(disclosure: this is not from personal experience but from research)
Drugs. Parents have warned their kids for centuries about the dangers of using mind-altering substances and for the same amount of time kids have discredited everything their parents say because they are “too old” and what would they know about drugs anyway. Well don’t be so sure that the parental units don’t know exactly what their children are experiencing when they sneak off on weekend nights. These substances aren’t new and hip, chances are great grandma Sue could teach her grandkids a thing or two about dropping some acid.
Psychedelic drugs might seem like they just popped up in the sixties and seventies but they have been around for a very long time. Getting high is nothing new and compared to the majority of today’s hallucinogenic drugs that are made with chemicals, the historic ways are all natural.
During the middle ages people got trippy without even knowing that they were doing it. By accidentally consuming bread or cereal that had been infected with ergot, a fungus that grows on wheat, people would have strange hallucinations and sometimes convulsions. One of the components within the ergot that induces these side effects is lysergic acid, a main ingredient in LSD. Ergot poisoning is thought to be one of the causes of the Salem witch hunt. Women who consumed the ergot may have acted strange causing them to be put under scrutiny.
Another form of old world drugs is the Fly Argaric mushroom. A poisonous mushroom found in North West Russia and Scandinavia. Although potentially deadly, those crazy vikings just wanted to get freaky so they devised a disgusting yet ingenious plan to filter out the toxins of the mushroom before eating it. They would feed it to their reindeer and then collect the reindeer urine and drink it. The extent that some people will go in order to get a good trip in insane.
Although Fly Araric mushrooms are iconic to european floklore and seen in illustrated children’s books those are not the mushrooms you would find being sold in a sleazy alley way today. The mushrooms that are commonly consumed today are psylocibin mushrooms. These are famous for causing the user to experience the holy grail of hallucinogenic effects called synethesia. Synethesia is occures when a person experiences a mixture of two senses, like smelling colors. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Ahhh I love the smell of yellow in the morning.
The indigenous Mexicans also knew how to have a good time. They would use the plant Peyote, a spinless cactus to cure ailments like depression, toothache, and even pain during childbirth. Peyote contains mescaline, a natural psychoactive that binds to the serotonin receptors in the brain and makes the user feel like they are in a euphoric state. There is much controversy over the use of peyote today becuase law makers consider it a dangerous substance but native people still use it in religious and spiritual ceremonies.
That’s right old people know whats up in the drug world. They’re pros that lived in much freer times than the new millennials and therefore probably have more experience. As far as we know the cave men could have been high as a kite when they painted on those cave walls and ever since then generation after generation have been passing down the tradition of gettin’ weird.
Let’s give the elders a break because they are oldies but goldies who can lend a helping hand if ever their younger counterparts have questions about the world of crazy hallucinogenic drugs. Stay trippy my friends.