Sacred Weeds

Sacred WeedsSacred Weeds was a four part television series of 50 minute documentaries investigating the cultural impact of psychoactive plants on a broad array of early civilizations. The series was filmed at Hammerwood Park by the producer, Sarah Marris, and her production company TVF.

The Reader in European Pre-History at the University of Oxford, Dr Andrew Sherratt, was the series host. Prior to his resignation from the University of Oxford, Sherratt was appointed Professor of Archaeology. Each episode began and ended with Sherratt inscribing his diary with his reflections on the series' scientific and cultural investigations.

In each episode the series investigated one psychoactive plant and its cultural significance. Three specialists of various scientific disciplines were invited to monitor two volunteers who had taken each plant.

After the four episodes, Sherratt assigned considerably more significance to the psychoactive properties of plants in ancient civilization and the prehistoric period than expert knowledge hitherto. Episodes included: Amanita Muscaria, Salvia Divinorum, Henbane, and Blue Lilly.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 3 hrs, 37 min)

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Ratings: 6.75/10 from 8 users.
  • dustin

    Psychedelics are not for the weak of mind. A good psychedelic 'trip' should be treated like whitewater rafting or any dangerous activity, do it with someone with experience. With that said a good 'trip' with the right people can be a life changing event.

  • http://none pierre

    Life changing in what way? From my experience it is normally just a group of friends having a laugh. I think for it to be a life changing event you really have to be looking too deeply into the whole experience. I would recommend making any important decisions while free from psychedelics ;)

  • http://www.krashbox.com HaTe_MaChInE

    @pierre - Agreed. I think some people have a more "spiritual" persuasion and when this is combined with "psychedelics" they focus on the "spiritual" aspect.

    The only life changing chemical I can think of is sodium cyanide.

  • Hardy

    @pierre: Ever tried out mushrooms, acid, or LSD? It's more than 'friends having a laugh', believe me :-)

  • The Bear

    I agree with Hardy,

    Psychedelics are more than just "friends having a laugh". The best thing about them is that the user totally creates his or her own experience. What people don't understand is the person taking the drug is in total control of the trip, not the drug. If you want to sit in a room and act retarded with your friends that's what it will be, but if you go out in nature with friends that you love you may just find yourself somewhere you didn't expect to be.

  • Sveet

    Ya think about all of the amazing things have been brought back from psychedelic venture. Not only deep personal revelation, but also a catalyst in helping people accomplish some pretty amazing things. I guess its just a wicked way of getting your outlook 'out of the box'.

  • Sveet

    Not to mention how many lives have been saved through the guidance of the beautiful sacred spirits of drugs such as Iboga and Ayahuasca.

  • eireannach666

    you guys have no idea ............ cant knock the fun .......... but i take things i do to the fullest ........ but i seem to dislike the jones factor i get from these genre of docs ........... not that it was not fun to watch .............. enjoyed it............ pouge muh ho-in ........ Slainte

  • MrMajestik

    Been a few too many years...I need some therapy and I am not talking the $125/hr kind...The LSD or shoom kind...The sad thing is that teenagers have more access to them than I do because they are on the black-market... Ironically the people who are using them are the least enlightened! LSD is religion! Sacred and in need of greatest respect and responsible use! Thank you Dr. Hoffman!

  • eireannach666

    non but jimsion weed ?spelling? thatIve seen---- has effects on a person less than enlightenment ... but thats just from my experience ..... not for the weak of heart and mind to see as recreational ..... fun none the less......... isaw to guys eat abunch of that shyte and th di 's hadto hose yhe feces and vomit off of them...... no offensd but it was very amusing and kinda funny.

  • http://none pierre

    @Hardy I have had many trips whether they be acid or shrooms. I tend to agree with HM regarding the spiritual persuasion of some people. I think its what you make of it, if you are missing something in your life then I can see how some people may go done the spiritual route. Good luck to them. Peace out!!

  • Capricious

    Peaking on acid and watching Koyaanisqatsi left an indelible mark on my life. One of the best experiences I've ever had, right up there with truly *making love* for the first time.

    I agree with Dustin 100% Words of an experienced tripper.

    Don't knock em till you try em, they're not going to kill you or make you permanently insane. Worst case is a hell of a mind f*** for 12 hours max, but that is easily curable with a good friend at your side.

    May God BeLess.

