The Price of Shrooms: Will Mushroom Treatment Burn a Hole in Your Pocket?

Oregon started a new trend by passing legislation to open an adult-use magic mushrooms market in the form of legal administration centers. Sounds pretty awesome, right? But how much will a session set a person back? It’s great to have this service, but can the average person afford it? Here’s a little on the new price of shrooms, and what you can expect in the future.

The industry is about to begin, and the price of shrooms is looking pretty high. Will this change? Welcome to an independent news publication focused on stories in the cannabis and psychedelics spaces. Sign up for the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for weekly updates, and to get prime access to offers on a range of stuff like vapes, smoking devices, edibles, other cannabis paraphernalia, and the growing-in-demand cannabinoid compounds Delta 8 & HHC. All the info is in our ‘best of’ lists, so head on over to find deals, and please enjoy responsibly.


Let’s trip out, Oregon!

Though the news isn’t new anymore, the concept still is, and many are probably unaware of what happened, or what it actually means. So, here’s a little recap. In November 2020, Oregon did the unthinkable, and put it to voters to decide if they wanted to legalize magic mushrooms for an adult-use market. What did the population of Oregon say? A resounding ‘Yes!’ To be fair, it wasn’t a sweeping majority, but 55.75% wanted it, opposed to 44.25% who did not.

At the time of the vote, there was nothing specifically written about how it would work. Voters literally voted to open an industry, while having no idea about the details therein. The measure, officially called the Psilocybin Mushroom Services Program Initiative, came with this description: “Clients would be allowed to purchase, possess, and consume psilocybin at a psilocybin service center and under the supervision of a psilocybin service facilitator after undergoing a preparation session.” And that’s about it.

The specifics were so unclear, with so many rumors flying around, that many thought it was a medical legalization. At the end of May, Oregon began releasing its rules for this new industry, elucidating the situation. The Oregon Psilocybin Services, a part of the Oregon Health Authority, put out its first round of rules, though they don’t cover everything. It’s hoped that the remainder of the regulations will be instituted by year’s end, for a market opening in late January, 2023.

Psilocybin shrooms

Among the guidelines, Oregon made clear it only wants one type of mushroom right now, Psilocybe cubensis, a much-contested point. It also doesn’t want synthetic products, or derivatives used; it requires psilocybin and psilocin content be within 20% for all mushrooms; it only approved the eating of mushrooms for drug delivery; and stipulated that the mushrooms are only legal when consumed in a specific center, under the guidance of a non-medical tripsitter. These tripsitters can’t offer any form of treatment, but are required to undergo a certain amount of training.

Basically, Oregon set up something in between a medical legalization and a recreational legalization. There’s no medical application, but it comes with the requirement of being in a specific facility, and under the guidance of a tripsitter. Plus, no possession laws were made, meaning the mushrooms are merely decriminalized outside of these settings, but not actually legal for use. Their decriminalization came during the same election, when a separate ballot, Measure 110, decriminalized the personal possession and use of all drugs in the state.

The price of shrooms

It’s not ideal. When we hear the word ‘legalization’, we expect it to mean something is actually legal, right? Well, in the case of Oregon and magic mushrooms, its more like ‘legal with some major caveats’, even more so than the weed industry. After all, not one legal weed state requires the use of designated sites to get high. Not even for medical use. So this ‘legalization’ immediately comes with some detractions. But it’s the first of the industry, so at the same time, the progress is commendable, and we can hope some of these kinks get worked out in the future.

One of the biggest issues presenting itself now, is that it’s not exactly cheap. And by that I mean, it’s really expensive. Anyone who shops in a cannabis dispensary is aware that the prices are generally higher than black market prices. And though sometimes much higher, they’re still within reason compared to the daunting price of shrooms in Oregon’s upcoming industry. As the industry isn’t open yet, nothing is for sure, but recent statements imply a very high-priced industry. The current expectation of prices, just like with weed, is not based on government regulation, but set by private industry.

Field Trip Health & Wellness CEO Ronan Levy put it this way, in terms of pricing “An easy analogy is gyms where there’s a lot of mom and pop gyms that are open, but there’s Equinox locations across the world and both compete in their own respective spaces.” His implication is that treatment can be more or less expensive depending on the specific program.

As it happens, Field Trip already has established magic mushrooms centers in the Netherlands, where $4,160-7,750 will exit your bank account, depending on the number of sessions. Another company in the Netherlands, called Synthesis, is looking to open a center for immersive retreats on a large estate, which could put consumers back $6,497 for a five-day experience. These, of course, are in Europe, but they show what this industry will likely cost in the US as well.

What is the price of magic mushrooms
What is the price of magic mushrooms

Some local operators are looking to make a more cost-effective experience. The Alma Institute, a not-for-profit organization helmed by Rebecca Martinez, is hoping to offer a single session (complete with prep session and after care) for about $1,500. Martinez explains, “We need to ensure facilitators have a sustainable living and prevent burnout. Fair wages are a big part of this.”

She makes a good point. Just like the cannabis industry, the mushroom industry involves all the costs of cultivation and production. Unlike the cannabis industry, this one requires actual people to be in attendance. A whole other person must be there, who’s earning a salary to do it; making the cost of these trips, inclusive of the cost of this staff member. This is yet another downside to the general setup, as it creates an overhead cost which doesn’t exist for weed.

The unfortunate reality is that most people can’t pay such exorbitant prices. And as this isn’t a medical industry, no coverage is expected. Those who want to partake, must reach deep into their pockets to provide the full amount. For as cool as it is that Oregon is setting up this service, the sheer price of using the shrooms is a major inhibitor to the new industry. In the end, these prices might serve the same purpose as raised prices in the cannabis industry, and further bolster the black market.

The cost of ketamine ain’t any better

The magic mushroom industry is looking to take after the high-priced ketamine industry. Ketamine might be the new rising star of both psychological and pain treatments, but its cost is as bad as the English in my sub-heading. With standard treatment sessions running from about $400-800 (or as much as several thousand) for one session, this isn’t a treatment that just anyone can afford. Different companies offer different deals – much like Levy described with his gym analogy and mushrooms, but the price range stays generally high for standard sessions. Some companies are incorporating things like group sessions to bring down cost, which can reduce it by as much as about half.

As a way to bring down costs further, some ketamine clinics offer at-home treatment. As there are still no reports of real issues with ketamine, and since the ketamine for these treatments still comes from a pharmacy, it’s not the worst option, but it does come with a few detractions that consumers should consider. For one thing, ketamine is far less bioavailable when taken orally, and therefore harder to dose since there’s more individual variation. In a medical setting, ketamine is administered via IV, making for more uniform bioavailability, and greater ability for precise dosing. It’s way easier to take too much or too little, when taking it orally.

Plus, there’s no one there to help. Ketamine is still a drug that can send someone into an anesthetized state, aka, a k-hole. It can still have strange or unexpected effects, especially for unfamiliar users, and it can put someone into a precarious situation if they’re not in a safe place when using the drug. Paying out for the medical setting, means paying out for the medical help, and the safety it offers, as well. On top of these factors, for those using it for psychological purposes, at-home treatment might provide less of the therapy aspect, which is a big part of the whole thing.

ketamine for pain

There is one place where ketamine treatment allows for lower pricing, but it has some steep requirements. Ketamine itself isn’t legal for psychological treatments or pain treatments, but it is legal as an anesthetic, meaning we’re not talking about a Schedule I drug. As such, doctors can prescribe it as they see fit, which has led to a large gray market ketamine industry that depends on off-label prescribing.

However, the government did officially approve a version of it called esketamine, but only for treatment-resistant depression. As this is an approved medical treatment, patients can have it covered by health insurance, making for lower costs. On the downside, because its officially approved, it comes with government regulations attached, like needing to have already tried, or be on, a standard pharma antidepressant. Many people are heading towards ketamine, specifically to avoid this. It also isn’t approved for pain, so anyone looking for ketamine pain treatments, must go to the gray market clinics automatically.

In either case, when dealing with the price of shrooms or ketamine, actual street prices are so far below, it’s a little silly. A syringe of mushroom spores can go for about $10-15, with an ounce costing somewhere around $200. Or, of course, a total of $0 if picked from nature. Ketamine, for its part, can go for about $20-25 on the black market for a single dose, a far cry from the hundreds paid out per dose in a clinic.

Conclusion

If all this makes it sound like alternative treatments are cool, but not accessible, there is hope for the future. The price of shrooms might start out high, but if the field suffers any of the overproduction issues of the weed industry, these prices could be driven down. Plus, magic mushrooms are gaining popularity worldwide, as evidenced by Thailand, which is also looking to get into magic mushroom treatments, and which is already dedicated to doing so at a cheaper price point. This could influence overall markets, by creating competition, and bolstering medical magic mushroom tourism.

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Can You Inject Weed?

Come on, if you’re in the world of weed, this must have crossed your mind at least once. As lay-people, we don’t always know why one drug gets injected, and another is given as a pill. Or why research studies use injections when studying compounds, but only release them using other delivery methods. Today we ask the question, can you inject weed? Like, really main-line it? And if you do, what happens?

Is it possible to inject weed, and if so, how to go about it, and what to expect? We are a cannabis and psychedelics platform which covers big stories in these expanding industries, and beyond. We also offer the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter to keep readers updated, and to offer a range of deals on products like vapes, smoking devices, edibles, other cannabis paraphernalia, and cannabinoid compounds including the crazy popular Delta 8 & HHC. You can find offers in our ‘best of’ lists, so head on over, and buy yourself the products you really want to use most.


Delivery methods

The delivery method is the method by way a drug is introduced to your system. Each drug has one, or several, delivery avenues, and often particular compounds cannot be administered in certain ways. Sometimes, a certain method of administration is possible, but frowned on. Take opioids for example. They’re usually given as a pill, but we know they can be injected, put in a patch or cream, or used in a syrup. We also know they can be snorted, but this is never the intended form of delivery.

As another example, mushrooms are usually eaten or made into a tea, though new companies are now making skin patches as well. They don’t work when you inject them, snort them, or smoke them, or to such a minimal degree that using in these ways, is meaningless. Though there is always the errant experimenter, these mushroom-taking principals, seem pretty-well understood. In this case, its just about whether something works or not.

