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MAPS - Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
"Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century"
Presented by MAPS in collaboration with: the Heffter Research Institute, The Counsil on Spiritual Practices & The Beckeley Foundation
Sponsor a video from Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century and have your name appear here.
Andrew Weil M.D. The future of Psychedelic and Medical Marijuana Research
Hello, good afternoon
and hi to all you folks in far away Rhode Island
It's a pleasure to be here. I thought I was gonna be here virtually,
but Rick Doblin arranged to get me a ride down from
St. Rafael and a ride back to the San Francisco Airport immediately after my talk
so I'm happy to be here in person
Now, I should say at the beggining that I'm
in some ways not the best person to give you any
prognostications or thoughts about where things are going because
when I did human esperiments with marijuana in 1968
I thought that marijuana would be legalized in ten years
I thought it was just a matter of getting truthfull information out to people because the
laws and attitudes were based on such wrong assumptions
about marijuana and about psychedelics
but I quickly learned that's not the case
In fact people believe what they wanna believe and don't believe what they don't want to
despite what the facts are and what the evidence are
and I've seen the same thing again in trying to change the medical paradigm
and trying to change medical education
there are many people that believe that the way to change things
is by doing research and producing data
I can tell you in medicine that's not the case
we even have very good data showing that doctors don't change their practices
based on the results of randomized control trials
The Integrative Medicine center that I founded and directed in the Arizona
in the University of Arizona College of Medicine
is now a center of excellence at the University of Arizona
and a world leader in training physicians and health professionals
in a new model of medicine
I'll talk to you about that in a moment
and the reason that we were able to do this was the support of one man
Jim Dolan who was the dean of the college of medicine
who was the first medical school dean to go out and support something of this kind
he retired a few years ago and said that
his proudest accomplishment was the Integrative Medicine Center
and he also said that, and I think this is a lesson for all of us
the way doctors and medical scientists react to new information
is more a function of it's source than it's content
that if information comes from an unfamiliar source the instinctive reaction is
one of defensiveness, exclusion and reaction
against it. And the example that he liked to use, which I think is very apt
is that the observation that aspirin was
an anticoagulant and might be useful on preventing heart attacks
was first made on the 1950's
by a general practitioner in southern California
this was the time when tonsillectomy was universal
you couldn't make it through adolescence with your tonsils and adenoids
if you were in a middle class family
and it was common practice to give kids aspergon to chew, a chewable form of aspirin
and this doctor noticed that kids that chewed aspergon had more and longer bleeding than kids who didn't
so he though maybe aspirin is a blood thinner and he began
taking it himself and noticed that when he cut himself shaving that the cuts bled longer
so he gave this to a number of his patients, satisfied himself that this was a reasonable
hypothesis, which he published on a journal of general practice
with the suggestion that aspirin might be usefull as a preventer for heart attacks
it took 30 years for cardiologists to recognize the validity of that hypothesis
and test it. The reason was that it was proposed by a general practitioner, not by a cardiologist
and was published in a Journal that cardiologists don't think much of
now that's within the realm of medicine, imagine when information about these things
comes from more distant and more foreign sources
like shamans in exotic cultures
And I think this is what we really have to understand
that the reason that the drugs that we're interested in
provokes so much controversy
the reason that they've stimulated the kind of backlash that
has forded research and clinical use
is fundamentally emotional and irrational
it's not something you can deal with through argument and scientific information
It's a matter of changing the culture and attitudes
The problem with marijuana is that it has still not
outgrown its associations in this culture
with ousiders, deviants, subcultures that are not considered part of the mainstream
it entered north american society through two routes
through black jazz musicians in the south, New Orleans
through mexican migrant workers that came in through the southern border
in the 1950's it was associated with beatniks
then in the 60's with this massive counterculture that grew up
it's those associations of marijuana that cause mainstream America to react against it
and this continues to persist
I'm delighted to see that there is now opening in the world of psychedelic research
I mean something clearly has changed there
it hasn't yet changed with marijuana
that's unfortunate. I'm very disappointed that our president
has not done more to support the change in the medical marijuana list
applause
but we have an opening at the moment with psychedelics which
which is both surprising, welcome, is something we wanna work with and
and I'm very pleased to see the kinds of research that have been done
I also have to tell you that over the years as I've looked at the potentials and dangers
of psychedelic drugs and their possibilities for clinical applications
I've been somewhat puzzled by several things about it
first of all, in purely medical terms
these drugs, specially the indol psychedelics
have probably the least toxicity of any pharmacological agents that we now
as you know, there have been no deaths reported with LSD, directly caused by it's
pharmacological action, except in one elephant. I'm sure most of you know that horrible story
if not you can look it up
The striking absence of toxicity of these agents
combined with their tremendous power to alter perception, and the mind-body access
certainly recommends them for research in clinical use
but I have to tell you that I've been puzzled, by the way I should say that the other category of
