Psychedelics

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thoughtudied999
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Psychedelics

Post by thoughtudied999 » Sun May 27, 2007 7:12 pm

Why do some plants and fungi produce psychedelic chemicals? I assume they're poisons, produced as a defense mechanism, but I'm not sure.

Also, are we the only species that consumes them purposely?

david23
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Post by david23 » Sun May 27, 2007 7:26 pm

A lot of lab tests have been done to see addictions in animals, which have been known to happen. However, it's reasonable to suggest that when animals do it, they are pretty much screwed, so they might avoid it under normal circumstances. Humans on the other hand dont really care about the harm effects when doing it.

foursixandtwo
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Post by foursixandtwo » Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:14 am

it might be more accurately stated humans dont need to worry about effects in the same context as other species. in the world of most other animals, the act of tripping balls is suicide, as predators would quickly cease the opportunity to dispose of such a creature in the moment of vulnerability.
our brains however are massive in relation to all of our cousins. We can safely choose to enter psychedelic experience without having to worry about being devoured by predators.

So this question has not really been answered, and i'd like to expound on it in the direction i believe the originator of the question was really wondering. There are countless simple poisons plants have developed that dont have any interesting psychotropic effects. Why would a particular plant or fungus develop a compound with such complex effects, if its only purpose is to discourage a creature from eating it? What would cause a substance to produce such apparently intricate psychological experiences, rather than simply rendering the victim completely incapacitated? Surely the plant has no intuition of the direction it is taking, but it appears there must be some force driving its evolution

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