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How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Many people find their day to day experience of life is filled with anxiety, limiting the activities they do and the enjoyment they have in life. Psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD have been used for decades to treat anxiety disorders and to reduce anxiety levels.

In some cases, these substances seem to directly alleviate feelings of anxiety, even at very small doses (below the level at which they subjectively alter consciousness). For other people, psychedelics help them explore the root causes of their anxieties and fears and find peace with them. And for many people, psychedelics bring them to a place a spiritual peace and openness that can become a new touchstone for letting go of anxiety or learning not to identify with it so strongly.

This description of the process may sound abstract to someone suffering from anxiety day to day, but like talking therapy, the healing process of psychedelics can be a little difficult to convey until youve tried it.

Recent clinical research has shown dramatic reductions in anxiety even after a single psychedelic experience with psilocybin mushrooms. Even for patients facing the extreme anxiety of terminal illness, psilocybin allows them to embrace their fate and find peace with their loved ones.

Heres one womans story of being treated with mushrooms as she was facing death, described in a New York Times article (see below):

Before Pam Sakuda died, she described her psilocybin experience on video: I felt this lump of emotions welling up . . . almost like an entity, Sakuda said, as she spoke straight into the camera. I started to cry. . . . Everything was concentrated and came welling up and then . . . it started to dissipate, and I started to look at it differently. . . . I began to realize that all of this negative fear and guilt was such a hindrance . . . to making the most of and enjoying the healthy time that Im having. Sakuda went on to explain that, under the influence of the psilocybin, she came to a very visceral understanding that there was a present, a now, and that it was hers to have.

Two weeks after Sakudas psilocybin session, Grob (the researcher) readministered the depression and anxiety assessments. Over all among his subjects, he found that their scores on the anxiety scale at one and three months after treatment demonstrated a sustained reduction in anxiety, the researchers wrote in The Archives of General Psychiatry. They also found that their subjects scores on the Beck Depression Inventory dropped significantly at the six-month follow-up.

Whats remarkable about the research results from this and many other studies is that even a single dose of a psychedelic substance can create long lasting changes, reducing anxiety, depression, and creating more emotional openness.

LSD, MDMA, and mushrooms have all been studied for anxiety reduction. Remember that a psychedelic experience can sometimes produce anxiety or can focus the mind on sources of anxiety, as part of the process of addressing the root causes. Starting with small doses and following all the safety guidelines can help reduce anxiety.

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How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Arizona Psychedelics Conference

Welcome to the first psychedelic conference of Arizona. This three-day event seeks to examine the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin, ayahuasca, peyote, MDMA, DMT, ibogaine, ketamine, cannabis, and more. Join us to examine the role of psychedelic drugs and plant medicines in science, medicine, culture, and spirituality. Over the course of the weekend, we will explore these …

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Arizona Psychedelics Conference

Can You Take Psychedelics With Antidepressants?

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Moderate doses of psychedelics have been shown to effectively treatdepression,anxiety,PTSD, andother mental health conditions and even microdoses havebeen reported to hold significant benefit. Although we dont recommend it, many people are turning to psychedelics as a form of self-treatment for mental health conditions. And this brings up the potential problem of antidepressant medication interfering with the effects of psychedelics.

Unfortunately there has been no solid research performed on the interaction between psychedelics and antidepressants. Therefore most of the advice we provide here is based on anecdotal evidence and case reports. We recommend discussing issues with your physician before making any decisions.

The classic psychedelics (includingLSD,psilocybinandDMT) work by affecting the serotonin system, and most antidepressants work by targeting serotonin signaling too. Therefore wed expect for there to be some kind of interaction between the two unfortunately we just dont know anything for sure right now.

From anecdotal reports, it looks as if the SSRI class of antidepressants weakens the effects of classic psychedelics although this absolutely doesnt mean you should take more of the psychedelic substance to compensate.

Many people advise against taking Lithium or other tricyclics with classic psychedelics, as they have been known to put people intocomatose statesorinduce seizures.Avoid this combination until we know for sure about its safety!

MAOI medications appear to haveeffectssimilar to SSRIs when combined with classic psychedelics.

Since we know so little about how classic psychedelics and antidepressants interact, we advise against taking them together. Dont risk making things worse for yourself. If you are absolutely determined to try a psychedelic, it may be wise to wean yourself off your medication first but always check with your physician.

Anecdotal reportssuggest that takingMDMAwhile on antidepressants can either numb the effects, completely abolish the effects, or cause a really unpleasant hangover! Since SSRIs mess with your serotonin system, and bind to some of the same targets as MDMA, there is the potential for unpleasant interactions. Dr Ben Sessa, an MDMA researcher, saysThe general rule is dont combine SSRIs with MDMA.

Taking MDMA while on MAOIs is alsopotentially dangerous. Its definitely best to avoid this combination, as it could lead toserotonin syndrome(which can be fatal!).

We dont know much about what you can combine withmescaline, but as its mode of action is similar to the classic psychedelics, its probably best to assume that it wont combine well with antidepressants.

Ayahuascais a little more complicated than other psychedelics when it comes to antidepressants, because the psychedelic brew contains MAOIs, which can cause fatal reactions when mixed with other drugs. We advise a total purge from all substances before taking ayahuasca, to avoid the risk of the potentially fatalserotonin syndrome.

Here is a listof all substances you should absolutely avoid if youre determined to take ayahuasca.

Ibogaineis another natural psychedelic with a potential risk of toxicity. Healthcare professionalsrecommend weaning off all medicationbefore taking a dose of ibogaine.

Be aware that ibogaine ispotentially the most dangerous psychedelic substance out there, as it can cause heart failure in seemingly safe situations. It is usually a last resort for people suffering from severe addiction.

We know nothing about interactions here although we know thatSalviaworks on a very different neurotransmitter system than most antidepressants, and we havent heard any reports of unpleasant effects resulting from mixing Salvia with antidepressants.

Were not medical doctors, and we dont pretend to be. Unfortunately the research isnt in place for anyone to give solid advice about mixing psychedelics with antidepressants. So be safe, be cautious, and always check with your physician before changing your drug-taking habits.

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Can You Take Psychedelics With Antidepressants?

How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Depression is a challenging and often long-term condition that can be very difficult to treat. In clinical studies, psychedelics have shown significant long-term positive impact on mood, even when used in just a single session.

Many people who have suffered from depression and later recovered find that they need a combination of approaches to stay healthy. Good nutrition, exercise, more time with friends, lower stress, and personal introspection (through therapy, psychedelics, or meditation) can be a powerful combination.

For decades, psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and LSD have been used in clinical studies, private therapy, and at home to alleviate depression. More recently, the prescription medication ketamine has shown incredible results for depression.

Heres one mans story from a recent clinical study, as reported in the New York Times:

Nothing had any lasting effect until, at the age of 65, he had his first psychedelic experience. He left his home in Vancouver, Wash., to take part in an experiment at Johns Hopkins medical school involving psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in certain mushrooms.

Today, more than a year later, Dr. Martin credits that six-hour experience with helping him overcome his depression and profoundly transforming his relationships with his daughter and friends. He ranks it among the most meaningful events of his life, which makes him a fairly typical member of a growing club of experimental subjects.

Clinical studies like this one that use psilocybin and LSD to study depression have a very simple protocol. Participants are invited to come to a research room that has been setup to feel comfortable and they take a dose of the substance. A researcher sits with them for the duration of the experience (typically 4-6 hours) and may talk them through any anxiety that arises. But generally, the participants simply remain quiet and feel the experience, following where their thoughts and feelings take them.

This setup can be replicated at home or in another comfortable setting. The most essential elements are a comfortable space, plenty of time to stay in the experience, and someone you trust who can support you during the experience.

The mechanism by which psychedelic experiences alleviate depression is not completely clear to researchers, but there are a few theories. One mechanism may be that the drugs directly open pathways in the brain that are normally inhibited, allowing emotions to flow more freely and helping people feel more grounded and connected. But the mental experiences and explorations that occur while taking psychedelics seem more likely to be responsible for the long term impact. This may explain why people who use psychedelics recreationally do not automatically experience the same benefits as individuals who use these substances in a more directed and focused environment. The mental experiences that consistently arise — feeling more connected to the universe, being able to openly face fears and challenges of life, seeing your relationships more clearly, and feeling a stronger relationship to your own religious traditions — all seem to transform an individuals perspective on their life.

If you are interested in learning how to use ketamine, mushrooms, or LSD to treat depression, please read our Ketamine Guide, Mushroom Guide, and our LSD Guide. MDMA has not received as much attention in the context of depression, but because it shows such powerful effects in enhancing psychotherapy and resolving painful memories and experiences, it should also be considered. Here is the MDMA Guide.

Psychedelics have been misunderstood and misrepresented for decades. That’s changing. Please help us share safe, responsible information on using psychedelics by sending this page to friends, and posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

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How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Beginners Guide to Microdosing Psychedelics

This is a guest post by Mansal Denton. Heis unaffiliated with Pure Nootropics and his thoughts and experiences are his own. Pure Nootropics does not condone or encourage the use of illicit or illegal substances.

================

Psychedelics are a big part of my personal growth and success.

The experiences with psychedelics have:

And Im not the only one

Popular writer, Michael Pollan, described The Trip Treatment of psilocybin and the potential use for treating anxiety, addiction, and depression.

Famed author and personality, Tim Ferriss, has had numerous discussions about psychedelics, such as LSD, mushrooms, and even ayahuasca. It was Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) host and comedian, Joe Rogan, who got me interested in the subject.

But beyond using psychedelics as a mystical experience, there is a subset who are finding ways to use them for a different purpose.

Through microdosing of psychedelic drugs, many people are finding cognitive advantages to improve the execution of their work and achieve more.

Less than a month before writing this piece Rolling Stone published an article about how LSD microdosing became the hot new business trip Of course, Forbes, GQ, the Telegraph, and dozens of other outlets re-published the same popular piece (Nov 2015).

I have been saying that nootropics are used by Silicon Valley execs, Wall Street traders, and just about every other high performance individual in between, but this is the next level

Lets get started, shall we?

Austin, Texas is becoming a hub for a new kind of entrepreneur, hippie, and hipster breed. As gross as that might be to visually imagine, it actually creates an amazing environment for testing personal practices, such as microdosing.

While I have sifted through scientific research, particularly from Dr. James Fadiman in the 1970s, much of this is based on anecdotes, experiences, and interviews.

Names have been changed to protect those who shared their experiences.

Microdosing is using small doses of powerful psychedelic drugs in order to improve working conditions. In contrast, full psychedelic experiences are often mystical and not conducive to completing work-related tasks.

There are several purported advantages including:

Problem-solving

Imagine you have been working on a problem for weeks without finding an adequate solution. You wake up every morning, put in your time, but still dont feel satisfied with your results.

That was the basis for a 1966 experiment organized by Dr. James Fadiman among others. This experiment took 27 male subjects (16 engineers, 2 mathematicians, 2 architects, 1 engineer-physicist, and others) and required them to bring a professional problem they had been working on for at least 3 months with a desire to solve it.

After providing these subjects with 200 mg of mescaline sulphate, the subjects had 4 hours to work on their professional problem. Almost all of them reported greater problem-solving ability and at least 12 had breakthrough solutions.

