Scratch-and-sniff wallpaper that smells like weed

From the far-out folks at Flavor Paper comes Cannabliss, a subtly psychedelic scratch-and-sniff wallpaper that smells like weed. They write:

We have nailed a very pleasant yet dank scent that is made from true flowering hemp terpenes to ensure we’re keeping it real. CBD for your eyes and ol factory. Dope.

As Alex writes at Weird Universe, "Most of the people who will buy this already have rooms that smell like marijuana." Read the rest

Mexico City judge gives two people permission to enjoy recreational cocaine with impunity

Mexico City judge Víctor Octavio Luna Escobedo gave two people permission to use  500 milligrams of cocaine per day, saying the drug conveys benefits such as "tension relief, the intensification of perceptions and the desire [to have] new personal and spiritual experiences." According to Newsweek, the two happy cokeheads musn't sniff the drug while "working, driving or operating heavy machinery  ... they are also not allowed to take the drug in public, in the presence of children, or encourage others to consume it."

Image: Pixabay. Public domain Read the rest

Dog pees on $3 million in cocaine found at beach. 'They tried to mark it as theirs'

In New Zealand, a dog walking with its human along the beach peed on $3 million worth of cocaine which washed up on the Auckland shores on Wednesday. Read the rest

Drug smuggler busted with half a kilo of cocaine under his bad toupée

At Barcelona's international airport, police arrested a Colombian gentleman who arrived from Bogota with half a kilogram of cocaine under his toupée. According to a Reuters report, "The man attracted police attention as he looked nervous and had a disproportionately large hairpiece under his hat. They found a package stuck to his head with about €30,000 (£27,000) of cocaine."

No word whether the unnamed man is a drug bigwig.

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Tennessee police to drug users: don't flush your dope or you'll create "meth gators"

Following a raid where they caught a suspect flushing evidence down the toilet Loretto, Tennessee Police Department has asked the citizenry to refrain from flushing dope due to the potential risks to local wildlife, including the possibility of creating "meth gators." Read the rest

A Korean bodybuilder describes how years of steroid use messed up his body

Joint pain. Poor digestion. Hair loss. Erectile dysfunction. No libido. These are just a few of the lasting symptoms experienced by Kim Dong-hyeon, a bodybuilder in South Korea, after using over $3,000 of black-market steroids per month for many years. In this video he tells an Asian Boss reporter that he injected himself with steroids 20 times a day and that 98% of bodybuilders in South Korea take steroids. Read the rest

At a Chinese cemetery, scientists discover some of the oldest evidence of pot smoking

More than 2,500 years ago in western China, people in mourning gathered at a cemetery for a ritual that involved getting high from cannabis plants burning in wooden pots. It's likely that they were trying to communicate with spirits. From Science News:

Evidence of this practice comes from Jirzankal Cemetery in Central Asia’s Pamir Mountains, says a team led by archaeologist Yimin Yang of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Chemical residues on wooden burners unearthed in tombs there provide some of the oldest evidence to date of smoking or inhaling cannabis fumes, the researchers report online June 12 in Science Advances....

East Asians grew cannabis starting at least 6,000 years ago, but only to consume the plants’ oily seeds and make clothing and rope out of cannabis fibers. Early cultivated cannabis varieties in East Asia and elsewhere, like most wild forms of the plant, contained low levels of THC and other mind-altering compounds.

Yang’s team identified a chemical signature of cannabis on charred plant material from 10 wooden burners, or braziers, found in eight Jirzankal tombs. Chemical signs of an unusually high level of THC were found inside nine braziers and on two stones that had been heated and used to burn plants in the braziers.

image: Xinhua Wu Read the rest

Oakland, California decriminalized shrooms, peyote, and other psychoactive plants and fungi

Oakland, California is now the second city in the United States, following Denver last month, to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Oakland City Council unanimously passed the resolution on Tuesday. From NPR:

Oakland's resolution is broader than Denver's. Denver's initiative decriminalized the use and possession of mushrooms containing the compound psilocybin, whereas Oakland's refers to "entheogenic plants" in general, which includes the mushrooms and other plants and fungi containing psychoactive substances.

The resolution says city money will not be used "to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of Entheogenic Plants by adults." It says that investigating people for growing, buying, distributing or possessing the substances "shall be amongst the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Oakland...."

(The substances') possible therapeutic effects were highlighted in an agenda report filed to City Council by the resolution's sponsor, Council member Noel Gallo.