psychedelics, the phenetilamines, have somewhat greater toxicity
because of their adrenergic stimulant properties
that puts them into a somewhat different class, but still these are quite safe agents
compared to most of the drugs that are routinely prescribed in medicine today
What puzzles me about psychedelic research over the years
in contrast with my own experience with them
is that almost all of it has focused on psychological potentials
initially with things like helping people with end-of-life issues, or with PTSD
my interest has always been in what we call the psychosomatic potential of these drugs
that is their potential to change bodily processes
and physical disease as a result of, or taking advantage of the mind-body connection
so, let me say a word about integrative medicine and the philosophy of medicine that I teach
and have always practiced
in the popular mind integrative medicine is
the intelligent combination of conventional and alternative medicine,
but really that's a very narrow definition of it, the much broader way of looking at it
which I firmly believe represents the future of medicine and a solution to our current health-care crisis
it's working fore some very big changes in conventional medical thinking
the first is to restore the focus of medicine on the health and healing
and to acknowledge, respect and take advantage of the human organism tremendous
potential for self-diagnosis and self-regulation, regeneration, repair, adaptation
to me that's the most wonderful feature of human biology, that our
bodies have the ability to know when they have suffered injury or damage
to repair themselves, and this is not mystical, this is biology
you can observe this on any level of biological organization, from DNA on up
the DNA is a huge macromolecule that's on the border between life and non-life
has the potential within it to know when it has been injured by an ultraviolet ray
and immediately begins to elaborate specific repair enzimes to repair the damage
and that same potential you can see whetter you look to organeles, cells, tissues, organs and
the whole organism, and that's where good medicine should start
The second broad principle of integrative medicine is our insistence that
human beings are more than physical bodies
we are also mental-emotional beings
spiritual entities, community members
those other dimensions of human life are incredibly relevant to understanding health and illness
if you cut them of and only look at the physical body
not only do you cut yourself of from an understanding of the real causes of health and illness
but you also limit your treatment interventions
to those directed at the physical body which are the ones that tend to be most expensive and
most invasive and most productive of harm and often quite limited in their ability to change
physical conditions. The third principle of integrative medicine is that
we pay attention to all aspects of lifestyle
to understand health and illness
and I think this is where integrative medicine really shines in delivering true preventive care
and health promotion, something that's very relevant to the health-care debate
that we're looking through
and also integrative medicine places great emphasis in the practitioner-patient relationship
which has suffered horribly in the present era for-profit medicine
throughout history and in most cultures
that relationship has been recognized as special, even sacred
something magical can happen when a medically trained person
sits with a patient and simply allows that person to tell their story
that alone can initiate a healing response before any specific treatment suggestions are given
and also over the years that has been the source of the greatest emotional reward of practicing medicine
and it's complete undermining in the era of manage caring for-profit medicine
is one reason why so many physicians today are unhappy and so many are leaving
or have left the practice of medicine
and then finally integrative medicine is willing to look at all therapeutic options out there
specially those that don't cause harm and show reasonable evidence of efficacy
there's so much that's not even on our radar screen of conventional medicine that we can bring in
among them the targeted use of psychedelic therapy
Now, what has puzzled me in looking at
this focus of psychedelic research on the psychological
and the omission of the physical
is that in my own experience, both in my personal life and working with patients
and discussing this with great many users of psychedelics
I have observed, seen, experienced, collected many individual case reports of
quite spectacular healing reactions of serious diseases
and these healing reactions were catalysed by a change in perception
that was triggered by a psychedelic experience, sometimes deliberately by a
therapist who guided the session in a certain direction
sometimes quite fortuitously
and I'll just give you a couple of examples of what I mean
the first one is something that I have published
some years ago 60 minutes did an in-depth piece on me which was supposed to be friendly and wasn't
and I told the interviewer this story which was incidental and in three days of interviewing about integrative medicine
and they sent out a press release with this as the headline, this was the story that they used so
and the story was that Dr. Weil claims that LSD cured his cat allergies
all right
it did, and here's the story
I was very allergic as a kid, in all sorts of ways, I had hay fever, I've got hives in response to various drugs and things
I was allergic for a lot of my life, and one of the allergies I had was to cats and
whenever a cat got near me my eyes would itch, my nose would run, if I touched the cat
it's got much worse and if a cat licked me I've got hives where it licked me
I had in my mind a mindset that I was allergic to cats and therefore
I didn't want them in my presence, and if a cat came near me
I would either push it away or withdraw myself, so there was a deep
ingrained defensiveness in my interactions with cats
one day, when I was 28, and was making a lot of changes in my life
I took LSD with some friends, I was living in a countryside in Virginia, it was beautiful springday
I was in a terrific space, everything was wonderful, the world was magical
everything was alive, and into this scene a cat bounded
and jumped in my lap and I had a split-second of the habitual reaction and
suddenly I decided this was silly, why did I have to do this?