Creativity

Eric Clough was an architect in 1966 during the same era of research who wrote The consensus among the architects interviewedseems to be that LSD, when administered under carefully controlled conditions, does enhance creativity aids in visualizing three-dimensionally, and generally heightens perceptivity. (Fadiman, 170)

Numerous microdosing practitioners report having more creativity, which often ties into problem-solving. However, for musicians and artists, the creativity may help produce exceptional work in the absence of a definitive problem that needs solving.

Mood

Many psychedelics drastically enhance mood and happiness because of their interaction with serotonin receptors. Psilocybin decreases depressive and anxiety-related symptoms. The same is true for most other psychedelic drugs through small microdoses.

Physical

In a book Tryptamine Palace, author James Oroc asserts Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities. According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your re-flex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration

It sounds nice, but I spoke with my friend Larry to get his experiences and confirmed the same phenomenon. Both LSD and o-acetylpsilocin (prodrug for psilocin) offered strong physical energy and endurance beyond the norm.

These are just a few of the benefits of microdosing specifically. Note that the heroic dose, which provides mystical and self-reflective experiences, does not provide the same problem-solving or physical endurance effects. In fact, it might be the opposite in some circumstances so be careful when microdosing.

In scientific studies, the letter n is used to refer to the sample size. If you test something in a group of 5 friends, the sample size is 5 (n=5). The term n=1 is used to describe a sample size of 1, which is you. Therefore, the popularized term in biohacking circles is meant to encourage self-testing as opposed to listening to what everyone else believes.

There are at least 3 acquaintances with whom I spoke about microdosing. Larry is an entrepreneur creating a health-food company and had the most extensive experiences with microdosing. He felt LSD had a more complete microdosing experience even though mushrooms improved his physical energy and endurance profoundly.

Both Larry and another named Josh reported cycling LSD microdoses once every 3 4 days because of tolerance and ability to connect with others. Larry concluded that 10 12 mcg is better for physical endurance and concentration, while 12 15 mcg is better for creative thinking and problem-solving.

In contrast to these generally positive experiences, there is a individual self-experiment by Gwern that showed No beneficial effects reachedLSD microdosing did not help me. He continues to show how he tested and calculated things.

Another trained pianist and composer on Reddit took 30 40 mcg microdoses and reported The experience could be described as slightly withdrawn and I felt like I had worse coordination and consequently lower accuracy in playing.

Given the mixed nature of these anecdotal experiences, I recommend taking an N=1 approach. Understand that each individual is different and the dosage and microdosing that works for one person may not work for you.

The evidence from Fadimans research in the 1960s along with other testimony leads me to be cautiously optimistic about microdosing benefits, but dont expect it to solve all your professional or personal problems.

Again, neither I nor Pure Nootropics condone or recommend using illegal or illicit drugs. This is the process for microdosing that is reported through the experiments of Dr. James Fadiman and the experiences of others.

Given that microdosing with LSD is most common. Here is a briefguide for most accurately dosing. This is called volumetric dosing and it offers the most superior and accurate result.

(Tools needed: Scale, Pipette bottle, distilled water, tab of LSD)

Here are some of the common mistakes people make when trying to microdose:

Mistake #1 Do not cut the tab of LSD into strips in order to divide the dosage. For one, this is incredibly difficult to do accurately (given the small size of most LSD tabs). It also does not account for hotspots, which are heightened concentrations and uneven distribution on the tab itself. Instead, use the volumetric dosing with distilled water method explained above.

Mistake #2 Taking the incorrect dose. While each dose will have different effects for different people, some guidance can be helpful. 20 mcg of LSD is usually considered the high end of the microdose range, but some people go as high as 50 mcg. For LSD the lower doses tend to have concentration and slight mood benefits (5 12 mcg) while 12 20 mcg is a dose for problem-solving and creativity with more felt effects.

If you are using o-acetylpsilocin for a mushroom microdose (easier than trying to weigh actual mushrooms precisely), dosage recommendations are around 3 4 mg for microdosing.

Mistake #3 Taking doses too often. Most accounts recommended once every 3 4 days maximum, but longer is also good. LSD is particularly subject to tolerance and doing it every other day can create uncomfortable relationships with reality.

Mistake #4 Obviously sourcing makes a big difference with microdosing. A poor quality product with a big dose is less impactful, but when you rely on a tiny dose to provide effects, opt for quality.

This is a guest post by Mansal Denton. Heis unaffiliated with Pure Nootropics and his thoughts and experiences are his own. Pure Nootropics does not condone or encourage the use of illicit or illegal substances.

If you have something youd like to add, wed love to hear from you, please comment below.

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Beginners Guide to Microdosing Psychedelics

Learn Everything You Need To Know About MDMA (Ecstasy)

(Ecstasy, E, X, XTC, Rolls, Beans, Adam, Molly)

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine

C11H15NO2

Disclaimer: MDMA is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs, and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use the substance.

Overview 01

MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or Molly, is primarily a recreational drug that causes euphoric feelings, increased empathy with others, and enhanced sensations. Sounds and colors are often experienced more intensely, making MDMA a popular recreational drug at raves and music festivals.

Currently, it is in Phase III clinical trials for use as a therapeutic aid in the treatment of PTSD, and has been granted Breakthrough Therapy status by the FDA.

It is most commonly taken as an oral tablet that comes in a variety of shapes and colors, but it can also be snorted or smoked.

MDMA can be deadly when combined with other drugs (especially PMA/PMMA), and can also be deadly on its own at high doses.

History & Stats 02

The history of MDMA began decades before the rave culture that popularized it.

A common myth perpetuated by both the scientific community and media outlets is that MDMA was first synthesized and patented by the German pharmaceutical company Merck as an appetite suppressant.

Merck did synthesize the drug in 1912, but the appetite suppressant story is an urban legend. Instead, it was developed as a potentially life-saving blood clotting medicine.

Very little, if any, testing was done in the early years after its first synthesis. It wasnt until 1927 that Merck revived interest in the drug. A chemist named Max Oberlin predicted that MDMA might mimic adrenaline since the chemicals shared a similar molecular structure. Not long after these initial studies, however, the prices of chemical precursors skyrocketed and testing was put on hold.

It is not exactly known when the first human trials with MDMA were conducted, but the US military is known to have tested it and other drugs on humans in the 1950s.

The first recipe for MDMA was published in a polish-language scientific journal in 1960 and tablets began popping up in seized contraband in the 1970s.

Dr. Alexander Shulgin first read about MDMA in the early 1970s at which point he synthesized it and tried it himself, becoming the first person to officially record ecstasy use in a human subject in 1978.[1] In the 1980s, its use in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was said to increase patient self-esteem and facilitate therapeutic communication.[2]

While Shulgin is often called the Godfather of Ecstasy, the real creator of MDMA was a German scientist named Anton Kollisch, who died in 1916 never knowing the legacy he left.

Since 1985, MDMA has been listed as a schedule I drug in the United States, making it effectively illegal for all uses, but some limited clinical trials have been approved and conducted in recent years. In 2011, a federal court sided with the ACLU who argued that punishments for MDMA possession and use were based on outdated science which led to overly severe prison sentences,[3] but other courts have upheld the previous sentencing laws.

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that MDMA had been used at least once by 13.1% of people between the ages of 18 and 25, and 6.5% of people age 26 and over. Full results from the survey are below.

These trends appear to be holding relatively steady:

Its appearance in published reports and literature reached a peak in the early- to mid- 2000s and has fallen quite a bit since then:

Google search interest over the past decade or so has slowly but steadily increased before plateauing the past few years:

If youre enjoying this guide, youll probably love the information in our detailed Microdosing Course.

Microdosing is the most exciting trend in the world today when it comes to unlocking creativity, focus, and self-expression. But a lot of people dont know where to start or get overwhelmed by trying to figure everything out themselves from broken resources around the internet.

Thats why we put together this detailed, step-by-step course. It explains everything you wanted to know about microdosing (and even answers the questions you didnt know to ask).

MDMA Street Names 03

As one of the most popular psychedelics and party drugs, MDMA has earned a varied assortment of street names. In fact, there may be more nicknames for MDMA than for any other substance besides weed.

Some of these refer to the compound generally, in whatever form, while others refer to set preparations. Ecstasy could fall into either category but it usually refers to tablets, or pills.[15] Its name was supposedly changed from Empathy early on to boost sales appeal.[16]

The marketing of ecstasy pills, complete with trusted logos and brand names,[17] has actually spawned a number of other enduring street names, including Doves. However, most ecstasy brand names, while popular in their own right, havent caught on as street names for pills in general. These include Mitsubishi, Little Rocket, and Dolphin (or Blue Dolphin).[18]Some other generic street names for pills include:

Molly, short for molecular,[19] refers to crystal (powder) MDMA.[15] In the UK, its also known as Mandy. Other names from around the world include:[20]

Pharmacology 04

MDMA affects the brain by increasing activity levels of three different neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and serotonin.[4]

Increases in dopamine account for euphoric effects, as well as increased energy. Physiological effects while under the influence of ecstasy are caused by increases in norepinephrine/noradrenaline. These include increased heart rate and blood pressure.MDMA effects on the serotonin system cause characteristic changes in mood, appetite, sexual arousal, and sleep cycles. Spikes in serotonin after taking MDMA likely account for feelings of emotional closeness and empathy that are commonly reported by users.

Potentially fatal neurological complications can occur following MDMA ingestion, likely due to short-term hypertension and dehydration that is induced by the drug. Necrosis of liver and heart tissue has also been reported in individuals where death was associated with the use of amphetamine derivatives.[5]

Many fatal cases are due to abnormally high doses, prior health complications, a bad batch of MDMA, or a combination of all of these. Its also particularly difficult to tell exactly how much of role MDMA plays in adverse reactions in many cases because users are more likely to have used multiple drugs.[6] Like with any substance, it should be used in moderation, as heavy users tend to experience more complications than occasional users.[7]

Clinical studies with pure MDMA have been conducted on over 1100 individuals without the occurrence of severe adverse effects.[8]

Pure MDMA? 05

The purity of MDMA is notoriously variable, especially in tablet form. In the US, for instance, the average MDMA concentration in ecstasy tablets (or pills) is reported to be 30.13%.[21] But this includes samples as low as 0% and as high as 100%. Also, while the sample size varies (from 1 to 1000 pills), individual state averages can be double or half the national average.

Still, this is something of a recent improvement. In 2008, police seizures of the chemical precursor safrole meant that, for years, street MDMA concentration in ecstasy pills was very often zero.[22] Since then, the percentage of dud pills (tablets containing no MDMA) has been rapidly falling. Meanwhile, the percentage of ecstasy pills containing MDMA alone, without any adulterants, has been climbing. In 2009, 60.1% of ecstasy tablets worldwide contained no MDMA whatsoever, whereas just 8.7% contained MDMA alone. By 2018, the situation was reversed: 8.8% of ecstasy tablets contained no MDMA, while 54.8% contained MDMA alone.[23]

Part of this has to do with new manufacturing methods. Underground chemists now synthesize MDMA with a less heavily restricted precursor. But it also has to do with the darknet, where vendor ratings and competition naturally drive the quality up.[24]

In fact, far from the days of there being too little MDMA in pills, nowadays theres often too much. Super-strength ecstasy tablets have made headlines in recent years for killing unsuspecting users. Whereas the MDMA content in ecstasy pills is traditionally between 80 and 120mg, some have been found to contain upwards of 300mg.[25] A high-end dose like this can be dangerous enough in itself, let alone when youre not expecting it.

EcstasyData.org and Pill Reports are excellent resources for gauging the safety of specific pills.However, they should only be used as a guide. The safest way to use ecstasy pills is to start with just half a tablet and gauge how you feel over an hour.[26][27]

What about the purity of Molly (crystal MDMA)?

