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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

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.

Additional resources:

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 -...

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

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

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

How researchers and advocates of color are forging their own paths in psychedelic-assisted therapy – WHYY

Were seeing an explosion of medical research into psychedelics. Psilocybin, or shrooms, to treat major depressive disorder. Ayahuasca, a psychotropic plant medicine from the Amazon, and ibogaine, a potent hallucinogen from Africa, to treat addiction. LSD for anxiety.

MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, is currently in Phase III clinical trials the last phase before Food and Drug Administration approval. If results hold up, it could be used in therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder by early 2022.

But some researchers are pushing for MDMA and other psychedelics research to be more inclusive. A study from 2018 found that 82% of participants in psychedelic studies were white.

That means theres a greater likelihood these treatments will be developed in ways that dont work for people of color.

Furthermore, practitioners may be overlooking a huge opportunity with psychedelic-assisted therapy using it to treat racial and intergenerational trauma within communities of color.

When Ifetayo Harvey was 4 years old, her dad was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She says an undercover cop had propositioned him to sell cocaine, and as a new immigrant, working to support his family, he accepted. He served eight years, before being deported back to Jamaica.

This shaped my childhood experience in a way thats hard to explain, Harvey said. Because things like this arent supposed to happen, right?

Through her childhood, Harvey often felt sad or angry toward herself. She had trouble trusting people.

I was really confused about what happened with my dad, and who he was as a person, Harvey said. As a kid, I dealt with depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

In college, Harvey learned about psychedelics as a therapeutic substance. She was a senior, feeling depressed and struggling to graduate.

She decided to give it a try. She took some shrooms, then went on a walk with a friend through the woods of western Massachusetts. It was fall in New England, the woods wearing their most stunning colors. At first, she says, the sensations were overwhelming.

But once that passed, she felt an authentic sense of happiness, for the first time in a year.

I felt like I was alive again, Harvey said. Before, I just felt really dull and lifeless and numb, and not really motivated to live.

During her walk, she saw life all around her.

I saw plants breathing, I saw things move and sparkle in ways that I hadnt seen before. I also felt just spiritually connected to the earth in a way that I havent had, she said. I got a reset, and I needed that to be able to graduate.

Shrooms have helped Harvey heal and process a lot of the trauma she and her family went through.

Ive been able to look at myself with more compassion, look at my family with more compassion, she said. When youre in a sober state of mind, its harder to process heavy things sometimes because we want to run away from it or we want to bury our feelings. And with mushrooms, you cant really do that. Mushrooms kind of makes you face whatever youre running away from.

That year, Harvey started learning more about psychedelics and psychedelic research. After she graduated in 2014, she was excited to get a job with one of the biggest psychedelic research organizations around the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS.

When she got there, she was the only Black employee, and she felt like she didnt belong. Her feelings came to a head during a classic psychedelic experience, in Chicago.

My first time taking LSD was at a Grateful Dead show with MAPS, Harvey said. Im there, I know one Grateful Dead song, but I was offered LSD by one of my colleagues and I partook in it. And I was having a great time.

When she and her colleagues walked out of the concert, they saw Deadheads everywhere, she says, being wild up and down Michigan Avenue. As they approached Grant Park, they noticed police putting a Black man in handcuffs.

Mind you, theres all these white folks running around probably on drugs, selling drugs, have drugs on them, doing God knows what, Harvey said. The one Black guy you see at the concert is, of course, getting arrested.

She recalled that someone asked, Should we stop and watch to make sure they dont mistreat him? To which her other coworkers responded, He probably did something or you dont know what he did, lets just keep it moving.

That, to me, was kinda just representative of how Black folks are seen, Harvey said.

This was one of many times Harvey felt alienated by her white coworkers. Though they knew about her familys history with drugs and incarceration, people didnt check if she felt safe when everyone used substances. They didnt seem aware that her risk, and connection to drugs, was different from theirs.

It actually kind of, it feels like youre in a twilight zone, she said. Its very frustrating because I believe that psychedelics can be powerful and can be healing and can do amazing things for our world. But I think that we have to be very intentional and thoughtful about how we do that.

