Hallucinogenic Plant Targets Pain Receptor

 

MEDIA ROOTS
 — Salvia divinorum is one of the most fascinating and mysterious psychedelic drugs on the planet.  Equally as ‘powerful’ as DMT, with a peak duration of less than ten minutes, the drug can create a sense of timelessness where people may feel as if they’ve lived an eternity in another universe.  Its ‘abuse potential’ is low since the experience for most people can be jarring and disorienting.  For now, it is still legal in most parts of the United States.  Almost all other ingestion methods of Salvia, besides smoking, have led to little anecdotal conclusions.  People have had success making pure grain alcohol tinctures, which are very uncomfortable for the user to hold in the mouth.

The active ingredient in Salvia, salvinorin A, which binds to the kappa Opioid receptor, until now has been a mystery to science.  At the present time, pharmaceutical companies are most likely looking into the possibility of untapped knowledge in the world of the new frontier of psychedelic chemicals such as Salvia, which we know have already produced successful results.

Robbie Martin

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TRI-CITY PSYCHOLOGY — At the molecular level, drugs like salvinorin A (the active ingredient of the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum) work by activating specific proteins, known as receptors, in the brain and body.

Salvinorin A, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, is unusual in that it interacts with only one receptor in the human brain—the kappa opioid receptor (KOR). Scientists know of four distinct types of opioid receptors, but until now the structure of the ‘salvia receptor’, and the details about how salvinorin A and other drugs interact with it, was a mystery.

In a research paper published March 21 in the journal Nature, scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scripps Research Foundation, and two other institutions revealed the first-ever glimpse of the complete structure of the KOR. The finding could accelerate the development of new drugs to treat addiction, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and many other conditions.

“Once we see the structure of the receptor, it becomes easier for us to develop drugs that target the receptor in ways that might be beneficial for medical therapy,” says Bryan Roth, professor of pharmacology at UNC and one of the paper’s authors. “Drugs that block the receptor are potentially useful for treating a number of serious illnesses including chronic pain, cocaine addiction, and other diseases.”

Read more about Hallucinogenic Plant Targets Pain Receptor.

© 2012 Tri-City Psychology Services, Inc.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Abalg

Water Districts Continue to Fight Big Fluoride

MEDIA ROOTS — Residents in the Carroll Boone Water District (CBWD) of Arkansas might soon have fluoride removed from their water supply.  According to Rene Fonseca, a licensed operator with CBWD, the corrosive additive has been proven to leach lead from aging distribution pipes which is likely causing increased lead contamination in the region’s water supply.

Several other areas in the state of Arkansas have also opposed adding fluoride to their water.  Lobbyists from the fluoridation industry claim that CBWB taxpayers would not be strapped with the $1.23 million cost to install fluoridation equipment.  But the Mockingbird Hill Water Association in Boone County unanimously opposed adding fluoride to its water supply, stating that they don’t want to take any chances amidst the current economic hardship.

Last year, in the Southern District Court of California, a lawsuit was filed asserting the U.S. people have the right to neither ingest nor be exposed to a drug that has never been tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  While the Surgeon General claims that the additive helps reduce tooth decay, only the FDA is chartered by Congress with the authority to approve claims of safety for products intended to treat and prevent disease.

MR

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Carroll County News — Eureka Springs has twice voted against fluoridation. Opponents of fluoridation say many other cities across the country have stopped fluoridating waters after studies have linked it to hypothyroidism, heart disease, learning problems in children and possibly cancer.

There are also concerns the fluoride products added to the water could be contaminated with toxic chemicals. The CBWD, which serves a population of about 25,000, contacted 49 suppliers of fluoride asking for proper American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and NFS60 certification that would list all contaminants by weight, and include information about toxicological studies pertaining to those contaminants.