Despite what you may have been sold, even in crystal or powder form, pure MDMA is difficult to find on the street. However, street MDMA concentration has been climbing in recent years. In the UK, at least, it has apparently reached 83%.[28] Accounting for the molar mass of the hydrochloride (HCl) salt that most MDMA is made as, this is pretty much the maximum purity.[29]

MDMA in pure form, or free base MDMA, has by definition a purity of 100%.

Unfortunately, whatever form its in, your ecstasy is unlikely to be pure. In other words, theres probably something else in itand adulterants can sometimes be deadly.Using an MDMA test kit is a good precaution. These can show up the presence of, firstly, MDMA, and secondly, toxic adulterants by a color change you can check on a chart. However, chemical reagent tests like this cannot tell you the purity and theyre only indicative at best. They should, therefore, be used alongside other harm reduction practices.[30]

A caution on PMA/PMMA (aka Death)

The prohibition of MDMA in most countries (and especially the police seizures of safrole in 2008/2010 interrupting the supply of ecstasy) has led to the emergence of unknown alternatives. These substances, about which we know relatively little, tend to be far more dangerous than MDMA. And yet theyre legal by default in many jurisdictions.

Following the procedure for making MDMA with aniseed oil instead of safrole, for example, yields not ecstasy but the problematic substances para-Methoxyamphetamine (PMA) or para-Methoxy-N-methylamphetamine (PMMA).[37] Both have been implicated in the deaths of unsuspecting users from as early as 1993.[38] In December 2014/January 2015, for instance, at least three men died after taking the same pink Superman pills containing PMA.[36][37]

PMA/PMMA can be 10-20 times more potent than MDMA.[36][37] So users taking a safe dose of what they believe to be ecstasy could be massively overdosing on a far riskier substance. PMA/PMMA are also slower-acting, which means experienced ecstasy users are likely to re-dose too soon, taking even more of this harmful drug into their bodies.

The trouble is, PMA/PMMA are not analogs of MDMA. They have a different pharmacological action. Unlike ecstasy, they block certain enzymes (e.g. monoamine oxidase, or MAO) that offset the release of serotonin. And, as a result, they can lead to serotonin syndrome, which can be deadly.[37][38]

Reagent testing can help to identify the presence of PMA/PMMA; however, the presence of real MDMA could disguise the presence of PMA/PMMA as adulterants. Checking pills against user reports online, e.g. at EcstasyData.org and Pill Reports, is, therefore, a sensible precaution.

If youre enjoying this guide, youll probably love the information in our detailed Microdosing Course.

Microdosing is the most exciting trend in the world today when it comes to unlocking creativity, focus, and self-expression. But a lot of people dont know where to start or get overwhelmed by trying to figure everything out themselves from broken resources around the internet.

Thats why we put together this detailed, step-by-step course. It explains everything you wanted to know about microdosing (and even answers the questions you didnt know to ask).

Effects 06

Most tablets available for recreational use contain between 80 and 150 mg of MDMA.[9] At this dose level, the onset of effects occur approximately 20 to 60 minutes after taking the drug, and the characteristic effects (euphoria, increased empathy, increased energy, enhanced sensations) typically last for 3 to 5 hours.

The MDMA high is usually characterized by a relaxed, euphoric state, including emotional openness, empathy, reduction of negative thoughts, and a decrease in inhibitions. Sounds and colors can also appear more intense.

Some adverse physiological effects can occur after ingesting MDMA and include elevated blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, chills, sweating, tremor, jaw clenching, hyperreflexia, urinary urgency, muscle aches or tension, hot and cold flushes, nystagmus, and insomnia. At higher doses, these physiological changes can result in severe adverse reactions.

MDMA overdose can (and does) kill. A high dose of MDMA can be a contributing factor in deadly conditions such as hyperthermia, exhaustion or hyperhydration. Additionally, MDMA can trigger serotonin syndrome, a potentially deadly overloading of the bodys serotonin levels.

Many people report an unpleasant comedown after a night of heavy MDMA use, including feelings of depression and fatigue. In our microdosing course, MDMA expert Dr Ben Sessa explains how the typical MDMA comedown is due to overexertion, poor sleep, poor diet, and polydrug use. As such, the MDMA comedown can be countered by eating and sleeping well after taking MDMA, keeping hydrated if youre dancing, and avoiding taking any other substances (including alcohol). Additionally, supplement kits are available online, claiming to help prepare and repair your body.

Myths 07

Although one of the most famous ecstasy-related deaths was caused by overhydration, MDMA itself will not make you drink yourself to death. The victim in this infamous case thought that by drinking a large amount of water, they would counteract an unpleasant ecstasy experience. Unfortunately, MDMA also makes it harder for the body to process water, meaning she died from water retention.

This doesnt mean you should avoid drinking water on ecstasy. Taking a very high dose of ecstasy can cause an inability to regulate your hydration, so you should make sure youre drinking water regularly. This is especially if youre dancing or exerting yourself.

The main cause of ecstasy-related deaths is a lack of education. People dont know how to take the drug safely, and end up increasing their health risks. When used responsibly, it is a relatively safe drug.

Although MDMA is very popular for use in clubs due to its enhancement of music and dance, that doesnt mean its exclusively a clubbers drug. Many people take it in a spiritual or therapeutic context. It can be used for various forms of personal and relationship development, and clinical trials are using it to treat sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder.

There is no evidence that moderate use of MDMA (less than 100mg every few weeks) can cause damage to your brain.

Frequent, high dose use can cause heart problems and memory problems. Additionally, its relatively easy to overdose on MDMA if its combined with other drugs, especially PMA/PMMA. MDMA overdose can be lethal.

So although sensible use is relatively safe, it can be harmful in large amounts.

Therapeutic Use 08

In 2017, MDMA was approved for use in Phase 3 clinical trials in the US to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[10] [11] This is one of the last phases of testing before a drug is legally approved for therapeutic use. The trials are being funded by MAPS.

MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD involves only a few administrations of the drug alongside guided professional therapy. The drug used in these trials is pure, with dosages strictly controlled unlikely the typical use of recreational ecstasy.

Patients who have undergone this therapy typically have a particularly treatment-resistant form of PTSD (many of them are war veterans). They report that MDMA therapy helped them approach their past trauma with a greater sense of acceptance, warmth, and compassion for themselves, allowing them greater opportunity to cope and heal.

Read more about the use of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD here.

Preliminary results from a few studies suggest MDMA is also a promising treatment for social anxiety in individuals with autism.[12] In a clinical setting, it can be used to shift a patient with social anxiety towards openness and encourage introspection. Early results suggest this is accomplished with infrequent or even single doses, eliminating the need for frequent administration of the drug, thereby mitigating the possible adverse side effects and many of the costs associated with longer-term, more involved therapies.

This same mechanism appears to operate in treating patients with life-threatening illnesses who experience clinical anxiety as well.[13]

If youre enjoying this guide, youll probably love the information in our detailed Microdosing Course.

Microdosing is the most exciting trend in the world today when it comes to unlocking creativity, focus, and self-expression. But a lot of people dont know where to start or get overwhelmed by trying to figure everything out themselves from broken resources around the internet.

Thats why we put together this detailed, step-by-step course. It explains everything you wanted to know about microdosing (and even answers the questions you didnt know to ask).

Personal Growth 09

Opinions vary among spiritual leaders and guides, but MDMA is sometimes cited as a tool that can be used for spiritual growth. Some spiritual teachers laud its ability to induce feelings of oneness, interconnectedness, empathy, compassion, warmth and kindness towards others, and, importantly, a lack of self-consciousness. States such as these are often catalysts for spiritual epiphanies and further spiritual and personal development.

As one Benedictine monk put it:

MDMA always propels me into an intimate space in conversation. There is a special quality to this conversation. One feels a heaviness, a sense of the weight of the moment, of something profound, of the seriousness of life itself. It is a space that is inner, without masks, without pretense, utterly open and honest. It is not an erotic intimacy, but a philosophical and mystical intimacy. Does this make any sense? One has the consciousness that this is an inner communication rarely achieved in ordinary discourse. There really are no adequate words to express this state of awareness, only to say, that it is essential in my experience.

MDMA can be used in many different sets and settings to invoke spiritual development from sitting quietly and introspecting, to meditating in groups, to therapy. Even rolling at raves can have a spiritual quality if the user approaches it with the right intentions.

MDMA could also be a useful tool for building or repairing relationships. Alexander Shulgin, the Godfather of Ecstasy, has written frequently on its potential use as a therapy for couples. The emotional intimacy produced by ecstasy could be the key to understanding our relationships and perhaps finding the places that need work.

Other resources:

Legality 10

MDMA is a Schedule I substance in the United States, which makes it illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess without a DEA license.[39] Scandalously, this scheduling also suggests that ecstasy has no therapeutic valuecontrary to the findings of MDMA clinical trials for PTSD. However, given the strength of this research, it seems very likely (if not inevitable) that medical MDMA will soon be available on prescription.[40]

In the UK its a Class A, which is basically the same as Schedule I: Buying, selling or making MDMA is illegal without a license.[41]

The same is true in the majority of countries, but some are more permissive in practice. In the Netherlands, for example, where MDMA is very much illegal, possession of small amounts is often ignored by the police.[39] Meanwhile, in Peru, its perfectly legal to possess up to 250mg (one quarter of a gram) of MDMA, so long as its the only drug on you.[39][42]

FAQ 11

MDMA stands for 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Also known as ecstasy, its one of the most popular psychedelics in the world. Its widely seen as more of a party drug than LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and so on. But its currently re-emerging as a breakthrough psychotherapeutic aid.[31]Researchers are especially enthusiastic about the potential for MDMA in PTSD treatment.

It comes in two basic forms: Tablets (or pills) and crystals (or powder). MDMA pills are often called ecstasy while Molly is MDMA in powder form, or MDMA crystals.

Ecstasy is a type of amphetamine, a stimulant class of drugs that includes speed and methamphetamine. But MDMA is considerably more benign than each of these. As an amphetamine, its also part of the phenethylamine class of substances, like mescaline. Of course, the effects are again substantially different. Based on these, MDMA may be classed as an entactogen or euphoric empathogen.

Regardless of MDMA dosage, ecstasy is a stimulating drug. Most people report a physical and emotional euphoria, along with mild visual effects, such as color enhancement. Increased stamina (e.g. for dancing) is also common.

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Learn Everything You Need To Know About MDMA (Ecstasy)

Psychonautics | A Comic’s Exploration of Psychedelics

Director | DP | Editor

Brian Bellinkoff

Psychonautics marksBrian’s directorial debut. His previous documentary workincludes producing, shooting, and editing “Men in the Arena” (Gravitas Ventures) and “From Fat to Finish Line” (Gravitas Ventures). His TV credits include the docu-series”LogHeads” for DIY Network, and numerous comedy specials for Showtime.Originally from Florida, Brian moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and immediately began freelance producing, camera operating, and editingbranded content, viral web series, and documentaries.He is a graduate of the University of Miami andhopes to continueblending his two passions, comedy and documentaries.

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Psychonautics | A Comic’s Exploration of Psychedelics

Psychedelic drug – Wikipedia

“Psychedelics” redirects here. For other uses, see Psychedelic.

