LSD really dislodges how you view the world; it cleans out your mental system, like moving a fridge and cleaning all the crap that's been swept under there over the years.
I would love if some of these prominent intellectuals like Noam Chomsky or any of the nobel prize winners did LSD. I saw a really intense movie a few days before I did mushrooms and it totally changed how I viewed the world during my mushroom trip.
I can only imagine if you've been sitting on some idea(especially a really big intense one like how humans acquire language(!)) for decades how LSD would completely alter your viewpoint.
'In mid-'60s LSD research study, dosed scientists achieved creative breakthroughs:
Over the course of the preceding year, IFAS researchers had dosed a total of 22 other men for the creativity study, including a theoretical mathematician, an electronics engineer, a furniture designer, and a commercial artist. By including only those whose jobs involved the hard sciences (the lack of a single female participant says much about mid-century career options for women), they sought to examine the effects of LSD on both visionary and analytical thinking. Such a group offered an additional bonus: Anything they produced during the study would be subsequently scrutinized by departmental chairs, zoning boards, review panels, corporate clients, and the like, thus providing a real-world, unbiased yardstick for their results.
In surveys administered shortly after their LSD-enhanced creativity sessions, the study volunteers, some of the best and brightest in their fields, sounded like tripped-out neopagans at a backwoods gathering. Their minds, they said, had blossomed and contracted with the universe. They’d beheld irregular but clean geometrical patterns glistening into infinity, felt a rightness before solutions manifested, and even shapeshifted into relevant formulas, concepts, and raw materials.
[The volunteers] remained firm: LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. But here’s the clincher. After their 5HT2A neural receptors simmered down, they remained firm: LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder, blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar properties. Fadiman and his colleagues published these jaw-dropping results and closed shop.'
In all seriousness though LSD can have long-lasting effects on your personality. Also, while it seems possible you could develop a serious mental disorder from LSD, it seems unlikely; but I base that on my first-hand experience with it.
Not everyone should try it but I hope one day Sam Harris eventually does. His insight on it would be riveting.
The experience was extremely weird. It was like the filters that my brain uses so that it can adequately process the 'live stream' from all my senses got switched off. I was subjected to to the 'live stream' in its full bit rate. I revelled in it for a while but eventually the wave was so huge that my brain shut down. No ego whilst I was in there surrounded by millions of video images almost to fast to process (memories maybe).
I have to admit though that it wasn't a pleasant experience, but for me it was an experience I wouldn't change.
This fits Salvia as well. Salvia Divinorum, for those who don't know, is another psychedelic. This time it's naturally occurring (the Salvinorin A is strongest natural hallucinogen) and doesn't smell like burnt rubber with ramen noodles. As with everything else (except programming), study before use.
Salvia can have horrendous negative feelings. A smaller dosage of DMT can produce slight anxiety. Of course, these are anecdotal experiences but I'd warn against using salvia.
I would caution against Ayahuasca too as it's intense, last hours and can be very negative unlike smoking DMT.
(And yes, I know there are numerous Ayahuasca retreats available in South America.)
I think that is true, but I think you have misidentified the actual rational behind the bans.
In Dan Baum's Smoke and Mirrors, Dan Baum has John Ehrlichman, Nixon's domestic policy advisor, admitting that heroin and weed were targeted because their use was [perceived to be] popular among black people and hippies, both groups that the 'silent majority' feared. Targeting these drugs appeased the fearful ignorant 'silent majority', and it allowed the government to actually go after and disrupt these groups.
"we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure."
I mean, do you need LSD to know the government is wasting your money and making insane legislation?
Nice red herring.
Indeed, you do not need to take LSD to know that the government is wasting money and making insane legislation. It's really pretty obvious and in the midst of a breakthrough LSD trip, you would probably find this to be a trifling, utterly irrelevant matter, and wouldn't waste too much time thinking about it.
The effects of LSD on freeing people's minds lie elsewhere, not in making people aware of the governmental abuses of power.
So please describe what these effects would be?
And please don't think when I talk about it inducing a false sense of the profound that I speak from ignorance or inexperience.
The very idea that you can discriminate true and "false" senses of the cosmic, for anybody, says a lot about where you're speaking from.
I'm absolutely not criticising anyone's experience of LSD, but I'm not sure either why you refuse to contemplate that there could an inebriant and hallucinogenic component to acid that can result in just as much drivel as you get from a drunk.
If every experience you've ever had was a deep shamanic awakening that taught you about yourself and the universe then that's aweseom for you. 99% of the use of acid I've ever seen was more about giggling, talking bullshit and staring at the pretty colours.
To be fair, the poster before did make a statement about what effects lsd would not have.
I agree with you that it will be difficult to verbalise any of this. However, I would say that an increased awareness of power structures is a possible outcome of a psychedelic experience.
