Single dose of psilocybin may treat migraines

Can the main psychoactive ingredient of magic mushrooms help treat the world's sixth most debilitating illness?

  • Migraines afflict more than ten percent of the U.S. population, yet treatments are often unreliable and there is no cure.
  • The new study involves giving migraine sufferers a placebo and, two weeks later, a single dose of pure synthetic psilocybin.
  • The results showed that participants reported significantly fewer migraines in the two weeks after the study.
Keep reading Show less

The never-ending trip: LSD flashbacks and a psychedelic disorder that can last forever

A small percentage of people who consume psychedelics experience strange lingering effects, sometimes years after they took the drug.

Credit Imageman Rez via Adobe Stock
  • LSD flashbacks have been studied for decades, though scientists still aren't quite sure why some people experience them.
  • A subset of people who take psychedelics and then experience flashbacks develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), a rare condition in which people experience regular or near-constant psychedelic symptoms.
  • There's currently no cure for the disorder, though some studies suggest medications may alleviate symptoms.
Keep reading Show less

CBD provides pain relief through pharmacological and placebo effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) seems to reduce the unpleasantness of pain, a finding that surprised the researchers behind a new, first-of-its-kind study.

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound of the cannabis plant that's significantly less psychoactive than THC, the active ingredient of marijuana.
  • CBD is often used to treat chronic pain, but there's been a lack of empirical research on the cannabinoid's analgesic effects.
  • The new study was designed to test whether CBD actually relieves pain or whether its perceived benefits are the result of expectations.
Keep reading Show less

‘Mad honey’: The rare hallucinogen from the mountains of Nepal

Of the world's 300 honey varieties, none is stranger and more dangerous than mad honey.

Credit Nireekshit via Wikipedia
  • Mad honey is produced by bees who feed on specific species of rhododendron plants, which grow in mountainous regions like those surrounding the Black Sea.
  • People have used mad honey for centuries for recreational, medicinal, and military purposes. Low doses cause euphoria and lightheadedness, while high doses cause hallucinations and, in rare cases, death.
  • Mad honey is still harvested and sold today, though it's illegal in some nations.
Keep reading Show less

Study measures marijuana's carbon footprint—and it's high

Growing marijuana in large, climate controlled warehouses is good for production but has a massive carbon footprint.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels
  • A new study finds that the kilo of marijuana can come with a carbon footprint of up to five tonnes.
  • The exact value differs by state, with climate and the availability of clean energy being important factors.
  • Alternatives to growing the plant in warehouses can drastically reduce emissions.
Keep reading Show less