Americans Increase LSD Use–and a Bleak Outlook for the World May Be to Blame – Scientific American

In the years leading up to the roaring 2020s, young people were once again dropping acid. Onetime Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary died almost 25 years ago, after which some of his ashes were launched into space. But from 2015 to 2018, the rate of turning on and tuning in with LSD, to paraphrase Leary, increased by more than 50 percent in the U.S.a rise perhaps fueled by a need for chemical escapism. Those results were published in the July issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The authors of the study suspect that many users may be self-medicating with the illegal substance to find relief from depression, anxiety and general stress over the state of the world.

LSD is used primarily to escape. And given that the worlds on fire, people might be using it as a therapeutic mechanism, says Andrew Yockey, a doctoral candidate in health education at the University of Cincinnati and lead author of the paper. Now that COVIDs hit, Id guess that use has probably tripled.

To arrive at their findings, Yockey and his colleagues turned to data collected from more than 168,000 American adults by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual, nationally representative questionnaire. They analyzed trends since 2015, partly because of the timing of the 2016 presidential election.

The researchers found that past-year LSD use increased by 56 percent over three years. The rise was especially pronounced in certain user groups, including people with college degrees (who saw a 70 percent increase) and people aged 26 to 34 (59 percent), 35 to 49 (223 percent) and 50 or older (45 percent). Younger people aged 18 to 25, on the other hand, decreased their use by 24 percent.

A 1960s-level drug-fueled counterculture revolution probably will not be sweeping the nation anytime soon; the number of Americans using LSD in a given year still remains less than 1 percent of the total adult population. LSD is a lot less popular today than it was in the late 1960s and 1970s, says Joseph Palamar, a drug researcher at NYU Langone Health, who was not involved in the new study. In the late 1970s, for example, Palamar says 10 percent of high school seniors reported ever using LSD, compared with 6 percent today.

Palamar says the drop in use over that longer period was not necessarily driven by declining interest in psychedelics. Rather it likely occurred because there are newer drugs available, such as the psychedelic 2C-B, that have displaced LSD. However, LSD is perhaps the most popular psychedelic of all time, and its never going away, he adds.

Similar to psilocybin (the active compound in magic mushrooms), recreational LSD users may turn to the drug not only to escape but also to understand the full capacity of their minds and to improve their well-being, says David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London, who was not involved in the new study. LSD is often easier to acquire than psilocybin, thoughand it is also easier to carry around than a bag of dried mushrooms, he notes.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health does not ask users why they took LSD or how large of a dose they consumed. Nutt suspects that the rising popularity of microdosing could explain the overall increase in LSD use. Microdosing involves taking amounts ranging from less than one tenth to half of a trip dose of a psychedelic drugusually in an attempt to sharpen the mind, increase creativity or reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Palamar, on the other hand, hypothesizes that an uptick in LSD use is more likely related to growing participation in the dance festival scene. In a study published in April, he and his co-author found that past-year LSD used increased from 10 to 17 percent among attendees of electronic dance music parties in New York City between 2016 and 2019.

Yockey points out that the increase in LSD use does not have to be attributed to either microdosing or partying alone; both could be playing a role. Maybe people are going to a Phish concert and taking a full dose of LSD, or theyre going to work and microdosing, he says. And some may also be encouraged to use the drug after reading about studies exploring the therapeutic use of psychedelic substances. Most of this research centers around shorter-acting psilocybin, which is in current or planned clinical trials for treating depression, anxiety, anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, certain severe headaches, and addiction to smoking, cocaine and alcohol. Studies involving LSD are more limited, not because the substance lacks potential as a therapeutic agent, Nutt says, but because research on it is virtually impossible in most countries. And in turn, the drug appears to carry more stigma as a result of having less research associated with its therapeutic use.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies LSD as a Schedule I drug, or one defined as having a serious risk of abuse and no accepted medical value. Significant research shows that the substance is not physically addictive, however, and that LSD overdoses are generally not considered life-threatening and subside within 72 hours. In some cases, people who accidentally overdose on the drug have even reported long-term improvements, according to a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. In 2015, for example, a 49-year old woman reportedly took 550 times the normal recreational dose of LSD because she mistook it for a line of cocaine. According to CNN, after being incapacitated for about a day, the woman said that chronic pain she had suffered in her feet and ankles, caused by Lyme disease, had significantly improved. It just shows that LSD is not that harmful drug that everyone makes it out to be, Yockey says. Of course, there are well-publicized exceptions: for example, the drug can worsen symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Of the handful of studies that have been conducted on LSDs effects and therapeutic potential, many findings are encouraging. A 2014 paper concluded that LSD administered in a medical setting is safe and can bring lasting benefits. Meanwhile a 2015 study observed that the drug enhanced the emotion evoked from listening to musican effect the authors believed could be useful for psychedelic-assisted therapy. And a 2017 paper found that LSD, when taken in a controlled setting, increased sociability, trust and feelings of openness. The authors also reported that it reduced anxiety for two months in patients with life-threatening diseases and did not cause complications in a medical context. Similar to psilocybin, other evidence indicates that LSD could be used to alleviate depression and anxiety, treat alcohol dependence and reduce symptoms of autism.

LSD might be a panacea to anxiety and other psychological disorders, Yockey says. But as a Schedule I drug, theres just so much red tape behind that that some researchers Ive talked to who want to do LSD research say its not even worth it.

Yockey calls for a depoliticizing of LSD, which would make studies of its therapeutic potential and its effects on recreational users possible. At the same time, he says, efforts to reduce drug use should focus on more harmful substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanylall of which also seem to be on the rise. These drugs can kill you, LSD cannot, Yockey says. We need to rectify our messaging.

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Americans Increase LSD Use--and a Bleak Outlook for the World May Be to Blame - Scientific American

Netflix’s ‘Have a Good Trip’ Takes an Unbiased Look Into Drug Use – Study Breaks

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Millennials and Gen Z alike have grown up hearing about the trippin hippies of the 1960s. For many, drugs like LSD remain a tie-dyed, kaleidoscope-filled idea most commonly associated with the decade. However, psychedelics arent as stuck in the 60s as one might think. There are still countless people experimenting with psychedelics today, and with a number of qualified experts and investigators engaging in extensive research on various hallucinogenic drugs, it is likely that it will only become that much more common.

Surprised? Intrigued? Scared? The good news is that you dont need to be a qualified scientist or even come within a 10-mile radius of the drug to learn about LSD. The 2020 Netflix documentary, Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is a one hour and 25-minute film dedicated to exploring the world of hallucinogenic drugs. Written and directed by Donick Cary, the documentary provides its audience with a wide variety of anecdotes, opinions, tips, facts and myths about psychedelics.

With a resemblance to Bill Nye the Science Guy, the documentary successfully balances both humor and knowledge. While the use of hallucinogens is controversial (and not to mention illegal in many places around the world), Have a Good Trip attempts to give viewers unbiased information to assess the pros and cons of getting high, or tripping, on hallucinogenic drugs.

Perhaps the most alluring aspect of the documentary is the impressive array of celebrities willing to share their experiences with psychedelics. With names like Sting, Sarah Silverman, Carrie Fisher, Nick Kroll, Anthony Bourdain and A$AP Rocky, Have a Good Trip becomes engaging, personable and modern. Each star gives a personal anecdote, along with some hard-learned lessons they feel are important to pass on.

From the start of the film, it becomes apparent that there are a variety of ways that people might experience tripping. Some stories are hilarious. For example, writer and actor Nick Kroll joins the cast to recount the day he took magic mushrooms at the beach with his buddies. He explains that he knew the drugs had kicked in when his friends covered him in seaweed and he didnt care. As a matter of fact, he loved it.

I became The Kelp Monster. I couldnt even fathom wanting to remove this fing detritus from the sea, said Kroll. The next day I woke up covered in red welts because I had been covered in sea kelp for 45 minutes. Krolls story is interrupted by his own laughter and intentional self-deprecation.

The tone shifts in an interview with singer and songwriter Sting, who seems to have had a much more spiritual experience.

Sting recalls a time when he took peyote (a small species of cactus with hallucinogenic properties and a rich history of spiritual and medicinal usage) and found himself in a barn near his house assisting a pregnant cow in giving birth.

When we finally got the steer out, his mother breathed a sigh of relief, and for me, the entire universe had cracked open. It was like the meaning of life, Sting explained. I think what the psychedelic experience does is it takes the me out of me and it. You realize that everything [] is connected.

While most of the interviewees in Have a Good Trip seem to feel enlightened by, or at the very least, have enjoyed psychedelics, there is a noticeable effort to show both sides of the coin. Most of the celebrities have a metaphorical asterisk attached to their stories and the documentary makes sure to emphasize these addendums with viewers safety in mind.

For example, comedian Sarah Silverman thinks its an important rule to never drive while tripping. While this may seem obvious, she and many others give specific details of how dangerous it can be.

Silverman confesses about a time when her friend drove her home while the pair tripped on acid. We get to a stoplight [] and he has forgotten how to drive. We were thinking, How do cars work? We know how cars work?

Although there is a consistent comedic edge to the majority of the interviews, it is pieces of advice like Silvermans that provide sincerity and thoughtfulness to the film. Some tips might be as small as to never look in a mirror while tripping, while others might be as big as to never experiment with psychedelics at all.

Actor Ben Stiller describes his bad experience with LSD. Unlike Sting, Kroll and many others, Stillers piece of advice is to forgo hallucinogenic drugs altogether.

I was hoping for some sort of psychedelic revelation [] with some amazing imagery and some sort of opening into some other form of consciousness, says Stiller. It was not that at all. It was just fear and anxiety being amplified. Who needs that?

Stillers warning proves that, while viewers can certainly learn a lot by listening to the films interviewees, there isnt one consistent experience that all people have while tripping.

Along with the opinions of various stars, there are also a handful of qualified experts to give their two cents. Most notably is Dr. Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA. Grob is an investigator of hallucinogens as medicine and focuses much of his research on the way that psychedelic drugs can treat mental illness.

With published work, including an FDA-approved experiment helping cancer patients with reactive anxiety, Grob is one of the many scientists working to understand the way certain stigmatized drugs if used correctly may actually open a world of healing opportunities.

I think it was a shame that the prior generation of psychedelic investigators were abruptly stopped in their tracks because they were onto some very important discoveries, said Grob. He and many others hope for a future with an increase in safe and approved research of psychedelic drugs.

Whether or not you want the same future as Grob is up to you. In the meantime, Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is the perfect documentary for those interested in learning about the world of psychedelics from a distance.

Without officially approving of those who choose to experiment with hallucinogens, the film offers an unbiased insight into psychedelic drug use. The only clear stance made by the people of the film is this whether high on acid or on life, they want you to have a good trip.

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Netflix's 'Have a Good Trip' Takes an Unbiased Look Into Drug Use - Study Breaks

How Psychedelics Can Save Us From the Pandemic Blues – Mandatory

Have you been obsessively cleaning obscure surfaces in your home over and over? How about pacing in circles for hours while muttering to yourself? Or, worst of all, are you doomscrolling until your neck is kinkier than an ex-president on a private island? The pandemic is causing a spike in mental health problems, which is probably no surprise to any of you by now. Isolation, boredom, and fear all create a perfect recipe for folks to go all The Shining. Can psychedelics help people cope?

According to an avalanche of research, the answer seems to be a big yes. While most psychedelics are still illegal, this could change in the next few years. Instead of tripping balls in your buddys basement, youll be able to astral project from the comfort of a luxury spa. And if your trip suddenly takes a dark turn, theres a nice doctor or nurse right there to chill your vibes. We take a look at how the psychedelics can help with the pandemic blues.

