Commission On Opioid Crisis To Trump: Declare Emergency, Ignore Science

Per The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis asked him Monday to declare a national emergency to deal with the epidemic.

The members of the bipartisan panel called the request their “first and most urgent recommendation.”

Read more at NORML

Induction Heating: Rice Cookers, Welders… Now Vapes?

Induction heating has limited every-day applications, aside from melting pesky bolts or as a convenient way to cook rice. However, one small company has done what others had deemed impossible—they’ve gotten this technology into a handheld vaporizer.

Discovered in 1831 by Michael Faraday, said to be the “father of electromagnetism,” the inductive effect saw one of its first uses melting scrap metal in a smelter in England.

Induction heaters, such as those found on stovetops or rice cookers, pass very high frequency alternating current through a metallic object, generating eddy currents of electrons that can heat it to high temperatures very quickly. This technology seems ripe for vaporizers, so why has it taken so long for this to become a reality?

Read more at High Times

Marijuana Could Help Treat Alzheimer’s: Here’s How It Would Work

This article was originally published on Benzinga and adapted exclusively for HIGH TIMES.

You’ve probably heard this before.

As early as 2008, several reports, including one published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, began proposing various therapeutic pathways by which cannabinoids could treat Alzheimer’s Disease patients, but none were proven.

Read more at High Times

Scientists Investigate Psychedelic Link to Religious Experience

Photo by Vortex Farmacy.

Did you ever want to trip for the benefit of science? That’s what a lucky group of religious clerics got to do, and researchers are now in the process of evaluating the results.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore signed up more than 20 spiritual leaders from various denominations after issuing a call for volunteers last year. Following an initial screening process, the participants were given strong doses of psilocybin—the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms.

Read more at High Times

Eclipse Tripping: An Otherworldly Experience

This August, you’ll get a chance to have a truly strange and otherworldly experience, when normal daylight suddenly turns to eerie twilight and a black sun hangs high in the sky, like the eye of some seldom-seen God radiating waves of luminous, life-giving energy to humanity.

On August 21, 2017, the mainland United States will have its first total eclipse of the sun since February of 1979. Because of this nearly four-decade-long period without a total solar eclipse in the contiguous United States, most people have no idea exactly what’s coming, but many sense it’s going to be an amazing peak experience—and they’re right. A total solar eclipse is nature’s greatest spectacle, and it can be so moving as to change lives and even the course of history.

A total eclipse of the sun is so uniquely novel and profound that this phenomenon has compelled me to travel the world to experience it. I have seen every total solar eclipse since 1994, and I hope to see every one in my remaining lifetime.

Read more at High Times

Stoned Science: Interactions Between THC and CBD

Photo by Jesse Faatz. 

Often when people smoke marijuana, all of the credit for the high is given to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but this isn’t the whole story. Through previous discussions you might recall that cannabidiol (CBD), alone, does not get you high. While this is true, there are some important interactions to consider.

Does CBD affect the high that THC provides and how does it do so?

Read more at High Times

Higher Tech: The Geeks Are Taking Over the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, currently worth $7.2 billion and projected to be valued at $20.5 billion by 2020, while creating nearly 300,000 new jobs. Those numbers, from the marijuana-business data firm New Frontier, have made the tech world sit up and take notice: They’ve been cited everywhere from Wired to Fortune to PC Magazine, in articles encouraging geeks and suits to launch or invest in startups serving the upstart industry.

Last October, when Richard Branson keynoted the New West Summit 2.0—billed as “the first conference to focus exclusively on the game-changing, disruptive developments in technology, investment and media within the cannabis space”—he told the crowd of more than 1,000 gathered in San Francisco that cannabis “has enormous potential, with the ability to do a lot of good.”

The New West Summit 2.0 was an important event in the evolution of cannabis, because, as Harborside Health Center founder and CEO Steve DeAngelo explained to CNET, “this plant has been illegal and underground since the invention of technology.”

Read more at High Times

The Biology of CBD

Previously in “The Chemistry of CBD,” we looked at the subtle changes in the structure of CBD versus that of THC and the potential differences in the resulting conformation of cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1).

We discussed how minuscule changes can have large multiplicative effects down the biological stream. As with all things in this world, structure determines function. The structure of the molecule determines how it binds to the protein, the movement of the protein determines the resulting cellular action and the structure of neuronal networks determines our physical behaviors which can be measured through science!

A claim that was made in the preceding article posed that CBD has the opposite effects of THC.

Read more at High Times

Does the ‘Stoned Ape’ Theory Explain Human Evolution?

Ethnobotanist and psychedelics advocate, Terence McKenna, wrote a book called Food of the Gods, which is an exploration of humans’ symbiotic relationships with plants and chemicals—now and in pre-historic societies.

McKenna came up with an interesting, albeit controversial theory, which was this: what enabled Homo erectus (our ancestors from 1.8 million years ago) to evolve into Homo sapiens (us now) had to do with their encounters with magic mushrooms and psilocybin, the psychedelic compound within them.

McKenna called this the “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” and posited that psilocybin caused the primitive brain’s information-processing capabilities to rapidly reorganize, which in turn kick-started an evolution of awareness that led to the early art, language and technology found in Homo sapiens’ archeological records.

Read more at High Times