so I started petting the cat, playing with the cat, the cat licked me, I had no reaction to the cat
I have never had a reaction with cats since!
and that was almost fourty years ago
applause
Now, that's pretty spectacular
As a physician I would love to know what happened there
and I would love to know how to make that happen in another people
Anyway, I'll tell you one that's even more spectacular which I haven't written about
and this was roughly in the same time period. Another mindset that I had grown up with all my life
was that I had fair skin and that I couldn't get tann
and I was always told this, you have fair skin
so, whenever I went to the beach my experience was a second degree sunburn
completely red and then going home and putting nazimo all over my body
and then sheets of skin would peel off several days later
that was how I reacted to the sun and I had accepted in my mind this is the way I react to the sun
so also in this same period when I was doing this experiments, I guess I was also 28 and
this was also in Virginia and another time I took LSD and there was a wonderful space
and I was running around without any clothes on and I was decided that it was such a nice day
I was going to lie out in the sun, and I remember thinking
why should I think that the sun is my enemy?
why can't I simply enjoy the sun and be in it
I got tann instantly!
and I have ever since
I now live in southern Arizona, I've spent 30 years in the desert
I develop wonderful tanns, I've never had sunburns like that. An instant change
in a pattern that had lasted 28 years, that's pretty spectacular
How did that happen? What's the mechanism of this?
I don't think this is magic, it's wonderful, but there has to be a physiological mechanism for that
which is in some ways, to me, a little more interesting and harder to understand than
the disappearance of an allergic reaction
Allergies come and go and I've always taught patients that allergies are learned reactions
and anything that's learned can be unlearned
and that to me is the most interesting thing about allergies
There's very interesting stuff in the mind-body literature about allergies
you can show a person who has a strong allergic reaction to roses
a plastic rose and they'll have an allergic reaction
so that shows that the higher brain is involved in this process
and there may be many ways to produce these changes or to break that
but the potential for psychedelics to be used in this way are great
I can imagine in some era when psychedelics are available for medical use
maybe you can open an allergy clinic and you can have ten structured sessions
an on the first session a person would take an ordinary dose of one of these things
and if necessary they could come back and each time the dose would be cut down
until at the last session they wouldn't take anything
but the pill would look like the same. And then you tell them they're not taking anything active and they go without the allergy
Now, even extending this further, I've also collected over the years
some very dramatic cases in sum that I have been personally involved
people with chronic autoimmune disorders, specially rheumathoid arthrithis,
also lupus, also multiple sclerosis,
in which the same kinds of things have happened,
where there was a dramatic shift related to the psychedelic experience
sometimes a single use, sometimes a multiple use
in which the condition disappeared
it seems to me, and I just can't imagine anything of greater interest
and that puzzles me that researchers have not looked at this aspect of psychedelics
and one thing that would be useful would be try to collect case reports of this kind
So one thing that I would ask you and for you to ask your friends, if you know
anyone that has had experiences of this sort, send them at MAPS for example,
so we could begin to collect this kind of information in a systematic fashion
and if we had a body of this kind of information it might inspire researchers in this area
to begin thinking how they might set up experiments to do this
That principle of integrative medicine that I've talked about
we're not just physical bodies, we're also mental emotional beings, and spiritual entities and community members
the meaning of that is that all disease, like all health
is a matter of all of these factors being involved, and in any medical condition
there is a possibility of using the mind-body connection, the emotional connection
to change a disease process for the better
We have lots of potential interventions to do that, there's hypnosis, there's guided imagery
there are various forms of mindfulness meditation
there's a whole fascinating area of neuroscience
that's just come into being with the result of being able to visualize living brains
an a lot of this have been inspired by the Dalai Lama and a new generation of neuroscientists
who are looking at tibetan meditators and showing actual changes in brain activity
and then thinking how can this be taught to other people
I see this as a great horizon and frontier of medical research
I've always taught that all diseases are psychosomatic
but the problem is that word is so loaded that when we talk about psychosomatic conditions