If youre feeling stir-crazy like old Jackie here, youre not the only one. The pandemic and the policies required to contain it could lead to a mental health crisis at exactly the time when the medical establishment is least equipped to handle it, according to numerous studies (1,2,3).

Rates of anxiety, depression and suicide have been trending upward in the U.S. for decades, or about since the time reality TV was invented. The pandemic seems to be accelerating these trends and medical professionals worry current treatment options may not be up to the challenge.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short, are the most common antidepressant currently. Though they help many, they have lots of super depressing side-effects like no boners and getting fat, plus they dont work at all for many people and take like a whole sporting season to kick in.

Many types of psychedelics are recognized as breakthrough therapies by the FDA for treating anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Maybe if the government hadnt banned all human research on psychedelics for half a century then we wouldnt all be quite so messed up in the head.

The active ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, and even science agrees these little fungi have pretty stupendous healing potential. If you hate treatment-resistant depression, major depressive disorder or anxiety disorders, then you should love all the research showing how much psilocybin can help with these issues.

Its estimated that 88,000 Americans die annually from alcohol-related causes, but strange as it may sound, LSD could help prevent some of these deaths. Research shows that when combined with psychotherapy, LSD is effective at treating alcoholism, and no, were not tripping.

Ayahuasca is a traditional Amazonian psychedelic made by brewing together DMT-rich leaves with vines that amplify the psychedelic chemicals effects. This cup of tea may not taste good the understatement of the century but a growing body of research supports that it is effective at treating substance-abuse disorders when combined with psychotherapy.

MDMA, aka Molly, was as an essential part of every rave bunny's go-bag as candy jewelry, platform shoes, tutus and a good water bottle. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychic Studies, or MAPS, pioneered modern psychedelic research and has focused its efforts recently on looking into how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help treat PTSD, which the FDA has recognized as a breakthrough therapy.

Ketamine isnt a traditional psychedelic like mushrooms or LSD, but it will literally separate your consciousness from your body like in some kind of B-movie. However, its shown to help those suffering from some forms of depression and is the only drug on the list that is currently legal and available for patients in all 50 states.

Psychedelics are powerful substances best taken under the guidance of qualified professionals, especially during times of high stress like right frigging now. Some mental health professionals offer psychedelic integration therapy for ketamine and even other psychedelics under the table, but we recommend trying to enroll in a legit clinical trial or starting with the psychotherapy part of the healing process on its own.

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The Accident, Psychedelics and Tattooing – INKED

By Adriana de Barros

Starting his tattoo career in 1993, Mike Cole was surprisingly using only black-and-gray inks and not the bright colors that we have become accustomed to seeing in his current work. From tattooing to painting to 3D printed furniture, Cole is producing mind-blowing alternate-reality (computerized, maze-looking) compositions. Perhaps he is connecting to the isometric universes of aliens. Or possibly looking back to Leonardo da Vincis advanced studies or even further back to the mysterious pyramids of Egypt. If Cole was gifted with immorality there is so much he would explore beyond tattooingmechanical engineering, architecture and, of course, some research uncovering many of the worlds enigmas. Youve seen his tattoos plenty of times, but do you know much about the person behind the art? Probably not. There isnt a lot of information about Cole out in the world, so we tracked him down at the 2020 California Golden State Tattoo Expo to find out a little more.

Mike Cole: A day in the life of me, that can vary depending on what mood Im in. Sometimes, Ill paint non-stop for 18 hours a day until a painting is finished, or Ill be completely focused on my health, fasting and riding my bike. On average, Im an obsessive person with everything I do. So if I want to do something, Im very obsessive with it. I think it speaks in the work.

Yeah, Im an introvert. Mostly introverted, sometimes I can be social but its very draining. I like to be private, the worlds a scary place. People are a bit scary to me at times because everybodys trying to find their way and nobody has got it figured out, so it gets a little scary. I also like to stay focused with my work and my family, therefore I keep to myself.

Yeah, to focus my mind. Its hard in this kind of environment; everything is coming at you a million miles an hour. So when you quiet things down (and youre at home), its easier to focus.

Yeah, aptitude can be genetic. My father was an engineer. I think certain brains have an aptitude for mechanical things, and certain brains are poets, and others are this or that. But my art is definitely very engineered based, I think it has a lot to do with him. I would watch the way he built and designed thingsthe schematics and the tools that I was given when I was a little kidbecause he was often busy doing something in his little mad scientist lab. Hed be enthralled in his work and that action probably influenced me to be the same way. He would give me tools to play with as he was busy with his [own] stuff.

My mom was a numbers lady, she worked for a bank. She was a "her way or the highway type of woman. Disciplined and critical, she gave me my inner critic. I have got to give her credit for that! I have that harsh inner voice that is constantly criticizing myself: You can do it better, you can do it better, you can do it better, yeah. Its not always a good thing because then you can get a bit too obsessed that it affects you, requiring you to bring oneself back [to the realization] that this is good enough. Give yourself a pat on the back. Youve got to give yourself... whats the word?

Yes, a little positive reinforcement. Or else that stuff can drive you crazy. One has to learn how to relax and shut off the mind. Thats my biggest struggle. Shutting my mind down has been one of my life-long struggles, especially after a car accident.

Yeah. I had actual visuals and hallucinations after that [accident], it took a long time to come back down to earth.

I began using Psychedelics about 10 years after the accident, and that was what helped me see that I am not my mind. That is the thing that really cracked the egg and showed me that Im not the chatter-in-the-thoughts, Im the watcher. Thats what psychedelics helped me with.

Doctors were sticking me on Paxil when I had this injury, and my body was sick and I didnt know how to eat correctly. I was all over the place with Paxil. Psychedelics brought me back to the center. Like, Oh, its a completely true medicine. It really changed my life!

As fast as society is, youve got all these legal chemicals that are Starbucks, but all the legal addictive stimulants: salts, sugars... Theyre designed to keep your mind going. Food is drugs. The more pollutants you give it, the more ramped up it is, and the more chatter. Also, exercise has been a huge thing for me.

Lots of cardio, keeping the body moving, stretching, getting the heart rate uppeaceful stuff. You dont have to lift 600 pounds to be up [active].

Yes, I could show the pre-accident and pre-psychedelic period. I have three different distinguishing phases of my work [pre-accident, post-accident and psychedelics]. I analyze myself constantly. If I look back its like, Whoa, thats a big, big jump and I owe it to psychedelics and the accident. When you get slingshot out of your body like that, when you hit a windshield going 50-miles-an-hour and remember seeing your head poke through it and the glass cracking out of the corner of your eye and your shoulder coming out of the socket and hearing all the crunch and crash, and not losing consciousness and then going to sleep for 15 minutes with a major concussion (which seems like four hours). Youre waking up, youre tripping, youre tripping without drugs. Your brain is scrambled.

Yeah, its crazy! We went off the side of a mountain. I was looking up into the sky. My truck was sitting on a tree pointing straight up in the air. My kids screaming and crying because he was in the car with me. And then Im kicking doors open trying to get him out of there. Yelling at the guy, What the F are you doing man? Why are you driving so fast in the snow? And then somebody yelling that, Oh, settle down sir, it was just an accident. Im like, Well, you know this guy. It was his fault, he caused all that pain, which took me 10 years since that day to recover. I had an opioid addiction, most people that are close to me know and Im sure a lot of people in the industry know it, too. And the psychedelics squashed that, because youre trying to medicate, youre trying to... you dont how to function, relationships and things are crumbling around you, your brain is scrambled from this trauma and youre trying to find anything that will ease it: psychologists, psychotherapists and Paxil. I was getting anxiety attacks in public and throwing up. It was rough.

When I decided to try mushrooms, it was one of the most terrifying and freeing experiences I have ever had. It made me realize my ego and the control on my mind; the chaotic state from all that trauma (PTSD), the mind trying to hold on like its almost stuck in a survival phase. Like, Holy crap, we just got hit by a car! Its always in defense mode and it never lets go until you take one of those compounds and it goes, Oh, Im not my mind.

Youre constantly in that state.

Theyre connected to the Isometric stuff. Like I see that stuff in everything still. When I look at a surface, I see it. Its almost like I am in a computer-generated reality and I have to say, Well, okay, so if Ive taken these compounds and things look pixelated and Im seeing these graphs and grids and formulas written over top of everything, [i.e.] I am seeing the projection of things and other people see the same kind of stuff, but not all the time. Then, everything is based on Isometric graphs and Fibonacci sequences, and you can see it.

Leonardo da Vinci had it figured out. M.C. Escher had it figured out. The Egyptians had it figured out. Those pyramids are power stations, [Laughing] theyre not dunes. Those little channels running under the water like the Tesla tower. Teslas electricity is dependent on water veins in the ground to create that crazy generation of power, and the Egyptians were doing the same thing. The Nile used to run way closer and it wasIm probably quoting a documentary hereit makes engineering sense! It makes complete sense. We know how to do free power. We shouldnt be using nuclear stuff and ruining the ozone and creating a crazy climate. The Earth naturally swings, climate change is normal, but were making it worse. We would probably be able to handle that swing, but the way were burning things and wrecking shit, its going to be too hot.

Josh's bodysuit by Mike Cole.

Josh was coming to me for a few years, probably a good three to four years. I worked on him and all his stuff was drawn on, using some stencils that I would draw over the graph, but a lot of it was free-flowing, freehanded with a marker onto his muscles. Josh is into fitness and has distinct anatomy with a defined stomach and nice serratus-lateral muscle, which I could use to just sculpt my separate to it. I love, love, love doing people that are carved up or whatever. If the human body is beautiful in general, like the anatomy is, thats what you want to construct a tattoo around. I think the human body is an amazing piece of work.

Ive heard the Iron Man thing.

Very robotic! Hes getting a suit, a superhuman, alien intelligence suit thats being mapped over his body. Im a nerd! I love all the Aliens movies, Avatar. I love all sci-fi stuff. So thats definitely influenced my work for sure.

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The Accident, Psychedelics and Tattooing - INKED

Are These Penny Stocks Your Vice? ‘Sin Stocks’ To Watch In July – Penny Stocks

Theres More To Sin Penny Stocks Than Cigarettes & Beer

Ever hear of vice penny stocks or sin stocks? If you havent, thats ok because Im going to tell you the answer to the question, what are sin stocks? These are shares of companies that are in certain industries that deal with our daily vices. Consider things like alcohol, cannabis, gambling, tobacco, and now, magic mushrooms. As our vices evolve, so does the industry. In light of tech taking a big part of the stock markets recent turnaround, where do sin stocks stack up?

Lets look at one of the popular Sin ETFs, AdvisorShares Vice ETF (ACT Report). Since late-March, the ETF has bounced back from a low of $16.16 to current prices around $23. Not a bad move and one in line with the overall markets breakout move. However, for those less inclined to focus on a broad basket of companies, there are other ways to add a little Sin to your watch list.

[Read More] A Blooming Opportunity For Investors To Cash In On Mushroom Stocks

But how do you know which stocks to watch? Honestly, it starts with simple research. You should also have an understanding of certain industries that your watch list stocks are in. Things like alcohol and tobacco are much more established sectors than cannabis or psychedelics. In light of that, there could be more risk to take into consideration in certain circumstances. With this in mind, lets take a look at some sin penny stocks to watch this month.

New Wave Holdings Corp. (CSE: SPOR) is focused on the emerging psychedelics sector. Not only that, it has taken its understanding of what is known as mycologicals. Much like how the first movers of CBD and non-psychoactive cannabis products established market dominance early on, New Wave is taking up a similar approach. Its Key Business Units include:New Wave Recreational, New Wave Mental Health, and New Wave Natural.

