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Why the Herbal Stimulant ‘Khat’ Was Banned

The British government has decided to ban the import and use of khat, after years of turning a blind eye to the herbal stimulant  buy khat canada  online .

As recently as January 2013, the U.K. Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs had declared there is “insufficient evidence” that khat causes any serious health effects, the BBC reports. khat canada

The decision, announced today  khat canada law (July 3), has many outside the khat-using community wondering what exactly khat is, and why its use was allowed in the U.K. and elsewhere for so long. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens] buy khat canada  online 

Introduction & Background

Approximately 20 million people worldwide put their health at risk using a daily habit of khat-chewing, some for pleasure and some as cultural significance [1]. The earliest reference to khat (Catha edulis Forsk) khat canada   , which was imported from Turkistan, appears around 973-1053 AD by Al-Biurni, who carefully compiled information about a new drug called khat, which was used to cool the stomach and liver and relieve the biliousness. Additionally, some reports indicate that reference to khat may be as early as 1332 AD in an Arabic manuscript preserved in Paris in the Bibliotheque National. In the 13th century, physicians prescribed khat to reduce the fatigue of soldiers. As a recreational habit, khat chewing may have begun in the Southern Red Sea region before the 14th century [2].

The earliest description of khat in western literature was in 1697 by the French Barthélémyd’ Herbelot de Molainville when he traveled to Yemen; he specifically said (translated) “It is made from a seed which is unknown to us, but which has been forbidden by doctors of the law in Yemen, because it is too strong, and affects our brain”. However, in 1975 the Laboratories of the United Nations first discovered that cathinone was the biochemically-active ingredient of khat  khat canada   .

Khat, also known as Qat, Kat, Chat, Miraa, and Quaadka, is a flowering plant natively found in the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa [4]. Khat (Catha edulis) is a leaf cultivated in Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Somalia [buy khat online]. Leaves of fresh khat contain the alkaloids of the phenylpropanolamine type, which contains two psychoactive stimulants cathinone cathine (S, S-(+)-norpseudoephedrine) and (S- (-)-α-aminopropiophenone). The psychoactive substances in khat act on two neurochemical pathways – noradrenalin and dopamine [6-8]. Other phenylalkylamine alkaloids were found in khat leaves are the merucathinone, phenylpentenylamines, and merucathine pseudomerucathine, which probably contribute less to the stimulant effects of khat

Khat acts as a euphoriant, having amphetamine-like characteristics [8]. It has been proposed that cathinone releases serotonin in the central nervous system (CNS) like amphetamine, and both of those substances stimulate the release of dopamine from CNS dopamine terminals, thereby increasing dopaminergic pathways [6, 8]. Cathinone is a much powerful stimulant than cathine and is generally believed as the most important component. Also, cathinone is unstable in the presence of oxygen and decomposes within a few days of harvesting or, if dried, oxidizing at room temperature [6]. Khat contains more than forty alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals [7]. The euphoric effect begins shortly after the chewing starts, suggesting that absorption starts from the oral mucosa. The maximum effect starts after 15-30 minutes, and the metabolism of cathinone is rapid, occurring mainly during the first passage through the liver. Most cathinone is metabolized to norephedrine and is excreted in this form. Cathine has a serum half-life in humans of about three hours and is slower in action. When taking khat, large amounts of non-alcoholic drinks are consumed; therefore, there is a pharmacological synergism with drinks containing methylxanthines (e.g., tea and cola), enhancing the effects of khat [8].

What is khat?

Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The plant (Catha edulis) contains two alkaloids, cathinone and cathine, which act as stimulants.

Users simply chew the green khat leaves, keeping a ball of partially chewed leaves against the inside of their cheek (not unlike chewing tobacco). khat canada  .

The dried leaves can also be used in this way, though they have less potency. Some khat users also smoke the drug, make it into tea or sprinkle it on food khat canada   .

An ancient tradition

Use of khat has been a tradition for centuries throughout Somalia, Yemen and Ethiopia, where khat cafes (“mafrishes”) are often found. Khat leaves are chewed by students before exams, in the morning before work or at social gatherings, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The effects of khat (also known as qat, qaad, Arabian tea, kat and chat) are similar to those of other amphetamines, according to authorities like the Drug Enforcement Administration. Khat users report feelings of well-being, mental alertness, excitement and euphoria.

Though khat is generally described as a mild stimulant, there is consistent evidence of overuse and addiction. Long-term use or abuse has been linked to “insomnia, anorexia, gastric disorders, depression, liver damage” and heart attack, according to a 2009 study from the Austrian medical journal Wiener klinische Wochenschrift  khat canada  . [The 9 Oddest Medical Case Reports]

“Manic and delusional behavior, violence, suicidal depression, hallucinations, paranoia and khat-induced psychosis have also been reported,” the study authors wrote. buy khat online

Immigrants spread khat use

As immigrants from East Africa and the Middle East have settled in communities throughout Europe and North America, they have brought their tradition of khat with them, causing some friction between khat users and law enforcement officials.

In Canada, the United States and most of Europe  khat canada  . buy khat online , khat is a controlled substance, often placed in the same category as cocaine. Traditional users of khat, however, balk at that association buy khat online .

“It is a very touchy subject. Some people see it like a drug; some people see it like coffee,” Abdulaziz Kamus, president of the African Resource Center in Washington, D.C.  buy khat online , told the Times. “You have to understand our background and understand the significance of it in our community buy khat online .”

“It is definitely not like coffee,” Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, told the Times. “It is the same drug used by young kids who go out and shoot people in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan  khat plant canada . It is something that gives you a heightened sense of invincibility.” khat canada

Indeed, many experts believe the drug is linked to violence in Somalia. A 2007 study from PLOS Medicine found that more than 36 percent of Somali combatants had used khat during the prior week — and khat use was believed to be even higher than that in some regions of the war-torn country, the study authors noted  buy khat online .

Is khat funding terrorism?

In Western Europe, there are concerns that the sale of khat is used to fund terrorism. can you buy khat in usa . Last year, the Huffington Post UK reported that every aspect of khat, trippie redd love and drugs  from its cultivation to the mafrishes where it’s sold and chewed, supports the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Khat Somalia.

The U.K. ban on khat was initiated in part to prevent the country from becoming a center for smuggling khat to other countries where the drug has long been illegal  buy khat canada t online. khat canada

“Failure to take decisive action and change the U.K.’s legislative position on khat would place the U.K. at a serious risk of becoming a single, regional hub for the illegal onward trafficking. trippy drugs ,” British Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement  buy khat online .

But the U.K. ban has met with some protest. where to buy khat in toronto . “Prohibition is the most foolish possible response,” Ian Dunt said on Politics.co.uk. “All the data on drug use shows that a ban does not eliminate demand, it merely forces the product underground.” khat canada

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