"For millennia, cultures have respected entheogenic plants and fungi for providing healing, knowledge, creativity, and spiritual connection," the report states, saying that these plants may be beneficial for conditions such as substance abuse, anxiety and PTSD. "This initiative aims to empower the Oakland community by restoring their relationship to nature."

These substances are currently not legal under federal and state law.

"Oakland City Council Effectively Decriminalizes Psychedelic Mushrooms" (NPR) Read the rest

Scientific study reports that CBD reduces opioid cravings and anxiety

Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis component that doesn't get you high but seems to have countless other benefits, has now been shown to reduce heroin cravings and the anxiety that's triggered when jonesing for the opioid. Researchers at the Addiction Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ran a randomized, controlled, double-blind study with several dozen addicts who have been abstaining from use. From their scientific paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry:

Acute CBD administration, in contrast to placebo, significantly reduced both craving and anxiety induced by the presentation of salient drug cues compared with neutral cues. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures 7 days after the final short-term (3-day) CBD exposure. In addition, CBD reduced the drug cue–induced physiological measures of heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. There were no significant effects on cognition, and there were no serious adverse effects.

And from Scientific American:

The anxiety reduction isn’t specific to opioid-related cues and could generalize to other situations, says neuroscientist Yasmin Hurd, first author on the study and director of the Addiction Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “It’s just that this particular anxiety leads someone to take a drug that can cause them death, and anything we can do to decrease that means increasing the precious chance of preventing relapse and saving their lives.”

image: "Ball-and-stick model of the cannabidiol molecule." X-ray diffraction data from P. G. Jones, L. Falvello, O. Kennard, G. M. Sheldrick and R. Read the rest

Drug dealers herded into designated zone to hawk their wares in Berlin Park

After police have proven unable to dissuade drug dealers from congregating in Berlin's Görlitzer Park, the manager of the park spray painted pink lines around designated areas for them to hang out and hawk their wares. The hope is that the dealers will no longer intimidate visitors throughout the park. From The Guardian:

“This method has purely practical reasoning behind it,” (park manager Cengiz) Demirci told local radio station RBB. “It’s not that we’re legalising the selling of drugs.”

Demirci said a much more effective solution would be if authorities gave the dealers work permits. The majority of them are asylum seekers who are not allowed to work while waiting for their claims to be processed. He added: “If they did that then 90% of them would stop what they’re doing immediately.”

Police chiefs criticised the move. “What is needed to ensure that the park is drug and crime free, is a constant police presence and judicial resolve,” Benjamin Jendro from the Berlin branch of the police trade union GdP told Bild...

The sharpest remarks came from Germany’s national anti-drugs tsar, Marlene Mortler, of the conservative Christian Social Union, who told the Funke Mediengruppe: “If this is true then it marks the capitulation of our constitutional state. We should not be issuing the dealers with a licence to deal.”

Read the rest

Drug paraphernalia that's 1,000-years-old still contains traces of coke and DMT

In a Bolivian rock shelter likely used 1,000 years ago for religious rituals, archaeologists found a collection of drug paraphernalia that still contains traces of psychoactive plants. A pouch made from three fox snouts likely contained a stash of leaves and seeds. From New Scientist:
(The items) include a 28-centimetre-long leather bag, a pair of wooden snuffing tablets, a snuffing tube, a pair of llama-bone spatulas, a textile headband, fragments of dried plant stems and a pouch made from three fox snouts stitched together. The snuffing tube and tablets feature ornate carvings of human-like figures.

Melanie Miller at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and her colleagues used mass spectrometry to analyse samples from the pouch and plant stems. They detected five psychoactive compounds: cocaine, benzoylecgonine (BZE), bufotenine, harmine and dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

The presence of these drugs suggests the pouch may have belonged to a ritual specialist or shaman with extensive knowledge of plants and their psychoactive properties, and used to hold leaves, seeds and other plant matter.

More in the scientific paper: "Chemical evidence for the use of multiple psychotropic plants in a 1,000-year-old ritual bundle from South America" (PNAS)

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Timothy Leary vintage wristwatch on eBay

Is it LSD o'clock yet? This far out Timothy Leary wristwatch from 1970 is up for auction on eBay. In more than 20 years of looking at Leary memorabilia on eBay, this is only the third time I've seen one of these. I bought the first that came up for myself and only wear it at, er, the right times.