What I will say is that some people seem to come back from it convinced that acid will change the face of humanity and society in some sort of miraculous way. But when pressed they can't say how. I don't think it's wrong to combine this with the fact that LSD can cause feelings of the profound over the most mundane or nonsensical things and come to the conclusion that they're probably off on one...
As I said - do you need acid to see the problems in our human society?
You are on a red herring streak :)
You do not need acid to see the problems within human society. But acid helps when it comes to seeing the problems within yourself, and giving you motivation to fix them.
The transformative potential of acid on society can be expressed in statistical terms. If a sufficiently large number of people were to embark on a course of self improvement and personal evolution towards humanistic and compassionate values, this phenomenon would bring about societal change.
Why do you think LSD would necessarily bring about more humanistic or compassionate values?
Using LSD with intentions to not be bigoted, prejudice, etc.
Taking LSD with the intention to introspect, experience spirituality, etc
Taking lots of medium dose LSD over time (years, decades) till the character of the experience gradually evolves for them in such a way as to reduce bigotry and prejudice
When people say LSD can have profound effects on people what often gets left out is that one may need to take it more frequently and in higher doses than most recreational users tend to do. Intentions matter, too.
Are people wrong to feel profundity in the mundane? Is there another way to interpret the belief that LSD or access to altered states could change society?
Nobody is wrong to feel profundity in the mundane, but LSD can have you feeling a profound connection to a piece of cheese, or suddenly realising that all humanity's problems would go away if we just wore more purple.
As for the problems with society, it very relevant to people who talk about awakenings and how/why the legislators and policy makers (to quote the post I originally replied to) would be somehow afraid of these awakenings.
It seems like magical thinking. And as nobody has been able to actually explain what they mean, that's the conclusion I've come to.
This is what usually happens to my friends who drop acid. I'll always remember my best friend's deep connection to some lamp post, and how he "figured out why that lamp post is there, mans. I know it now".
I'm sure this isn't what happens to everyone. What I think happens is that true profundity happens to people who are sort of on a good path to find it already.
Each one of us is an unbroken chain of physical interactions since the beginning. There is no universe without conscious subjective experience; there is no conscious subjective experience without the universe. Life--conscious, experiential, intelligent life--is fundamentally intertwined with existence and you cannot have one without the other. The universe as a fundamental process is one that yields life; it is impossible to conceive of a universe where life does not exist, for without the experience, there is no universe.
We are, fundamentally, the universe experiencing itself subjectively from billions and billions of different facets and points of view.
More succinctly, we are all one.
Now, how does that change anything?
it doesn't change how things are; it changes how you look at it, and that makes a difference. it is a personal experience that changes how you let yourself be affected by minor hurts and problems, and lets you immerse yourself in the world and more deeply enjoy the things you take pleasure from.
But do keep promoting your conclusion - I'm sure there's some important insight there.
I may as well say the same to you, having started by misquoting me and then failed to answer any questions.
>> But do keep promoting your conclusion - I'm sure there's some important insight there.
My conclusion is there's no evidence that widespread use of LSD would change much or result in major changes to society.
Do you have any evidence or are you just spouting shit too?
I can't speak to your experience on LSD, but for me LSD removes boundaries in my mind and provokes me to realize that we humans are way more similar than we are different. In fact, the same goes for other animals on this planet. LSD makes me realizes things that I technically already knew, but didn't feel.
How does LSD affect you?
In a vast variety of different ways depending on dose, set and setting etc.
I understand your realisation, I do. But I'm not seeing how it would be world-changing if more people were allowed to take it because I know people whose LSD experience was (repeatedly) "sit in the corner of a nightclub with wide eyes and a grin".
Not that they should be responsible or that I'm blaming them for the backlash, but a bit more tact may have helped the movement in the long-term.
I'm not saying that always or even usually happens. But, acid is no joke and I just wanted to make sure that the inexperience reading this know that trips can go really wrong. Especially when you aren't using medical grade LSD but whatever you can buy from a stranger on SilkRoad/wherever.
Ironically, in the heyday of Silk Road, you likely were buying medical-grade LSD if you were careful.
What does that mean? (How did it play out and what did it look like?)
It's very difficult to know that you're getting good product though. I'm in the North Bay and have almost always had "real" LSD at my disposal. It's the geek's wonder drug for sure --> http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/01/70015?...
I recommend everyone without serious mental illness try it, then continue to do it every year or every few years to clear out the cobwebs, as it were.
Even when it's bad, if you've got decent people around you, you can keep your shit together. But then if you've got decent people around you, you're unlikely to freak out.
I took it at a time of my life when I'd been having a sustained identity crisis for years on end, something I'd made known to friends and family. I had no idea who I was supposed to be and I felt like I was just running on auto-pilot, idly guessing at how I should react to situations and being surprised when things turned out okay. I read tons of self-help books and "know-thy-self" pamphlets, but I was still clueless.