most people, specially patients, think you're telling them their diseases are unreal
and that's not what psychosomatic means, the word just mean mind-body
I've suggested maybe we should use the word somatopsychic, which doesn't have the same connotation
but the fact is that's how it is and with many conditions we can totally neglect the possibility
of trying to change things by manipulating the psychic compartment
the psychedelic drugs, specially, are incredible tools for doing so
now I think one of the great obstacles to psychedelic research in the past
that complicated things, is that, as I'm sure all of you know
the experiences people have with psychedelics are exquisitely dependent on non pharmacological factors
they're dependent on people's expectations, set, and on the environment,
in the broader sense the setting in which drugs are taken
the initial people who did research with psychedelics
and showed very positive changes, like Stan Grof, like Walter Pahnke
these were people who understood from their own experiences
the nature of these drugs, and their dependence on set and setting
Their belief system and the way that they were able to structure the settings,
the laboratory settings in which they did research
shaped experiences in a certain direction
other researches who did not have those experiences
did not have that understanding, read the results of the research
tried to reproduce them and didn't get the same results
because they thought the drugs were magic bullets
that the drug contains the experience that would automatically do the thing that's reported in the literature
and when the results didn't come back that way, they said well, the drugs aren't any good
So, apart from all the moralistic stuff and all the cultural irrationality
that forded psychedelic research I think this is in a way even a greater stomping block
because these drugs don't work in the way that the pharmacological agents most of researchers work with do
The magic potential is not entirely in the pharmacological action
and unless researchers understand this
the likelihood of producing the kinds of positive changes
that will get more people interested and may lead to a cultural change
about the potential benefits of these drugs, this is not gonna be realised
I wanna also say some words about marijuana, which is a very different beast form psychedelics
this is not related chemically or pharmacologically to the psychedelics
although it often travels with them in the same company
but it's a completely different thing
and it has it's own problems and difficulties
cannabinoid chemistry is unique in nature, these substances are unlike
really any other chemicals that we are familiar with
one of the things that sets them apart from most drugs, both medical and psychoactive that we know
is that they're fat soluble not water soluble
that is a big problem, that means these drugs are not absorbed and distributed in the body
in ways that we are familiar with. It's not easy to predict their metabolic fate and
their pathways around the body because of their fat solubility
another problem with marijuana is that there is extreme variation in individual sensitivity to it
and that is very confounding for people who are looking for substances that produce predictable effects
on a practical level, in looking at what's happening with medical marijuana around the country
I think until there's a way of cleanly separating medical use from recreational use
that it's going to be very difficult to have the medical profession accept marijuana as a therapeutic agent
the way that marijuana is currently being dispensed in California
and the way that most medical marijuana is being used
there's a very fuzzy boundary between that and recreational use
also I can't imagine most of my medical colleagues being comfortable with recommending
a therapeutic agent that has to be consumed in the form of smoke to be inhaled
That just doesn't work
I would love to see a whole extract of cannabis that was available for medical use in a form
that was more familiar to physicians and to pharmacists
as I'm sure you may know there is such a form available in the UK
called Sativex, this is a whole cannabis extract to be sprayed
into the mouth under the tongue, it's an oral spray
it looks like a medical preparation, it's packaged like a medical preparation,
it would be accepted as a medical preparation, it's very annoying that it's not available here
and this would be a great thing for people working in the area of medical marijuana to concentrate on
an to work to make it available here. I think that would go a long way to increase acceptance of this agent
with marijuana also the tremendous advantage of it and the reason for investigating it's clinical
potentials is it's almost complete abscence of toxicity
you can't kill people with marijuana
there was I remember years ago seeing some experiments in cats
which if you could extrapolate to humans would suggest that the letal dose
might be a pound and a half of marijuana consumed orally at one time
in pharmacology and medicine you calculate the safety of a drug with a quantity