Where early investors in cannabis represented something more closely to the customers buying it, mushroom stocks are seeing a surge of notable investors come in early. Shark Tank investor Mr. Wonderful Kevin OLeary and Canopy Growth Corp. CEO Bruce Linton were some of the early investors in the first mushroom stock IPO. Peter Thiel, the multi-billionaire investor, and Paypal co-founder, put big money bets into the industry. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz has also been vocal about the psychedelic medicine space.

New Wave is building a globally focused, diversified business to take first-mover status in the blooming psychedelics & mind medicine industry. The company has positioned itself to benefit from current legal psychedelics use as well as creating functional mushroom products for addressing the growing interest in nutritional supplements. Last month, the company announced that it will support the Delos Psyche Research Group.

The group is conducting a study designed to determine the impact of ingesting small amounts of hallucinogenic or psychedelic substances for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. These are things like lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD. Furthermore, the company also brought on Dr.Carolyn Myers, Ph.D as VP Of Commercial Development. She will further the R&D around psychedelic compounds, including psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, and ketamine.

What other vices can you think of? Leisure activities maybe? While these may not necessarily be a Sin, theres something to be said about indulging in leisure activities. Drive Shack Inc. (DS Stock Report)is an owner and operator of golf-related leisure and entertainment businesses. If youre familiar with Top Golf, the model appears similar.

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The company has locations in Orlando, West Palm Beach, Raleigh, and Richmond and caters to the adult crowd. Beer specials, food specials, entertainment specials and the like are part of the companys business model. Shares of DS stock surged in May and continued to new June highs of $3.05.

There hasnt been much of any news to speak of. However, entertainment venues and COVID are pretty closely tied. What I mean by this is that news of the economy reopening could have acted as its own catalyst for companies like Drive Shack. But if you look at the companys Twitter feed, youll see it making updates.

Over the last month or so, Drive Shack tweeted that it reopened multiple locations. These included Raleigh as of 6/26 and new hours at West Palm. The company made another tweet on this location in particular as well: UPDATE: WEST PALM BEACH CURFEW HAS BEEN LIFTED AND OUR NORMAL OPERATING HOURS WILL RESUME.

With this weeks news of a promising vaccine candidate, this could be sentiment related to a broader economic reopening. In a recently filed 13G/A on July 10th, it shows BlackRock, Inc. holding 1,434,617 shares or about 2.1% of the share class.

Shares of Hexo Corp. (HEXO Stock Report) has been one of the slow and steady marijuana penny stocks to watch recently. While thereve been sporadic jumps in the stock, overall, the trend has followed along with HEXO stocks 50 Day Moving Average Line (yellow line on chart).

On Thursday, Hexo Corp was back in rally mode. This came flowing its latest news on the international stage. The company announced the launch of medical cannabis products in Israel. This is through a 24-month agreement with Israeli medical cannabis company, Breath of Life International Ltd. According to the company, HEXO completed the first shipment of 493 kilograms even amid coronavirus restrictions, internationally.

We are proud to introduce HEXOs premium indoor medical cannabis products into the Israeli market, said Hugo Goldman, BOLs CFO and interim CEO. The products are already receiving positive feedback from both patients and retailers, and we are looking forward to continuing to expand our strategic relationship with HEXO in Israel.

Despite a slow move, you cant disagree with the current trend in HEXO stock for right now. Since mid-May, shares have steadily climbed (with a few 1-day jumps) in line with that 50DMA line. Will this remain the case for July or could this latest update make for an interesting month? Drop a comment below and leave your thoughts on HEXO.

Acreage Holdings Inc. (ACRG Stock Report)(ACRGF) is another one of the pot penny stocks to watch right now. Despite lighter volume than we normally see in popular penny stocks, ACRG stock started climbing on Friday. The company is a multi-state operator cultivating, processing, distributing, and retailing cannabis. Its geographic segments include New England, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, West, and South.

This week, Acreage stock gained attention after the companys late-breaking news on July 9th. Acreage announced that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission granted the company provisional licenses for the retail sale of adult-use cannabis in Worcester and Shrewsbury.

Acreage will add adult-use retail sales to its existing The Botanist dispensary in Worcester, MA. That opened as a medical marijuana treatment center in 2018. It will open a new The Botanist dispensary in Shrewsbury, MA.

[Read More] Esports Penny Stocks Show Immunity To Coronavirus

Similar to Hexo, Acreage has traded around its 50DMA while there hasnt been a clear support/resistance set, ACRG stock continues to gravitate back to that level. Will the news help shed a more positive light on the sin penny stock?

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Are These Penny Stocks Your Vice? 'Sin Stocks' To Watch In July - Penny Stocks

Cannabis Countdown: Top 10 Marijuana And Psychedelics Industry News Stories Of The Week – Yahoo Finance

Welcome to theCannabis Countdown. In This Weeks Edition, We Recap and Countdown the Top 10 Marijuana and Psychedelics Industry News Stories for the Week of June 29th July 5th, 2020.

Without further ado,lets get started.

*Yahoo Finance readers, pleaseclick here to view full article.

10. Researchers Think This Unique Strain of Cannabis May Prevent COVID-19

Could a Special Strain of Cannabis Actually Help in the Fight Against COVID-19?

Two Canadian researchers believe this particular strain could act as a COVID blocker by preventing the virus from spreading after it enters the body and may even be able to stop it from entering a persons system in the first place.


9. Patents for Psychedelics: We Have the Potential to All Be Winners if We Do This Right

In the Model of Startups Looking to Grow, Those Discoveries, That Intellectual Property, Can Make or Break a Company

Depending on your philosophical outlook about what thePsychedelicsindustry is supposed to do, a patent could be critical to making a business profitableor it could become a roadblock to true success for everyone.


8. This U.S. Cannabis Stock Appears to Be Way Undervalued and May Actually Benefit From a Second Wave of the Pandemic

The Pandemic First Hit the U.S. Earlier This Year Forcing Most of the Country Into Lockdown and Soon After, the Cannabis Industry Was Deemed as an Essential Business

With that in mind, investors should be paying close attention to U.S.Weed Stocksand in particular, one newly public company, which, based on projected Earnings, appears to be way undervalued compared to its peers.


7. The Endocannabinoid System: How Cannabis Interacts With the Body

The Endocannabinoid System: What it is and How it Works

Among the functions regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are memory, appetite, temperature, the immune system, sleep, pain, and the female reproductive system. By regulating these functions, the ECS is believed to help maintain balance, or homeostasis, in the body.


6. Health Canada: Any Celebrity Affiliation with Cannabis Has Potential to be Non-Compliant

The Warning Comes as Some Major Canadian Producers Continue Offering Brands Affiliated to Varying Degrees with Celebrities or Popular Fictional Characters

Any celebrity affiliation with a cannabis product, including promotions and marketing, has the potential to be noncompliant with federal law, according to Canadas cannabis regulator.


5. Field Trip Psychedelics Launches Therapeutic Program For Vets, First Responders

Field Trip Psychedelics Has Launched a New Mental Wellness Program Focused on Serving Frontliners

The program, dubbed Field Trip Basecamp, will offer a personalized, behavior-focused approach. What this does is utilize the dissociative psychedelic ketamine, which the company says allows front liners to reconnect with their families, rediscover their sense of purpose and reengage with life on their terms.


4. As Signature Deadlines Approach, Heres Where Marijuana And Drug Policy Reform Campaigns Stand

Several Drug Policy Reform Campaigns Are in the Final Stretch as Deadlines to Submit Signatures for Proposed Ballot Initiatives Loom This Week and Next

While the coronavirus pandemic dealt serious blows to marijuana,Psychedelicsand other drug reform groups in jurisdictions across the country, forcing some to end their campaigns, activists in Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon andWashington, D.C.are still in the game, with some running against the clock to turn in enough valid signatures to qualify and others now waiting for officials to validate petitions theyve already submitted.


3. Virginia Lawmakers Announce Plans To Legalize Marijuana, One Day After Decriminalization Takes Effect

A Group of Democratic Legislators on Announced Plans to Introduce a Bill to Legalize and Regulate a Commercial Cannabis Market in the State

Only a day after a new marijuana decriminalization law took effect in Virginia, top state lawmakers are announcing that theyre already looking ahead to full legalization.

Story continues


2. How Psychedelics Can Save Us From the Pandemic Blues

Can Psychedelics Help People Cope?

The pandemic is causing a spike in mental health problems, which is probably no surprise to any of you by now. Isolation, boredom, and fear all create a perfect recipe for folks to go all The Shining.


1. Cannabis Sector Can Boost Economy Post-Pandemic, Canadian Chamber Says

The National Cannabis Working Group an Offshoot of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Has Formed Two Councils to Address Headwinds and Opportunities

Canadas cannabis industry can helpcreate jobsin the post-pandemic economic recovery, the nations largest business association says,despite challengesrecently faced by some domestic producers.


Photo by Next Green Wave on Unsplash

See more from Benzinga

2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Cannabis Countdown: Top 10 Marijuana And Psychedelics Industry News Stories Of The Week - Yahoo Finance

Psychedelic drug – Wikipedia

Psychedelics are a hallucinogenic class of psychoactive drug whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness and psychedelic experiences via serotonin 2A receptor agonism.[2] This causes specific psychological, visual and auditory changes, and often a substantially altered state of consciousness. "Classical" psychedelic drugs include mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT.

Hallucinogenic drugs can be divided into four categories: psychedelics, cannabinergics, dissociatives, and deliriants. These different categories are known to produce a wide range of effects on consciousness. The psychedelic experience in particular is often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, yoga, religious ecstasy, dreaming, and even near-death experiences. Most psychedelic drugs fall into one of the three families of chemical compounds: tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides. These chemicals all activate serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, which modulate the activity of key circuits in the brain involved with sensory perception and cognition, however the exact nature of how psychedelics induce changes in perception and cognition through the 5-HT2A receptor is still unknown. Although hallucinogenic drugs all can induce altered states of consciousness with some overlap in effects, there are quantifiable differences in the induced subjective experiences between classes of hallucinogenic drugs that are due to differing and distinct pharmacological mechanisms.

Many psychedelic drugs are illegal worldwide under the UN conventions, occasionally excepting use in a religious or research context. Despite these controls, recreational use of psychedelics is common.[3][4] This is the beginning of what makes studying the effects of psychedelics difficult. Another obstacle is that the study involves recording changes in perception. Despite these hardships studies show that psychedelics are physiologically safe and do not lead to addiction.[5][6] Studies conducted using psilocybin in a psychotheraputic setting reveal that psychedelic drugs may assist with treating depression and alcohol addiction, and possibly also nicotine addiction.[7][8] Although they are still putting the pieces together, researchers are showing that psychedelics have the potential to treat certain psychopathologies.[9]

The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words (psyche, "soul, mind") and (delein, "to manifest"), hence "mind manifesting", the implication being that psychedelics can develop unused potentials of the human mind.[10] The word was coined in 1956 by British psychiatrist, Humphry Osmond, the spelling loathed by American ethnobotanist Richard Schultes, but championed by the American psychologist, Timothy Leary.[11]

Aldous Huxley had suggested to Humphry Osmond in 1956 his own coinage phanerothyme (Greek phaneroein- "visible" and Greek thymos "soul", thus "visible soul").[12] Recently, the term entheogenic has come into use to denote the use of psychedelic drugs in a religious, spiritual, and mystical context.