Eventually, Harvey got a new job with a nonprofit called the Drug Policy Alliance. And she also co-founded a group called the People of Color Psychedelic Collective.

I really wanted to create a space that is truly open and also safe for folks of color, she said.

Right now, psychedelics are gaining traction in mainstream medicine. But the big names behind psychedelics, the leaders of research organizations, and the therapists doing psychedelic-assisted therapy are all mostly white.

There are reasons why the mainstream psychedelic movement is not very diverse. Elijah Watson is a journalist whos written about what he calls the whitewashing of psychedelics.

Psychedelics originated in communities of color, he said. Indigenous groups have used them as medicine and sacrament for thousands of years. In some cases, those traditions are alive. In other cases, they were banned or destroyed through colonization.

Then in the 1950s, a white bank executive from the United States went to Mexico and participated in a Mazatec mushroom ritual.

His name was Robert Gordon Wasson, Watson said. He went to Mexico, and he found a medicine woman named Mara Sabina. And he took the mushrooms himself.

Sabina let Wasson take her picture on the condition that he keep it private. But when he got back to the U.S., he published the picture, and the name of her community, in a Life magazine article called Seeking the Magic Mushroom.

That article is credited with sparking an interest in psychedelics that caught fire across the U.S., especially within the hippie movement. Countercultural figures like author Ken Kesey and Harvard professor Timothy Leary took on the mantle of psychedelics.

And you have it emerging within countercultural music during the 60s, where youre having sub-genres like psychedelic rock, Watson said.

After the article came out, Sabinas community was bombarded by hippies who wanted to hallucinate on shrooms. Local police blamed her, and people ended up ostracizing her and burning her house down.

During this time, researchers and psychiatrists were also digging into the use of psychedelics.

Not all of this research was aboveboard or, for that matter, ethical. MK-Ultra, Project BLUEBIRD and Project ARTICHOKE are the names of top-secret CIA programs, in which the government used LSD, mescaline and other psychedelics to manipulate peoples mental states.

The CIA also backed open research, such as the work of Harris Isbell in Lexington, Kentucky, in the 1950s and 60s. Isbell did experiments on incarcerated Black men, often with a history of drug addiction. He wanted to test how much LSD someone would tolerate, and for how long. Hed give people LSD doses for 77 days in a row.

Though it was coercive and abusive, the work was published in respectable journals. Isbell had people sign simple consent forms and paid them off with drugs. Experiments like this led to public distrust in psychedelic research, especially in Black communities.

By the 1970s, the antiwar and Black Power movements were gaining strength. Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. Research into psychedelics shuttered, practically overnight. And drugs became a reason to search peoples homes and cars, and put them in prison.

Black and Brown people are more disproportionately being arrested and targeted during this still very ongoing war, Watson said.

While white people have continued to use psychedelics, he added, Black people have many reasons to stay away from them.

My livelihood is already in jeopardy even by just smoking some weed, Watson said. We also see how police officers tend to treat people of color with mental illness. Its, Were going to shoot first and ask questions later. If Im going to partake [in] this substance that may make someone think I have this mental illness, and I see how cops already treat them, whats to say that theyre gonna treat me any differently?

Because theres so much mistrust, MAPS, the organization that studies psychedelics, has had trouble convincing people of color to join their clinical trials.

Once the Phase II [MDMA] trials were completed, we saw that we didnt have the diversity that ideally we would have wanted, said Brad Burge, the director of communications for MAPS.

If you look at the history of the stigma and prohibition of these substances, it seems like a miracle that we were able to get the approval that we needed, he said. And so we were just hoping that we could enroll enough people in those Phase II trials and get approval.

With Phase III, which will have 200 to 300 participants, MAPS wants to include more people of color. So a few years ago, the organization reached out to a psychologist named Monnica Williams.

Williams is a Black woman herself, and shes spent her career addressing mental health disparities. Shes worked with many people who are traumatized from experiences of racism, stigma and discrimination.

