The Joe Rogan Experience: The Human Erowid – Hamilton Morris

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Intro
  • Hamilton on social media – Twitter, Instagram
  • Last time Joe and Hamilton did a podcast, they got REALLY high
  • Check out Hamilton’s show, Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia on Amazon, Hulu, and Itunes
The Opioid Epidemic and Kratom
  • There are so many people that get on these things (morphine and morphine derivatives), and wind up taking them far longer than they’re supposed to, because it’s so easy to get hooked
  • Kratom has been used, effectively, to ween people off opiates and pain killers
    • The correct way to pronounce it is “krah-tom”
    • Kratom is a Thai word
      • It was made illegal there –  it took away from opium trade profits, which the government was taxing
    • How does it work? – it’s an opioid itself
      • “It’s genuinely helped an enormous number of people reduce their intake of more addictive and more dangerous opioids”
  • Some people take kratom as a pre-wrokout
    • It lends itself to a lot of different applications
    • Laborers use it in Thailand to help them deal with repetive manual labor
  • Joe is taking kratom (6 pills a day, each is 750 mg) to help his knee pain
Pharmacological Determinism
  • The idea that a certain drug has to do a certain thing, which isn’t always true – it’s a flawed idea
  • Drugs behave differently in different cultures, depending on the set and setting of the user
    • For example, some people use PCP for medicinal use (it’s a Schedule II compound, but it can still be prescribed medicinally)
      • Psychiatrists use it to help people release repressed memories or traumas that their afraid to talk about when sober
    • Ketamine, normally thought of a party drug, can be used to treat depression
Legalization
  • “We should have the freedom to do dangerous things if we choose”
    • It’s really ridiculous that we’re adults, telling other adults, what we can and can’t do
  • We need to get rid of “schedules” with drugs
    • There are medical benefits to Schedule I drugs, and it’s ridiculous that they’re illegal
    • “The scheduling of drugs, actively promotes a distrust with law enforcement” – Joe
  • How is cannabis still a Schedule I compound?
    • “Cannabis legalization will open the door to all these different substances that will allow people to gain a greater perspective. These substances will give people the opportunity to step outside the momentum of their lives, and look at things with fresh eyes, allowing them to make clearer decisions.” – Joe
      • Psychedelics provide an escape from harmful behavior patterns that we’ve developed
        • They allow us to rethink, regroup, and reassess
  • People used to hide the fact that they use cannabis – nowadays it’s very common and spoken about more openly
    • Some people still feel internal shame/guilt about using it
      • As Naval Ravikant says – “Guilt is just society’s voice speaking in your head”
      • Instead, have the mindset that cannabis is an intellectual catalyst
        • As the culture becomes more accepting of cannabis and the benefits are more widely known, this mindset will be easier to have
      • “If someone uses cannabis, in a culture that supports and approves of it, their experience will be better by virtue of that fact”
  • Of course there are any negatives with drugs
    • However, we need to emphasize cognitive liberty
    • “We need to emphasize our right to explore altered states of consciousness, regardless of whether or not they’re therapeutic, safe, traditional, or spiritual. The point isn’t that it’s safe. The point is that if you want to live in a free society, you have to be allowed to take a certain amount of risk.”
    • Think of all the dangerous things that people are allowed to do that are legal
      • Sky diving, bungee jumping etc.