called the therapeutic ratio which is the ratio of the dose that begins to produce toxicicity to the dose that you want
and for many drugs that we use in clinical practice that ratio is not that high
two to three or four or five times the dose that is used to produce a therapeutic effect
is enough to begin to cause toxicity. You can't calculate the therapeutic ratio for marijuana
it's not calculable. So just for that reason alone we should be looking for ways to use it
let alone the fact that throughout history there have been many people who
have testified to benefits that they received for using marijuana for various conditions
Personally I think the frontier of cannabis research that to me is most exciting
is the possibility at looking to these strange molecules, these cannabinoids
an specially looking at analogs of them that may be developed in the future
that can be used both as tools for brain research, for understanding how the brain receives and
interprets information, because to me this is one of the most interesting things about cannabis
how it changes perception, how it can make ordinary experiences appear novel
how it can change focus of attention. I can see great potential here in using these drugs as tools
in mind-brain research. I think the other area that fascinates me is looking at
these compounds or analogs yet to be developed for manipulating appetite, and for pain perception
I think these are two areas in which the therapeutic potential of cannabis looks very powerful to me
the appetite stuff, there has been some efforts in this direction at the moment which
are certainly not there yet, but this is probably the greatest public health-care crisis facing us
in this day and age is the obesity epidemic that we are seeing
the root of this is the nature in which we have changed food
I was just on a panel yesterday with Dr. David Kessler, former head of the FDA
he's written a book called "The end of overeating"
and his main argument is that the foods that we have today are designed to activate the brain
and that we're helpless in face of this. That food has been manipulated in ways that cause brain activation
and that this is what seems to give it so much power over us
so I don't know, maybe we're doomed in this regard. I think that's certainly an argument for
totally banning advertising of these kinds of foods
applause
but you know, another area of possible research is finding ways to increase the brain's defensiveness
against that kind of reactive activation in response to the kinds of food that are out there now
and I think there is potential in the cannabinoids to do something of that sort
and the other area is, as I said, is the modulation of pain perception
There already is a great deal of interesting research showing that cannabis can
enhance the effects of opioids, so that people with chronic pain may be able to take lower doses
of opioids which has great advantage because there are many side effects of derivatives of
opium that are not desirable, among them mental clouding, and to be able to find ways
chronic pain is such an enormous problem in clinical medicine today
it absorbs so many health-care dollars, it's so frustrating to manage
that any new tools that we can get in that area would be extremely welcome, and as I said
I think there is great potential with cannabis to do that
So, I guess in summing up and looking back on all this
although I have not been actively involved
in either psychedelic research or marijuana research for many years
I continue to be struck by the incredible positive potential of these agents
not just for manipulation of moods and emotional states but for
dealing with and changing very real, very severe chronic medical ilness
through changing the way that people interpret
or perceive the symptoms of illness that they experience
and that by doing so free up, or unlock or unblock the body's healing potential
I think the fact that we've got this opening at the moment is terrific
I think we should be careful in the way that we design experiments, the way they're publicized
but I think that looking at conditions which are not responsive to other methods
which involve lots of people, which are very costly and cause human suffering
that there is a great possibility now for getting support for doing this and
to begin to change this very very outdated and unhelpful cultural perception
that we've lived with for far too long
So thank you I'm gonna stop there and I'm gonna continue with you asking some questions
applause
I think that the whole field of mind-body research and mind-body medicine is
coming into it's own in a way that it never has before - there's a novel lot of
close it? Ok right. Bye
That was very satisfying
You know, I have a friend and colleague who is now in his 80's who was
a very eminent endocrinologist and who was one of the founders and
main movers of the field of psychosomatic medicine in the 1950's and 1960's and he
said to me that he looks back and wonders why that field never went anywhere. Now there's
all this tremendous amount of research being done, what happened to field of psychosomatic medicine?
