Commonly, marijuana and psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin can induce terrible experiences to those who ingest the substances. Do these effects occur because the drug, inducing such effects on a biological level? Here is my opinion on the matters, written during the midst of a tripping experience. After the first section, it proceeds into discussion on the experience and related topics.
A note to the readers of the ‘BAD TRIPPING’ section: I don’t necessarily retain all of the same ideas expressed in this post at this current time, but it is very interesting. Some of my ideas have evolved since this moment. Better ideas are expressed in the ‘KAPPA, GOD OF FEAR’ section. I think some level of truth does remain, but the exclusivity of this truth and the effects of the drug are possibly overstated. Also, it is not solely why I use cannabis/psychedelics, at least not currently.
Nightmarish image from a park at night.
I enjoy the panic because of the source it comes from. These drugs don’t merely induce panic innately or biologically. Panic is environmentally dependent.
I am not panicking in my daily life, mostly because I lack complete awareness of issues that are quite constant in our daily lives. The constancy allows us to numb it out like background noise. We can automate our own ignorance to the problem.
So if I am panicking on cannabis, you must realize it is not that new information is introduced into my environment, or that previous information is altered somehow, but it is actually that I am no longer disconnected from the world in front of my eyes. The world presented is full of issues and immorality and pain, so I am naturally and obviously filled with terror.
But there is more. It is not only negative things that you regain sensitivity to. It is also beauty and pleasure. What is holding back the potentials in our sober life, are the issues in our environment, and in society. The only way to cope, is by dissociating ourselves from some degree of sensation and/or experience.
So, let’s look at a specific example. Eating meat is immoral to us empathically. To imagine being eaten ourselves, is among the worst possible outcomes of our lives, is it not? And so trying to empathize with a previously living creature whom we are actively and consciously eating, is incredibly painful, to put simply.
So, what kind of solution can our brain create from this? We could turn off certain layers of our empathy.
When we turn off some layer of empathy there are two methods:
- Rational Dissociation – We can, illogically, conclude that the animal is not sentient. We can convince ourselves that the animal does not suffer, or that the animal is deserving to die, or some other form of denial-based rationality. The problem here is we are dissociating from layers of our cognition. The problem this causes is cognitive in nature, such as brain fog, because in order to access the function you desire, you must face pain you were hiding from. These could be the Feelers that Carl Jung spoke of.
- Emotional Dissociation – We can turn off our sense of empathy for other sentience. This means we won’t even be able to relate to other humans though, and this will result in many social issues. These are probably Carl Jung’s proposed Thinker types.
Because this world is still socially and naturally toxic, I have resorted to many coping mechanisms. Now, here is the key: Psychedelics and cannabis eliminate your coping mechanisms.
The result, is that we can build new coping mechanisms. So, either you will lose cognition or your empathy, but it depends on the choice you make during the tripping state. If people experience brain fog after tripping, one can assume that they turned down cognition in order to ignore the problems. If they seem egotistic, confident, and super logical, its clear that they have chosen to turn off a degree of empathy and awareness. This may extend to each of Carl Jung’s cognitive functions. I simply provide one example, most likely involving Ti vs Fi contrast.
But regardless, in sobriety you will always cling on to coping mechanisms for as long as our society has not reached a true utopia.
I take cannabis because I need to remember what reality is. I need to remind myself.
The side effects that people face, are due to constant changes of personality and coping habits. We are paranoid that we will bring too much attention to ourselves. Even while high, we will become withdrawn, because we don’t want others to know how vulnerable we are. Paranoia that exists even while sober, it is just cautiously avoided by our silly brain’s habits. We have learned to walk on egg shells around our own mind. Also, the new adaptions and changes of behavior may tend to draw so much attention away from others because we become a novelty after doing these drugs. We are paranoid of the possible implications that this attention may cause for us.
If we truly wish to reach utopia, I think we all need to be very high constantly. Otherwise, our coping habits create too many weird social dynamics that prevent coping-related issues from being solved. (Here, I am not so sure I retain this idea currently, it is a bit intense.)
I want you to know that I am currently experiencing the dysphoria of our toxic society and I will soon return to my traumatic sober self. This is coming from me, and I am speaking this intimately towards you and all readers. None of us want to live in a world of constant coping mechanisms.
We can reach insane heights as a species if we can eliminate our social issues. This is why I use cannabis/psychedelics and embrace the panic attacks.
KAPPA, GOD OF FEAR
Dynorphins are associated with addiction. As you become addicted to drugs, dynorphin levels rise. There has been some evidence that dynorphin mechanisms present a model for psycho-stimulant and opioid addiction.
Addiction is associated with coping. Coping with pain, coping with social and material loss, coping with isolation, and with anything. It is almost inherent to the concept of medication or treatment. A drug that allows for easier coping, such as heroin, would theoretically allow for users to decrease their life quality, with no, or less, emotional costs. The problem is that when the drug wears off, you do not retain the same ability to cope, and you will eventually find yourself in situations that require the drug to cope, if you use the drug long enough.