We know that people in communities of color may have a lot of additional trauma beyond the usual suspects, Williams said. So beyond assault and combat, things like cultural traumas due to genocide, slavery, immigration trauma and refugee trauma.

When someone has experienced trauma, it shatters their trust in the world and their feelings of safety. It causes them to be perpetually on the lookout for danger.

If you look at experiences of racism and discrimination, you really see the same thing happening, because people are continually assaulted, Williams said. Could be large things, major discriminatory experiences, or it could be a lot of small things, but theyre coming unpredictably. And eventually you start to fear for your own safety. And then when you try to talk about it, oftentimes its dismissed. So youre still just holding onto it and carrying it around.

People of color also often hold intergenerational trauma. Black folks whove been in the U.S. for generations have a whole family legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws and hate, Williams said. Researchers have found that trauma can get passed down biologically, she said, through changes in how genes are expressed.

There is a lack of therapists of color, or even white therapists who are trained to think about these things, Williams said.

Often, its just not on clinicians radar, she said. Theyre not thinking about the fact that maybe being strip-searched by a law enforcement person felt like a sexual assault. Being threatened at work, maybe that landed on someone like a death threat.

Williams has trained in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with MAPS, and she believes it has a lot of potential to treat PTSD.

The treatments we have now for PTSD are not that great, she said. The medications are ineffective. They just sort of numb peoples emotions. And the therapies can be effective, but theyre very difficult. Often, patients just dont feel able to deep dive into their past traumas.

Right now, the therapies that are most effective, like prolonged exposure, require people to recount their traumas in harrowing detail. With MDMA and other psychedelics, Monnica sees something completely different.

People are able to move through their traumas with a lot less pain and fear, she said. People are making new connections in their brains, and changing how theyre thinking about their trauma. I dont know, I think its a beautiful process really. In a way that I wouldnt say is necessarily true of traditional therapy.

Scientists dont fully understand how MDMA works in the brain. They know it reduces activity in brain regions that process fear, and stimulates the release of feel-good neurotransmitters, like oxytocin, which enhances feelings of trust and bonding.

But then theres also things that we dont necessarily understand, Williams said. A lot of people have very spiritual experiences. Sometimes, people may feel like theyre talking to deities, they may see ancestors, they may feel like theyre getting wisdom from spiritual guides.

Its also common for people to feel a sort of ego-death, which puts things in perspective. Or to find compassion.

Theyre able to forgive themselves a lot of times. What keeps people stuck in PTSD is they blame themselves for the traumas that have happened to them, Williams said. So you do see big shifts in the way people think. And a lot of it does seem to be, you know, connected to love. And that just sort of helps to melt away the trauma.

Williams said she has to practice therapy a bit differently when shes treating patients with psychedelics. With prolonged exposure therapy, shes always directing people to the hardest parts of their story.

I dont do that with MDMA therapy, she said. People in a lot of ways are healing themselves. Its a nondirective type of therapy. For example, if they say, I see a door, we might encourage them to go through it. Its mostly what we call inner-directed. Theyre sort of listening to their hearts and going in that direction.

For all its potential, there are still concerns that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will be hard to get once its approved. Its a 12-week course, and requires two therapists for ethical reasons, so it will be expensive. And there still arent enough therapists of color.

MAPS said it is working on convincing insurance companies that this approach is cheaper than traditional PTSD therapies, which can take a longer amount of time to work. And in August, Monnica helped MAPS put on a Cultural Trauma & Psychedelic Medicine workshopspecifically for therapists who work with communities of color.

Aisha Mohammed, a Philadelphia-based therapist who attended that training, has spent much of her career working with sex workers, drug users, and people who dont have housing.

Its been difficult for some of the clients I see to make regular appointments, or to even come into sessions. And the trauma has been so disruptive to their lives that conventional therapy isnt a good fit for them, Mohammed said. So this idea that you could address longstanding, deep traumas in a three- to five-month window is really life-changing and transformative.