and I said to him, I think the time was wrong, it was ahead of it's time and
things were not ready, the ground had not been laid to the acceptance of that
and I think that's all being completely swept aside by this new field of mind-body medicine
which is getting very strong support from the neurosciences. I think the ability to
visualize living brains has done more to make studies of consciousness and altered states of consciousness
valid and real than any amount of argument about it
now you can show that people in certain states of consciousness that brain function is different
and you can find specific localities in the brain where function is different
even in an area that I've been most interested in, the placebo responses
there's a whole new, more juice going into that because
there's been studies showing that in the placebo responses there are particular areas of the brain that seems to mediate this
so I think we're on the threshold of a whole new era of mind-body studies
in which psychoneuroimmunology, psychoendocrinology, this is all part of that knife
and there is potential for psychedelics to be welcomed as tools to facilitate that research
Thank you so much for your presentation, I enjoyed tremendously
One thing, you were talking about pain and different ways to minimize the pain
physical pain, I studied a lot of mind-body connection, especially the spiritual aspects of it
and I've had tremendous results, resolving spiritual issues and how it affects you physically
how I had a horrible pain and I did this meditation, it's ending the pain meditation
and at the end you connect to your higher self and I could not believe the results
how just my neck pain that was horrendous got so much better but basically
the studies that I have been really interested in, it's a guy called Luz Ares
and I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Louis Hay where basically
Luz Ares says that a lot of the different pains in the different parts of the body
it's like coded messages from your higher consciousness that are there to teach
and to guide you in such a direction where you need healing so he talks about
regular doctors as opposed to alternative doctors and he says that
a lot of times alternative doctors essentialy do the same thing, they just go after eliminating symptom
and, so I guess my question is, sorry, have you thought about the spiritual meaning of
pain and actually resolving it like you were saying at the beginning, how much
matters resolving it through the mind rather than looking just to physical resolution
I have thought about that, there's a lot written about the spiritual meaning of pain
and the ways that people in chronic pain can learn to reinterpret it, or listen to it
or see what it has to teach them. Mindfulness based stress reduction training has
proven very valuable in working with patients in chronic pain, but again I have to tell you since I'm
really into the somatopsychics of things, the experiences that most interest me
are not just subjective perception but changes in body reaction
so, and this is another experience and I think this one I've also written about and this is with MDMA
that frequently I've had the experience of, in the MDMA state, total relax, walking barefoot
on sharp stones that would normally hurt, it doesn't hurt. OK, that part it's easy for me
to explain but what's hard to explain is why there are no impressions on my foot
normally there would be dense on my foot but there aren't in that state
so what's happening there? I mean, I can hypothesize about it but I think that when the
mind leaves the body alone that muscles can very precisely respond to things
so if there's a point of a rock pressing there the muscle right there can press back to neutralize it
That stuff really interest me, how you can change reactions, like insects things or
or being hit by something or being burned, not only does the pain change but the body's reactions change
and that's something that can be learned, and it seems to me that the commonality here
is dropping some sort of defensive stands toward the universe, that's the act of
defending oneself that in some way leads to some sort of rigidity or freezing of body's responses that
causes injury or allows injury to occur. That's the area that I would love to see research on
Dr. Weil I'm always in love with what you have to say, I just have one question
How do we get the ball rolling on legitimizing psychedelics and treatment modalities for people with real pain and suffering?
I mean, must of the knowledge has been there form the 70's, the 60's
there has to be some kind of tipping point in society, some point in the structure where
the power shifts a little bit and I'm wondering how we as ants, worker ants, army ants, little people
what we can do to see a brighter day?
In some ways as gloomy as things look out there in some ways, I think the energy
of the 60's and the energy of that period really has diffused through the culture
and it is working it's way and it seems to me that in casual conversation today
I interacted with a wide range of people talking in many different locations, I think those
attitudes are changing, that there is a greater acceptance of this and I think the ways of
specially with this kind of, look at the little bit of reports I've seen around this conference
or the reports I've seen on recent articles about the therapeutic use of psychedelics, there's a different tone than was before
I see Rick's nodding his head. I think that's true, so I am optimistic. I don't know if we're at a tipping point
but I think we're moving in the direction of it
Andrew, I used to know you years ago back in the days of hemperalism in front of the LA federal building
And in honor of Jack Herer's death yesterday, I wanna to
Yes I just heard that he died yesterday morning
yes he died yesterday morning at 11 a.m. and in honor of that I wanna to ask you your opinion
of Rick Simpson cancer treatment oil as well as Dr. Malamides research on using THC for
reduction of tumor cells as well as protecting healthy cells
Actually I did not mention that in the things I talked about, the areas of promising research
I think the other great interesting area with cannabinoids is the possibility of both preventing and treating cancer
and that's something that's completely unexpected. These are recent findings
and even protective against lung cancer and serious forms of cancer
as well as by the way protection against dementia and memory loss
Who would had ever thought?