Psychedelics have a long history of use in traditional medicine and traditional religion, for their perceived ability to promote physical and mental healing. In this context, they are often known as entheogens. Native American practitioners using mescaline-containing cacti (most notably peyote, San Pedro, and Peruvian torch) have reported success against alcoholism, and Mazatec practitioners routinely use psilocybin mushrooms for divination and healing. Ayahuasca, which contains the potent psychedelic DMT, is used in Peru and other parts of South America for spiritual and physical healing as well as in religious festivals.[citation needed]

Psychedelic substances which may have therapeutic uses include psilocybin, LSD, and mescaline.[13] During the 1950s and 1960s, lack of informed consent in some scientific trials on psychedelics led to significant, long-lasting harm to some participants.[13] Since then, research regarding the effectiveness of psychedelic therapy has been conducted under strict ethical guidelines, with fully informed consent and a pre-screening to avoid people with psychosis taking part.[13] Although the history behind these substances has hindered research into their potential medicinal value, scientists are now able to conduct studies and renew research that was halted in the 1970s. Some research has shown that these substances have helped people with such mental disorders as obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcoholism, depression, and cluster headaches.[4]

Many of the currently known psychedelics are classified as having no accepted medical use in the United States.[14] However, in 2018 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression.[15] In 2019, the FDA also granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for psilocybin therapy treating major depressive disorder.[16] In 2017, a Phase II clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD led to a designation of breakthrough therapy status by the FDA.[17] The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and the FDA have agreed on the design for the Phase III trial, and if the trial is successful the treatment could be approved as early as 2021.[18]

Tryptamine, along with other trace amines, is found in the central nervous system of mammals. It is hypothesized to play a role as a neuromodulator on classical monoamine neurotransmitters, such dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (epinephrine). Tryptamine acts as a non-selective serotonin receptor agonist to activate serotonin receptors, and a serotonin-norepinephrine-dopamine releasing agent (SNDRA) to release more monoamine neurotransmitter, with a preference for evoking serotonin and dopamine release over norepinephrine( epinephrine) release.[19][20][21] This chemical class is well documented to cause classic psychedelic states, such as increased empathy, visual distorsions (drifting, morphing, breathing, melting of various surfaces and objects), auditory hallucinations, ego dissolution or ego death with high enough dose, mystical and spiritual experiences, closed eye hallucinations and complete detachment from reality with a high enough dose.[22] Psychedelic tryptamines that could be found in nature are psilocin, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT or they could be synthesised in a laboratory like 4-HO-MET or 5-MeO-DALT.

Phenethylamine is also a trace amine but to a lesser extent acts as a neurotransmitter in the human central nervous system. Phenethylamine instead regulates monoamine neurotransmission by binding to trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1), which plays a significant role in regulating neurotransmission in dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin neurons in the CNS and inhibiting vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in monoamine neurons.[23][24] When VMAT2 is inhibited monoamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine cannot be released into the synapse via typical release mechanisms.[25]

Amides of lysergic acid are collectively known as lysergamides, and include a number of compounds with potent agonist and/or antagonist activity at various serotonin and dopaminereceptors. LSD is one of many lysergamides. A wide range of lysergamides have emerged in recent years, inspired by existing scientific literature. Others, have appeared from chemical research.[26]

Classic psychedelics are considered to be those found in nature like psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, and LSD, and non-classic psychedelics are considered to be newer analogs and derivatives of pharmacophore lysergamides, tryptamine, and phenethylamine structures like 2C-B. Many of these psychedelics cause remarkably similar effects, despite their different chemical structure. However, many users report that the three major families have subjectively different qualities in the "feel" of the experience, which are difficult to describe. At lower doses, these include sensory alterations, such as the warping of surfaces, shape suggestibility, and color variations. Users often report intense colors that they have not previously experienced, and repetitive geometric shapes are common. Higher doses often cause intense and fundamental alterations of sensory perception, such as synesthesia or the experience of additional spatial or temporal dimensions.[27] Some compounds, such as 2C-B, have extremely tight "dose curves", meaning the difference in dose between a non-event and an overwhelming disconnection from reality can be very slight.[citation needed] There can be very substantial differences between the drugs, however. For instance, 5-MeO-DMT rarely produces the visual effects typical of other psychedelics. It has long been known that psychedelics promote neurite growth and synaptic plasticity.[28][29][30] Psychedelics have also been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory activity and therapeutic effects in animal models of inflammatory diseases including asthma,[31] and cardiovascular disease and diabetes.[32]

Although not pharmacologically considered psychedelics, empathogen-entactogens are phenethylamines of the MDxx class such as MDMA, MDEA, and MDA have some overlap in the behaviors that they elicit with psychedelics. Their effects are characterized by feelings of openness, euphoria, empathy, love, heightened self-awareness, and by mild audio and visual distortions (an overall enhancement of sensory experience is often reported). Their adoption by the rave subculture is probably due to the enhancement of the overall social and musical experience.

Salvia divinorum is a dissociative that is sometimes classified as an atypical psychedelic with some overlap in its perceptual effects with serotonergic psychedelics. The active molecule in the plant, salvinorin A, is a kappa opioid receptor agonist, working on a part of the brain that deals with pain. Activation of this receptor is also linked to the dysphoria sometimes experienced by users of opioids either therapeutically or recreationally. An unusual feature of S. divinorum is its high potency (dosage is in the microgram range) and extremely disorienting effects, which often include "entity contact", complete loss of reality-perception and user's experiencing their consciousness as being housed in different objects e.g. a pane of glass or a pencil. Cannabis (containing THC), particularly when taken in edible form is commonly referred to as a mild psychedelic, and produces behavioral effects with some similarity to true psychedelics.

Despite many psychedelic drugs being non-addictive[5][6] and there being no evidence to support long-term harm on mental health,[33] many of these drugs have been declared illegal under the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. In addition, many countries have analogue acts that automatically forbid any drugs sharing similar chemical structures to common illicit substances regardless of whether or not they are harmful.

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Psychedelic drug - Wikipedia

Psychedelics – Mushrooms, LSD, Salvia

Psychedelics, while they can cause pleasurable side effects, are mostly Schedule I classified drugs that are not only illegal but dangerous. While psychedelics can cause a person to feel a sense of oneness with the universe and experience spiritual or enjoyable hallucinations and distorted perceptions, they can also cause intense fear, paranoia, and panic.

Whether or not a person has a good trip or a bad tripall depends on many variables, and there is no assurance that even the same individual will experience a positive reaction twice. This is only one of the dangers of psychedelics which, while they have been used in spiritual rituals for centuries, can cause many harmful effects.

We can help you quit using psychedelic drugs. Call 800-895-1695 today.

The effects of psychedelics are extremely hard to predict. As stated by CESAR, psilocybin or psychedelic mushrooms are one of the most popularly abused psychedelics to this day, and the effects produced by psilocybin are highly variable and depend on several factors including the age, type, and dosage amount of the mushroom used, the setting the mushroom is used in, the users expectations, past drug experiences, and personality.

This is what makes psychedelic drugs so different from other commonly abused substances; it is very difficult to pinpoint how a person will react to these drugs or what they should even expect. While some effects like hallucinations, nausea, and an altered perception of space and time can all be expected to be experienced by the user, psychedelics may cause a different type of high in every user (each and every time) and their effects could last anywhere from an hour to six or more.

Psychedelic drugs can cause severe psychological distress and other harmful side effects.

While there isnt a strong amount of research on the issue of psychedelic drug addiction, it is possible in some instances. Especially with a drug like MDMA, some users report symptoms of dependence, including continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, tolerance (or diminished response), and withdrawal effects (NIDA).

Some other drugs (like LSDand peyote) only cause tolerance while the effects of salvia divinorum have not yet been researched enough to provide any conclusive results. The question of whether or not addiction to certain psychedelic drugs exists can be puzzling. In many cases, though, treatment may still be necessary to help with the effects abusing psychedelic drugs can cause.We can help you find the treatment you need. Call 800-895-1695 toll free today.

If you are concerned about your psychedelic drug abuse or that of another individual, here are some steps to follow in order to better the situation.

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Psychedelics - Mushrooms, LSD, Salvia

Psychedelics – Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Types of psychedelics

Psychedelics have been used since ancient times by various cultures throughout the world for their mystical and spiritual associations. LSD, magic mushrooms, Mescaline and DMT are usually swallowed, smoked or inhaled. Mushrooms are usually eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a tea.

Occasionally, they may be mixed with tobacco or cannabis and smoked. Mescaline is usually swallowed. Peyote buttons may be ground into a powder and smoked with cannabis or tobacco. The buttons can also be chewed or soaked in water to produce a liquid.

Most forms of NBOMe are inactive if swallowed, and the most common methods of taking them are under the tongue, held in the cheek or snorted.

Generally, people who use psychedelics dont take them on a regular basis, but on occasions that may be weeks or months apart.

There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. Its important to be careful when taking any type of drug.

Psychedelics affect everyone differently, based on:

The effects of psychedelics can last several hours and vary considerably, depending on the specific type of psychedelic. The following may be experienced during this time:

Sometimes you can experience a bad trip, which is frightening and disturbing hallucinations. This can lead to panic and unpredictable behaviour, like running across a road or attempting suicide.

If you take a large amount or have a strong batch, you are likely to experience negative effects of psychedelics.6,7

The most common long-term effect of psychedelic use is the flashback. Flashbacks are a re-experience of the drug and can occur days, weeks, months and even years later.

Flashbacks can be triggered by the use of other drugs or by stress, fatigue or physical exercise. The flashback experience can range from being pleasant to causing severe feelings of anxiety. They are usually visual and last for a minute or two.

The effects of mixing psychedelics with other drugs, including alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines, are often unpredictable.

Mixing psychedelics with stimulant drugs increases the stimulant effects and can further increase heart rate and place the body under extreme stress. Stimulants can also increase anxiety which can lead to a negative experience.8

Combing psychedelics with depressant drugs such as alcohol may further reduce coordination and increases the chances of vomiting. Alcohol may also decrease the effects of the psychedelic.8

If you do decide to use them, its important to consider the following.

Use of psychedelics is likely to be more dangerous when:

Most psychedelics produce tolerance rapidly and psychological dependence can occur in some people. The development of physical dependence is not well supported by evidence and there are no withdrawal symptoms even after chronic use.


Psychedelics - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Buy Psychedelics Online | Buy Research Chemicals …

When it to effectiveness and quality of psychedelics products , we have a variety of outstanding and top level list of them. To Begin with , the first experience is typical of vaporizedDMT, while the second is 5-MeO-DMT. Though they share a name and there are some parallels in their brief and very intense effects the two are worlds apart. Even in their chemical structures, 5-MeO-DMT is about as different from DMT aspsilocybinis. In addition, both have been in use in the traditional South American shamanic practices forthousands of years, but in different regions and to different ends. The differences between their subjective effects cant be overstated, so its important to understand what each one offersand which is right for an individual seeking psychedelic treatment.

One of the most common reactions to smoking DMT the first time is utter astonishment, for no amount of experience on the more popular 20th century psychedelics (LSD, Ecstacy, magic mushrooms, etc.) can really prepare one for the magical reality revealed by DMT or 5-MeO-DMT. So powerful is the truth of this altered reality that users can actually sometimes experience a psycho-spirtual death-and-rebirth, and when returned humbled and awe-struck to their bodily form, discover their lives have been irreversibly changed.

Buy LSD online cheap. Apsychedelicexperience (or trip) is a temporary altered state of consciousness induced by the consumption ofpsychedelicdrugs (such as mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT). For example, the term acid trip refers topsychedelic experiences brought on by the use ofLSD

Buy ebogaine online.The classical serotonergicpsychedelicsLSD, psilocybin, mescaline are not known tocause brain damageand are regarded as non-addictive. Clinical studiesdonot suggest thatpsychedelicscauselong-term mental health problems

Here you are safe toBuy ketamine online. Althoughpsychedelicscan induce temporary confusion and emotional turmoil, hospitalisations and serious injuries are extremely rare. Overallpsychedelicsare not particularlydangerouswhen compared with other common activities.

