Joe Rogan - Bad Trips Are Beneficial

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Hamilton Morris

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Hamilton Morris is the creator and host of the Vice TV documentary series "Hamilton's Pharmacopeia," now in its third season.

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Psychedelics

If life wasn't real it'd be the craziest psychedelic trip ever - Joe Rogan

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comfort-oriented and will take you away from your responsibilities and that's what it will become but if you decide like Terrence McKenna did that it's an intellectual catalyst that it will facilitate your ability to read and learn and think and write then it will become that as well. Yeah it's it's a weird one right because people that are people that take it that are prone to paranoia or that are dealing with like some difficult issues in their life right now that they're perhaps trying to avoid it becomes an uncomfortable experience whereas people that are happy and having a good time and in a good place the marijuana will sort of enhance that it'll give you this loving warm feeling of comfort and of like sort of acceptance of your existence and it's gonna be okay. Right but I think even the paranoia is like a sort of a sort of meme you could say a sort of vestige of this propaganda that makes people afraid in the same vein as the bad trip. I think the concept of a bad trip is a very damaging concept because and I know from personal experience I never really used psychedelics in high school with the exception of salvia because I was terrified of a bad trip. I'd talked to friends who'd describe bad trips and they say oh it's a bad trip it's really bad it's scary and I would think oh that's terrible I could I would never want a bad trip I'm never gonna touch these things because a bad trip would be too much for me to tolerate and then I started using psychedelics and I realized there's no such thing as a bad trip any more than there's a bad meal or a bad relationship or a bad day I mean having an occasional bad thing in life doesn't stop you from doing things like eating or having relationships or living typically so. What do you mean by this are you saying there's no such thing as a bad trip? Yes. You're saying there's no such thing as a bad meal? I'm saying that there is such thing as a bad meal but it wouldn't prevent you from tripping and I think that even the bad or wouldn't bring you from eating rather sorry about that but uh but I think even these bad trips although they can be difficult are beneficial and our learning experience in the same way that a bad meal could be you learn not to go to that restaurant or maybe you learn something about what makes you sick or what to be careful of in the future you know if you are approaching life from a non-fearful perspective where your intention is to learn then you can extract benefit from almost any experience and these difficult psychedelic experiences I genuinely believe and this is what is maybe the hardest thing to communicate about psychedelics is that it's the difficult ones that are often the best those are the ones that really teach you something and when you're trying to talk about psychedelics with people who've never used them it's not a great selling point to say oh you know the best thing that can happen is you're gonna think you're gonna die but that is arguably the best thing that can happen is to think that you're going to die because that's a confrontation with the overarching fear the fear that generates all other fears and if you conquer that fear then your life will almost certainly improve well what is one thing that's it's sort of genuine genuinely universally accepted as a beneficial experience is a near death experience sort of universally accepted as a transformative moment in people's lives like I had this near-death experience and I realized wow I got to get my shit together after that heart attack I realized that life is a gift and I changed the way I think about things and I started calling people that I loved and telling them that I loved them this is the same you can get a near-death experience from cannabis you just don't ever die I mean it's the death of so many perceptions and so many things about your life especially from edible cannabis which I think is probably one of the least understood and most potent things that people are consuming on a daily basis I can't tell you how many times I've given someone edible marijuana and they're fucking convinced that it's been laced with something awful and that they're going to die but then afterwards they come out of it and they're like I got some work to do the only way I would disagree with you is people that are prone to psychotic breaks yes yeah because that there there is a absolute genuine connection between people who have a slippery hold on reality and some experiences with psychedelics that lead them down a bad road that's true it can it's a stressor and like all stressors it can precipitate a psychotic break they've done pretty large-scale epidemiological analyses of psychedelic drug users versus the non psychedelic drug using population and the incidence of mental illness isn't any higher so I don't think that you can argue that psychedelics cause mental illness but you can and in some measures it seems to actually reduce it in terms of things like alcoholism substance abuse disorders but but it can be a stressor that would precipitate such an episode in a susceptible individual and I had a very traumatic informative experience myself or my best friend had a psychotic break while I was with him tripping so I've seen this firsthand I know exactly what it looks like yeah I've had friends have real bad experiences to where the screaming and yelling and then disassociative and then afterwards become very strange and have a really hard time with reality for a bit yeah I've never seen someone have a complete psychotic break this is that he never recovered never he never recovered he was my best friend at the time and he never recovered so he was fine before the psychedelic yes Jesus Christ but again you know it's and that happened early so now he's still fucked yes damn but again you know I typically don't tell that story in public because it's it could be misinterpreted as a scare story you know I don't it's impossible to prove the counterfactual would it have happened without psychedelics almost certainly I can't say all I know is that he took a very high dose of a a silicine ester and had this episode he was hospitalized and he was not the same afterwards so I'm aware that this is a something that happens but it also typically happens in the early 20s late teens the same time that people typically have psychotic breaks and develop schizophrenia yeah the instances of schizophrenia in people who use cannabis are cannabis in particular but I don't know about other psychedelics but I would imagine are very similar they're exactly the same as the incidences of schizophrenia in non-using populations it's like 1% 1% across the board seem to have issues with schizophrenia and the real question is how many of those people could I mean is it avoidable like if your friend had never done that and instead had you know become a marathon runner or something and you know found some other outlets for his energy would he have never gone down that road we don't know it's impossible yeah it's impossible to say I think it's very important to talk about that though and with further research perhaps we could isolate genes you know like they have for CTE now they have they can do an analysis of your genes and then determine whether or not something like football would be a dangerous path for you because you have a higher probability of developing CTE it would be wonderful if they figured out a way to do that with psilocybin or with cannabis or with anything else and be able to recognize the potential links to psychotic breaks and to you know a host of different mental disorders that could possibly be triggered by high doses yes I mean this is one of so many things that needs to be done and that's you know everyone's very excited about all this clinical research that's happening right now I'm excited about it as well but on one level it is very politically oriented research you know the the things that they're looking at have actually typically been done before not all of it but the aim is to firmly establish these things that have been known for a long time psilocybin occasions mystical type experience or MDMA is useful for treating PTSD or psilocybin has an anti addictive effect these are things that people have known for a little while but now it's about proving it but I'm really looking forward to getting deeper into these serious questions about you know exactly how these drugs interact with various subtypes of serotonin receptors because I think that they're going to be very important tools for understanding consciousness as a whole yeah it would also be interesting knowing how they react to different diets you know when people are you know when you're eating certain types of foods that are bad for your body I would really be curious to see what kind of effect that has I mean when when you have real large-scale research that goes over really important variables in terms of a human health and then you add in these different substances whether it's psilocybin or cannabis or whatever it is it's it's going to be interesting to see how the body reacts to these various perturbances these various changes of your state yeah and that's a you know traditionally in a lot of these indigenous groups the diet plays a big role in the way that the drug is administered and I think we're slowly rediscovering a lot of things that have been known for tens maybe hundreds maybe thousands of years in some of these indigenous groups