Psychedelics are a class of drug whose primary action is to trigger psychedelic experiences via serotonin receptor agonism,[2] causing thought and visual/auditory changes, and altered state of consciousness.[3] Major psychedelic drugs include mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT. Studies show that psychedelics are physiologically safe and do not lead to addiction.[4] Studies conducted using psilocybin in a psychotheraputic setting reveal that psychedelic drugs may assist with treating alcohol and nicotine addiction.[5]

Differing with other psychoactive drugs, such as stimulants and opioids, psychedelics tend to qualitatively alter ordinary conscious experience. Whereas stimulants cause energized feelings and opioids produce a relaxed euphoric state, the psychedelic experience 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. Although lysergamides are their own group they are a tryptamine.

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.[6][7]

The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words (psyche, “soul, mind”) and (delein, “to manifest”), hence “soul-manifesting”, the implication being that psychedelics can access the soul and develop unused potentials of the human mind.[8] 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.[9]

Aldous Huxley had suggested to Humphry Osmond in 1956 his own coinage phanerothyme (Greek “phaneroein-” visible + Greek “thymos” soul, thus “visible soul”).[10] Recently, the term entheogenic has come into use to denote the use of psychedelic drugs in a religious/spiritual/mystical context.

Psychedelics have a long history of traditional use in medicine and 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.

Classical or serotonergic psychedelics (agonists for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptors) include LSD (also known as “acid”), psilocin (the active constituent of psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms”), mescaline (the active constituent of peyote), and DMT (the active constituent of ayahuasca and an endogenous compound produced in the human body)[citation needed].

This class of psychedelics includes the classical hallucinogens, including the lysergamides like LSD and LSA, tryptamines like psilocybin and DMT, and phenethylamines like mescaline and 2C-B. Many of these psychedelics cause remarkably similar effects, despite their different chemical structure. However, many users report that the three 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.[11] Some compounds, such as 2C-B, have extremely tight “dose curves”, meaning the difference 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 and ibogaine (a ‘complex tryptamine’) is also an NMDA receptor antagonist and -opioid receptor agonist in addition to being an agonist for the 5-HT2A receptors, resulting in dissociative effects as well (see dissociatives below). Research published in journal Cell Reports states that psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies.[12]

The empathogen-entactogens are phenethylamines of the MDxx class such as MDMA, MDEA, and MDA. 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. MDA is atypical to this experience, often causing hallucinations and psychedelic effects in equal profundity to the chemicals in the 5-HT2A agonist category, but with substantially less mental involvement, and is both a serotonin releaser and 5-HT2A receptor agonist.

Certain dissociative drugs acting via NMDA antagonism are known to produce what some might consider psychedelic effects. The main differences between dissociative psychedelics and serotonergic hallucinogens are that the dissociatives cause more intense derealization and depersonalization.[13] For example, ketamine produces sensations of being disconnected from one’s body and that the surrounding environment is unreal, as well as perceptual alterations seen with other psychedelics.[14]

Salvia divinorum is a dissociative that is sometimes classified as an atypical psychedelic. 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. Additionally, ibotenic acid and muscimol, the active constituents of Amanita muscaria, may be regarded as psychedelic, dissociative or deliriant.

Despite many psychedelic drugs being non-addictive[15] and there being no evidence to support long term harm on mental health,[16] 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 they are harmful.

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Psychedelic drug – Wikipedia

Beginners Guide to Microdosing Psychedelics

This is a guest post by Mansal Denton. Heis unaffiliated with Pure Nootropics and his thoughts and experiences are his own. Pure Nootropics does not condone or encourage the use of illicit or illegal substances.

================

Psychedelics are a big part of my personal growth and success.

The experiences with psychedelics have:

And Im not the only one

Popular writer, Michael Pollan, described The Trip Treatment of psilocybin and the potential use for treating anxiety, addiction, and depression.

Famed author and personality, Tim Ferriss, has had numerous discussions about psychedelics, such as LSD, mushrooms, and even ayahuasca. It was Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) host and comedian, Joe Rogan, who got me interested in the subject.

But beyond using psychedelics as a mystical experience, there is a subset who are finding ways to use them for a different purpose.

Through microdosing of psychedelic drugs, many people are finding cognitive advantages to improve the execution of their work and achieve more.

Less than a month before writing this piece Rolling Stone published an article about how LSD microdosing became the hot new business trip Of course, Forbes, GQ, the Telegraph, and dozens of other outlets re-published the same popular piece (Nov 2015).

I have been saying that nootropics are used by Silicon Valley execs, Wall Street traders, and just about every other high performance individual in between, but this is the next level

Lets get started, shall we?

Austin, Texas is becoming a hub for a new kind of entrepreneur, hippie, and hipster breed. As gross as that might be to visually imagine, it actually creates an amazing environment for testing personal practices, such as microdosing.

While I have sifted through scientific research, particularly from Dr. James Fadiman in the 1970s, much of this is based on anecdotes, experiences, and interviews.

Names have been changed to protect those who shared their experiences.

Microdosing is using small doses of powerful psychedelic drugs in order to improve working conditions. In contrast, full psychedelic experiences are often mystical and not conducive to completing work-related tasks.

There are several purported advantages including:

Problem-solving

Imagine you have been working on a problem for weeks without finding an adequate solution. You wake up every morning, put in your time, but still dont feel satisfied with your results.

That was the basis for a 1966 experiment organized by Dr. James Fadiman among others. This experiment took 27 male subjects (16 engineers, 2 mathematicians, 2 architects, 1 engineer-physicist, and others) and required them to bring a professional problem they had been working on for at least 3 months with a desire to solve it.

After providing these subjects with 200 mg of mescaline sulphate, the subjects had 4 hours to work on their professional problem. Almost all of them reported greater problem-solving ability and at least 12 had breakthrough solutions.

Creativity

Eric Clough was an architect in 1966 during the same era of research who wrote The consensus among the architects interviewedseems to be that LSD, when administered under carefully controlled conditions, does enhance creativity aids in visualizing three-dimensionally, and generally heightens perceptivity. (Fadiman, 170)

Numerous microdosing practitioners report having more creativity, which often ties into problem-solving. However, for musicians and artists, the creativity may help produce exceptional work in the absence of a definitive problem that needs solving.

Mood

Many psychedelics drastically enhance mood and happiness because of their interaction with serotonin receptors. Psilocybin decreases depressive and anxiety-related symptoms. The same is true for most other psychedelic drugs through small microdoses.

Physical

In a book Tryptamine Palace, author James Oroc asserts Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities. According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your re-flex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration

It sounds nice, but I spoke with my friend Larry to get his experiences and confirmed the same phenomenon. Both LSD and o-acetylpsilocin (prodrug for psilocin) offered strong physical energy and endurance beyond the norm.

These are just a few of the benefits of microdosing specifically. Note that the heroic dose, which provides mystical and self-reflective experiences, does not provide the same problem-solving or physical endurance effects. In fact, it might be the opposite in some circumstances so be careful when microdosing.

In scientific studies, the letter n is used to refer to the sample size. If you test something in a group of 5 friends, the sample size is 5 (n=5). The term n=1 is used to describe a sample size of 1, which is you. Therefore, the popularized term in biohacking circles is meant to encourage self-testing as opposed to listening to what everyone else believes.

There are at least 3 acquaintances with whom I spoke about microdosing. Larry is an entrepreneur creating a health-food company and had the most extensive experiences with microdosing. He felt LSD had a more complete microdosing experience even though mushrooms improved his physical energy and endurance profoundly.

Both Larry and another named Josh reported cycling LSD microdoses once every 3 4 days because of tolerance and ability to connect with others. Larry concluded that 10 12 mcg is better for physical endurance and concentration, while 12 15 mcg is better for creative thinking and problem-solving.

In contrast to these generally positive experiences, there is a individual self-experiment by Gwern that showed No beneficial effects reachedLSD microdosing did not help me. He continues to show how he tested and calculated things.

Another trained pianist and composer on Reddit took 30 40 mcg microdoses and reported The experience could be described as slightly withdrawn and I felt like I had worse coordination and consequently lower accuracy in playing.

Given the mixed nature of these anecdotal experiences, I recommend taking an N=1 approach. Understand that each individual is different and the dosage and microdosing that works for one person may not work for you.

The evidence from Fadimans research in the 1960s along with other testimony leads me to be cautiously optimistic about microdosing benefits, but dont expect it to solve all your professional or personal problems.

Again, neither I nor Pure Nootropics condone or recommend using illegal or illicit drugs. This is the process for microdosing that is reported through the experiments of Dr. James Fadiman and the experiences of others.

Given that microdosing with LSD is most common. Here is a briefguide for most accurately dosing. This is called volumetric dosing and it offers the most superior and accurate result.

(Tools needed: Scale, Pipette bottle, distilled water, tab of LSD)

Here are some of the common mistakes people make when trying to microdose:

Mistake #1 Do not cut the tab of LSD into strips in order to divide the dosage. For one, this is incredibly difficult to do accurately (given the small size of most LSD tabs). It also does not account for hotspots, which are heightened concentrations and uneven distribution on the tab itself. Instead, use the volumetric dosing with distilled water method explained above.

Mistake #2 Taking the incorrect dose. While each dose will have different effects for different people, some guidance can be helpful. 20 mcg of LSD is usually considered the high end of the microdose range, but some people go as high as 50 mcg. For LSD the lower doses tend to have concentration and slight mood benefits (5 12 mcg) while 12 20 mcg is a dose for problem-solving and creativity with more felt effects.

If you are using o-acetylpsilocin for a mushroom microdose (easier than trying to weigh actual mushrooms precisely), dosage recommendations are around 3 4 mg for microdosing.

Mistake #3 Taking doses too often. Most accounts recommended once every 3 4 days maximum, but longer is also good. LSD is particularly subject to tolerance and doing it every other day can create uncomfortable relationships with reality.

Mistake #4 Obviously sourcing makes a big difference with microdosing. A poor quality product with a big dose is less impactful, but when you rely on a tiny dose to provide effects, opt for quality.

This is a guest post by Mansal Denton. Heis unaffiliated with Pure Nootropics and his thoughts and experiences are his own. Pure Nootropics does not condone or encourage the use of illicit or illegal substances.

If you have something youd like to add, wed love to hear from you, please comment below.

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Beginners Guide to Microdosing Psychedelics

Psychedelic art – Wikipedia

Psychedelic art is any art or visual displays inspired by psychedelic experiences and hallucinations known to follow the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. The word “psychedelic” (coined by British psychologist Humphry Osmond) means “mind manifesting”. By that definition, all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche may be considered “psychedelic”. In common parlance “psychedelic art” refers above all to the art movement of the late 1960s counterculture. Psychedelic visual arts were a counterpart to psychedelic rock music. Concert posters, album covers, liquid light shows, liquid light art, murals, comic books, underground newspapers and more reflected not only the kaleidoscopically swirling colour patterns of LSD hallucinations, but also revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments inspired by insights derived from these psychedelic states of consciousness.

Psychedelic art is informed by the notion that altered states of consciousness produced by psychedelic drugs are a source of artistic inspiration. The psychedelic art movement is similar to the surrealist movement in that it prescribes a mechanism for obtaining inspiration. Whereas the mechanism for surrealism is the observance of dreams, a psychedelic artist turns to drug induced hallucinations. Both movements have strong ties to important developments in science. Whereas the surrealist was fascinated by Freud’s theory of the unconscious, the psychedelic artist has been literally “turned on” by Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD.

