Powerful hallucinogen could bring relief to chronic itching

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/05/powerful-hallucinogen-could-be.html

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Anyone who is allergic to poison ivy would find this relevant to their interests. I have airborne allergies that prevent me from wearing contacts, because bits of plastic in my eyes when I really want to attack them with a scrubby pad is a bad idea. For those days, I would like this.


Interesting. I wonder if this would address the neuropathic pain I experience because of Charcot Marie Tooth syndrome?

The itch relief is tremendous but I have the distinct impression that the machine elves would like me to leave.


A powerful hallucinogen for people who really itch. What could go wrong?

“Ah, much better!”


The last time I took a powerful hallucinogen it brought relief to my interest in taking powerful hallucinogens. Also, now I don’t like airplanes.


I’ll never forget a 2008 story called The Itch in The New Yorker. It’s about a woman whose scalped itched so much that “She had scratched through her skull during the night—and all the way into her brain.”

Oh man, I read that, too. Still makes me shudder.

…but I do wonder what that single methyl group difference may do… A single group substitution can alter binding characteristics a lot (and affinity isn’t the totality of binding concerns…).

Seems like the salvia craze came and went several years ago, and it faded not because legislators were offering up laws against it, but because people figured out it wasn’t a “party drug”-- it typically gave you a weird, unsettling trip.

This sounds like a better use for salvia than as a hallucinogen.

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Maybe. but my little train ride to Sesame Street was pretty damn fun.

That’s a magnificent body paint job. Creepy, yet admirable.

It’s Heidi Klum, if I recall.

Sounds kind of backwards to me.

Back in the day (early-mid 2000’s) I used to make Saliva tincture and use it for, well, for the reason people use hallucinogens. But I haven’t had it in years, owing to the fact that after 20 minutes I’d be lying in a puddle of sweat with horrible prickly itching.

So yea, IME it affects the itch reflex… but not in a good way.

Salvia is super unpleasant.

Menthol also has an (albeit much lower) affinity for the k-opioid receptor.

Just kind of springboarding off of your comment here for a bit of a PSA about poison ivy:

The compound in poison ivy and similar plants that causes skin reactions is called urushiol and there’s no real scientific evidence to suggest that there are people who are not allergic. It’s not uncommon for most people to either develop a rash well after their first couple of exposures, if at all, but with subsequent exposures a person will eventually develop an immune response to exposure.

It’s also worth pointing out that urushiol is seriously toxic stuff, and you need to take great care if you’re burning brush or logs because getting vaporized urushiol in your eyes or lungs is very bad news, in the latter case it’s potentially lethal.

So to summarize: Nobody is immune to poison ivy, and repeated exposures do not cause your body to build up a “tolerance” to it, instead it makes the reaction more severe.


Reminds me of the urban myth of the person with an ant colony in their head.

I’ll go along with all your comments about how nasty urushiol is (fun fact: Poison ivy and oak are distantly related to mangoes,which is why some people react poorly to mango sap.) I’m lucky that my dad’s side of the family seems to be on the low/nonreactive end of the spectrum, and I inherited the resistance. Doesn’t mean I’d put poison ivy in a salad, though.

A reacent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience featured an anthro-chemist type who specialized in hallucinogens (forget his name and actual credits at the moment). He said something like “I know a lot of people who have done Salvia ONCE.”

I’ve chosen to pass on this one as I’ve never heard anything positive. “Really weird” at best “terrifying” at worst.

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I always found upon entering salvia space, esp. when I smoked a strong extract, that I felt sharp pulsating bristles all over my skin, like I was being pulled through some kind of vegetable based bristly orifice. In fact the whole experience pulsated and danced to a kind of tempo or beat that reminded me of windshield wipers on a slow speed.

I had some genuine peak moments while experimenting with S. divinorum. But only when I actually ingested the leaf. And what I mean is I bought a huge bag of dried leaves and just stuffed my mouth with them, chewed them into a pulp, and swallowing the bitter saliva. It was like diving into a hefty lawn bag full of autumn leaves. Not super awful, but pretty awful.

I remember dancing blue geometrical patterns in front of me, and then I became part of the ancient oak tree I was sitting under, and it felt like I had been sitting there since forever.

I haven’t experimented much since, probably because eating dried leaves = yuck. Although I might have to give it another go for old time’s sake.

Urushiol is processed into the lacquer used by urushi lacquerware artists in Japan and China. I suspect the recent lacquerware artist featured on BB was using the very same resin.