After the LSD, I completely knew who I was again, and I've been on that steady path ever since.
It's a good thing to try when you need to do some introspection that you've been having substantial trouble coming to a solution over.
I seriously believe it skipped over a decades worth of introspection for me. I mean, I was already on year "3" of my crisis, and I had made zilch headway. It gets you through things that are nigh impossible to do without it. That of course combined with the low-toxicity and lack of a potential for addiction makes it a no-brainer.
Like somebody else commented, it's like it shakes your brain up like a snowglobe breaking all of those strongly held pathways in your brain that you would normally be unable to even see. It destroys false pre-conceptions about yourself like a steamroller, and then it helps you build the correct notions back up.
However, it is interesting that he now appears to be a proponent of meditation and other methods, as far as I know. He teaches an interesting technique called holotropic breathing which aims to replicate the benefits without the risk.
I think a prominent meditation teacher summed it up best when he said that psychedelics can lead to a powerful opening, but they are not a path.
However I instantly stopped smoking, drinking and haven't touched anything since.
YMMV as they say.
Edit: perhaps its related but it was shortly after that I finally grokked Unix and C.
Anyway, I got a lot of insights that really changed my life for the better. Funny thing is that most of it is common knowledge, these things that are 'easier said than done', that then turn out to be just as easy done as said :)
(I can only talk from my own perspective of course)
It's interesting that society has long been comfortable pushing drugs that have the opposite effect, resulting in poor compliance by patients who complain of feeling "dead" or "not there."
I hope no one thinks this is science. There's no control group, those who received the treatment under study knew who they were, and they were asked about their emotional state after the treatment ended. This is a classic case where the Placebo effect cannot be either eliminated or discounted.
This is not say that LSD has no beneficial effects in therapy. This is to say we have no idea, and this study provides no useful scientific data.
Long term follow-ups seem to indicate that the differences (in terms of a self-report questionnaire, at least) were maintained over 25 years.
In the book at least, it was concluded (by the primary researcher) that the blinding was completely ineffective (though I don't think that this was confirmed with a manipulation check).
I would say that placebo-controlled studies of psychedelics, for similar reasons that placebo-controlled studies of other drugs (cigarettes, coffee, alcohol) will be difficult. Namely that a placebo should be identical to the treatment in every respect except for the active ingrediant, and what's the active ingrediant?
Its really well-worth checking out the Varieties for some good pointers to research in the 50's and 60's, there was quite a lot of it, and although some of it was methodologically unsound, and there are very few RCT's, the sheer amount of studies should probably carry some weight.
>The trial was far too small to be conclusive,
>said Dr. Gasser, whose co-authors include Dr. Doblin,
>Dominique Holstein of UniversityHospital Zurich and Rudolf
>Brenneisen of the University of Bern.
they go on to say that
>“It’s a proof of concept,” Dr. Doblin said.
>“It shows that this kind of trial can be done safely, and >that it’s very much worth doing.”
which is important. This sort of research all but halted in the mid-60s. In fact, the reason LSD even made it into popular culture can be a credited to the fact that many who tried it in clinical trials liked it enough to take it home a share. Of course, that is a bit of a dump down version, but not too far from the truth.
Yes, and it's somewhat discouraging to see how rarely these appropriate caveats never get into either the headlines or the mind of the public.
>“It’s a proof of concept,” Dr. Doblin said. >“It shows that this kind of trial can be done safely, and >that it’s very much worth doing.”
That exactly what has not been demonstrated. A 20% change is not statistically significant in a test group of this size even if there had been a control group, and the placebo effect has not been controlled for. That's why I posted as I did -- it's junk science.
Again, LSD might be a breakthrough in therapy, unfortunately this study doesn't contribute to our scientific understanding.
A lot of people have a lot of idea about it, because a lot of psychiatrists and psychotherapists used LSD on their patients (and themselves) before it was outlawed.
EDIT: Just trying to give second good use of this substance. Easing the suffering of a terminally ill person is good. Enhancing creativity and focus in young person is also good.
Which is very interesting. I always feel like the war on drugs is horribly unfair to people in end-of-life situations who really should have access to all the most destructive mind-altering chemicals to ease that.
'Mind altering' yes, I will grant you that. But most things you ingest are mind altering. For example, this chocolate chip cookie I am eating now will shortly make me feel a burst of energy, but then shortly afterwards, sleepy and fat.
Frankly, I applaud that kind of thinking.
EDIT: My apologies, I did not see dns's comment below, saying the same thing, but with actual links :)
In retrospect, that probably wasn't microdosing so much as it was just coding on acid.