The early examples of “psychedelic art” are literary rather than visual, although there are some examples in the Surrealist art movement, such as Remedios Varo and Andr Masson. It should also be noted that these came from writers involved in the Surrealist movement. Antonin Artaud writes of his peyote experience in Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara (1937). Henri Michaux wrote Misrable Miracle (1956), to describe his experiments with mescaline and also hashish.

Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception (1954) and Heaven and Hell (1956) remain definitive statements on the psychedelic experience.

Albert Hofmann and his colleagues at Sandoz Laboratories were convinced immediately after its discovery in 1943 of the power and promise of LSD. For two decades following its discovery LSD was marketed by Sandoz as an important drug for psychological and neurological research. Hofmann saw the drug’s potential for poets and artists as well, and took great interest in the German writer Ernst Jnger’s psychedelic experiments.

Early artistic experimentation with LSD was conducted in a clinical context by Los Angelesbased psychiatrist Oscar Janiger. Janiger asked a group of 50 different artists to each do a painting from life of a subject of the artist’s choosing. They were subsequently asked to do the same painting while under the influence of LSD. The two paintings were compared by Janiger and also the artist. The artists almost unanimously reported LSD to be an enhancement to their creativity.

Ultimately it seems that psychedelics would be most warmly embraced by the American counterculture. Beatnik poets Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs became fascinated by psychedelic drugs as early as the 1950s as evidenced by The Yage Letters (1963). The Beatniks recognized the role of psychedelics as sacred inebriants in Native American religious ritual, and also had an understanding of the philosophy of the surrealist and symbolist poets who called for a “complete disorientation of the senses” (to paraphrase Arthur Rimbaud). They knew that altered states of consciousness played a role in Eastern Mysticism. They were hip to psychedelics as psychiatric medicine. LSD was the perfect catalyst to electrify the eclectic mix of ideas assembled by the Beats into a cathartic, mass-distributed panacea for the soul of the succeeding generation.

Leading proponents of the 1960s psychedelic art movement were San Francisco poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie MacLean, Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley, and Wes Wilson. Their psychedelic rock concert posters were inspired by Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art. The “Fillmore Posters” were among the most notable of the time. Richly saturated colors in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly symmetrical composition, collage elements, rubber-like distortions, and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco psychedelic poster art style. The style flourished from about 1966 to 1972. Their work was immediately influential to vinyl record album cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created album covers.

Although San Francisco remained the hub of psychedelic art into the early 1970s, the style also developed internationally: British artist Bridget Riley became famous for her op-art paintings of psychedelic patterns creating optical illusions. Mati Klarwein created psychedelic masterpieces for Miles Davis’ Jazz-Rock fusion albums, and also for Carlos Santana Latin Rock. Pink Floyd worked extensively with London-based designers, Hipgnosis to create graphics to support the concepts in their albums. Willem de Ridder created cover art for Van Morrison. Los Angeles area artists such as John Van Hamersveld, Warren Dayton and Art Bevacqua and New York artists Peter Max and Milton Glaser all produced posters for concerts or social commentary (such as the anti-war movement) that were highly collected during this time. Life Magazine’s cover and lead article for the September 1, 1967 issue at the height of the Summer of Love focused on the explosion of psychedelic art on posters and the artists as leaders in the hippie counterculture community.

Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors the lightshow artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the music. This was mixed with slideshows and film loops to create an improvisational motion picture art form to give visual representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and create a completely “trippy” atmosphere for the audience. The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts.

Out of the psychedelic counterculture also arose a new genre of comic books: underground comix. “Zap Comix” was among the original underground comics, and featured the work of Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Robert Williams among others. Underground Comix were ribald, intensely satirical, and seemed to pursue weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Gilbert Shelton created perhaps the most enduring of underground cartoon characters, “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”, whose drugged out exploits held a hilarious mirror up to the hippy lifestyle of the 1960s.

Psychedelic art was also applied to the LSD itself. LSD began to be put on blotter paper in the early 1970s and this gave rise to a specialized art form of decorating the blotter paper. Often the blotter paper was decorated with tiny insignia on each perforated square tab, but by the 1990s this had progressed to complete four color designs often involving an entire page of 900 or more tabs. Mark McCloud is a recognized authority on the history of LSD blotter art.

By the late 1960s, the commercial potential of psychedelic art had become hard to ignore. General Electric, for instance, promoted clocks with designs by New York artist Peter Max. A caption explains that each of Max’s clocks “transposes time into multi-fantasy colors.”[1] In this and many other corporate advertisements of the late 1960s featuring psychedelic themes, the psychedelic product was often kept at arm’s length from the corporate image: while advertisements may have reflected the swirls and colors of an LSD trip, the black-and-white company logo maintained a healthy visual distance. Several companies, however, more explicitly associated themselves with psychedelica: CBS, Neiman Marcus, and NBC all featured thoroughly psychedelic advertisements between 1968 and 1969.[2] In 1968, Campbell’s soup ran a poster promotion that promised to “Turn your wall souper-delic!”[3]

The early years of the 1970s saw advertisers using psychedelic art to sell a limitless array of consumer goods. Hair products, cars, cigarettes, and even pantyhose became colorful acts of pseudo-rebellion.[4] The Chelsea National Bank commissioned a psychedelic landscape by Peter Max, and neon green, pink, and blue monkeys inhabited advertisements for a zoo.[5] A fantasy land of colorful, swirling, psychedelic bubbles provided the perfect backdrop for a Clearasil ad.[6] As Brian Wells explains, “The psychedelic movement has, through the work of artists, designers, and writers, achieved an astonishing degree of cultural diffusion but, though a great deal of diffusion has taken place, so, too, has a great deal of dilution and distortion.”[7] Even the term “psychedelic” itself underwent a semantic shift, and soon came to mean “anything in youth culture which is colorful, or unusual, or fashionable.”[8] Puns using the concept of “tripping” abounded: as an advertisement for London Britches declared, their product was “great on trips!”[9] By the mid-1970s, the psychedelic art movement had been largely co-opted by mainstream commercial forces, incorporated into the very system of capitalism that the hippies had struggled so hard to change.

Examples of other psychedelic art material are tapestry, curtains and stickers,[10] clothing,[11] canvas and other printed artefacts[12] and furniture.[13]

Computer art has allowed for an even greater and more profuse expression of psychedelic vision. Fractal generating software gives an accurate depiction of psychedelic hallucinatory patterns, but even more importantly 2D and 3D graphics software allow for unparalleled freedom of image manipulation. Much of the graphics software seems to permit a direct translation of the psychedelic vision. The “digital revolution” was indeed heralded early on as the “New LSD” by none other than Timothy Leary.[14][15]

The rave movement of the 1990s was a psychedelic renaissance fueled by the advent of newly available digital technologies. The rave movement developed a new graphic art style partially influenced by 1960s psychedelic poster art, but also strongly influenced by graffiti art, and by 1970s advertising art, yet clearly defined by what digital art and computer graphics software and home computers had to offer at the time of creation. Conversely, the convolutional neural network DeepDream finds and enhance patterns in images purely via algorithmic pareidolia.

Concurrent to the rave movement, and in key respects integral to it, are the development of new mind-altering drugs, most notably, MDMA (Ecstasy). Ecstasy, like LSD, has had a tangible influence on culture and aesthetics, particularly the aesthetics of rave culture. But MDMA is (arguably) not a real psychedelic, but is described by psychologists as an entactogen. Development of new psychedelics such as 2C-B and related compounds (developed primarily by chemist Alexander Shulgin) are truly psychedelic, and these novel psychedelics are fertile ground for artistic exploration since many of the new psychedelics possess their own unique properties that will affect the artist’s vision accordingly.

Even as fashions have changed, and art and culture movements have come and gone, certain artists have steadfastly devoted themselves to psychedelia. Well-known examples are Amanda Sage, Alex Grey, and Robert Venosa. These artists have developed unique and distinct styles that while containing elements that are “psychedelic”, are clearly artistic expressions that transcend simple categorization. While it is not necessary to use psychedelics to arrive at such a stage of artistic development, serious psychedelic artists are demonstrating that there is tangible technique to obtaining visions, and that technique is the creative use of psychedelic drugs.

Bohemian wall hangings and Hippie Tapestries

Psychedelic and Trippy wallpapers collection

More here:

Psychedelic art – Wikipedia

Psychedelic Drugs and the Serotonergic System

Most of us know someone who has taken antidepressants. But psychedelic drugs? Not so much. Many people believe they are illegitimate and dangerous. You might be surprised to hear that psychedelic drugs like MDMA and LSD have a lot in common with antidepressants. They both work with the same neurotransmitter in the brain: serotonin.

And indeed, antidepressants and psychedelic drugs promise to heal similar mental illnesses and can also have similar side effects. Do you know how they work in the brain? No? Good! Thats exactly what this article is about. Before we can talk about your brain on these drugs, though, its important to have a basic understanding of the brain and its serotonergic system. Dont worry, its super fascinating stuff, and easy as 1-2-3:

Below, well talk about neurotransmitters, synapses and chemical signaling. If these things are even vaguely familiar to you, then read on. If not, I recommend reading part 2 of Tim Urbans fantasticand highly entertainingNeuralink and the Brains Magical Future story on the Wait But Why blog. Youll learn everything from brain anatomy to neural networks in just 15 minutes.

When a neuron fires, the cell body (soma) sends an electrical signal down its axon to its axon terminals. This is where one neuron connects to the dendrites of the next neuron. In between is the synapse. From the axon terminals, a chemical signal activates the dendrites and sends a message to the soma of the next neuron. The soma collects the messages and once a threshold is exceeded, it fires off an electrical signal down its own axon and the process repeats.

Chemical signals are made from neurotransmitters. How they are produced, sent and received is the key to understanding the interactions between drugs and the serotonergic system.

You have probably heard of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline and oxytocin. A simplistic view:We have more than 100 different types of neurotransmitters in our brain and their job is facilitating the communication between neurons. Think of a neurotransmitter as a language: some neurons speak dopamine, others speak serotonin, others speak adrenaline and so on. While some neurons are multilingual, lets say fluent in serotonin and dopamine, most of them speak just one language. All neurons which speak serotonin make up the serotonergic system.

The serotonergic system is amongst the oldest neurotransmitter systems in the brain. It might be as old as 750 million years; even single-celled organisms carry serotonin receptors. In humans, those neurons originate from the raphe nuclei in the brainstem and form a network spanning every corner of the brain and influencing nearly every aspect of our lives. It plays a key role in regulating mood, sexual behavior, aggression, impulsivity, cognitive function, appetite, pain, thermoregulation, circadian rhythm, sleep and memory.

Serotonergic pathways in the brainWith all of these control functions, it makes sense that many prescription drugsand most antidepressantstarget the serotonergic system. What might not be so obvious, however, is that psychedelic drugs like MDMA (aka. molly, ecstasy), LSD (aka. acid) and psilocybin (aka. magic mushrooms) also stimulate the serotonergic system to create their unique effects.

All those substances do essentially one thing: they raise the serotonergic activity in the brain. Why? Because raising serotonergic activity makes you happy, social and active; whereas lowering serotonergic activity makes you depressed, irritable and more prone to mental illnesses.

This is where it gets really interesting. Before we dive into the life of a serotonin molecule, lets make sure were all on the same page. Take another look at the more detailed version of how communication happens at the synapse. On the top is the axon terminal of the sender-neuron which is often referred to as the presynaptic neuron. On the bottom is the receiver-neuronthe postsynaptic neuron. The skin of the neurons is the membrane; and the little gap in between is called the synaptic cleft. What gets sent from the sender to the receiver? A chemical signal, otherwise known as neurotransmitter; and in the case of a serotonergic neuron the neurotransmitter is serotonin.