Mohammed is part of a team thats opening an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy clinic in Philadelphia, called the SoundMind Center. The nonprofit clinic will offer sliding-scale treatment, and will have a community organizer on staff whose job is to raise awareness and build trust with communities that have been affected by the war on drugs.

She hopes to also see Philadelphias community health agencies, which offer free or low-cost therapy to people with Medicaid, hire practitioners trained in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Mellody Hayes is another practitioner of color who attended the MAPS training in Kentucky. Shes a San Francisco-based anesthesiologist who focuses on palliative care, and plans to open an inclusive psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy center called Ceremony Health.

Psychedelics are the first medicine we have that is a way to experience liberation, Hayes said. The medicine is in how we live in community and connection with one another.

With psychedelics, you can experience more peace, she said. And what are you going to build with that peace? They say that we create from what we know if what you know is pain and trauma, you will pass forward pain and trauma. And if what you know is peace and joy, you will create peace and joy.

For Elijah Watson, the journalist whos covered the history of psychedelics, whats important about this moment is that people of color are speaking up and people are listening.

If you dont have somebody who does look like you advocating for the thing that could possibly help you, yeah, youre probably not going to do it, Watson said.

The erasure of history has led Black and Brown people to think psychedelic healing was never a part of us, he said. But it always has been, and we deserve access to it, just like anybody else. The main goal of therapy is to get better. And thats something we should all be able to strive for.

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How researchers and advocates of color are forging their own paths in psychedelic-assisted therapy - WHYY

A CIA chemist, mind control and the return of psychedelic drugs – The Boston Globe

As LSD raced through the American counterculture during the 1960s, it became an ultimate symbol of protest. Guardians of mainstream culture panicked. In 1968 Congress made mind-altering drugs illegal. President Nixon called LSD guru Timothy Leary the most dangerous man in America. LSD was listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. For decades, serious research into its potential was impossible. That taboo is now dissolving.

The apocalyptic stereotype of LSD, which during the 1960s was said to cause everything from birth defects to insanity, was bound to fade. Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who accidentally discovered it in 1943, hoped it could be used to treat mental illness, and for a time it was taken seriously as a therapeutic tool. The LSD-themed musical that is scheduled to open in March focuses on three celebrities who used it during the 1950s: Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley, and Clare Booth Luce. Entitled Flying Over Sunset and written by James Lapine, who shared a Pulitzer for Sunday in the Park With George and has won three Tony Awards, it is likely to fuel burgeoning interest in psychoactive drugs.

Perhaps the most striking evidence of that interest was the announcement in September that Johns Hopkins Medicine has received $17 million in private and foundation grants to open a Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Among its first projects will be experiments to see if LSD and related drugs can be used to treat anorexia, early-onset Alzheimers, or opioid-use disorders or even to help people quit smoking. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have endorsed calls that psilocybin be reclassified as acceptable for medical use. LSD could be next. Sidney Gottlieb, who introduced Americans to LSD nearly 70 years ago, is returning for a curtain call.

Gottlieb was the most powerful unknown American of the 20th century unless there was someone else who worked in total secrecy, conducted grotesque experiments on human subjects across three continents, and had what amounted to a government-issued license to kill. He ran historys most systematic search for techniques of mind control, a project that CIA director Allen Dulles named MK-ULTRA. Dulles believed that if a way could be found to seize control of human minds, the prize would be nothing less than global mastery. In 1951 he hired Gottlieb to direct the search. Although Gottlieb had a doctorate in biochemistry from Cal Tech and had worked in several government laboratories, he was an unlikely choice. Dulles and most of the men who ran the early CIA were silver-spoon products of the American aristocracy. Gottlieb was the 32-year-old son of Orthodox Jewish immigrants, grew up in the Bronx, attended City College of New York, stuttered, and limped. He was also a compassionate humanist who meditated, lived in a cabin without running water, grew his own vegetables, and rose before dawn to milk his goats. He was his generations most prolific but also most gentle-hearted torturer.