To people who have never experienced drugs, grown up in a culture that demonizes them all indiscriminately, have a hard time wrapping their head around what they are/do exactly but are curious about them, I recommend this article by Sam Harris, a great neuroscientist
For a slightly more in depth essay, Aldous Huxley's "Doors of Perception"  is a great book, albeit slightly dated.
There are also some extremely interesting synergies between the origins of the computer industry and the psychedelics/California counter culture era. John Markoff's "What the Dormouse Said"  is a fantastic read, although it requires knowing about computer history a little bit already. I learned from it that there was scientific research on LSD conducted in Menlo Park, a few blocks away from where I used to live.
There's also a great essay by Timothy Leary about parallels between psychedelics as tools for expanding the human mind and the computer as a tool to enhance the human brain in Brenda Laurel's book "Art of Human Computer Interaction Design". 
There's a great essay by Carl Sagan about his experiences using marijuana creatively/intellectually .
I had never tried any drugs before moving to California in my 20s, and had grown up in a fairly standard European culture of all drugs = the devil. Some changes occurred, and it turns out there's a really fascinating history and philosophy in there (especially w/ regards to parallels with computer history, as described in the aforementioned book).
Personally I'm not a huge fan of the "wonder drug that will cure all ills and open your EYES man" theories that abound around psychedelics. They can certainly induce a sense of the profound but I'm not sure they actually produce profundity.
That said, long term changes to thought patterns and moods are certainly evident and I think research in this area could be very useful.
I also think it's a person's own business what they take, that the dangers of "drugs" are vastly and deliberately overstated, and that the drug war is an inhuman waste of lives, time and money. That probably makes me some sort of crazy hippy radical...
What's the difference?
But, after coming down, does this experience have any grounding in reality? Did it 'actually produce profundity' or was it a hallucination, pure and simple?
Hope that helps capture the difference.
For example, although I had seen the Xena: Warrior Princess musical episode "The Bitter Suite" before numerous times it wasn't until under the influence was I able to emotionally and mentally understand the allegory of the episode.
Basically, the symbolism of Gabrielle having a "demon" child forced into her against her will, who Xena considered a monster and wanted to kill whilst Gabrielle blamed herself for it's inception is a very clear metaphor of a rape. It took a strong emotional attachment to the journey of the main characters to truly appreciate as well as understand the message encoded in the symbolism. It may not be "profound" as the meaning of everything but realizing that with my own devices was at least enlightening.
In my very limited experience mind altering drugs seem to turn off/lessen the assumptions one makes, to step outside the critical path and analyze information more in-depth.
[Edit] Correcting auto-correct
I understand how you're feeling about it. It was exactly like my first experience as well. 9 years later, I'm addicted. (Yes this is possible)
It's not apparent from the outside. Almost no one know that I smoke. I did lose my girl friend, who was pretty much the one for me. All warning signs were there, but I chose to ignore those. I'm able to hold on to an good programming job (ios/android programming) with a good salary, although I believe I am actually producing half my capacity, and having a lot more stress than needed. During the day, I can't wait to get home to smoke a little. Then a little more. Nights are pretty much a blur this way.
The effects you're experiencing fade away so slowly that it's hard to know when you're no longer actually enjoying the "high." And that's really dangerous, because you don't know that you might be getting addicted (everyone tells "marijuana is not addictive") so you smoke a bit more. Eventually it does end up consume you.
Some percentage of marijuana smokers do get addicted. I personally have quit smoking, never got addicted to drinking or anything else, and have never done any other drug. It almost feels impossible to stop weed though. I urge you to look it up online, there are forums where people talk about this.
So I suggest great precaution. See when you want to do it more, and more often. And when you start doing it instead of what you need to do. There's when danger is first realized, but often overlooked.
Maybe you're one of the lucky majority who will not get addicted -- in which case I envy you.
I hope the reason that this was prescribed to you is not very serious and you get well soon.
And then came the depression and all fun was gone, no matter how many drugs I would take in. Those days I would not even wish upon my worst enemies. They destroy you, and it takes a long time to get all pieces back together properly. Even now, again 7 years later, hooray for the magic number, I still have to cope with leftovers from back then.
So here's my suggestion to you: don't wait until the depression really kicks in, chances are high it will, but just quit asap. I know for a fact you won't believe me, neither did I, but it is actually way easier than you think it is (my experience + plus those of two friends). I just quit from one day to the other, never looked back, and the withdrawal effects were pretty mild - even pleasant. Here are some effects of quitting, as you will notice most are extremely postive.
- for a month or so I had a huge urge to be 'active' because I felt like I had tons of energy that had nowhere to go. Running biking, whatever. Sometimes I would just go out at night and climb trees. For fun. Didn't do that since I was a child.
- you start to remember things. Randomly. From your childhood, from a couple of years earlier, ... It's weird. I never knew where and why my brain kept those but suddenly they would just pop up.