But there it is, so again, these are novel interesting, unexpected potentials
of cannabinoids that certainly should be explored
I wanna thank you for your speech
You've mentioned that psychedelics can have psychosomatic effects on real
physical problems for the body, such as multiple sclerosis. I was wondering if you could enumerate those
psychedelics and explain a little bit more about how they have those kinds of effects
All I can tell you is at the moment I have case reports, these are people that I knew,
that were patients of mine, people that I have met, heard from
in which I am satisfied of the validity of the reports, and this is something that should be studied
with the autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, the agents that were used were variable
but typically they were LSD, I think the most common, sometimes MDMA, sometimes mushrooms
sometimes the change happened instantaneously, as with my cat allergy or the sun tann thing
sometimes it was a change that happened after, over a period of weeks or months
sometimes with repeated use of the agent, but it seems as if
you know, I don't know the mechanism, I can only speculate
but I think that the ways that the mind interacts with the body
are infinite, complex, wonderful, that there are common ways in which the habitual patterns of the mind
or the habitual patterns of the perception, get in the way of that healing mechanism that I
talked about in the beginning of the talk
Hello Doctor it's great to have you here
My question is, you said there is so much focus
on the healing aspects of these medicines, but very little to the preventive aspects of it
Also, going beyond it, to a health optimization
a lot of people I know who are using psychedelics are yoguis, movement specialists, who are some of the healthiest people I know
Albert Hofmann for example, lived over a 100
and attributed that to regular use of LSD
That's probably something we should not be widely talking about
at the time when we are trying to produce a cultural change
I agree with you, I think that's true, I think we all have seen that, we all know people that use psychedelics that way
I think that many people that I know who have been involved in the psychedelic world
feel that way. I'm concerned about advertising that widely. I think at the moment
we should concentrate more on the therapeutic potentials that I talked about
but I think that's tremendously interesting. I don't think that this culture is yet ready to hear about
health optimization through regular use of psychedelics
What prompted you to discover a weilii?
What prompted you to discover a weilii?
I did not discover the Psilocybe weilii
It was discovered by a man in Georgia and the mushroom was named for me by my friend Paul Stamets
So you don't name things for yourself in science and I was very delighted by that
but I had nothing to do with this discovery, but I'm very happy. By the way, I don't know
if you know that the word psilocybe in greek it means bald head, so that seems appropriate
Dr. Weil, I read an article maybe in Psychopharmacology in some time the past 12 months
which was concerning the existence of a polymorphism for the protein which produces monoaminoxidase
and, stated briefly, two forms of MAO one of which is more active than the other
Individuals who have the less active form are significantly more susceptible to the placebo effect
An what I'm wondering is whetter the use of monoaminoxidase inhibition in ayahuasca is
in some way modulating one's susceptibility to the placebo effect
I'm not familiar with that research, I'll look it up, that's interesting
and if so, what you say is certainly a possibility, very interesting
I am a great believer in biochemical individuality
and that's something that's absolutely ignored in conventional pharmacotherapeutics
and something that people that use drugs, people that dispense drugs to others should be very aware of
These wide range reactions, some of which is based on differential ability to metabolize
pharmacological agents. Very nice idea, I'll check it out
Dr., this is a question that comes from a little bit of personal experience
are you aware of any studies regarding the use of tryptamine psychedelics or cannabinoids
causing physical pain in people who take these compounds
Acutely at the time that they take them or over time?
During the session, for example
the personal experience I had was that I took LSD
and this is a few months after a joint surgery and
I sort of had that same feeling of pain that my shoulder was dislocating - Ah - and
even though, according to my ortho doctor it's completely stable, but I
could saw the same exact pain sensation of it's sliding out of it's socket
but it never actually happened
I have seen occasional people who have experiences like that but I'm not sure
how I would interpret them. Whether that's just that you became aware of a body memory
and I think one of the potentials of psychedelics is to help people bring into consciousness
memories, often painful memories, that have been stored in the musculature of the body
so that's a possibility
So, my question comes from second hand experience. It's about friends who are
suffering from prolonged persistence state of disorder of hallucinations
Hum-hum
I've read that the best treatment that is know of is reassuring the person because it can
go away, but they think they're still experiencing it, than it becomes a vicious cycle
Are there any new developments in that? Besides antipsychosis drugs?