General delivery modes include using pills and capsules; oils and tinctures; creams, salves, and patches; smoking and vaping; through nose or mouth inhalation; as a syrup or other liquid; or through either IV (intravenous) or IM (intramuscular) injection. Some drugs are usable in more ways than others. When looking at modes of delivery, bioavailability and toxicity are important.

Bioavailability relates to how much of a compound your body can realistically use of a medication. Toxicity relates to what point a compound becomes dangerous to your system function. For some drugs, the same amount given two different ways, can elicit two different levels, whereby one method might lead to toxicity, when the other does not. For example, when weed is inhaled, the bioavailability is 10-35%. When eaten, its 4-12%. This according to a 2021 study on cannabis pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of action.

Weed delivery method

When it comes to weed, we have tons of ways of getting it in us. Most of us smoke and vape, or swallow down an edible. Plenty are using oils and tinctures, and there are an array of cannabis creams, salves, and skin patches. There are also nasal inhalers. What do we not do? Snort it. We know this doesn’t work since the oil soluble compounds repel our water-soluble mucous membranes. But does that mean weed can’t be injected either? Read on to find out more.

Can you inject weed?

Sometimes weed comes as an oil or tincture, which is in a liquid form. Sometimes this comes in a container that looks like a big ole syringe (even if it’s oversized and not meant for injection). So what’s the deal? Can you inject weed oil or any other form of weed, directly into a vein or muscle? The official answer, is actually yes. It can be done, but is not a standard method, as it comes with some issues.

Cannabis has been used for injections for some 50 years in research settings. In this capacity, IV delta-9 injections provide a major benefit in that it standardizes bioavailability between people. With IV injections, everything is absorbed, and the differences between individuals in their uptake, is less profound.

So, it sounds like it’s possible, right? Yet, no one does it. Except for that small percentage of self-experiments out there. What do they have to say? Well, even they exist in rather minuscule numbers considering how widely used cannabis is. In one place, a person spoke of injecting kief by mixing it with blood, heating to dissolve the kief, filtering, and then injecting. His response to it?:

“I felt extremely baked for about 5-10 minutes before it quickly wore off. This was something i did purely for the sake of being able to say i tried it, having never heard of anyone else doing it. The high was really unique, not in necessarily a good or bad way. I have had no ill effects after several hours, but i would not recommend it to anyone who isn’t VERY confident in what they are doing.”

What we don’t know, is who this guy is, what other compounds he might have been on, what happened in the longer-term, or if this is a true story. How does this story compare to other research into the effects of injecting weed?

Can you inject weed? The research!

It seems the question can you inject weed is popular enough, that the topic was officially looked into by researchers, who put out this study in 2004 entitled The Psychotomimetic Effects of Intravenous Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Healthy Individuals: Implications for Psychosis. In it, they performed a 3-day, double-blind, randomized, counterbalanced study, on the behavioral, cognitive, and endocrine effects, of injecting 0, 2.5, or 5 mg of delta-9 THC intravenously. However, what the study represents most, is how easily information is outdated, or incorrectly assessed.

The study was performed on 22 people who all had some level of cannabis exposure, though none were diagnosed with cannabis abuse disorder. The researchers found that injected delta-9, at any level used, caused the following results:

Inject weed
Inject weed

“(1) produced schizophrenia-like positive and negative symptoms; (2) altered perception; (3) increased anxiety; (4) produced euphoria; (5) disrupted immediate and delayed word recall, sparing recognition recall; (6) impaired performance on tests of distractibility, verbal fluency, and working memory (7) did not impair orientation; (8) increased plasma cortisol.”

They concluded that “These data indicate that Δ-9-THC produces a broad range of transient symptoms, behaviors, and cognitive deficits in healthy individuals that resemble some aspects of endogenous psychoses. These data warrant further study of whether brain cannabinoid receptor function contributes to the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders.”

What they didn’t account for – despite the title of the study – was the method of delivery. We already know injections provide for very high bioavailability. We also know that delta-9, in high amounts, can temporarily cause the equivalent of a psychedelic ‘bad trip’. In these instances, a user, seemingly responding to over-stimulation, looks to experience an anxiety attack. This is often referred to as some kind of psychosis.

Like psychedelics, cannabis increases the amount of serotonin in the system; that cannabis and psychedelics produce similar bad trips in too-high doses, actually makes a lot of sense. Both compounds are constantly looked at for their connection to psychotic issues, but it seems in both cases, this comes up as a form of overdose, not standard effect. And in neither case has this effect carried on permanently.

The researchers took all this to be the general effects of delta-9, NOT the general effects of injected delta-9. They open the discussion with “The principal finding of the study is that Δ-9-THC produced…” This is very strange, as it calls into question all results, as the results don’t take into account the delivery method, or the increased bioavailability.

Subsequent research into cannabis and intravenous use makes clear how important dosing is with IV usage. In this report from 2012, called Cannabis in the Arm: What Can we Learn from Intravenous Cannabinoid Studies?, researchers reference a Yale study which found “that I.V. administered Δ-9-THC can elicit transient schizophrenia-like positive psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia-like cognitive impairments in a proportion of healthy volunteers.”

They then go on to say, “The more recent I.V. delta-9-THC studies have used doses of 1.25mg, 2.5mg, and 5mg. These doses have been found to be psychotomimetic, anxiogenic, dysphoric and cognitively impairing.” And then that “It may therefore be possible that doses which are considered by participants to be the strongest they have experienced reflect an over-intoxication, which in turn results in such symptoms.”

So basically, injecting by itself doesn’t have to lead to such symptoms, but getting the dose wrong, can. This might help explain why its frowned on for regular people to inject cannabis, as it’s a wildly different thing to dose for injections, and very easy for a person to make themselves sick. As of yet, I haven’t seen appropriate amounts listed anywhere for dosing in this way, indicating it might not be known, even now.

Weed injection
Weed injection

So…can a regular person inject weed?

The answer to the question of can you inject weed, is actually yes, you can. And its regularly done for study purposes. However, even now there seems to be confusion over how to dose for intravenous use, as well as no good way for a standard person to turn their flowery plant into an injectable preparation.

In this article from 2018, a recipe for an IV injection included: “10 mg THC, 10 mg CBD, 150.0 mg polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), 10.0 mg sodium ascorbate, 500 μL absolute ethanol, and 0.9% sodium chloride,” at pH of 7.4, which all together totaled 10 mL. “The IV solutions were freshly prepared and filtrated under sterile conditions after sonication for 30 s.” Specific processing techniques apart from this, were not made clear.

It seems the biggest reasons cannabis is not regularly injected by the masses, are 1) the process needed to make the injection is extensive itself, and not realistic for the majority of users, and 2) the ability to dose, without overdoing, is not well understood. For anyone interested, it’s best to stick with standard delivery options when it comes to weed. And if in the future things change, take advantage of the new information, at that time.

Conclusion

It’s always good to know what makes sense to do, and what doesn’t. We’ve got tons of answers to other mind-boggling questions as well, like can you smoke magic mushrooms? Snort kief? Smoke in space? Or can you smoke a gummy, tincture, or oil? Read up to find out!

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Can You Snort Kief?

Yup, this is going to be one of those super intellectual articles. Right on par with whether you can smoke a mushroom, which we got to the bottom of not that long ago. It’s a valid question, of course, and I think it’s necessary for readers to know. So today we attack the very-important question of, can you snort kief?

Ah, the age old question of can you snort kief… here’s what you need to know. We’re a cannabis and psychedelics news publication which reports on big stories in these exciting and growing fields. We also offer the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for readers to keep updated, as well as access a bunch of awesome deals on all kinds of swag from vapes and other smoking paraphernalia, to edibles and cannabinoid compounds like the uber-popular Delta 8 & HHC. Head over to our ‘best of’ lists for more info, and pick yourself up the products you feel most comfortable using.


What is kief?

If you’re smoking some low grade, twiggy, full of seeds ditch weed, you’re probably not concerning yourself with kief. But for those smoking the good stuff, the kief is the cherry on top of the cake. Some people collect it by using grinders with an entrapment on the bottom to catch the powder, or stash containers with the same collection repository. Some people like to sprinkle the kief on cannabis or tobacco, or to save it up and compress it into hash. If necessary, kief is usable in place of weed, if you run out of that first.

So, what is the stuff? Kief is the powdered trichomes that come off of the flowers of the plant, often called pollen, or resin glands. The trichomes are the chemical building structures that house the cannabinoids like THC, and terpenes like linalool; so if you have a bunch of high-quality cannabis kief, you’ve essentially got a bunch of high quality cannabinoids and terpenes too.

The kief, therefore, is a concentrated form of the cannabinoids responsible for the medical and mind-altering effects of the cannabis, as well as the terpenes which are responsible for the taste, color, and smell of the plant.

Kief

Kief is the starting point of hash. Hash is made of the compressed resin glands of the plant, AKA, trichomes, or kief. Just like kief is a concentrate because its comprised solely of trichomes, hash is a concentrated version of these trichomes, as well. Hash is made pretty simply by squeezing the kief together until it becomes a solid. This doesn’t require more than rolling kief in the hand, or smashing it in a plastic bag. For some people, the entire point of saving up the kief, is to turn it into hash.

If you’re smoking the low-grade, twiggy, full of seeds ditch weed, there won’t be kief, or not as much. The plant will still have cannabinoids, but far fewer, which is why such weed isn’t known for producing a good high. The more kief there is, the stickier the plant feels, the brighter the color, the more pungent the smell and taste, and the greater the effects. Have you ever had weed so strong that you could smell it even after wrapping it in two plastic bags and sticking it in a backpack? That’s the kief!

Kief is powdery by nature, which is why there’s confusion over how its possibly used. After all, we snort other powdery substances, like cocaine and ketamine, right? Is it that far off to ask, can you snort that kief, as well?

Realistically, kief functions similarly to cannabis flowers. It can be smoked, eaten in edibles, vaped, used in a tincture, or applied to skin creams and salves. Generally, we don’t consider snorting weed, but kief is such a concentrated part, and so powdery by nature, that the question does come up. Unfortunately, the question ‘can you snort kief’, might not come with the answer you desire.

Can you snort kief?

