Marijuana as “Active Placebo”


[amazon template=image&asin=0375760393]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

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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?

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