  • Capricious

    OMFSM!!! You can get water lily seeds online! you can even get dried flowers too and they're super cheap! As soon as I get my paycheck I'm buying some for sure!

  • http://none pierre

    @ The Bear- Grrrr lol

    Having a laugh with friends is retarded? In that case I would rather be a retard than pretend I am a tree!

  • The Bear

    @ pierre----haha

    I have had many experiences with both matters that we have been discussing and no matter how much fun sitting and laughing with your friends until you have a bucket full of water is, that gets old after awhile. The point I am trying to make is that you can sit around and laugh with friends or you can sit outside at the beach and contemplate all of the ultimate questions of your life.

  • http://none pierre

    I know what you mean, there are definately good points to both types of experience. ;)

  • symk

    A good trip, for me LSD(tabs and microdots) were very visual given the right company, as you become open to suggestion such as "Why is the ceiling dripping or does the room look like its breathing?" then passing out on your back to make way for the statue of liberty to float through the room like a spaceship made out of stars , or maybe being amazed by all the jewels comming out of the tap, but "There is a werewolf in the closet" dosnt quite do anything. Magic mushrooms I can only say for myself were life chamging, like throwing everything youve ever learned out of the window, filtering out all the crap and falseness youve ever known and borrowed ,starting all over again. You can see where people may have taken the religious / spiritual dividing route and the ones who clearly havnt taken enough or none. The comedown is the good part, the end of heaven and hell, I felt like an outlaw returning to town after a long dangerous journey bringing back peace, and a whole new outlook on life.

  • hotice

    pierre there are quite alot different types of psychedelics and i wouldnt put ayashca in the fun gategory actualy i wouldnt put most of them in it, im not spiritual in any way and only phychedelic i have tryed was with mild mushrooms

    but as far as people have reported it lets you see yourself the way others see you, good and the bad sides

    it might take you back 20years and show how you did injustice to someone but never thought about it, it makes you think about your own morality, if that cant be life changing i dont know what is

    or help you get over a serious trauma, assault,rape,death etc etc something you couldnt even handle normaly without going hysterical, if it can free you from the shackles of trauma it definetly can change your life

    pierre acid is totally different thing, there are so many different ways these substances effect the body and mind you cant just compare one psych to another like acid and shrooms or shroom and opium

  • http://none pierre

    ^^^----Has somebody been watching Tribe with Bruce Parry? ;)

    I get you hotice, I think I will stick to the fun ones!!
    Too many skeletons in the closet to be going over past indescretions.

  • http://pacha34.wordpress.com/ Pacha

    Psychedelics were always my drug of choice on a long journey of self discovery and I've tried nearly everything there is to try. Some of it many, many times. :)
    Personally though, I recommend peyote if you really want to see the truth of what's going on around you.

  • Hardy

    These videos were so fascinating! I could have listened to them discuss for another 4 episodes.

    Psychedelic drugs are great when used safely, this was an exceptional example of this.

  • john

    the conversations at the end of the salvia divinorum video are fantastic.

  • Jaak Wassmuth

    It is my experience that with some intentional preparation,the use of hallucinogenic substances can be an enlightening experience. Case in point: I went on a seven day fast and spent my time meditating, doing yoga and reading Carlos Castaneda's "a separate reality." during this time my spiritual guide managed to procure 13 peyote buttons. They were still fresh and green. On the seventh day I broke my fast with rice and tomatoes. Slowly I began to remove the stricnine fuzz that dots the buttons and eat them, bit by bit. I was not keeping count and I only ate seven as it turned out. The next two days and nights I sat beside a river and became powerfully aware of the interconnectedness of the world. This experience has stayed with me through the years and has enabled me to be aware of, or should I say, given me the ability to be aware of energy flows that are always right there, yet just out of reach unless you have some experience of where to look.
    So for me, LSD, Mushrooms, Ayahuasca; these are sacred substances that should be used in reverence and with deadly respect. They are keys to worlds we can barely glimpse in deep deep meditation, not party favors. Papa Chango

  • http://none tony the tiger

    i'm loving quite a bit of these comments, but it just goes to show why governments want to keep these "mind opening subjects" illegal and keep the ignorant fearful of them. becuase open minded and aware people are dangerous to governments, and disrupt the rule of law, becuase then people question the establishment, and wonder why we do such harmful things to the world, why we go to wars, why the governments lie to our own people. just something i observed

  • http://pacha34.wordpress.com/ Pacha

    @ Tony the tiger. I couldnt agree more.
    Not mentioned in this film but the most well known of all the sacred weeds is ganga, which does all those things you said above.