We’re a world of people who like to self-experiment. Maybe this is a sign of widespread boredom, or simply a constant desire to try to push the boundaries of what makes us feel good. The reason I’m writing this article today, is because the question ‘can you snort kief’ is a relatively prevalent one, and an easy-enough experiment, that many have tried. Anyone who has, likely came to the same result.

There are two things to remember about cannabinoids and your nose. The first is that the mucous membranes of your nose won’t take up cannabinoids in their natural form, since you are water-based, and they are oil-soluble. When a person uses a THC nasal spray, they’re using a form of cannabis which has been emulsified to make uptake through the nasal passage possible. This process turns something oil-soluble, into something water-soluble. This doesn’t happen naturally, though. If it did, it might be commonplace to see people with the plant shoved up a nostril, and let’s be honest, no one does that.

Can kief be snorted
Can kief be snorted

The other thing to remember? Even if you could shove it up there, it would have to be decarboxylated first in order to access any psychotropic effects. It’s still weed after all, and if the THCA isn’t transformed into THC, there’s no high to access in the first place. For anyone thinking they want to go decarb their kief to try snorting it that way…just remember the first point, that it won’t matter since marijuana isn’t water-soluble. Sorry, guys!

Plus, if you want a couple more reasons not to attempt this experiment, here are a couple more things to consider. Kief is coming off a plant, it’s going to be mixed with dirt, and other unwanted particles that might not be desired by the inside of your nose. The reason people use nostrils for medication uptake is because there are a lot of blood vessels, but this means its also easy to get bad microbes up there.

Snorting something dirty and unrefined is a great way of getting an infection. The other aspect of this? It probably won’t feel good. That’s a sensitive area that doesn’t want such particles coming into it. Snorting kief will result in no high, but discomfort in your nostril. Something like cocaine numbs the inside of your nose to make it a painless experience, but kief can’t do this; if you choose to experiment in this way, expect to feel the burn.

If you REALLY want to snort weed, there might be a way…

Alright, so if you cue up that kief line, and snort your way through it, you’re probably going to irritate your sinuses, and not much more. What if you’re not snorting kief, though, but an isolate instead? There are some interesting stories about people getting pretty messed up from blowing through lines of isolate.

Well, according to Marijuana Mommy Founder, and RN, Jessie Gill, nostrils don’t provide enough bioavailability for isolates since cannabinoids are fat-soluble, not water-soluble. Since mucous membranes are comprised mostly of water, this doesn’t get around the same uptake issue previously mentioned.

Despite this, Gill notes that “it’s easy to over-consume.” And specifically about CBD, “Consuming high doses of CBD via any method can lead to overstimulation, which some people may interpret as a ‘buzz.’” While there still isn’t much backing up this method of delivery, there are a few personal stories out there. In all cases, however, what other drugs the user might have taken, wasn’t accounted for. It also can’t be ruled out that those who claim a high from this experience, were really just experiencing the placebo effect.

Marijuana pollen
Marijuana pollen

Searches in online forums turn up mixed results, but way more on the side of no effect. Once again, when looking through reddit or Quora, it’s impossible to know the specific situations, confounding factors (like other drugs), whether there was a placebo effect, or if the person just wants to spin stories. The general consensus meets the science, in that though a person can snort kief, they’re just not going to get high.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. In answer to the question, can you smoke kief, the answer is a resounding ‘well, it won’t kill you, but it won’t do anything for you either.’ If you want to make good use of that kief, sprinkle it on a bowl, smash it into hash, or use it for your edibles. But if your goal is to snort it, all you’re doing is wasting some super fine bud concentrate.

Curious about what you can smoke in life? Read on to find the answer to other popular questions, like can you smoke in space? Or, can you smoke magic mushrooms? Or, can you smoke tinctures, gummies, capsules, or oils?

Welcome all! We appreciate you joining us at Cannadelics.com, the place to go for comprehensive news on the cannabis and psychedelics spaces, all independent! Stop by daily to stay informed on changes in these industries, and sign up for the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re never late on getting the story.

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The Mescaline Loophole, And How to Use It

Laws are definitely good a lot of the time, because society would go a little crazy without them. But that doesn’t mean all laws are good, or that they make sense. That’s where loopholes come in. Sometimes the only good thing about a law, is the way to get around it. Such is the case with the mescaline loophole. Here’s what you need to know.

Mescaline isn’t known as the most popular psychedelic, but perhaps the mescaline loophole will increase popularity in time. This cannabis and psychedelics publication focuses on breaking news and ongoing stories in these new and burgeoning industries. We also put out the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for readers to access updates on stories, as well as obtain product promotions for all kinds of stuff like vapes and other smoking paraphernalia, edibles, and cannabinoid compounds including the ever-popular Delta 8 & HHC. You can find more info in our ‘best of’ lists, so check them out, and please only purchase products you feel comfortable using.

What’s mescaline

With all the talk on psychedelics recently, magic mushrooms, DMT, and LSD have sure gotten a lot of attention, along with dissociatives like ketamine. One of the classic psychedelics that gets slightly less attention, is mescaline. However, of all the classic psychedelics, mescaline is the only one that comes with a handy little loophole in the form of the San Pedro and Peruvian Torch cacti.

Mescaline (3,4,5-Trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a psychedelic compound that occurs naturally, like psilocybin from magic mushrooms and DMT. This is unlike MDMA and LSD which are only made in a lab. It’s most well-known association is with the Peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), although it’s also found in the Peruvian Torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana), San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi), and in the Cactaceae plant and Fabaceae bean families. It belongs to the phenethylamine class of drugs, and like the rest of the classic psychedelics, it exerts its biggest effect on serotonin receptors.

Mescaline produces a number of effects, including intense hallucinogens, with both open and closed-eye visuals; distortion in time, sound and vision; an increase in introspective and conceptual thinking; the loss of ego; and feelings of euphoria. It’s often considered gentler than other psychedelics with less negative come-down, while possibly producing greater insight than these other compounds. It’s the subject of a growing body of research for its potential medical properties.

Mescaline loophole

Users should be aware that psychedelics can produce anxiety, paranoia, delusions, and psychosis in some users, though only temporarily. Mescaline, like the other psychedelics, has never shown to be an addictive or toxic substance. It’s lesser popularity in the world of psychedelics is probably related to its long growing time, and greater cost of production. Much of the time its bought off the street, its not real mescaline, but a synthetic derivative like 2C-B.

Peyote has a rich history, particularly in MesoAmerica, going back as far as 5,700 years. Mescaline cacti are generally found as far north as the south of North America, and throughout Central and parts of South America. It’s been used for spiritual and religious purposes in different native communities through this time, and still today.

In terms of more recent history, its entrance to Western science came in 1897, when German chemist Arthur Heffter first isolated the compound from the Peyote plant. In 1919 it was synthesized for the first time by Ernst Späth. It was Aldous Huxley’s 1954 essay entitled “The Doors of Perception” that helped mescaline gain prominence in the mid-1900’s.

How the mescaline loophole works

The mescaline loophole is similar to the two magic mushroom loopholes. The first magic mushroom loophole concerns the seeds. As the seeds contain no psychoactive components, they are usually legal to buy and sell, though growing the mushrooms is illegal. The second mushroom’s loophole relates to how mushrooms themselves were never scheduled by the Convention on psychotropic substances in 1971, though their components psilocybin and psilocin were. The loophole is that the plant itself it legal in many places outside the US, while what’s in it, is not.

This is similar to how it works with the mescaline loophole. Mescaline itself is a Schedule I compound on the Controlled Substances list. The plant Peyote also resides on that list specifically. But the San Pedro cactus does not, and neither does the Peruvian Torch cactus, or any other mescaline-producing plant. Much like magic mushroom seeds, its perfectly legal to buy, sell, and grow these cacti, but it’s technically not legal to harvest them for mescaline. This is the same with mushroom seeds, and mushrooms themselves where the loophole applies. The seeds can be sold and purchased, but you’re not supposed to grow the mushrooms.

As Peyote is the only specifically-listed mescaline containing plant on the Controlled Substances list, this mescaline loophole applies to any other plant that produces mescaline. According to the US government, these cacti are legal for religious purposes across the board (possession, sale, and transport), and are legal for cultivation without rules.

Mescaline-producing Peyote cactus
Mescaline-producing Peyote cactus

In terms of Peyote, its not even completely illegal like other Schedule I substances. As of 1994’s American Indian Religious Freedom Act amendments, harvest, possession, consumption and cultivation of peyote are protected for religious ceremonies. Though the Act was originally made only for Native American use when instituted in 1978, this was expanded in 1991 to include anyone using Peyote for religious purposes, through the US vs Boyll ruling. As of right now, Idaho and Texas are the only states that bar the religious use of Peyote by non-native-American, non-enrolled people.

Does this make sense?

No, not really. But a lot of laws don’t make sense. In this case, the loophole is in favor of the people. Such loopholes happen quite a bit in the world of drugs, where laws don’t always match up. The magic mushroom loopholes are a couple of examples, but there are still more.

Consider that in some places like Thailand cannabis with THC levels over .2% is decriminalized, but not legal. Yet growing hemp is perfectly legal, making for the industrial hemp loophole. Not only is it not illegal in a place like Thailand to grow hemp, but it’s actually encouraged for the general population to do so. So much so that the government handed out one million free cannabis plants to residents upon instituting the decriminalization policy. This same concept is seen elsewhere in places like Slovenia, Argentina, and Iran.

Sometimes a loophole isn’t even a real loophole, but still acts that way. Like delta-8 THC. The compound undergoes synthetic processing for creation, meaning it doesn’t fall under the definition of hemp, and is technically illegal, even if its sourced from hemp. However, it also falls into the no-one-will-do-anything-about-it loophole. The US fought such losing wars on drugs (and still is) that to go after any compound (natural or synthetic) related to a drug on the cusp of federal legalization, is so non-financially viable, and so unwanted, that it would only lead to negative consequences for the government. And so there is essentially no legal reaction to the industry.

Even delta-9 falls into that same loophole, when its made from CBD derived from hemp. Sure, it undergoes processing that no longer qualifies it as ‘hemp’, but at a time when half the country already lives in places where high-THC cannabis is legal, going after it, isn’t going to happen. Or at least, it hasn’t yet.

