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Psilocybin Shows Promising Results For Patients With Cancer

Millennials were the only ones experimenting with magic mushrooms. In recent years, psilocybin has become very popular, and now scientists are looking at its effects on patients with cancer.

Psilocybin Could Benefit Patients With Cancer

Centered on two new analyses, magic mushrooms, or perhaps the psychedelic drug psilocybin, could significantly benefit patients with cancer tumors experiencing anxiety and major depression.

According to a new study led by researchers at New York University, a single dose of psilocybin found in psychedelic mushrooms has been found to significantly reduce anxiety and depression in patients with cancer for up to several months.

The findings show that a one-time treatment of psilocybin, whose use required federal waivers because it is a banned substance, brought instant relief to cancer patients.

The effects lasted for more than six months in 80 percent of the 29 study subjects monitored. This data was based on clinical evaluation scores for anxiety and depression.

All patients in the study, primarily women from the ages of 22 to 75, were patients at the Perlmutter Cancer Center of NYU Langone. They had either advanced breast, gastrointestinal, or blood cancers and were diagnosed with severe psychological distress.

All patients were counseled by psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, or social workers and were monitored for side effects and improvements in their mental state.

Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of how beneficial psilocybin therapy has the potential to heal patients with cancer-related psychological distress.

Stated the lead investigator Stephen Ross, M.D., director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

If larger clinical trials are also proven to be successful, then we could ultimately have a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients.

Said Ross, also an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.

Study co-investigator Jeffrey Guss, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, states that magic mushrooms have been studied for decades and proven effective. He adds that none of the study participants experienced any serious adverse effects, such as hospitalization or other severe mental health disorders.

Although magic mushrooms’ neurological benefits are not entirely understood, psilocybin has been shown to activate parts of the brain also affected by the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates our anxiety and mood. Depression has also been linked to serotonin imbalances.

For the study, half of the subjects were randomly given 0.3-milligram doses of magic mushrooms, while the rest of the patients received a placebo (250 milligrams of niacin).

About halfway through the study’s monitoring period (after seven weeks), all participants switched treatments. Those who were initially given magic mushrooms took a single dose of the placebo, and those who first took the placebo then received magic mushrooms. Neither the patients nor researchers knew who had first received the psilocybin or the placebo.

The placebo control, randomization, and double-blind procedures maximized the validity of the results of the study, said Guss.

One significant finding was that reductions in levels of depression and anxiety lasted for the remainder of the study’s extended monitoring period, eight months, for those who took magic mushrooms first.

Co-investigator Anthony Bossis, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, said that the patients who took magic mushrooms also reported improvements in their quality of life.

They went out more, had tremendous energy, got along better with family members, and did well at work. Several other patients also reported an increase in altruism, peacefulness, and spirituality.

Bossis stated that the study showed that psilocybin facilitated experiences that drove psychological distress reductions. He also mentioned that if it’s effective for cancer patients, then it may also be effective for everybody.

However, Bossis cautioned that patients should not consume psilocybin independently or without supervision by a physician and a trained counselor. He also said that magic mushroom therapy might not work for everyone, and people with schizophrenia and adolescents should not be treated with psilocybin.

The NYU Langone-led study, appearing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was published side by side with a similar study from Johns Hopkins. This study was also endorsed in 11 accompanying editorials from leading experts in psychiatry, addiction, and palliative care.

Based on experts, magic mushrooms ease stress, anxiety, and depression.

The common effects magic mushrooms had on many patients were a sense of love and being “one” with everything. It caused a change in the brain or neuroplasticity.

Studies using MRI imaging show psilocybin altering the brain to action, allowing for communication with regions in your brain that typically do not connect. The study shows a breakthrough for psychotherapy and researchers alike.

Profound Change on a Patients Life

In the Time Journal article, Dinah Bazer explains her experience going with a single dose of psilocybin in an analysis of NYU Langone hospital.

Dinah said that she felt scared and was initially “tumbling through space.” Right after being calmed by the researchers guiding her, she could relax and see her fear as a dark object inside her body. She took control and ordered the black muscle to go away, and it faded.

After that, she started to feel unusual. My spouse and I felt overwhelmed, at peace, and euphoric. The feeling of immense light lingered on for weeks, and after four years, I still feel the same effects at times.

My fear and anxiety had been removed, and it hasn’t been back. The experience changed how I viewed life. I used to imagine what the idea will be like if the tumor came back, although I no longer think about it the same way as I did years ago. When My spouse and I don’t feel well, thought processes of a recurrence creep in my mind; however, I no longer have anxiety.

The Benefits of Magic Mushrooms are Promising

The benefits of magic mushrooms look promising. Many individuals have experimented with psilocybin, and now, most of us trust this mind-altering drug that affects our emotions in a way that:

  • Benefits our emotional health
  • Heightens spiritual expansion
  • It brings peace and happiness

Like with any drug, it’s essential to think about the physical complications involving the use of mind-altering medications, which can cause vitamin/mineral deficiencies, failing liver complications, cognitive troubles, and much more. However, the benefits outweigh the consequences.

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The Challenges of Psychedelics in Psychotherapy

The study and use of psychedelics in psychiatric therapy have been exceptionally repressed by current paradigms in psychiatry and psychology, the biological symptom-suppression transformation in psychiatry, the prohibitionist drug war, and modifications in the insurance industry that limit patients’ access to care.

Concepts and Paradigms

The power of concepts or paradigms to arrange and limit thinking in researchers and specialists is displayed in the current obsession for quick one-step biological options to practically every kind of psychological distress or disorder.

The symptom-reducing or eliminating anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and antipsychotic medications have shifted the focus of psychiatric training from dynamic psychiatric therapy and psychoanalysis to psychopharmacology.

Massive funding offered for research study in this area is a collusion between the government and the pharmaceutical industry.

As valuable as symptom-relieving drugs may be, when used properly, they are not sufficient to address the complexities of addiction and conflicted human personality.

Psychedelics are a totally new family of medicines that can amplify the healing properties of a psychotherapy relationship and transport patients into life-altering realms of consciousness.

Although these medicines are no more panaceas than symptom suppressors, they are worthy of exploration and advancement.

Psychedelics need to be studied in methods appropriate to comprehending the nature of their action.

Consciousness expanding drugs are distinctively sensitive to the attitudes and beliefs of the doctors using them and to the setting in which they are provided.

The War on Drugs

There is a 17 billion dollar dark cloud on the horizon of freedom in the United States. The federal budget for the “war on drugs” has actually grown 3,200% since 1970.

More than 400,000 citizens are in prison on controlled substance convictions (Shenk, 1999).

The prohibitionist drug war brought us an attitude toward drugs of abuse that is oddly reflected in etymology. The Greeks had a word for it: phármakon indicated drug, pharmakós, nevertheless, meant scapegoat!

Our public law towards drugs of abuse reflects these original paronomastic confusions. With the exceptions of alcohol and tobacco, our laws scapegoat drugs for the social ills that foster their abuse (Escohotado, 1999).

Substance abuse and dependency are sequels to misery. Such despair is frequently, though not always, rooted in the despondence of social injustices.

The federal government lavishes billions locking up drug dealers, interfering with the internal politics of drug-producing nations, and intercepting deliveries of controlled substances.

This policy casts a totalitarian shadow both at home and abroad. At the same time, the obstacle to provide education and chance rather than penalty for the disadvantaged is avoided.

In 1962 and 1965 ever more oppressive limitations were put on genuine clinical research with LSD and other hallucinogens.

In a May 1966 congressional hearing Senator Robert Kennedy asked how drugs that were worthwhile six months before all of a sudden ended up being awful.

The frightening answer to his question was that LSD had left the lab and recorded the bodies, minds, and hearts of America’s defiant youth (Mangini, 1998; Shenk, 1999).

After hearing the evidence Kennedy gave a courageous admonition:

Maybe to some extent, we have forgotten the reality that (LSD) can be extremely valuable in our society if utilized effectively (Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization, 1966 p. 63).

In 1968 the American Journal of Psychiatry brought a short article about the devastating effect of negative promotion and federal constraints on legitimate LSD research (Dahlberg, 1968).

The paper records a disgraceful psychiatric witch hunt. Ongoing research study projects were canceled and authentic researchers were attacked as “kooks”.

Previously approved projects were denied supplies of LSD by the National Institute of Mental Health (Pollard, 1966).

By 1970 LSD became illegal. It was lumped with heroin and placed by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the new Schedule I category: drugs that have no acknowledged medical use and have high abuse capacity.

This act neglected and denied numerous articles documenting the value of psychedelics as adjuncts to psychiatric therapy.

Monetary Restrictions

In the United States, the insurance coverage market has evolved into “health maintenance organizations” (HMOs) and “Managed Care” plans.

These brand-new entities manage clients’ access to healthcare and define eligibility for reimbursement according to a brand-new series of often-secret guidelines.

