bufotenine

This Week in Psychoactives - 5.10.19

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CANNABIS

  • Debunking Reefer Madness: New Study Says Weed Doesn’t Actually Cause Psychosis (MERRY JANE)

  • Top Congressional Democrats Announce Bill To Federally Deschedule Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

  • Study: 80 percent of cannabis users say weed helps their workouts (Fox 8)

  • New Zealand Government Releases Details Of Marijuana Legalization Referendum (Marijuana Moment)

  • China Cashes In on the Cannabis Boom (The New York Times)

  • Illinois Governor Announces Plan to Legalize Marijuana (TIME)

  • THC-Blood Levels Can’t Be Determined Postmortem, Research Finds (Leafly)

  • Cannabis Users Have Worse Sperm Health Than Tobacco Smokers, Study Finds (MERRY JANE)

  • North Dakota: Governor Signs Law Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties (NORML)

  • The First Arkansas Medical Marijuana Dispensary Just Got Its License (Leafly)

  • TSA to Travelers: We’re Not Looking for Your Weed (MERRY JANE)

  • Louisiana House Unanimously Approves Bill to Allow CBD Sales (Leafly)

  • Cannabis Industry Work Costing U.S. Veterans Their Retirement Pensions (Forbes)

  • The Great White Shortage: Canada May Soon Run Out of CBD (MERRY JANE)

  • Alabama Senate Approves Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

  • Workers Are Smoking Weed More Than Ever, So Employers Are Dropping Drug Tests (MERRY JANE)

  • California Cannabis Market Not Tracked or Traced as Promised (Leafly)

  • Marijuana Patients Are Ditching Benzos for Weed, Study Says (MERRY JANE)

  • The Feds Prosecuted Even Fewer Marijuana Trafficking Cases In 2018 (Marijuana Moment)

  • Ohio May Become First State to OK Medical Marijuana for Depression and Insomnia (MERRY JANE)

  • Federal Agency Clarifies Rules On Adding CBD To Alcoholic Beverages (Marijuana Moment)

  • American Accused of Growing Weed in Myanmar Faces 10 Years in Prison (MERRY JANE)

  • Texas House Votes To Expand State’s Medical Marijuana Program (Marijuana Moment)

  • The Science Behind Combining Cannabis And Caffeine (Benzinga)

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

  • Denver Voters Approve Measure To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms (Forbes)

  • California Activists Take First Steps To Decriminalize Psilocybin Mushrooms Statewide (Marijuana Moment)

MDMA

  • MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD may have benefits beyond reductions in clinical symptoms (PsyPost)

  • MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD: study design and rationale for phase 3 trials based on pooled analysis of six phase 2 randomized controlled trials (Springer Link)

  • Consider This Before Self-Medicating With MDMA (The Wall Street Journal)

AYAHUASCA

  • Health Canada allows more religious groups to import ayahuasca (Global News)

  • Ayahuasca and the Twelve Steps: An Anonymous Friendship (Chacruna)

  • The Problem With Ayahuasca (Thrive Global)

SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

  • CDC traces unexplained bleeding outbreak to synthetic cannabinoids (Healio)

KETAMINE

  • Former Playboy Model’s Killer Was ‘Out Of His Mind’ On Ketamine During The Brutal Slaying, Lawyer Says (Oxygen)

OPIOIDS

  • Opioid overdose deaths decline when pharmacists can dispense naloxone (Reuters)

  • Study: Naloxone Prescriptions Low Despite Deadly Opioid Crisis (U.S. News and World Report)

  • Federal Court Rules Inmate Must Have Access to Opioid Addiction Treatment (Reason)

  • Narcan, the lifesaving overdose-reversal drug, is scarce in N.J. cities that need it most (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • AHN Researcher Working To Develop Longer-Lasting Naloxone For Opioid Overdoses (WESA)

  • Inside Elizabeth Warren's $100 Billion Policy Plan to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic (Fortune)

  • White patients far more likely to get popular addiction treatment prescription, study finds (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Report: nurses who carry naloxone denied life insurance coverage (WKBW)

