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Psychedelics – Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Types of psychedelics

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

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

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

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

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

Psychedelics affect everyone differently, based on:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use of psychedelics is likely to be more dangerous when:

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

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Psychedelics - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

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

The 12 Most Popular Psychedelic Drugs | Ocean Breeze Recovery

From attempts to see with the third eye to clandestine government operations, Americans have been fascinated by the confounding effects of psychedelic drugs. Despite thousands of scientific papers that have been written about many of the substances in the list below, we still dont know everything there is to know about hallucinogenic drugs. Part of that is because we still have a lot to learn about the human brain.

Serotonergic (classical psychedelic drugs)

Serotonergic (classical psychedelic drugs) these are usually what the layman (or woman) thinks of when they conjure up an idea of psychedelic drugs. LSD, DMT, and mescaline all fall into this category. Using these drugs will cause drastic changes in your sensory perception including visual and audible hallucinations.

Empathogens

Empathogens these drugs affect the neurons that release serotonin, giving the user the feeling of euphoria, love, and increased attentiveness and awareness. A typical high from one of these psychedelics usually involves relatively mild changes to perception such as audio and visual stimuli.

Dissociatives

Dissociatives the two key things that dissociatives do is create a sense of depersonalization and derealization. Users tend to feel a disconnect from the world, their surroundings, and even their own bodies.

Psychedelics arent often chemically addictive, and some have even been studied as possible aids in addiction treatment. Addiction is often caused by direct alteration of brain chemistry, and psychedelics often have a low impact on brain chemistry, except for indirect influences. However, they do have a high risk of abuse, and some can cause lasting psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and even psychosis. Some substances can cause psychological addiction when a person becomes emotionally dependent on the drug. And other synthetic psychedelics are believed to be habit forming.

Keep reading to learn about the most popular psychedelic drugs and how they affect your body and brain.

Lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as acid or LSD, is possibly the most well known psychedelic drug. Popularized by the 1960s counterculture, LSD made its way into pop culture with public figures like the Beatles admitting to using it. The chemical was also the subject of a wide range scientific study throughout the 20th century, including the CIAs illegal and controversial Project MKUltra.

LSD alters awareness and perceptions and may also cause hallucinations. It is not chemically addictive but can cause some negative effects like anxiety and paranoia. Some research shows an increased likelihood of developing psychological disorders like schizophrenia in adults with other risk factors.

Psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, a group of fungi that have been used since prehistoric times as an entheogen and hallucinogenic drug. The substance psilocybin is found in a variety of genera, with over 100 species in the genus Psilocybin, though the mushrooms of that genus usually dont produce hallucinations.

Psilocybin causes an increase in empathy, euphoria, and altered thinking. In some species, it can cause open and closed eye visuals.

Though they arent chemically addictive and they dont represent a significant health threat, they are hard to distinguish from deadly mushrooms. Toxic species like Death Caps can look identical to some species of psilocybin and grow in the same places.

N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, better known as DMT, was popularized by two researchers in the late 20th century. Scientist Rick Strassman studied it extensively in the 1990s and gave it the nickname the Spirit Molecule. Terence Mckenna, an ethnobotanist, studied and described the effects of the DMT in detail.

DMT has been used for possibly thousands of years by Amazonian tribes that activate DMT innately in rainforest plants by brewing it in tea, called ayahuasca with MAOIs (which is necessary to make it active when ingested).

The substance may be among the most powerful psychedelic drugs on earth, with potential for powerful visual hallucinations. There is little evidence to suggest that it could cause chemical dependence or medical complications. However, there is a chance that psychological issues may develop from bad trips.

Mescaline is a psychedelic alkaloid thats found in a number of southwestern cacti like peyote, the San Pedro cactus, and the Peruvian torch. Peyote is popularly used by Native American shaman in religious ceremonies. The drug is illegal in the US but special exceptions are made for groups that use it for religious purposes.

Mescaline causes color enhancements, euphoria, and an increase in introspection. Users often report having personal epiphanies on while on the drug. When ingested, the peyote cactus is bitter and can commonly cause nausea and vomiting. Mescaline, like other psychedelic drugs, has a potential for psychological addiction. However, it isnt chemically addictive and has a very low physical risk for healthy users.

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, better known as MDMA, ecstasy, or molly is an entactogen which is a class of drugs that produce a feeling of communion or oneness with others. Unlike the rest of the top five psychedelic drugs, MDMA is most often used as a party drug. Other hallucinogens require careful attention to set and setting, the users mindset and the place they are using. In loud, crowded settings, users increase their likelihood of a bad trip.

MDMAs effects; however, have a larger emphasis on increased empathy and emotional connection. It also elevates mood and sometimes facilitates a mental and physical euphoria. In some users, MDMA can create mild hallucinations like color changes or heightened audio effects.

MDMA causes dehydration and raises your body temperature which means users are required to drink water consistently while high. MDMA has been recorded leading to fatal medical complications due to hyperthermia and dehydration, especially when combined with alcohol.

25I-NBOMe, better known as N-Bomb or simply 25I, is a synthetic designer drug that is used for neurochemistry and brain mapping. Its also a potent psychedelic hallucinogen. Like its cousins in the 2C family of synthetic drugs, 25I is used recreationally for its similarity to MDMA. It causes an increase in empathy and affection as well as visual hallucinations. It may also cause extreme anxiety or a feeling of doom.

Unlike the 2C family and MDMA, 25I is fatal at high doses. An effective dose is less than a milligram, while similar synthetic hallucinogens require anywhere between 3 to 10 mg. There have been several recorded instances of overdose caused by mistaken identity.

Salvinorin A, or salvia, is a psychoactive drug that comes from the Salvia divinorum, a plant thats native to the high mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Salvia is unique in its chemical structure when compared to other naturally occurring psychedelics. Unlike other psychedelic drugs, its not an alkaloid, but rather, a terpenoid, which is a broad category of organic chemicals.

Saliva is a dissociative, a class of psychoactive drugs that distortsight and sound which makes users feel detached from the world around them or even from themselves. Hallucinogenic effects can cause trance-like-states, anxiety, and dysphoria.

Salvinorin A is federally legal in the US, but some states like Florida consider it a controlled substance.

Phencyclidine, or PCP, is a synthetic drug that also causes dissociative hallucinations. PCP was originally synthesized as an anesthetic for medical use. Because of its side effects, which can include mania, delirium, and disorientation, use in humans was discontinued in the 1950s.

Unlike other psychedelic drugs, PCP is considered to be moderately addictive, and there is some threat of developing psychological issues.

Ketamine is a precursor to PCP and was synthesized for the same purpose, as an anesthetic for use in surgeries. It can cause sedation and memory loss as a side effect and was later restricted to veterinary use. Its recreational use causes similar effects to PCP and it, too, has a low to moderate addiction potential.

Dextromethorphan, or DXM, is the one drug on this list that has the most accidental usage. DXM is a common active ingredient in a cough suppressing medicines like Vicks, NyQuil, Robitussin, and many others. At high doses, it can cause dissociative hallucinogenic effects like PCP or ketamine. However, it is less likely to cause addiction or dependence.

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, is a psychoactive drug that naturally occurs in the brain as a neurotransmitter. It has been used medically as an anesthetic and for treatment of narcolepsy. When used recreationally, users report effects similar to alcohol or MDMA and, like MDMA, it is often used in clubs and at raves. In rat studies, GHB has shown to be habit forming, and some users report feeling withdrawal symptoms after stopping use.

The 2C family is a group of synthetic psychedelics used as designer drugs and MDMA analogs. They were first synthesized by chemist Alexander Shulgin in the 1970s. Since then they have been used to circumvent legal bans on MDMA. Many members of the group, like 2C-I and 2C-B cause stimulation, euphoria, increased heart rate, color enhancement, and hallucinations. Different members of the 2C family have different effective doses, and they can be hard to tell apart. This can lead to overdose in cases of mistaken identity.

Marijuana does not make the top 12 despite the fact that it is widely used and some psychologists consider it as a psychedelic drug. However, the number one defining attribute is that a psychedelics primary action is to alter cognition or perception. While marijuana may do this in some situations, it is primarily used for mood-heightening and relaxing effects.

Another psychedelic thats growing in popularity is ibogaine, a substance found in plants that are native to West Africa and used in tribal rituals. It hasnt reached a high level of recreational use compared to some of the drugs on the list. However, it is being studied as an experimental addiction treatment drug in some countries. Though it has shown some potentially dangerous effects on the heart.

If you are struggling addiction or drug abuse of any kind, you are not alone. Psychedelic drugs are often used alongside more dangerous substances with serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

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The 12 Most Popular Psychedelic Drugs | Ocean Breeze Recovery

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

Welcome to theCannabis Countdown. In this weeks rendition, well recap and countdown the top 10 Marijuana and Psychedelics industry news stories for the week of March 16th 22nd, 2020.

Without further ado,lets get started.

*Yahoo Finance readers, please click here to view full article.

10. Demand for Cannabis Delivery Surges in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

With the Rise of COVID-19, Demand for Cannabis Delivery Has Increased as More Turn to Pot to Cope

Many marijuana delivery services and retail shops have seen a sharp rise in sales as a result of theCoronaviruspandemic.Red White & Bloom (RWB), is an example of a largemulti-state operator (MSO)that offers cannabis delivery services.RWBhas 10 stores inMichiganwhere adult-use cannabis is legal, many of which are set up to offer the option of home delivery.

READ FULL CANNABIS DELIVERY ARTICLE

9. Hawaii to Study Magic Mushrooms with Goal of Psilocybin Legalization

Resolutions Introduced Would Seek to Eventually Legalize Psilocybin Products in Hawaii for Medical Use

Following the opening of the United States first legalPsychedelicsclinic in New York City, interest in exploring the health benefits of psychedelic substances likePsilocybin(Magic Mushrooms) continues to grow. Lawmakers in Hawaii arebeginning to explorethe potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic mushrooms (i.e.Psilocybin).

READ FULL HAWAII PSILOCYBIN ARTICLE

8. Cronos Group Faces SEC Inquiry Over Revenue Recognition Practices

SEC Inquiry Related to How Cronos Recognized Revenue for Certain Bulk-Resin and Wholesale Deals

Late Thursday evening,Max CherneyofMarketWatch reportedthatCronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) is the subject of an SEC inquiry. According to documents viewed by MarketWatch, Cronos staff were allegedly asked to preserve records related to deals with four Canadianpot stocks.

READ FULL CRONOS GROUP ARTICLE

7. California Psilocybin Legalization Activists Request Online Signature Gathering Amid Coronavirus

Decriminalize California and its Campaign Partners Are Requesting an Emergency Policy Change

A campaign to legalizePsilocybinmushrooms inCaliforniais asking the state to allow online signature gathering for their ballot petition, arguing that theCoronavirusoutbreak necessitates an alternative means to put thePsychedelicreform measure before voters in November.