Gottlieb was fascinated with the mind-control potential of LSD. He and his fellow seekers dared to hope that it might hold, as one of them put it, the secret that was going to unlock the universe. By his own account he used it himself at least 200 times. Years later he recalled his first trip: I happened to experience an out-of-bodyness, a feeling as though I am in a kind of transparent sausage skin that covers my whole body and it is shimmering, and I have a sense of well-being and euphoria for most of the next hour or two hours, and then gradually it subsides.

In 1953, Gottlieb persuaded the CIA to spend $240,000 to buy the worlds entire supply of LSD from its sole producer, the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Sandoz. Over the next decade, he used his unique stash for two purposes. Some of it went to prisons in the United States and to CIA safe houses in Europe and East Asia, where it was used in heinous experiments on unwitting or unwilling human subjects. In one of them, seven African American inmates at a prison in Kentucky were given what the prison doctor called double, triple and quadruple doses of LSD every day for 77 days. Experiments abroad, in which LSD was used in concert with other drugs and with torments like electroshock, were even harsher, and caused an unknown number of deaths. These were the most extreme experiments on human subjects that have ever been conducted by an officer or agency of the US government. Gottlieb had concluded that before he could insert a new mind into someones brain, he had to blast away the existing mind. Some of his most gruesome experiments at black sites in Europe and East Asia were aimed at finding out if overdoses of LSD and other drugs could do that. His victims, called expendables, were prisoners of war, suspected enemy agents, and refugees who would not be missed if they disappeared.

The other side of Gottliebs LSD research was quite different voluntary and non-coercive. He wanted to know how ordinary people would react to LSD in a clinical setting. Since the CIA could not conduct these experiments itself, Gottlieb set up bogus medical foundations that served as conduits for MK-ULTRA funds. Through them, he contracted with hospitals and clinics across the United States that agreed to carry out tests on volunteers. Among the first to sign up was a graduate student named Ken Kesey, who was given doses of Gottliebs LSD and psilocybin at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Menlo Park, California. He liked it so much that he not only urged his friends to volunteer, but took a job at the hospital. That gave him material for his counterculture masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and also allowed him to pilfer vials of LSD for use at his soon-to-be-famous acid test parties.

Gottlieb was also sponsoring experiments at nearby Stanford University which, like most MK-ULTRA contractors, did not realize that it was working for the CIA. Among the first volunteers at Stanford was the poet Allen Ginsberg, who listened to Tristan und Isolde on headphones during his first experience and went on to promote the healthy personal adventure of LSD use. Another was the Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, who later wrote some of his most celebrated songs while tripping. Together, these unwitting MK-ULTRA subjects helped turn on a generation.

It took decades for LSD evangelists to grasp the bizarre truth that their formative and ultimately culture-shattering LSD experiences were part of a CIA project aimed at finding a tool for mind control. The United States government was in a way responsible for creating the acid tests and the Grateful Dead, and thereby the whole psychedelic counterculture, Robert Hunter concluded. When an interviewer asked John Lennon about LSD, he replied: We must always remember to thank the CIA. Those answers were correct as far as they went, but early psychic voyagers had never heard of Sidney Gottlieb. If they had, they would have realized that they had him to thank for LSD, not simply the United States government or the CIA.

Timothy Leary, the most prominent LSD promoter of that era, was also introduced to psychedelics thanks to Sidney Gottlieb. He learned of their existence from a 1957 article in Life magazine about an expedition to find magic mushrooms in Mexico. Fascinated with the prospect of a mind-altering substance, he traveled to Mexico, found and tried the magic mushroom, pronounced it above all and without question the deepest religious experience of my life, and set off on the path that made him the Pied Piper of LSD. Neither he nor anyone else could have known it at the time, but Gottlieb had used MK-ULTRA funds, disguised as a foundation grant, to subsidize the expedition that had produced the Life article. The LSD movement was started by the CIA, Leary recognized years later. When he mused, I wouldnt be here now without the foresight of CIA scientists, what he meant was: I wouldnt be here without Sidney Gottlieb.