It is clear to the majority at this moment that this system serves to limit patients’ access to care. Managed care has actually efficiently cut the delivery of both inpatient and outpatient care in the private sector.

A national research study of independently guaranteed individuals looked at 3.9 million psychological health care claims from 1993 to 1995.

The scientists concluded:

For patients utilizing outpatient services just, those detected with substance abuse experience the largest decrease in expenses (23.5%) (Leslie & Rosenheck, 1999).

The August 1999 Consumer Reports published a study of 19,000 people guaranteed by HMOs. People with serious health problems had more problems getting care than did people without serious health problems.

Both groups had problems getting care. Problems took place from just 5% of the time to as much as 30% of the time (Kagan, 1999).

Many people discover that, when you require it, the existing healthcare delivery system does not deliver. Salaries of HMO executives soar above the norm for other chief executives in the country.

Intervention in the definition of illness and delivery of care has had an extensive effect on psychiatric therapy and addiction treatment reimbursement.

The tendency is to define treatment as what is reimbursed by the ruthlessly budget-minded insurance industry.

By comparison, the Veteran’s Administration reports reduce in inpatient care paralleled by a boost in outpatient service delivery. The general public sector is liable to its constituents whereas the private sector views information as proprietary and private.

This post highlights the shortsighted nature of this approach to treatment. It highlights changes in federal government financing for inpatient addiction treatment and research study likewise moves toward symptom-oriented approaches that are superficial and hardly ever sufficient.

An Age of a New Era

We need to psychedelics in another light. Studies have shown that psychedelics have shown promising results in treating psychological disorders and having lasting effects than conventional medicine.

We need more funding in learning and researching psychedelics to further understand the drug’s amazing healing powers. Only then can we progress and help heal people that are in desperate need of a cure.

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Psychedelics Can Unlock The Mysteries of The Brain

Research into the inmost mysteries of the brain consisting of consciousness and mental illness had been cut by the restriction of psychedelic drugs.

Researchers must have access to unlawful hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin to help them progress in brain research.

Treatment For Anxiety and Schizophrenia

The federal government’s former drug advisor Professor David Nutt who is now a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, claims that hallucinogens such as magic mushrooms may provide insights into anxiety and schizophrenia.

Professor Nutt said that researchers may discover treatments for conditions such as schizophrenia by utilizing modern-day techniques to study the impacts of psychedelic drugs on the brain.

Neuroscience must be trying to comprehend how the brain works, said Nutt.

Psychedelics alter the brain in, perhaps, the most profound way of any drug, a minimum of in terms of comprehending awareness and connectivity. Therefore we must be doing a lot more of this research.

More Research Needs to be Done

Nutt also states that it’s remarkable that 40 years of advances in brain imaging innovation and there’s never been a study about this prior to.

It’s a scandal, it’s outrageous the fact that these research studies have not been done. And they have not been done simply because the drugs were unlawful.

Speaking with the Guardian ahead of a lecture he will give at a University College London neuroscience seminar on Friday, Nutt stated that a volunteer for a current experiment pulled out of the research study since he was worried that being in a study with a so-called illegal drug might imply he couldn’t travel to some countries, such as America. To hinder research to that degree is an outrage.

Nutt’s views will challenge federal governments all over the world which, largely, classify hallucinogens as damaging and illegal.

The professor is used work alongside the authorities. In 2009, the UK’s health secretary, Alan Johnson, took him off from his post as chair of the government’s Advisory Council on the Abuse of Drugs for openly specifying that alcohol and tobacco were more hazardous than LSD, ecstasy, and cannabis.

Successful Treatments Using LSD

Numerous clinical trials of psychedelic drugs such as LSD were performed in the 1950s and 1960s, and successful treatments, consisting of one for alcohol addiction, came out of the work.

Because LSD was prohibited all over the world, nevertheless, the variety of clinical research studies has actually dropped to essentially absolutely nothing, and there have been no studies using contemporary imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take a look at what parts of the brain are affected by it.

Promising Treatment For Schizophrenia

Nutt recently released research, with associates at Cardiff University, on the results of psilocybin– the active component in magic mushrooms– on the brain.

His team had actually presumed the drug may increase activity in specific parts of the brain, to describe the experience that users get when they consume magic mushrooms.

Rather, MRI scans of 30 healthy volunteers showed that psilocybin seemed to reduce activity in the regions of the brain which link up different areas. The research study was published in January in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This is an extremely essential method of alarming the brain to comprehend the nature of consciousness, stated Nutt.

At his lecture on Friday, he will examine whether psilocybin’s results on the brain can be used as a model for psychosis.

Some of the brain alterations viewed as a result of taking psilocybin, he said, are similar to those seen in the brains of people with prodromal schizophrenia.

Psilocybin seems to reduce the actions of a brain system called the “default mode network” which is active whenever an individual is, for instance, reflecting on the world rather than participating in a specific activity.

The “task-positive network” is engaged when an individual focuses on a specific job and it operates out of phase with the default mode network.

However in schizophrenia, the networks are far more in phase and, under psilocybin, they are totally in phase.

So, we’re thinking [psilocybin] might be an intriguing design for early stages for schizophrenia, it may allow us to evaluate brand-new drugs, said Nutt.

When individuals start to become psychotic, their ego limits break down, the relationship between them and the world gets disrupted and the relationship between their various inner experiences gets mixed up. Eventually, they begin hearing their own thoughts as someone else’s voice.

That breakdown of connectivity in the brain is very common in schizophrenia.

Nutt states that if they can produce this in a laboratory in a normal volunteer, they can then search for new treatments and it is far more effective to do than search for young people who are beginning to develop their health problem and it’s morally more acceptable too.

Psychiatric Therapy Using MDMA

Nutt and his associates are also studying prospective uses for ecstasy, likewise referred to as MDMA.

The restorative worth of MDMA for psychiatric therapy has actually been commonly understood till it was banned and has hardly been studied given that.

There have actually only been a couple of MDMA imaging research studies, but none of them utilizing innovative innovations, so we’re doing that at present.

In cooperation with Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London, Nutt likewise wants to enhance his research study into more hallucinogens such as LSD and ibogaine, a derivative of African root bark, which is utilized to deal with dependency in Thailand and Cambodia.

Laws Make Researching These Drugs Difficult

Performing such work is typically tough for scientists, however, since they need to make such lengthy applications for licenses to utilize illegal drugs.

And even if the research went ahead and revealed benefits from the drugs, it is unlikely physicians would be enabled to recommend them.

Nutt recently required the UK’s classification system of drugs to be rewritten to reflect more accurately their relative harms and required a regulated technique to making drugs such as MDMA and marijuana offered for medical and research functions.

Laws, which are arbitrary, actually make it practically impossible to research these drugs, stated Nutt last month. The impact these laws have actually had on research study is greater than the effects that George Bush stopping stem cell research has had, since it’s been going on since the 1960s.

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The Fascinating Medical Potential of Psychedelic Drugs

After years of dealing with treatments for his worsening cancer, Roy was unpleasant– anxious, depressed, hopeless. Conventional cancer treatments had left him incapacitated, and it was unclear whether they would conserve his life.

However, then Roy secured a spot in a clinical trial to check a unique drug. The drug was not implied to cure his cancer; it was indicated to treat his fear. And it worked. A couple of hours after taking a little tablet, Roy stated to scientists,

Cancer is not important, the crucial thing is love.

His issues about his impending death had actually unexpectedly vanished– and the results lasted for a minimum of months, according to scientists.

It was not a standard antidepressant, like Zoloft, or anti-anxiety medication, like Xanax, that led Roy to reevaluate his life. It was a drug that has actually been unlawful for years but is now at the center of a renaissance in research: psilocybin, from hallucinogenic magic mushrooms.

Psychologists and psychiatrists have actually been studying hallucinogens for decades– as a treatment for things like alcohol addiction and depression, and to stimulate the imagination.

But assistance for research studies dried up in the 1970s after the federal government listed lots of psychedelics as Schedule 1 drugs. Now researchers are giving the drugs another look.

While stories like Roy’s are appealing, we’d require hundreds, maybe thousands, more examples– carefully tested, preferably in big randomized, managed experiments– to understand the impacts claimed in the research study are genuine and impartial.

However, that research is worth doing. Psychedelics show promise in reducing some of the conditions that have actually proven the hardest to treat– dependency, obsessive-compulsive condition, end-of-life stress, and anxiety, and, in some cases, anxiety is infamous for its resistance to treatment.

Smoking cigarettes regression rates, for instance, have been estimated at 60 to 90 percent within one year, even as cigarette smoking kills hundreds of thousands each year.

These are among the most devastating and expensive conditions understood to humankind, Matthew Johnson, one of the psychedelics scientists at Johns Hopkins University, said.