- at the same time, the depression started to fade, also gone where the endless thought-circles about life in all it's aspects, and my position in it. I still have those thoughts, but they don't go in endless circles anymore, instead now I come to conclusions
- as a result of that, social interaction came back (not back to normal as it never was before, but back to acceptable levels anyway)
- as a result of that, I found a girlfriend, soon to be wife and likely mother of children
- one downside: from time to time there's still an extremely strong urge to get completely wasted. Now I always had this, the typical craving and search for a high, but after quitting with weed it only became stronger. Like my mind is still addicted to being altered. Lots of sports helps to suppress it, but I admit sometimes I still go wild, mainly on alcohol and preferrably when I'm my own. Seems like a small price to pay though.
Your comment and the comment you replied to have very quickly established an argument with two sides, a duality. This is a tired old debate that is based on a confused pseudo-theory about human nature.
I'll just address the side you have chosen. You're postulating that the person who has issues with the drug probably has issues in general. The logic seems to be that since the drug has no will of its own, it is a kind of neutral object that should not be blamed. Fine; that's reasonable enough.
But is there also an aspect of defensiveness? That is, this herb has a positive valence for you, and so any negativity associated with it must be shifted towards some essential source -- so that the neutrality of the drug is maintained.
Personally I think it's both amusing and sad that it's so difficult to have a rational, clear-headed conversation about these things. Part of that is probably because the issue of criminality looms in the background, making everything into a heavily value-loaded "statement," causing stigma and demonization and, on the flip side, valorization and blame-shifting.
It's the same thing but much worse with stronger psychedelics. The whole discussion becomes "are they good or evil?" And by extension, "are people who use it good or evil?" It's simply stupid, unenlightened, regressive.
Because the real discussion is "What should we do given that these molecules do exist?" How should we think about them? When are they useful and when do they cause harm? How do these particular kinds of harm work? How can we provide help and guidance to people who -- for whatever reason -- experience these molecules as a negative, seductive, destructive presence in their lives? How can we harness whatever good potential they have? Etc etc etc.
We're treating these molecules as if they were capricious Olympic gods, but they're just substances that happen to affect the human mind in different ways.
People who use drugs, needs them. If they can come to terms of not blaming drugs and continue using them, its fine.
One can be drunk all his life and its good, because sober, he lost faith in humanity.
One might understand that there is no point in anything and he can't live on unless he is doped up with something, either it be food, alcohol, cocaine, TV shows or workout. Whatever negativity you experience while on drugs can be great revelation to yourself and about yourself. Good potential is not only happy thoughts and work performance, clearer mind, but also the depths of hell you have crawled out(or not). And also what your actions changed in other people around. It is so complicated and fascinating.
What should we do? What is "Harm"? Injury, pain, depression, death? What is wrong in experiencing that? Or Fear?
Could it be that drug war is beneficial to respecting and accepting drugs?
Can only really corrupt politician wake up the masses? And how many times it will repeat and repeat and repeat. When will one needs to change his way of life and thinking and throw away previous behavior completely.
And having conversation online by text is so uncomfortable for me, sorry, I can't write and hold thought long.
I still suggest reading more about this, because it is not as well known as it needs to be. I actually found about http://www.reddit.com/r/leaves on this thread. I'd recommend you to check it out if you have a little time.
I want to call out that I'm not against legalization, or people who can do it without any issues. I just want to point out that there are some of us who are actually having a lot of problems with it, and some care needs to be taken. This substance does require some respect and I feel totally powerless in handling it.
Are those anything like medical leeches?
one of the things LSD illustrates with intensity is that perception is reality. it blurs the line between between what is "profound" and "real" and "fake" and reassures you the line never existed in the first place. and really, it may not.
what is profound is not necessarily only what you conclude, but the experience itself. watching your mind and conscious contemplate and imagine in ways you literally couldn't have even contemplated or imagined.
DMT is nearly identical to serotonin and tryptophan, and similar to psilocybin and mesclaine. Whatever it does to the brain, it's not a typical effect of any other drug I'm aware of.
seriously scared me from any desire to try.
After 20 minutes you feel 90% normal. It's like having the most intense profound dream. You can have a fleeting sensation of wanting to return to the experience. But it is not addictive in my opinion.
Joe Rogan's given some eloquent descriptions of it. When he says it's like meeting God in a universe full of love, he's being literal. It feels natural. There's a sensation of an intelligence understanding force communicating with you. Making sense of it can be extremely challenging. I'd caution against doing it if you have any hesitation.
If you care to respond, were you aware of your surroundings/your body/your existence, or did everything not matter in the moment?
Is there any sense of time progression? Do you remember everything right after?