READ FULL CALIFORNIA PSILOCYBIN ARTICLE

6. Marijuana Industry Pleads for Access to Federal Coronavirus Business Relief

Legal Marijuana Employs Roughly 240,000 People in the U.S., But Cannabis Still Remains Federally Illegal

As Congress scrambles to reach a consensus on how to help Americans caught in the financial fallout ofCOVID-19, a coalition of marijuana industry trade groups is urging federal lawmakers not to forget about the hundreds of thousands of workers in state-legal cannabis industries.

READ FULL CANNABIS INDUSTRY ARTICLE

5. Bruce Linton on Psychedelics, Listing on the NEO, and the Difference Between Going Public and Being Public

Bruce Sat Down with the Green Rush Podcast to Discuss What Hes Been up to Since Leaving Canopy

Bruce Linton, formerly the CEO of cannabis behemothCanopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) and now Director ofMindMed (OTC: MMEDF) sat down with The Green Rush podcast. Since his departure from Canopy in 2019, Bruce has since moved onto several new ventures within the cannabis andPsychedelicsspaces but is still the unquestioned face of the industry.

READ FULL BRUCE LINTON ARTICLE

4. Cannabis Sales Soar as Canadians Hunker Down to Stop Coronavirus

To Manage Stress in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic or Just to Pass the Time Under Quarantine

Canadians and tourists have been lining up for several days at pot shops and flooding online cannabis retailers sites to stock up on the mood-altering drug.

READ FULL CANADA CANNABIS SALES ARTICLE

3. Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, California Gov Classifies Cannabis Industry as Essential During States Effective Lockdown

Decision to Categorize Cannabis Firms as Essential Provides an Economic Lifeline to the Industry

Under a clarification document Gov. Gavin Newsom issued late Friday, all licensed marijuana businesses inCaliforniacan continue with business as usual during an effectivestatewide lockdownimplemented in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Story continues

READ FULL CALIFORNIA ARTICLE

2. Champignon Brands to Expand Psychedelics IP Portfolio Through Novo Formulations Acquisition

Novo is a Specialty Biotech Firm Currently Working with Ketamine, Anaesthetics and Adaptogenics

Champignon Brands (OTC: SHRMF) announced that on March 18, 2020, the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire Novo Formulations Ltd. Champignon Brands plans to leverage the Novo Formulations deal to pursuePsilocybinandMDMAformulations.

READ FULL CHAMPIGNON BRANDS ARTICLE

1. Pot Sales Jump as More People Stay at Home: Bank of America

This Implies That Pot is a Defensive Category, Like Alcohol and Tobacco

More people stuck at home has led to a higher demand for cannabis, andAphria (NYSE: APHA) is one of the best-positioned companies to take advantage of that trend, an analyst at Bank of America said. Carey also raisedOrganigram (NASDAQ: OGI) to neutral from underperform, leaving his price target at $2.50.

READ FULL CANNABIS SALES ARTICLE

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

Green Rush Podcast: Bruce Linton On Psychedelics, Listing On The NEO, And The Difference Between ‘Going Public’ And ‘Being Public’ – Benzinga

Bruce Linton, formerly the CEO of cannabis behemoth Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) and now Director of Mind Medicine (OTC: MMEDF) is this weeks guest on The Green Rush! Since his departure from Canopy in 2019, Bruce has since moved onto several new ventures within the cannabis and psychedelics spaces but is still the unquestioned face of the industry. Started with CNBCs Kevin OLeary, Bruces most notable role right now is with Mind Medicine, a neuro-pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and deploys psychedelic inspired medicines to improve health, promote wellness and alleviate suffering.

Fresh off taking Mind Med public on the NEO Exchange, Bruce sat down with Lewis to chat about what hes been up to since his departure from Canopy. The two touch on all of the headlines dominating the cannabis industry including most notably the public markets and capital crunch as well as what his outlook is for the long and short-term future of the space. In addition, the two tackle the burgeoning psychedelics industry and explore the work that Mind Med is currently undergoing, why now was the time to take the company public and what convinced Bruce that psychedelics were the real deal.

In addition, the pair discuss Bruces other cannabis ventures including his roles at Vireo Health (OTC: VREOF), Better Choice Company (OTC: BTTR) and Gage Cannabis.

As most know, Bruce is a one-of-a-kind leader in this space and his interview with Lewis provides a ton of great insights on how he is approaching the future.

Dont sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

See Also: Green Rush Podcast: Vanguard Scientific's Matthew Anderson On The Cannabis Capital Crunch And Ancillary Services

Bruce Linton, Director of Mind Medicine Inc.

Bruce has a passion for entrepreneurship and making a positive difference in the world. He brings a wealth of experience in building strong technology driven companies, developing world class teams and positioning his companies to deliver exceptional customer value and service.In his newly appointed role as an Active Advisor, Bruce will serve as Executive Chairman with GAGE Cannabis Co., following completion of the acquisition of Innovations GAGE is innovating and curating the highest quality cannabis experiences possible for patients in the state of Michigan and bringing internationally renowned brands to market.

See Also: Green Rush Podcast: ELLO's Hershel Gerson Says The Average Cannabis Company Has 6 Months Of Cash Before They Run Out

He is Special Advisor with Better Choice Company (BTTR) BTTR is an animal health and wellness cannabinoid company that acquired TruPet LLC, an online seller of ultra-premium, all-natural pet food, treats and supplements, with a special focus on freeze dried and dehydrated raw products. And Director with MindMed MindMed is assembling a drug development pipeline of psychedelic inspired medicines planning or undertaking FDA trials.Bruce is also an Activist Investor with SLANG Worldwide Inc. (OTC: SLGWF) is a leading global cannabis consumer packaged goods company with a robust portfolio of renowned brands distributed across 2,600 stores in 12 U.S. states. And with OG DNA Genetics Inc. (DNA) DNA has built and curated a seasoned genetic library and developed proven standard operating procedures for genetic selection, breeding, and cultivation.He is the Founder and Former Chairman and CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC/WEED), Co-Chairman and past CEO of Martello Technologies, and Co?founder of Ruckify & Better Software.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guests company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther.

For cannabis and psychedelics content in Spanish, check out El Planteo.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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

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Green Rush Podcast: Bruce Linton On Psychedelics, Listing On The NEO, And The Difference Between 'Going Public' And 'Being Public' - Benzinga

Microdosing: taking illegal psychedelic drugs as a form of therapy – does it actually work? – Now To Love

Anxiety is a modern epidemic. Officially it affects around one in four New Zealanders but talk to anyone who works in our schools and universities and they will tell you the problem is far bigger than that.

Young people are suffering and mental health services are struggling to help. Last year, one US study showed the percentage of 18- to 26-year-olds suffering from an anxiety disorder had doubled since 2008. And it seems that women are far more likely to experience psychological distress than men.

What if there was a new therapy for anxiety non-invasive, no side effects, you'd barely even know you were on it except you felt calmer? What if that same treatment could work for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, support the mental health of cancer patients, help in palliative care, control addiction, maybe even boost everyday mood and enhance work performance? Many people believe this potent remedy already exists it is called microdosing and currently, it is against the law.

Microdosing involves taking tiny amounts of illegal psychedelic drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms, at about a tenth of the usual dose potentially all that is required to make changes in the brain.

It first took off in Silicon Valley where microdosing is one way high performing professionals are trying to give themselves an edge in a competitive business. They believe it boosts creativity and focus, increases productivity, improves sleep and helps them manage stress.

Despite its illegality, the practice is now becoming more widespread.

It may sound like microdosing is the latest and greatest life hack, but so far there isn't much solid scientific evidence to back it up, only a lot of chatter. The man who may be set to change that is Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy at Auckland University.

He has spent his career looking at how various therapies affect brain activity and this year will embark on a world-first study to see if microdosing really is as effective as enthusiasts claim.

It has taken a long time to get the ethics approval and funding needed, but partly thanks to a large donation from Silicon Valley, the project is set to go. Dr

Suresh says that while there are many interesting claims about the benefits of microdosing, the few laboratory studies so far haven't found any positive results. This may be due to the placebo effect people believe a drug is going to work and so it seems to but there is another possible explanation.

"Laboratory studies are tremendously boring," Dr Suresh explains. "You come into a sterile environment, take the dose and then you're monitored, probed and prodded for six hours. It's not a good reflection of what is happening when people take a microdose of LSD, then go out and engage with the world, do their job, live their life. If this drug is a platform that enhances experience, then perhaps you need to have an experience."

His University of Auckland trial will involve 40 healthy male volunteers no women this time round because the hormonal activity of the menstrual cycle creates changes in the brain and makes the testing process more complex.

For six weeks, half the men will take a microdose of pharmaceutical grade LSD and half a placebo, then they'll switch. No one will have any idea whether they are on the real drug or the fake, and crucially they will be allowed to take the pills home and experience microdosing "in the wild", rather than solely in the lab.

"People will be filling in nightly questionnaires about things like mood, wellbeing, concentration and any negative effects. And we'll bring them into the lab to do more involved assessments of brain function," says Dr Suresh.

Modern imaging techniques, such as fMRI, mean scientists can actually see what is going on in the brains of people who are taking these drugs. When he was based in the UK, Dr Suresh was involved in one trial where participants took a full dose of LSD and it was found that parts of the brain that don't normally connect with one another, started to communicate.

LSD, commonly known as acid, is a synthetic chemical that binds to the serotonin receptors in the brain. In small amounts, it produces mild changes in perception, mood and thought. When larger doses are taken it can cause visual hallucinations and an altered sense of time.

The heyday of LSD was the 1960s when the US psychologist and writer Timothy Leary urged people to take an acid trip to "turn on, tune in, and drop out", but humans actually have a far longer history of using psychedelics.

In South America, shamans have used a plant-based psychoactive tea called ayahuasca in traditional healing rituals and ceremonies for centuries. And there is archaeological evidence that shows people were taking magic mushrooms thousands of years ago.

In recent years there has been a renewed interest in the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Scientists around the world have been looking at how MDMA (ecstasy) might help patients with severe PTSD; at how ayahuasca might be used to treat depression; how LSD may be helpful for addiction and severe phobias; and how psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, might be a breakthrough for hard-to-treat health and mental health issues.

Aucklander Amadeus Diamond runs a Facebook page called Psychedelics New Zealand and has set up the Entheos Foundation with the aim of raising funds for local research and education.

Amadeus works in finance and isn't a microdoser himself, but is excited about the potential of these drugs to help those dealing with everything from addiction to PTSD and depression, and frustrated that their illegality is making it difficult for sufferers to access them.

"I want to help," he says. "I want to put the word out and get these things to the point where people can benefit from them."