“There’s no such thing as a bad trip”
  • “Even bad trips, though they can be difficult, can serve as a valuable learning experience”
  • “If you’re approaching life, from a non-fearful perspective, where your intention is to learn, then you can extract benefit from almost any experience”
  • The difficult trips, are often the best
    • They’re the ones that most often teach you something
  • If you are prone to psychotic breaks – don’t use psychedelics
    • They are a stressor, and like all stressors, they can facilitate a psychotic episode
  • It would be great, if we could get to a level with genetic analysis, where we might be able to recognize links/predispositions to psychotic episodes while on psychedelics
Journalism and Drugs
  • Check out Michael Pollan’s new book – How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
  • “Anytime you say anything negative about a drug, you have to be very careful, because the implications can be enormous” 
    • Journalists need to be very careful about what they say – the potential for impacting a large group of people is huge now
    • As it is now, they tend to get more attention for saying the wrong thing, than the right thing
  • “If you spend all of your time commenting hatefully on things you hate and don’t like, you are actively encouraging the production of more of that thing you don’t like”
    • Engage with what you approve of more
  • Another problem – many people have jobs they don’t actually like/enjoy
    • During that job, in the state of feeling like shit about whatever it is they’re doing, people have the freedom to go online, and are more apt to complain about things
    • Just spend your time doing things you actually enjoy
    • “Figure out a way to actively ignore things that piss you off, and seek out things that are going to excite and intrigue you, you’re going to be a healthier and happier person” – Joe
Alcohol
  • Think about how bad of a drug alcohol is
    • No other drug causes a hangover of that type, where there’s a toxic metabolite that poisons you the following day
    • Alcohol is metabolized into a chemical called acetaldehyde that’s toxic
    • Alcohol is a weak drug by weight – you’re consuming insane amounts of it in terms of the number of molecules
The DEA and Drug Testing
  • With the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), only the enjoyable drugs are controlled, not dangerous ones
    • Dangerous substances that aren’t controlled – lead, tetrodotoxin (the chemical in puffer fish), ciguatoxin (the most potent known neurotoxin), mercury
    • It’s about what people like to use, what’s enjoyable – the DEA has this idea that any sort of euphoria is bad 
    • Society praises sobriety 
      • We’ve been taught to believe that any psychoactive compound will make us unproductive and lazy
      • Why is it that we all congratulate people on Instagram when they announce their sobriety? In other cultures, they certainly wouldn’t do this – a reaction might be something like, “Hmmm, that’s interesting you decided to go that route, good for you, but I’m going to enjoy my psychoactive compounds”
    • The DEA can make anything with the potential for abuse illegal, they don’t need any reason – as long as no one opposes it, it will pass
  • “There is a tremendous amount of ignorance when it comes to drugs”
  • During his comedy sets, Joe likes to ask the audience how many people have their pee tested for work – usually around 10% of people raise their hand
    • “It’s a huge invasion of privacy, that we’ve decided is acceptable”
    • The popularity of synthetic cannibanoids, was incentivized by the fact that they don’t show up onurine tests
    • Just passive exposure to cannibas smoke, can contaminate your hair and cause you to test positive
    • Instead – judge people based on their productivity, not what they do in their spare time
Amphetamines
  • Many people say Adderall is one carbon atom away from meth, but it’s also important to remember meth is one carbon atom away from Adderall
  • Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, because it – like amphetamine/Adderall, can also be prescribed to treat ADHD
    • It’s called Desoxyn, its very similar to Adderall
Ibogaine
  • Has tremendous potential when it comes to treating addiction to opioids
  • “There’s almost nothing it does not do”
    • It has an anti-addictive effect
    • A ketamine like effect
    • A psychedelic like effect
    • It acts as a dopamine and serotonin reuptake inhibitor
    • Releases a protein called gliial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) – one of the most important proteins in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
      • Causes regrowth of dopaminergic neurons in people who have Parkinson’s Disease
      • Ibogaine could be a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Because it’s a Schedule I compound, scientists can’t work with it for experimentation
    • Same with many of the other drugs banned by the DEA
  • Hamilton has taken 50 mg of Ibogaine, which isn’t a high dose
    • Doses used to treat addiction are usually a few grams
  • Some people are microdosing Ibogaine
    • In his book, Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss describes how he does this – taking a small dose 2x a week
