Drugs, Chocolate & Diet Trends: Where Do We Get Our Fix Now

Decaf for me, but I'll be dropping some acid after this

Is it us, or is every psychedelic or otherwise recreational drug on the mkt getting a rebrand as a who-would-have-thunk-it health hero? Ketamine (you know, the date rape drug), MJ (if this is news to you, where you been?) and even acid (the one that terrified me in particular growing up because it CARVES TRACKS IN YOUR BRAIN) -- these are all getting a makeover as unexpected aids for everything from depression, anxiety, to PMS (PMT). Now that cannabis is legal in more places, both cannabinoid oil (a non-psychoactive component of the hemp plant) and the more traditional joint are being examined as potential health superstars.  Researchers (and let's be honest, excited journos) are suggesting that Mary Jane can help with everything from stress to depression, anxiety, hormonal issues...even morning sickness. What? We would have thought that the sun would come up black before someone suggested that a pregnant woman enjoy a formerly illegal substance. Or maybe enjoy anything, actually, other than a balanced meal (but not sushi, poached eggs, anything with mayo or creme brûlée, obviously) with a side of herbal tea.  Pregnant women aren't supposed to be getting high off anything other than their own surging hormones.  And actually, these days, neither are the non-knocked up.

This is my theory as to why we are suddenly feeling the ganja: we are constantly being told how to look and feel better - that a better life is available to us if we eat healthfully, meditate to calm the mind, and digitally detox (while still keeping our instagram game strong).  And underlying this message is a sense that, to be our best selves, we should all be limiting, if not down right abstaining from, um, everything that is stimulating, intoxifying...fun?

Too much screen time, bro

Too much screen time, bro

Want to sleep better?  Put down your phone and turn off the tv (at least an hour so before bed anyway - check out Episode 1 of Life Butter Radio for details on why) Want glowy skin, bright eyes, thick hair, boundless energy, a strong immunity and permanently positive attitude? Then cut out the things that are potentially draining you nutritionally and energetically...you know: coffee, sugar, alcohol, tea, possibly gluten, maybe meat or other heavy foods...hell, even tomatoes because they are a nightshade, whatever that means. I was just listening to a podcast where Kim Snyder says she no longer eats onions & garlic, not because they give her bad kissing breath, but because they are too "mentally stimulating" according to Ayurveda. What?

Your brain on garlic (apparently) 

Your brain on garlic (apparently) 

But the thing is, we WANT to be stimulated. We seek fun, adventure, a lift. And so those of us who haven't gone full yoga monk but who want a seat on the wellness train are looking for kicks in the earth & gut loving, gluten & sugar-free way.  For some of us, this my mean drinking straight raw cacao (or snorting it - yes, really) and ecstatic dancing.

 For others, psychedelic stimulants may seem more "natural", and therefore somehow more aligned with our lifestyle.

The sexi-fying of drugs isn't exactly new; it's been part of the way prescription drugs have been marketed and sold to doctors (who then prescribe them to us) for years.  If you're not familiar with the Pharma rep phenomenon, the following clip from Hpw I Met Your Mother will clue you in. Think ex-cheerleaders on commission.  

What does this all mean? Are the drugs we were terrified of encountering after multiple sessions of D.A.R.E. actually not as uniformly health destroying as we have been taught to believe? Could they, in the right circumstances & under a doctor's supervision, actually help people where "safe(r)" prescription drugs, therapy or, um, ginger tea have failed? That may be true, and this may be end up being another strand of western medicine that looks to alternative therapies to incorporate a broader view of how we treat and heal illness. We love this; it is the future of medicine, and so I'm happy for those it really does help. But for the rest of us, excited by these headlines and secretly hopeful that they mean there could be a penalty-free high hidden in substances we have always been taught grant pleasure at a high cost...is that true?  Didn't we try this already in the '70s?

I'm all for the highs, from ecstatic dancing, a tickle session (no one is higher than a 2 year old on belly tickles), or something more provocative, but the fact is that highs are fleeting and lows are just part of the deal.  Life has every color of the rainbow, and there is no homeostasis of awesome available for us all the time. Which doesn't meant that we shouldn't seek out exaltation, but after every lift, whether chemically-induced or otherwise, comes a bit of a comedown.  Just because something in "natural" doesn't mean that it is good for us, and if we get as attached to hemp oil chocolates as we were to our beer & nachos, for me there's little difference.  For me, wellness is realising this, and learning how to just be, however, you are, in the moment...whether that's hyped up from coffee or in shavasana calm.  If you're after a high and maybe a bit bored of your glass of red (even with all its antioxidants), then sure, try some CBD oil energy balls instead. But you could also try the occasional tequila.  And maybe some pizza.  We hear gluten is about to make a serious come back, so you could be slightly ahead of the curve.

We've got all kinds of thoughts on food, including the resurgence of the very naughty gluten.  If you haven't heard Episode 8 of Life Butter Radio yet, tune in here...it's fab!