hallucinogens-lsd, mescaline, psilocybin,

Mind Altering Drugs
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana)
Hallucinogens - LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin, and
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana)
•Hallucinogenic compounds found in some plants and
mushrooms (or their extracts) have been used—mostly
during religious rituals—for centuries.
•Almost all hallucinogens contain nitrogen
• They are classified as alkaloids.
Hallucinogens - LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin, and
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana)
• Many hallucinogens have chemical structures similar
to those of natural neurotransmitters (e.g.,
acetylcholine-, serotonin etc).
• Research suggests that these drugs work, at least
partially, by temporarily interfering with
neurotransmitter action or by binding to their
receptor sites.
• LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the most
potent mood-changing chemicals.
• It was discovered in 1938 and is manufactured from
lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that
grows on rye and other grains.
• Peyote is a small, spineless cactus in which the
principal active ingredient is mescaline.
• This plant has been used by natives in northern
Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part
of religious ceremonies.
• Mescaline can also be produced through chemical
• Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,Ndimethyltryptamine) is obtained from certain types
of mushrooms that are indigenous to tropical and
subtropical regions of South America, Mexico, and
the United States.
• These mushrooms typically contain less than 0.5
percent psilocybin plus trace amounts of psilocin,
another hallucinogenic substance.
LSD and Serotonin
Mescaline and Psilocybin
• LSD, peyote, psilocybin cause hallucinations,
which are profound distortions in a person’s
perception of reality.
• Under the influence of hallucinogens, people
see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations
that seem real but are not.
LSD ; Effects-1
• Powerful hallucinogen
• Effect depends on:
Physiological condition
Psychological condition
Magnifies perception
Destroys sense of judgment
Produces flashbacks without taking LSD
Does not produce physical addiction but can produce
tolerance and psychological addiction
LSD; Effects-2
LSD causes dilated pupils;
can raise body temperature
increase heart rate and blood pressure;
can cause profuse sweating, loss of appetite,
sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.
Mescaline - Effects
• Produces color hallucinations
• Lasts approximately 12 hours
Psilocybin - Effects
• It can produce muscle relaxation or weakness,
ataxia, excessive pupil dilation, nausea,
vomiting, and drowsiness.
• Magnified perception
• Low doses produce relaxation, high doses
produce effects similar to LSD
Structural similarities
• LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin all contain a
benzene ring (6 carbon);
• LSD and psilocybin contain an indole ring (6
carbon benzene ring fused to a 5-membered
ring containing a secondary nitrogen)
• LSD is fat-soluble and easily diffuses into the
• Psilocybin mimics the structure of the brain
hormone serotonin
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana)
• Marijuana is the herbal form of cannabis, and
comprises the flowers, the subtending leaves, and the
stalks of mature, pistillate female plants.
• Hashish is the resinous, concentrated form of cannabis.
• Chemically, the major psychoactive compound in
marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)
• THC is one of 400 compounds in the plant, including
other cannabinoids, such as
– cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and
tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV),
THC (marijuana)- Effects
• Mild hallucinogen
• Causes silliness and excitement at low doses
• As dosage increases, perception changes and
hallucinations result
• Can cause extreme anxiety, depression,
uneasiness, panic attack and fearfulness in high
• Driving and other tasks requiring thinking are
• Psychological dependence is possible
Legalization Of Cannabis - 1
– cannabis sativa, contains pharmacologically active
compounds (cannabinoids)
– Legalization is a hotly contested issue
• Arguments for:
–Relieves symptoms from AIDS,
–Useful for cancer patients (allows for weight
gain by suppressing nausea), and
– Treatment of glaucoma (alleviates harmful
pressure in the eye)
–Effective in slowing down Alzheimer’s
Legalization Of Cannabis -2
• Arguments against:
–Leads to respiratory ailments
–Suppresses immune system
–Decreases fertility
–Causes brain damage and chromosomal
damage leading to birth defects
–slowing down motor tasks and resulting in
short term memory loss.
–“Gateway drug”
–Users of marijuana and other drugs obtain
them by illegal sources, leading to a host of
crimes (prostitution, theft, murder, etc.)
Legalization Of Cannabis -3
• Historical evidence: legalization of drugs does
not always work if it is not thought over and
implemented in a manner that will be
productive to society.
– For example, opium was legalized in China in the
earlier 19th century;
• Result: approximately 90 million addicts, and
it took decades to repair the damage.
• http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/infofact
• http://www.chemactive.com/ppt/ib/Option_B__Medicine_and_Drugs.ppt
• http://www.chillibreeze.com/articles_various/dru
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_%28drug
• http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/672

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