Psychedelics might assist. But the mechanism through which they appear to help individuals has left medical professionals scratching their heads and some researchers deeply uneasy with their findings:

These drugs appear to use chemical pathways to set off typically deeply spiritual experiences that seemingly lead to tangible, measurable, long-term modifications inhabits. That is not, to say the least, how conventional medicines typically operate.

There’s still a lot we do not know and are just discovering. So to understand what we understand up until now about hallucinogens and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for dealing with a few of the most persistent psychological conditions.

The Mystical Experiences of Psychedelics is a Part of What Might Make Them Therapeutic

Here is a small sampling of how some individuals in several studies given that the 2000s described psychedelic experiences:

  • “Sensations of gratefulness, a superb (powerful) remembrance of humility…of my experience of being, the experience of my being in and within the infinite.”
  • “Not spiritual but significant in inspiring me to support my spiritual life.”
  • “I think I transported the facility of the Goddess which I hold that power in me. I think she exists everywhere and I look for her to include a trigger, life, and delight to everyday ordinary situations.”
  • “The experience expanded my mindful awareness permanently. It permits me to let go of negative ideas quicker. I accept ‘what is’ much easier.”
  • “My discussion with God (golden streams of light) ensuring me that whatever on this aircraft is best, but I don’t have the physical body/mind to completely understand.”

It may be easy to dismiss these experiences. What do gods and golden streams of light have to do with medicine?

But the findings from many research studies, which can involve months or years of follow-up, are appealing– albeit not definitive.

One extremely little research study of 15 smokers found 12 (80 percent) managed to avoid cigarette smoking for six months after a psilocybin treatment.

An evaluation of previous randomized regulated trials discovered that LSD helped alcoholics cut down on their drinking, while a much smaller study discovered psilocybin treatment assisted people diagnosed with alcohol dependence cut back on their drinking days.

Another study discovered that psilocybin may have assisted deal with anxiety for clients who had proven resistant to other treatments.

So how precisely are psychedelics achieving this?

Scientists readily admit that they do not have all the answers– and even total certainty that it’s entirely the psychedelics at work.

However making use of the present research studies and the research from the ’50s and ’60s, they have a theory: When people are confronted with debilitating mental conditions, psychedelics– used, researchers highlight, in controlled and monitored scientific settings– can set off a powerful mystical experience.

The experience can then provide a psychological context that makes favorable behavioral change easier.

They have extensive, meaningful experiences which will in some cases help them make new insights into their own behaviors and also to reconnect with their values and priorities with regard to what’s important to them in the grander scheme of things, Albert Garcia-Romeu, another Johns Hopkins scientist, stated.

One Factor Psychedelics May Work: They Deal With The Individual’s Context, Not Simply Their Illness

Kumar works closely with cancer clients as a psychologist in a South Florida cancer center. He believes psychedelic-assisted treatments could be an excellent advantage to his kind of work with late-term cancer clients, who battle with debilitating end-of-life stress and anxiety that’s often difficult to treat.

Patients with innovative cancer usually don’t have the healthy coping tools that typically take a lifetime of practice to get– healthy tension management, a group of spiritual beliefs that can be comforting, or an understanding or sense of purpose and significance in their lives, Kumar said.

As a late-term cancer patient, you are unexpectedly confronted with a circumstance in which you don’t have a lot of time, your physical health is in jeopardy, your cognition is dicey, and there simply isn’t a lot of time to get a lot of stuff in location.

Psychedelics are a really quick way to induce a very significant modification in people.

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Research Study: Psilocybin Mushrooms Can Assist Cancer Anxiety

A single dosage of magic mushrooms can make people with serious stress and anxiety and depression better for months, according to a landmark set of new studies.

The doom hung like an anvil over her head. A couple of years after Carol Vincent was detected with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, she was waiting to see whether her cancer would advance enough to need chemotherapy or radiation.

The illness had actually currently done a number on her, inflating lymph nodes on her chin, collar bones, and groin. She fought her signs while running her own marketing company. To top it all off, she was going through menopause.

Life is simply meaningless tension, and then you die, she believed. All I’m doing is sitting here waiting for all this shit to happen.

When one day at an intersection she mulled whether it would be so bad to get hit by an automobile, she recognized her psychological health was almost as depleted as her physical state.

That’s when her 27-year-old child sent her a link to an invitation from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, seeking cancer clients to sign up to take psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to alleviate their stress and anxiety and anxiety.

Start considering all the existential questions you want to contemplate while your window is open to deep space! her child wrote.

Vincent, who is 5 foot 1 and 61 years of age, has never been a big drug user. She does not like taking aspirin, and the one time she utilized drugs in her 20s, she passed out.

However, she’s taken other risks, she was a sky-diver for ten years and she figured there was an opportunity the experience may “reboot” her. She registered and, after being screened, flew down to Baltimore from her home in British Columbia.

The outcomes of Vincent’s mushroom journey and those of 79 other study topics like her are now being made public, and they’re very motivating.

Psilocybin Treatment For  Cancer, Depression, and Anxiety

A set of randomized, blinded studies published Thursday in The Journal of Psychopharmacology supply the most robust proof to date that a single dosage of psilocybin can provide relief from the stress and anxiety, and gloom connected with cancer for at least 6 months.

Approximately 40 percent of individuals with cancer suffer from a mood condition, which increases their threat of suicide and impairs treatment.

The evidence they can be helped by antidepressants is weak.

Individuals are facing their own mortality, their own demise, stated Roland Griffiths, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the lead author of one of the studies. That’s a really special and quite poignant vulnerability that lots of people have in facing dangerous illnesses.

2 groups of scientists, one led by Griffiths and the other by psychiatrist Stephen Ross at the New York City University Langone Medical Center, concurrently ran the studies on participants who had dangerous cancers along with a psychiatric diagnosis of anxiety or depression.

For the treatment sessions, guides would bring the participants into a comfy, living-room-like lab and equip them with an eye mask and earphones linked to a playlist of instrumental music.

In New York City, the guides held the participants’ hands and told them to mention their intention for the day. The guides at Johns Hopkins informed Vincent,

If you see something frightening, open and walk right in, she stated. Then, they gave her a dosage of psilocybin inside a gelatin capsule and stood back.

Vincent describes her six-hour journey as “amazingly beautiful” and “beyond words.” She saw a sea of green and purple shapes, then a deep-space vacuum with a monolithic presence, comparable to the Borg Collective from Star Trek.

At one point, a series of Egyptian ships and Russian dolls paraded before her. As she laughed and wept, something popped out at her from the mental kaleidoscope: A little, creamy-white, animated crab.

It’s Cancer the crab, she believed, later on, describing the zodiac sign. It might have been a huge, scary beast crab that was about to tear me up and consume me. But it wasn’t, it was comic relief. There is still humor in life, there’s still appeal in life.

In the Johns Hopkins research study, half of the 51 individuals were provided a low dosage of psilocybin as control, followed by a high dose five weeks later on. (For the other half, the order of the doses was reversed.)

The outcomes were impressive: 6 months later, 78 percent of the individuals were less depressed than they began, as rated by a clinician, and 83 percent were less anxious.

Furthermore, 65 percent had actually practically completely recovered from anxiety, and 57 percent from their anxiety, after six months.

By comparison, in previous research studies, antidepressants have just helped about 40 percent of cancer patients, carrying out about along with a placebo.

At the six-month follow-up, two-thirds of the individuals rated the experience as one of the top 5 most meaningful of their lives. They attributed their enhancements to positive modifications in their mindsets about their lives and their social relationships.

Their quality of life improved, as did their feelings of “life significance” and optimism although numerous of them would later die.

Individuals will state, I understand I’m passing away, I’m sad that I’m dying, however it’s okay, Griffiths stated. Things are going to be alright.

Improvement of Anxiety and Anxiety Symptoms After Psilocybin

A chart showing the percentage of individuals who improved on procedures of both anxiety and stress and anxiety, at 5 weeks and six months, in the Johns Hopkins study. (Journal of Psychopharmacology).

The New York University research study was extremely comparable, however, it had only 29 participants and utilized niacin, a vitamin, as a placebo. (Halfway through the experiment, the participants switched groups.)

It also consisted of a more official psychiatric therapy part, in which the individuals would discuss their journeys. That research study likewise found that the psilocybin had both immediate and enduring effects.

6 months after the treatment, 60 to 80 percent of the individuals saw improvements in numerous measures of depression and anxiety, and 70 percent considered it one of the leading five most personally meaningful experiences of their lives.

The most unexpected thing to me is that this in fact worked. I was highly hesitant, said Ross, the lead NYU study author.

Before the treatment, a few of the participants would weep and shake when they spoke about their cancer.

However the moment they get psilocybin, their distress comes down. That’s brand-new in psychiatry, to have a medication that works instantly for depression and stress and anxiety and can last for that long.