    I've had some of the strongest trips of my life after smoking weed by the way.

  • http://none tony the tiger

    good point, especialy given that this documentary has a bud leaf on the cover, it is odd that it was not mentioned, i would have signed up to be a brave volunteer.

  • John

    pierre obviously has never taken acid, shrooms or any psychedelic substance. I think he should and he'd know what everyone is talking about!

  • http://www.theivorycabin.com tmcoal

    I always find it fascinating how all the drugs that kill you, and are addictive are legal, while those that are not addictive and can expand your mind are illegal. I do not think it is a conspiracy, it is the product of social fear and relgio-cultural bias.

    Also, if you have every tool a psychotropic drug, it is way more complex than merely partying with friends. If you want to be stupid drink a half a case of brew. If you want to awaken to a level of reality you cannot imagine, try psychotropic compounds.

    Always, Always, however -- respect them. They are some of the most powerful things you can imagine, and if you use them irresponsibly you will at best suffer needless hell for 8-12 hours. Worst case you will have a break down as your mind shuts itself off from an experience it cannot handle.

    Greatly understand it, greatly prepare, and always have experience present - either in yourself or in a guide - and you will be fine. Just ask the Shamans.

  • Roger Tomson

    I looove weeed.

  • Original Thinker

    I find it distressing that these so called experts were quick to dismiss the one thing that linked both their Guinea pigs. The both clearly displayed a heightened perception of the energies of the world around them. Yet it is ignored simply as A. a result of prior knowledge, or B. not congruent with their expectations and so dismissed. That's really poor science.

    Still it's interesting to watch even these people seem to be missing the significance of what little anecdotal evidence that they manage to get.

  • http://goodasgay.blogspot.com Jacob Woods

    I think that the problem with this is that they were to quick to expect a certain outcome. They wanted to find something specific, that being the fairies and gnomes and such. I thin k the reason why so many people do see fairies and gnomes is because it is much expected with that specific drug. I think if you go in with a certain mind set of expectation you can most likely experience close to what you wanted. It is much like wanting to have a good day or a bad day. If you start the day saying you hate the rain, you will perceive the day much darker and gloomier than it actually might be. The last 5 minutes of the first video started skipping on me.

  • http://gmail Rita 77 years old

    I am a femelle .77 years old. I smoke pot for 40 years. tat save my life from to be a alcoolique, an many ather ting. I am very healty, physiquely an mentally. You shoud se me. I realy dont care to take anny test, after 40 years of uses.GOD give-us tat plant an i used it a lot. THANKS YOU LORD

  • deox

    this is sooo wrong way of looking at it

  • Jaak Wassmuth

    you will remember...

    It is my experience that with some intentional preparation,the use of hallucinogenic substances can be an enlightening experience. Case in point: I went on a seven day fast and spent my time meditating, doing yoga and reading Carlos Castaneda’s “a separate reality.” during this time my spiritual guide managed to procure 13 peyote buttons. They were still fresh and green. On the seventh day I broke my fast with rice and tomatoes. Slowly I began to remove the stricnine fuzz that dots the buttons and eat them, bit by bit. I was not keeping count and I only ate seven as it turned out. The next two days and nights I sat beside a river and became powerfully aware of the interconnectedness of the world. This experience has stayed with me through the years and has enabled me to be aware of, or should I say, given me the ability to be aware of energy flows that are always right there, yet just out of reach unless you have some experience of where to look.
    So for me, LSD, Mushrooms, Ayahuasca; these are sacred substances that should be used in reverence and with deadly respect. They are keys to worlds we can barely glimpse in deep deep meditation, not party favors. Papa Chango

  • eetwo

    Do them by yourself, in a dark room, or out in nature. If you haven't done DMT, Ayahuasca or 5+ grams of Psilocybin you don't know s@$%. Salvinorum A is also a candidate but it's not as interesting (in my experience) as the DMT elves, or whatever you prefer to call them. Or the tearing sound, membrane bursting space travel, and alien voice on Psilocybin high doses.

    Must try Ibogaine next.