Ketamine is another fantastic loophole example. While it was never approved for use with pain or psychological disorders, it is approved as an anesthetic. In the US, doctors are allowed to prescribe any approved medication for any use they see fit. This has spawned a large gray-market ketamine industry whereby the ketamine is prescribed by a doctor at a clinic, and treatment is given for unapproved purposes.

Ketamine loophole
Ketamine loophole

The world of loopholes is an interesting place, though sometimes it can work against the general population. Take Malta, for example. Malta recently legalized cannabis, becoming the first EU country to do so, but prior to this, it operated off a strange loophole. That loophole came about because Malta legalized home-growing for personal use, but only one plant, without any specification for weight or size. Which means if a person had two plants the same size as one, even for medical use, it no longer fell under the personal use allowance, making it illegal. A person could have three plants that equaled less weight than one big plant, and the same would’ve still applied.

How did this happen?

The US sure likes to illegalize drugs, right? So, how did it allow such a loophole to happen? Probably for the same reason as yet another loophole, the amanita mushroom loophole. Amanita mushrooms are considered ‘poisonous mushrooms’ and not ‘psychedelic mushrooms’ based on a different mode of action that centers around GABA rather than serotonin. They haven’t shown to be deadly, and are simply another form of hallucinogenic mushroom. Unlike their psilocybin counterparts, they were never illegalized.

In both the case of amanita mushrooms, and mescaline-producing plants like San Pedro, they’re less commonly found and used in the US. Amanita mushrooms are found mainly in places like Siberia, whereas some mescaline plants are found more in Latin America. Mescaline also comes with the detraction of a much longer production time, making it less popular than other drugs. When drug laws were made, these compounds/plants either never came up, or were passed-over since they weren’t popular enough in the US at the time. As Peyote showed up more often, it was made illegal, while its less common counterparts, were not.

This does make sense. Countries don’t tend to make laws for things they don’t deal with. The US thought it was outlawing mescaline by making it and Peyote illegal, and it didn’t consider the lesser-known mescaline-producing plants. Just like, it left out amanita mushrooms, because they weren’t known about by anyone in the US at that time. As plant-based hallucinogens grow in popularity and acceptance, it makes it harder for the US to come in now and change things, meaning these loopholes will likely remain until they’re replaced by legalizations.

Conclusion

It’s not my job to tell anyone what to do or not to do. As mescaline is illegal, I’m definitely not telling anyone they should go out and find a San Pedro or Peruvian Torch cactus. And I’m unquestionably not telling anyone that just because they found one, they should tend to it and grow it. And I’m 100% certainly not telling anyone to take that tended-to plant, and then extract the mescaline from it. And I most assuredly am not telling anyone to take that extracted mescaline, and use it. But…for anyone looking for the experience, its sure nice to know that such a mescaline loophole, does, in fact, exist.

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How to Get THC Out of Your System – Realistically

As weed becomes legal in more places, there is less reason for many people to worry about this. However, some schools test for it under certain circumstances, many workplace perform drug tests, and sometimes people want to clean their systems for things like family planning, starting a new medication, other medical reason, or just to do it. So this is an important question. Here are the best ways for how to get THC out of your system, realistically.

Many of us have encountered a situation where the question of how to get THC out of your system is very, very relevant. However, there’s unfortunately no quick fix on this one. Sorry, guys! We are a 100% independent news publication specializing in ongoing stories and current events in the worlds of cannabis and psychedelics. We put out the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter to update readers, and to give out offers for deals on tons of products like vapes, smoking equipment, edibles, and cannabinoids including the super-popular Delta 8 & HHC. Check out our ‘best of’ lists for more info, and make sure to buy the products you’re most happy to use.

How long does THC stick around?

The first question before getting into how to get THC out of your system, is how long does it actually stay there. Much like so many other things in life, this answer is dependent on a specific person. There are also different ways to look at the question, like how long does it stay in your system, and how long can it be detected in something like a hair test? Both answers are variable depending on the particular body in question. When it comes to how long other compounds like HHC can stay in the system and affect tests, this is still unknown.

Usually, the time it takes to detox THC its written about as related to the amount smoked, and the duration of time. If a non-smoker gets high, THC is found in the urine for up to about three days. For moderate use (someone who uses several times a week, but not everyday) its expected to stay in the urine for up to a week. Daily users might find themselves detectable for 10-15 days, while the heaviest of users can expect a urine test to pick it up for as long as 30 days or more. For each of these groupings, it can also be half the time mentioned, or even a quarter, depending on the person.

Urine tests are a basic way to know that THC was used somewhat recently, and are the most frequent test method. Then there are hair tests. Hair stays on the head for awhile, and the THC that gets in it, stays around for awhile too. While a heavy user might be clear in their body after a month, their hair might continue telling a different story for several more. Blood tests are extremely hard to get around, but are almost never used. They’re employed in cases that involve crimes, including being stopped on the road. Blood tests look for very recent use, as THC leaves the bloodstream within a couple days.

In terms of the body, the reason THC can stick around awhile, is not due to its half-life, but rather because its fat soluble, not water soluble. When something gets taken up by fat cells, it can’t be flushed out of the system with anything water-based, making the method of drinking a lot of water to get rid of it, unworkable. THC is stored in the form of metabolite THC-COOH.

How to get THC out for urine test

Since THC is fat-soluble, individual variation in body fat plays a big role in how long THC stays in the system. A person with more body fat can hold onto THC for longer, whereas a person with less, has less to hold onto it, and will process it out faster. Because of this, a fat-laden light user, might have THC in their system longer than a skinnier heavy-user. Things like diet and overall metabolism, also play into this.

How to get THC out of your system – good methods

The exercise method

This might not be desired by most people. After all, as evidenced by growing levels of obesity, working out is not the most preferable activity for many Americans. Even so, the best way to burn fat – and anything its holding onto, is to get off your butt and do something physical. Physical exercise is the best way to get rid of the fat that’s holding onto the THC.

Obviously, if a person is very overweight, this method probably takes too long to be useful, though for that person, the idea of working out is even more beneficial. Regardless, this is a method that works best for a person with normal body fat, or possibly just a little extra. The idea is to both raise the metabolism, and exert physical energy, in order to burn off as much as possible. This is also – as you’ll see – the only plausible method to speed up a THC detox.

The water method

As stated before, this doesn’t answer the question of how to get THC out of the system, but it does do one thing that is useful depending on the situation. It waters things down. As in, it brings down the concentration of something. Drinking a lot of water before taking a test won’t get THC out of your system, but it can greatly dilute what’s in your system. In a pinch, this is sometimes the best way to go, even though it technically doesn’t work. If you’re looking to clear your system for family planning or medical issues, this is not ideal at all.

As a side note to this, some tests detect strange occurrences, like too much water. We have other compounds that get eliminated in urine, and when the concentration of everything is extremely low, it can trip the test, and make it come back inconclusive. Sometimes, depending on how testing is paid for, this is enough to get out of a problem. Or it could mean taking a new test. I put it under the good methods, because at least for test-taking, diluting the THC is probably more useful than trying to mask it with chemicals, even if it doesn’t technically answer the question of how to get THC out of the system. It also doesn’t hurt the body, whereas other methods can.

The break method

This is probably about as desired as the exercise method, but the reality is that there really isn’t a quick fix for how to get THC out of your system. And one of the best ways to get it out, is to simply stop using cannabis. In fact, nothing else works as well as abstaining. If you want something to no longer be in your body, just stop putting it in.

This can be done as a planning method for an upcoming test, for medical issues, or just for a change in life. When planning an upcoming test, try to give yourself a couple weeks. It’s said THC can stay for a month or more, but that’s a worst case scenario, and most people won’t have to wait the max time. If you think you might be on the longer end due to weight issues or a slow metabolism, give it a full month. If you’re currently looking for a job, and know you’ll have a test, maybe quit the weed until that part of life is covered.

Sure, not everything is planned, but tests don’t always come out of nowhere, and some people want their bodies clean for other reasons besides getting through a drug test. If you absolutely need the stuff out of your system, just put the vape, joint, pipe, edible, or bong down, and let it wear out of your system in its own time.

Take a break to get THC out of system
Take a break to get THC out of system

How to get THC out of your system – bad methods

Detox products like pills and drinks

Truth is, while a myriad of these products are advertised, none of them explain how they’ll get THC out of your system. I think these exist because we’re so big on the idea of body detoxing in general, that ‘detox’ is now a buzz word that people don’t question, even if the claim is bogus. Some products say they’ll take as long as 5-7 days, meaning, the time frame given is enough for some people to detox the THC out naturally. Some say up to 14 days, making the use of the product that much sillier. The reality, is that these products are mainly meant to mask the THC with other compounds.

One thing to understand about drug tests, is that they’re often given to multiple people, with only a few tests actually tested. Drug testing takes time and costs money, and not every employer, (for example), wants to pay out to test all employees, especially if there’s a lot of turnover. I took one of those detox drinks years ago, and did pass the test. I found out later that only a small percentage of the tests were tested. Sometimes just the idea of a test is enough to keep people in line. And a lot of the success stories for unlikely-sounding methods, are most likely due to this, and not the products used.

It should also be remembered, tests can often pick up chemicals meant to mask other chemicals (which is really what these products often do). This makes a test invalid. These days, there are further tests that can clear the adulterant to see what they’re masking, an even more expensive process, but one used in some scenarios. Many of these detox products come with compounds that are recognized for this, and that itself can set off alarms. Plus, masking something doesn’t get it out of your system faster, meaning aside from test-taking, such products have no value anyway.

Most of all, the complete lack of information given on how they work is something not to ignore. This isn’t about patented products, but selling a hyped-up product based on a need, with the hope that the person in need will try anything possible. People in desperate situations tend to spend money on things they might not otherwise, and this business capitalizes on that desperation. Personally, I have no trust in these products, as no detox works that well for anything. And a product that doesn’t specify how it increases metabolism, or releases THC from fat cells, is unlikely to do anything beneficial.

Adulterate or use other urine

If a person really wants to mess with a sample, they can add something to their actual urine to invalidate the test, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a retest, or concern over finding strange chemicals in a person’s urine. A person can also attempt to use someone else’s urine in the case of a test, but this can come with other problems if the urine is not the right temperature. Neither of these methods helps get the THC out of your system.