Can you hear any sounds from the environment you are in? (tv, radio etc)
It seems like this is something you would want to try only after being at a point in life where you are stable, mentally (emotionally), and physically (health).
Such a fascinating topic, thanks for sharing your knowledge.
This cheese is my brother, we'd all be at peace if everyone wore purple, god is a piece of bread with butter on both sides. When on acid these sorts of things can feel (subjectively) like the most awesome discovery, like the opening up of a whole new world of knowledge. Examined objectively afterwards they don't make a lot of sense, but subjectively, at the time, they felt extremely important.
That's all I meant.
A fact about yourself - realising that you love someone.
A fact about the world - realising that all matter is energy condensed.
At least taking the "open your EYES man" statement at face value. But a profound experience on hallucinogenics is realising that ... ? What's the mechanism even meant to be to entangle the experience to the reality it supposedly represents?
Of course, there is the other meaning of the word; great, intense. Profoundly in love, profound hatred - and so on. Certainly drugs can induce that sort of profundity.
That's probably not what I'd be thinking while tripping, more likely, at last, this is it, GOD!
and then Eden-like fading away into memory.
I wonder how much I'm actually destroying my health by smoking weed every day, drinking coffee, and having some alcohol at least in a minor capacity.
I feel as if the emotional/mental pain I suffered by not having any outlet greatly outweighs the physical damage I'm doing to myself.
Now that I smoke/drink while working most of the time (self unemployed), I find that I am much more productive because I'm enjoying myself the entire time. Tunes, a drink, a smoke, and code.
Never seen talk on HN about drugs really. What's your routine like with HN? What are your experiences?
Weed probably is great when things are actually in order in your life, but you may be losing contact with reality precisely because it makes it possible to enjoy yourself the entire time. I think you have to be very mindful of that.
It's a painful processes, turning to face life directly, but I feel like I'm managing to do so day by day. Part of this processes involves speaking to a psychiatrist and starting an SNRI prescription.
I do plan to smoke weed again, cautiously, once things are "in order".
It's funny - when I used to smoke weed, I always felt like I needed to clear my daily todo list before hand. I would take out the trash I should have taken out, put clothes in the laundry, maybe respond to some lingering emails. It was quite productive.
Now I'm recapitulating that pattern at a higher level in life. At least, I hope that's what's happening...
As a non-smoker, it's one of my fears that if this happens again, I won't be able to convince one of my smoking friends that this is happening to them. Mental dependence seems insidious in that way. Any pointers? Experiences to share?
reddit.com/r/leaves is a great resource for quitting. if you read the posts there, you'll see that same story over and over and over.
One problem with vaporizers is that there isn't a great word to use to describe the action of using one. "Vap" sounds lame or maybe even show-offy, so I just use the word "smoke". ;)
Alcohol is what I truly appreciate though. The reason I smoke is so that when I want to unwind and tune out, I have options other than alcohol every time. Heavy long term alcohol use can be very bad for you, but by giving myself other healthier options I've managed to get my drinking back to 4-8 times a month (always Wednesdays, sometimes Fridays). Alcohol is what I love/fear, weed is what I entertain myself with between flings with booze.
I am starting to suspect that caffeine is a net-negative force in my life, as it constantly jostles my sleep schedule.
The verb "vape" is what is commonly used with the people I know. It's not show-offy if vaporizing is commonplace. This is more recent, and I just said "use a vaporizer" in the past if I wanted to be specific.
Personally, I own both a non-portable vaporizer that can fill bags (Herbelaire) and a portable vaporizer (Pax). Both are used frequently and are easy to share with friends. I still smoke, but that is only maybe 10% of the time. I've been vaping for the last 17 years, starting with a home-made vaporizer made using a soldering iron.
As for alcohol: I enjoy it, but I rarely have the desire to drink it for it's intoxicating effects lately. I really enjoy the taste of beer (and wine is good too), but it's becoming rare that I actually want to drink one. What changed is that I started getting back in shape and exercising frequently (well, moderately). Due to being a new parent, I often get my exercise around 9pm-10pm as that is the only time that works for me. That means many nights, alcohol is just not an option. Also, I have been fairly consistent in eliminating unhealthy foods (I can count the number of times I have a sugary dessert in a month on one hand), and I've started to see beer as unnecessary calories. The fact that I lost enough weight to stop snoring is just affirmation that I should stick with this. I'll save drinking beer for social situations, rather than something I have with dinner.
I'm not a teetotaler by any means. I drink a couple of glasses of something pretty much every other day. But that's about the limit of what a healthy, adult male should be drinking. Any more than that, especially over the long run, and you're setting loose a lot of chickens that will come home to roost when you're older.
I don't smoke weed with nearly the frequency I did when I was young. That's got less to do with my beliefs about its health effects, and more to do with being too busy. But every now and then, sure. Sharing a couple of beers and a joint is a fantastic social experience.
