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a realistic idea?

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Staff member
In the 'are DMT and psilocybin the same' thread, someone posted a link to a study about the binding profiles of various hallucinogenic substances.

So i thought that if the binding affinity's of most of the hallucinogens are known, that could maybe help to shed some light on what classic hallucinogens actually do in the brain. On how exactly they work.

My thought is that if many people would be asked to rank various psychedelics in terms of relatedness, we could maybe see some pattern emerge. A relationship between the binding affinity's of each substance, and how close the effects of these substances are in relation to eachother.

So for instance: i personally find psilocin to be more related to LSD than to mescaline. And i find LSD to be closer to mescaline than to shrooms.

It doesn't mean much if this is just one persons opinion. But if many people would rate a limited set of substances in this way, i think you would probably get a picture that in some way should match the list of binding affinity's for each substance.

Maybe, by using the nexus 'hyperspace dictionary', we could even link some very specific effects and phenomena, to activity on specific receptors: if people would consistently say that for instance mecaline and LSD are more likely to cause synesthesia than DMT or shrooms, than you could maybe link synesthesia to activity on some specific receptors, based on how LSD and mescaline relate to other substances in terms of affinity for specific receptors.

Does this sound like a good idea?
I am a bit skeptical about this since it's not only binding affinity that makes up the drug's effect.

For example: the way a drug distorts the receptor site and the duration of binding, biological half life and side effects - all these have a role on the resulting effect.

Here doctor Nicols describes specifics about LSD binding to 5-HT receptors and how complicated even this is. Two drugs binding to same receptor with same affinity can theoretically have different effects:

The difficulty is the there is the possibility, that binding affinities are themselves variable from person to person.

The reason I think this is likely, is because of EEG research showing alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta brainwaves having distinct forms, that scientists postulate specific states of mind relating to, based on only small samples, and then further postulate that their small sample can be generalized by relating those states of mind, with the behaviour of the body at the time, and without taking any account for the cultural conditioning of the body's behaviour.

For example, the beta brainwaves, are strongly associated with an awake and alert state of mind, by researchers in North America. Yet perhaps Asian researchers, or even Australian, if replicating the same exact work, might be more likely to find that beta brainwaves are stronger during rest and sleep. Another example, is the example which gave me a clue that this direction of thinking could be fruitful. Delta brainwaves are cited as occurring in deep sleep among North American research subjects. Yet simultaneously, how the delta mindstate is described, fits the patterns described among the Curandero of Mestizo culture of the Amazon, as water spirit conscious. Thus any person who is aware of the water spirits while awake, may have delta brain activity during normal waking state of mind. A fact I am acutely aware of given that local indigenous Shamanic experience of Australia, is totally water spirit oriented, and is that I am initiated into.

Now, of course you will have the scientific mindedness to come back and say, that the binding affinities do not necessarily have a relationship with the alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta recordings of measurable brain waves, relating with distinctly uniquely described mind states. However the point I am extrapolating from the EEG research into brain wave frequencies and relationship with distinct states of mind, is that our cultural biases, defined by upbringing and acculturation, interact with the patterns in our brainwaves.

Now if we think of the processes called "ego death", we need realise that the formation of our ego is culturally defined. For example, if there was a Steamboat Willie cartoon getting in the way of attuning with all of Mother Nature, we need think of that fact as culturally ascribed. Thus when we examine the total effect of any psychedelic, we need think of each process in each person, as having a uniqueness. A uniqueness nevertheless in part defined by upbringing and acculturation, therefore ethnicity will be the most likely set of groupings that each generalised pattern falls into. Therefore, my advice in undertaking any such research, is that the subjects of research need be inclusive of as many different ethnic groups as possible, (and understand that a fundamental flaw exists in research not inclusive of every ethnicity). I think the work being done by Kalindi li, and his team, might be corroborative of my thinking.
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