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Elon Musk On Psychedelics and Big Pharma – Cannabis News, Lifestyle



Elon Musk is challenging the establishment again as he tweets about psychedelics and big pharma. He tweeted that an antidepressant, Wellbutrin, is not safe and should be pulled off the market. He then touted the benefits of psychedelics in alleviating mental health problems.

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in April and is committed to keeping the platform free of censorship.

Is Elon Musk Right about Psychedelics and Big Pharma? 

“It is extremely distressing that a man who blithely tosses off opinions about medicine is poised to acquire this entire platform,” tweeted Daniel Summers, a pediatrician.

Tyler Black, a pharmacologist at the University of British Columbia, called Musk’s views on Wellbutrin “basically medical misinformation.”

Par course for a generation that has lost the value of free speech. Musk may or may not be correct. But he isn’t misinformed. As he tweeted: “Every time that drug has come up in conversation, someone at the table has a suicide or near-suicide story.”

Responding to other tweets, Elon wrote: “I’ve talked to many more people who were helped by psychedelics & ketamine than SSRIs & amphetamines.”

But again, according to Tyler Black, this is misinformation. “Psychedelics are not yet the first-line treatments for anything in psychiatry, and they may never be, because the evidence won’t support them,” he told the Washington Post.

Of course, no one has yet successfully disputed Elon’s claim. Critics have merely committed the logical fallacy of appealing to authority and decrying anything they disagree with as “misinformation.”

So is Elon Musk right about Wellbutrin? Should we value his opinions on psychedelics and big pharma? He may not be a medical expert, but he also doesn’t make his money pushing pharmaceuticals onto vulnerable people with poor mental health.

Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Elon Musk On Psychedelics and Big Pharma

Wellbutrin is the brand name of bupropion. An antidepressant by prescription only and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1985. It interacts with dopamine receptors causing side effects for the central nervous system. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems 
  • Increased heart rate (and other cardiovascular side effects)
  • Blurred vision
  • Joint Aches
  • Rash
  • Dry Mouth
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Strange metallic aftertaste 
  • Constipation 
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Agitation 
  • Shaking 
  • Fainting spells
  • Restlessness 
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Loss of libido 
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures (all antidepressants carry epilepsy risks)
  • Suicidal Thoughts

The advantages outweigh the negatives, so they say. But the last five side effects listed make you wonder if Wellbutrin is worth the trouble.

Especially when there are safer alternatives.

Is Elon Musk Wrong about Psychedelics and Big Pharma? 

Tyler Black, the BC pharmacologist who called Musk’s views “basically medical misinformation,” misinformed us before. He was wrong when he said psychedelics “may never be [used in psychiatry] because the evidence won’t support them.” 

A simple online search debunks this claim thoroughly.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York has a Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research. They find psilocybin and MDMA help military veterans and civilians suffering from depression and PTSD.

In November 2020, billionaire Peter Thiel invested $12 million (USD) into Atai Life Sciences. This Berlin company develops novel treatments for mental health issues like depression, PTSD, anxiety and addiction. They’re finding success with compounds such as psilocybin, MDMA and its derivatives, and ibogaine. 

Known for being an early investor in Facebook, Thiel also co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has a $17 million psychedelic research center. Why spend that kind of money if “the evidence won’t support” psychedelics?

Psychedelics: The Supporting Evidence

The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research is one of the largest in the world. In 2006, they published double-blind psilocybin research that showed “magic mushrooms” as safe and effective.

Johns Hopkins has also shown how (alongside cognitive behaviour therapy) a psilocybin experience can end a lifelong cigarette habit. They’ve published results showing how a single large dose of psilocybin mushrooms has a beneficial effect on people suffering from cancer-related anxiety and depression.

They’ve also shown how alcoholics can reduce or end their dependency after a psychedelic experience with psilocybin, LSD or DMT. And a lot of these studies were experimental and double-blinded. They involved brain scans. They weren’t simply asking people to fill out a survey after an acid trip.

But the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research must not exist. Every so-called expert is telling Elon Musk to stay in his own lane and leave the antidepressant research to them. And then they routinely ignore evidence that doesn’t fit their preconceived worldview.

It is genuinely baffling. For even the FDA has approved an antidepressant derived from ketamine. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine finally received a federal grant in 2020 to further its study of psychedelic research. They recommend psilocybin be re-categorized from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule IV drug (to one with medical potential).

But it’s Elon Musk’s take on psychedelics and big pharma that must be wrong. Misinformation only exists on one side of the argument, apparently.

Try it Yourself

Elon Musk On Psychedelics and Big Pharma

There is no single theory on depression. Some believe it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others take stock in the inflammation theory, where if one cuts out sugars and processed carbs, the brain and body heal, so the mind follows suit.

The problem with pharmaceutical antidepressants is that they target synaptic levels in the brain to varying degrees of success. Elon Musk doesn’t find much merit in altering the chemical interactions of the brain. Interactions we barely know anything about.

After all, how do chemical interactions in the brain produce consciousness? 

Instead, psychedelics offer profound and genuine insights. Brain scans show that psychedelics decrease the “ego centre” of the brain. Once one sees themselves differently, with less ego and more connectedness to the world around them, they come out of the experience feeling better—less depressed and more content.