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The effects of psychedelics on the brain’s "consciousness conductor" – New Atlas

In 2004, Francis Crick, one of the 20th centurys greatest scientific minds, died of colon cancer. Crick was best known for describing the structure of DNA in the 1950s with collaborator James Watson, but over the last couple of decades of his life his research focused on perhaps the biggest scientific question of them all: how does our brain generate what we consider to be consciousness?

The last paper Crick ever penned homed in on a small and still relatively mysterious brain region called the claustrum. Co-authored with Christof Koch, Crick was reportedly still editing the manuscript in hospital the day he died. Subsequently published in 2005, the paper presented a novel hypothesis - the claustrum may be key to our experience of consciousness, unifying and co-ordinating disparate brain areas to help generate our singular experience.

The claustrum is a thin, irregular, sheet-like neuronal structure hidden beneath the inner surface of the neocortex in the general region of the insula, wrote Crick and Koch in the landmark paper. Its function is enigmatic. Its anatomy is quite remarkable in that it receives input from almost all regions of cortex and projects back to almost all regions of cortex.

The extraordinarily unique way the claustrum connects different brain regions fascinated Crick. While some researchers had previously suggested the claustrum could potentially be the brains epicenter of consciousness, Crick and Koch presented a different analogy to describe the role of this mysterious brain region.

We think that a more appropriate analogy for the claustrum is that of a conductor coordinating a group of players in the orchestra, the various cortical regions, the pair wrote. Without the conductor, the players can still play but they fall increasingly out of synchrony with each other. The result is a cacophony of sounds.

A new study, published in the journal Current Biology, is describing in unprecedented detail how the claustrum communicates with other brain regions. The project, an international collaboration between researchers in Sweden and Singapore, somewhat backs up Cricks "consciousness conductor" hypothesis, revealing the claustrum is less like a singular hub for cortical inputs and more like a collection of specialized synaptic pathways connecting specific cortical regions.

We found that the synaptic connectivity between the cortex and claustrum is in fact organized into functional connectivity modules, much like the European route E4 highway or the underground system, says Gilad Silberberg, lead author on the study, from the Karolinska Institutet.

Another recent and even more focused study zoomed in on the claustrums role in coordinating slow-wave brain activity. A team from Japans RIKEN Center for Brain Science generated a transgenic mouse model in which they could artificially activate neurons in the claustrum through optogenetic light stimulation.

Yoshihiro Yoshihara

The research discovered slow-wave activity across a number of brain regions increased in tandem with neural firing in the claustrum. Slow-wave brain activity is most often linked to a key period of sleep associated with memory consolidation and synaptic homeostasis.

We think the claustrum plays a pivotal role in triggering the down states during slow-wave activity, through its widespread inputs to many cortical areas, says Yoshihiro Yoshihara, team leader on the new RIKEN research. The claustrum is a coordinator of global slow-wave activity, and it is so exciting that we are getting closer to linking specific brain connections and actions with the ultimate puzzle of consciousness.

So, if increased claustrum activity seems to orchestrate a kind of synchronized slowing down of brain activity across a number of different cortical regions, what happens when claustrum activity is suppressed?

One hypothesis has suggested dysfunctional claustrum activity could play a role in the subjective effects of psychedelic drugs. One of the fundamental neurophysiological characteristics of a psychedelic experience is widespread dysregulation of cortical activity. Brain networks that dont normally communicate will suddenly spark up connections under the influence of psilocybin or LSD. So a team from Johns Hopkins University set out to investigate exactly how psilocybin influences claustrum activity.

Due to the claustrums location in the brain its activity has traditionally been quite difficult to study in humans. However, a recently developed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique has afforded researchers a new and detailed way to measure claustrum activity. The Johns Hopkins study recruited 15 subjects to measure claustrum activity after either a placebo or a dose of psilocybin.

The study found psilocybin reduced claustrum neural activity between 15 and 30 percent. The overall reductions in claustrum activity also directly correlated with the subjective psychedelic effects of the drug.

More specifically, psilocybin seemed to significantly alter how the claustrum communicated with a number of brain regions fundamentally involved in attentional tasks and sensory processing. For example, under the influence of psilocybin, functional connectivity between the right claustrum and the auditory and default mode networks significantly decreased, while right claustrum connectivity with the fronto-parietal task control network increased.

Our findings move us one step closer to understanding mechanisms underlying how psilocybin works in the brain, says Frederick Barrett, one of the authors on the new study. This will hopefully enable us to better understand why its an effective therapy for certain psychiatric disorders, which might help us tailor therapies to help people more.

As Barrett suggests, this new insight into the effect psilocybin has on claustrum activity may shine a light on how this psychedelic drug generates its beneficial therapeutic effects. Psilocybin in particular has been found to be significantly useful in treating major depression and substance abuse disorders. The Johns Hopkins scientists hypothesize psilocybins action on the claustrum may play a key role in both the subjective effects of this psychedelic drug, and its beneficial therapeutic outcomes.

Further research is certainly necessary to verify this hypothesis, and the next step for the Johns Hopkins team will be to use this new claustrum imaging technique to investigate the brain region in subjects with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Fifteen years on from Francis Cricks passing his final work is still inspiring new research. The new wave of psychedelic science, in tandem with novel neuroimaging techniques, brings us closer and closer to understanding how our brains create consciousness.

The new study was published in the journal Neuroimage.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

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The effects of psychedelics on the brain's "consciousness conductor" - New Atlas

Revive Therapeutics betting on psychedelics and potential COVID-19 treatment Bucillamine – Proactive Investors USA & Canada

The company is filing an Investigational New Drug application with the FDA for the Phase 3 confirmatory clinical trial of Bucillamine

Revive Therapeutics Ltd (CSE:RVV) (OTCMKTS:RVVTF) has come a long way in just six months under the stewardship ofCEOMichael Frank.That much is apparent from a casual glance at the share price for the year to date.

However, there is an argument to be made that suggests this may just be the start of the journey for this US and Canadian-listed life sciences innovator. For not only does Revive have a (coronavirus) COVID-19possible treatment headedtowards phase III clinical trials, but it also has some unique and interesting intellectual property (IP) that taps into the emerging area of psychedelics.

Also part of the story, but taking a back-seat for now, is its research around the potential uses of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat auto-immune hepatitis, ischemia and reperfusion injury from organ transplantation.

READ:Revive Therapeutics holds pre-CTA meeting with Health Canada for Bucillamine to treat COVID-19 patients

Revivehas a history of repurposing drugs and IP such asBucillamine,a cysteine derivativeanti-inflammatory that has been used for more than 30 years to treatrheumatoid arthritisin Japan and South Korea.

With an impeccable track record for safety, the companys researchers were assessingthe data fromits potential deployment in acute gout flareswhere ithad successfully completed a phase IIUS Food and Drug Administration (FDA)clinical trial.

Thats when more thoughts were given to the use of Bucillamine to treat lung inflammation.

The drug works by helping restore and enhance an antioxidant called glutathione. Revives team soon realized the same anti-inflammatory action that worked in gout and arthritis could possibly be deployed in people suffering lung inflammation as a result of seasonal flu, H1N1, SARS and, crucially, COVID-19.

In April, it applied to the US regulator to carry out a phase II trial in COVID-19and was surprised by the response.

BasedonBucillamines composition, efficacy, safety and history, as well as a previous, successful interaction with the FDA, the drugs watchdog asked Revive to prepare anInvestigational New Drug (IND) submissionfor a phase IIIconfirmatory trialin COVID-19.

Thats a very large milestone and a major study, says Frank.It gives the company a great deal of credibility.

The company is currently incorporating guidance provided by the US regulator intoits INDpackage, which should beready and submittedby the end of the month,Frank adds.

Another development that is exciting investors is the companys move into psychedelics, which appears incredibly well-timed.

Last year the FDA approvedesketamine to treat depression, making it the first-ever psychedelic drug to receive the regulatory green light in the US, with UK authorities giving their approval for the ketamine-like drug a few months later.

MDMA, meanwhile, has been given breakthrough therapy designation by the US regulator for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as has psilocybin, the psychoactive found in mushrooms, which is being developed as an alternative to traditional antidepressants.

In March, Revive announcedit was acquiring Psilocin Pharma Corp in an all-paper deal worth $2.75 million. Its focus is psilocybin-based treatments forvariousmedical needs, which includes rare and orphan indications.

Reviveis working with the University of Wisconsin on some new delivery technology that could add another dimension to the research and discoveries to date.

We want to build a better product, with more favorable onset and delivery of psilocybin and then move it down the clinical path, says Frank.

And thats crucial, because like many others in this new and flourishing area of drug discovery, the plan is to formally follow the highly regulated route to market.

In doing so the potential reward could be significant. The psychedelics industry itself is big enough to pique the interest of Big Pharma, with investment bank Canaccord Genuity, in a recent market report,estimating the total market size for all indications under investigation to be as much as $100 billion.

However, the smaller, more innovative players such as Revive, are likely toset the pace and make an impact.

Psychedelics have shown promising efficacy across a broad range of both mental and substance abuse disorders, said Canaccord inits report. Together, the targeted indications affect over one-billion people globally.

Frankstated:I think we have only scratched the surfacein a number of areas, and our team looks forward to educating the market more.

Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at[emailprotected]

Follow her onTwitter:@UttaraProactive

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Revive Therapeutics betting on psychedelics and potential COVID-19 treatment Bucillamine - Proactive Investors USA & Canada

Are NDEs caused by carbon dioxide overload? And what about psychedelics? – Patheos

Notes from Pim van Lommel,Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience(New York: HarperCollins, 2010), 119-121:

Oxygen deficiency is accompanied by an increase of carbon dioxide, and this increase has been suggested as a possible cause for near-death experiences. Patients breathing in unusual quantities of carbon dioxide have been known to experience a sense of separation from the body, and there have been occasional reports of a bright light, a tunnel, a sense of peace, and/or memory flashes. It should immediately be pointed out, though, that these memory images or flashes are quite rare, are extremely fragmented, and never involved either a life review or an encounter with deceased persons. Moreover, the sometimes dramatic life changes that have been extensively documented in connection with NDEs have not been reported in cases of carbon dioxide overload.

After a relatively technical discussion of medical resuscitations and the difficulties in measuring levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide during a frantic operating room emergency, Dr. van Lommel offers a simple summation:

The conclusion that a high concentration ofCO2 could be the cause of an NDE seems to be highly questionable, and at least very premature. (118)

But there are plenty of other hypotheses on offer. How about psychedelics such as LSD, DMT, psilocybin, and mescaline? Perhaps surprisingly, Dr. van Lommel is somewhat more friendly to this suggestion than he was to oxygen deprivation or even to carbon dioxide overload. The latter three of these substances can be found fairly abundantly in nature. Psilocybin and mescaline, particularly, occur in plants native to Latin America and in (magic) mushrooms and have been used in potions, powders, and inhalants for centuries to induce mind-expanding experiences. All of them are closely related to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is easily found in the human body, and their chemical structure is related to tryptamine.

During times of major physical or psychological stress, the body activates large amounts of DMT, notably via the pineal gland. This is probably also true during the dying process, when the cells of the pineal gland are dying and, it is thought, releasing DMT.

The experience induced by psychoactive substances is often surprisingly similar to a near-death experience, especially in the case of DMT although, depending on the dosage, confusing or frightening perceptions may also occur. These substance-induced experiences include the following elements: a sense of detachment from the body, out-of-body experiences, lucid and accelerated thought, an encounter with a being of light, a sense of unconditional love, being in an unearthly environment, access to a profound wisdom, and wordless communication with immaterial beings. Sometimes the characteristic post-NDE transformation, including the loss of the fear of death, is also reported after administration of DMT or LSD.