  • There can be problematic effects at high doses
    • It can have a cardiotoxic effect
    • It can induce cardiac arrhythmias
  • Iboagine is such a complex molecule, it can’t be synthesized commercially – all the ibogaine people use is extracted from plants
Cannabis
  • Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome
    • A syndrome that has recently become more common
      • People are smoking more cannabis now than ever before, and the plants/extracts have higher thc contents
    • A bizarre pattern in people who smoke all day, every day – they start getting very nauseous and start vomiting
    • The only thing that can relieve the vomiting is a hot shower
    • As soon as you stop smoking cannabis, the condition resolves itself
  • In a misguided attempt to prevent people from smoking pot, all the cannabis that was grown in Mexico, was at one point sprayed with an ultra toxic herbicide – paraquat – by the Mexican government, which can cause Parkinson’s Disease
    • Peraquat is denatured by heat, so it’s argued that people who smoked cannabis contaminated with it, were not exposed
DMT
Hamilton’s Experiences
  • There are a host of different psychoactive substances produced by the body, in the brain, and there’s different ways human beings have been able to enter psychedelic states, outside of drugs
    • Hamilton has done lucid dreaming and kundalini yoga
    • These are limiting though, as they force you to be in certain positions/sleeping
    • With psychedelics, you are free to walk around and really explore your environment 
  • Hamilton has walked around NYC, a few times, on psychedelics – he describes the experiences positively, allowing him to feel connected to others around him
    • Hamilton has noticed how weird it is we all stare at our phones on subways 
Twitter
  • Joe tries to follow a lot of science accounts on Twitter, as well as interesting people
  • “You have to know how to abandon reading a tweet a few words in” – Joe
  • There is also a lot of arguing on Twitter, which Joe tries to avoid
    • “I would love to extenuate the trend of kindness” – Joe
  • Look at what shows up on the first page of Twitter – things designed to generate opinions
  • Check out the book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
  • People are hungry for actual communication
    • This is why Joe thinks podcasts are becoming popular
    • “It’s way more common for someone to look at their phone for 10 hours a day, than for someone to have a one on one, uninterrupted conversation with someone else for an hour. It’s almost like people forgot how to do it.” – Joe
    • As a society we’re distancing ourselves from compassion, understanding, and real conversation
      • Psychedelics might help with this
Other Psychoactive Substances
  • Raw Cacao
    • Hamilton has found it to be mildly stimulating because of the theobromine content
      • Theobromine is a caffeine like stimulant (also found in chocolate), that’s why chocolate is dangerous to dogs
      • Kyle Kingsbury has said that in large doses, raw cacao has a mild MDMA like effect
  • Nutmeg
    • The essential oil of nutmeg contains myristicin, which is a precursor to the psychedelic amphetamine MMDA
      • It also contains oleoresin – another psychedelic precursor
      • Also safrole
  • Carbon dioxide can induce altered states of consciousness
Peyote
  • A psychoactive dumpling cactus, which grows naturally over the Southern US into Northern Mexico
    • It’s VERY slow growing – it takes 5 years to reach the size of a dime
  • In the US, the history of use is only about 100 years
  • It’s a plant that has mescalin but other accessory alkaloids that modulate the experience
    • Contains a chemical called pellotine, which was used as a hypnotic to induce sleep in the 20th century (it was at one point considered a really valuable medicine) – although it’s hard to synthesize
  • It’s very long lasting (12 hours), very nauseating, can cause vomiting, and “very physically punishing”
  • DO NOT use it recreationally
The Roseanne Situation
  • Roseanne was supposed to come on Joe’s podcast, but it was decided that it might be better to wait a bit until things die down
  • Joe says she’s on various antidepressants, she smokes marijuana and drinks alcohol regularly, as well as takes Ambien
  • In the medical literature, Ambien is associated with all sorts of upsurd behaviors and command hallucinations
    • “It’s a profoundly disinhibiting drug”
    • This is why Hamilton never takes Ambien on planes
    • Hamilton seems to be saying it’s possible the Ambien did in fact play a role in what Roseanne did
    • The bottom line – be careful about being certain about anything, about what drugs can and can’t do
  • One study Hamilton describes…
    • A beta-blocker, Propranolol, was found to block implicit racial bias in people in certain tests
  • Ambien has been found to regenerate activity in regions of the brain that look dead on FMRI
    • People have taken Ambien, when paralyzed, and started walking again for the duration of the drug effect
  • Ambien has been found to increase the consolidation of negative memories
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