know genetics play an important role in these behaviours. This helps us to prevent future risks in kids and adults with ADHD and to improve prevention strategies. However, ADHD genetics are diverse, there are many involved genes and these vary among the patients with the disorder”, notes Cormand.

    75 % of ADHD has a genetic base and the remaining 25 % is related to environmental factors which can vary, according to the experts. Therefore, external factors can be relevant in the appearance of addictive behaviours in people with ADHD. For example, certain lifestyles or social interactions can play an important role.

    “Also, cocaine and other addictive substances—warns Cormand—have a psychostimulant action similar to the one in the main pharmacological treatment for ADHD. This would explain why, in some cases, these are used by the affected people as self-medication for its apparently ‘beneficial’ effects”. […]

    Psychological and pharmacological treatment and psychopedagogical intervention are the combined strategies that are most efficient in ADHD treatment. In the future, we will need new clinical studies to analyse the importance of genetics in ADHD susceptibility and addictive behaviours which can affect the patient’s health. […]

    AAAS Public Release: A gene involved in ADHD could be related to addictive substance use

    If people self-medicate using cannabis compounds to treat observed or non-observed symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia in the same way they do for ADHD, then prohibitionists’ theories that cannabis causes psychoses do not explain what is observed. Psychosis can emerge without the use of drugs.

    • darkcycle says:

      We’ve suspected this for decades, at least as far as the development of psychoses are concerned. These disorders don’t start with the first identification and treatment of the illness. These people have in almost every case been experiencing symptoms, sometimes for decades before their “first break”. Drugs are often an attempt to control the symptoms that may have been undetected by others. Now, it may hold true for ADHD. Again, not surprising. If ADHD folks seem to be more prone to abusing stimulant drugs, it would fully fit the hypothesis. Going to have to read the full study.

  14. Servetus says:

    Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) measured the real-time effects of cannabis used in therapy employing ReleafApp:

    26-Feb-2019…Contrary to popular media-reports and scientific dogma, the psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” showed the strongest correlation with therapeutic relief and far less evidence for the benefits of relying on the more socially acceptable chemical, cannabidiol or “CBD.”

    In a new study titled, “The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief,” published in the journal Scientific Reports, UNM researchers Sarah See Stith, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, and Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, found that THC and CBD contents were the most important factor for optimizing symptom relief for a wide variety of health conditions.

    The findings were based on the largest database of real-time measurements of the effects of cannabis in the United States, collected with the ReleafApp, developed by co-authors Franco Brockelman, Keenan Keeling and Branden Hall. […]

    AAAS Public Release: THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought: UNM researchers measure product characteristics and associated effects with mobile app

  15. Mouthy says:

    When drug money still exists and is used to fund bad people, then all who support not legalizing Crystal Meth, heroin, etc, are Anti-The Me Too Movement in regards to sexual assault. So, when an adult doesn’t support the legalization of drugs, and the existence of drug laws creates drug money and that drug money is used to harm via sexual assault, then all who don’t support legalizing drugs or donating a bulk of their income to ‘negate’ drug money’s harms are “Pro-Rape”. And they have the lifestyle to prove it. If I think keeping heroin illegal is rational, while the drug laws create violent drug money, then the personal choice to not donate 2/3 of my income is the choice to condone and support harm. To support the law is to take ownership and full pride in its outcome . . . the outcome of the law is a reflection of the person who supports it.

    Why 2/3 of their income? Simple: Drug money for less than $3000 U.S. dollars is well more than enough to buy a mini-heat seeking rocket that were fairly common and used against us in Iraq. Said rocket ($3000) could destroy a Blackhawk helicopter costing well over $1 million. Likewise the amount of rape would increase if said rapist was well funded.

    When a child is in the process of being brutalized by the consequences of the law, they are in no way concerned with ‘your’ bills, therefore the person who supports keeping drugs illegal has no bills to pay and they have no excuse to not donate the bulk of their income to at least negating some of that damage.

    If giving a man money for the purpose of killing another makes me guilty of murder myself, then someone who supports the drug laws and pays taxes are guilty of rape. That is how most cops have conducted some form of sexual assault on minors and adults.

    Simply being a drooling junkie on my couch will create less harm to children than said cop enforcing the law to keep heroin illegal. It is morally superior to be a junkie than to be a financial backer of child molesting terrorists. Cops equal the end results of the drug laws: terrorism, corruption, gangs, rape, murder, theft, recession, pollution, torture, etc. And the bad things of the laws are what is in their hearts, unless said cop donates 2/3 of their entire income as a way to say “I don’t condone junkies or rape/violence” To arrest a drug users and nothing more is to simply condone rape and violence.

  16. Servetus says:

    The structure of the CB2 cannabinoid receptor has been identified by an international research team funded by the Russian Science Foundation:

    27-Feb-2019 – A Chinese research team joined forces with Russian and U.S. biologists to obtain the crystal structure of the human type 2 cannabinoid receptor. Their findings will help develop drugs against inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and other diseases. The authors of the paper in Cell compare the newly discovered structure to that of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor, deeming the two receptors to be the “yin and yang” of the human endocannabinoid system.

    Drugs rely on knowing receptor structure

    The two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, belong to the so-called endocannabinoid system. This refers to a signaling system in the human body that regulates biological processes such as metabolism, pain sensation, neuronal activity, immune function, and so on. It has been shown that the cannabinoid receptors can be targeted to alleviate certain pathological conditions, including chronic pain.