It is a new and surprising hypothesis that DMT, which occurs naturally in the body, could play an important role in the experience of an enhanced consciousness during near-death experiences. Perhaps DMT, its release triggered or stimulated by events in our consciousness, lifts our bodys natural inhibitions against experiencing an enhanced consciousness, as if it is able to block or disrupt the interface between consciousness and our body (and brain). Mention should be made here of the fact that zinc is essential for the synthesis of serotonin and related substances such as DMT. At a more advanced age, the body has lower levels of this metal, and, as mentioned earlier, NDE reports are less common at an older age. (120-121)

I would point out, though, that attempts to reduce NDEs merely to subjective brain events caused by oxygen deficiency or DMT an option that Dr. van Lommel himself clearly does not embrace fail to account for what seem to be verifiable out-of-body experiences in which the experiencers witness events and observe people from a vantage point distinct from the location of their bodies.

See more here:

Are NDEs caused by carbon dioxide overload? And what about psychedelics? - Patheos

‘People Should Have the Fundamental Right To Change Their Consciousness’ – Reason

When psychedelic drugs finally become legal in the United States and elsewhere around the world, the lion's share of the credit will go to Rick Doblin. Since founding the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 1986, Doblin has argued forcefully for the benefits of frequently demonized substances such as MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, and ibogaine in helping people cope with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other debilitating problems. For decades, Doblin and MAPS have been pushing not just for social and cultural acceptance but also for legal and medical legitimacy.

MAPS is currently sponsoring Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD. Within the next few years, if all goes well, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve MDMAa.k.a. Ecstasy, which the federal government banned in 1985 as a dangerous party drugfor use by prescription as a psychotherapeutic catalyst. Further down the line, psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin, which the FDA has recognized as a "breakthrough therapy" for depression, could undergo a similar legal transformation.

The rehabilitation of these once-vilified substances is a remarkable development that signals growing recognition of their life-enhancing uses and perhaps growing tolerance of people who choose to explore that potential. During a late-February ride from Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy International Airport,ReasonEditor at Large Nick Gillespie talked with Doblin about his role in this psychedelic renaissance and the experiences that drew him to the movement.

"I'm very much a child of the Cold War," Doblin says, recalling how he was taught to "duck and cover" at school during the Cuban missile crisis. His fear of nuclear Armageddon, ecological catastrophe, and genocide was the initial impetus for his vision of "mass mental health" facilitated by psychedelics, which he believes can have a unifying effect when used properly.

Although MAPS is doing everything by the book in seeking approval of MDMA as a prescription drug, Doblin's vision goes beyond such doctor-approved uses. He aspires to a world in which people can use psychedelics responsibly without permission from physicians or priests. "Psychedelics are tools," Doblin says. "They're not good or bad in and of themselves. It's how they are used. It's the relationship you have with them."

Reason: Many people are attracted to psychedelics because they're fun. The approach that MAPS has taken, by contrast, suggests that psychedelics should not be taken lightly. Talk about the contrast between using psychedelics recreationally and using them by prescription as an FDA-approved medicine.

Doblin: I think that people should have the fundamental human right to change their consciousness. When we talk about the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion, underlying all of that is freedom of thought. Psychedelics are a good example of the freedom of thought that we should have.

At the same time, when people take these things for recreational purposes and they're only looking for positive experiences, that can be dangerous if difficult material comes up. If you suppress it, you could end up worse off.

So there's an aspect of it that's work. One of our big statements is thatdifficultis not the same asbad. A lot of times, when people approach this as a recreational experience and stuff that's difficult comes up, they think, "Oh, it's a bad trip." But it is also an opportunity. So medicalization is a strategy for achieving broader access and mass mental health.

When you talk about medicalization, are you saying we need to maintain the current power structure, dominated by big pharmaceutical companies and doctors who serve as the high priests, telling us what to do and how to think? Or do you have in mind a broader concept of mental health or well-being?

Our core approach is that we are not the guides. We don't know where people need to go. People are their own guides. One of the concerns I have about traditional medicine, psychiatry, and psychotherapy, is that even in certain shamanistic settings, the healers are the ones who do it to the person. The power is in their hands. They're like surgeons; you don't do your own surgery. But when we're talking about mental surgery, we're trying to empower people to heal themselves.

To give you a sense of how much progress we're making, one of our donors, Bo Shao of the Evolve Foundation, said that when we had the psychedelic revolution in America, his parents in China were suffering under the Cultural Revolution. His parents' whole generation is traumatized still from that. So he's helping us bring [MDMA-assisted] therapy to China. We've already brought Chinese psychiatrists and psychotherapists to the United States for training, and I've been to China.

We're trying to universalize it in that way. But unlike most pharmaceutical companies, since we're doing it in a nonprofit context, we're trying to help people learn how to heal themselves without having to come to doctors and therapists.

Give me an update about what's going on with FDA approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

On November 29, 201630 years after I started MAPSwe had what's called an end-of-Phase-2 meeting. That's where we discussed the data we had gathered during Phase 2 of clinical trials and whether the FDA would permit us to go to Phase 3 [the final step before approval of a prescription drug]. The FDA said yes. Then we negotiated for eight months every aspect of the Phase 3 research protocol, the statistical analysis plan, all the other supplemental material that's required when you move into Phase 3.

Phase 1 usually involves healthy volunteers, and you're just trying to understand what the drug does. In Phase 2, you do pilot studies, exploring who is your patient population, what are your doses, what is your treatment, who do you exclude and include. Phase 2 enables you to figure out how to design Phase 3, where you do the large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled studies that are required to prove safety and efficacy. Those are the pivotal studies that you need to get approval for marketing.

There are also Phase 4 studies, which the FDA can require after you've gotten permission to market the drug when there's additional information that the FDA wants. We've already negotiated some of the Phase 4 studies. If we succeed in Phase 3, the FDA wants more information about how we can tell ahead of time who will respond well to the treatment and what we can say about relapse rates. How long do the benefits last?

Another aspect of it is that many drugs are tested in adults, and then they're prescribed to adolescents or children. If we succeed in adults, which means 18 or over for PTSD, then we have to do studies in 12- to 17-year-olds. If that works, then we have to study 7- to 11-year-olds who are traumatized.

When do you expect the Phase 3 trials to be completed?

The FDA can come back and say, "You did everything right [and] it looks good, but we're going to screw you over and stretch it out a little bit." We don't expect that the FDA will screw us over, because, once we got permission for Phase 3, we entered into this eight-month process where we negotiated everything. That's called the special protocol assessment process. If you end up agreeing, you get what's called an agreement letter, and the FDA is legally bound to approve the drug, assuming you get statistically significant evidence of efficacy and no new safety problems arise. And since MDMA has been around for 40, 50 years, tens of millions of people have taken it. We have a very good idea of the safety profile.

The other thing the FDA did, after we got this agreement letter, was declare MDMA a breakthrough therapy [a designation that is supposed to facilitate approval of promising drugs for hard-to-treat conditions]. So I don't think that they want to screw us over in any way.

In Phase 3, we have to do a minimum of two studies, each with 100 people, and then we do what's called an interim analysis for each study. We have enrolled almost 100 people in the first of the Phase 3 studies, and the interim analysis will be sometime in late March or early April this year. Then we'll know whether we need to add anybody for statistical significance. We expect to start the second Phase 3 study in the summer of 2021, so we should have all the data from the studies near the end of 2021.

Then we submit that to the FDA, and sometime in 2022, depending on how long the review process is, we anticipate approval. We're also negotiating with the European Medicines Agency, and that process is a year or two behind the FDA process.

We will need to raise around $30 million to finish Phase 3 in Europe and a similar amount to finish Phase 3 in the United States. But in the history of MAPS, we've received donations of about $80 million, and we're trying to do this all through donations. We don't want investors. I'm sympathetic with for-profit people getting involved. The scale of the problem is so big. We need all sorts of people, sponsors, resources. But I think the profit motive has warped American health care.

You've created a public benefit corporation to market MDMA. How will that work?

For the first 25 years of MAPS, I just assumed that once MDMA became a medicine, it would be a generic medicine, and it would be sold for very little money. MDMA was invented by Merck in 1912, so the patents have expired.

Even though I wrote my Ph.D. thesis at the Kennedy School of Government on the regulation of Schedule I drugspsychedelics and marijuanaI missed something. I learned only in 2013 or so that President Reagan had signed a bill to provide incentives for developing drugs that are off patent. Since they couldn't give patents, they offered what was called data exclusivity, which means you're the only one who has the right to use your data in the U.S. for five years. If you do pediatric studies, you get an additional six months of data exclusivity, which blocks generic manufacturers from even applying, and it takes the FDA at least six months to review those applications.

So we'll have about six years of data exclusivity. Once I realized that we might actually be able to sell MDMA for more than cost as a medicine, I realized that we had a different story to tell our donors: We're not going to be perpetually asking you for money, and we might even be able to make money from the sale of MDMA and use that for more research.

Doing that is a taxable situation, and you can't stay inside the nonprofit. A public benefit corporation is a kind of corporation that explicitly seeks to maximize benefits for the public rather than the return to shareholders. So that's the approach we're taking.

This is kind of like a legal version of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, which sold LSD for practically nothing in the '60s and '70s.

They are a big part of the story of psychedelics that not that many people know about. They really had a mission beyond making money, and the mission was consciousness change. That is our mission.

All of our research staff and all of the research money has been transferred to the public benefit corporation. We are taking not just a new approach to mental health, which is psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, but a new approach to marketing medical treatments and drugs. We will charge somewhat more than the MDMA costs us, but we're not going to charge the maximum of what the market will bear, because that means that you have fewer people paying more for treatments. And our goal is mass mental health.

Where is the biggest pushback against what you're doing coming from these days?

So far we haven't had a whole lot of pushback. Veterans [with PTSD] have such support, particularly among Republicansthere's a libertarian strand of the Republican Party that has been a strong ally in looking at the benefits of illegal drugs. There's pushback from drug warriors who think that we need to demonize these drugs to justify the drug war. That's why there's been suppression of research into cannabis.

The pushback that I've received has not been from regulatory agencies. The FDA is aware that there are enormous numbers of people with mental conditions that are not adequately helped by the currently available medicines. That's why MDMA was declared a breakthrough therapy. Psilocybin has been declared a breakthrough therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The most important new development in mental health treatment over the last 20 or 30 years has been ketamine for the treatment of depression.

Traditional psychiatry is coming around. Yesterday, theAmerican Journal of Psychiatrypublished an article about psychedelic psychotherapy and how it was promising.

I've received pushback from some of our donors who ask, "Why did you accept money from [Republican] Rebecca Mercer, [libertarian Charles] Koch, or others? Just stick to medicine." Right now some of our big donors are telling me that I should shut up about drug policy reform and the fundamental human rights issue, that we want people to have access to these drugs with proper education and harm reduction, but outside of medicine and religion.

There is potential for pushback from fundamentalist Christians, although it doesn't seem to have happened yet. Classic psychedelics like psilocybin have been used for thousands of years for religious and medical purposes. Through ego dissolution, people have mystical experiences, which suggests there may be a common mystical core in all the world religions. There are fundamentalists in each religion who say, "My religion is the only true one. Everybody else is an infidel." The psychedelic mystical experience is a challenge to that. But I think the fundamentalists could benefit from a deeper appreciation of their own spirituality.

The other possible area of pushback is parents worrying about their kids. If you make this into a medicine, they might think, kids will get the message that it's a good thing.