  • Louisiana prisons pilot addiction-fighting implants for inmates; lack of FDA approval draws criticism (The Advocate)

  • Deputy and two firefighters hospitalized after fentanyl exposure (WDBO)

COCAINE

  • Feds: A popular drug from the disco era is making a deadly return (NBC News)

  • The mums who took cocaine during play dates (BBC)

  • FLASHBACK: Bernie Asks Group Of Young Children: ‘Anyone Ever Seen Cocaine?’ (The Libertarian Republic)

METHAMPHETAMINE

  • Meth Abusers At Risk For Little-Known But Potentially Deadly Disease (NBC 7 San Diego)

TOBACCO

ALCOHOL

  • Alcohol use soaring worldwide: The average adult now consumes about 1.7 gallons of pure alcohol per year (USA Today)

  • These policies were supposed to stop pregnant women from drinking. A new study says they’re hurting babies. (Vox)

  • One in five harmed by others drinking alcohol over past year, survey finds (The Guardian)

  • The War On Alcohol: Is This Prohibition 2.0 (Forbes)

KRATOM

  • The Debate Over Kratom, An Opioid-Like Plant Legal In Massachusetts (CBS Boston)

  • Oxford Police proposes ban on Kratom products (The Oxford Eagle)

  • How Cannabis and Kratom Can Help With Addiction Recovery (Civilized)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • 1,000-Year-Old Pouch Contains Traces of 5 Ancient Psychoactive Drugs (Inverse)

  • Mexico’s President Proposes Drug Decriminalization With Legal Supply Via Prescription (Marijuana Moment)

  • Feds Dismantled the Dark Web Drug Trade—but It's Already Rebuilding (WIRED)

  • Berlin park designates 'pink zone' areas for drug dealers (The Guardian)

  • Drug-testing device gives false positives on poppy seeds, CBD oil, says Vancouver lawyer (CBC)

  • Overdose In An Arizona Prison? Get Ready to Pay Up. (The Appeal)

  • Where Philadelphia stands on supervised-injection sites, per two polls (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Houston Police Shot Man Killed in Fraudulent Drug Raid at Least Eight Times (Reason)

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Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychoactives" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Psychedelic Astronaut.


On the Monday following each edition of “This Week in Psychoactives,” I post a “Last Week in Psychoactives” video recap to my YouTube channel. After that is done, I retroactively add the video to the corresponding blog post. Here is this week’s video recap:


1,000-Year-Old Pouch Contains Traces of 5 Ancient Psychoactive Drugs

Peter Hess, writing for Inverse:

Long before ayahuasca became popular among Silicon Valley seekers, it was the domain of specialized healers and spiritual leaders. Archaeologists have long known that ancient peoples throughout the Americas consumed various plant-based drugs to heal, find meaning, and connect to a spiritual world, but research published Monday in PNAS suggests that they were used even more widely than scientists suspected.

In the paper , an international team of archaeologists identified traces of five different psychoactive chemicals in a bundle of belongings dating back to about 1,000 years ago. The objects, found in Cueva del Chileno, a rock shelter in the Andes in present-day Bolivia, include animal-skin pouches and a headband, as well as spatulas, two trays, and an intricately carved tube — tools that were most likely used for sniffing a plant-based psychedelic drug.

Using radiocarbon dating, the team showed that the leather bag containing the objects dates back to somewhere between 905 and 1170 CE. And using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, they found that the kit contained traces of cocaine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), harmine, bufotenine, and benzoylecgonine — psychoactive chemicals that are all found in various plants native to South America.

Humans have been using psychoactive drugs since time immemorial. Now we have proof that people have been working with these particular substances for at least a thousand years. What’s amazing about this story is that these chemicals did not originate from the area where the bag was found:

Perhaps most significantly, the plants that produce the chemicals analyzed at the site do not grow in the place where they were found. The archaeologists note that while the site is located in the mountains, at an elevation of almost 13,000 feet above sea level, most of these plants grow in the lowland forests of the Amazon.

In other words, these shamans were either acquiring these drugs from a trading network or going on long treks to collect them on their own.