    While the CB1 receptors are mostly found in the nervous system and are responsible for psychoactive effects, the CB2 receptors are predominantly present in the immune system. Studies indicate that CB2 is a promising target for immunotherapy, as well as treating inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and neurodegenerative diseases. It has also been shown that molecules blocking CB2 can reduce tumor growth.

    To effectively treat pathological conditions, drugs need to specifically target CB1 or CB2. However, the two receptors are very much alike. The amino acid sequences that encode them are 44 percent identical. So developing a selective medicine requires knowing the structure of both targets in great detail. Unlike CB1, the structure of CB2 has remained unknown up until now. […]

    Receptor structure discovery enables smarter drugs

    The researchers contrasted the structure of CB2 with that of CB1. They concluded that substances activating one of the receptors can actually weaken or inhibit the other, and vice versa. This opens up a possibility not just for drugs that target exclusively one receptor, but those that affect both receptors, but in different ways. Figure 2 shows the therapeutic implications.

    “Every G protein-coupled receptor structure that is discovered has prospects for rational design of more efficient drugs,” study co-author Petr Popov explains. “Now that the structures of both cannabinoid receptors are known, we can design selective compounds targeting only one of the receptors, as well as agents with a desired polypharmacological profile targeting both receptors at once.”

    AAAS Public Release: Study reveals the structure of the 2nd human cannabinoid receptor: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

  17. DdC says:

    Forget Growing Weed—Make Yeast Spit Out CBD and THC Instead

    Complete biosynthesis of cannabinoids and their unnatural analogues in yeast

  18. Servetus says:

    DMT microdose studies in rats produce unusual results compared to humans. Research at University California Davis conducted by David Olson, assistant professor in the departments of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, concludes that:

    4-Mar-2019…Although there is no well-established definition of what constitutes a microdose, people who microdose tend to follow a similar schedule, taking one-tenth of a “trip” dose every three days. The rats were treated for two weeks before beginning behavioral tests relevant to mood, anxiety and cognitive function, and tests were completed during the two-day period between doses.

    Olson’s group found DMT microdosing helped rats to overcome a “fear response” in a test considered to be a model of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans. The researchers also documented reduced immobility in an experiment that measures the effectiveness of antidepressant compounds. Less immobility is associated with antidepressant effects. In tests of cognitive function and sociability, the UC Davis researchers did not find any obvious impairments or improvements, which contrasts with human anecdotal reports. […]

    The team documented some potential risks: the dosing regimen significantly increased bodyweight in male rats, for example. It also caused neuronal atrophy in female rats. The latter change was unexpected, as previously Olson’s group reported that rats treated with a single high dose of DMT showed increased neuronal growth. The results suggest an acute hallucinogenic dose and chronic, intermittent low doses of DMT produce very different biochemical and structural phenotypes, Olson said.

    Despite the potential adverse effects of microdosing, the findings mean that it’s possible to decouple the hallucinogenic effects from the therapeutic properties of these compounds.

    “Our study demonstrates that psychedelics can produce beneficial behavioral effects without drastically altering perception, which is a critical step towards producing viable medicines inspired by these compounds,” Olson said. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Psychedelic microdosing in rats shows beneficial effects
    UC Davis: Image of DMT crystals

  19. Servetus says:

    Research funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation, the Danish Ministry for Social Affairs and the Interior and the UK Medical Research Council, and supported by NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, has discovered a new biomarker for people prone to addictions:

    4-Mar-2019—…In a study published today in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, a team of researchers … has shown a strong association between increased behavioural impulsivity in young adults and abnormalities in nerve cells in the putamen, a key brain region involved in addictive disorders.

    As part of the study, 99 young adults aged 16 to 26 carried out a computer-based measure of impulsivity. The researchers also scanned the volunteers’ brains using a sequence that is sensitive to myelin content. Myelin is a protein-rich sheath that coats the axis of a nerve cell, analogous to the plastic coating that surrounds electrical wiring, and is essential to fast nerve conduction in the brain and body.

    The team found that those young adults who displayed higher measures of behavioural impulsivity also had lower levels of myelin in the putamen. This work builds on similar findings in rodent models of impulsivity from scientists at Cambridge and elsewhere.

    “People who show heightened impulsivity are more likely to experience a number of mental health issues, including substance and behavioural addictions, eating disorders, and ADHD,” says Dr Camilla Nord of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, lead author on the study.

    This suggests that impulsivity is an ‘endophenotype’, say the researchers; in other words, a set of behavioural and brain changes that increases people’s general risk for developing a group of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

    “We know that most mental health symptoms are not specific to particular disorders,” says Dr Nord. “This work provides an important piece of the puzzle in establishing brain signatures that are general across a number of mental health disorders, rather than specific to any single one.”

    The putamen is a key brain hub in addiction, sending dopamine signals elsewhere in the brain, and helping mediate how impulsively we behave. “The significance of decreased myelination implies there are tiny microstructural changes in this part of the brain affecting its function, and thereby affecting impulsivity,” says senior author Dr Valerie Voon, also from Cambridge.

    “The degree of myelination alters the speed and efficiency of neuronal communication, meaning that if a population has decreased myelination only in one particular region, as we show, there is something highly local about any changes in neural speed and efficiency,” add co-author Dr Seung-Goo Kim.

    Although it is not possible to say definitely whether the decreased myelination causes individuals to behave impulsively, the fact that all participants were healthy and had not been diagnosed with addiction or any other psychiatric diagnosis suggests a more causal link than has been demonstrated in previous studies.

    In future, the finding may help in predicting an individual’s risk of developing a problem with addiction, say the researchers, but they caution that this would require further research and testing.

    AAAS Public Release: Young people at risk of addiction have differences in key brain region

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