“These are extremely dangerous substances,” Fonseca said. “The acute lethal toxicity of sodium fluorosilicate for an adult man is 6.2 grams, which is about the weight of an average driver’s license. At a water plant the size of CBWD, you would be dumping 150 pounds a day into the water — enough oral doses to poison 9,600 men a day or 297,000 men a month. This is not pharmaceutical grade fluoride, as you would receive in the dental office.

Read more about the fight for fluoride-free water in Arkansas.

© 2012 Carroll County News

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Photo provided by Flickr user Dottie Mae

300,000 Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto

MEDIA ROOTS — Organic farmers, seed growers, and seed businesses took another step at reclaiming their land last month, as 83 plaintiffs representing over 300,000 farmers described Big Agribusiness Monsanto’s harrassment in court.  Monsanto threatens lawsuits against organic farmers for “patent infringement” if farmlands have any trace amounts of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.  Additionally, many organic seeds have not even been planted for fear of any unwanted frankenplants which Monsanto might sue them over.

Willie Nelson successfully rallied many in the Occupy Movement to ‘Occupy the Food System,‘ as hundreds supporting the organic industry assembled outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan for a motion hearing on January 31, 2012.

MR

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NATION OF CHANGE – Judge Naomi Buckwald heard the oral arguments on Monsanto’s Motion to Dismiss, and the legal team from Public Patent Foundation represented the rights of American organic farmers against Monsanto, maker of GM seeds, [and additionally, Agent Orange, dioxin, etc.]

After hearing the arguments, Judge Buckwald stated that on March 31st she will hand down her decision on whether the lawsuit will move forward to trial.

Jim Gerritsen, President of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, has pointed out that there are 5th and 6th generation family farmers being pushed off their farms today, and because of a “climate of fear” (from possible lawsuits from Monsanto), they can’t grow some of the food they want to grow.

Even organic dairy farmers have had to suffer lawsuits (from Monsanto) when they labeled their organic milk “non-BGH” referring to Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone used by conventional dairies.

Read more about the 300,000 organic farmers suing Monsanto in federal court.

© 2012 Nation of Change

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Photo by Flickr user Martin Pettitt

Smoking Cannabis Doesn’t Hurt Lung Capacity

MarijuanaPhotobyKayVee.INCMEDIA ROOTS — Anything under the sun can be abused, yet scientific studies increasingly seem to confirm how relatively harmless cannabis smoking is compared with tobacco, alcohol, and other popular substances consumed by humans.

MR

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MSNBC — Periodically smoking marijuana doesn’t appear to hurt lung capacity, the largest study ever conducted on pot smokers has found.

Even though most marijuana smokers tend to inhale deeply and hold the smoke in for as long as they can before exhaling, the lung capacity didn’t deteriorate even among those who smoked a joint a day for seven years or once a week for 20 years, according to the study published Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

In recent years, studies on marijuana smoking and its effects on lung function have been contradictory. While most studies have shown no effects on the lungs from smoking cannabis, others have shown adverse effects, and still others have shown improvement in lung function. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and University of Alabama at Birmingham knew tobacco smoking causes lung damage and leads to respiratory issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but they wanted to be clear whether smoking marijuana, had similar effects.

They measured lung function multiple times in more than 5,100 men and women during a 20-year period.  In fact, the research shows, some people who regularly smoke marijuana can have a slight improvement in lung function.

Read more about Smoking pot doesn’t hurt lung capacity.

© 2012 msnbc.com 

Glenn Greenwald vs. Bush Drug Czar

SALONGlenn Greenwald:  Last Thursday at Brown University, I debated former Bush drug czar John Walters on the virtues of drug legalization, and the video is below. The aspect of With Liberty and Justice for Some that has received the most attention is the shield of immunity for elite lawbreaking, but the other side of that rule-of-law evisceration — the incomparably harsh and sprawling penal state America has created for its ordinary citizens — is at least as important, and it is the Drug War that personifies the worst abuses of that punishment system and accounts for much of it.

Read more about Debating Bush’s drug czar on legalization.

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Glenn Greenwald vs. John Waters on Drug Legalization

 

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