Cranberry juice, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar (separately)

These come up a lot on the internet, but much like store bought detox products, there isn’t much saying they’ll work. For one thing, cranberries simply don’t posses anything that detoxes THC out of fat cells, so how it’s expected the juice works, is automatically questionable. Same with apple cider vinegar, which is great for the body, but still without a mechanism that’s useful here. Lemon juice as well. In fact, it’s far more likely that anyone who had luck with these methods, was really just diluting their urine, or was lucky enough to not have their test tested.

Just because something has ‘detoxifying’ properties (all of the above do), it doesn’t mean it works on everything. Cranberry juice, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar can’t release THC from fat cells, so whatever detoxification they might help with, is unrelated to THC. ‘Detoxing’ is so popular these days, that people buy products without considering what that product can do, or how long it takes. Most detox regimens take weeks or months, and many products are geared toward a specific organ, or cleansing a specific compound. This is never generalized to detoxing the entire body. So just because something is known for its ‘detoxifying’ benefits, this doesn’t mean it has anything to do with THC.

Baking soda, and niacin (vitamin B3)

Baking soda is great for dealing with urinary tract infections, because it has a mechanism that changes pH, killing bacteria in the system. It doesn’t, however, do anything about THC. It might change the pH in the urine to deem a test invalid, but it won’t clear out any THC. Neither does niacin, which specifically binds to water-soluble compounds, NOT fat soluble compounds. Whereas, once again, these might have a place in maintaining health, they don’t have qualities that help here, no matter what article is telling you otherwise on the internet.

Methods to get THC out of your system
Methods to get THC out of your system

They also come with possible detractions. When a person is trying to accomplish something, like detox their body, they might be more likely to overdo it in an effort to make sure it gets done. Well, baking soda is a salt, and if too much is taken, it can cause all kinds of damage to the body. Niacin also comes with a host of side effects when taken in large quantities, which can end in liver failure. I guarantee this is way worse than failing a drug test, or simply not clearing out your body fast enough.

Pectin

Pectin, or fruit pectin, is a powder derived from citrus fruits. It’s sold as a way to make the body temporarily hold onto compounds like THC, rather than release them. Pectin is high in fiber and carbs which makes the insulin level spike, preventing the body from burning fat for a short period of time. It makes the body store calories, rather than using them, and also absorbs toxins which are then naturally released through stool, and bodily fluids.

Since pectin absorbs fluids in the intestines and stomach, its said toxins are therefore released in solids, not fluids. Out of all these methods, this one at least sounds like it could have value. But there are things to remember. Like that pectin might have to be boiled first to work, and that the idea it would uniformly hold back all THC, is a little short-sighted. Much like most stuff on this list, there isn’t a lot of positive verification for its use. It also doesn’t clear the body faster, but rather, is advertised to make the body withhold releasing for a period of time. And it’s known to flush out other necessary body compounds when taken in high amounts, which is bad for the body, as it means losing necessary nutrients.

Conclusion

If you haven’t guessed it yet, there is no quick fix for how to get THC out of your system. If there was, you’d know the mechanism of the products sold to you, it wouldn’t just be about promises of test-passing. The sad reality, is that you can work it out of your system, let it drain out on its own, dilute yourself for temporary purposes, or just hope for the best. But like it or not, there is no quicker measure. If you have a reason to clear yourself out, take a little break, and make sure the job gets done right.

Welcome everyone! Thanks for making it over to Cannadelics.com, a premiere outlet for thorough news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics worlds. Stop by when you get the chance to keep updated on current events, and head over to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always up on whatever is going down.

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Microdosing Psychedelics: Benefits & Detractions

Microdosing is quite the buzz term these days, and for good reason. Microdosing psychedelics is gaining popularity, and the practice seems to offer great benefits to users. What’s the difference between microdosing psychedelics and taking a full dose? And what benefits and detractions does it come with? Read on to find out more.

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The art of the microdose

Microdose’ is certainly a buzz word these days, but what exactly does it mean? And does it only apply to psychedelics? A microdose is akin to taking a very small dose of a medication. In the world of psychedelics, somewhere between 1/10-1/20 of a standard dose. Most psychedelics deal in very tiny amounts. A standard dose of LSD is about 100-200 micrograms, which makes a microdose about 10-20 micrograms. A microdose of magic mushrooms is about .1-.5 grams. The concept of microdosing is used for all psychedelics, including LSD, MDMA, mushrooms, DMT, and mescaline.

The pharmaceutical definition is a bit different, as it doesn’t apply specifically to psychedelics. This definition makes the stipulation of “Less than 1/100th of the dose of a test substance calculated (based on animal data) to yield a pharmacologic effect of the test substance with a maximum dose of 100 micrograms.” In science, “This very low, subtherapeutic dose is used to study cellular response of substances.” Of course, using psychedelics isn’t the same as undergoing scientific research. For our purposes, a microdose is the 1/10-1/20 amount.

There’s nothing specific to psychedelics when it comes to the concept of microdosing, but whereas many drugs don’t offer benefits when taken at lower levels, psychedelics do. With psychedelics, a user can have a different experience entirely depending on the amount taken. This does apply in other places, like with cannabis, which is also gaining prominence for its microdose capabilities. Other drugs might provide a similar situation. Since a microdose is simply a small dose, so long as a drug has effects at the dose level, then a microdose is possible.

Microdosing mushrooms

A microdose is not meant to have the same effects as a standard dose. For some people who are all about big trips and powerful effects, this probably isn’t desired. Microdosing psychedelics is a way to get a minimal response. This is beneficial for people who have a harder time taking larger amounts because of bad trips, or for people who want to gain effects without getting completely blasted. There are a lot of reasons why a microdose is preferred, and a lot of them have to do with the effects that a microdose produces.

What happens when you microdose?

Why are people opting for a tiny, barely-perceptible dose, rather than a nice large dose that’ll have them seeing colors and tripping out? For exactly that reason. Not everyone wants to completely trip out. Not everyone wants their experience to include messing with their perception or cognition. Microdosing psychedelics comes with separate, and more subtle, effects.

A regular psychedelic trip causes all kinds of hallucinations, and makes it hard for a person to follow what’s actually going on in life. Plus, psychedelics come with a strong enough stimulant effect to create bad trips in some users, and to keep a person up for many hours. Microdosing offers the ability to consume a small amount of the same substance, but without the massive hallucinations, cognition or perception alterations, and without as much physiological response.

Microdosing is eyed for improving mood and focus in users, as well as increasing creativity, and promoting better mental health. But it should be remembered, psychedelics are not preferred by everyone, and even microdosing comes with detractions that are experienced by some users. Reading only headlines might indicate that microdosing is the new cure-all, but in fact, it comes with some of the same issues as standard doses.

What research says about microdosing psychedelics

The first thing I noticed when looking at research into microdosing psychedelics, is that clinical trials tell a different story than the glowing headlines that speak of microdosing like the answer to all things. And this makes sense. Almost nothing is ever as good as the hype. Though it might offer benefits to some, like with anything else, it does come with issues to be wary of. Whether you’re microdosing just for funsies, or microdosing for the treatment of depression or PTSD, there are things to consider.

In this study from 2019 called Psychedelic microdosing benefits and challenges: an empirical codebook, researchers took a look at benefits and detractions of microdosing different psychedelic substances. To do this, researchers took reports from 278 people that microdose in the real world.

Microdosing
Microdosing

They found that there were certainly positive benefits experienced. For 26.6% of users it improved mood, and for 14.8% it increased focus. On the other end, a large 18.0% experienced physiological discomfort, with 6.7% reporting increased anxiety. Some write-ups on microdosing like to say that the doses are too small to experience physiological effects, but this study shows that’s not the case. And even at such small doses, 6.7% experienced anxiety.

Yet another study from 2020 backs up the idea that microdosing psychedelics can have great benefits, but can also have detractions. Called Mood and cognition after administration of low LSD doses in healthy volunteers: A placebo controlled dose-effect finding study, this investigation was “to determine the minimal dose of LSD needed to affect mood and cognition.” To do this, researchers created “A placebo-controlled within-subject study including 24 healthy participants,” which “was conducted to assess the acute effects of three LSD doses (5, 10, and 20 mcg) on measures of cognition, mood, and subjective experience, up until 6 h after administration.”

They measured cognition and subjective experience using the following scales: Psychomotor Vigilance Task, Digit Symbol Substitution Test, Cognitive Control Task, Profile of Mood States, and 5-Dimensional Altered States of Consciousness rating scale.

The results showed that between 5-20 micrograms of LSD increased positive mood (63% after 20 micrograms), friendliness, arousal, and attention (59% after 10 micrograms) for most subjects. It also caused negative experienced for some in the form of increased confusion at 20 micrograms, and increased anxiety as low as 5 micrograms. After 20 micrograms, the majority (63%) showed a decrease in concentration.

In their conclusion, researchers state, “analyses showed inter-individual variability in LSD effects on mood, cognition and subjective drug states.” They also point out that in terms of benefits for depression and anger, numbers were “based on half of the total observations, as only 48% of the observations showed a change from placebo after LSD administration.” And then they go on to say, “Furthermore, an increase in confusion (10 mcg) and anxiety (5, 20 mcg), and reduced feelings of concentration (20 mcg) and productivity (20 mcg) was found in the majority of the observations that were affected by LSD.”

They sum it up that their study “showed individual variation to the effects of the different LSD doses on mood. For instance, LSD increased positive mood (20mcg) but also induced unwanted effects such as increased anxiety (5 and 20 mcg), or confusion (10 mcg) in the majority of observations.” And that “Nevertheless, the present study showed that a low dose of LSD can have positive effects on mood, suggesting that anxiety induced by a low LSD dose does not notably interfere with other activities.”

Microdose
Microdose

What does this mean?

It’s hard to know when something comes out in the press, who exactly it applies to. A lot of great things are said about psychedelics these days, but that doesn’t mean the results apply to everyone, or that the story itself is told correctly. If you’re reading a purely glowing report on psychedelics that says anyone can benefit, and which doesn’t include the negatives, it’s nothing more than a fluff piece.