On the other hand, stimulant and mania-inducing drugs, such as amphetamine, present a separate, but very similar problem. With amphetamine, users gain working-memory enhancements that allow a user to solve problems that they normally couldn’t. They also gain a level of motivation that they normally do not have. You can use the drug to improve your life, but you will eventually take on projects that require high-level working-memory and motivation. This incentivizes the continued use of the drug. It may even threaten the stability of your situation. Both the amphetamine case, and the heroin case, both show a more grounded perspective than the typical chemical dependence model that is very common. This is not to dismiss the value of the chemical dependence model. It just ignores a big part of the equation, namely the environmental and behavioral aspects, and how these could be impacted by the drug’s effects, and result in environment’s that are previously inaccessible without the drug. And imagine you follow the inaccessible rabbit-hole and find that you are many layers deep within an irreversible life path.
Did you know, in the rat studies on addiction, that they found that addiction is more problematic when the rat is isolated in a cage? Addiction did not lead to over-dose deaths as much, when in a healthy social environment. Keep in mind, you can be sent to the cages, if you are caught with heroin or meth.
Beautiful animation that reveals a more human explanation of addiction.
We have so many addictions, like social media, and Netflix binging, even food binging, because of the problems we face on a daily basis. These provide some sort of opioid activity, or perhaps a form of dissociation in the case of Netflix.
Now corporations use this as a business model. Big Pharma tells us that our perpetual fight-or-flight response is a residual evolutionary response, when, really, it is the corruption in our society. It is the fact that our jobs suck, it is the fact that we are not in Utopia, it is the fact that we are helpless to life’s situations. Many try to actively deny this reality.
Apps designed to exploit our cravings for sentiment and attachment are addiction slavery. Especially when money is being farmed from the slave. Apps like these are forcing the slave to pay to maintain their mental-health state. For example, animal crossing is notorious for being designed to create a strong sense of bonding and sentiment towards the characters in the game. The app creators are essentially medicating loneliness. Free trials, and free-to-start games are even more unethical, where the idea is to get you addicted before you actively choose to buy the game.
What if Animal Crossing, or other addicting games, begin to take time away from your real relationships, or even worse, all your friends play these games that medicate loneliness?
Psychedelics are associated with curing addiction and allowing one to no longer need to cope with their impending death. Perhaps, when psychedelics cure addiction, they are essentially curing the coping-factor of these problems. Many people may have automated their coping mechanisms, and it could be that psychedelics undo our automations, and therefore ‘increase consciousness’.
Automation and increased consciousness would be two opposing concepts, where automation implies a lack of consciousness, but also an increase of ease, and increasing consciousness, would be expected to disable one’s ability to recall their habitual automations. For example, consider riding a bike for the first time. You cannot recall any automations because you have not yet developed any. This bike-situation is one of novelty. After riding enough to develop automations, it means you can ride the bike, without thinking consciously about the process. It is clearly much easier to ride the bike after an automation is formed. So it would make sense that drugs which increase consciousness, would make automated tasks more difficult, as if the first time, as if novel. So, unless we assume that every automation, every solution we have formed for the problems that we face, are correct the first times, then increasing consciousness has value in the ability to re-evaluate different solutions to already ‘solved’ problems, which, in many cases, are bad coping mechanisms.
Talk about a lack of Utopia!
The molecule, dynorphin, is associated with dissociation. Dynorphin induces dissociation, possibly by interacting with the NMDA receptor via kappa opioid receptor agonism, in an antagonistic manner, which is also linked to PTSD. Psychedelics might treat PTSD as well, or at least MDMA. This might give evidence that the mechanism is actually related to serotonin rather than the glutamatergic mechanisms. Meaning it may not associate to the typical perceptual effects that psychedelics cause, which are linked to the glutamate heterocepters of 5HT2a receptors. The dynorphin could exist to prevent us from accessing consciousness states, or prevent specifically targeted numbing effects, and promote automated responses, by blocking the anti-anesthetic receptor, NMDA. Kappa receptors are associated to decreased D1 dopamine receptor activity, D1, being a receptor which form heteromers with NMDA receptors, which I believe to be the basis of Pavlovian-style learning, memory (NMDAr) to action (D1 dopamine receptor). This could mean that inaction is inspired, by kappa receptor agonism, resulting in NMDAr activity blockade, also disrupting D1 activity, thus fear results in aversion(-D1) and dissociation(-NMDAr). This is only hypothetical though, to clarify.
IMPORTANT: Although this may sound very intuitive, this idea of mapping out receptor chain-logic applied to the human-experience level, is highly complicated. It is still something worth doing, so that we can form models of behavior that connect, on some level, to psychopharmacology. It should be considered, abstractly, and hypothetically. By forming many models, we may be able to seek out support for these models and come closer to truth. Just take these ideas with a grain of salt.
This is evidence that a dynorphin-decreasing effect of psychedelics is worth being studied. My hypothesis is that dynorphins would decrease post-psychedelic use. The mechanism could be D2 stimulation directly by the ligand, or indirectly via 5HT2a-D2 heteromers, which would theoretically decrease activity at the D1 receptor, which seems to have a link with dynorphin.
Kappa receptor agonism is likely the core of aversion, and/or fear. This paper actually states that kappa opioid receptors are negative reinforcement mechanisms. I would take a step further and suggest that it may also be aversion and/or punishment, on some level. It could be the basis for every distasteful feeling we have, but not that every element of distasteful sensations occur by dynorphin pathology. For example, a negative experience will have many experiential qualities, but also stack with dynorphin activity, which causes the experiential qualities to associate to negativity and dysphoria.