    Look up Sasha Shulgin if you haven't, you may learn a thing or two. Terence Mckenna, Jonathon Ott, the stories of D.M. Turner, etc.
    Can't forget Ralph Abraham, Rupert Sheldrake, tho not so much psychedelic, they do or have done them and speak of them from a very interesting perspective.

  • John

    what is the name of the song they make that guy listen to... id like to trip to that!

  • BuddhaMatrea

    DMT is actually produced within our bodies in the lungs, heart,and brain I believe, its the same chemical that inhibits dreams when we sleep. Everything that you encounter in this "space" is much realer and crisper then anything in our world, you can feel, sense, see, touch, smell therefore its not a hallucination because things are there in existence, basically its another world altogether and will have you questioning your own existence when its all said and done. Recently they've discovered that DMT is found in everything, whether living organic or not, everything contains DMT in it even the walls that surround you that you call home. The problem with this notion is that we have only found a limited amount of techniques to extract this substance from a limited amount of sources so we see this as a correlation and think that its only found in certain plants. I believe that DMT contains everything there ever was and everything there ever will be all packed within a 10 minute trip. Its not something that you take for recreational use because its not about that, this wonderful substance even has the capability to explain our true origins that are so secretly cloaked from the populous' view by the elite hierarchy because they simply can not afford to lose a grip on the influence that they've had since the days of Nimrod and some speculate even further back. If this isn't true then please tell me why do the Rothschilds still uphold the Pindar legend that was thought to stem from Osiris but is now proven through African Sinusis that is over 100,000 years old, something that our "conventional wisdom" clearly negates because it combats with the history(His story) that we've established our principles on. Believe it or not, every 100 years the Rothschilds pick a Pindar as the head of the household and as the intermediate between our world and the underworld, after all isn't that what Osiris is known for, being a green-skinned entity with one leg that was ultimately defeated and chopped up in 15 different pieces and thrown in the Nile, after which Isis tried to piece him back together but was missing one piece, the phallus, hence the name Pindar, which translates to the Phallus of the Dragon. Now that we cleared up this myth the real question arises, why is it that the richest and most influential family in the world for the last 250+ years believes and upholds a tradition that the African shamans claim is 100,000+ years old that involve a God of the Underworld. If the most powerful family on our planet freely believes in these satanic rituals, practices, and traditions then what can we really expect from our world? This is the reason why Rick Strassman's research was fully funded by Freemasons because doing DMT is comparable to being initiated into the lodges and learning the "greatest secret" known to man. Even the Dogon tribe in Cental Africa has the EXACT same hierarchy in their shamanistic initiations as do the most influential secret societies known to man, coincidence? You be the judge. I just know that humanity is forcefully being fed a lie so complex and diverse that individuals can't recognize the intent and involvement therefore they quickly negate the idea altogether, another problem that arises is that majority of the people that encounter this great conspiracy that I call "an orchestrated 6000 year old operation" simply do not want to believe that the majority of the things they have become accustomed to and have learned throughout their lifetime is without a lesser word, fraud. Once they accept the fact that they have been fooled only then can they shatter the barrier that has been systematically placed there for a purpose by the elite. With this said have a nice day and much love from Serbia, XD.

  • http://profiles.google.com/juraj.filkorn Juraj Filkorn

    DMT is such a simple organic molecule that... extract from rocks? you know what organic inorganic means? you start your article with huge blunder, the rest is just paranoid deductions told to you...

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BFK5JMJPBA56KFXTM53TPNVZPY Vlad The Impaler

    You lost me at ".. you don't know s@$%."
    I also agree that psychadelic drugs alter your perception which can have a positive effect on your external and internal world view. I use them myself and prefer them. But don`t put down people who don`t prefer these drugs.

    "you might learn a thing or two"?? You don't need drugs to learn a thing or two. Reality is infinite and ALL points of views are equal. That's what make reality infinite. If one view had a more "real" view of reality, then it is biased, and therefor not infinite. Leave that for religion.

    Attitude like yours is similar to the close minded pharmacologist from the Salvia documentary. He thinks that Salvia "interferes" with normal brain activity. That's not true, Salvia, like other drugs "alters" your brain activity to give you an equally real experience... but just different. We see it as profound because it is such a new experience. When we have that new experience and compare it to our "normal" experience, we get new information. This results in a profound and enlightening experience.
    You sound just like that pharmacalogist, altered perception is not the only "real" perception. Repsect all forms of views. A thought or view can be just as profound when it is not a result of drugs.