The reality is the same as it always was, things affect people differently. Psychedelics are stimulants, and stimulants cause anxiety and other feelings of discomfort in some users. Leaving this out in place of saying psychedelics can help everyone, is missing the point. Same as assuming that taking a smaller dose can’t come with similar detractions as a bigger dose. Understanding who psychedelics might help, and who they might not help, is important when it comes to treatment.

No, microdosing psychedelics isn’t a cure-all, and no, it won’t be effective for everyone. However, for people they work for, psychedelics seem to have positive benefits attached. In that sense, microdosing does offer a great way to access benefits of psychedelics, without going all-in. One of the biggest takeaways of the studies, however, is that microdose or not, psychedelics might not be best for everyone, and perhaps, could even create a negative experience. If you’re someone very reactive to stimulants, it might be best to look into a hallucinogen that won’t increase anxiety or cause discomfort.

Conclusion

Microdosing psychedelics is definitely the new thing, and for many people it offers tons of possibilities for mental health improvement. Having said that, everyone should be careful going in, as not everyone has the same experience.

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Drug Tolerance & Psychedelics: Why It’s Not a Big Deal

Tolerance is one of the factors that can lead a person to OD on a drug, because it encourages them to take more than their body can handle. However, not every drug causes tolerance in the same way, and with some drugs, there are no problems. How does tolerance work with psychedelics? Read on to find out.

Drug tolerance exists with psychedelics, but doesn’t cause the same kind of problems as it does in other drug classes. Thanks for joining our independent publication covering topics in the cannabis and psychedelics industries. The publication runs alongside the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, a base point for regular updates on ongoing stories and breaking news. Sign up, and also get prime access to an array of deals on cannabis and psychedelics products, including vapes, edibles, smoking paraphernalia, and cannabinoid compounds like Delta 8 & HHC. Check out offers in our ‘best of’ lists, and only make purchases for the products you’re comfortable using.


Drug tolerance

Drug tolerance, in short, is drug desensitization. In other words, “a person’s diminished response to a drug, which occurs when the drug is used repeatedly and the body adapts to the continued presence of the drug.” This is similar to drug resistance, which has its own definition, and “refers to the ability of microorganisms or cancer cells to withstand the effects of a drug usually effective against them.” We are only interested in the first definition.

Drug tolerance comes from repeatedly using a drug until it requires more of the drug to get to the same response, that was obtained with smaller doses originally. How a drug is metabolized is one aspect of tolerance. When a body is repeatedly exposed to a drug it becomes more productive at breaking down the drug, and can then do so faster. Another aspect of it relates to the number of drug receptor sites, and their overall decrease in the continued presence of a drug; in order to stave off the reaction, less reactionary sites are used. Yet another aspect is in how strongly bonds are made between the drug and the receptor it attaches to, which can vary through time and use.

When we speak of drug tolerance, we’re often talking about how much of the drug is needed to produce certain effects, like getting high or relieving pain. But there are other effects that go along; like depression of the cardiovascular system if a person is taking a downer, or its stimulation, if on an upper. Just because a person might require more fentanyl, or more cocaine, to feel the same high as they did when they started their habit, it doesn’t mean their heart can take the amount necessary to create the new high.

Tolerance to drugs

No matter how much fentanyl or cocaine a person ingests, they don’t increase the ability of their autonomic nervous system, which controls actions like breathing, keeping the body at the right temperature, and heart rate. If a person must take a very large dose of fentanyl to access its analgesic effects, this could lead to an overdose, due to nervous system depression at a greater level than the body can handle to survive.

Tolerance and psychedelics

People aren’t known for being strung out on psychedelics the same way they are on opioids. You don’t usually hear about people tripping out as frequently as you hear about them taking lines of cocaine. And I’m not saying psychedelics aren’t popular, but they’re not used constantly, even by the biggest aficionados.

When it comes to how tolerance works with psychedelics, there is limited research. No general consensus exists that tolerance among different psychedelics is the same. However, there is reason to believe it’s created similarly, based on the ways the drugs are used, and the receptor sites (5-HT2A receptors) they attach to.

This is not true between different classes of hallucinogens, like between psychedelics and dissociative hallucinogens. For example, ketamine therapy might come with its own issues of tolerance, but not the same ones that magic mushrooms or LSD produce. As the different hallucinogenic classes effect different neurotransmitter receptors, they cannot be expected to cause tolerance in the same way.

The sort of tolerance that psychedelic mushrooms, (and other psychedelic compounds), cause, is called tachyphylaxis, which translates to the “appearance of progressive decrease in response to a given dose after repetitive administration of a pharmacologically or physiologically active substance.” This, of course, sounds like the definition of tolerance in general, just using different words, and it is. As tolerance to any drug is a short-lived event following the drugs’ use, this definition is just a reiteration of the general concept. So, what’s the real difference?

Perhaps one big fundamental difference between drugs like opioids and psychedelics, is not in the idea of tolerance, but in the idea of addiction. A person on opioids doesn’t just want to get high again, their body might start to feel sick if they don’t. A physical addiction isn’t about getting high (necessarily), but about easing negative symptoms. So even at a time when the body is desensitized, the urge is there to find the amount that will cause a new effect.

Tachyphylaxis tolerance
Tachyphylaxis tolerance

Since psychedelics don’t have addiction potential, there’s no real reason for a person to attempt to be on them constantly, which means most people aren’t trying to gain a new high, right after being high. Bodies can naturally cool down, and return to their normal tolerance level before the next dose. For drugs that drive an addiction – whether physical or just psychological, the desire is more likely to be there to override the period of tolerance.

How does tolerance work with psychedelics?

As said, research is limited, but some does exist. LSD studies show that right after use, tachyphylaxis kicks in, and receptors deregulate very quickly, and stop producing the same action for a period of time. It’s also seen that there’s cross-tolerance between LSD, magic mushrooms, and mescaline, as they all work on the same receptors. Cross tolerance indicates building a tolerance to one substance by using, and building a tolerance to, a similar substance.

So if a person takes a magic mushroom trip on Friday, they’re not likely to have the same experience if they take the same amount of mushrooms on Saturday. Or if they take LSD. It’s not recommended to take trips that close together for this reason. At retreats, for example, its common to leave at least 24 hours in between trip sessions, if not more time. Some people opt not to do trips within weeks or months of each other, but the drug should be worked out of the system within a day or two.

The time in between is time for the substance to be metabolized out, and for the neural response to go back to normal. The longer the half-life of the drug, the more chance for it to stick around in the body, and the longer it might take for the body to return to a normal state.

Differences in tolerance

When it comes to tolerance and psychedelics, its not that different from other drugs, like opioids, where we associate a person constantly needing to take more to reach the same high/pain relief level. Both cause the body to temporarily stop reacting to the compounds in the same way, for at least a little while after taking them. Thus making the compounds seem less active, requiring higher doses to reach the same effect level, or creating a general inability to do so. But there are differences.

Unlike drugs like opioids, psychedelics don’t produce the same kind of addictive tendency, meaning a person simply isn’t driven to continue trying to take them when their body is in the after-high state. That drive is important, because it dictates whether a person will attempt to override tachyphylaxis, and get high again during the down period following a high. If a person only takes fentanyl after each session of tachyphylaxis, they’d be less likely to build – and maintain – an overall addiction. That fentanyl drives people to take more during this period, and that psychedelics don’t, certainly says a lot for the difference between the compounds.

Tolerance to psychedelics
Tolerance to psychedelics

When it comes to overdosing from tolerance, psychedelics haven’t shown a potential for causing death, indicating that the body stops responding to them. This is unlike opioids, which deliver – and keep delivering – a powerful blow to the autonomic nervous system. After a point of ingestion, a person’s heart will stop beating. Period. Psychedelics illicit a response from the autonomic nervous system, but at a certain point, seem to stop. Why this happens is not understood, but it is consistent among psychedelics.

Psychedelics therefore aren’t associated with the problems that come with over-accumulation and death. People do experience bad trips, but they don’t get to a point where the system is overloaded in the same way. Psychedelics don’t cause users to try to take more and more in a short period, and don’t cause overdose deaths if someone does. Both of these factors mean that psychedelics aren’t responsible for the same level of damage that other drug classes are capable of.

Conclusion

Tolerance most certainly exists with psychedelics, but not in a way that matters for their use. In order to avoid dealing with an inability to get effects, users should simply leave a little time in between sessions. Given their lack of ability to cause addiction, this shouldn’t be a problem.

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What Happens to Medical Markets When Recreational Cannabis Is Legalized? 

Cannabis sales in the US and Canada continue to be robust overall, thanks to the continued explosion of recreational sales. But as adult-use recreational sales are increasing, medical cannabis totals are in a free-fall that began last year.

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Overall Cannabis Industry Sales and Projections 

In the US, both the medical and recreational markets combined are expected to reach $33 billion by the end of 2022, and upwards of $52.6 billion by 2026 if figures remain consistent. This is largely due to the continued growth of adult-use markets. Both sectors have been trending upward over the last few years, but in 2021, recreational use markets grow 43% while medical markets showed only 34% growth. Despite this, some experts believe this health-related side of the industry remains strong, while others worry the US medical market will fizzle out when cannabis becomes federally legal.  

Now, these numbers represent an average. Numerous states have struggling medical programs due to a lack of access, product variety, affordability, and safety standards. Some states, like Louisiana and Minnesota, are trying to expand participation in their programs by developing new regulations that would make it easier for patients to get their medicine. Other states, like Iowa and Georgia, seem incapable of coming up with reasonable solutions for the accessibility issues. In contrast, there is such a huge product variety in the recreational sector, and so much competition that prices remain relatively low in established markets. All this as widened the divide between medical and recreational sales.  

In Arizona, for example, the Department of Revenue reported that medical cannabis sales have been on a steady decline for six consecutive months now, while adult-use retail sales have seen a $3 million dollar increase in just the last 30 days. The total numbers are roughly $80 million per month compared to $47 million. Overall, these last few months have been among the best ever for Arizona recreational sales, and the worst for medical. Many states have experienced similar trends.  