What we've been doing in that regard is going to festivals around the world where young people are using these psychedelics. A lot of them are using them unwisely and irresponsibly and just trying to have a good time. Difficult material comes up, and they then try to suppress it or push it down. We've started what we call the Zendo Project, which does psychedelic harm reduction at Burning Man, the Boom Festival in Portugal, all over the world. The aim is to help people who have difficult trips work through them and process the material, so that they don't get tranquilized, don't go to the hospital, and don't have long-term mental disruptions because of it.

You once told a reporter, "We're not the counterculture; we are the culture." And I think there's some real truth to that. But you're also a parent. How old are your kids, and have you tripped with them?

My kids are 25, 23, and 21. We've wanted to take [psychedelics] together as a family.

That sounds both wonderful and kind of terrifying.

When I had my bar mitzvah at 13, that really opened the door to psychedelics for me. Because my bar mitzvah did nothing. I mean, it was a nice party. I was the oldest of four kids. I really did expect that there would be some kind of spiritual experience. And the next morning, I'm lying in bed, and God did not come. Nothing happened, but I was ready for it. I felt really bad, and I felt that traditional rituals didn't really work.

When our children turned 13, my wife and I spoke to them and said, "If you want to try marijuana or MDMA, come to us and, and we'll give it to you." It was the best anti-drug strategy that we could have had, this idea of doing drugs with your parent. They all said, "We're not ready yet."

This is a hot-button issue. But if you look at the traditional cultures that have successfully integrated psychedelics in America, we have half a million members of the Native American Church who use peyote. We have many people who are using ayahuasca in ritual settings, and they've successfully integrated ayahuasca. They believe that children who are interested in ceremonies with their families can try small amounts of these drugs, and they don't have age limits. I went to a Native American Church ceremony with my wife. It was to celebrate the wedding of a friend of ours. A Navajo man brought his 9-year-old son, who took peyote and stayed up the whole night. Now, the 9-year-old didn't take the full dose.

I am profamily values. When it comes to the education of children, we should leave that to the families, not to the government. In 23 states, the laws prohibiting the use of alcohol by young people have a parental override that allows parents to give alcohol to their children, even at restaurants, as long as there is parental supervision. So this idea is not foreign to America. I think that's the way it should be with other drugs as well.

One of the worst parts of the drug war is that parents are scared to be honest with their own children. To have the intrusion of the government in the most intimate situations, where you are trying to educate your children, is terrible. I know people who still hide the fact that they smoke marijuana from their children, even in legalization states like Massachusetts, where I live.

Do you worry about a backlash? In the 1960s, there was Diane Linkletter's suicide, which her father, the writer Art Linkletter, blamed on LSD. In the 1980s, there was the cocaine-related death of Len Bias, who had just been drafted by the Boston Celtics. His death helped inspire draconian anti-drug legislation. Do you worry about that sort of thing?

I very much worry about backlash. That's why we've reached out to the police, to try to educate them. That's why we are actively reaching out to bipartisan groups and why we have bipartisan financial support.

In the '80s and '90s, when the rave milieu was just starting, people were taking MDMA and overheating sometimes and dying from hyperthermia. Those stories were used to block the research, and then drug warriors could say there's no evidence of benefit. But now, because we have strong evidence of benefits, the situation is different.

Now we're able to say that in a medicalized context, we're getting more benefits than risks. When people take drugs in nonmedical settings and have tragic outcomes, I don't think that's going to boomerang back on the research. We have veterans who have attempted suicide multiple times but are now PTSD-free after MDMA-assisted therapy. I felt that it was necessary for us to work with the hardest cases and to show that there can be value for people who have unsuccessfully tried other treatments.

So we accept people [into our trials] who have attempted suicide in the past. We just have to create a very strong support system for people throughout the entire process of therapy. And so far there's only been one person who has attempted suicideunsuccessfullyduring our trials. The therapist thinks that was a person who was in the placebo group and was so disappointed she wasn't randomized to the MDMA group that she lost hope.

We have to be very careful not to exaggerate the benefits or minimize the risks. I think what happened with Timothy Leary and others in the '60s is that the government was exaggerating the risks and denying the benefits. And Tim and others, I think, did the opposite: exaggerated the benefits and minimized the risks.

We try to be clear that this doesn't work for everybody. This is not a panacea. It's not a one-dose miracle cure. What we're really doing is psychotherapy. It's not that you just take this pill and something changes for the better. That provides a level of comfort, when people understand that it's done in a therapeutic context.

The best way to think about drugs is that they're tools. Psychedelics are tools. They're not good or bad in and of themselves. It's how they are used. It's the relationship you have with them.

The government's survey data indicate that nearly half of Americans 12 or older have tried marijuana at least once, while about 10 percent have used it in the last month. With hallucinogens, which includes LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline, about 16 percent of Americans say they have tried them, and less than 1 percent report using them in the last month. Assuming everything is medicalized or legalized in the way you want, do you think psychedelics will ever be a mass phenomenon?

No. I think it will be something that more people will want to use, because it helps you with core aspects of being human: What's the meaning of my life? What do I think about death? Why do I have social anxiety? How do I deal with trauma? I think larger numbers of people will use psychedelics, but it's not going to be like weed. Psychedelics are used intermittently, and the emphasis is on what you bring back from the experience. There won't be a lot of frequent users, but there will be more occasional users.

Are you optimistic about the future? Not just for psychedelics, but for a broader vision of self-guided mental health?

I'm very optimistic. This idea of unification, of a common mystical core, of shared humanity and global spiritualityit also permits greater individuality. Sometimes people think that when you talk about global spirituality or shared mystical experiences, all the differences are washed out. I think it works both ways. The more we can understand our commonality, the more we will appreciate our differences and our uniqueness.

This interview has been condensed and edited for style and clarity. For an audio version, subscribe toThe Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie.

Excerpt from:

'People Should Have the Fundamental Right To Change Their Consciousness' - Reason

Psilocybin Dulls Activity in Brain Region Linked With Consciousness – Psych Congress Network

Brain scans show psilocybin reduces activity in the claustrum, a thin sheet of neurons deep within the cortex considered by some to be the seat of consciousness, awareness, and sense of self, according to a study published online in the journal NeuroImage.

Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, reached the finding after developing a way to access the claustrum and detect activity in the deep-rooted location. For the study, they used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the claustrum in 15 participants after taking psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical found in certain mushrooms, and compared them with fMRI scans obtained after the participants took a placebo.

After psilocybin use, neural activity in the claustrum slowed by 15% to 30%, according to the study. Simply put, the area of the brain believed to be responsible for setting attention and switching tasks was turned down. The reduced neural activity, researchers added, appeared to be linked with stronger subjective effects in participants, such as emotional and mystical experiences.

Psychedelics and Wellness: Whats the Connection?

In addition, psilocybin changed how the claustrum communicated with brain regions involved in hearing, attention, decision-making, and remembering, according to the study.

The findings, researchers observed, mesh with first-hand reports on the typical effects of psychedelic drugs, such as feeling connected with everything and experiencing a reduced sense of the self or ego.

Our findings move us one step closer to understanding mechanisms underlying how psilocybin works in the brain, said researcher Frederick Barrett, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and a member of the school's Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

This will hopefully enable us to better understand why its an effective therapy for certain psychiatric disorders, which might help us tailor therapies to help people more.

Jolynn Tumolo


Barrett FS, Krimmel SR, Griffiths RR, Seminowicz DA, Mathur BN. Psilocybin acutely alters the functional connectivity of the claustrum with brain networks that support perception, memory, and attention. NeuroImage. 2020 May 23;[Epub ahead of print].

Research story tip: psychedelic drug psilocybin tamps down brains ego center [press release]. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins Medicine; June 4, 2020.

Excerpt from:

Psilocybin Dulls Activity in Brain Region Linked With Consciousness - Psych Congress Network

Breaking News: Mydecine Innovations Group Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Mindleap Health’s Advanced Digital Telehealth Platform -…

Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (OTC: MYCOF) (CSE: MYCO) is pleased to announce that it has signed a definitive share exchange agreement with Mindleap Health Inc. (Mindleap) for the acquisition of a 100% interest in MindLeaps Digital Telehealth Platform focused on the emerging psychedelics industry.

Pursuant to the share exchange agreement, Mydecine will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Mindleap in exchange for: (i) 6,363,636 common shares in the capital of the Company, and (ii) the binding commitment to advance CAD$500,000in working capital to Mindleap upon closing of the transaction and an additional CAD$500,000on or beforeSeptember 1, 2020. Certain principals of Mindleap will be subject to resale restrictions on the sale of the Mydecine shares for the periods ending 4, 12, 18, and 24 months from closing. Closing of the acquisition is subject to the receipt by Mindleap of the signatures of all of its shareholders on the share exchange agreement.

Mental health has been a big issue and is a major focus for the Mydecine Group of companies. Currently the World Health Organization estimates that there are more than450 million peoplesuffer from mental health disorders worldwide placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. The US has the highest prevalence of mental health disorders in the world with27 percent of adults, yet only41 percentof the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other mental health services due to convenience and cost associated.

Mydecine Director and CEO,Josh Bartch, stated: This acquisition brings Mydecine an elite team drawn from tech, mental health, and science, paired with innovative technology with a strong USP and large addressable market. The scalability of the platform means high potential return on investment especially given Mindleaps 1stmover advantage in the rapidly emerging psychedelic medicine sector.

Mindleap is focused on making a considerable difference in peoples lives by improving access to mental health services and providing more personalized and effective treatments utilizing the latest technology. The Mindleap Platform upon launch will provide:

The team of mental health professionals that led the product design at Mindleap comprise of four PHDs including leading neuroscientists, psychotherapists, and clinical psychologists. Mindleaps CTOSimon Abou-Antounhas 10+ years of technical leadership, managing large projects and developing custom solutions for companies including Amazon, Scotia Bank and Fiat Chrysler. Simon commented: We have gathered a strong team with different sets of skills ranging from software developers, UX/UI designers and IOS and Android experts. Our full stack, frontend, backend, Cloud and QA specialists are currently focused on ensuring all requirements are met so we can launch Mindleap by the end of summer.

Mindleaps founder and CEONikolai Vassevbrings a unique skillset to the company as he has proven experience driving top line software licensing and SAAS revenue into some of the largest organizations in the world. During his career he has sold millions of dollars worth of cybersecurity and data analytics solutions and understands the intricacies of successfully implementing software solutions that are bringing value to customers, partners, and end users. Nikolai will be representing Mindleap and Mydecine at the Investing in Psychedelics event put together by the Canadian Securities Exchange, and CFN Media along with other industry executives and experts. You can register to attend for freehereand can tune in onJune 17starting at12:00pm PDT.

Nikolai Vassev, Mindleap Founder and CEO commented: The intense anxiety and fear that many people are feeling has led to social instabilities as the virus crisis and economic collapse continues to worsen and compound already existing problems. Mindleaps platform is set to launch in a few short months and will provide much needed support to those people suffering from depression, addiction and other mental health issues.

Mindleap is currently accepting applications from mental health provides. If you are interested in applying to be a specialist or getting on the wait list to use the platform, you can sign up here:https://mindleap.health/contact

About Mydecine Innovations Group

Mydecine Innovations Group is a life sciences company focused on the development and commercialization of products and services that contribute to improving overall health and wellbeing. The companys mission is to create a healthier world through advanced technologies, natural products, and psychedelic derived medicines. Mydecine Innovations Group owns a group of trailblazing companies that are focused on helping millions of people live better lives and our portfolio includes:

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Breaking News: Mydecine Innovations Group Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Mindleap Health's Advanced Digital Telehealth Platform -...

