Scientist who synthesized the active ingredient in the powerful psychedelic salvia also broke ground on open access publishing


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/08/salvinorin-a.html


#2

I’m in favor of open-access publishing; I am not in favor of more bullshit being ‘published’ without appropriate peer review. I cannot reconcile these two priorities with the current state of scientific publishing.


#3

It lasts a couple of minutes if it’s smoked.

The traditional way of using it is to chew it, which produces effects lasting an hour or more.


#4

yes when smoked it doesn’t have to go through the liver.

also it is the stronger psychedelic effects that are shorter lived, the psychotropic marijuana like effects can last several hours.

It is an interesting substance with its unique front loading dosing, if you don’t hit the psychedelic effects at the does onset you likely won’t until it is cleared and you start over.

I had some pure white crystalline salvorian-a a number of years ago (extracted not synthesized) and seemed very stable.


#5

short lived it may be, but it is DEFINITELY amongst the weirdest psychedelic experiences I’ve had (and I’ve had an alphabetamine soup of them.)

That said: can anyone share research on the use of a synthesized Salvia? What pharmaceutical purpose might there be?


#6

Saliva has psychedelics??? Oh. Wait…


#7

The more you know…

https://www.erowid.org/plants/salvia/salvia.shtml


#8

What is strange is that shamans in Central and South America use Salvia for their rituals to gain spiritual insight. I think I have tried every major hallucinagen that is obtainable, and even under ritual and ceremonial contexts, but the effects of Salvia are beyond the mind to comprehend what it is actually even perceiving. In my experiences I can only relate to being lost in a dimly lit existence and in constant chaotic movement. I don’t know how shamans can work with it to obtain an inner enlightenment. But they do.


#9

Agree. The for-pay scientific publishers are no more than gatekeepers that use a predatory “pharmaceutical pricing” model which effectively guarantees a flourishing ecology of alternative publishing mechanisms as well as outright theft. This is market oligopoly to the great impediment of Science.

A fee structure more like that of video content aggregators (HBO, Netflix, Google) would certainly open things up. The nearest equivalent, SciFinder, requires institutional affiliation and funding and is no better than the gatekeepers that comprise it.


#10

The whole idea that you need a minder scares the bejesus outta me. Psychedelics have always terrified me so I’ll leave this one to the shamans


#11

I think we actually do disagree, to be honest.

I think that the major publications like Nature do a huge service to the entire world and researchers more specifically. It is gatekeeping but…some gates should be kept, yeah.

On the other hand, I think that gov’t funded research/etc should be open and free. I really don’t know how to reconcile them.


#12

some gates should be kept,

The original gatekeeping method was to couch scientific explanations in code. Much of al-Jabir’s Al-Kimya relied on it to keep dangerous practices from amateur execution. The great flowering of Chemistry was possible only after Dalton stripped away the alchemical obfuscation.

At minimum, I think that we can agree that today’s gatekept prices are too high, as in, “$38 for a 30 year old article is too damn much!”

The Nature journal of science is an outlier, IMO, as it publishes an astonishing 51 issues/yr for $200 and is well worth it.

I do not suggest doing away with all fees but I do think they should be reasonable. Not a few journals think so, too. AIP gives you 7 days carte blanche for $30.

The very existence of Sci-Hub has served notice to the larger players (Science Direct, Elsevier, etc.) that something is wrong with their biz model and that any legal estoppel is temporary and doomed to circumvention.


#13

Sure, but I’m saying that there’s a middle ground between totally open and unreviewed and jealously guarded secrets known only to the elite.

And again, I am generally in favor of open publishing and access, it just becomes a problem to then retain people to review the papers and maintain quality. Perhaps if it was a part of work as an academic that you were required to do for your university or something like that, or a stipend of some kind? Really not sure.


#14

The unusual fees for science articles you’d want to study don’t correlate to an improved review process since no monies accrue to the reviewer.

Peer review is usually an unpaid chore in which the Bill Nye “For Science!” enthusiasm is crushed into a grudging “Science, yeah whatthefuck-ever” by the pressures of academe. Unsurprisingly, the reject rate is high (~95% in Science, JAMA) and the turnaround slow, about one year.

The caprice or arbitrariness of a journal’s assistant editor was once sufficient but the review process is increasingly delegated to (ahem!) actual peers, sometimes with a requested fee for fast-track review. Caprice? Articles are rejected for the wrong color of plot line in a graph or the absence of a data point at an intercept (absent because an intercept at zero often has no physical meaning).

Thus, with a flawed review process seen as declining in worth, we get more unreviewed articles. I have no solutions but wonder if some constrained form of crowd-sourced review is possible while enforcing the original copyright. Talk about grabbing a bear by the tail.


#15

Yes, minders, I like to call them baby sitters, are definitely needed with salvia more than any other hallucinogen. If you watch the videos on YouTube, almost all of them are the definition of NOT how to sit someone experiencing salvia. You never want to laugh at them or even ask them if they are okay. You want to tell them they are okay. Always portray a calm and positive environment for the experimenter. If I was with some of these assholes sitting for me and they treated me this way, it would be the last time. Also, almost always, the music in these videos is not setting the right tone for a positive experience with salvia.


#16

I think you are looking for Piper methysticum:

Chewing produces the strongest effect because it produces the finest particles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava?wprov=sfta1

FTR, I disagree on the given reason for the strength. AFAIK, chewed kava ferments while it sits for at least 24h in the warm saliva of multiple chewers.

And FTR, it’s bad for your liver. Don’t try this. (Also, the chewing is awful, and drinking other people’s saliva horrible.)


#17

The aerial parts of the plant are bad for your liver. The root of the plant (the only part consumed in places where its consumption is traditional) is, as far as we know, safe.

As I understand it, Health Canada banned kava on the basis of initial reports of liver toxicity, then (almost unheard of) retracted their ban, allowing the roots but not the aerial parts to be sold.


#18

AFAIK not correct, but would need to scan literature. Ban still very much active in Europe, again AFAIK.


#19

The relevant Wikipedia article, for what that’s worth, suggests that-

  • the initial findings of liver toxicity were restricted to people who were also drinking heavily and/or taking other medications that are known to be hepatotoxic.
  • subsequent analysis has found no significant link to liver damage.

Again, for what a read through of the Wikipedia article without reading the papers themselves is worth…


#20

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