Since the publication of US writer Michael Pollan's book, How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics in 2018, he says there has been a surge in interest.

"I'm getting six or seven messages a week from people saying, 'I have PTSD' or 'I'm depressed' or 'A family member is suffering from depression, please help.' And it breaks my heart when I have to say I can't. All I'm able to do is point them in the direction of the best research.

"I can't help them source illegal drugs and I can't encourage them to self-medicate because that would be irresponsible."

Illegality notwithstanding, there are other reasons why self-medicating with hallucinogens could be a bad idea. Drugs sold as LSD may actually contain other substances, some of them more dangerous and stronger, so it is easy to take too much.

Pick the wrong mushroom and rather than it being 'magic', it could paralyse and kill you. If you are taking other drugs such as SSRIs or have mental health issues, it might make things worse rather than better.

For Laura*, those risks appear to have been worth it. Since she was a child, she has struggled with anxiety. Her panic attacks were sometimes so severe that she would black out.

"There didn't seem to be a trigger," she recalls. "It would happen randomly while I was at school or walking down the street. Then a couple of years ago my anxiety got so bad I didn't want to leave the house."

Laura, a South Island mother with a corporate job, knew she needed help. She went to her GP who prescribed a class of anti-depressants known as SSRIs that increase levels of the mood-regulating hormone, serotonin, in the brain.

Laura had tried taking them previously while suffering post-natal depression and the drugs hadn't agreed with her. Still, she didn't think there was another option.

"Then, after I started taking them, I couldn't get out of bed for a month," she says.

So her doctor took her off the anti-depressants and Laura made the decision to leave her stressful job and study psychology. That was when she started learning about the healing potential of psychedelic drugs. Laura was most interested in the idea of microdosing.

"I did a lot of reading and got information on how to go about it," she says. "I was lucky there was someone I knew and trusted who had access to LSD and they sold me some."

The first time she tried it, Laura microdosed for a week and there was a real impact on her anxiety. "Suddenly I wanted to go out of the house again. I had conversations where I didn't feel awkward. Probably the biggest thing I noticed was that I wasn't ruminating about the past or feeling anxious about the future."

The beneficial effect lasted for five weeks. Since then, Laura has tried microdosing twice more and says her panic attacks are now a thing of the past. "It's made a huge difference to my life," she says.

LSD is a class A drug and possession can result in six months' imprisonment, a $1000 fine, or both. "Still, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again," Laura admits.

Even if the University of Auckland study does find solid evidence of benefits from healthy men taking microdoses of LSD, the research will need to be repeated with women, and then mental health patients, to see how it is going to affect the wider community.

"With science you've got to do it one step at a time," he says.

Currently, a third of people with serious depression are unable to find a drug that eases their symptoms. Dr Suresh believes that for mental health disorders, a variety of different treatments is required, as patients tend to respond to one and not another.

Some day microdosing may be among the options. In the meantime, it worries Dr Suresh that people out there are taking the risks of self-medicating, when there is no real evidence yet that it works and his own trial might not find any benefits.

"Still, we have to chase the knowledge and find out," he says. "We'll never know unless we do an effective study."

Wellington's Rebekah Senanayake is willing to talk openly about having tried microdosing. She is planning to study for her master's in the traditional cultural uses of psychedelics and has a part-time job looking after the social media for an organisation called the Chacruna Institute which researches and educates around psychedelic plant medicines.

Rebekah was travelling in South America when she had her first experiences with ayahuasca. "It helps you think of things in a completely different way," she says. "Afterwards, I felt a lot clearer in my mind and body, my interactions with other people were better and I could think more deeply."

But ayahuasca is also not without risks. In 2015, New Zealander Matthew Dawson-Carke died while taking it on a retreat in Peru.

Rebekah spent 10 days in the jungle going through a guided ritual with a shaman that involved clean-eating before drinking it several times and says she never had any sort of bad experience.

Since then Rebekah, who is in her mid-twenties, has microdosed with huachuma (or San Pedro), a cactus that originally comes from Peru and has been used for thousands of years in sacred ceremonies.

"I took a tiny, tiny dose every morning for about three months," she says. "That was really interesting because you don't go fully into the experience, you just feel some of the effects. You're still in control, you can do everything you normally do, it's just at a different level. You think about one thing at a time," she says.

Convinced of the potential of these plant medicines to help people when used in the right way, Rebekah hopes her future career path will involve psychedelics. But there is still a long way to go before they are likely to be accepted by mainstream medicine.

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Microdosing: taking illegal psychedelic drugs as a form of therapy - does it actually work? - Now To Love

Psilocybin: The magic ingredient in psychedelic shrooms – Livescience.com

Psilocybin is the main psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, also called "magic mushrooms" or "shrooms." There are over 100 species of mushrooms that contain psilocybin.

Although people have been consuming magic mushrooms for thousands of years, the compound wasn't isolated until 1957 and it was produced synthetically a year later. Since 1970, psilocybin and psilocin (a closely related compound) have been listed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Association (DEA) as Schedule I substances the federal government's most restrictive category.

Despite these restrictions, recent clinical trials have found psilocybin to be a promising therapy for treatment-resistant anxiety and depression. Because of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated psilocybin as a "breakthrough therapy" an action meant to accelerate the drug development and review process.

There are over 100 species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms with varying potencies, said Matthew Johnson, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who studies psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin.

Psilocybin mushrooms have long, slender stems topped by caps with dark brown edges, according to the DEA. In the U.S., magic mushrooms are found in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest often growing in pastures on cow dung, Johnson told Live Science. They also grow in Mexico, Central and South America. The most potent species in the world is considered Psilocybe azurescens, which is found mainly in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

In the early 1950s, an American banker and mushroom enthusiast named R. Gordon Wasson came across an indigenous tribe using psychoactive mushrooms when he was on vacation in Mexico, according to Drug Policy Alliance. Wasson sent samples of the mushrooms to Albert Hoffmann, a Swiss chemist known for discovering LSD. Hoffmann isolated psilocybin from the mushroom Psilocybe mexicana in 1957, and he developed a way to produce a synthetic version of the psychedelic compound a year later.

Since 1970, psilocybin and psilocin have been listed by the DEA as Schedule I substances, the federal government's most restrictive category. Drugs in this category are believed to have a "high potential for abuse" as well as "no accepted medical use," according to the DEA.

Psilocybin along with other drugs, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and mescaline, are considered "classic psychedelics" because they can induce changes in mood, thought and perception by mimicking neurotransmitters in your brain.

Once it enters the body, psilocybin is broken down into psilocin, a substance that acts like the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates mood. Psilocybin is known to activate a specific type of serotonin receptor in the brain that triggers its psychedelic effects, Johnson said.

Its hallucinatory effects can cause a person to see images, hear sounds and feel sensations that seem real but aren't, according to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Someone on psilocybin may experience synesthesia, or the mixture of two senses, such as feeling like they can smell colors.

Related: 'Trippy' bacteria engineered to brew 'magic mushroom' hallucinogen

Besides sensory enhancement and visual hallucinations, participants in psilocybin-assisted therapy sessions have described the drug's effects as a life-changing experience where they gain deep insight that shifts the way they think about themselves.

A mystical type of experience has also been linked with the use of psilocybin, Johnson said. People have described feeling at one with humanity, feeling a sense of unity, and feeling a sense of self dissolve after consuming the psychedelic compound, he explained.

Studies have shown that after taking psilocybin, there is a sharp increase in communication between areas of the brain that normally don't talk to each other, which may partly explain the new insights people experience. There's also a quieting of deeply entrenched thought patterns that contribute to addictions, anxiety and depression, Johnson said.

People have been ingesting psilocybin-containing mushrooms for thousands of years as part of religious ceremonies or for healing purposes.

Magic mushrooms can be made into a tea, eaten raw or dried, ground into a powder and put in capsules, or coated in chocolate, to mask their bitter flavor and disguise them as candy, Johnson said. The hallucinogenic effects may begin within 20 to 40 minutes of use and last about 3 to 6 hours, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Studies on the possible medical benefits of psilocybin and other psychedelics began in the 1950s and '60s, immediately after Hoffmann created a way to produce the chemical synthetically.

Although findings showed promise for treating anxiety, depression and addiction, research in the U.S. came to a halt in 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act. This law was viewed as a political response to a growing fear of psychedelic drug use in young people and the spread of the counterculture movement.

Three decades later, Roland Griffiths, a psychopharmacologist at Johns Hopkins, won FDA approval to study psilocybin, ushering in a new era of psychedelics research with more rigorous scientific standards than earlier studies.

When used in current research sessions, participants take a pill containing a high dose of synthetic psilocybin with professionals monitoring them and providing psychological support, Johnson said. They typically receive counseling before and after the psychedelic experience.

The FDA has granted some scientists permission to use psilocybin in research but the recreational use of psilocybin is illegal in the U.S. However, its illicit use has been decriminalized in two cities (Denver and Oakland, California) and other cities are working on similar measures, Johnson said.

Psilocybin has shown promise for treating a variety of difficult-to-treat health conditions.

For example, the results are extremely positive for the use of psilocybin in the treatment of smoking cessation and depression, Johnson said. Recent clinical trials have reported that just one to three doses of psilocybin given in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy have helped patients quit their smoking habit, he said. Afterward, people feel more confident in their ability to change behavior and manage their addictions.

Results are also promising for the use of psilocybin in reducing cancer-related anxiety and treatment-resistant depression two areas where there is a huge need for better treatment options, Johnson said.

Psilocybin along with supportive therapy appears to help people come to grips with problems and learn from these experiences, he said. The treatment may induce insights and novel perspectives that promote mental flexibility and may cause lasting behavior changes six months to a year later.

Small studies of psilocybin have also suggested benefits as a treatment for alcohol addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The most common negative side effect of psilocybin is the potential for a "bad trip," Johnson said. High doses of psilocybin can cause overwhelming feelings of anxiety, fear and confusion that can lead to dangerous behavior if not used under medical supervision.

Psychedelics are very intoxicating substances, and their side effects can be challenging to manage even in the relatively safe framework of a research setting, Johnson said. Researchers reduce these risks by prohibiting people with a history of psychosis from participating in psilocybin studies. Psilocybin can also moderately increase blood pressure, which is why people with heart problems are excluded from studies, he added. Other possible side effects of psilocybin use include nausea, vomiting, headaches and stomach cramps.

For recreational users, misidentification of mushroom species is one of the biggest concerns. Some poisonous varieties of mushrooms in the wild bear a strong resemblance to psilocybin species, according to ProjectKnow. Inexperienced mushroom hunters might not recognize the difference, and could accidentally ingest a poisonous mushroom, which could lead to liver failure or death.

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This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to provide medical advice.