These Psychedelic Drugs May Be Key to Revolutionizing Weight Loss Treatment – Yahoo Finance

Houston, Texas--(Newsfile Corp. - June 19, 2020) - The global obesity epidemic is only growing in size.

"New federal data show that the obesity rate in the U.S. has hit 42.4%, up from 30.5% in 1999-2000," according to The Wall Street Journal. Worse, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) obesity has tripled in size over the last 50 years.

By 2030, almost half of U.S. adults will be considered obese.

Unfortunately, with obesity comes issues such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer. Even worse, according to Energy Balance and Obesity: What are the Main Drivers? "There is convincing evidence for a role of obesity as a causal factor for many types of cancer including colorectum, endometrium, kidney, oesophagus, postmenopausal breast, gallbladder, pancreas, gastric cardia, liver, ovary, thyroid, meningioma, multiple myeloma, and prostate cancers."

However, a solution may be found in psychedelics such as DMT and psilocybin, both of which activate serotonin receptors, or "nature's own appetite suppressant," as noted by Psychology Today. "This powerful brain chemical curbs cravings and shuts off appetite. It makes you feel satisfied even if your stomach is not full. The result is eating less and losing weight."

Psychedelics, Like DMT Could Help Treat Eating Disorders

The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE: BOSS) (OTCQB: BOSQF) announced that its majority owned subsidiary NeonMind has filed an additional provisional patent application related to using psychedelics as medicine. The most recent patent application, filed on June 17, 2020 covers the administration of DMT to treat compulsive eating disorder and other illnesses.

DMT, or N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, is a derivative and structural analog of tryptamine, known for its hallucinogenic properties. It currently has no approved medical use, though DMT-containing plants are commonly used in indigenous Amazonian shamanic practice, and are sometimes found in the drink ayahuasca. DMT is found naturally in several plants including Mimosa tenuiflora, Diplopterys cabrerana, and Psychotria viridis. It is structurally similar to psilocin and its precursor psilocybin, a chemical found in so-called "magic mushrooms."

"DMT is a very interesting molecule that acts on the same type of serotonin receptors which are known to regulate appetite," says Dr. William Panenka, Chair of the NeonMind Scientific Advisory Board. "As part of our overall patent strategy, we are establishing defensible intellectual property around multiple compounds that act on these receptors and intend to follow this with rigorous clinical trial work to establish efficacy."

Psilocybin May be Key to Treating Obesity

NeonMind also filed a U.S. provisional patent application in the U.S. for the invention relating to therapeutic administration of psilocybin or psilocin, combined with supportive therapeutic treatment for a patient to provide weight loss benefits and treatment for related health issues.

The provisional patent is for a proposed guided psychedelic psilocybin therapy protocol using psychotherapy prior to, during and after the psychoactive effects of the Psilocybin are felt by the patient. The psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is designed to assist in gaining insights from positive psychedelic experiences, to be integrated into everyday life and to help plan, prepare and make sense of psychedelic experiences for a therapeutic result.

In addition, NeonMind has retained contract research organization Translational Life Sciences Inc. to design and plan an initial preclinical study using psilocybin which is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2020. The preclinical study is anticipated to provide data to design phase 2 human clinical trials to test Psilocybin as a weight loss treatment. The phase 2 clinical trials are anticipated to begin in 2021, subject to receiving all required regulatory approvals.

For more information, visit the company's website at https://yieldgrowth.com.

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These Psychedelic Drugs May Be Key to Revolutionizing Weight Loss Treatment - Yahoo Finance

Champignon Brands CEO Dr Roger McIntyre authors studies appearing in two leading scientific journals – Proactive Investors USA & Canada

The articles, looking at safety and efficacy of ketamine as a mental health therapy, were co-authored in conjunction with the Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence

Champignon Brands Inc (CSE:SHRM) (OTCQB:SHRMF) said its CEO Dr Roger McIntyre and the Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence (CRTCE) have authored two articles on the safety and efficacy of ketamine in major peer-reviewed journals.

The research-driven company studies psilocybin and other psychedelics as treatments for mental health conditions and addiction disorders.

The first article, Safety and tolerability of IV ketamine in adults with major depressive or bipolar disorder: Results from the Canadian rapid treatment center of excellence, was published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safetys latest edition.

Another study, The Effectiveness of Ketamine on Anxiety, Irritability, and Agitation: Implications for Treating Mixed Features in Adults with Major Depressive or Bipolar Disorder, appeared in the journal Bipolar Disorders.

McIntyre is a widely-renowned researcher on depression and founded the CRTCE, the first facility in Canada to provide rapid onset treatments for people with mood disorders.

The publications of data as it relates to ketamine treatment at the CRTCE continues to demonstrate the rapid and robust efficacy of ketamine in persons with depression and related disorders, Champignons CEO said in a statement.

Our data, for the first time in the field of psychiatry, shows that ketamine can improve a persons ability to function in their role and return to work within a few weeks. The significant efficacy of ketamine at our centre is also matched by stable side-effect profiles, as well as the acceptability of ketamine in people who are benefitting from this novel treatment, he added.

Champignon specializes in the formulation of a suite of medicinal mushrooms health products as well as novel ketamine, anaesthetics and adaptogenic delivery platforms for the nutritional, wellness and alternative medicine industries.

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Champignon Brands CEO Dr Roger McIntyre authors studies appearing in two leading scientific journals - Proactive Investors USA & Canada

The Future of Mental Health Care Will be Driven by Psychedelics – Yahoo Finance

Houston, Texas--(Newsfile Corp. - June 11, 2020) - Psychedelics may soon disrupt traditional medicine.

It's part of the reason Eight Capital estimate the total market for mental health treatment could be valued at up to $100 billion. "The addressable market is incredibly large, and we're still in the early innings of what any sort of psychedelic treatment could do to resolve some of these important issues," notes the firm, as quoted by Business Insider.

With plenty of clinical trials supporting psychedelic treatments, like psilocybin mushrooms for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, opioid addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, it's only a matter of time before big pharmaceutical companies begin to invest heavily, and incorporate psychedelics into their own drug pipelines.

Psilocybin may also help treat eating disorders and obesity, too.

That's because psilocybin activates serotonin receptors, or "nature's own appetite suppressant," as noted by Psychology Today. "This powerful brain chemical curbs cravings and shuts off appetite. It makes you feel satisfied even if your stomach is not full. The result is eating less and losing weight."

In short, psilocybin may be able to meet a very large unmet need for compounds that can potentially lead to safe weight loss, and help improve metabolic health for millions. After all, there's quite a large, demanding market.

Right now, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has tripled in size over the last 50 years. In 2016, they note, 1.9 billion adults were overweight around the world. Of those, 650 million were considered obese. Just in the U.S., nearly 34% of adults and up to 20% of children are obese. It's greatly out of control.

Psilocybin May be a Miracle Weight Loss Drug

In fact, Yield Growth Corp.'s (CSE: BOSS) (OTCQB: BOSQF) majority owned subsidiary NeonMind filed a U.S. provisional patent application in the U.S. for the invention relating to therapeutic administration of psilocybin or psilocin, combined with supportive therapeutic treatment for a patient to provide weight loss benefits and treatment for related health issues.

The provisional patent is for a proposed guided psychedelic psilocybin therapy protocol using psychotherapy prior to, during and after the psychoactive effects of the psilocybin are felt by the patient. The psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is designed to assist in gaining insights from positive psychedelic experiences, to be integrated into everyday life and to help plan, prepare and make sense of psychedelic experiences for a therapeutic result.

In addition, NeonMind has retained contract research organization Translational Life Sciences Inc. to design and plan an initial preclinical study using psilocybin which is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2020. The preclinical study is anticipated to provide data to design phase 2 human clinical trials to test psilocybin as a weight loss treatment. The phase 2 clinical trials are anticipated to begin in 2021, subject to receiving all required regulatory approvals.

For more information, visit the company's website at https://yieldgrowth.com.

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Legal Disclaimer

Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Winning Media which has a partnership with http://www.MarijuanaStox.com is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release.

For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Winning Media, which has a partnership with http://www.MarijuanaStox.com, is only compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation. Pursuant to an agreement between Winning Media (partners of MarijuanaStox.com) and The Yield Growth Corp, Winning Media has been paid three thousand five hundred dollars for advertising and marketing services for The Yield Growth Corp. We own ZERO shares of The Yield Growth Corp. Please click here for full disclaimer.

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The Future of Mental Health Care Will be Driven by Psychedelics - Yahoo Finance

New Psychedelics Stocks and Acquisitions | 2020-06-08 | Investing News – Stockhouse

2020 is the year of many things: global conflict, devastating fires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and now civil unrest in response to racism and police brutality in the United States.

It’s been a tough year for everyone, but it has also brought about renewed conversations on societal progress. How can we improve, where do we go from here, and what changes can we start to make?

Strangely to some, one of those changes is coming in the normalization of psychedelics to treat medical conditions. What was once a stigmatized and prohibited class of substances is quickly having a second wind as a treatment for depression, PTSD, and substance-abuse disorders amongst a handful of many other potential therapeutic needs.

We’re also now starting to deal with a wave of new (and previously undiagnosed) cases of depression and anxiety on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic. One week into June, we’re quickly approaching a point where many people have been at home with limited social interaction (or physical activity) for months on end.

As if on queue, the market for psychedelics companies has started to open up in a big way. More and more companies directly and indirectly invested in psychedelics are coming to public markets, and others are starting to make their moves into psychedelics widely known. 2020 is the year of many things, and it’s looking like psychedelics is one of them.

Back in May, we highlighted the impressive rise of a few of the companies involved in the psychedelics market. Those included the recently-public psychedelics companies Champignon Brands Inc. (CSE:SHRM) and Mind Medicine Inc. (NEO:MMED), as well as indirect investments like those of Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS) and Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (CSE:RVV).

Fast-forward a few weeks and we’ve seen even more companies enter the fray. On May 20, fully-integrated psychedelics company Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX-V:NUMI) went public, with business arms in clinic and therapy operation, research and development, and direct selling and distribution of psychedelics. On May 28, Ontario-based Red Light Holland Corp. (CSE:TRIP) also began listing with a plan to produce and sale psilocybin in the legal Netherlands market for the time being.

We’re also seeing an increasing wave of acquisitions and pivots into psychedelics from companies previously invested in healthcare, cannabis, and even technology. German medical cannabis distributor Pharmadrug Inc. (CSE:BUZZ) acquired Dutch psychedelics retailer Super Smart, California cannabis company Hollister Biosciences Inc. (CSE:HOLL) closed their acquisition of mushroom-based health product developer AlphaMind Brands Inc., and eCommerce CBD provider Mota Ventures Corp. (CSE:MOTA) acquired pharmaceutical psilocybin manufacturer Verrian Ontario Ltd.

And that’s not including the previous moves of companies like New Wave Holdings Corp. (CSE:SPOR) in psychedelics and esports, Empower Clinics Inc. (CSE:CBDT) in creating its own psilocybin and psychedelics division, and NewLeaf Brands Inc. recently adding a focus on psychedelics and rebranding as Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (CSE:MYCO).

No matter where you look, people and companies are getting invested in psychedelics. Though this has been a somewhat comprehensive list, there are too many to include and more are continuing to pile in. With more excitement about psychedelics and their importance on one hand, and more viable investing options entering the markets on the other, the future for these alternative medicines seems bright.

New to investing in Healthcare? Check out Stockhouse tips on How to Invest in Healthcare Stocks and some of our Top Healthcare Stocks.

For more of the latest info on Cannabis, check out the Healthcare Trending News hub on Stockhouse.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Yield Growth Corp. is a client of Stockhouse Publishing

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New Psychedelics Stocks and Acquisitions | 2020-06-08 | Investing News - Stockhouse