The Altered States of Mind

Written By: Published In: ROOT Created Date: 2016-09-22 Hits: 159

Stop killing each other man. Lets just smoke a blunt. Tupac

 

One of the most progressive and influential rappers to have ever lived, Tupac Shakur couldnt have been more accurate. The notion that if people world over lit up a joint all at the same ti

Stop killing each other man. Let’s just smoke a blunt.” – Tupac

One of the most progressive and influential rappers to have ever lived, Tupac Shakur couldn’t have been more accurate. The notion that if people world over lit up a joint all at the same time there’d be world peace for ten minutes isn’t far off the point too.

Ever since the onset of civilisation, man has looked for ways to get away from the humdrum of everyday life and the struggles to survive. Nothing has helped the cause more than recreational intoxication.

Letting off steam, quite literally.Over the years, there have been substances sown and grown, cultivated and chemically synthesized, that have been used and abused in equal measure to get that altered state of consciousness. Many of these substances are banned in some countries, with cultivation and sale controlled strictly in almost all the others. Each of the various categories of substances affect our nervous system in different ways, and thus each of the ways we’re hit by a drug differs from the next.

Let’s take our favourite, Marijuana. It is the flower of the Cannabis plant, and its main psychoactive constituent is Tetra Hydro Cannabinol, which attaches to the Cannabinoid receptors in the human body and alters cognition, also increasing Dopamine levels indirectly and producing the state we know better as the “high”. Typically, one gets there after “getting buzzed”, i.e. after taking a few drags from a joint or a hit from a pipe or bong, there is a slightly increased sensitivity about all the senses, although one can still go about their regular chores. Continue doing so, and you reach the stage wherein all your senses get heightened, and you know there’s something radically different about the colour of the walls or the lyrics of a song. Something you never thought of before comes streaming to your mind, your perspective broadens and you question things in a way you never did before..

Congratulations!Snoop Dogg, "Smoking Weed Everyday"..

You’re high!!

You can either choose to stop here, whereby you may even get energized doing mundane stuff and get intense cravings for some random delicacy. Or you can continue smoking up until you’re stoned and retire for the day.

A similar pattern is followed when one consumes any of the Cannabis derivatives, i.e. the good old Hash (trichome of the plant), Bhaang (leaves and buds ground together) etc.

A different mechanism of action is followed by Cocaine, which for all intents and purposes is a stronger stimulant, and by virtue of commonly being snorted, acts really fast (Bioavailability, or the amount of drug that effectively acts on the body, is only marginally lower for nasal route when compared to an injection to the veins). Powder turns you into a devout lover. Of the powder itself.Once available in the system, the drug then acts by increasing amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, which gives the signature euphoric feeling that kicks in within seconds of snorting it (couple of minutes if taken through the oral route). This feeling is, by various accounts given by cocaine abusers, “the most powerful feeling in the world”, and it lasts for about fifteen minutes to half an hour. While in all its glory, one has great feelings of well-being and competence, and a raging libido, by more than a few accounts. The effects may wear off faster as the dependence on the drug increases gradually, principally the reason behind cocaine abuse being a cause of great concern. There are also the withdrawal symptoms to contend with, which cause most of the relapses for cocaine addicts.

The kingpin of Crystal Meth? You're Goddamn Right!Crystal meth, in comparison, is a chemically synthesised product that is mostly smoked using a pipe. The way it works is slightly similar, although the high is usually more sustained. Also, the rush attained is attributed to higher dopamine levels, causing a huge increase in libido. The high stays for far longer than those caused by other “uppers”, up to many hours together. The whole crystal meth business in itself is addictive. Ask Walter White. He’d vouch for it!


In complete contrast to the aforementioned drugs, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, or LSD as its better known, is not addictive, and one of the more “high-profile drugs” in the stoner universe. It was made popular to the rest of the world by one Mr. Steve Jobs, who in his time as a college student experimented with pellets of the drug and claimed publically that tripping on acid was a “profound experience”. The drug gives the user visions of various colours and scenery, an impression of patterns emerging out of nothing, and a false sense of passage of time. An hour may feel like a few minutes, or many, many hours.The visions that you see with Acid. Just a sample. The psychedelic effect is characterised by giving the user entirely different “trips”, depending on the environment and the mind set the user is already in. And particularly bad trips are reported to knock the daylights off of people, and making them stay away from the drug for life!

There are many other combinations available, many of which are highly dangerous and addictive in nature. Users are well-advised to do their research and know what a drug does, before doing anything with the drug.


 

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