Day: May 29, 2008

The yin and yang of cannabis and psychosis

“It is now quite widely known that cannabis use is linked to a small but significant increase in the chance of developing psychosis, but it is less widely known that one of the ingredients in cannabis actually has antipsychotic effects.

Unlike THC, it’s lesser known cousin cannabidiol is not responsible for the cannabis ‘high’ but it is naturally present in the plant.

There is accumulating evidence that cannabidiol has an antipsychotic effect, potentially damping down the psychosis-promoting effects of THC.

The amount of this substance varies in street cannabis, with some strains having more cannabidiol than others, and ‘skunk’ having the least of all – it being mostly eliminated by selective breeding for high THC content.

An ingenious new study looked at levels of cannabidiol consumption in groups of cannabis smokers by testing hair samples, and found that the groups who had the lowest cannabidiol levels had the most psychosis-like experiences.” (Mind Hacks)

Sydney Pollack’s eerie craft

Scarily relevant 33-year-old movie: “He created a highly enjoyable quasi-classic comedy with Tootsie, but director Sydney Pollack rarely dined (as Woody Allen said of humorists) at the children’s table… With the sad news of Pollack’s passing this week came an urge to revisit his underrated Three Days of the Condor. Released during the hump year (’75) of the greatest decade of cinema, Condor tapped into a Watergate/Vietnam-inspired distrust of everyone and everything. Robert Redford plays a spook whose job consists of reading books — not a bad life, until all his office mates are liquidated. A subplot involving plans to invade the Middle East (hmmm — for oil) gives this paranoid classic an eerie resonance, as does Pollack’s idea of where to house New York’s CIA station. He wanted the agency to be anonymous, to hide in plain sight. He chose the brand-new Twin Towers.” (Very Short List)

Uncontacted tribe photographed near Brazil-Peru border

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“Members of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes have been spotted and photographed from the air near the Brazil-Peru border. The photos were taken during several flights over one of the remotest parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil’s Acre state.

‘We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,’ said uncontacted tribes expert Jos�Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior. Meirelles works for FUNAI, the Brazilian government’s Indian affairs department. ‘This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.’” (Survival International)