The starting bid is $600, which is hundreds of dollars more than the selling price of previous examples. Read the rest

Japanese chemistry professor busted for teaching students to make Molly

Tatsunori Iwamura, 61, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Japan's Matsuyama University, was busted for teaching his students how to make MDMA (aka Molly/Ecstasy) and 5F-QUPIC, a cannabinoid agonist. At some point, Iwamura had a license to manufacture illegal drugs for academic purposes but it had expired. From The Guardian:

Local drug enforcement authorities believe 11 students produced the drug (MDMA) under Iwamura’s instruction. Four students, along with an assistant professor, have also been referred to prosecutors, Kyodo said.

The university said it would discipline Iwamura and the assistant professor once the investigation had ended.

“We sincerely apologise for causing serious concern to students and their parents,” said Tatsuya Mizogami, the university’s president, according to Kyodo.

Read the rest

Carl's Jr. to test a CBD-infused burger

On April 20 (4/20, duh), Carl's Jr. will sell a cannabidiol (CBD)-infused burger at one of their Denver, Colorado locations. It's called the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight. Of course, CBD actually doesn't get you high but can provide other benefits as an analgesic, to reduce inflammation, alleviate anxiety, etc. Anyway, the fast food chain insists this isn't a publicity stunt but the beginning of an actual market test. From CNN:

"It is something that feels right for the brand," (Carl's Jr. senior vice president of brand marketing Patty Trevino) told CNN Business. "We are all about innovation..."

The chain first decided to explore CBD in January, after introducing a product based on another trend. Earlier this year, the chain announced a plant-based alternative to its signature burger in partnership with Beyond Meat.

"I was sitting down with our head chef Owen Klein, and we were talking about trends," Trevino said. After the Beyond Meat launch, they came up with a wish list that included a CBD product. "We looked at ourselves and said, you know what, let's try."

Starting small, in a market where cannabis regulation is "really strong," will allow Carl's Jr. to figure out how to move forward. Testing CBD could give the company an edge over competitors, because most of its locations are in Western states, where recreational cannabis is legal.

Read the rest

Harm reduction: an opioid "vending machine"

British Columbia -- ground zero for the opioid epidemic in Canada and long a principal point of ingress for heroin -- pioneered the harm-reduction approach with the world's first safe injection sites; now addiction researcher and MD Mark Tyndall wants to go further and end accidental overdoses from fentanyl and other additives by giving registered addicts access to an armored, biometrically controlled "opioid vending machine" that dispenses prescribed amounts of hydromorphone pills without subjecting addicts -- whose lives are often chaotic due to homelessness and the need to steal or prostitute themselves to avoid dope-sickness -- to a bureaucratic process at a pharmacy or clinic. Read the rest

Psychedelics pioneer Ralph Metzner, RIP

Pioneering psychonaut Ralph Metzner who co-led the seminal psychedelic research at Harvard University in the early 1960s with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and co-authored The Psychedelic Experience, has died at age 82. (Above image, Metzner at left with Leary.) Through his life, Metzner helped a great many people through his psychotherapist practice, spoke frequently on eco-consciousness, and also composed visionary ballads. (Erowid)

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US FDA approved chemical twin of dissociative psychedelic ketamine to treat depression

Earlier today, the FDA approved esketamine (brand name Spravato), a chemical twin of the dissociative psychedelic/anaesthetic ketamine (Special K), as a treatment for depression. Spravato comes in nasal spray form meant to be administered weekly or every other week depending on the severity of the patient's depression.

"There has been a longstanding need for additional effective treatments for treatment-resistant depression, a serious and life-threatening condition," said the FDA's acting director of the Division of Psychiatry Products, Dr. Tiffany Farchione, in a press release. "Because of [safety] concerns, the drug will only be available through a restricted distribution system and it must be administered in a certified medical office where the health care provider can monitor the patient."

From National Public Radio:

Many doctors who have become comfortable offering ketamine for depression probably won't switch to esketamine, said Dr. Demitri Papolos, director of research for the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation and a clinical associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

For the past 10 years, Papolos has been prescribing an intranasal form of ketamine for children and adolescents who have a disorder that includes symptoms of depression.

"I'm very pleased that finally the FDA has approved a form of ketamine for treatment-resistant mood disorders," Papolos said. He said the approval legitimizes the approach he and other doctors have been taking.

But he hopes that doctors who are currently using ketamine continue to do so. "It'll be a lot less expensive and a lot easier for their patients [than esketamine]," he said.

Read the rest

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