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Psilocybin: The magic ingredient in psychedelic shrooms - Livescience.com

Are Investors Ready To Change Their Minds About Psychedelic Drugs? – Forbes

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In 1967, Jimi Hendrixs Are You Experienced? became the anthem for a generation of psychedelic initiates. Over fifty years later, at the recent Economics of Psychedelic Investing conference, the cultural touchstone was Michael Pollans NYT bestseller, How to Change Your Mind. And as Lewis Goldberg, Principal of KCSA Strategic Communications, noted to the 200-plus attendants, it should have already been required reading for everyone in the room.

As the books title suggests, for those with intractable depression, end-of-life anxiety, PTSD and addiction, psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, ibogaine, MDMA, arketamin and LSD can literally change their minds. And it is the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs to treat the profound distress of Western society, and the inherent economic opportunities that entails, that attracted a group of entrepreneurs, investors, potential investors and other psychedelically experienced and curious to the NYC event. Some had leveraged their success in the early cannabis green rush and are already riding the psychedelic third wave. Others were eager not to miss out on what may be the next big opportunity while the industry is still in its infancy.

As Debra Borchardt of Green Market Report, who organized the sold-out event, observed, The fast emergence of companies wanting to be first to market on psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs reminds me of the early days of the cannabis industry. I think the biggest difference here is that the psychedelic industry is more focused on medicinal uses because there isnt a large demand for recreational uses - not at the same level of cannabis.

The parallels between cannabis transition from outlaw drug to mainstream medicine and that of psychedelic drugs was a recurring theme during the half-day conference, as were the differences.

Both involve converting a capricious and infinitely varying botanic medicine into a consistent and replicable pharmaceutical drug that can pass the FDA hurdles to ultimately be covered by insurance. Without that, the costs for psychedelic drug therapies, which can require significant professional involvement pre-, during and post-treatment, would be prohibitive.

Further complicating matters, like cannabis, many of those psychedelic substances are classified under Schedule 1, with all the obstacles to research that entails. Yet as Dr. Terence Kelly, CEO of Perception Neuroscience, noted, the regulatory authorities are very familiar with psychedelic substances and tend to be cooperative regarding their research. Compass Pathways FDA-approved study of synthetic psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, and MAPS study of MDMA for PTSD are two cases in point.

There are other practical matters, like how to scale up growth of a mushroom that is cultivated on manure for large-scale industrial needs. And as Jay Pleckham and Leonard Leher of Back of the Yards Algae Sciences explained, they are already on the job.

Another issue that both cannabis and psychedelics have successfully addressed is how to avoid unwanted psychoactivity. Keynote speaker J.R. Rahn of MindMed described the companys acquisition of 18-MC, a synthetic compound related to ibogaine but stripped of its hallucinogenic properties, that is being developed as a drug for treating addiction. Fortuitously, the previous owners of the drug IP had already cleared initial clinical studies, moving it further along on the regulatory pathway. Another huge advantage in the companys favor is that the drug is not classified under the Controlled Substance Act. But perhaps the most compelling case for the company is the real and pressing need for an effective anti-addiction solution in a country ravaged by the opioid crisis.

Another way that both cannabis and psychedelic drug developers are deriving medical value without unwanted psychoactivity is through microdosing. Interestingly, at very low doses, LSD has been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Shlomi Raz of Eleusis described how his company is testing microdoses of LSD initially to treat retinopathy as a proof of concept before addressing the much more formidable chronic-inflammation-related Alzheimers disease.

Both the cannabis and psychedelic industries are being called upon to redress the inequities and consequences of decades of prohibition their businesses are built upon. In the case of psychedelic drugs, Shelby Hartman, co-founder and editor-in-chief of DoubleBlind Magazine, emphasized that the sacred use of psychedelic plants by indigenous peoples must be honored as well.

Other common themes arose, including the question of what is lost when a psychedelic plant is converted into a pharmaceutical drug. Is there an entourage effect that is sacrificed when the natural psychoactive compound is isolated and synthesized? Should access to the medicine be controlled by for-profit companies, or should everyone be free to grow their own? And is it possible to experience true healing without the trip?

Perhaps where psychedelic drugs and cannabis most diverge is in their timeline to market. The need for robust clinical trials entails a significant outlay of time and funding. For potential investors, supporting companies to enable their clinical trials was one suggested way to get involved at this early stage of the game.

But some companies are taking advantage of the ready availability of substances like ketamine, which have been approved for other uses in the case of ketamine, for anesthesia. Along with its other longer-term R&D projects, Canadian therapeutic psychedelic company Field Trip is already establishing psychedelic drug-assisted therapy clinics in Canada, and will soon be opening branches in Los Angeles and New York.

The movement to decriminalize psychedelic drugs for public access is making symbolic headway in places like Oakland, Denver and Oregon. But while masses of cannabis consumers magically appear as soon as new legal markets open up, as they did most recently in Illinois, whether there will be such a voracious market for psychedelic drugs is not so clear. There is a reason why psychedelic drugs are considered to have the lowest potential for abuse. A psychedelic experience can be as daunting as it is life-transforming.

Still, the practice of microdosing psychedelic drugs is well-established in Silicon Valley, where it is considered as a way to support creativity and focus. And as one participant in the conference divulged, there is a significant underground of psychedelic microdosers in New York City as well.

After hearing from companies including Atai Life Sciences, MindMed, Eleusis and others, the excitement among participants in the room was palpable. Something indeed is happening here.

At this point, with the psychedelic movement well into its third wave, investors may want to ask themselves, if they arent experienced, perhaps its time to change their mind?

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Are Investors Ready To Change Their Minds About Psychedelic Drugs? - Forbes

What ongoing research suggests about psychedelics ability to improve mental health – FOX 59 Indianapolis

Can the mind-blowing effects of psychedelics help heal our traumas?

The Goop Lab, Gwyneth Paltrows new Netflix mini-series, tackles the topic in their first episode by sending several Goop employees to Jamaica to ingest magic mushrooms under the careful guidance of psychotherapists.

One young woman, traumatized by her fathers suicide, declares she went through years of therapy in about five hours.

What does the scientific community say about the role of psychedelics on our psyche?

Its an increasingly hopeful thumbs up.

Despite the fact that psychedelics are illegal, the last decade has seen an explosion of research, with results so intriguing that governments are greenlighting studies around the world.

Scientists are busily exploring the role of hallucinogens on treatment-resistant depression, post traumatic stress disorder, cancer-related anxiety, addictions, and even anorexia.

But this is not the first time science became giddy over the potential benefits of psychedelics. That story began nearly a century ago.

It was 1938 when Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman inadvertently synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, while trying to create a treatment for bleeding disorders. He shelved the compound for other research, then accidentally absorbed a small dose a few years later.

Intrigued by the feeling of euphoria, Hoffman tried it again, later realizing he had given himself five times the effective dose.

The faces of those around me appeared as grotesque, colored masks, Hoffmanwrotein a first person account. I sometimes observed, in the manner of an independent, neutral observer, that I shouted half insanely or babbled incoherent words. Occasionally I felt as if I were out of my body.

Hoffman was tripping.

Word spread quickly through the scientific community and soon researchers around the world began analyzing, then experimenting with LSD, both on themselves and their patients.

Their methods may not be considered state-of-the-art science today, but that didnt stop the research. Science began to tackle other age-old hallucinogens: an extract from Mexican sacred mushrooms called psilocybin, and a naturally occurring psychoactive found in the peyote cactus called mescaline.

After all, these plant-based psychedelics have been in use by indigenous peoples and ancient cultures for hundreds, possibly thousands of years.

In the 1950s UK psychiatristDr. Humphry Osmondbegan giving LSD to treatment-resistent alcoholics: 40% to 45% of those who took LSD were still sober after a year. Other researchersduplicated his results.

Eager to label the effect of LSD on the mind, Osmond put together the Greek words psyche (mind) and deloun (show). The word psychedelic was born.

During the 40s and early 50stens of thousands of patientstook LSD and other psychotropics tostudy their effectson cancer anxiety, alcoholism, opioid use disorder, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Researchers began to see psychedelics as possible new tools for shortening psychotherapy.

Outside the control of a lab, people began touse psychedelics for their mind-bending effects, swearing the drugs improved creativity and made them happier long past the bliss of the high.

Celebrities helped spread the word: Cary Grant used LSD over 100 times in the late 50s, according to the documentary film, Becoming Cary Grant, claiming it made him a better actor.

Grant was so taken with the drug that he decided to go public with his experience in the September 1, 1959, issue of Look magazine.Vanity Fair wroteabout the article, entitled The Curious Story Behind the New Cary Grant, which was a glowing account of how LSD therapy had improved Grants life: At last, I am close to happiness.

Influential writer Aldous Huxley, best known for his 1932 novel Brave New World, took LSD during the last third of his life. In 1960 he told The Paris Review: While one is under the drug one has penetrating insights into the people around one, and also into ones own life. Many people get tremendous recalls of buried material. A process which may take six years of psychoanalysis happens in an hour and considerably cheaper!

When Harvard psychologists Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert decided to open theHarvard Psilocybin Projectin 1960, research on psychedelics was still in its golden era. That would soon change.

Leary and Alpert were fired in 1962 and their research shut down when Harvard discovered they had been giving LSD to their students. Alpert changed his name toBaba Ram Dassand became a best selling author and New Age guru. Leary began to speak out publicly, encouraging young people to take LSD recreationally. He quickly became the face of the drug counterculture movement with his signature message, Turn on, tune in, drop out.

Drop out of school, because school education today is the worst narcotic drug of all,Leary said.Dont politic, dont vote, these are old mens games.

No longer administered in the relative safety of a lab or psychiatrists office, horror stories of bad acid trips at colleges and concerts shared headlines with images of anti-Vietnam protests and unclothed Woodstock attendees.

In 1966, LSD was declared illegal in the United States and research projects were closed or forced underground.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act into law. It classified hallucinogenics asSchedule I drugs the most restrictive category reserved for substances with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Twenty five years passed. Then in the mid-90s, a few scientists inGermany,Switzerlandand theUSagain began to explore the mental and physical impact of psilocybin, mescaline, and a new player in the space: N-dimethyltryptamine or DMT. Its the active ingredient in an ancient sludge-like brew called ayahuasca, which is used by spiritual healers in the Amazon.

Small, with very few participants and no randomization or other controls, the research was similar to safety and tolerability studies designed to prove no harm.

Trying to study illegal substances created challenges for researchers, but many persevered. As the years passed, the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Drug Enforcement Administration began to say yes more often than no.

Studies on psilocybin, DMT, and mescaline were approved, as were studies of the synthetic drug MDMA, more commonly known as Molly or Ecstasy.

Research on LSD, which had the worst reputation in the publics eye, lagged behind until 2008. Thats when theMultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, received FDA approval to study LSD-assisted psychotherapy on end-of-life anxiety.MAPS called the approvala transformative moment.