The scientists aren’t sure precisely how psilocybin works a rather typical issue in drugs focused on brain chemistry. Psilocybin seems to quiet the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain where increased activity has been related to anxiety.

It also might be acting upon the brain’s use of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that affects learning and memory.

Ross stated what might be happening is a sort of “inverted PTSD”– a profoundly favorable memory that affects individuals for months, similar to an extreme injury might in trauma.

It’s likewise possible that the sheer mysticism of the experience was enough to trigger a change in mood.

There’s a sacredness or a respect to that experience … it’s likewise accompanied by favorable mood, in the sense of an open-heartedness, love or benevolence, Griffiths said.

Participants may have a sense that “the experience is more genuine and more true than daily waking awareness.

Although the impacts of the drugs are passed completion of the day, the memories of these experiences and the attributions made to them withstand.

It’s not uncommon, he stated, for research study participants to say they think of their psilocybin experience every day.

Vincent has since taken an art class, and she found herself making paintings that included themes from a few of her psilocybin-induced visions.

Her previous feelings of stress and anxiety and depression have not re-surfaced, she stated.

I sense that I used something larger than me, Vincent stated. It did feel like it was connecting me to the universe. It didn’t seem to matter whether the participants were religious.

In the New york city study, half the participants were non-believers– not that you would understand it, hearing a few of their remarks in the after-effects. One participant, an avowed atheist, said she was “bathed in God’s love.” (She’s still an atheist.).

There were no major negative side-effects of the treatment, easing issues that the cancer patients might

Look into the existential space and come out even more afraid, as Griffiths put it.

About 15 percent of the Johns Hopkins participants became nauseated, and a third experienced short-lived paranoia and elevated blood pressure.

In the New york city University study, 28 percent of individuals established a headache, and 17 percent became briefly nervous.

However more than 2,000 doses of psilocybin have been given out in medical settings because the early 1990s, the NYU scientists pointed out, and up until now have there been no reports of lasting medical or psychiatric problems.

Still, scientists from both universities cautioned their findings don’t recommend daily people should try out magic mushrooms.

Some groups, such as people with schizophrenia, might find psilocybin worsens their condition, and in studies, a little fraction of people who report having actually used magic mushrooms stated they put themselves or others at risk of physical damage during their trip.

The research studies were accompanied by 10 mostly helpful editorials by experts in psychiatry, end-of-life care, and other medical fields.

Using psilocybin,

Might signify that medication has actually come to welcome the earliest known approach to recovery our inmost of human miseries– by ‘creating the divine within,

Wrote Craig Blinderman, the director of Grownup Palliative Care Service and a professor at the Columbia University Medical Center.

These research studies add to the evidence that psilocybin might assist individuals who fight with various kinds of intractable mental-health concerns.

Smaller research studies have meant the drug’s effectiveness in treating alcoholism, obsessive-compulsive condition, treatment-resistant anxiety, and smoking cigarettes.

It’s also been found to help change peoples’ characters, making them more “open,” indicating creative or broad-minded.

The study has ramifications for terminally ill people considering physician-assisted suicide, a decision in some cases prompted by the type of existential dread that psilocybin alleviates.

Nevertheless, psilocybin is still many years from ending up being a prescribed treatment for cancer-related dread. Though researchers can get psilocybin for studies, it’s still prohibited, adding an additional obstacle to the drug-development procedure.

Existing laws, not based on proof, hamper research study by onerous storage and security requirements, difficulty in getting funding, and the near impossibility of in fact acquiring limited compounds without having them artificially produced at fantastic expense,

Wrote Columbia University psychiatrists Jeffrey Lieberman and Daniel Shalev in among the psilocybin editorials.

In a New Yorker story about the alleviative capacity of psilocybin published last year, Michael Pollan wrote,

As the drug war subsides, researchers aspire to reassess the restorative potential of these drugs.

Nevertheless, president-elect Donald Trump’s option of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a staunch hard-liner on drugs, to lead the Justice Department, recommends the drug war may not be concluding as without delay as some hoped.

George Greer, the medical director of the Heffter Research Institute, which funded these studies, stated he does not yet have “overall clarity” on what current political developments imply for his work with regulators.

What I can say is this: We anticipate the FDA’s assessment of psilocybin to move forward, he said.  As the research study evidence grows on psilocybin’s security and effectiveness, we think the FDA will want to discover more, and the procedure for helping cancer patients with depression and anxiety will continue to advance.

For now, above-board psilocybin treatments will be restricted to individuals like Vincent, who register for studies.

To paraphrase the aphorism, it’s a good remedy– if you can get it. A few months after her psilocybin experience, Vincent was driving on a warm day and listening to music.

She discovered herself cheerily singing along. “Oh my God,” she thought, “I more than happy! I’m me once again!”.

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Microdosing LSD?

Microdosing LSD refers to taking a sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance with the intent of boosting your overall well being and creativity.

Microdosers usually take LSD or Psilocybin (the active compound found in Magic Mushrooms) though other psychedelic substances are used. This guide deals with exclusivity with LSD. The LSD is prepared in a volumetric solution and a small or ‘microdose’ is taken every few days, usually with breakfast.

There is no ‘high’ from a microdose and it’s often referred to as a ‘sub-perceptual‘ dose as a result. You won’t see things and will be able to go about your day as normal.

Why should I Microdose LSD?

Otherwise known as LSD, Lysergic acid diethylamide has been illegal in most countries in the world since the 1970s. It’s also is one of the most powerful hallucinogens ever synthesized. So why take it for breakfast?

In the years between its discovery and its prohibition, it was one of the most widely studied substances in the United States.

And then it was banned in the US and almost all other countries around the world.

Proponents of microdosing point to an immediate boost in creativity and well-being on a dose day. As well as more positive long term effects. These are good enough reasons for many people to give microdosing a shot.

The world is slowly starting to view psychedelics in a more positive light as treatments for everything from depression to alcoholism. A 2016 double-blind psilocybin study carried out at Johns Hopkins University found the following:

About 80% of participants continued to show clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety, with about 60% showing symptom remission into the normal range

Psychedelics, like anything, can have negative effects if abused. But serious research is beginning to show that responsible controlled use can have profound positive benefits.

A 2015 study found:

In comparison to other illicit substances, epidemiological studies indicate that the use of classic hallucinogens is associated with lower psychological distress, lower suicidality, and lower mental health problems

Finally, a review of all psychedelic studies concluded:

A few single administrations of LSD or related substances within a therapeutic setting may be beneficial for patients with anxiety associated with severe illness, depression, or addiction.

These old–new treatments may have potential in psychiatry. As professionals, we should actively study these new options so patients who are in need will not look elsewhere for unproven treatments from unregulated sources.

More methodologically sound research on the psychological and biological mechanisms and therapeutic potential of LSD in psychiatry is needed.

Most of the serious studies on LSD have dealt with full doses.

The nearest thing we have to a microdose study is a self-reporting study.

What do I need to Microdose LSD?

Having done the trial and error so you don’t have to I have put together a list of equipment that will save you time and ensure you have an optimal experience.

Mindset

Before you do anything the first step is to get your mindset right. I strongly recommend you buy and read James Fadiman’s ‘The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide‘. It’s important to develop a healthy respect for the substance you are going to use before you use it. And if you haven’t read Fadiman’s book I’d recommend you stop reading right now and come back when you have.

You will have a much better experience if you enter into this with the right mindset.

Equipment

If your mind is in the right place and you’re ready to begin then you’ll need the following equipment:

1. LSD-25

I am not going to offer any guidance on getting your hands on LSD but I will say that it should be pure and from a reputable and trusted source. The entire microdosing experience depends on the quality and purity of the psychedelic so it’s important to get this right.

LSD-25 typically comes in the form of a sheet of tabs on blotter paper.

I would even go so far as to buy a testing kit to quantify its purity. Remember. LSD is a Schedule 1 substance and you are breaking the law if you buy it.

2. Testing Kit

This is optional and I only recommend it if you are unsure of the purity of your LSD.

3. Solution

LSD is sensitive to Chlorine so you’re not going to use tap water to mix it. I recommend using either distilled water or vodka to prepare your volumetric solution. Below, I detail the method I use so for now just focus on getting a good solution. I used distilled water the first time I microdosed but I use vodka now.

4. Syringe

To take your dose you will need to measure out an exact number of MLS on each dosing day. This will help you to determine your ideal dosage by keeping track of the different effects of different dosage levels. Something like this will do the job.

5. Storage Jar

LSD is also sensitive to UV light which means you need to keep your solution in a dark, UV proof container.

Method

Once you’ve bought all of your equipment and sourced good quality LSD it’s time for prep.

Here are the steps you need to take to prepare a volumetric solution. A typical tab of LSD contains 100ug of LSD. You want each dose to be around 10ug. From here you can adjust up or down depending on what you find suits you personally but 10ug is what I recommend you start with.