Benefits and Disadvantages 

It’s hard to say exactly what the future holds for medical cannabis, but if we continue to see downward trends like what is currently going on in in Arizona, then what can consumers expect? As with anything, there will some benefits and disadvantages when transitioning from a more medical market to a recreational one. Let’s start with some of the downsides, so we can end the section on a positive note.  

One of the primary concerns that comes up when analyzing the recreational cannabis takeover, is the influx of higher and higher potency products with little to no research backing up their safety and effectiveness. While “high-potency” may sound like a win, it’s hardly so when that’s the only thing available. Recreationally… sure, why not? But from a therapeutic standpoint, it’s very limiting because many people who use cannabis medicinally are not trying to get “stoned”, they’re trying to get well, and you do this by using high quality products and starting with the lowest dose possible.  

“There is still much to learn about how the different cannabinoids in marijuana can be useful in treating various conditions,” said Brent Zettl, CEO of CanniMed in Saskatoon, Canada. “And my company plans to participate in studies to slice through and get to the real meat of it. The recreational market, on the other hand, is unlikely to be as interested in research. The recreational purpose, getting high, is an overdose response,” Zettl added. “Functional treatment is usually 10% of that. People who want to use it as a medicine take just enough to manage their symptoms and get on with their day. They don’t want to get stoned.” 

Now, on to the positives. Despite many unpredictable changes that may arise as the industry grows, on the whole, legalization is a good thing. First and foremost, it indicates a growing acceptance of cannabis use in general, which means that patients don’t have to experience the stigma they once did for simply using a substance that helps alleviate their medical issues, and a relatively mild substance compared to most pharmaceuticals.  

Furthermore, it will alleviate the burden that doctors feel in regards to prescribing cannabis, or even discussing it with their patients. As it currently stands in illegal states, doctors can face disciplinary action for merely suggesting cannabis products to their patients, which prevents many from utilizing what may be a safer and more effective alternative to what they’re already taking. Even states with medical cannabis programs have their issues, with recreational users posing as patients in order to gain access to legal marijuana – I would know, I did this for years before cannabis was recreationally legal.  

“Legalization will remove the gatekeeper burden from doctors, as recreational users posing as patients move to the consumer side, getting rid of that grey area,” says President of Bedrocan Canada, Marc Wayne. He also believes that this side of the industry is “unlikely to lose legitimate medical users”, even if recreational purchases are more convenient. The common belief is that the recreational market will fail to provide products of equal quality and consistency when compared to established medical companies.  

Additionally, legalization will likely lower prices across the board. We see this in legal markets – especially well-established ones or those that are experiencing oversupply, such as California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Not only that, but if cannabis and all of its compounds are federally legal, eligible patients may be able to get their prescriptions covered under their medical insurance policies. This is already a thing in Canada, where consumers can write off medical cannabis purchases as “eligible medical expenses”.  

Information and accessibility should also improve for medical users post-legalization. A new startup that forms to serve the recreational market may not have the same expertise, especially when it comes to what dosages and compounds can be used to treat specific ailments. “If you are looking to alleviate ailments or symptoms, and you don’t know about dosages, you need the security blanket of speaking to someone who is knowledgeable on the subject,” said Denis Arsenault, CEO of OrganiGram in Moncton. 

“We have become very knowledgeable on medical marijuana and it only makes sense that this resource continue to be utilized,” Arsenault continued. “Buying marijuana at the corner store might be good for a person who has already learned how to self-medicate and knows which strains work for them, but others need knowledge from a place other than a street corner or the Internet.” 

Is It Worth Getting a Medical Card in a Legal State?

Yes, there are a handful of benefits to getting a medical card, even if you live in a state where adult-use cannabis is legal. A medical cannabis card (or medical cannabis recommendation, as they’re often referred to), are state-issued identification documents that confirm the person carrying them has a medical condition that enables them to legally purchase, possess, and use cannabis. As regulations change and recreational markets explode, the idea of paying for a medical card may seem obsolete, but there are some benefits carrying one still.  

Take California, for instance, where cannabis is in fact completely legal, but as a recreational customer, you’re stuck paying up to 45% in recreational, cultivation, excise, and local taxes. Plus, your purchases are limited to one ounce of flower and eight grams of concentrate. Patients with a doctor’s recommendation can possess up to 8 ounces, or 226.8 grams, of dried cannabis or concentrates, and they’re exempt from paying all the extra taxes.  

The qualifying conditions vary from state to state, and can also be at the discretion of the recommending physician. Ordinarily, the card will be valid for up to 12 months, at which point you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment for another evaluation. It used to be that you had to do a lot of searching and often, quite a bit of driving, to find a “marijuana doctor” who was willing to write these recommendations, but now, everything can be done remotely. 

Final Thoughts

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What Causes a Bad Trip? The stimulant Effect & Why It Matters

Psychedelics are gaining speed, and with them come the idea of the bad trip, a negative experience characterized by different symptoms. While a lot is said about bad trips, why they happen is not well defined; though perhaps the reason behind them is more obvious than expected. Read on for an explanation of why bad trips happen, and the best way to avoid them.

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Psychedelic trips

Psychedelics are a class of hallucinogens which all have the commonality of being serotonergic, meaning they have an effect on serotonin receptors. This is different from drugs like ketamine and DXM, which are dopaminergic, and fit under the classing of dissociative hallucinogens. The other major category of hallucinogens are anticholinergic drugs, exerting their main force on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This grouping is less well known than the other two, but does include drugs like scopolamine, the compound used in places like Colombia to rob tourists by taking away their ability to rationally think and argue.

There are other kinds of hallucinogens out there as well. Amanita muscaria mushrooms, for example, are considered ‘poisonous’ mushrooms, and not ‘psychedelic’ mushrooms, but this is mainly semantics, as these mushrooms also cause hallucinations. Their main mode of action is on GABA receptors, however, not serotonin. Then there are compounds like salvia and kratom, that exert their abilities on opioid receptors.

Different types of hallucinogens create different experiences, sometimes with crossover between the different types. Psychedelics are known for causing very extreme hallucinations that can effect all senses. A person on LSD, psilocybin, DMT, or MDMA might hear, see, feel, taste, or smell something that isn’t there at all. These drugs are also associated with producing feelings of euphoria and well-being, and of promoting connectedness between individuals and between individuals and the world at large. They’re known for altering perceptions, bringing on spiritual encounters, and for causing life changing experiences.

Psychedelic trip

Many drugs come with the stipulation that taking too much can overload the system, and cause sickness. This is true of psychedelics too, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise when someone who overdoes it, has a bad experience. But there’s something else about psychedelics that implies another major reason for a bad trip, and it’s something more related to psychedelics, than other classes of hallucinogens.

What’s a bad trip?

If a good trip is a positive hallucinogenic experience, then a bad trip is a negative hallucinogenic experience. Bad trips often involve negative, or even scary hallucinations, which can leave users feeling very shaken up and afraid. A bad trip is akin to being stuck in a bad dream.

Bad trips come with other physical symptoms, though each person who experiences one, will experience it in their own way (much like with the positive effects of the drugs). These other symptoms can include feeling nauseous, an increased heart rate, shakiness, vomiting, chills, and dry mouth. Basically, it sounds like a super not good time, and its certainly not what people who take psychedelics are going for.

The cause of bad trips isn’t explained well anywhere, though when you put two and two together, its actually pretty obvious. There are plenty of popular ideas in terms of how to avoid them, like making sure to be around the right people, in the right location, or the before-mentioned issue of not taking too much. But all of these miss the greater general point, and none explain why the user is having the experience in the first place. Everything I’m going to say next is my understanding of the topic, as I’ve found nothing written on this subject. However, the explanation I’m about to give is possibly one of the better explanations put out there for why a person experiences a bad trip.

What causes a bad trip?

Though different classes of hallucinogens create different sick experiences, the idea of the ‘bad trip’ is related most to psychedelic hallucinogens, and includes a generally not good experience. Before going further, I do want to clarify that however bad a trip is, psychedelics are not associated with death. So though a person might feel like their life is over, the feeling will pass, and the person will return to their normal state.

What causes these sick feelings in a user? Well, the first thing to consider, is that all the symptoms are related to anxiety. A negative hallucination that causes fear, is based in anxiety, which creates an anxious experience. Instead of a relaxed mind-expanding trip, the person experiences a stressed-out and scary trip.

Bad trip
Bad trip

The other symptoms are all anxiety-related as well, including direct feelings of anxiety and fear. Think of the symptoms… increased heart rate, shakiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, chills, and sweating. What are the symptoms of a panic or anxiety attack? According to WedMD, they’re “Overwhelming fear (of losing control or going crazy), palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, sense of choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, a feeling of being detached from the world (de-realization), fear of dying, numbness or tingling in the limbs or entire body, chills or hot flushes.” Sound similar…or like, almost exactly the same? It should.

Panic and anxiety attacks are “intense periods of fear or feelings of doom developing over a very short time frame — up to 10 minutes — and associated with at least four” of the previously mentioned symptoms. Though some publications like to give them slightly different definitions in how they come on, they’re essentially two terms meant to describe the same thing. And the thing they describe, sounds like a bad trip sans the negative hallucinations, which themselves would be a product of said anxiety.

What causes the anxiety of a bad trip?

If a bad trip is an anxious reaction to psychedelic drugs, why would some people get this reaction, while others don’t? And why is it possible for one person to have a bad trip sometimes, but not all the time? The answer here lies in what causes the anxiety that underlies a bad trip. This too, is way more simple than most people think.

Psychedelics are serotonergic. Increased serotonin levels lead to increased heart rate, and are generally associated with increased anxiety. In fact, some people put on SSRI medications that increase serotonin levels, often have issues with anxiety until they acclimate, or must stop taking them. Other research points to high cortisol levels (the main stress hormones) allowing for “a substantial increase in serotonin uptake both in vitro, by human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and cortical neuronal cells, and in vivo, by rabbit PBLs, owing to promotion of synthesis of the serotonin transporter.”

Why is that last part important? Because it implies that a person with elevated cortisol levels (higher anxiety), might have increased ability for serotonin uptake, along with the stimulant effects that come with it. That’s the thing about psychedelics, they are stimulants. Maybe not stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine that most associate with the word ‘stimulants’, but stimulants nonetheless in that they increase physiological or nervous activity levels in the body. That’s why when a person takes LSD, MDMA, or mushrooms, they’re kept up for many hours, and unable to sleep until the drug has worn off. That’s a stimulant effect. Is everyone uniformly okay with stimulants? Of course not!