And you can try this yourself. If you’re not keen on psychedelics like psilocybin or LSD, there’s always cannabis. In large doses (like in an edible, for example), one can experience similar intense feelings and genuine insight. With edible cannabis, your liver processes THC and converts it to 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC), producing effects far more significant than you can get from smoking or vaping. 

With a large enough dose, cannabis becomes a psychedelic too. 

And that, in essence, is Elon Musk’s take on psychedelics and big pharma. Nothing controversial about it. But from the way the corporate press is reacting, you’d think he just denied the Holocaust.

And yet all he’s done is challenge a system of profit and control. One that would rather see you sick and depressed and paying taxes than reaching your potential as a human being and threatening the powers that be.

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Is Marijuana A Depressant? – The Fresh Toast




This article originally appeared on Jointly and has been reposted with permission.

Are you looking for answers to the question, “is marijuana a depressant?” If you have ever felt sleepy or sedated after using cannabis, you might have wondered, “is weed a depressant?”

This article answers the questions “what is a depressant?”, “is weed a depressant?”, and “is cannabis a CNS depressant?” We will also discuss whether weed is an upper or a downer, and why this is such a common question.

depression anxiety
Photo by Maskot/Getty Images

What is a Depressant?

Depressants are drugs that slow down the activity of the brain. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation defines a depressant as a class of drugs that decreases stimulation and arousal. At a basic level, depressants “do not directly reduce arousal in the brain; they enhance the activity of a neurotransmitter that reduces arousal in the brain.” This neurotransmitter is GABA. In mammals, GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter and glutamate is primary excitatory neurotransmitter, and their balance controls “the brain’s overall level of excitation.”

Depressants work by enhancing the activity of GABA, which has a “calming influence on anxiety and acute stress reactions.” Depressants can cause a range of effects from calming you down, to making you drowsy, and “extending progressively to sleep, unconsciousness, coma, surgical anesthesia, and…fatal respiratory and cardiovascular depression.”

Fortunaely, cannabis does not lead to fatal respiratory and cardiovascular depression. If you want to know why you can’t fatally overdose on weed, read this. Some common depressants include alcohol, prescription benzodiazepines like Xanax, prescription sleep medication like Ambien, and cannabis.

Is Marijuana a Depressant or Antidepressant?

Many people wonder if marijuana is a depressant or an antidepressant. That makes sense given that in some states, doctors can recommend medical marijuana to patients suffering from depression. Additionally, animal studies indicate that cannabinoids like THC can have antidepressant effects. However, cannabis can help you relax or fall asleep. The sedating effects of cannabis suggest it also acts as a depressant. So, is cannabis a depressant or an antidepressant?

If you recall, the definition of a depressant is a drug that slows down brain activity, which is why depressants are also called central nervous system depressants, or CNS depressants. The opposite of a depressant is not an antidepressant, but a stimulant, or a drug that increases CNS activity.

RELATED: Does Marijuana Lower The Effects Of Anti-Depressants?

At a basic level, an antidepressant is defined as “anything, especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.” For example, SSRIs and MAOIs are two classes of antidepressants with different mechanisms of action. SSRIs affect serotonin levels by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin into the synapse, while MAOIs block the breakdown of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

In the United States, cannabis is federally illegal and classified as Schedule I Drug with no medical benefit. As a result, the FDA does not consider cannabis to be a treatment for depression. Please note that we are not advising anyone to replace prescription drugs with cannabis. Anyone who feels they may be suffering from depression should consult their healthcare practitioner to determine the best course of treatment.

RELATED: Microdosing Marijuana For Depression: What To Expect

The question “is marijuana a depressant or antidepressant” is based in the misconception that depressants and antidepressants are opposite. Depressants refer to the effect of a drug on the CNS, not how it affects mood. In fact, many depressants induce euphoria. So, is weed a depressant? Let’s find out whether marijuana is an upper or a downer.

marijuana joint
Photo by Tim Allen/Getty Images

Is Weed a Depressant?

The answer to the question “Is weed a depressant?” is “yes, cannabis is a CNS depressant at some doses.” Cannabis is a biphasic drug. For an in-depth discussion of this idea, check out Does Weed Help With Stress? Remember how the levels of GABA and glutamate determine the overall excitation of the brain? Cannabis is known to significantly increase GABA levels. However, cannabis also increase glutamate and dopamine, which means that weed is a stimulant as well.

Is Weed an Upper or Downer?

Evidently, the answer to “is weed an upper or downer” is a bit complicated. Cannabis is both an upper and a downer. There isn’t a simple answer, which is why this question persists through the years. Beyond the effects of THC, there are other compounds in cannabis that can sedate you. For example, if you consume a strain with moderate to high myrcene, linalool, or terpineol terpene content you may experience calming and sedative-like effects. As we discussed in Is Cannabis Good for Sleep?, cannabis was historically classified in medical textbooks as a hypnotic and sedative, two types of drugs that are depressants. In short, cannabis is a depressant.

Get Started on Your Cannabis Wellness Journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabiswho you are with when you ingesthow hydrated you arethe quality of your diethow much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

Sam is an award-winning screenwriter of “Are You Glad I’m Here” on Amazon Prime. His passions include helping people understand purposeful cannabis consumption.  He is the content Director at Jointly, a cannabis wellness company powered by a proprietary data platform to help people reach their full potential. The company was created on the premise that purposeful cannabis consumption is the key to unlocking a better you.

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