Now we get to the nitty gritty. The following graphic illustrates the lifecycle of a serotonin molecule. Follow the orange dots from one to seven and check out the explanation below.

Signaling in chemical synapses

Well over 90 percent of the serotonin in our body is made in our gut. But since serotonin cant cross the blood-brain barrier, it has to be synthesized in the brain from scratch. What does cross the blood-brain barrier however is tryptophan, the fundamental building block of serotonin. Within the neuron, enzymes turn tryptophan into 5-HT which is the chemical name for serotonin.

How does our body get tryptophan in the first place? Tryptophan is contained in certain foods, particularly proteins. You may have heard that turkey is rich in tryptophanso is every other kind of meat, as well as cheese, dairy products and eggs. Paradoxically, eating a protein rich diet is not necessary useful for a steady tryptophan supply in the brain. Why? Read my story about amino acid competition at the blood-brain barrier.

Serotonin is stored in tiny bubblesonly 50 nanometers in diametercalled vesicles. How does it get in there? Initially, the serotonin floats in the cytosol, the fluid within the neuron. A transport protein called VMAT2 fishes the serotonin out of the cytosol and channels it into one of the vesicles. The vesicles then travel closer towards the synaptic cleft and wait for their signal.

When signalled, the vesicles meld with the cell membrane in a process called exocytosis. The serotonin gets released into the synaptic cleft.

When serotonin binds to the receptors of the postsynaptic neuron, each receptor sends off a signal to the cell body of the neuron. When enough of these signals accumulate, the postsynaptic neuron fires, causing an electrical signal to travel down its axon to its own axon terminals, in turn causing a release of serotonin that stimulates the next neuron. This chain reaction cascades through any number of neurons.

Where does a serotonin molecule go after it has activated a receptor? There are a few options: (a) it may get taken back up into the presynaptic neuron; (b) it may get taken up by a neighboring glial cell (glial cells are the most abundant cells in the brainthey dont transmit signals but they do help keep everything neat and tidy); or (c) it may get diffused away from the synaptic cleft via extracellular fluid.

Along the presynaptic membrane are serotonin transporters (SERT) that pull serotonin back into the cell in a process called reuptake. These transporters are basically groups of proteins that act like a gate: one inone out. One molecule binds to the transporter on the outside of the membrane and changes the transporters configuration. Consequently, another molecule drops off, but on the inside of the membrane.

Back in the presynaptic neuron, some of the serotonin gets reloaded into vesicles and will be reused. Producing serotonin from scratch is a complex process and takes time. Therefore, recycling helps the brain maintain a steady supply.

Any remaining serotonin gets broken down by the enzyme MAO (monoamine oxidase) and excreted from the cell as the metabolite 5-HIAA (5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid).

The brain cant produce large quantities of serotonin at once, therefore it doesnt release large quantities of serotonin at once either. In fact, serotonergic neurons have multiple ways of up- and downregulating their serotonin response in order to maintain balance and protect themselves from overstimulation.

Follow the orange dots below to see a few examples of these protection strategies.

If there is (1) a high concentration of serotonin outside the neuron, the neuron reacts with

Amazingly, a neuron can cause its receptors to retract behind the synaptic membrane, putting them out of reach of being activated by over-abundant serotonin. With fewer receptors available, fewer activations occur, and the neuron is in turn less likely to fire off a signal.

Receptors are not only found on the postsynaptic membrane. Some are located on the axon terminals or even directly on the soma of a neuron. If too much serotonin is floating around in the brain and these autoreceptors get activated, they send an inhibitory signal to the presynaptic neuron that causes it to (3) throttle the release of serotonin.

Do you recall from the beginning how serotonin regulates mood, sexual behavior, cognitive function, sleep, memory and so on? How does it accomplish all that? Well, in reality there isnt just one single type of serotonin receptorthere are 14. They are numbered from 1 to 7 and further categorized into A, B, C, etc. Remember, the chemical name for serotonin is 5-HT. Going forward well talk a lot about 5-HT2A receptors, since they are the target of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and psilocybin.

All 5-HT subtypes possess special qualities in how they regulate mood, anxiety, impulsivity, aggression, migraines, etc. Some of these subtypes act as regular receptors at the postsynaptic membrane, while others act as autoreceptors on the axon terminals, dendrites or directly on the cell body. The 5-HT2A receptor, for example, is a receptor on the postsynaptic membrane and regulates mood, anxiety and schizophrenia. Wikipedia offers a fantastic overview of 5-HT receptor subtypes if you wish to go deeper.

Now that you know how serotonin acts in the synaptic cleft it will be easy for you to understand the mechanisms of antidepressants like SSRIs and MAOIs as well as psychedelic drugs like LSD, psilocybin and MDMA. Each of these substances stimulate serotonergic neurons, but each in different ways.

Before 1950 it was believed that mental illnesses like schizophrenia or autism were caused by refrigerator mothersmothers who were emotionally distanced and cold with their offspring. The psychiatric community had no idea that behaviour patterns, such as schizophrenic or autistic behaviour, might arise from neurochemical events in the brain.

In the late 1930s, serotonin was first discovered in the gut where it played a role in muscle contraction. It took another 15 years before it was detected in the brainwhich was in 1953but still only in the context of muscle contraction. One year later, in 1954 two scientists noticed the chemical similarity between serotonin and LSD.Chemical structure of LSD and serotonin

They had already known that LSD had peculiar effects on mind and behavior, because Sandoz Laboratories had marketed LSD as a psychiatric drug since 1947. Putting one and one together, these two scientists suggested that serotonin might play an important role in mental illness.

If neuroscience can be said to have a beginning, one could argue that it occurred in 1954, with the idea that the action of LSD might be related to its effects on the brain serotonin system.

After it became obvious, that serotonin was deeply involved in mental sanity it quickly became the center of attention of pharmaceutical companies. Understanding the mechanism by which mood is regulated allowed pharmacologists to experiment with ways to influence it. One result has been the creation of many antidepressant drugs. Here is how they work.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs today. Youve probably heard of Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Seroxat or Zoloft. They are all SSRIs.

SSRIs bind to serotonin transporters (SERT) on the presynaptic membrane and block them. This means serotonin cant get taken back up into the presynaptic neuron. More serotonin remains in the synaptic cleft where it continues to bind to receptors and activates them.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI) are older antidepressants, which are still in use, but not commonly prescribed because of their potentially lethal effects. MAOIs keep serotonin from being metabolized and excreted from the neuron, which in turn increases its availability.

Antidepressants ultimately raise serotonin levels, so does MDMA.

MDMA is a sneaky bastard. Insidiously it takes control of the infrastructure and turns the whole system upside down. How does it do that? First, MDMA enters the neuron via the serotonin transporters (SERT). Once inside the neuron, it inhibits the vesicular transporters (VMAT2) which means that serotonin is not neatly packed within the vesicles anymore, but now accumulates within the cytosol. Then, MDMA reverses the direction of the SERT, meaning instead of transporting serotonin into the neuron, they now release it into the cleft and deny its reuptake. The result is a dramatic increase of serotonin levels in the synaptic cleft which makes the receptors on the postsynaptic membrane go haywire for a few hours.

Moreover, MDMA increases dopamine and norepinephrine (i.e. noradrenaline) levels, which gives it its ecstatic properties. This temporary overstimulation of the serotonergic system leaves the neurons depleted of serotonin and needing to recover after the drug use.

What if MDMA is taken daily to keep up colossal serotonin levels? The short answer is: doesnt work; the effect of MDMA is capped by the available serotonin. If the brain is depleted from serotonin, MDMA has no material to work with and therefore the effects would be rather disappointing for the user. The brain needs time to replenish its supply before the drug could achieve the desired effects once more. Many users feel irritable and depressed after using MDMA. But when using again is not an option, there isnt much of an addiction loop they could tap into. With this built-in mandatory refractory period, the physical addiction potential of psychedelic drugs is limited.

With a built-in, mandatory refractory period, the physical addiction potential of psychedelic drugs is quite limited.

Remember how the brain usually doesnt release large quantities of serotonin at once? Other neurotransmitter systems in the brain are more suitable for this task: dopamine for example. The dopaminergic system does react well to repeated stimulation and is therefore frequently involved in addiction. Drugs which target the dopaminergic system are cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, but also Adderall and Ritalin.

Unlike MDMA, hallucinogens dont flood the brain with serotonin. They target a specific subtype of serotonin receptorthe 5-HT2A receptorto which they bind directly, thereby activating it. The 5-HT2A receptor is known to play a key role in regulating mood, anxiety, schizophrenia and consciousness.

There is so much to say about how hallucinogens affect the brain. The initial hypothesisthat hallucinogens increase the activity in certain areas of the brainwas recently abandoned. In fact, hallucinogens temporarily shut down some major connecting hubs.

Why does this stir a researchers blood? Because if you want to know what a certain area in the brain does, it helps to observe what goes missing if you shut it off. Turned out, shutting off those connector hubs led to the interruption of the brains default mode network (DMN). You can think of the DMN as something like a screensaver which randomly shuffles through images of your past, your future, your to-do list, the super size menu that you shouldnt have eaten, the sad face of a person you hurt and so on. Interrupting the DMN has very interesting consequences which we willat lengthcover in a future post. Its a phenomenally interesting topic that deserves its own post (and requires a couple of thousands more words to explain).

Also, when breaking up the regular communication pathways, the brain starts to communicate in brand new ways. This visualization shows brain regions communicating which one another in (a) a normal state or (b) after administering psilocybin. On the left you can see that the color-coded regions communicate mostly amongst themselves, i.e. the dots of the purple region talk to other dots within the purple region. But under the influence of an hallucinogenic drug the purple dots start talking to all kinds of other brain regions.

Communication pathways in the brain after (a) placebo and (b) psilocybin

These novel communication pathways might be able to explain the creativity-enhancing and problem-solving qualities that are often attributed to hallucinogenic drugs.

Whats the essential nature of science? (1) You find an interesting thing, (2) you test and observe how the thing behaves under different conditions and (3) you come up with a hypothesis.

Psychedelic drugs and the serotonergic system are deeply intertwined. Not only was LSD involved in the initial discovery of the serotonergic system which later revolutionized psychiatry. Today, psychedelic research could yet again revolutionize our understanding of the human brain. Manipulating 5-HT2A receptors has astounding effects on brain circuitries that are involved in the sense of self and consciousness. You can think of the 5-HT2A receptor as the little kids basket and hallucinogens as a potent tool to test it. Psychedelic drugs might be nothing less than our key to deciphering consciousness.

With brand-new imaging technology, we could now watch the brain as it loses its sense of time and space. We could observe which regions fall out of sync when it dissolves its sense of self. We could literally watch the brain as it changes its state of consciousness. The problem is, were not allowed to. The current drug legislation makes psychedelic research so difficult and so expensive, that only very few research teams manage to get approval and funding for their studies.

Criminalization of psychedelic drugs stands between science and the exploration of consciousness.

Having discovered the serotonergic system less than 70 years ago, there is much that remains unknown about this mighty and mysterious network of neurons. We know that it is crucial for a lot of processes, but the ins and outs are not well understood even today. It will be a long time before well figure out the exact mechanisms of this versatile system.

In the meantime, every new study on psychedelics reveals fascinating new insights about consciousness, the brains default mode network and mental disorders. Over the next posts in our Psychedelic Drugs series well cover the outcome of those recent studies.