Anxiety is a side effect of stimulants, which means stimulants can increase anxiety levels. All that advice about being around the right people and in the right place, are correct in that these are actions that can limit the amount of anxiety a person has before taking a drug with stimulant effects. This likely does help some situations. However, the bigger reality is that if the drug itself can cause a stimulant reaction, it might not matter what state a person is in when they take the drug, as the drug will change their state, by implementing a stimulant effect.

psychedelics
Psychedelics

The takeaway…

When it comes to what causes a bad trip, it could be as simple as the stimulant effect. This idea of the response to the stimulant action indicates why some people are more prone to negative experiences with psychedelics (and tend to avoid them or fear them), while others have mainly good experiences. Some people will never do cocaine because they know they’ll respond badly to the stimulant effect. And while this principle is understood with cocaine, its often passed over with psychedelics, even though the issue is the same.

It also explains why doing too much of a psychedelic can lead to a bad trip. Think of what happens to even the most seasoned cocaine user when too much is done. They can still go wild, or have a heart attack; even if at normal intake levels they’re not the kind of person to have a problem. Essentially, taking too much for a non-sensitive person, is kind of the same as taking normal amounts for someone sensitive to the effects.

If you have an anxiety issue, psychedelics might not be the hallucinogens for you. This doesn’t go for everyone with anxiety, but it is something to consider if you’re a person with an anxiety issue and a sensitivity to stimulants. Luckily, there are tons of other hallucinogens that can help expand your mind, and provide medical benefits, without that stimulant effect. So, if you’ve found that psychedelics don’t work for you, fear not, there’s plenty in the world of hallucinogens that may still be up your alley.

Also, as a useful little addendum, there is a way to get out of a bad trip if you’re having one: benzodiazepines. This is likely because they work on GABA – the neurotransmitter of relaxation, which indicates the possibility that other drugs that work on GABA might also provide this ability, including the natural version, valerian. While pushing harder drugs is not my thing, neither is having a bad trip. If you happen to have access to these drugs when experiencing a bad trip, they can certainly take your awful experience, and neutralize it quickly.

Conclusion

When it comes to what actually causes a bad trip, not much is written that connects the stimulant effect with the subsequent anxiety reaction. Why? Hard to say. Let’s remember that these drugs have been illegal for all purposes for many decades, which means what they are and how they work, is only getting flushed out now. I expect in the future there will be more written on this connection; with far better elucidation into the relationship between the two.

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Gallup Poll: Negative Opinions on Weed, Come from Those Who Never Tried It

One of the big questions constantly asked in America, is how does the public view cannabis. A recent Gallup poll sheds light on this issue, highlighting that most people with negative opinions on weed, are the ones who never tried it.

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What is Gallup?

If you read the news enough, at some point or another (and probably many times), you’ve heard references to Gallup polls. The results of these polls are fodder for all kinds of articles, on tons of different subjects. But what are Gallup polls? What kind of information do they collect? And how useful are they?

Gallup polls are conducted through Gallup, Inc., a US analytics company out of Washington, DC. This company isn’t new, going back to 1935, and became widely known early on for its array of opinion polls, which are now conducted all over the world. The company changed tack a bit in the 80’s, moving more into business, in order to provide consulting services in management and analytics. Now, the company has evolved even more, with educational consulting, assessment products, and a press unit called Gallup Press. All of these other ventures help fund the polling, for which the company actually loses money.

Gallup Polls are meant to measure the public’s opinions on topics related to politics, social issues, and economics. The company is known for often conducting polls on sensitive topics. Like any polling agency, Gallup is not always precisely right on, but has shown a decent level of accuracy. Gallup conducts its opinion polls by creating random samples using national telephone numbers. This is done by calling phone numbers with a working exchange, as well as unlisted numbers; meaning even people with unlisted numbers are often a part of these polls. These polls come with the limitation that a person must be contacted by phone.

Weed opinion survey

A detraction of any polling measure is that it can’t reach everyone, making whatever random sample it chooses to be representative of a larger population, only as accurate as the people it can get to. Though its polls have shown to have a decent level of accuracy, even the company stipulates that “The chances that Gallup will contact any one person to participate in one of its national telephone polls are extremely small. Even though Gallup conducts countless surveys in the context of national public opinion polling — more than 350,000 each year — that’s a small fraction of the estimated more than 105 million U.S. households.”

The current poll

The Gallup poll we’re talking about today concerns the American public’s opinions on weed; in terms of its effects on society and on individuals. This question has grown in popularity as the country moves in a more progressive direction toward cannabis legalization, with close to half of states already allowing recreational use. So what does this recent poll state in terms of opinions on weed?

When it comes to the most direct view of whether cannabis is good or bad for society at large, it was nearly an even split with 49% saying its positive, and 50% saying its negative; showing that when it comes to overall acceptance, there is still a curb to climb with getting many Americans onboard. This isn’t shocking considering that cannabis has been illegal for decades, and the subject of numerous smear campaigns even today.

On the other hand, when it comes to how the public views how cannabis effects individuals, the positive rating was higher, with 53% saying it has positive effects on users vs 45% that saw its effects on individuals negatively. The numbers are relatively close between the two questions, and could highlight how some who oppose it for society in general, do understand its ability for positive results in individual use.

One of the interesting aspects of this breakdown, is simply who answered positively and who answered negatively. As part of the poll, Gallup defined whether respondents had ever used marijuana in their life, or if they hadn’t. And then looked at the opinions on the same questions, between the two groups.

When looking at it this way, the results come off very different. Of those who have specifically used marijuana (at least once in their lives), 70% believe it’s beneficial for individuals, whereas 29% believe it’s not. As far as how this group sees its effects on society, 66% saw it positively, while 35% saw it negatively. On the other hand, of those who never tried it once in life, only 35% saw it as beneficial to individuals, with a much larger 62% who did not. On a societal level, 27% of never-users thought it could be cool for the population at large, while a huge 72% of this population thought not.

Weed opinions
Weed opinions

This second part is incredibly interesting, because it shows how experience affects results. That so many who have tried it see it positively, whereas so many who haven’t tried it see it negatively, really says a lot about the subject in general; and how those with negative views are generally not tying their views to their own bad experience, but simply to a lack of experience at all.

As the ‘have used’ group includes anyone who ever tried it, this group likely involves many people who for the most part never actually use it now, which could explain why the positive results are not higher in that group. If it had been posed to just those who used in the last month, the number for acceptance may have been closer to 100%. And on the other hand, for people who never used, (as in, not even one experience), it makes sense for that group to have a more uniformly negative opinion.

I do want to point out one important thing. I’ve never once tried crack, and yet I don’t believe it’s good for people or society. While this might seem similar to the negative opinions of those who haven’t tried weed, I do think there’s a logic aspect that separates these opinions. After all, I have yet to hear of just one story of a person selling their body for a joint, forgoing paying rent to buy an ounce, or losing their jobs and family to hit a dispensary.

Other recent Gallup polls

Gallup conducts polls constantly, and because of this, results from different polls can be compared and contrasted. For example, in November 2021, Gallup performed a poll on opinions for recreational weed. According to this poll, 68% of Americans support legalization. Which makes it odd that the more recent poll indicates only about half of Americans see it as beneficial for society. Does this indicate an issue with Gallup polling measures? Or does it show the ability for Americans to approve of something for other people, that they don’t approve of for themselves? This second thought could be it. In the more recent poll, plenty of people hadn’t tried it, and still saw its potential benefits for both individuals and society.

Another interesting Gallup poll, which has nothing to do with cannabis directly, does perhaps give some insight into how Americans perceive the danger of cannabis vs the danger of alcohol. In this recent Gallup poll from August of 2022, Americans were questioned on their thoughts toward the dangers of alcohol. They weren’t questioned about this in comparison to cannabis, but the data from this survey can be compared to the data from the recent cannabis opinion survey.

For the alcohol poll, Gallup asked the same questions of whether respondents view it positively or negatively for individuals and society as a whole, as well as whether respondents were drinkers or non-drinkers. According to polling results, when it comes to effects on society, no one found it to have very positive results, though 21% of adults thought it had somewhat positive effects. This was in dire contrast to 75% who saw it as somewhat or very negative. In terms of effects on individual drinkers, 27% thought it to have very or somewhat positive effects, whereas 71% saw it as somewhat or very negative.

Alcohol opinions
Alcohol opinions

What about for drinkers and non-drinkers specifically? According to results, 12% of non-drinkers thought it was somewhat positive for society, with 85% seeing it as negative. And 14% thought it was very or somewhat positive for individuals, while 83% saw it as negative. As far as the active drinkers, 26% saw somewhat positive results for society while 71% did not, and 30% saw it as beneficial to drinkers, whereas 65% did not.

These results, when put against the cannabis results, show two things. 1) That both non-drinkers AND drinkers see the dangers of alcohol to both individuals and society. 2) That compared to opinions on cannabis, alcohol is uniformly seen as the more dangerous drug. In this case, it seems to matter less whether someone is an active drinker or not, and that sure says a lot. Plus, when it comes to actually seeing positive benefits, no one thought it was positive for society (though some saw it as somewhat positive), and a total of 3% of both adults in general, and non-drinkers, saw a positive effect on individuals. Weirdly, in the drinkers group, no one saw a very positive benefit to individuals, or society.

Conclusion

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the majority of those with negative opinions on weed, have never actually tried it. It certainly says a lot for the fear that exists among that population. What’s weirder is that even with the population understanding the dangers of alcohol, that alcohol continues to be federally legal, more available, and with much less strict regulation. Perhaps the US government should take heed of these polls, and act accordingly.

In terms of US opinions on weed, the population has actually made itself clear in other polls, just not ones conducted by Gallup. Several US states have voted in recreational cannabis by polling measures – even in unexpected states; with up to six more states ready to do the same come November. Regardless of Gallup polls, these ballot measures show that in most states that have asked the question, the answer to whether cannabis is cool enough to be legalized, has been met with a resounding ‘yes’.

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