Know Your Herbs

Evidence Shows Ancient Egyptian Cult Tripped on Hallucinogens

An Ancient Egyptian vase with a face resembling the deity Bes was found with traces of a mixture containing several psychedelic compounds.

A recent preprint of a study intended for peer review, scientists discovered direct evidence inside a vase, indicating that the Ancient Egyptian cult of fertility god Bes used Syrian rue, Egyptian lotus, and royal jelly to trip on during religious ceremonies. Ptolemaic-era vases from the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida were analyzed.

Bes (and his female counterpart Beset) was worshiped during the New Kingdom, Ptolemaic period, and Imperial Rome as protector of households, i.e. women and children. Offerings to Bes usually were meant for fertility purposes. In the New Kingdom, Egyptians bore the image of Bes tattooed on their skin, and evidence suggests festivals in honor of Bes.

Researchers found traces of multiple plants and ingredients known for their hallucinogenic properties. “Our analyses revealed traces of Peganum harmala, Nimphaea nouchali var. caerulea, and a plant of the Cleome genus, all of which are traditionally proven to have psychotropic and medicinal properties,” researchers wrote. “Additionally, the identification of human fluids suggests their direct involvement in these rituals.”

Courtesy D. Tanasi et al., 2023

Other Egyptian cults and Ancient Mayans also used Nimphaea nouchali var. Caerulea for psychedelic purposes. Researchers also detected cow DNA, and speculate the vases may have contained a fermented milk or some other cow product. Traces of royal honey or royal jelly was also found in the vase, known for both hallucinogenic effects and for increasing sexual vitality, (though the FDA warned about hawkers mixing it with Cialis). Some of royal jelly’s benefits, however, are backed by science.

“Furthermore, metabolomics and SR μ-FTIR analyses also revealed the presence of fermented fruit-based liquid and other ingredients such as honey or royal jelly,” researchers wrote. “The identification of specific chemical compounds, such as alkaloids and flavonoids, provides insight into the psychoactive and therapeutic uses of these in ancient ritual practices. This multidisciplinary study highlights the complexity of ancient cultures and their interactions with psychoactive, medicinal, and nutraceutical substances. These findings contribute to our understanding of ancient belief systems, cultural practices, and the utilization of natural resources, ultimately enhancing our knowledge of past societies and their connection to the natural world.”

Along with the Egyptian or blue lotus, the most popular psychoactive plants we know about among the Ancient Egyptians are opium, tobacco, and coca.

Ars Technica reports that ceramic vases and similar vessels depicting Bes have been found and now populate museums and private collections across the world. Researchers speculate they held beer or an elixir. He’s usually depicted with a bearded dwarf and sticking his tongue out, sometimes with a phallic symbol.

“The familiar image of Bes is a composite of anthropomorphic and theriomorphic elements, part dwarfish, part feline,” the report reads. “He emerged from the magical realm of the world of demons as a guardian figure, and gradually seems to have obtained a more numinous status until, in the Roman Imperial age, he sporadically acquired divine worship. In terms of his functions, Bes provided protection from danger, while simultaneously averting harm, and being able with his power to prevent evil. In critical circumstances, he was also placating in nature as told in the well-known Myth of the Solar Eye, when he stopped the wrath of bloodthirsty goddess Hathor serving her an alcoholic beverage, spiked with a plant-based drug, disguised as blood to a deep forgetting sleep on her.”

Chambers painted with the image of Bes were built at the site of Saqqara near the Egyptian capital Memphis, south of Cairo, but little is understood about the religion specifics.

Expanding the sampling chemical study to other examples of similar times would show a clearer picture, researchers said.

The post Evidence Shows Ancient Egyptian Cult Tripped on Hallucinogens appeared first on High Times.

Source: Hightimes

Report States That Cannabis Legalization Has Not Increased Youth Consumption

A policy paper entitled, “Addressing Youth and Cannabis: Solutions to combat and prevent youth misuse through a federal regulatory system” was released by CPEAR on March 16, and reviews data regarding how youth cannabis consumption hasn’t increased since legalization began. The report was also presented during CPEAR’s roundtable event held on March 17, featuring Senator John Hickenlooper, CPEAR Co-Chair Greg Walden and more.

CPEAR Executive Director Andrew Freedman shared in a press release that this report will serve as a guide for community youth prevention and an inspiration for legislators to enact prevention regulations. “Over 100 million Americans live in a state with legalized, adult-use cannabis—but what we should consider is what that means for our nation’s youth,” said Freedman. “This research highlights how preventing youth from using cannabis requires local communities and stakeholders to be at the forefront of this effort. It further outlines the need for congressional action to build a federal cannabis framework rooted in data, correct the current patchwork of cannabis laws, and build preventative measures into place to protect America’s youth from cannabis misuse.”

One of the main topics that the report explores is that youth consumption either “decreases or remains flat in regulated markets.” In reviewing data on consumption of 8th, 10th and 12th graders, the results were fairly steady. “State legalization of cannabis has not, on average impacted the prevalence of cannabis use among adolescents,” the report states. “In other words, states with medical and/or adult use laws are not seeing larger increases in adolescent use relative to states where use remains illegal.” A Monitoring the Future graph shows a dramatic drop in consumption for 12th graders between 1975 and the 1990s (8th and 10th grade data was not collected at that time). All three grades dropped in 2020, most likely due to lack of availability or access to cannabis during the pandemic.

The report also shares that a combination of early prevention methods can continue to see a decrease in youth consumption as well, listing afterschool programs or school prevention programs, counseling opportunities, community initiatives and digital interventions. “The most successful public education campaign to date is the ‘Good to Know’ program that originated in Colorado, which provides evidence-based educational statements about laws and potential health effects of cannabis use in a judgement-free fashion,” the report shared. “A research study found that the campaign not only increased awareness, but significantly increased perceptions of risk associated with CUD, driving under the influence of cannabis, and negative cognitive outcomes associated with cannabis use.” It also proposes that an increase in youth-specific legislation would affect youth consumption rates, especially if more attention was paid to marketing and advertising.

Finally, the report also stated that if illicit cannabis sales were targeted, youth cannabis access would also decrease. “The legal cannabis market increases the availability of high-potency products, which have been associated with an increased risk of psychosis and CUD for some. However, unlike the tobacco and alcohol industries, there remains a pervasive illicit cannabis market that can easily provide youth with access to cannabis,” the report reads. “Cannabis purchased illicitly is more likely to contain contaminants, including other illicit substances relative to products available in a regulated market. Therefore, increased vigilance of legal sales of high-potency products may best balance reducing risks of youth cannabis-related harms.”

CPEAR launched on March 11, 2021 and has acquired member support from tobacco and alcohol companies, such as Altria Client Services, Constellation Brands, Inc., Molson Coors Beverage Company. Many other studies have found the same observations regarding youth cannabis consumption, such as one that was published in the journal Substance Abuse in March 2021 or another published in The American Journal of Public Health in August 2020.

The post Report States That Cannabis Legalization Has Not Increased Youth Consumption appeared first on High Times.

Source: Hightimes

A quarter of menopausal women have used weed to tackle symptoms, but more are open to trying it

More than a quarter of U.S. women taking part in the Midlife Women Veterans Health Survey report they have used or are using cannabis to manage their symptoms, but another 10 per cent say they’d be open to giving weed a try. Read More
Source: tghop