It is a well-known that the pineal gland responds to psychoactive drugs, so what happens when we use cannabis?
The pineal gland is said to have the ability to access great spiritual power, intellect, and insight. Many believe it is the third eye so often described in the myth and lore of eastern religion. The gland is the topic of much debate, and much has been written on it in recent times. Many say that fluoride is one of the main things that blocks the pineal gland by calcifying it – others say it is a combination of things.
The Pineal Gland or the ‘Seat of the Soul’ as described by Rene Descartes, is the focal point of our spiritual guiding system which makes us go beyond the five senses of rationality and become multisensory, tuned into and aware of higher dimensions of consciousness within a holographic cosmos. Cannabis or Marijuana among other psychedelics facilitates the activation of the pineal gland and helps turn on the third eye or the mind’s eye directing our spiritual evolution to wholeness.
The pineal gland is present in all lower vertebrae. In other species, like birds, reptiles and frogs, the pineal gland is called the parietal eye or “third-eye” as its functions closely resemble that of an actual eye. In these other species, the pineal gland has components of an actual eye, with a cornea, rod and cone. It is considered to be the vestige of a functional sense organ of early primitive vertebrates.
Directly affected by the light taken in through the eyes, the pineal regulates sleep, menstrual cycles, mating seasons, hibernation, seasonal flight patterns and many other “instinctual” behaviors.
Psychedelics and the Third Eye
Psychedelic researcher Dr Rick Strassman explains:
“[The pineal gland] is quite active in synthesizing compounds related to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers allowing communication among individual nerve cells. Most typical psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and DMT are active in brain sites which are also affected by serotonin.”
“Psychedelic drugs, meditational states, spontaneous near-death experiences and other phenomena which may induce stereotypic death/rebirth and paradisal/hellish states act via the pineal gland.”
What this means is that the universal allegory of seeing a white light in near death experiences, or having profound spiritual visions that affect our basic nature, are senses received through this gland. This could also be the area where images in our subconscious are rearranged into new and strange imagery during our dream states.
The visual receptors there operate in pure darkness, but receive peripheral stimulus from the brain. The gland secretes a body-produced DMT molecule in situations of near-death. The correlations between this concept and that of sensory deprivation while using psychedelics, especially in the manner of dark, saline-filled “float chambers” is suddenly not as far fetched as they once seemed. It is forcing the mind to connect with the conditions found within the pineal gland, bringing insight to the surface.
How does cannabis work in the pineal gland?
Research on rats has shown that the pineal gland contains a functional endocannabinoid system, in that cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2, and the endogenous ligands that bind to them, anandamide and 2-AG, are all present.
The study showed that the activity of the CB?-receptors varied according to a daily cycle, with lowest activity levels occurring at the end of the daylight period. It also showed that levels of an enzyme responsible for synthesizing new endocannabinoid molecules, NAPE-PLD, was reduced during the middle of the dark period.
It is likely that THC’s endogenous analogue anandamide performs the same action of reducing the norepinephrine-induced release of melatonin, and is therefore fundamentally involved in pineal gland function. It seems that low levels of anandamide or THC are therefore needed in order for melatonin production to increase. As melatonin levels increase, as they should normally do at the end of the daylight period, feelings of sleepiness should occur.
How does the pineal gland actually affect the process of getting “high”?
This is is not entirely clear, and in any case, we know that multiple different regions of the brain are involved in the subjective experience of being high. The pineal gland is just one tiny link in an extremely long and complicated chain, which stretches between some of the most basic and fundamental parts of the brain (and the pineal gland can definitely be classed as basic and fundamental, as almost every living vertebrate possesses one) and some of the most advanced, such as the neocortex, which only exists in mammals.
However, the pineal gland has repeatedly been associated with the biosynthesis of important natural compounds related to sleeping, dreaming, and dream imagery. The presence of these compounds in the pineal gland is one of the most important reasons that so many view it as the “seat of the soul”, or a key to “spiritual enlightenment”. Without a doubt, the most famous of these compounds is N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, more commonly known as DMT.
It’s actually somewhat controversial as to whether or not the pineal gland is responsible for synthesizing DMT in humans, but there is significant evidence to suggest that it is the case. DMT and related compounds tryptamine and bufotenin have been found in human urine, and DMT itself has been shown to be synthesized in the pineal gland of the rat brain. A closely related compound, 5-MeO-DMT has been found to be synthesized in the human pineal gland, but thus far, it has not been proven that DMT itself is too.
The pineal gland is part of a complex and fascinating system
While we are far from having a complete understanding of the complex network of chemical compounds that interact in the brain, we are beginning to build a simple map of how all these interrelated processes fit together. It is increasingly clear that the endocannabinoid system is a fundamentally important messaging system that helps to link together various parts of the brain, many of which work together to give us the subjective experience of being “high”.
The pineal gland itself is crucial to this process, and has undeniable importance as a source of consciousness-altering compounds. It works with the endocannabinoid system and various other regulatory systems to control our subjective daily experience of mood, wakefulness and sleepiness, and when we introduce external psychoactive compounds, this process can be altered in fundamental ways, some of which can be greatly enjoyable to the individual!
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