On a related note: SF is one of the most weed-friendly towns I've ever lived in, and there is virtually no stigma whatsoever here. One time I saw a dude light up right outside the freaking airport baggage claim, in broad daylight, and nobody around him seemed to care.
Weak 10% ABV wine would be 20 units. Normal 12.5% ABV would be 25 units. Strong 15% ABV wine would be 30 units.
UK advice is no more than 3 to 4 units per day for men, with a couple of days free of alcohol and no "saving up" of units for a binge. (The old advice was 21 units per week for men.)
Drinking above that limit long term has some health consequences
Problem drinking has several definitions, but NICE recommend assisted withdrawal at 30 units per day. (15 to 20 per day if there are co morbid severe mental health problems).
I don't care if people use cannabis (and I am strongly in favour of legalisation) but I fucking hate the refusal of many cannabis users to even contemplate any negative effects of cannabis.
Don't get me wrong; I don't refuse to contemplate the negative effects of cannabis, of which quite a few have been hypothesized, some observed. When I said "alcohol is probably much worse than weed," I didn't say "weed is a free lunch." Just want to make sure I'm clear on that.
There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain (and other organs). Our current understanding of them is far from complete, and we know that smoking weed habitually will reregulate them, and not necessarily for the better. I'm not one of those hippy-dippy types who thinks there are no ramifications involved in smoking weed.
I would say that your current experience with programming is probably more a reflection on how much what you are programming actually interests you. You might be able to think of programming like painting; maybe you are painting a picket fence and find it to be the most boring thing in the world, or maybe you are painting a bunch of robots blowing each other up on a canvas. Some programming is dull and tedious, some programming is exciting and vibrant. Some people just don't like painting, and prefer pottery.
Can weed help? That seems plausible to me. Weed can make a shitty movie seem better, maybe it can help you enjoy your programming work more.
If you want to try that out, I recommend a sativa strain, not indica.
I started out as a [web and print] designer in my late teens and was stoned all the time. It seemed like a dream to me - stoned and productive. As I moved into programming in my early twenties, I found myself completely unproductive when high. Very much akin to reading a book while very stoned, where I'd find myself reading the same page for a while, and then while trying to focus, read the same sentence 20 times and realize I haven't comprehended a thing. My attention span wanders far too much. And now, about 15 years into my profession as a programmer, any more than the smallest toke will make me completely incapable of coding effectively (though I can generally think programming problems through just fine).
As a comparison, I've programmed drunk plenty of times. These days, after a couple whiskeys, I'm fairly useless - although I think that's more a case of "I'd rather relax than work" over being incapacitated.
I never tried drunk, but I doubt it would work for me.
There have been conflicting and sometimes contradictory reports on coffee's effects on cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. Many studies suggest coffee has anticancer properties; other studies suggest it promotes certain types of cancer. Same thing with arteriosclerosis.
In terms of dependency, caffeine has been shown pretty conclusively to be habit-forming and dependence-forming. Almost anyone who's been a longtime coffee drinker and quits cold turkey will experience the side effects. But it's not clear whether coffee is doing you long-term harm, long-term good, or some combination of the two that nets out to being positive, negative, or neutral.
For my part, I've been drinking coffee every day since junior high. My stance is that it's been a net-positive in my life, regardless of what price I may pay later on. But that's one man's opinion. Not a scientific observation.
Also worth noting: coffee, marijuana, and alcoholic beverages are complex substances. There are active compounds in coffee other than caffeine. There are active compounds in alcoholic drinks other than ethanol. There are active compounds in weed other than THC. Studies that isolate the effects of any of these compounds aren't necessarily indicative of the effects of the substances themselves.
Probably not at all. Cue the "correlation isn't causality" soundbite, but coffee consumption is negatively correlated with developing Parkinson's disease, and moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown by many studies to correlate with positive cardiovascular status. Haven't researched the literature on associations of weed with positive health outcomes, but it's interesting that smoking weed doesn't correlate with developing lung cancer.
You're probably just fine so long as moderation is your mode.
I don't know how much this is positively affecting my health, or if it is at all.
The things I could do with better focus and less of a need to seek novelty....
Isn't it a need to seek novelty that makes you want to do those things?
My problem is that anything, no matter how cool, rapidly becomes boring and uninteresting to me. Whether that be a game or a programming language or a project. Probably the single greatest stumbling block to advancing my career, knowledge, and overall life.
The first other substance that I tried and did so several times was something called "Spice". It was legal in my country for the time being and you could order it online quite cheap actually.
It is a substance created to be as similar as cannabis and to be legal. However a couple of years ago they banned it in my country. The experience of the substance was pretty bad actually, but since I was so young and hadn't really done anything else I had nothing to compare it to. The first time I got really high on it was with my childhood friends. We sat on a bench in a small forest and lighted it up in a bong. I took several hits and felt nothing special at the moment.