The study found positive trends in the reduction of anxiety after two sessions of LSD administered under the guidance of a psychotherapist.

Fears of any permanent damage from psychedelics were eased by a large2015 studyof 130,000 American adults, comparing users to non-users. The study found no link between the use of LSD, psilocybin or mescaline and suicidal behavior or mental health problems.

However, studies show aminority of peopledo experience bad trips, fueling speculation that the chance of negative experiences maydiffer depending on the type of hallucinogenic, the dose, even the type of mental disorder. In addition, research shows people who have used anti-depressants for a long time fail to respond well to some psychedelics, leading to concern about theiruse in chronic anti-depressant users.

To avoid negative experiences, MAPS and other organizations say having trained therapists on hand to guide one through the experience is key, along with a supportive setting, appropriate expectations and proper dosage.

Today there is a true renaissance of research on the role of psychedelics on mental health.

Gold-standard double blind randomized trials have shownrapid, marked, and enduring anti-anxiety and depression effects, researchers say, in people with cancer-related and treatment-resistant depression after a single dose of psilocybin. Treatment with psilocybin has also improvedobsessive compulsive disordersymptoms andalcohol dependence.

Dosage has become a focus of interest. Micro-doses of shrooms and other psychedelics is a recent trend; users claim tiny, daily doses can improve mood and concentration without the commitment to a hours-long high. Research on micro-dosing is in the early stages.

MAPS is in thefinal phaseof a gold-standard study administering MDMA [Ecstasy] to 300 people with severe PTSD from any cause. Results of the second phase showed 68% of the people no longer met the criteria for PTSD at a 12-month follow-up; before the study they had suffered from treatment-resistant PTSD for an average of 17.8 years.

The results are so positive that in January the FDA declared MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD a Breakthrough Therapy. MAPS hopes to turn the therapy into a FDA-approved prescription treatment by the end of 2021 to treat sexual assault, war, violent crime, and other traumas.

We also sponsored completed studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for autistic adults with social anxiety, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety related to life-threatening illnesses, the group says.

Ayahuascahas been shown to significantly improvedepressionand appears to be helpful in treating alcohol, tobacco and cocaineaddiction.

LSD has been shown to helpanxiety, and studies find it provides a blissful state for the majority of users. Study participants report greater perceptiveness, insight, feelings of closeness to others,happiness, and openness. Some even say they experience long-term, positive restructuring of their moods and attitudes.

But somestudieshave found unpleasant effects from LSD, both during the high and after. People with negativereactionscan have difficulty concentrating, dizziness, lack of appetite, dry mouth, nausea and/or imbalance for up to 10 to 14 hours after taking LSD; headaches and exhaustion can last up to72 hours.

In the end, its too early for science to provide psychedelics a full seal of approval. One of the caveats of this research is that the drugs are administered with psychological support. When that is removed,studiesfound the benefits were minimal, and in rare cases, may even worsen mental health symptoms.

Psychedelics amplify painful memories and emotions, said MAPS trained psychiatrist Dr. Will Siu in the Goop episode. Taking these drugs in unsupported settings, he said, can be incredibly destabilizing, and you can actually feel worse in the short term.

Long term, it appears research into psychedelics is here to stay. Perhaps one day soon a trip to the therapist will include a trip into your mind, and hopefully, a quicker path to healing.

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What ongoing research suggests about psychedelics ability to improve mental health - FOX 59 Indianapolis

Could psychedelics help us resolve the climate crisis? – The Conversation UK

In recent years there has been a resurgent scientific interest in the psychological effects of psychedelic drugs. Consider the example of recent trials in which psilocybin was administered to people diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. Those involved reported significantly positive responses even six months later.

Such studies point with increasing confidence to the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for treating depression, addiction, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and enhancing palliative care.

Amidst this psychedelic renaissance, there is one recent study in particular that has grabbed my attention. This study, published in a reputable, peer-reviewed international journal, makes even bolder claims about the potential of psychedelics not only for improving mental health, but also, remarkably, as a key to overcoming inaction in the face of the climate crisis.

On what grounds? The authors justify their claim by zooming in on one explanation for their apparently positive effect on well-being, established in previous research. As well as resetting key brain circuitry and enhancing emotional responsiveness, psychedelics commonly increase peoples positive feelings of connectedness to ones self and others, and to the natural world.

Connection to nature is something Im interested in and have researched with colleagues, especially in relation to mental health. Nature-connectedness is now considered a research topic in its own right in the field of psychology, an individual quality that can be measured. It refers not just to the extent of an individuals contact with natural settings, but the extent to which they report feeling connected to and part of the natural world.

Using established measures of nature connectedness with more than 600 participants before and after one or more psychedelic experiences, the researchers found that psychedelic drug use enhanced participants sense of being connected to nature, an effect that deepened when that experience took place in natural settings. Perhaps this isnt that surprising. It is what they argue on the basis of these results that is especially interesting.

They cite evidence suggesting direct experiences of nature and a sense of nature connectedness underpin enhanced environmental awareness and a desire to care for nature, therefore reducing peoples environmentally destructive behaviour. This is nothing new. What is new is their claim that if psychedelic interventions significantly deepen a sense of connection, they might also have a role in contributing to both mental and planetary health.

Could this be true? What is happening, psychologically speaking, during psychedelic experiences of connectedness? Accounts point to feelings of self-transcendence, whereby the boundaries between ones self and others, or the self and the natural world, are temporarily dissolved. This is not so much an experience of one being connecting to another, as a temporary collapse of the very distinction between the self and nature.

On taking psychedelics, one can be momentarily absorbed in a state of oneness or oceanic boundlessness. This reminds me of a participants response in another study, published in 2017, exploring psychedelic treatments for depression:

Before I enjoyed nature, now I feel part of it. Before I was looking at it as a thing, like TV or a painting. [But] youre part of it, theres no separation or distinction, you are it.

The authors claim that such experiences, in which the self seems to have extended into nature, deeply impress an affiliation with nature that motivates us to care and protect. They argue that this cannot but engender an increased sense of environmental responsibility. As a result, they suggest that administering controlled amounts of psychedelic drugs to people while they are immersed in natural environments could hold potential for fostering greater environmental awareness and the motivation to act in more environmentally responsible ways.

You may or not be convinced by their argument, and the potential of psychedelics for provoking environmental awareness, behaviour change and activism is still to be seen. There is certainly no magic pill that can mobilise environmental responsibility on a mass scale, psychedelic or otherwise.

And as a critical psychologist engaging with the climate crisis, I can see the danger here in focusing on individual behaviour change, when part of the problem is that our energies are not directed at structural change and those wielding the greatest power, which the authors of this study acknowledge. Workable solutions to the climate crisis require more than shifts in individual perspective, however radical or profound.

Nonetheless, for me at least, seriously considering the physical, psychological, social and even environmental value of psychedelic drugs is in itself a welcome challenge to the deeply held, and often hypocritical, cultural assumptions we have about drugs and their prohibition.

To be clear, I am not advocating an unregulated psychedelic free for all. The trials mentioned here consist of carefully controlled doses, with participants supported by professional therapists.

But there is value in considering how profound experiences, not necessarily unchallenging ones, might have transformative power. For a start, psychedelic experiences of connectedness might help get beyond feelings of futility and isolation in the face of the climate crisis, when we think of ourselves only as helpless individuals, helping us to forge connections and see wider patterns.

Powerful experiences of nature might be especially significant today too. We increasingly live in an age of extinction. Nature is in retreat, urbanism and everyday alienation from nature is establishing itself as the norm, and we are confronting loss on a scale we find difficult to acknowledge and process.

In such unprecedented times, we can find ourselves trapped in dissociative psychological states, knowing about environmental crisis while doing all we can to stop that knowledge affecting us. This is true at an individual level but also in familiar social settings of shared silence and discomfort.

When we lack direct experiences of nature, are we missing a vital component of what is needed to really care for and take action on behalf of the environment of which we are an integral part? Maybe, just maybe, the profound experiential connectedness arising from psychedelic experiences in nature is analogous to the application of a defibrillator following cardiac arrest. Perhaps psychedelics could give us the shock that is needed to restart the beating heart of ecological awareness before it is too late.

More here:

Could psychedelics help us resolve the climate crisis? - The Conversation UK

Volunteers push to legalize the therapeutic uses of psychedelic mushrooms – Daily Astorian

Over the next several months, people may encounter local volunteers asking for signatures to get a statewide initiative on the ballot to legalize the therapeutic uses of psilocybin, or psychedelic mushrooms.

Becca Recker, the volunteer coordinator for the PSI 2020 Initiative, said people have shown interest in volunteering. More than 20 people attended a volunteer training held at Fort George Brewery on Friday.

Psilocybin mushrooms are seen in a grow room at a farm in the Netherlands.

Astoria is known as a psilocybin destination, Recker said. There is a lot of psychedelic underground work here where people have been guiding psilocybin sessions for people for decades.

The area is also known for Psilocybe azurescens, the most potent psychedelic mushroom, which was identified near Astoria by mycologist Paul Stamets.

If the initiative is approved by voters, it will allow psilocybin to be administered in licensed therapeutic environments and supervised by trained facilitators. It would require the Oregon Health Authority to establish the program.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated psilocybin therapy as a breakthrough therapy, and Johns Hopkins University is researching psilocybin to treat depression and addiction, among other things.

However, psilocybin is still classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law.

Recker said many people still associate psychedelics with media and imagery from the 1960s.

That imagery just took over and if you talked to someone who had a therapeutic psilocybin session its much different, she said.

Oscar Nelson, part-owner of Sweet Relief and the Astoria CBD Co., attended the volunteer training and is helping to facilitate a drop-off location for the signatures collected.

Psychedelics have been a part of my personal, spiritual path and then also something that has brought me out of depression and addiction and has given me a quality of life that I dont see how I would have gotten any other way, he said.

However, Nelson doesnt believe the drug is for everybody and should be available in a safe setting. He said psilocybin helps push people beyond their day-to-day perspective and see themselves from a new vantage point.

I hope that as these things progress that it can be more above ground and more open, he said.

The goal is to get this on the ballot, and then the Oregonians can choose. But if it doesnt get on the ballot, then people dont even have the option to say yes or no, Nelson said.

Recker described the initiative as one of many layers in drug policy reform.

She said the initiative works hand in hand with the decriminalization of drugs and advocating for using marijuana tax money to pay for more addiction and recovery services.

Our mission ... is to create a therapeutic program for Oregon with the understanding that that is only one tributary towards this larger river of creating more access to people who need more options for mental health, Recker said.

The more information people have about the measure, the more they are in support of it, and thats not just our opinion, thats what the polling has shown us, she said.