It may be tempting to simply cut your 100ug tab into 10 pieces and take one piece on each dosing day. The problem with this is that the LSD isn’t evenly distributed throughout the tab so you won’t really know the dose level you are taking.

This is why the recommended preparation method is to use a volumetric solution. This simply means taking a 100 ug tab and allowing it to sit in 100ml of either distilled water or vodka for 48 hours. This allows the LSD to be evenly distributed in the solution so when you take 10ml of the solution you know you are getting 10ug of LSD.

For simplicity here are the steps:

  1. Clean all of your equipment with hot water and dry
  2. Make sure your LSD has been stored away from sunlight and chlorine sources and avoid touching it with your hands as the oils in your skin may damage it.
  3. If you’re unsure about the quality of your LSD, test it. This step is optional
  4. Take 1 tab of LSD and place inside your UV storage jar
  5. Take your syringe and add in exactly 100ml of distilled water or vodka. This step takes time so make sure you count out 100ml exactly.
  6. Place the lid back on your jar and place it in the fridge for 48 hours.
  7. Once 48 hours have passed you can remove the tab from the solution if you want. Some people have reported mild growth on the tab after a week or two. Use something sterile to remove it – not your fingers!
  8. On your first dose day measure out 10ml of the solution using your syringe and squirt into your mouth
  9. Hold the liquid under your tongue for a few minutes and then swallow – Note: As mentioned above, LSD is sensitive to chlorine so make sure you don’t drink tap water or brush your teeth 30 minutes either side of taking the dose.
  10. Re-seal your jar and place it back in the fridge.
  11. Enjoy your day!

Conclusion

The world is slowly waking up to the benefits of microdosing LSD. As I highlighted earlier, trials on its beneficial use for treating everything from depression to alcoholism and drug addiction are finally underway. And this will lead us to a happier world.

Fortunately, 2018 could be the year it all changes. Berkley is planning a serious microdosing study. Author Micheal Pollan, of Cooked fame, is releasing a new book focusing on psychedelics.

These two events will propel microdosing into the mainstream and led to humanity finally harnessing the power of psychedelics in a safe and positive manner.

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Researchers are in The Throes of a Psychedelic Revival

In the 1950s, research into mind and perception altering drugs had flourished, then floundered in the middle of an atmosphere of illegalization and demonization in the following decades, under Nixon’s and Reagan’s administrations.

However, researchers are taking up the cause again, exploring the possibilities that psychedlics might effectively treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and addiction.

Mystical Experiences

There are murmurs of a renaissance in psychedelic research and thought in Imperial College London, John Hopkins University in Baltimore, and in New York University.

Roland Griffiths, a psychopharmacologist at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a team of researchers published a groundbreaking article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Psilocybin Can Occasion Mystical-Type Experiences Having Substantial and Sustained Personal Meaning and Spiritual Significance, in 2006.

This article concludes that when psilocybin is administered under supportive conditions, psilocybin caused experiences similar to mystical experiences. Two-thirds of those participants involved in the sessions described the experiences as being among the most meaningful experiences in their lives.

Griffiths described the mystical experience as a sense of the interconnectedness of all things in an interview with the multidisciplinary association for psychedelic studies (MAPS).

That sense of unity is often accompanied by a sense of sacredness, a sense of openheartedness or love, and a noetic quality suggesting that this experience is more real than everyday waking consciousness.

Psilocybin in The Treatment of Nicotine Addiction

Griffith’s lab pushed forward with their work in a 2014 study on the possibility that psilocybin, the psychedelic component of magic mushrooms could treat nicotine addiction.

Participants in this study had three psilocybin sessions and three cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions to diminish the cravings of nicotine. Eighty percent of those participants who received the psilocybin treatments abstained from nicotine use for over six months while less than 7% of those participants who received traditional nicotine-replacement therapy were successful for more than six months.

The Effects of Psilocybin in Treating PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety

A 2010 study across the Atlantic conducted at Imperial College London also investigated the effects of psilocybin in treating PTSD, depression, and anxiety. One participant in the study described his experience following a session,

 …Although it’s only days yet, the results are amazing. I feel more confident and calm than I have in such a long time. My outlook has changed significantly too. I am more aware now that it is pointless to get wrapped up in endless negativity. I feel as if I have seen a much clearer picture of which this life is just a tiny part…Another side of this, is I feel like I’ve had a second chance, like a survivor, someone who wants to live for the day, for the experience. I feel like I can enjoy things the way I used to, without the cynicism, without the aggression. At its most basic, I feel like I used to before depression.

The Demonization of The Mystical Experience

Considering the nature of positive mystical experiences these participants had and Griffith’s own definition of a mystical experience, it is hard to believe why the research was put to an end.

Griffiths told The New Yorker earlier this year that the demonization of psychedelics ended because of a sense of clarity and understanding.

There is such a sense of authority that comes out of the primary mystical experience that it can be threatening to existing hierarchical structures. We ended up demonizing these compounds. Can you think of another area of science regarded as dangerous and taboo that all research gets shut down for decades? It’s unprecedented in modern science.

Modern studies on psychedlics emerged in the early 1950s, researchers studied the effects of LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin to treat alcoholics with LSD, hoping the experience would allow a change in behavior and self-analysis.

However, scientific research in this field was halted through the 1960s and 1970s because of a hostile political climate toward the use of psychedlics.

Psychedelic use skyrocketed from the 1950s and people began to experience bad trips. Experts agree that psychedlics carry a low or nonexistent risk for addiction but can give rise to erratic behavior that may lead to injury or death.

President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, placing the majority of psychedlics under the U.S. government’s restrictive Schedule I category, meaning that these drugs have a significant potential for dependence and abuse, and bear no recognized medicinal value.

Recreational and medicinal use of psychedlics was banned all around the globe. Today, psychedlics and cannabis remain classed under a more restrictive category than cocaine and methamphetamine.

However, psychedelic research continued through the 1990s in small settings. Despite the restrictive laws and past propaganda, psychedelics are growing at a rate not seen since the 1950s. Users and researchers are reemerging from the shadows to proudly advertise their support of psychedelic research and therapy.

A Renaissance on The Horizon

One of the top events for psychedelic researchers, advocates, scientists, and users is the annual Horizons Pychedlic Conference in New York City. Now in its ninth year, the festival has grown to a two-day event hosting researchers from universities in the U.S. South America, and Europe.

Carhart-Harris managed the Imperial College brain imaging study examining how the brain of depressive patients reacts with psilocybin sessions.

The data convinced Harris and his team that psilocybin might be useful in treating depression. Carhart-Harris said that the participants felt lighter, optimistic, and more positive.

Draulio Barros de Araujo, professor of neuroscience at the Brain Institute in Natal, Brazil, is part of the team researching the use of DMT, the active ingredient in ayahuasca might be helpful in treating individuals with treatment-resistant major depressive disorders.

Another study that has proven to be valuable is in the treatment of cancer-related anxiety. Since 2009, the NYU School of Medicine has studied the effects of combining psilocybin sessions with psychotherapy to treat anxiety in cancer patients.

MAPS released a long-term study in 2012 on the benefits of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD. It has become an influential source of funding for researchers seeking to study psychedelics.

As the number of studies on psychedlics increases the likelihood of psychedlics being used in medicine will be likely. However, we need more studies, more critical investigation, and more comprehensive investigations to move forward.

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Should Scientists Use Shrooms To Revive People in Vegetative States?

Scientists want to find out if shrooms could increase consciousness in people that are unresponsive.

Brain Activity Found in Patients With Disorders of Consciousness

Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist, and his colleagues have been looking for signs of consciousness in patients believed to have none since the late 1990s.

They detected awareness in a woman stuck in an unresponsive state to imagine playing tennis. Her brain showed a pattern of neural activity identical to a healthy person. Owen concluded that this woman was not vegetative and was responding to him and his colleagues and did everything she was asked.

Owen has been working with patients who have disorders of consciousness (DoC). These disorders are the result of traumatic brain injuries or other incidents that cut off oxygen to the brain.

Disorders of consciousness (DoC) are different from comas. People with DoC are partially vegetative and are minimally conscious. They are awake but not aware. Their eyes can be open, they can occasionally move, and are in an almost present moment.

Owen and other scientists found that 15 to 17 percent of DoC patients produced brain responses similar to the woman playing imaginary tennis.

How Can Scientists Treat DoC?

Better guidelines have been enforced to better diagnose DoC. However, even if scientists are able to diagnose DoC there is still a problem with finding a treatment for DoC.

The Neuroscience of Consciousness is looking at the ethics of using psilocybin in DoC patients. Scott and Carhart-Harris are trying to see if they can restore consciousness by having patients ingest psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.

