The Psychoactive Compound in Magic Mushrooms is Helping Cancer Patients in a Profound Way

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Those of us who have tried psychedelic substances know that they can be fairly life-changing. They allow you to see the world from multiple different perspectives numerous times over and simply change the way you think and perceive things. While most people use the substances recreationally, a surprisingly large number of people are starting to use them for medicinal reasons as well.

Just a few nights ago, I was hanging out at a local bar with some friends and family and met a young man who told me about a psychotic disorder he suffered from that doctors couldn’t diagnose because they weren’t exactly sure what was wrong. They told him it was similar to schizophrenia. And after he’d tried a number of different pharmaceutical treatment options, he said the only thing that seemed to help calm the chaos in his brain were psychedelic drugs.

More and more stories similar to this man’s are popping up around the world, noting that some of the only effective ways to treat their chronic conditions are by taking substances such as LSD and magic mushrooms.

In fact, a recent study out of New York University has been experimenting with the use of psilocybin (the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms) to help treat the anxiety and depression of those suffering from cancer.

Two studies have since been published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, one by NYU featuring 29 patients and the other by Johns Hopkins University featuring 51 patients. Using similar methods and procedures, both studies discovered that about 80 percent of patients who consumed psilocybin experienced decreases in both depression and anxiety that lasted for at least six months--in some cases, permanently.

Patients reported feeling more optimistic about life and felt that it was more meaningful, while those with terminal diagnoses were better able to cope with their imminent fates and suffer less than they would have if they had not been given the psychedelic compound.

“There’s something about these experiences that allows people to see their disease process in a much larger scope. They might say—‘I’m very sad, I’m dying. But in a larger sense it’s OK, and it’ll be alright.’ They’re certainly not welcoming their death, but they’re no longer deeply fearful of it,” says Roland Griffiths, leader of the Johns Hopkins study.

Researcher and psychiatrist at UCLA, Charles Grob, says he doesn’t believe there is any other drug that can provide such long-lasting effects with just one dose. He also notes that he’s not entirely surprised by what these two studies have found, as he found similar discoveries when he conducted a similar study back in 2011 on 12 cancer patients.

Illegal to possess, but approved by the DEA for studies such as these - Image credit: Johns Hopkins

What’s also impressive is that there have been zero long-term negative consequences for patients in each of the studies. Some patients continued to experience slight effects of their anxiety and an even smaller number of patients experienced short bouts of nausea.

Roland Griffiths says that these two studies have “set the stage” for phase 3 clinical trials that would be evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, which could potentially lead to a reclassification of such substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But, more testing would need to be done, in a similar fashion to what these cancer patients experienced, before psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds would be deemed legal for use by healthy folks and those suffering from anxiety or depression without chronic illnesses.

“It’s time to take psychedelic treatments in psychiatry and oncology seriously, as we did in the 1950 and 1960s, which means we need to go back to the future,” says David Nutt, neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London.

You can read more about these studies, as well as others, here! And be sure to share with friends and loved ones who might be interested in these new discoveries surrounding the medicinal benefits of psychedelic compounds.

h/t NewsWeek

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Video: What Do You Think Humans Will Look Like 100 Years From Now?

It’s hard to predict what the future has in store for mankind as a species. We can make educated guesses as to what life will look like for the average human 100 years from now--and a lot of it revolves around integrating the amazing technologies we’ve developed into the human body itself.

You’ve undoubtedly seen some of this technology already. Prosthetics for missing limbs, bones, joints, and even gadgets that keep our hearts beating regularly. We’ve seen scientists modify the genes of animals and plants.

Eventually, humans will have to face the morality of “chasing perfection,” so to speak. Or the dilemma we run into once we start to strive for a perfect biological human being.

Futurist and Harvard researcher, Juan Enriquez, is here to tell us that is chasing this “perfection” that will ultimately save mankind as a species from some sort of massive extinction event.

Events of mass extinction have already occurred on Earth at least five times, one of which completely wiped out the dinosaurs. Given this knowledge, we know that it is highly likely that mankind is up next on the docket--unless we can figure out a way to survive it.

Watch the TED talk below as Juan sheds light on humanity’s only hope for survival. He discusses how mankind will eventually start to alter the fundamental aspects of our own genetics, organs and cells to cope with extreme living conditions.

"If you believe that extinctions are common and natural and normal, and occur periodically, it becomes a moral imperative to diversify our species,” Juan explains.

Juan goes on to explain that if mankind wants to have any chance of living past just such an event, we need to become what Nikolai Kardashev calls a Type III civilization. Or, a civilization that is capable of harnessing all of the energy within our own galaxy--a civilization that has altered mankind so much, it would be completely unrecognizable by today’s standards.

"To become an intra-Solar System civilisation, we're going to have to create a Type III civilisation, and that looks very different from what we've got here,” Juan tells us.

By watching the video above, we can see that, should humanity rise to the occasion, mankind’s destiny is something most of us wouldn’t have imagined even in our wildest dreams.

http://www.sciencealert.com/watch-what-will-humans-look-like-in-100-years

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Maybelline's First Male Model Has a Ton of Critics--And His Father Just Shut Them All Down

Makeup giant Maybelline has gained their first male model, and as one might imagine, he’s received quite a bit of criticism from homophobic people on social media.

Like blogger Matt Walsh, who posted a picture of Maybelline’s Manny Gutierrez accompanied by his thoughts on the makeup company hiring a man like Manny:

“Dads, this is why you need to be there to raise your sons.”

This didn’t sit well with Manny’s father, who reached out to Manny to tell him to spread the word that he’s been an active participant in Manny’s life for as long as he can remember, and that he’s not going to tolerate such hateful ideas.