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Volunteers push to legalize the therapeutic uses of psychedelic mushrooms - Daily Astorian

Synthetic psychedelic drug effective in reducing alcohol intake in a rodent model of addiction – PsyPost

A synthetic psychedelic substance known as 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) reduces alcohol consumption in mice, according to new research published in Psychopharmacology. The findings could potentially lead to new treatment options for alcoholism.

Alcohol use disorder is one of the most devastating psychiatric diseases. It is responsible for untold human suffering and costs society billions of dollars. There is increasing hope that specialized therapy conducted with psychedelic drugs, under controlled and carefully designed conditions, may help people abstain from alcohol and provide meaningful remission rates, explained study author Kevin S. Murnane, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Mercer University.

In the study, male mice were exposed to alcohol and then split into a high drinking group and a low drinking group based on their consumption habits. The mice were then injected with a single dose of DOI or a placebo solution.

The researchers found that the psychedelic drug led to reductions in alcohol consumption in high alcohol drinking subjects. Mice injected with DOI also showed reductions in alcohol-induced place conditioning, a common measure of drug reward in animals. But DOI had no effect on overall fluid intake.

The results show that a psychedelic drug was effective in reducing alcohol drinking in laboratory animals. This supports the idea that psychedelics may be effective in humans suffering from alcohol use disorder, Murnane told PsyPost.

The researchers also found that the effects of DOI on alcohol consumption were largely reversed when mice were given another drug that selectively blocks serotonin A2 receptors.

While preclinical animal models are an important starting point, there is still much to learn about the relationship between psychedelic drugs and alcohol consumption.

We must temper our enthusiasm because much additional research needs to be conducted. In particular, studies should be conducted that determine the mechanisms by which psychedelics reduce alcohol drinking. Understanding these mechanisms will allow scientists and clinicians to make psychedelics therapy as safe and effective as possible, Murnane said.

The study, Effects of the synthetic psychedelic 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) on ethanol consumption and place conditioning in male mice, was authored by Aboagyewaah Oppong-Damoah, Kristen E. Curry, Bruce E. Blough, Kenner C. Rice, and Kevin S. Murnane.

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Synthetic psychedelic drug effective in reducing alcohol intake in a rodent model of addiction - PsyPost

Psychedelic therapy benefits persist five years after treatment – New Atlas

One of the more compelling areas of research currently being investigated in the world of psychedelic science is psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to improve emotional well-being in patients with life-threatening cancer. A new study is offering the first long-term insights into the efficacy of the treatment, revealing a single dose of psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, is still offering persistently positive effects up to five years later.

Dealing with the profound existential distress of a life-threatening cancer diagnosis is a major challenge for most patients. As many as 40 percent of cancer patients are known to develop clinically significant signs of depression or anxiety, and these mental health issues have been linked to worse treatment outcomes or, in some instances, suicide.

Some of the earliest psychedelic studies in the 1950s and 60s explored the effects of LSD on depression and anxiety in cancer patients before research in the area froze for several decades due to societal prohibitions. But post-2000 saw a thawing of regulations, and some of the most comprehensive trials to date have been investigating the potential for psychedelics in treating patients with life-threatening illness suffering existential distress.

The acute results from these studies have been incredibly promising but so far there has been little investigation into the long-term efficacy of these psychedelic interventions. In terms of psychedelic psychotherapy for patients with life-threatening illnesses, the longest follow-up study to date has been 12 months.

A newly published study in the Journal of Pharmacology is offering some of the best long-term insights into psychedelic psychotherapy to date. The study follows a previously published investigation into a single moderate dose of psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, for patients with cancer-related existential distress.

The 2016 double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study recruited 29 patients. By the six-and-a-half-month follow-up point, between 60 and 80 percent of the patients displayed clinically significant improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms.

The new study reports on two further long-term follow-up points investigating whether the effects of the psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy persisted for several years. Only 16 of the original 29 patients were still alive for the follow-up study, one of whom declined to participate and a second who died before the final follow-up date. This left 14 subjects to evaluate with an average final follow-up of four and a half years.

The long-term results were strikingly positive, recalling similar efficacy to the originally published study. Between 60 and 80 percent of the remaining subjects still fitted the criteria for clinically significant anxiolytic or antidepressant responses and the vast majority of the subjects ranked the single psilocybin treatment as one of the most meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives.

It may be fair to suggest that it is unsurprising the long-term effects are so positive considering around 70 percent of the surviving cohort were in partial, or complete, remission at the final long-term follow-up point. However, the persistent meaningful experiences reported by the cohort in relation to the single psilocybin dose suggests long-term positive psychological effects can be attributed to the treatment.

So, not only does it seem the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy helps patients move through the acute months following a major cancer diagnosis, but the experience may be aiding the surviving patients in positively contextualizing the traumatic experience years later.

Theres a reckoning, which came with cancer, and this reckoning was enhanced by the psilocybin experience, writes one of the patients five years later as part of the long-term follow-up questionnaire. I have a greater appreciation and sense of gratitude for being alive.

Another patient quoted in the new study offers a compelling sense that the psychedelic experience fundamentally changed their approach to the world. Again, this impression was nearly five years after the single psilocybin treatment.

The psilocybin experience changed my thoughts about myself in the world. I see myself in a less limited way. I am more open to life. It has taken me out from under a big load of feelings and past issues in my life that I was carrying around.

Gabby Agin-Liebes, lead author on the new study and co-author on the original 2016 study, keenly notes that these positive results seem to be due to the larger treatment regime of nine psychotherapy sessions in conjunction with the single psilocybin dose. Agin-Liebes does not believe these positive results can occur from a single psychedelic experience divorced from the broader treatment method and suggests the controlled therapeutic process is vital to the efficacy of this kind of psychedelic treatment.

Psychedelic experiences are uniquely influenced by context in which they occur, Agin-Liebes tells New Atlas in an email. The importance of context can not be overemphasized. Psychedelics are different from other psychiatric medications in that their benefits seem to be very dependent upon the context in which they are ingested. In more traditional medications (e.g., antidepressants), the persistent presence of the drug in the body affects biological process, which lead to psychological and behavioral effects independent of the contexts in which medication is taken.

Exactly how a single dose of psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, confers such profound and enduring effects up to five years later is still unclear. Agin-Liebes points to a recent paper from Imperial College London's Robin Carhart-Harris and Karl Friston as the most compelling holistic exploration of the mechanisms underpinning these persistent positive effects.

The most compelling and scientifically grounded theory relates to psilocybin's potential for inducing a flexible brain state, particularly people who experience more rigid brain states, explains Agin-Liebes. Psychedelics appear to relax the brain's biased patterns of information processing and beliefs and allow for more "bottom-up" information to enter into one's consciousness.

A number of larger clinical trials are currently ongoing, exploring the potential for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to address major depression and various addiction issues, as well as further validating the treatment for existential distress related to life-threatening illness.

The new study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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Psychedelic therapy benefits persist five years after treatment - New Atlas

What it’s like to take part in a psychedelic retreat – The Independent

After my third cup of magic truffle tea I lay in bed, put on my blindfold and waited for the psychedelics to take hold. I was a passenger now, at the mercy of a mercurial hallucinogen that was about to send me on a profound journey into my subconscious.

Id flirted with psychedelics before, recreationally, but this was different; this time I was taking them on a guided retreat and the idea wasnt to get out of my head, but to go in, hence the blindfold.

The retreat was organised by the Psychedelic Society of London, a non-profit organisation that believes the conscious use of psychedelics can create a more compassionate and joyful world. The societycampaigns for public access to hallucinogens, which have been taken by humans for millennia, but were made illegal in many countries as part of the controversial war on drugs (its currently a class-A drug, meaning those caught in possession in the UK can be arrested and charged).

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What it's like to take part in a psychedelic retreat - The Independent

Canadian psychedelic drug researcher featured in Paltrows Netflix show The Goop Lab – The Globe and Mail

Gwyneth Paltrow at this year's Golden Globe Awards. The first interview on her new Netflix series "The Goop Lab" is with Canadian researcher Mark Haden.

MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters

Canadian researcher Mark Haden is quickly getting up to speed on the media circus and skepticism that follows Gwyneth Paltrows juggernaut wellness brand, Goop.

The 65-year-old Vancouver professor is the very first interview in Paltrows new Netflix series The Goop Lab, featured in an episode about the potential healing power of psychedelic drugs.

He says he only learned of Goops many detractors after taping his interview with Paltrow, but he adds that hes faced a few critics of his own as executive director of MAPS Canada, which is the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

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MAPS mission is to explore the potential psychedelic drugs hold for medical treatment, and so the invitation to appear on a Netflix show helmed by one of Hollywoods biggest stars appealed to Haden, also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health.

We already have engaged fringy folks of the world and so now our next task is to engage the mainstream. You know, we want to heal cops were targeting cops and veterans, says Haden, whose U.S. counterparts are studying whether MDMA better known as the club drug Ecstasy can treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

We want to appeal to guys in suits and housewives.

To be sure, Goops dedicated following is large and ardent but Haden is now aware that its most famous products are resoundingly fringy among them jade eggs for vaginas and psychic vampire repellent.

Meanwhile its wackier health claims, including coffee enemas and vaginal steaming, have drawn the ire of much of the medical community.

Nevertheless, Haden said he was pleased with the way his episode turned out, deeming it balanced and concerned with real issues.

Judging by the six episodes that rolled out Friday, denouncements by mainstream authorities are a badge of honour for Paltrow and the Goop crew, who seem to revel in declaring the topics they tackle as unproven and out there.

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The trailer certainly highlights a seeming effort to appear cutting-edge with outtakes proclaiming that what youre about to see is dangerous and unregulated.

The six episodes range from 29 to 36 minutes, with each tackling a specific topic: psychedelics, cold therapy, sexual health, reversing biological age, energy fields and psychic ability.

But none of this is cutting edge, says longtime Goop critic Tim Caulfield, who took Paltrow and the Goop ethos to task in his book Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything? and his (no longer airing) Netflix series A Users Guide to Cheating Death.

On the contrary, a lot of these things are regressive in their approach to health, says Caulfield, who blames celebrities including Paltrow, Kim Kardashian West, David and Victoria Beckham and Madonna with spreading a decade of health and wellness misinformation.

Its frustrating that shes given the opportunity to spread not just misinformation about particular therapies, but (also) this idea that we should embrace magical thinking and distrust conventional sources of scientific information. Whether youre talking about the cold therapy, energy therapy, the use of mediums, all of these things have no evidence behind them.

Each episode is prefaced by a disclaimer insisting the content is designed to entertain and inform not provide medical advice.

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And its hard to believe the media-savvy Paltrow would not be hyper-aware of the scrutiny she seems to invite one of Goops more defiant products, a candle named This Smells Like My Vagina, hit the market just before the Netflix premiere.

