Marijuana as “Active Placebo”


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
I recently read The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. In this book, Pollan examines the relationship between plants and people, not only how people shape plants, but how plants shape people. I found the book fascinating. Pollan presents ideas (about plants and about humanity) I had never before considered.

In examining the relationships between plants and people, Pollan considers the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato.

One of the ideas in the chapter on cannabis struck me to the extent that I wanted to write it down, contemplate it further, and share it.

“…Andrew Weil describes marijuana as an ‘active placebo.’ He contends that cannabis does not itself create but merely triggers the mental state we identify as ‘being high.’ The very same mental state, minus the ‘physiological noise’ of the drug itself can be triggered in other ways, such as meditation or breathing exercises. Weil believes it is an error of modern materialist thinking to believe…that the ‘high’ smokers experience is somehow a product of the plant itself (or TCH), rather than a creation of the mind…”

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

2 Responses »

  1. Botony of Desire blew me away! When I was finished with the book, I passed it on to my co-worker. When he read it, he said he recognized a lot of Buddhist thought in it. I don’t know much about Buddhism, but Pollen definitely had ideas I’d never encountered before. What other books of his do you recommend?

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply