April 28, 2006

Anxiety-Panic History. "Anxieties, Treatments and Disorders Throughout the Ages." A sample entry: "Electrical stimulation for therapeutic purposes is not new. At least two millennium [sic] ago, physicians used electric eels to relieve pain." Another (which Chy should enjoy): "the Crusaders fought a band of Moslem warriors known as 'hashshashin,' so called because they used hashish prior to battle to reduce fear and control pain." Sources cited.
  • Yeah, the word assassin is thought to derive from the name of the sect, which was based on their use of hasish (though some dispute this derivation). R.Anton Wilson reported that the sect founder Hassan i Sabbah would use very strong cannabis & opium to drug some of his converts; they would wake in a beautiful garden with delicious food & drink, tended by gorgeous maidens. After satiation in this paradise (which unbeknownst to them was a secret cloistered garden in the middle of Hassan's castle) they would again be drugged, to wake up back in Hassan's halls. He would tell them they had experienced a taste of the paradise that awaited them after death, if they followed his Ismaili teachings. In this way, they would become fanatically devoted to the sect, acting as deep-cover agents, sometimes for decades, in the courts of other rulers until such time as they got their orders to kill such-an-one, which they did with enthusiasm, looking forward to their joys in the afterlife! I have no idea how much of this is true, but it makes a great story.
  • I dunno about cannabis reducing fear, though. It always heightens my sense of danger. However, in the 80s I remember reading a High Times (or such like) article from Afghanistan when the mujahadeen were fighting the Soviets, apparently all the afghan fighters were blitzed out of their heads on the strongest keif available, which in Afghanistan is amongst the most potent in the world. I once tried 'temple ball' hash in Morocco, years ago, & it is so much more potent than your usual weed, that you might think you're on opium or something. Golden slumbers.
  • The effects of cannabis are so unknown right now. (Which is why it's a shame that, in the U.S. at least, there isn't more research being done on it because it's illegal.) I've read about studies showing that it eases anxiety; I've also read about it causing anxiety. My take is that it can cause acute, temporary anxiety -- pot paranoia -- but may also lower baseline anxiety in people with anxiety problems. But overuse may lead to anxiety due to withdrawal. It's confusing. But then, legal drugs are often confusing, too -- an antidepressent works for one person but not another, for instance, and one person suffers Rx side effects but the next doesn't. Maybe some of the assassins smoked out before battle, but others took Paxil.
  • Yeah, the effects are variable, just like any other drug. That's dead right. That's a sensible attitude that I wish more people had, instead of demonising it, or saying it's a wonder drug. Middle road. I find that 'the fear' or pot paranoia is most prevalent in new users. I used to get it a lot when I was younger. Now, not at all. But then again, my DNA has probably melded with THC, at this point :D
  • I think some of the effects come with the culture around the drug too. For example, Jamacians don't really suffer from the antimotivational disorder associated with pot in The States. I think the taboos around the substance may also play a part in the fear aspect.
  • i'm going to stick with the spice melange...i'm trying to join a guild... there's a some good bits with these hashshashin in neal stephenson's baroque cycle...esp in vol 2
  • there's an extensive piece on
  • It makes sense to me that different people react to cannabis differently because people have such different body chemistry. The first (and last) time I tried valium to ease anxiety I had panic attacks all night, which is apparently a common side effect in some people. I know other people who swear by the stuff to help alleviate their panic attacks.
  • I huff paint chips for bravado and elmer's glue for pain relief. The dank just gets me high.
  • valium makes me weepy.
  • Beer makes me drunk.
  • These pretzels are making me thirsty.