Andrew Peterson, an assistant professor at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University was against the idea of giving patients psilocybin for the treatment of DoC but later felt that it was worth the consideration.

Peterson and co-author neuroscientist Enzo Tagliazucchi applied two ethical models called the Value-Validity Framework and Component Analysis to analyze if the outcomes of the trial are worth the burden the patients may have.

Their paper is neither an endorsement nor a disparagement of the concept. Peterson only hopes that their models can be a roadmap for scientists that want to conduct research on consciousness.

Can Psychedelics Increase Brain Complexity & Consciousness?

Giving patients with DoC psilocybin is linked to theories of brain complexity and consciousness. Brain complexity is associated with the level in which different regions of the brain communicate with each other and lower states of awareness have less complexity.

It seems that ingesting psychedelics would increase a person’s brain complexity. George Scott, a neurologist at Imperial College London and an author of the Neuroscience of Consciousness found multiple examples of the relationship between consciousness and brain complexity. Scott also found evidence of increased brain complexity in people with healthy brains.

However, the link between psilocybin and consciousness is still unresolved. Scott said,

The simple way of framing it is that disorders of consciousness have low complexity, and these drugs seem to increase complexity. Let’s see what these drugs do in disorders of consciousness. Can they increase complexity and accordingly increase consciousness levels?

Scott says that through a trial they could learn something about consciousness and measure psilocybin’s therapeutic value.

He says that psilocybin interacts with a serotonin receptor and increases the activity of neurons. Those neurons are concentrated in the consciousness part of the brain and seeing how they respond could help in understanding how important these areas are.

Scott and Carhart-Harris started their experient on healthy people who were sedated or sleeping before starting on DoC patients. They want to see how psilocybin affects brain complexity and consciousness in those states. If their results are promising and the study design is safe, they will then move on to DoC patients.

Should Scientists Use Psilocybin To treat DoC?

There are still no trails that exist and doing any kind of research on DoC patients may be unethical because they cannot give consent or let you know that what is being done on them is hurting them.

The FDA has acknowledged psilocybin as a breakthrough therapy for depression. However, DoC patients are an entirely different population, and just because its safe for depressed patients does not mean it will be deemed safe for DoC patients.

Tagliazucchi’s ethical concern is the self-awareness paradox. They want to restore consciousness but maybe by doing so they will make the patient aware of their environment, their situation, their injury, and their quality of life. So what if Tagliazucchi unintentionally inflicts emotional or physical pain? What if the patient gets a bad trip or the DoC patient cannot communicate?

Tagliazucchi and Peterson say that we should consider the ethics just like any other intervention. Psychedelics do not raise any ethical issues that are unique.

Peterson said,

Psychedelics are just one kind of new drug that could (or could not) be effective for this clinical purpose.

They have also pointed out that more invasive treatments like deep brain stimulation are already being tried on DoC patients. Is this Ethical?

However, just because a population desperately needs treatment does not mean researchers should try anything. Moreover, a hesitation towards psychedelics should not hinder researchers from considering them and they may be worth a safe and designed trial.

When Owen first began studying consciousness in people with vegetative states, many thought it was a waste of time and resources.

Owen said,

If we’d succumbed to those ‘knee-jerk’ early reactions, 20 years of extremely valuable science would never have occurred.

Scott also feels that doing nothing is not the most ethical option, especially since patients in these vegetative states are increasing.

People who suffer traumatic brain injuries or heart attacks are deprived of oxygen reaching the brain but are more likely to survive because of the improvement of medicine.

Scott said,

It’s potentially the case that we’re generating more people who are in this state because those people would have died 20 to 30 years ago. If people say you can’t ethically do anything, that we should leave them alone—that produces a neglected group who no one’s really thinking about how we can help. When you look at it from that point of view, it’s a fairly dreadful situation, just in a different way.

There will be challenges to overcome when treating people with DoC but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything. I believe that psychedelics could help patients in these vegetative states.

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Shrooms Could Be The Breakthrough Scientists Need To Better Understand Consciousness

Could psychedelics help scientists treat mental illness?

Albert Hoffman, the first scientist to synthesize and learn about the psychedelic effects of LSD described how he felt after ingesting LSD in 1944.

I suddenly became strangely inebriated. The external world became changed as in a dream. Objects appeared to gain in relief; they assumed unusual dimensions and colors became more glowing. Even self-perception and the sense of time were changed. – Albert Hoffman –

Hallucinogenic plants have been used for thousands of years in ceremonial settings and are now being discovered and studied in our western society. Scientific literature has been published about the effects and uses of psychedelics but most of the information remains hidden to the public eye.

No matter the misuse or use of psychedelics it has played an important role in our society and will probably continue to do so. It is therefore crucial for everyone to be educated and have a clear understanding of the use of psychedelics.

The Connection Between The Dream & Psychedelic State

Within the last decade, researchers have made important steps in the connection between the dream state and the psychedelic state. They are particularly interested in how these drugs alter the mind and how they might be helpful in the treatment of mental illness.

The waking state is just one form of consciousness we all experience. Studying other forms of consciousness like when we are sleeping or under the influence of drugs can give the researchers a more comprehensive form of the human mind and how it can be treated.

Recent research has looked into those different states of consciousness to understand how psychedelics transform our experience of reality and how they can help achieve in treating mental health illnesses.

Many restrictions and these drugs being classified as illegal have slowed down scientific progress. However, persistence has given scientists the opportunity to use neuroimaging tools to map the changes in human consciousness with the use of psilocybin, a psychedelic molecule found in mushrooms. They found that the neurophysiological changes appeared similar to the studies found in dream neuroimaging.

However, researchers wanted to find stronger evidence between the connection of users in the dream state and users ingesting psychedelics, not only did they look the same in the brain but also felt the same. It is this connection that is crucial to understand how these different states of consciousness manifest in people and how they can be manipulated to offer better help for psychiatric care.

Enzo Tagliazucchi, a researcher at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina who studies human consciousness states that MRI scans can help you see similarities in different states of consciousness, but limitations to this approach exist and overlook perception entirely. Furthermore, he also says that it’s possible for consciousness states to look similar but the subjective feeling is different.

Tagliazucchi wanted to investigate this further, he and his student, Camila Sanz conducted a study to compare drug users with dreamers. They used an original approach to get around the restrictions these drugs have and used online testimonials of drug user’s experiences with these substances. They used analytical tools to study the content of thousands of testimonials to find out which drug was most similar to dreaming.

The scientists analyzed the language people used to describe their experiences with drug use and their dreams. They compared these reports to identify similar expressions and phrases that could have a connection between the two experiences.

Of all the drugs that were tested, psychedelics such as LSD, ketamine, and deliriants reported similar experiences to that of dreaming. Users often reported how their self-awareness and perception were distorted when on these drugs much like in a dream state. Thus, the scientists were able to concur that a psychedelic trip feels like a dream.

Psychedelics Show Promising Results For Therapy

There has been recent interest in using psychedelics in the treatment for mental illness. There have been large trials of the use of ketamine or psilocybin to treat depression and MDMA to treat PTSD, the results were promising.

In a trial of psilocybin treatment used for treatment-resisted depression, 67% of patients were not depressed for a week after two sessions and 42% remained depressed after 3 months.

Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation a UK-based think tank at the forefront of psychedelic research and drug policy reform stated that

Mental health treatment has relied heavily on SSRI antidepressants. Patients need to take these every day and 30% of patients had no beneficial effect and experienced side effects.  – Amanda Feilding –

She also says that the pharmaceutical company has not come up with any new drugs in over three decades.

Moreover, her research has shown the use of psychedelics in therapeutic processes with remarkable results.

Tagliazucchi also adds to the growing popularity of research which suggests psychedelics could be given safely to improve treatment and make psychotherapy more beneficial. He concludes that the state of consciousness a psychedelic user feels will induce them to naturally be insightful and precisely state the issues they may be facing.

Studying the connection between the dream and psychedelic state allows researchers to reexamine the idea that working with patients in an altered state may be beneficial in treating them. Psychedelics can create a transient dream state which may be possible to access unconscious memories and thoughts.

Tagliazucchi says that more research needs to be done but that psychedelics may be the way to access deep into the unconscious mind, transform the links between the patient and therapist, and get a deeper insight into what the patient is experiencing.

Robert Carhart-Harris, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London who has worked extensively with psychedelics stated that

Psychedelics alter the mind and reveal aspects of it that we are not aware of. Psychiatry has dominated the cognitive model for 70 years and has given interesting insights but has also deprived the field by denying the existence of the unconscious mind.

– Robert Carhart-Harris –

He also says that we need an understanding of the unconscious mind, otherwise we will only ever see the surface of psychiatric diseases and treatments.

Psychedelics Could Change The Future of Therapy

Scientists continue to obtain solid evidence that the dream state, acute psychotic state, and the psychedelic state all share important similarities as they look and feel the same, and we can start to think about psychiatric diseases in new ways.