Gottliebs decade of MK-UTRA experiments led him to two conclusions. He had proven conclusively that with the application of enough drug overdoses and other extreme techniques over extended periods, it is possible to destroy a human mind; the trail of ruined lives he left in his wake is horrific testimony to his success. Yet he was also forced to admit that he had failed to find a way to insert a new mind into the resulting void. As MK-ULTRA ended in the early 1960s, Gottlieb concluded that psychoactive drugs are too unpredictable in their effect on individual human beings, under specific circumstances, to be operationally useful.

Once MK-ULTRA was behind him, Gottlieb went on to other glories at the CIA. Because he knew more about toxins than anyone in the US government probably more than anyone in the world it was logical that his CIA superiors would call on him when they needed ways to kill. He made the poisons used in failed attempts to kill Fidel Castro, and at one point mused about creating aerosolized LSD that could be sprayed into a radio studio from which Castro was about to speak. In 1960 he carried poison to the Congo to be used in killing Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. The poison was not used, and several months later a Belgian-Congolese squad captured and executed Lumumba. For the last seven years of his career he ran the Technical Services Staff, which makes tools and devices for spies. In later life, perhaps troubled by what he had done, he volunteered at a hospital for leprosy patients, taught students with speech defects, and counseled dying patients at a hospice. Yet LSD is his most mind-boggling legacy. He saw it not as a tool for psychic exploration, as did his unwitting hippie disciples, or for clinical use, but as a potential key to abolishing consciousness so minds could be opened to outside control.

Before retiring from the CIA in 1973, Gottlieb destroyed most records of MK-ULTRA. Nonetheless enough have remained to make it possible to reconstruct his astonishing career. Without Gottlieb, LSD might not have become a driving force in American culture during the 1960s or an object of renewed fascination today. His perturbed spirit hovers above as a new era of interest in psychoactive drugs finally begins to unfold.

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, and author of Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control. Follow him on Twitter @stephenkinzer.

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

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A CIA chemist, mind control and the return of psychedelic drugs - The Boston Globe

Syd Barrett: How LSD Created and Destroyed His Career With Pink Floyd – Biography

By the spring of 1967, Pink Floyd was at the forefront of the psychedelic rock movement that was pushing its way into mainstream popular culture.

Fronted by lead guitarist and songwriter Syd Barrett, and including bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and organist Richard Wright, the band cracked the Top 20 in the United Kingdom with their catchy debut single, "Arnold Layne." In May 1967, they made an indelible impression with the Games for May concert at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, featuring a quadraphonic sound system, dazzling light show and bubble-generating machine.

As described in Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd, the band was fueled by the creativity of its frontman, known for his cryptic lyrics that mixed mysticism and wordplay, and an experimental guitar style that made use of echo machines and other distortions.

Sadly, the same forces that drove Barrett to artistic breakthroughs also led him down the path of self-destruction, leaving him exiled from the group shortly after they arrived on the charts and rendering him a cautionary tale as Pink Floyd became one of the biggest bands in the world.

Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd perform in 1966

Photo: Adam Ritchie/Redferns

In 1965, as the foursome that became Pink Floyd were finding their musical footing between classes at London's Regent Street Polytechnic and Camberwell College of Arts, Barrett had discovered the mind-altering effects of LSD.

The turn to psychedelics had a massive impact on the group's direction. Taking their cues from their frontman, Pink Floyd began doing away with the R&B covers that were being imitated by countless other bands from the era and embracing original sounds. And the highly intelligent Barrett, already known for marching to his own peculiar beat, began heavilyingesting LSDand producing song lyrics that were seemingly pulled from unknown realms of the cosmos.

It was that combination of original music, stage presentation and lyrical prowess that captured the attention of record companies in the first place, but by the time Pink Floyd was being presented as the next big thing in British rock, Barrett was already losing his tenuous grasp on reality through his incessant drug use.

His old friend and eventual replacement David Gilmour noticed as much when he dropped by the Chelsea Studios in May 1967 for the recording of the band's second single, "See Emily Play."