Medical Benefits of Psychedelic DrugsPsychedelic Drugs and the Serotonergic System (Youve just read it)The Psychedelic ExperienceYour Brain on Psychedelic DrugsPsychedelics and Mental HealthMicrodosing LSD: Smart Drug or Placebo?MDMA-assisted Therapy

Wow, that was a lot of information to take in. But you did it! Now you know more about the serotonergic system than any of your friends (except if your friends are neuroscientists). Since you seem to be really interested in the topic you might want to get notified when we publish our next story.

If you are located in the Vienna area, we invite you to join the Psychedelic Society Vienna meetup, where well discuss the latest research and developments in the field.

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Psychedelic Drugs and the Serotonergic System

How to Use MDMA (Molly) – How to Use Psychedelics

MDMA is a truly remarkable medicine for working with difficult emotional experiences. The clinical results have far exceeded other interventions for a range of uses (see the research section at the bottom of this page).

MDMA is a synthetic psychedelic, first developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck in 1912. It has been widely studied since then, particularly for psychotherapeutic uses. With the rate of academic research growing rapidly, it is likely that MDMA will become FDA approved for therapeutic use within the next few years, and MAPS.org is focused on moving it through the approval process. MDMA is being widely tested for post-traumatic stress, with results that surpass any other existing treatment method.

MDMA is a particularly appealing psychedelic for therapists and researchers because the subjective mental experience feels fairly stable, while creating a dramatic increase in emotional openness and a reduction in fear and anxiety.

Before you begin, be sure to read our safety section and see the special safety considerations for MDMA at the bottom of this page.

Because MDMA has anti-anxiety and anti-fear effects, it is generally considered safe to use a full dose your first time and each time you use MDMA (generally 75mg – 125mg depending on the individual). It is important to measure the dose carefully. Milligram-precision scales cost about 20 dollars (heres an Amazon search for milligram scale).

Some therapy protocols add a booster dose of about 60mg of MDMA 2-3 hours after the first dose to extend the period of therapeutic effects and provide more time for deep exploration.

MDMA will typically be in the form of a powder, pill, or crystal. Again, be sure that you are receiving pure MDMA, not mixed with other drugs or stimulants like caffeine. ‘Molly’ is another term for pure MDMA, distinguished from ‘Ecstasy’ which often contains MDMA but is not pure MDMA. If the MDMA is in pill form, youll have to be confident of the reported dosage, as fillers are added to create a pill and weighing the pill will not indicate the MDMA content. As always, do not take any MDMA if you are unsure of quantity or purity.

Once the MDMA has worn off, be sure that you drink lots of water and get a long peaceful sleep at night. MDMA can be mentally tiring and you need to rejuvenate.

Most people find that they have an afterglow from their MDMA experience that can last days or weeks, improving their mood and outlook and keeping them very open to others.

On the other hand, some people feel mentally drained by MDMA and have a foggy headed feeling for a day or two afterwards. Others will feel emotionally drained, and have a depressed mood for up to a week after the experience. Sometimes, these feelings begin two days after the experience, but not the day after. To combat this, some people who feel sensitive to that after-effect will take 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan (both are common supplements available from any source) for a few days after MDMA in an attempt to restore their serotonin levels. People who do feel drained after an MDMA session generally report that precise the MDMA dose can affect how they feel afterwards. Too much may leave them more drained than necessary. This is another reason to start with a modest, precisely measured dose to begin.

Nearly everyone, no matter how they feel the following week, finds that the thoughts, feelings, and emotional release that they experience on MDMA persists afterwards. In particular, any realizations that they had during the experiences tend to prove real and lasting.

Most remarkably, painful emotional associations with life experiences — traumas, breakups, divorces, etc — are dramatically reduced if that issue has been explored during the experience. You will find that when you think about that same painful experience after exploring it on MDMA, you will not have the same flood of emotional pain and tension that you would have had beforehand. The memory will be intact but the emotional strings will be looser.

Even for extreme emotional trauma, this holds true. In a recent research study for patients with PTSD, 83% of patients experienced reduced symptoms after just 3 MDMA sessions combined with therapy, vs. only 25% of patients who had therapy alone. Quite simple, MDMA is the most effective treatment for PTSD ever developed. Compare this level of success to traditional anti-depressants which have strong side effects and are dosed every day for years at a time (for a total of hundreds or thousands of doses) and which have very low rates of effectiveness, often just slightly above placebo.

In addition to our standard safety suggestions, there are three particularly important precautions for MDMA use:

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How to Use MDMA (Molly) – How to Use Psychedelics

How to Take Mushrooms (Psilocybin mushrooms / Shrooms …

Psychedelic mushrooms containing psilocybin are one of the oldest and safest traditional medicines and have been used for centuries in many countries around the world. The therapeutic and spiritual uses of mushrooms are what make it such an important tool for growth and healing.

Over 200 species of mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin are known, growing naturally in many parts of the world. Mushrooms are non-addictive and become less active with repeated short-term use. They do not have any overdose risk. Many experts consider them among the safest psychoactive compounds available (safer than tobacco, alcohol, and anti-depressants).

See the bottom of this page for recent academic studies on the therapeutic uses of mushrooms. From a recent article in the New York Times:

Before you begin, be sure to read our safety section and see the special safety considerations for mushrooms at the bottom of this page.

The strength of mushrooms can vary somewhat, because you are consuming the mushrooms themselves, not just the active agents. Different strains have different strengths and potency can somewhat decline over time.

It is not possible to overdose on mushrooms. However, taking a dose thats different than anticipated can cause temporary anxiety. Interestingly, this can happen if the dose is smaller than expected, as well as if it is larger. In fact, some therapists recommend starting with a fairly strong dose of mushrooms that will quickly move people past their own psychological frameworks and into a more spiritual state, thereby bypassing anxiousness. Other research has suggested that starting with a small initial dose and increasing in successive sessions reduces potential anxiety.

Mushrooms are non-addictive and become much less effective if taken repeatedly in a short period of time, as your body adjusts. This makes overuse less likely.

Typically, people feel very free and open in the days following a mushroom experience. You should try to get a good nights sleep afterwards, and you may feel a little tired the next day.

Most people find that they have an afterglow from their mushroom experience that can last days or weeks, improving their mood and outlook and keeping them very open to others. Ideas and issues that you explored during the experience will have a new clarity to them. Emotionally difficult topics, memories, and experiences are likely to feel much safer and will bring up less fear when you remember them. You are likely to feel better able to tackle challenging emotional experiences in your life.

The positive effects of mushrooms can last for years, even from just a single experience. In a recent study at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, an incredible 94% of participants who had a single dose of mushrooms said it was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives. Another study found long lasting changes in openness more than a year after a single mushroom dose.

As you can read in the studies above and below, mushrooms have been shown in many research settings to dramatically reduce anxiety, depression, and other psychological challenges with just a single dose. However, you may wish to repeat the experience a few times to further explore and address any emotional and psychological issues that you are working with.

In addition to our standard safety suggestions, do not use mushrooms if you are currently taking psychoactive pharmaceuticals, such as anti-depressents, anti-anxiety drugs, etc. Always research any supplements or other medicines that you may be taking to avoid interactions.

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How to Take Mushrooms (Psilocybin mushrooms / Shrooms …

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

Arizona Psychedelics Conference

Welcome to the first psychedelic conference of Arizona. This three-day event seeks to examine the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin, ayahuasca, peyote, MDMA, DMT, ibogaine, ketamine, cannabis, and more. Join us to examine the role of psychedelic drugs and plant medicines in science, medicine, culture, and spirituality. Over the course of the weekend, we will explore these …

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Arizona Psychedelics Conference

How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Many people find their day to day experience of life is filled with anxiety, limiting the activities they do and the enjoyment they have in life. Psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD have been used for decades to treat anxiety disorders and to reduce anxiety levels.

In some cases, these substances seem to directly alleviate feelings of anxiety, even at very small doses (below the level at which they subjectively alter consciousness). For other people, psychedelics help them explore the root causes of their anxieties and fears and find peace with them. And for many people, psychedelics bring them to a place a spiritual peace and openness that can become a new touchstone for letting go of anxiety or learning not to identify with it so strongly.

This description of the process may sound abstract to someone suffering from anxiety day to day, but like talking therapy, the healing process of psychedelics can be a little difficult to convey until youve tried it.

Recent clinical research has shown dramatic reductions in anxiety even after a single psychedelic experience with psilocybin mushrooms. Even for patients facing the extreme anxiety of terminal illness, psilocybin allows them to embrace their fate and find peace with their loved ones.

Heres one womans story of being treated with mushrooms as she was facing death, described in a New York Times article (see below):

Before Pam Sakuda died, she described her psilocybin experience on video: I felt this lump of emotions welling up . . . almost like an entity, Sakuda said, as she spoke straight into the camera. I started to cry. . . . Everything was concentrated and came welling up and then . . . it started to dissipate, and I started to look at it differently. . . . I began to realize that all of this negative fear and guilt was such a hindrance . . . to making the most of and enjoying the healthy time that Im having. Sakuda went on to explain that, under the influence of the psilocybin, she came to a very visceral understanding that there was a present, a now, and that it was hers to have.

Two weeks after Sakudas psilocybin session, Grob (the researcher) readministered the depression and anxiety assessments. Over all among his subjects, he found that their scores on the anxiety scale at one and three months after treatment demonstrated a sustained reduction in anxiety, the researchers wrote in The Archives of General Psychiatry. They also found that their subjects scores on the Beck Depression Inventory dropped significantly at the six-month follow-up.

Whats remarkable about the research results from this and many other studies is that even a single dose of a psychedelic substance can create long lasting changes, reducing anxiety, depression, and creating more emotional openness.

LSD, MDMA, and mushrooms have all been studied for anxiety reduction. Remember that a psychedelic experience can sometimes produce anxiety or can focus the mind on sources of anxiety, as part of the process of addressing the root causes. Starting with small doses and following all the safety guidelines can help reduce anxiety.

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How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Psychedelic art – Wikipedia

Psychedelic art is any art or visual displays inspired by psychedelic experiences and hallucinations known to follow the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. The word “psychedelic” (coined by British psychologist Humphry Osmond) means “mind manifesting”. By that definition, all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche may be considered “psychedelic”. In common parlance “psychedelic art” refers above all to the art movement of the late 1960s counterculture. Psychedelic visual arts were a counterpart to psychedelic rock music. Concert posters, album covers, liquid light shows, liquid light art, murals, comic books, underground newspapers and more reflected not only the kaleidoscopically swirling colour patterns of LSD hallucinations, but also revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments inspired by insights derived from these psychedelic states of consciousness.

Psychedelic art is informed by the notion that altered states of consciousness produced by psychedelic drugs are a source of artistic inspiration. The psychedelic art movement is similar to the surrealist movement in that it prescribes a mechanism for obtaining inspiration. Whereas the mechanism for surrealism is the observance of dreams, a psychedelic artist turns to drug induced hallucinations. Both movements have strong ties to important developments in science. Whereas the surrealist was fascinated by Freud’s theory of the unconscious, the psychedelic artist has been literally “turned on” by Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD.

The early examples of “psychedelic art” are literary rather than visual, although there are some examples in the Surrealist art movement, such as Remedios Varo and Andr Masson. It should also be noted that these came from writers involved in the Surrealist movement. Antonin Artaud writes of his peyote experience in Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara (1937). Henri Michaux wrote Misrable Miracle (1956), to describe his experiments with mescaline and also hashish.

Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception (1954) and Heaven and Hell (1956) remain definitive statements on the psychedelic experience.

Albert Hofmann and his colleagues at Sandoz Laboratories were convinced immediately after its discovery in 1943 of the power and promise of LSD. For two decades following its discovery LSD was marketed by Sandoz as an important drug for psychological and neurological research. Hofmann saw the drug’s potential for poets and artists as well, and took great interest in the German writer Ernst Jnger’s psychedelic experiments.

Early artistic experimentation with LSD was conducted in a clinical context by Los Angelesbased psychiatrist Oscar Janiger. Janiger asked a group of 50 different artists to each do a painting from life of a subject of the artist’s choosing. They were subsequently asked to do the same painting while under the influence of LSD. The two paintings were compared by Janiger and also the artist. The artists almost unanimously reported LSD to be an enhancement to their creativity.

Ultimately it seems that psychedelics would be most warmly embraced by the American counterculture. Beatnik poets Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs became fascinated by psychedelic drugs as early as the 1950s as evidenced by The Yage Letters (1963). The Beatniks recognized the role of psychedelics as sacred inebriants in Native American religious ritual, and also had an understanding of the philosophy of the surrealist and symbolist poets who called for a “complete disorientation of the senses” (to paraphrase Arthur Rimbaud). They knew that altered states of consciousness played a role in Eastern Mysticism. They were hip to psychedelics as psychiatric medicine. LSD was the perfect catalyst to electrify the eclectic mix of ideas assembled by the Beats into a cathartic, mass-distributed panacea for the soul of the succeeding generation.

Leading proponents of the 1960s psychedelic art movement were San Francisco poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie MacLean, Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley, and Wes Wilson. Their psychedelic rock concert posters were inspired by Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art. The “Fillmore Posters” were among the most notable of the time. Richly saturated colors in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly symmetrical composition, collage elements, rubber-like distortions, and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco psychedelic poster art style. The style flourished from about 1966 to 1972. Their work was immediately influential to vinyl record album cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created album covers.

Although San Francisco remained the hub of psychedelic art into the early 1970s, the style also developed internationally: British artist Bridget Riley became famous for her op-art paintings of psychedelic patterns creating optical illusions. Mati Klarwein created psychedelic masterpieces for Miles Davis’ Jazz-Rock fusion albums, and also for Carlos Santana Latin Rock. Pink Floyd worked extensively with London-based designers, Hipgnosis to create graphics to support the concepts in their albums. Willem de Ridder created cover art for Van Morrison. Los Angeles area artists such as John Van Hamersveld, Warren Dayton and Art Bevacqua and New York artists Peter Max and Milton Glaser all produced posters for concerts or social commentary (such as the anti-war movement) that were highly collected during this time. Life Magazine’s cover and lead article for the September 1, 1967 issue at the height of the Summer of Love focused on the explosion of psychedelic art on posters and the artists as leaders in the hippie counterculture community.

Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors the lightshow artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the music. This was mixed with slideshows and film loops to create an improvisational motion picture art form to give visual representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and create a completely “trippy” atmosphere for the audience. The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts.

Out of the psychedelic counterculture also arose a new genre of comic books: underground comix. “Zap Comix” was among the original underground comics, and featured the work of Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Robert Williams among others. Underground Comix were ribald, intensely satirical, and seemed to pursue weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Gilbert Shelton created perhaps the most enduring of underground cartoon characters, “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”, whose drugged out exploits held a hilarious mirror up to the hippy lifestyle of the 1960s.

Psychedelic art was also applied to the LSD itself. LSD began to be put on blotter paper in the early 1970s and this gave rise to a specialized art form of decorating the blotter paper. Often the blotter paper was decorated with tiny insignia on each perforated square tab, but by the 1990s this had progressed to complete four color designs often involving an entire page of 900 or more tabs. Mark McCloud is a recognized authority on the history of LSD blotter art.

By the late 1960s, the commercial potential of psychedelic art had become hard to ignore. General Electric, for instance, promoted clocks with designs by New York artist Peter Max. A caption explains that each of Max’s clocks “transposes time into multi-fantasy colors.”[1] In this and many other corporate advertisements of the late 1960s featuring psychedelic themes, the psychedelic product was often kept at arm’s length from the corporate image: while advertisements may have reflected the swirls and colors of an LSD trip, the black-and-white company logo maintained a healthy visual distance. Several companies, however, more explicitly associated themselves with psychedelica: CBS, Neiman Marcus, and NBC all featured thoroughly psychedelic advertisements between 1968 and 1969.[2] In 1968, Campbell’s soup ran a poster promotion that promised to “Turn your wall souper-delic!”[3]

The early years of the 1970s saw advertisers using psychedelic art to sell a limitless array of consumer goods. Hair products, cars, cigarettes, and even pantyhose became colorful acts of pseudo-rebellion.[4] The Chelsea National Bank commissioned a psychedelic landscape by Peter Max, and neon green, pink, and blue monkeys inhabited advertisements for a zoo.[5] A fantasy land of colorful, swirling, psychedelic bubbles provided the perfect backdrop for a Clearasil ad.[6] As Brian Wells explains, “The psychedelic movement has, through the work of artists, designers, and writers, achieved an astonishing degree of cultural diffusion but, though a great deal of diffusion has taken place, so, too, has a great deal of dilution and distortion.”[7] Even the term “psychedelic” itself underwent a semantic shift, and soon came to mean “anything in youth culture which is colorful, or unusual, or fashionable.”[8] Puns using the concept of “tripping” abounded: as an advertisement for London Britches declared, their product was “great on trips!”[9] By the mid-1970s, the psychedelic art movement had been largely co-opted by mainstream commercial forces, incorporated into the very system of capitalism that the hippies had struggled so hard to change.

Examples of other psychedelic art material are tapestry, curtains and stickers,[10] clothing,[11] canvas and other printed artefacts[12] and furniture.[13]

Computer art has allowed for an even greater and more profuse expression of psychedelic vision. Fractal generating software gives an accurate depiction of psychedelic hallucinatory patterns, but even more importantly 2D and 3D graphics software allow for unparalleled freedom of image manipulation. Much of the graphics software seems to permit a direct translation of the psychedelic vision. The “digital revolution” was indeed heralded early on as the “New LSD” by none other than Timothy Leary.[14][15]

The rave movement of the 1990s was a psychedelic renaissance fueled by the advent of newly available digital technologies. The rave movement developed a new graphic art style partially influenced by 1960s psychedelic poster art, but also strongly influenced by graffiti art, and by 1970s advertising art, yet clearly defined by what digital art and computer graphics software and home computers had to offer at the time of creation. Conversely, the convolutional neural network DeepDream finds and enhance patterns in images purely via algorithmic pareidolia.

Concurrent to the rave movement, and in key respects integral to it, are the development of new mind-altering drugs, most notably, MDMA (Ecstasy). Ecstasy, like LSD, has had a tangible influence on culture and aesthetics, particularly the aesthetics of rave culture. But MDMA is (arguably) not a real psychedelic, but is described by psychologists as an entactogen. Development of new psychedelics such as 2C-B and related compounds (developed primarily by chemist Alexander Shulgin) are truly psychedelic, and these novel psychedelics are fertile ground for artistic exploration since many of the new psychedelics possess their own unique properties that will affect the artist’s vision accordingly.

Even as fashions have changed, and art and culture movements have come and gone, certain artists have steadfastly devoted themselves to psychedelia. Well-known examples are Amanda Sage, Alex Grey, and Robert Venosa. These artists have developed unique and distinct styles that while containing elements that are “psychedelic”, are clearly artistic expressions that transcend simple categorization. While it is not necessary to use psychedelics to arrive at such a stage of artistic development, serious psychedelic artists are demonstrating that there is tangible technique to obtaining visions, and that technique is the creative use of psychedelic drugs.

Bohemian wall hangings and Hippie Tapestries

Psychedelic and Trippy wallpapers collection

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Psychedelic art – Wikipedia

Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics

OUR 12th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Horizons 2018 is fully sold out and no further registrations are available in-person or on the days of the event.

Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelicsis an annual forum in New York City that examines the role of psychedelic drugs and plant medicines in science, medicine, culture and spirituality.

In recent years, a growing community of scientists, doctors, scholars, and activists have orchestrated a renaissance in psychedelic research and practice.

Horizons brings together the brightest minds and the boldest voices of this movement to share their knowledge, insights, and dreams for the future.

Now in its twelfth year, Horizons is the largest and longest-running annual gathering of the psychedelic community in the world.

Horizons Media, Inc. is a 501c(3) not-for-profit educational charity led by Kevin Balktick, Ingmar Gorman, Ph.D., and James Vasile, Esq.

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Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics

How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics

Depression is a challenging and often long-term condition that can be very difficult to treat. In clinical studies, psychedelics have shown significant long-term positive impact on mood, even when used in just a single session.

Many people who have suffered from depression and later recovered find that they need a combination of approaches to stay healthy. Good nutrition, exercise, more time with friends, lower stress, and personal introspection (through therapy, psychedelics, or meditation) can be a powerful combination.

For decades, psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and LSD have been used in clinical studies, private therapy, and at home to alleviate depression. More recently, the prescription medication ketamine has shown incredible results for depression.

Heres one mans story from a recent clinical study, as reported in the New York Times:

Nothing had any lasting effect until, at the age of 65, he had his first psychedelic experience. He left his home in Vancouver, Wash., to take part in an experiment at Johns Hopkins medical school involving psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in certain mushrooms.

Today, more than a year later, Dr. Martin credits that six-hour experience with helping him overcome his depression and profoundly transforming his relationships with his daughter and friends. He ranks it among the most meaningful events of his life, which makes him a fairly typical member of a growing club of experimental subjects.

Clinical studies like this one that use psilocybin and LSD to study depression have a very simple protocol. Participants are invited to come to a research room that has been setup to feel comfortable and they take a dose of the substance. A researcher sits with them for the duration of the experience (typically 4-6 hours) and may talk them through any anxiety that arises. But generally, the participants simply remain quiet and feel the experience, following where their thoughts and feelings take them.

This setup can be replicated at home or in another comfortable setting. The most essential elements are a comfortable space, plenty of time to stay in the experience, and someone you trust who can support you during the experience.

The mechanism by which psychedelic experiences alleviate depression is not completely clear to researchers, but there are a few theories. One mechanism may be that the drugs directly open pathways in the brain that are normally inhibited, allowing emotions to flow more freely and helping people feel more grounded and connected. But the mental experiences and explorations that occur while taking psychedelics seem more likely to be responsible for the long term impact. This may explain why people who use psychedelics recreationally do not automatically experience the same benefits as individuals who use these substances in a more directed and focused environment. The mental experiences that consistently arise — feeling more connected to the universe, being able to openly face fears and challenges of life, seeing your relationships more clearly, and feeling a stronger relationship to your own religious traditions — all seem to transform an individuals perspective on their life.

If you are interested in learning how to use ketamine, mushrooms, or LSD to treat depression, please read our Ketamine Guide, Mushroom Guide, and our LSD Guide. MDMA has not received as much attention in the context of depression, but because it shows such powerful effects in enhancing psychotherapy and resolving painful memories and experiences, it should also be considered. Here is the MDMA Guide.

Psychedelics have been misunderstood and misrepresented for decades. That’s changing. Please help us share safe, responsible information on using psychedelics by sending this page to friends, and posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

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How to Treat Depression with Psychedelics


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