Carhart-Harris explains that

Maybe psychedlics can help us think more carefully about how we should treat early psychotic episodes instead of giving medicine as soon as someone displays signs of psychosis. If we treated the psychotic state early just as how we manage a psychedelic experience, with calming music and the therapist calmly meditating the patient through the episode, we might have more positive results. – Robert Carhart-Harris –

Researchers have not yet agreed on the best ways to administer psychedelics and what the effects are but they are absolutely certain of one thing. It won’t be possible to make any further scientific advances on psychedelics unless the demonization and prohibition that has surrounded psychedelics for decades finally come to an end.

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Music Festivals Flounder In Covid’s Economy

At first blush, a canceled or postponed music festival may not seem like a big deal. It might sound like an unfortunate but necessary casualty of a global pandemic – something one might dismiss as low-ranking on our list of current crises. But the suspension of large music festivals across Texas, and the nation, has a massive impact on the economy and makes the future of the festivals themselves tenuous.

SXSW Postponed

The cancellation of SXSW came as a shock. Just one week before it was slated to kick-off, city officials announced the festival would not be moving forward as scheduled. Film and music journalists, hotels, restaurants, bars, gig workers, movie theaters – the magnitude of businesses and individuals impacted by the postponement is daunting to gauge. 

The SXSW film and music festival has been going strong annually since 1987. As a multimedia gathering of epic proportions, it gives artists a chance to showcase their work while networking with industry professionals. And according to the festival itself, SXSW boosted Austin’s economy to the tune of $355 million in 2019. 

Cancellations Everywhere

Summer is the season of the music festival. Warm temperatures and sunny skies see people flocking in droves to watch their favorite musical artists in wide-open spaces. But with gatherings of more than a few dozen people banned to prevent the spread of Covid-19, musical festivals were not only potentially dangerous, they were temporarily illegal. 

Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour was, ironically, postponed. Journey, arguably most famous for their raucous rock anthem Don’t Stop Believing were welcome to keep the faith, but they still had to stop touring. If 1967 was the Summer of Love, 2020 is the Summer of Silence – at least when it comes to live music. 

What A Cancellation Costs

The cost of a music festival or huge concert cancellation or postponement can’t just be calculated by the immediate impact. A tremendous amount of money is invested in festivals – booked venues bought merchandise, paid staff. While some festivals got creative with virtual events and engagements, experiencing film and music from their laptop wasn’t exactly what festival ticket holders had in mind.

Texas music festivals like SXSW, Austin’s Levitation music festival, and JMBLYA have all been modified in some way to curb the spread of Covid-19. More than being a drag for music fans, the significant delays in these festivals are a drag on local economies that depend on the crowds and their patronage to stay afloat. 

While many businesses and individuals are still reeling from the rescheduling of these events, there’s a tiny glimmer of hope on the horizon in the form of slow re-openings and the setting of new festival dates. Some will be pushed to the Fall of 2020 while others will pick up in 2021. 

Still, countless people are under crushing financial strain in the wake of rescheduled festivals. Caterers, freelancers, sanitation workers, music venues – all these and more collect a significant portion of their annual revenue during events like SXSW. Pushing the festivals to a later date is an enormous challenge for the festivals, their staff, and the entire local economy that depends on these events to come out on top. 

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Anxiety And Your Phone: A Match Made In Poor Health

Our phones, like so much else, are not good or bad. They are, instead, tools capable of both help and harm. And just like most tools, it’s all in how we use them. But before we take a look at anxiety and your phone, let’s talk about GAD.

GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder, is a condition whose symptoms include difficulty concentrating, chronic worry, and restlessness. Although the term anxiety is nearly ubiquitous and sometimes inaccurately assigned, GAD is a serious condition that can interfere with everyday life. It manifests in both physical and mental symptoms that are described as intense, uncontrollable, and extreme.

There are many things that can exacerbate GAD and anxiety in general. But recent trends in young people’s anxiety levels have encouraged some researchers to take a close look at how cell phones, constant communication, and social media might be driving our anxiety to new, and unsustainable, heights.

Upward Comparisons

Social media is designed to make us uneasy. The entire system is built on craving, anticipating, and comparing. While some may emerge from regular social media engagement unscathed, individuals with anxiety often find that the constant checking associated with phones in general, and social media specifically, cause them to linger in a constant state of hyper-vigilant unease.

In fact, individuals with GAD have been found to make upward comparisons during social media engagement. This means that they tend to compare themselves unfavorably to others in forums like Instagram and Facebook. As you can imagine, these self-critical assessments do nothing to soothe their anxiety.

When worry is pervasive and all-encompassing, the mind will search for ways to check and see whether all is well, or all is ill. Our phones often fill this precarious space. By checking messages, notifications, and the popularity (or unpopularity) of social media posts, the anxious mind looks outward to assess the score: is there reason to worry? Unfortunately, when it comes to phones and social media, the answer is nearly always yes.

Anxiety And Your Phone: Less News Is Good News

We look at our phones for information. We want updates on the weather or the latest political scandal. Or, in the case of social media, we might find more intimate details about friends and acquaintances: wedding photos, videos of baby’s first steps.

As wholesome and even natural as this all sounds, the information we receive from our phones often ends up being salacious and controversial. On social media, people post political rants and wild misinformation just as often as they post harmless photos of all-fruit smoothies and avocado toast.

A quick glance at the news, Facebook, or even well-intentioned text messages can send our brain spiraling into dark tunnels of worry, shame, or indignation. And all of these emotions, if left unchecked, cause our anxiety to spike. As it turns out, there is a clear connection between your anxiety and your phone.

The Urge To Check

It’s well known that our phones send us into a feedback loop. We post and wait for feedback. We comment and wait for replies. We question and wait for answers. Some of it is harmless while some of it is downright destabilizing. What seems obvious is that constantly checking our devices in an addictive manner leads to spiked anxiety levels and escalations in chronic worry.

Because our text conversations, Instagram scrolling, and news browsing can feel like a mind-numbing sedative, we might be tempted to deem it all a harmless escape. But research has shown that there’s more going on.

Social comparisons, bad news, and unreasonable demands all cry out to us from the slim, shining devices set in our palms. We would do well to create a balance between healthy connectivity and necessary boundaries.

Anxiety And Your Phone: A Healthy Balance

Especially for those experiencing GAD or other anxiety disorders, experts recommend healthy boundaries around the phone and social media use. Shockingly, many of us habitually check our phones hundreds of times a day. This can create low-grade pervasive anxiety that hums eternally in the background.

By limiting social media and phone use, placing the phone in the other room during certain hours, and even taking full-day “fasts” from our devices, we can ween ourselves from the compulsion to scroll and keep our phone-checking in check. This looks different for everyone, with some people going so far as to delete social media and only check the news once a day.

Our phones are there to serve us, not the other way around. When this relationship becomes imbalanced, anxiety rises. But like most imbalances, it can be corrected with thoughtful boundaries and new, mindful habits.

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Blog Studies

Drug overdose deaths drop in the U.S. for the first time in 29 years

The total number of drug deaths have dropped by 5% since 1990. It may not seem like a big amount but we haven’t seen a decline this significant in 29 years.

This drop was due to a decline of abuse in opioid painkillers. Many states have now been cautious about prescribing opioid painkillers.

New Alternative Medicines available

Recent research in opioid addiction treatments may have played a key role in the decline. There are opioid addiction treatments currently being researched using Kratom and Psychedelics, both of which are not FDA approved. However, this hasn’t stopped independent researchers from experimenting with them to break opioid addictions.

Furthermore, the war on drugs has proved to be a failure in policy. The stigma against psychedelics is slowly fading as studies continue to demonstrate that these “dangerous drugs” have real medical value. Pyschschedlics have demonstrated to treat ailments ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cancer, anxiety and depression, and cigarette addiction.

Kratom

Kratom, a plant-based drug from Southeast Asia has shown potential benefits in opioid addiction users.

Kratom has opioid-like compounds that provide anxiety and pain relief. It has been widely reported to ease opiate withdrawal symptoms. Some researchers suggest that Kratom could have therapeutic potential in antidepressant effects.

Other benefits of Kratom:

  • Helped users stop using street drugs like Heroin.
  • Self-treatable pain and mental or emotional conditions.
  • Much less associated risks than opioids, including fatal dose.
  • The potential of replacing Methadone, especially given its ease of production and making it ideal for poor and developing countries.

LSD

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has found the use of LSD and Psylocibin associated with a decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence.

This study has shown that LSD, psilocybin, along with others have shown to be effective therapeutic agents for those addicted to opioids. This is the first study to show a link between psychedelic use and decreased use of opioids.

These findings don’t yet prove a causal effect, but the correlation between psychedelic experience and opioid abuse seems to justify a further investigation.