The show itself includes a lighthearted dig at which Goop staffer is goopier, and a jab at Paltrow for being a princess.

Still, none of that self-awareness gives Paltrow licence to push pseudoscience, says Caulfield.

Especially problematic for him is the fact that The Goop Lab functions as an extended infomercial for Paltrows online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

While products are not overtly pitched on the series, the Goop website includes a dedicated section known as The Goop Lab Shop where devotees can buy items associated with themes featured on the show.

Toronto brand consultant Angela Wallace stops short of describing herself as a Goop fan but says she likes the fact it explores non-traditional approaches to wellness, believing a lot of women feel let down by more traditional health-care systems.

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A lot of the criticism does seem like: Arent women silly? Arent they frivolous? Arent they ridiculous for buying a jade egg or doing whatever they want in terms of making themselves happy and feeling well? says Wallace, who has shopped at Goops Yorkville outlet and subscribes to the newsletter.

She feels there is a gender bias in the way women are derided for their choices.

Men have been doing what they want for a really long time and not necessarily receiving the cultural criticism that women have, she says.

Shouldnt we have some agency in whether we decide to do that or not?

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Canadian psychedelic drug researcher featured in Paltrows Netflix show The Goop Lab - The Globe and Mail

5 years after taking one dose of magic mushrooms, a gaggle of most cancers sufferers nonetheless really feel much less despair and nervousness -…

5 years in the past, Dinah Bazer took a dose of psilocybin, the energetic ingredient in magic mushrooms, as a part of a medical trial at New York College. On the time she had ovarian most cancers, and like 40% of people with cancer, she was battling despair and nervousness.

Six months after taking the only dose, she reported feeling diminished signs of tension and despair. And 5 years on, she feels freed from the fears that gripped her.

Bazer, a Brooklyn-based ice skating teacher, was considered one of 15 most cancers sufferers that participated within the NYU Psilocybin Most cancers Nervousness Examine, 80% of whom are nonetheless feeling the optimistic results from that one dose in 2015, based on a brand new study revealed on Tuesday.

The small however important research, one of many first to supply long run findings on the consequences of psychedelics on the psychological state of most cancers sufferers, might have profound implications on the usage of psychedelics as a medical therapy, particularly for nervousness and despair.

Whats everlasting is that I havent got nervousness about most cancers, Bazer informed NBC News.

That sense of calm stayed along with her, even when she was identified with one other type of most cancers, this time gastrointestinal final March. Bazer mentioned she wasnt anxious about getting testing for her signs, or present process operations.

Previous to this research, the longest follow-up in any trial of psychedelics occurred at 12 months in a trial of LSD, mentioned research writer Gabby Agin-Liebes, a present Ph.D. candidate in medical psychology at Palo Alto College.

That is the primary report of long-term results of psilocybin, she informed Insider. Regardless of the small pattern measurement, theres a sturdy, statistically important suggestion that there are persisting results of psilocybin-facilitated therapy nicely past the time course of acute drug motion.

Ten of the individuals mentioned taking psychedelics was both the only most significant expertise of their lives, or of their prime 5 most significant experiences. The overwhelming majority (96%) rated it as one of the vital spiritually important expertise of their lives. All of the individuals reported a point of optimistic behavioral change because of the psychedelic.

Contributors had been 60% feminine, 93% white, and 6% Asian. Some 41% had been Christian or Jewish, whereas 33% had been atheist or agnostic. Virtually all of the individuals met the Diagnostic and Statistical Handbook of Psychological Issues standards for generalized nervousness dysfunction in addition to cancer-related adjustment dysfunction with depressed options.

Ive all the time been afraid of rejection,one of many volunteers, who most well-liked to stay nameless, mentioned. I skilled such overwhelming love in my psilocybin expertise, that it gave me new confidence. I threw myself a party and invited extra folks than I believed I ever might. They got here!

One other mentioned: I am extra artistic in my work and take extra possibilities. I am again to performing, like I did earlier than.

And one other mentioned: One thing in me softened, and I noticed that everybody is simply making an attempt, largely, to do the most effective theyll.

Whereas scientists nonetheless arent totally certain why psychedelics provide such optimistic advantages, they do have some concepts. One is that psychedelics carry consideration to underused components of the mind, as one researcher described it. One other is that it fundamentally changes the best way the mind processes and receives data.

Psychedelics researcher Robin Carhart-Harris beforehand informed Insider that the sense of lubrication, of freedom, of the cogs being loosened and firing in all types of surprising instructions should not be underestimated.

Theres nonetheless a lot hypothesis, but it surely seems to cut back exercise within the space of the mind that mediates ones sense of self and identification, Agin-Liebes informed Insider. Researchers imagine psilocybin could make the mind extra versatile and receptive to new concepts and thought patterns.

Within the 1950s and 60s, analysis on LSD and different hallucinogens generated over 1000 scientific papers, based on a US Drug Enforcement Administration report.A decade later, with the passing of 1970s Managed Substances Act, testing on psychedelics and hallucinogens halted totally.

However rising charges of despair and nervousness have pushed scientists to look once more on the potential of psychedelics as therapy.

The NYU Psychedelic Analysis Group and the Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Analysis Heart are two massive university-backed facilities devoted solely to the research of psychedelics. Each have carried out the costly, placebo-controlled research wanted to grasp extra concerning the drug.

The shift has additionally pushed adjustments in laws. In recent times, psilocybin has been decriminalized in Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California, with Santa Cruz, California, anticipated to observe within the coming weeks.

Learn extra:

Why psychedelics like magic mushrooms may very well be a therapy for psychological sickness

Folks really feel extra linked to the world round them after a psychedelic journey and it might have profound implications

Researchers went to festivals to check psychedelic medicine and located they left folks feeling pleased and linked hours after the excessive wore off

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5 years after taking one dose of magic mushrooms, a gaggle of most cancers sufferers nonetheless really feel much less despair and nervousness -...

What is Psychedelic Psychotherapy? Does it Really Work? Is The Goop Lab Fake? – The Cinemaholic

In an episode of Gwyneth Paltrows The Goop Lab, one of the guests aptly states, As a culture, were hungry for something to help us heal. This is precisely what Paltrows lifestyle brand aims to achieve provide alternatives that allow us to heal, emotionally and physically. We soon realize that the illness of our society is inherently to do with our own trauma, anxieties and pain. Therapies dont always help, while pharmaceutical drugs can prove to be risky.

What other alternative do we have? Goop loudly and proudly suggests psychedelic psychotherapy. Of course, right from the moment we read psychedelics, we feel an increasing hesitance. At the same time, were also aware of the growing scientific research in the field. But does psychedelic therapy really work? Are there any concerns and consequences? Were here to help you get to the truth.

All of us have encountered psychedelic trips in pop-culture, especially through films. Psychedelics are a class of drugs that cause these altered state of consciousness. The term is derived from the Greek words psycheand delein which mean soul and to manifest respectively. These drugs trigger psychedelic experiences by activating serotonin receptors that lead to thought, visual and auditory changes. Most common examples of psychedelic drugs include MDMA, LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and DMT.

Psychedelic trips are supposed to be mystical or spiritual experiences that open ones third-eye. One cant help but think of Hippies talking about peace. Along with this, these trips have usually been seen as cautionary tales. After all, U.S. banned LSD in 1966, followed by several psychedelic drugs being declared illegal under the U.N. Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Interestingly, research has shown psychedelics to be the safest of drugs, also stating that they do not lead to addiction. Instead, research reveals therapeutic benefits of these drugs. No wonder then that these drugs are making a comeback in psychotherapy.

At a first glance, psychedelics and poor mental health may sound like a terrible combination and in certain settings and dosage they may be. But the past decades have revealed that they are actually greatly beneficial. Psychedelic psychotherapy is the clinical use of psychedelic drugs to treat certain mental disorders, which include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, existential anxiety, as well as addiction. But of course, these involve using controlled portions, in a clinical setting, with trained psychotherapists.

Different drugs are used for different purposes, with the most recent breakthrough being MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. On January 17, 2020, FDA agreed on an Expanded Access program for this therapy seeing the remarkable results conducted in previous clinical trials. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has played a crucial role in this, and at actively working on the medical benefits of psychedelics.

Apart from MDMC, psilocybin has also show great results with patients suffering from anxiety, depression and nicotine addiction. In fact, studies were conducted in both Johns Hopkins University, and NYU on cancer-patients suffering from existential anxiety who were treated with psilocybin. The results both these studies revealed decreased anxiety and depressed mood, alongside increased quality of life and optimism.

Another study revealed that psilocybin psychotherapy helped 60% people quit smoking in 12 months. This is a remarkable feat compared to most leading pharmacotherapy for nicotine cessation which usually have a success rate of 21% at 12 months. Apart from these, LSD and Ibogaine are also used for psychotherapy.

Psychedelic drugs are considered to be least harmful drugs, with psilocybin being the safest, while heroin and cocaine are amongst the most harmful. Another important thing to note is that psychedelic drugs are not chemically addictive. But they may be psychologically addictive. Having said that, these drugs may illicit short-term negative effects. The most common of this is, of course, bad trips. These usually result from inappropriate dosage, inappropriate set, and inappropriate setting.

In psychedelic psychotherapy, efforts are taken to maintain a controlled dose in a safe, clinical setting. One needs to understand this type of psychotherapy is much different than psychedelic being used for recreational purposes. In fact, the psychedelics used in the therapy are different from the ones found on street. Intake of adulterated psychedelics can prove to be harmful. The most common example of this is LSD and MDMA where people have consumed high doses of synthetic hallucinogens, leading to serious effects.

At the same time, it is virtually impossible to die of overdosing on psychedelics. But there have been reports where overdosing did lead to temporary but serious issues including a short coma. Along with these there are certain short-term side effects like dizziness, blurred vision, weakness and tremors. They can also raise the blood pressure, but are almost never life-threatening. However, there was one case where a 34-year-old man with an undiagnosed heart condition. He went into cardiac arrest after taking LSD recreationally and died.

But in psychedelic psychotherapy, the patient is fully prepared beforehand, taught certain coping strategies, and have a trained psychotherapist with them at all times. Psychedelics play a remarkable role in healing individiduals with PTSD and anxiety as they allow the patients to directly face their issues and emotions, something that they may not be able to do otherwise. Particularly MDMA mutes amygdala (the fear response) which helps the patient to deal with their past better. The mystical/spiritual experience caused by psychedelics also deeply help with depression and anxiety. Looking at these, one can suggests that the benefits of psychedelics may outweigh the risks, especially for patients with severe mental illnesses.

