An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: brain (Page 1 of 4)

Endocannabinoid System

Posted here are three great lectures on cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System in the human body. The first lecture, by Dr. Robert Melamede is my favorite. Melamede frequently references Ilya Prigogine’s work and provides an understanding of the Endocannabinoid system based on a “far from equilibrium” perspective. For the more physics and math inclined readers, this is a wonderful connection.

Dr. Robert Melamede – Endocannabinoid System

 
The Endocannabinoid System in Health and Disease – Dr. Ethan Russo

Quick summary:

  • Endocannabinoid System composed of three components: 1) endocannabinoids, 2) CB1, CB2 and TRPV1 receptors, and 3) regulatory enzymes
  • CB1 is the most abundant G-protein-coupled receptor in the brain
  • Cannabinoids modulate how fast things move through the gut!
  • CB1 is the “psychoactive receptor” and CB2 is the immunomodulatory receptor
  • CBs 10-fold more potent than morphine in WDR neurons mediating pain
  • All humans have a baseline Endocannabinoid System, influenced by genetics or some life event; in some people the system becomes deficient – disease and other issues arise in the body
  • Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED)
  • THC notoriously increases appetite, why aren’t users more often obese? THC alters the microfloral balance in gut, prevents weight gain
  • Cannabis very effective in Fibromyalgia
  • Migraine info at 41 min
  • Migraine related to CED

Cannabis and Cannabinoids – Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather

Quick summary:

  • Compared to the flower: oils, edibles and other extracts lose many of the cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Cannabis is an adaptogen – can give you whatever your body needs to regain its homeostasis
  • CBDs with THC works optimally, together it gives a greater than additive effect, i.e. better than consuming each individually; plant flower and all it contains is overall better than the extracts
  • At 1 hour and 2 min in the lecture, entire list of cancers which exhibit cannabinoid sensitivity and in many cases the tumor goes away with cannabinoid treatment

The Philosopher’s Stone – LSD documentary

A wonderful collection of talks given at the 100th birthday celebration of Albert Hofmann in 2006.

The Philosopher’s Stone – LSD documentary : Part 1

The Philosopher’s Stone – LSD documentary : Part 2

Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research – Dr. Stanislav Grof

Dr. Stanislav Grof’s book Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research surpassed any expectations I had when I purchased it. It truly takes the reader on a trip into the most remote depths of the human psyche. Grof’s model of the unconscious, based on more than 30 years of experience, provides incredible insight into a realm beyond anything you thought you knew. The model involves what Grof calls “Systems of Condensed Experience” (COEX Systems). In addition to these experiences,  patients typically encounter experiences classified by Grof as either perinatal or transpersonal. I suggest reading the book to learn more about this topic and the models.

In a suitable analogy, Grof declares LSD to be psychiatry’s fundamental tool; it is like the astronomer’s telescope or the biologist’s microscope.  Grof refers to the powerful ability of LSD to facilitate the revealing of deep unconscious systems like that of sonar or radar, revealing the largest and most relevant emotional disturbances beneath the surface of the unconscious ocean. It allows therapists to have a direct reading of a patient’s relevant thought systems and important experiences. Readers begin to realize how incredibly important this molecule is for the well-being of the psyche and the spiritual and mental development of humanity.

For a simple introduction, I would suggest The Holotropic Mind rather than this book. Or if you prefer an audio book, Audible has The Transpersonal Vision. I would also recommend joining the email list for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

The Holographic Universe – Michael Talbot

After watching an interview with Michael Talbot on YouTube, I was eager to read his book, The Holographic Universe. Despite being published in 1991, the book contains a wide range of references and resources perfect for any reader in 2016 interested in the boundary between science and the paranormal. I recommend this book, not because it provides profound new insight, but because of the huge number of paranormal examples (if legitimate) and historical occurrences with which any reader may have a difficult time fitting into their framework of reality. Of course, it is unwise to accept anything you read as truth; however, the source material is listed and the reader can stroll down any path he/she wishes in their own personal investigation of these topics. My own path is now taking me into the work of Dr. Stanislav Grof,  Rick Strassman, etc… and topics such as LSD, DMT, NDEs and OBEs.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule – Rick Strassman, M.D.

Terence McKenna’s experiences with the DMT molecule piqued my already curious mind. Talking with Elves? Hyperspace travel and other dimensions? Mystical visions? Was McKenna a deranged urban shaman luring others into the world of psychedelia? I decided to investigate by first reading a book. This was Rick Strassman’s, DMT: The Spirit Molecule. It is based on Strassman’s own research with human subjects on the effects of the DMT molecule from 1990 – 1995.

After finishing the book, I had a strong intuitive sense that McKenna was correct. Travelling to other dimensions, having a mystical experience, and talking to other beings are hallmarks of a DMT trip. The DMT molecule is a sort of high octane fuel for the brain which allows a higher level of conscious reality. Perhaps even accessing new forces and energies unknown to current science. Think of the 1820’s and 1830’s and the eventual realization during that period that the world is saturated with electromagnetic forces and fields. Then scientists found that the actual functioning of their brain relies on these forces which were previously unknown. Physics helped lead to discoveries in biology. Perhaps this time, the flow of discovery will be reversed — from biology to physics.

If DMT is the fuel, then the brain is the motor, the engine for visiting and travelling to indescribable places. In many ways the human body is the most sophisticated piece of technology which exists on this planet. It’s no wonder that many call it a temple. Perhaps it’s this natural technology which will enable humans to discover how to really travel to the stars. Or perhaps with better understanding of the DMT molecule we will more fully understand what it means to live and exist as a conscious being.

Brain biotechnology, in particular the pineal gland, may hold the key to understanding the holographic universe of Bohm. He was interested in which part of the brain played the role of accessing the holographic universe. Might the primary instrument be the pineal gland?

I was surprised to find, after reading many books on evolution, that no one really mentions the fact that our ancient common ancestors in the ocean, and eventually on land, had three eyes. The pineal gland, according to evolutionary biologists is today’s analogue to this ancient third sense organ. Indeed, many species today have what is called a Parietal eye. See the Tuatara and the Triops and many extinct species as well. This is a functioning organ in the human brain (technically not part of the brain — it forms from cells on the roof of the mouth) which has roots as a sense organ. Is it “sensing” today? Why has evolution migrated the organ to the center of the brain with immediate access to our nervous system? And what might be its function as  piezoelectric device?

I would highly suggest reading Strassman’s book to enjoy the amazing experiences the volunteers described (as best they could). Even reading their experiences gave me chills and a sense of healing. This is a fascinating area of research and perhaps a new age of human existence will be born from it.

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