q + a




newq + atestingarticlesbooksexperienceslinks
[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 126][Reference 128]

E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders

Appendix 1: Reference Section

127 Meeting with Dr. Charles Grob 13/10/93

Dr. Grob came to see me primarily to brief me about what to check up on and look out for when visiting Nicaragua and discussing their proposed trial. MAO inhibitors (commonly used on prescription) can be dangerous if taken with MDMA - can cause bounding pulse, severe headache and induce a stroke in people who were are predisposed. People with cardiac arrythma (uneven heartbeat) particularly at risk. Ayahuasca also has MAOI activity, and so should not be used with E. There is now a pill made up sold as a synthetic Yage; if this contains Harmine or Harmaline could be dangerous if used with MDMA. Dr. Grob has heard of sessions where these two are used together and so are potentially dangerous.

Asked about liver and kidney damage due to MDMA use as reported by Dr. Henry, Dr. Grob assumes this was due to impurities as a result of contaminants resulting from poor quality manufacture.

Asked why use MDMA with cancer patients. Dr. Grob believes that MDMA raises pain threshold, probably due to its effect on the neurochemical mechanism of the brain. In addition, it appears that MDMA enhances the effect of morphine. The second benefit is expected to be emotional: MDMA generally improves mood and provides patients with a greater sense of being in control.

His trials are being conducted in a pedantically correct and proper way with impeccable protocol within the system so as to provide a solid base. If the results show benefits from MDMA, then no-one will be able to dispute them. Although this approach was frustratingly slow, he felt it was worthwhile. He has learned from past experience of people such as Timothy Leary who ran ahead without protocol, and as a result gave psychedelic research a bad reputation. In fact, he believes that it was Leary's rash enthusiasm and uncontrolled trials that resulted in shutting down serious work on psychedelics for the past 25 years - to fly in the face of the establishment is counterproductive. However, to be fair to Leary, much research in the past was conducted in ways that would not now be acceptable.

Asked about other research, he says that there is very little. There is a little in Germany and one man in Holland, Dr. Bastious, but he is about to retire without successor.

Own story. In early 70's dropped out of college and decide that what he really wanted to do in life was serious work on psychedelics, so spent the next 7 years studying for qualifications to do so, thinking that by the time he had qualified their value would have become universally recognised since in 50's and 60's the use of psychedelics was at the cutting edge of psychiatric treatment, then abandoned in spite of promising results due to overreaction to the use of recreational drugs. So it has taken until now for him to get to the first step.

Dr. Grob also told me about his recent research on Ayahuasca in central south America (not yet published). He studied 15 long-term users (who were members of a church based on both Christianity and shamanism who used Ayahuasca at least twice a month) and 15 controls using structural psychiatric interviews, and found that the Ayahuasca users scored higher than controls on every count! He also had the Ayahuasca users use the drug with catheters in their veins from which blood samples were taken every 30 minutes. Analysis implies the drug has a serotonergic effect which is what he would have expected. Trials were surprisingly easy to do because the users seemed to be unusually calm and cooperative, possibly as a result of their Ayahuasca use.

Dr. Grob has now applied for a grant to do a similar study of Mescaline users.

[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 126][Reference 128]
E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders (
HTMLized by Lamont Granquist (