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What is Psychedelic Psychotherapy? Does it Really Work? Is The Goop Lab Fake? - The Cinemaholic

Psychedelic Events Are Going Mainstream, Where The Much-Maligned Mushroom Industry Focuses On Mental Health – Forbes

Psychedelics have been a mainstay for a millennia and appreciated in the counter-culture for decades. In 2020, whether consuming, investing, or both, mushrooms are having a moment.

PsychedeliTech, a ground-breaking new conference, incubator and discovery platform for psychedelic medicine will host Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as the keynote speaker at the first-ever PsyTech Summit, a forum for psychedelic science, innovation and investment conference, in Israel.

The inaugural PsyTech conference will take place March 29-30, 2020 at the Hilton Hotel, on the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv.

PsyTech is a division of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis, which together with CannaTech, its medical cannabis events platform, has been a global participant in education and innovation for cannabis therapeutics and products with conferences in London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Panama and Cape Town, to date.

Saul Kaye, iCAN founder and CEO, said, Rick Doblin is an early pioneer and extremely effective advocate for the potential of psychedelics in the treatment of mental health disease and symptoms, including depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. We are thrilled he will join us at our first PsyTech Summit in Tel Aviv to share his enlightened vision and vast knowledge of the fast-developing therapeutic ecosystem that is about to explode as a wave of new information, research and consumer interest about psychedelics floods the market.

For the first 30 years of MAPS dedicated research, there were virtually no for-profit psychedelic business opportunities, apart from a few ibogaine and ayahuasca clinics and mushroom sales in countries where the substances are legal.

Psychedelics have the potential to impact and improve mental health.

For-profit entities emerging in the field of psychedelics, such as Cybin with microdosed psilocybin products and Mind Med with synthetic ibogaine, are directly due to the success of non-profit psychedelic therapy research, including the lifelong work of MAPS and other advocates.

"The new psychedelic industry will need to focus on public benefit as well as profit in order to avoid a cultural backlash against these historically misunderstood substances," cautions Doblin."I am looking forward to discussing these important issues at PsyTech, Israels first summit focusing on psychedelic innovation," he continued.

The global market for mental health medications was worth $88.3 billion in 2015, according to BCC Research.

Similar to the cannabis industry, psychedelics and medicinal mushrooms will require an ecosystem to effectively drive education, regulation, safety, investment, research and development.

These key issues, as well as personal stories of treatment, will be explored at PsyTech.

The topic of psychedelics is sparking worldwide mainstream interest. People who want to learn more about the companies developing the science of mushrooms can attend a conference in New York, prior to the upcoming one in Tel Aviv.

"This is an exciting new industry and it's just starting to grow, which is whyGMRis hosting a mini-conference on Psychedelics in New York," says Debra Borchardt, Editor-In-Chief of Green Market Report.

TheEconomics of Psychedelic Investing takes place onJanuary 24, 2020 in NYC.

For those who merely want to experience the effects of psychedelic mushrooms in a safe and welcoming environment, Irie Selkirk offers her guests a transformative psilocybin experience complete with farm-to-table meals and a psychotherapist on staff, at her immersion retreat in Jamaica.

With conferences, nascent investment opportunities and infused staycations available, magic mushrooms are going mainstream.

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Psychedelic Events Are Going Mainstream, Where The Much-Maligned Mushroom Industry Focuses On Mental Health - Forbes

NYC To Host Economics Of Psychedelics Investing Summit – Benzinga

The Green Market Summit, an event series by the cannabis financial news publication Green Market Report, is hosting a half-day event on the emerging trend of psychedelics, focusing on current and future investment opportunities: The Economics of Psychedelics Investing.

The event will offer a program on the opportunities in alternative plant investments, the quickly emerging industry of psychedelic medicines, and the companies looking to capitalize on it.

Research has shown psilocybin can help relieve symptoms of people who experience cluster headaches, treat addiction, and could even be an alternative to typical depression treatments.

This event will educate curious investors as to the opportunities in this industry in its earliest stages. It will take place Jan. 24 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 54 West 40th St., New York, NY.

Check out Benzinga Cannabis Psychedelics portal.

This emergence of new companies focusing on the promise of mushrooms to treat certain mental health issues is really exciting. Not only from a patient perspective, but also from an investor perspective. It feels similar to the early days of the cannabis industry and I believe that is why we are seeing a lot of parallels between the two, said Debra Borchardt, co-founder and CEO of Green Market Media. Green Market Report has always had its strength in spotting trends which is why we recognized the importance of this new industry.

Attendees will hear from companies like Atai Life Sciences, MindMed, Field Trip Ventures and KCSA Strategic Communications. Topics will cover the parallels between the cannabis industry and psychedelics, micro-dosing and building a strategy around this promising new science.

After the event, attendees and key industry leaders will be welcomed to enjoy a Cocktail hour sponsored by Mattio Communications.

See Also:

Bruce Linton Talks Psychedelics Investments, Microdosing And LSD: 'The Therapeutic Potential Of Psychedelics Is Greater Than Cannabinoids'

The Keys To Understanding Psilocybin's Medical Value, Market Potential

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

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NYC To Host Economics Of Psychedelics Investing Summit - Benzinga

Can you have a bad trip from taking acid in the woods? – WHYY

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey is home to just about as many myths as it is trees. From ghost towns to interdimensional portals, if its a thing that scares people on the internet, chances are that thing is rumored to be lurking somewhere among the conifers.

Thats why when a couple of my friends asked me if I wanted to take LSD with them during our annual camping trip a few summers ago, I declined. We were deep inside Jersey Devil country, and although my sober brain didnt much believe in that kind of stuff, who knows what might emerge from my subconscious while on acid in the woods. And I didnt want to find out.

Id heard that psychedelics could change a persons outlook on life forever; that conditions had to be just right for a good trip, and something about the possibility of a hircine winged demon eyeing me through the brush didnt seem like a promising vibe.

My friend, lets call him Kevin, wasnt as worried. Kevin didnt want to use his real name for this story because, well, its about LSD.

I did it on a previous camping trip with a different group of people and had a really good time, he said.

Up to that point, Kevin had had nothing but positive experiences with psychedelics.

I would sit down, listen to [a] song just deep in my head with my eyes closed, and it just all kind of made a lot more sense to me, he said.

But this time, Kevin and another friend upped their dose.

Were sitting there by the fire for a little bit, and then it finally starts kicking in. Im kind of looking around the leaves are kind of starting to blur around a little bit and the colors are starting to pop, said Kevin. Then all of a sudden, were really not feeling the rest of the group vibe, so we decided were just going to go this way.

Before the rest of us knew it, the two were gone out wandering around the Pinelands alone and tripping, with neither direction nor drinking water.

If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, its because it could have been.

What were seeing is that so much of what is traditionally considered a bad trip is so often around set and setting, said Ryan Beauregard.

Beauregard has a degree in psychology and now manages the Zendo Project, a group of professionals and volunteers that set up facilities at concerts and festivals to help those having bad experiences on psychedelics.

Though in the past bad trips were frequently attributed to bad acid, Beauregard said, his team finds that nascent, low-level anxiety and trauma are typically to blame for the negative experiences with psychedelics that the Zendo Project helps manage.

Have you cleaned your room and have you done your homework before you go down the rabbit hole? Because these are some big and powerful substances that are going to bring up a lot, Beauregard said. If you havent taken the time to just simply declutter your space, it can take up a lot of headspace in these psychedelic realms.

How cluttered were my two friends psychedelic realms out there alone? Had they done their homework? Would that be enough keep the devils inside their heads at bay?

Just as all of us back at the campsite were going to go look for them to find out, they returned.

At the edge of our seats we inquired: How was it? What did you guys do out there?

Kevin told us about their journey.

We both just sat underneath a tree just kind of looking up, kind of moving around the tree side, kind of making this kaleidoscope thing happen. And that was cool. So we called that Kaleidoscope tree. he said.

And then there were a couple of smaller trees also on that same path that were dead on the grounds. We called them our fallen brothers.

Then finally, the big one.

We get to the end of the path and we see, boom, out in the middle of the woods up on the right, just this one very tall tree a good 20 feet away from all the other trees. We just look at it for a couple of minutes and then we finally look at each other. And were like, this is the God Tree.

They showed us how they transferred energy from the God Tree to a smaller one named Baby Energy Tree. They made us kneel before it and pray. We didnt know exactly what we were praying to or for, but whatever it was, it was good.

From an outsiders perspective, this spiritual transcendence looked remarkably like it was made of the type of stuff that could change someone forever: a one-way ticket to Zen, courtesy of two tabs of LSD and a forest filled with otherworldly projections.

But for Kevin, that sort of lasting impact wouldnt come until he dropped acid again a few months later, on a different camping trip with another group of friends.

I wanted to listen to music. So I go into my car, I grabbed my headphones, then I just laid back down on the grass. And then the next three hours were just crazy visual, he said. Some of them were pretty terrifying.

Every time the bass dropped, Kevin felt the earth violently rotate 90 degrees.

I was just kind of getting lost. And then all of a sudden they hear an airplane or helicopter or something kind of go overhead. And then for whatever reason, I just envisioned, like the military coming. I just imagined missiles striking down on this one point in the ground, he said.

Then Kevin said he saw one of his friends set a section of grass on fire.

I could just feel the heat. I just felt like everyone was burning. I would just see plastic cups kind of just melting and then like people on fire, he said, and then I thought, Oh no, what have we gotten ourselves into?

Kevin had gotten himself into a bad trip. It took him hours to return to a normal state, but once he did, he was different in a good way.

I just feel like it kind of put the world in a different perspective, he said.

Beauregard, from the Zendo Project, said that while complex reactions to psychedelics and bad trips like Kevins arent uncommon, theyre not for everyone and not always without consequence.

In 2008, Beauregard traveled to Peru to take part in a psychedelic ritual. There, he suffered what he described as a psychotic break that lasted for three weeks.

I had, you know, created an internal reality, that at some point, it was like I dove through a wormhole. Man, it just felt really scary, Beauregard said. I think theres so much about this idea that psychedelics are the magic pill, but the reality is, I think they make more work for us. Like once youve pulled those veils away, you cant unsee those things.

Kevin is still doing that work.

I feel like I learned to appreciate life and just not really worried about things. I did kind of burn alive for a couple of minutes, so I feel like Ive already experienced some bad things, so nothing probably would come close to that, he said.

He even returned to the God Tree.

Ive gone back there a couple other times, Ive also done other acid or other things and then just kind of went on the same path. But it really wasnt the same thing. he said.

And thats OK with him. That dead tree may live in our imaginations forever, alongside the other legends out there in the Pinelands, but at the very least Kevin avoided becoming one himself that day.

As for what this all means for the next camping trip, I dont know.

If one of my friends decides to explore their inner wilderness God Trees, Devils and all in the actual wilderness, thats their choice.

All I can do is make sure they dont stray too far from camp.

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Can you have a bad trip from taking acid in the woods? - WHYY


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