"Syd didn't seem to recognize me and just stared back," Gilmour recalled in Crazy Diamond. "I got to know that look pretty well and I'll go on record as saying that was when he changed. It was a shock. He was a different person."

Despite the mounting worries about their friend's mental health, Pink Floyd was thriving. "See Emily Play" became a bigger hit than "Arnold Layne," reaching No. 6 on the British charts.

Furthermore, Barrett had delivered a string of brilliant songs for the group's debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. "Chapter 24" was inspired byI Ching, the ancient Chinese text, "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive" became emblematic of the group's atmospheric sound and "Bike" showcased its writer's willingness to embrace the absurd.

However, it wasn't long after Piper landed in record stores in early August 1967 that Barrett's deteriorating state began causing headaches for his bandmates. Later that month, it was reported that the drug-addled frontman was suffering from "nervous exhaustion," forcing the group to cancel its planned appearance at the National Jazz and Blues Festival.

By the time the band departed for a U.S. tour in the fall, it was clear that Barrett's public presence was becoming a major problem. He stood on stage, detuning his guitar, during a gig at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, and stared catatonically at the hosts during appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and The Pat Boone Show. Alarmed, the band's managers aborted the tour to avoid additional embarrassing incidents.

Syd Barrett

Photo: Andrew Whittuck/Redferns

Meanwhile, Barrett was under pressure to produce a successful follow-up single to "See Emily Play." "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man" were deemed too dark for release, and while "Apples and Oranges" finally got the go-ahead in mid-November, it lacked the catchiness of its predecessors and flopped.

The group headed out for a U.K. tour around this time, with Barrett causing more tension by either refusing to exit the tour bus at gigs or walking off before the start of a show. Following a disastrous appearance at a Christmas concert, the band reached out to Gilmour, then fronting another struggling group called Jokers Wild.

Entering 1968 with intentions of continuing as a five-piece band, Pink Floyd tried an arrangement in which Barrett would remain on board as a behind-the-scenes songwriter, before abandoning the idea of dealing with him altogether. By March 1968, Barrett was no longer with the band he co-founded and pushed to prominence.

Within a few years, the remaining members of Pink Floyd were being celebrated as arena rock gods while Barrett's own musical career was finished, and he spent the rest of his life away from the public eye. His presence on the group's quirky early records serving as a reminder for what could have been a long and successful career for a unique, gifted artist.

Even though he was no longer a member, Barrett still had an impact on Pink Floyd, and the bands ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here, was recorded as a tribute to their co-founder.

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Syd Barrett: How LSD Created and Destroyed His Career With Pink Floyd - Biography

Gwyneth Paltrow’s New Netflix Docuseries Is Full of Psychedelics and Orgasms – Vogue

So what happens in a workshop? Gwyneth Paltrow asks Betty Dodson with a grin. Everyone gets off! the sex educator replies. Cut to a woman, fully clothed, lying on a table, writhing around mid-orgasm. This exchange is just a taste of what to expect from Paltrows new six-episode docuseries The Goop Lab, debuting on Netflix later this month.

From energy healing to psychic medium sessions, the serieshosted by Paltrow and Goop chief content officer Elise Loehnenseeks to explore new frontiers in wellness. The crazier and more out there, the better. We took the open-minded approach that weve cultivated at Goop and applied a different, visual lens with Netflix, Paltrow explains in a statement. In the process, we found new ways to answer this: How do we make the most of our lives?

Despite prompting more than occasional eye rolls, and that $145,000 lawsuit concerning Goops claims about hormone-balancing jade eggs, the platform continues to expand on its investigation of all things alternative in the female wellness space. Paltrow shows no signs of giving up her reign as Hollywoods unofficial shamanand if The Goop Lab trailer is any indication, whether youre a keen believer, steadfast skeptic, or just plain curious about her unorthodox health practices, her latest venture is bound to draw you in.

The Goop Lab premieres on Netflix on January 24.

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Gwyneth Paltrow's New Netflix Docuseries Is Full of Psychedelics and Orgasms - Vogue


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