So we started walking and soon I began to feel something, it was walking in a mist (not visually) but my head started to feel thicker and suddently we'd walked over 1km and it felt like it was in a blink of an eye. I started to panick since I had no idea what was going on and felt pretty scared. Every step I took my knees itched so bad and it wasn't very pleasant at all. It took more than 1 hour before I calmed down and I thought my heart would collapse or something. That experience sucked basically. But after that hour, I began to enjoy it a little but not that much. The drug mainly made you feel scared and it wasn't the best drug I've tried.
Second drug to do was cannabis if I recall it correctly. It was hasch and the I didn't feel much at all. It took me several tries (in seperate occations) until I finally got high. The experience from hasch was much better than spice. Imo, you can't even compare the two since the experience is so different, at least for me. I've also done marijuana several times and it is a really good drug, much better than its brown sister hasch from the times I've tried it anyway.
My weirdest experience is altough on LSA which is also legal in my country and we ordered it online, just as spice. As our understanding goes it's some kind of seed from a plant or something. So we just swallowed some with water. It is supposed to make you feel ill in the stomach in the beginning since I think it's poisionous for humans and I felt a little ill a while. But after like 1.5 hours the illness was completely gone but I didn't feel a thing.
So me and my friend walked around in our neighborhood and looked at stuff. It took a while until I realized this drug doesn't make you feel high at all. I was completely clear in my mind and I don't think I've ever been so clear-minded before or after taking that drug. It was a wonderful "feeling" and in those days I didn't program but if I would I think it would be a perfect fit. After spending some time, me and my friend seperated and I walked home. I looked upon myself in the mirror and I could not see any color in my eyes, just black and white (almost). It was a very very wierd experience since I looked so strange, but I didn't feel anything special unless more emotional and very clear-minded. I thought a lot on my life in general and what I wanted to do with it and so on. I felt happy in short, I felt that my life was really headed in a good direction and everything was basically good.
The clear-mindedness just continued through the day but as the drug wore of, so did the clearness of everything.
Unfortunately, several years after this usage my friend committed suicide and he had a lot of problems with drugs. But the problems did not originate in the drugs but rather on his family situation. He was a very intelligent guy and I miss him. He was depressed for a long time and even when we contacted the authorities for help he recieved none.
I hope you guys will get something from my experiences :) my general stand on drugs is very liberal even if a tragic event has happened in my life because I know the drugs weren't the real issue, just an escape.
[Edit to fix run-on sentence]
There's a movie on his life, isn't great but it's a decent watch, Dirty Pictures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA8ddx_iC_g
Most drugs have zero effect if you have ptsd, clinical depression and schizoaffective or similar; LSD will probably make it worse and party drugs (amphetamines) won't work on you. Everyone else will get high, and you'll be bored and sober.
That said, if you are on MAOI's or SSRI's, you would do well to end their use before attempting any hallucinogen stronger than cannabis.
In terms of reactions, I think it varies from person to person. Generally speaking though, hallucinogens aggravate existing psychotic disorders. If you suffer from PTSD/depression it's not a psychotic disorder (so it's relatively safe for you to take).
Curiously enough, a subset of patients suffering from ptsd/depression/anxiety don't experience the euphoria associated with amphetamines. I'm sorry if I didn't word myself clearly enough
Apparently mushrooms and LSD are unofficial treatments. When asked, her doctor encouraged her to use mushrooms ...
Apparently a non-psychedelic version of LSD could be made but it's difficult to justify spending millions in research with the official stance regarding drugs.
I'm glad change seems to come, albeit slowly ...
In my case it was simply stress. Sleep deprivation, a lot of caffeine and stiff neck, jaw muscles all the time. It stopped overnight once I quit a stressful job, changed my lifestyle and cut back on caffeine. I didn't consulted with a doctor, because I knew I would be prescribed some heavy stuff. While I had the crisis, the only thing that worked to subdue the pain were muscle relaxants and a hot shower, headache/migraine drugs I've had already been prescribed did nothing, so I knew it was psychosomatic.
Take that with a huge grain of salt, as it's just one anecdote... but in the face of taking psychotropics at own risk, she might want to try that first.
My wife suffers from refractory migraine headaches - somewhat different from cluster headaches, but near neighbors on the chronic headache agony spectrum. I wish there were a clinical trial of 2-B-LSD she could join. Absent that, I'm building a TCDS system for her. Necessity & invention, etc.
The only downside (well except the breaking the law thing) is only that you have to be off the regular treatment to try it, so you may have to endure the pain for some days.
If you're in tech and have not done LSD; you should notbe in tech.
What a load of garbage. This is science?! No, it's a fucking fraud.