Psilocybin

Psilocybin has shown a reduction of 27% of past year opiate dependence and a 40% reduced risk of past year opiate abuse. This study is based on six years of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

There is still, however, research needed as to why psychedelics reduced the use of opioid misuse. However, this study does appear to validate the experiences of many people who have found substances like kratom to be life-changing tools that have led them to lead happier lives.

Kratom and psychedelics have helped users cut back or stop using opioids altogether.

Always Test Your Substances

If you are using LSD to break an opioid addiction, it is always a good idea to test the substance before ingesting. In order to avoid any life-threatening situations due to the misuse of drugs, you should always test the substances with an applicable reagent.

Ehrlich reagent for testing LSD

Testing the substance could help avoid ingesting unknown and potentially dangerous adulterants found in street drugs, and could save your life.

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Blog

5 LSD Myths

Myth #1: When you ingest LSD, it never leaves your body

Since LSD is an “unstable drug” meaning that it is released easily into the body and passes through very quickly makes people think it stays inside your body.

This myth has spread for centuries by a wide range of people. People who are against LSD and users both believe this to be true.

They believe that after consuming LSD that it will be stored by the body in the spinal fluid where it never leaves. They also believe that it can be released back into the body at any moment, forcing an individual into an overwhelming trip.

It’s true that people experience flashbacks but this is the result of memories and nothing more.

That being said, LSD is not stored in the spinal fluid or anywhere else in the body.

Myth #2: If You Want To Stop a Trip, Take Vitamin C or Orange Juice

People who are inexperienced with taking LSD believe this to be true and hear rumors of ways to stop the trip whenever they please.

They even go further to say that even just a few sips of orange juice could stop your trip altogether.

This is absolutely false. Once LSD enters your brain, your body has metabolized the drug once your trip starts. So what the orange juice can simply do is give you a boost of energy and make you feel revitalized or it could also just be a placebo effect.

Myth#3: LSD May Cause Birth Defects and Damage Chromosomes

This myth dates all the way back to 1967 when short research was published by Science, a reputable journal at the time. They claimed that LSD causes abnormal chromosomes.

This is where the term “birth defect” was born. This statement created fear towards users who once loved the drug.

Numerous studies found this statement to be inaccurate. Other studies have proven that pure LSD in moderate doses will not cause any genetic damage.

Myth#4: LSD Will Make You Crazy

This is one of the most common myths among people. Many people believe that LSD will make users go crazy and that they will end up having a mental illness as a result.

  • If I do LSD, I’ll go crazy and jump out of a 20th story window
  • If I do LSD more than once or twice, I’ll become psychologically insane and never function as a normal human being

LSD does cause mental hallucinations and does produce acute behavioral effects. However, these effects are not long term and typically relates to how much was ingested.

Moreover, a lot of people have taken LSD without believing that they can fly.

Myth#5: LSD is Extremely Dangerous For You and Society

This misconception as a uniquely destructive narcotic has to do with the impressive and deeply affecting hallucinations and changes of perception, and among others.

Compared to alcohol and tobacco, LSD is the least harmful drug in the market.

An individual who drinks regularly will most likely get into an accident than someone on LSD who pays attention to their surroundings.

A smoker will most likely end up with cancer than someone who regularly takes LSD.

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Blog

A Guide To Taking LSD

The mind-altering and incredible hallucinogen, Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) also referred to as acid has been one of the most popular drugs of its century.

Adored for its superb ability to inspire spiritual enlightenment, epiphanies, and creativity.

LSD is a product made from lysergic acid, a natural substance taken from Claviceps purpurea, a fungus that grows on grains and rye.

If you decide to experiment with LSD be sure to test it before consuming it. Ehrlich Reagent testing kit tests for the substance of LSD.

Successfully taking LSD can induce feelings of euphoria and could also make you a bit energetic.

What is LSD?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, LSD, formally termed D-lysergic acid diethylamide, is one of the most powerful mood-changing chemicals.

A Swiss scientist, Albert Hofmann, discovered LSD in 1938 after interacting with a small amount.

LSD is a potent psychoactive drug that alters an individual’s perception, behavior, mood, and cognitive processes.

Throughout the years LSD became widely popular but was misused which resulted in them being illegal. Scientists are against this and believe that they can actually heal certain illnesses.

How To Know If Its Pure LSD

LSD has a lot of different names in the street. It goes by Dots, Acid, Blotter, or Yellow Sunshine. Unfortunately, not all LSD is pure.

Pure LSD comes directly from lysergic acid that is taken from a fungus mentioned above.

How Can You Tell When Its Fake?

Fake LSD has a taste to it. Pure LSD should not have a taste.

The Effects of LSD

The effects of LSD typically kick in within 20 to 90 minutes and typically lasts between 6 to 12 hours.

Even taken at smaller doses of 75-150 micrograms can still have an effect on an individuals mind.

The effects of LSD range from physiological to psychological.

At lower doses of 25 micrograms or less, an individual typically feels:

  • Increased Creativity
  • Complete Loss of the Ego
  • Hallucinations or Visuals
  • Enhanced Sense of Togetherness
  • Increased Feelings of Euphoria
  • Spiritual Awakening

Neutral effects of the drug include:

  • Losing track of the day or time
  • Lack of Focus
  • Changes in the user’s state of mind
  • Strange Speech
  • Unusual Thoughts
  • Range of Emotions

At higher doses of 100-200 micrograms a user may experience a “bad trip,” these include:

  • Paranoia
  • Sudden fear of losing’s one’s life
  • Anxiety
  • Overwhelming Emotional Feelings
  • Flashbacks

Common physical effects a user typically experiences include:

  • Increased awareness of one’s surroundings
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Pupil Dilation
  • Hyperthermia
  • Numbness
  • Feelings of Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Increase in Blood Sugar Levels
  • Sudden Tremors
  • Jaw Clenching
  • Increased Heart Rate

How To Avoid a Bad Trip

The amount of dosage you consume can affect the chances of getting a bad trip.

There are also minor factors that can also affect your trip. These include the location or the environment where you are taking LSD and your current state of mind when you are about to trip.

To avoid a bad trip you should:

  • Take LSD with people you trust
  • Do not take if you are angry, anxious, or any other negative moods
  • Take at a place where you feel comfortable
  • Test it to ensure it is pure
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Blog Roll Guides

What Does Molly Feel Like?

THIS is what molly feels like: When you take Molly, you feel an intense euphoria like you are floating in the air. Your consciousness shifts and you feel love towards everyone around you.

Tactile senses become heightened and your perception intensifies with beautiful colors all around you. Your body feels warm and content. The music touches your soul and all of a sudden you get an urge to dance like you never have before. Bouts of relaxation emerge and it feels amazing. 

Words That Describe The Feelings:

  • Euphoric & Lovable
  • Visual Colors & Sounds
  • Warm Sensations
  • Deeper Connections

MDMA feels “like the sun is rising in my heart” @CharleyWininger

The Effects of MDMA

It takes 45 minutes to an hour for MDMA to kick in. You might feel uneasy at first, but this is normal and the feeling will subside. The effects are gradual and once you reach the peak, effects will intensify and the experience will be a memorable one.

MDMA Effects Curve on a Chart

To get desirable effects, always take the right amount according to your body weight and take with people you trust. Also, test your Molly using an MDMA testing kit, also known as Marquis Reagent. It is important to test your molly to make sure it is pure and not cut with additives and other dangerous substances.

Taking a substance that is not pure could be dangerous and you will have what they call a “bad trip”. No one wants a bad trip! It could be psychologically and emotionally draining.

The overall effects last around 3-4 hours. You could microdose to have the effects last a bit longer, but be careful, you do not want to take too much to cause Hyperthermia.

You will build up a tolerance quickly and you can end up feeling depressed after the effects wear off. Taking MDMA should be an experience that should not be abused.

The Peak

The peak usually takes about an hour or two to kick in but it does vary between users.

This is when you will feel:

  • Intense euphoria
  • An urge for energy
  • Visual effects are intensified
  • Everything you touch will feel amazing, and
  • Connectedness with those around you.

During the peak experience, your jaws will clench, you will grind your teeth, and you will move your hands around a lot to the beat of the song. Just be mindful of this since the next day your mouth and body might feel a bit sore. 

The Dreaded Comedown

The comedown doesn’t always have to be depressing, just make sure you don’t take too much MDMA or mix with other substances. Mixing it with other substances, like alcohol could make the comedown very unpleasant.

With pure MDMA, the comedown should happen gradually. You will feel a slight drop in senses, openness, the excitement, and you will be dropped lightly to where you started.

The comedown offers an opportunity to examine your relationship, discuss and share your experience with other people, and reflect on yourself and your joy.

Having such an experience can change your perception about a lot of things you once had different opinions about. It could open you up to opportunities you have never explored before and you could feel content and happy.