Manny proceeded to share a screenshot of the conversation Manny’s father wanted to have with people like Matt Walsh:

As you can see, his father handled the situation with the kind of class that people like Matt Walsh lack entirely. He doesn’t resort to name-calling or insults, but instead tells Matt that he suspects Matt doesn’t “[know] anybody from the LGBT community,” because if he did, he wouldn’t be saying the things he’s saying.

Then, Manny revealed that his father actually works for him and is a large part of his life:

Another great thing about this type of conversation?
Conversations like the one Manny’s father put forth have been seen to help create more accepting attitudes and perspectives from people who hold prejudiced views of the LGBT community.

Grad students David Broockman and Joshua Kalla recreated a controversial study that found increased levels of tolerance from folks who were asked if they had ever been discriminated against in their lives.

"Canvassers asked people to talk about a time they were treated differently. Most people have been judged because of gender, race or some other issue,” said Broockman to NPR last April. "For many voters, they reflect on it, and they realize that's a terrible feeling they don't want anyone to have.”

Still, Matt Walsh isn’t convinced. He wrote in The Blaze that he doubts male models hired by makeup companies (referencing CoverGirl’s first male ambassador, James Charles, and Maybelline’s Manny Gutierrez) had prominent father figures in their lives:

"I do not know the life story of our friends James and Manny. I’m told that at least one of them comes from an intact family where a father was present and active in the home. Perhaps that really is the case. It’s certainly possible — though unlikely, I would think — that a boy could have the best dad in the world and still turn into a makeup model."

Funny, isn’t it, how people make such bold comments without knowing a single thing about the people they’re criticizing. What do you think about this recent feud on social media?

h/t Attn

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This Man Spends His Days Hunting Treasure Underwater--This Is What He’s Found

Treasure hunting is typically a profession only found in video games and fictional stories, but Jake Koehler has made it a reality for himself.

Jake spends most of his time underwater searching for the various things that often get dropped into the ocean. Much of it is not too surprising. GoPro cameras, smart phones, knives and guns make up a good portion of the items he typically discovers underneath the water’s surface. But, that’s not all Jake does.

Jake also keeps a small set of tools on hand with him when he dives so that he can help clean up the large amount of trash that litters the ocean. The types of trash that marine life often find themselves hindered by or even trapped under.

In the video, we can see Jake cutting turtles and fish loose from different fishing lines, hooks and pieces of trash that they’ve haphazardly wandered into.

Perhaps the best thing we love about Jake is that he rarely ever keeps anything that he finds in the water. Instead, he tries to find their original owners to return the lost items. And any weapons he finds are turned into the local police department.

“I was able actually to make a full-time job doing what I love to do and helping out the environment,” Jake says. “So if you guys have a dream, and you want to possibly help out the environment a little bit, go for it man! Give it a try.”

How cool is that?

Be sure to share with friends and loved ones who would love to hear about Jake’s awesome treasure hunting adventures!

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A Few Reasons Why Some People Are Starting to Snort Raw Cacao

No, your eyes do not deceive you. People around the world have started engaging a new practice that is typically only seen when doing drugs like cocaine--snorting raw cacao to gain a healthy boost of energy.

How will this affect you? Those who snort raw cacao report feeling refreshed, energized and fully awake, and these effects happen almost instantly. The best part? Unlike coffee, this energetic high won’t cause you intense jittery feelings accompanied by anxiety or nervousness.

This type of high is much different, and it’s leading many people to believe that it could replace many of the substances we regularly use today, such as caffeine and other recreational drugs.

Do a bit of research and you’ll quickly learn that snorting raw cacao is actually becoming a fairly common ritual in the European club scene. Entire parties and events have been based around the consumption of raw cacao in lieu of substances like cocaine, ecstasy and the like. Berlin has even seen a monthly gathering of ravers who dance the night away while maintaining a healthy raw cacao buzz.

Snorting chocolate?
You’re not actually snorting chocolate. Although raw cacao is an ingredient in chocolate, the chocolate we largely eat today is processed by mixing it in with milk and sugar. However, seeds from the cacao tree have been used traditionally by ancient cultures seeking to heighten brain function and clarity.

Raw cacao causes the body to release a strong amount of endorphins into one’s bloodstream, creating feelings of euphoria and happiness. Additionally, cacao contains tyrosine, a compound that affects dopamine levels in the brain. And, as many of us know, dopamine is the same brain chemical that gets altered by so many other drugs people consume today.

Kingston University, based in London, conducted a study using their team of cyclists and discovered that consuming raw cacao helped them to perform better. They were able to go faster and travel farther. The theory behind this is that epicatechin, a compound found in cacao, widens blood vessels, allowing for increased levels of oxygen consumption by the muscles.

Not into the whole snorting thing?
No worries. You can get the same effects of snorting raw cacao by simply mixing at least 2 teaspoons of the substance into a drink, like coffee or tea.

If you’re looking for a safe, effective, legal way to get a bit of a high going, raw cacao is definitely something to put on your bucket list.

There have only been a couple of people so far who advocate against the snorting of raw cacao. One of them is Doctor Jordan Josephson, who tells us that snorting anything isn’t really that great for you:

“Snorting chocolate powder is not safe, because the powder is perceived by the nose as a foreign toxic substance.” This can cause “damage [to] the microscopic hairs, or cilia, and membranes of the nose, causing problems with their ability to work correctly, as well as possible scarring.”

So, as with most recreational substances, practice moderation and control when indulging the senses. Otherwise, it’s worth a try!

Elephant Journal

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