I'm really not the person to ask about that. If you're talking about the general category of flashbacks
I think the less attention paid to it the better, and then they tend to go away
These are normal experiences that people have
If the drug experience was associated with anxiety, then having a memory of it can trigger anxiety
and then if you hear that this indicates brain damage
you can imagine that being a vicious cycle of anxiety
So, I always doubted that by just reassuring people that these are not significant will make it go away on their own
Thanks very much for your enthusiasm and commonness, and I think part
of the commonness, you sound sort of apolitical
but I invite you for a minute to consider the politics, let's say of
the possibility of California in the legalization of Marijuana
It almost is because the taxation issue is almost, this could be a possibility and we might have
legalized marijuana here before we have legal gameness
or single pair healthcare, amazing it, no?
Amazing
I have not been apolitical in my writings or speaking
and those of you who know my book "From chocolate to morphine"
The first sentence of that book is that wars against drugs are always lost
and the strong argument of it is that the criminal law is not an effective and appropriate way
to try to influence people's consumption of psychoactive drugs
That's the bottom line. If we have to
- applause -
How we get ourselves away from that, I don't know. There has to be a commitment
from back away from dependence on criminal law as the method of dealing with this
and that whole superstructure of law has to be dismantled and I would imagine that has to be done
in a peace meal fashion over time. Starting with the decriminalization of marijuana
or the legalization of it in appropriate amounts and finding other ways to regulate it
and eventually extending that to all other substances, and it doesn't work,
it creates immense damage, and another change that's happening in the world today
maybe correlated with this opening that we are seeing with psychedelic research
it's very interesting that there have been heads of state who have said the call for legalization of all drugs
because that they see that the damage to our societies and current system is too great
So, it's no just here in California, it's also in Mexico and some south-american countries
so it will be very interesting to watch that trend
I wanna to ask actually about the defensive education of our castes in
the food industry I think that it's been difficult to implement a ban let alone the legal issues
however I have noticed that heightened awareness and increased sensation of taste has
helped educate me a great deal about food
I've been a huge fan of the core of your work from way back to the present day
could you talk more about the connection between drug to food and medicinal diet in general?
That's a big question but just looking at the food issue, we are in big trouble with food in this country
and the only way that we're gonna get out of it is if there is a collective effort to change things
And that means that the government, private sector and individuals all have to take responsibility here
you cannot have a government telling us that we should eat better
and at the same time insuring that the cheapest calories out there are all the horrible stuff made
with refined soy bean oil and corn syrup, and it's cheap because the federal government artificially drives down the prices
of those ingredients by subsidizing corn
And there are no subsidies for fruits and vegetables
which are the most expensive things you find in stores
applause
and are full of health protective elements and are simply out of the reach of most people who
are poor in this country, including on indian reservations and the inner cities
You cannot have these big food manufacturers go around freely
making these products attractive to kids through advertising
So if we're serious about that it's gonna take changes in those areas
I think it's a huge problem and something we're gonna be forced to come to grips with
because the obesity epidemic and the type II diabetes epidemic coming right up behind it
have the potential to just take us down as a society
Thank you very much for coming
In some of your writings you describe the natural form of MDMA
and I can't remember what dose herbs were, and they were a molecule off
and I wonder if you could say
I don't think there is a natural form of MDMA. It's a semisynthetic compound
and there are various starting materials that
can be used, one is a compound called safrol, which is a natural constituent of sassafraz root
MDMA has a peculiar chemical structure called a methylene dioxide bridge which
is a nightmare to synthesize. And so, when chemists wanna make a structure
that the synthesis of which would be way too costly, time consuming
you look in nature to try to find that structure and you build on it
I remember a synthetic chemist once telling me when you want a methylene dioxide bridge
you go to god
So, these plants that contains starting materials that have that are really not psychoactive
So, I don't know anything out there in the natural world or herbal world that I would call
natural MDMA
Andy, on behalf of all the psychedelic science we appreciate you coming out today
My pleasure
applause
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The Future of Psychedelic and Medical Marijuana Research

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tom0615jay 2017 年 5 月 9 日 に公開
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