Rhode Island 1st State to Open Safe Use Sites for Drugs

You read it right! No, it’s not a real legalization, or even decriminalization. But for two years, Rhode Island is operating a pilot program with safe use sites that allows legal drug use. What will come after is hard to say, but for now, here are some details of this kind of cool – and necessary – new legislative move.

The new Rhode Island policy for safe use sites is meant to target extreme drug users. Luckily, cannabis doesn’t cause overdose deaths, so while smokers can take advantage of the sites, they don’t have the same concerns as opioid users. In fact, cannabis is often eyed as a tool for harm reduction from major drugs. But its also just a great plant that provides tons of useful compounds, not just standard THC. These days, there are tons of options available, so remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Rhode Island to open safe use sites for legal drug use

Rhode Island isn’t a legalized state, though its certainly known to be a more liberal one. While 18 states have legal recreational cannabis (which should be 19), Rhode Island isn’t immediately going in that direction. But it is doing something very forward thinking and cool. Especially considering that there are major drug issues in America, which are causing massive death rates. Though these issues don’t involve cannabis, what Rhode Island is doing will help out cannabis users as well.

On Wednesday, July 7th, 2021, Rhode Island’s governor, Dan McKee signed into law a bill designed to combat the ongoing and growing opioid epidemic. This issue can be seen in Rhode Island, as well as the rest of the US, and around the world as well in smaller amounts. The new Rhode Island bill is a two-year pilot program aimed at preventing overdosing by providing safe injection/safe use sites. Rhode Island recorded 384 overdose deaths in 2020, and 322 through November of 2021. These sites will focus mainly on helping those who inject heroin and methamphetamine.

Rhode Island is the first US state to adopt a policy that allows legal drug use in designated areas as part of this two-year pilot program. This policy was not instituted with the thought of cannabis in mind, even if it proves useful to cannabis smokers. What the pilot program is most intended for, is providing a way for the hardest of drug users, using the most dangerous of drugs, to have a safe place to get high around professionals who can help if there is a problem.

safe use sites

What will the Rhode Island safe use sites entail?

These safe use sites, also known as “harm reduction centers,” and “safe injection sites”, will provide clean needles, drug testing, and other services like recovery assistance. Each site is to be staffed by medical/qualified personnel, who are trained in CPR, overdose protocols, and the administration of drugs like naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Each site will have all the necessary supplies to carry out these functions. Sites will operate under the control of a medical director to oversee clinical practices, and a harm reduction center director who oversees the administrative management of the location.

Apart from all this, the sites will function partly as social services, providing referrals for housing, employment, and legal assistance, if necessary, while also offering basic health services. Each center is required to report deaths and overdoses to the medical director as well as to the state Department of Health, with a mandate to report all overdoses and other causes of death within 24 hours. Non-fatal overdoses must be reported within 48 hours of the time they occurred.

All sites in Rhode Island must get licensing from the state, and an approval from the city or town in which the site will operate. Mobile units will exist as well, and must provide very specific schedules for where they will be including complete addresses and operation times. Licenses can be denied to operators, suspended if there are issues, or completely revoked if regulators see fit.

One of the interesting things to be offered at these sites, is drug testing. But not the kind of drug testing most are used to. This isn’t drug testing to see if someone used something, but a way to actually test the drugs about to be taken, particularly for the presence of fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely strong opioid drug which people take on purpose, but which is also often a reason for accidental overdose due to it being used as an adulterant in other drugs.

Is this new?

This is new for the US, yes, since no other programs like this currently exist. Detractors like Arthur Corvese, a Democratic Rhode Island State Representative, called the idea a ‘moral oxymoron’ since legal use is now going to be permitted in an otherwise illegal state. The idea of encouraging such legal use of illegal drugs has been criticized by opponents, who believe this will somehow increase crime in surrounding areas…although I haven’t seen an explanation of how this is thought to be the case.

In reality, outside of America, this isn’t new at all. And not only that, while detractors shoot their mouths off to a US audience which is probably unaware of comparable programs in other countries, those comparable programs have already been cited for their positive influence on drug using culture. Something that Americans should really be informed on, and considering in this.

drug overdose

Canada, Australia, and different parts of Europe, for example, have cumulatively opened around 100 comparable safe-use sites. The Netherlands has the largest number, with just under 40 locations. Its first was opened in 1996, and the country was able to reduce overdose deaths by ensuring users were getting pure heroin, rather than a heroin/fentanyl mix. Canada’s first site opened in 2003, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver where there are many IV drug users.

Canada, between 2017-2019 alone had around two million visits to safe use sites. The country had 39 sites open as of last year, with an expected daily visitor amount of 3,000 people. The busiest sites in Canada can have up to 500 visits a day, according to Health-Infobase.  

Will this happen elsewhere in America?

Opioid overdoses are a massive issue in the US, and this is not debatable, even if specific numbers are. For example, in 2019 hhs.gov, said there were close to 71,000 overdose deaths, whereas drugabuse.gov, put the number at 50,000. Either way, it’s a ridiculous number of avoidable deaths. hhs.gov provided more statistics, saying there were 14,480 heroin overdoses that year, over 10 million people misusing pain killers, and 48,000 synthetic opioid deaths. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, total opioid overdose deaths went up to 93,000 in 2020.

It gets grosser. In 2017, over 191 million opioid prescriptions were written out in the US, meaning that 58.7 prescriptions were written for every 100 people. 45% of these were given by primary care physicians who are not supposed to write such prescriptions at all. The economic burden of this epidemic in terms of health care, emergency care services, addiction programs, lost productivity, and dealing with the criminal justice system, costs about $78.5 billion every year. Who do you think pays for that? That’s right, the same taxpayers who were put on these pharmaceutically pushed medications that the government allows through regulation, now have to pay for the damage they’re doing.

So, yes, these sites will likely be popping up all over the place in the future. In fact, this was not the first try. Back in 2020, Philadelphia went ahead with plans to open Safehouse, a safe injection site. This was ruled against in January, 2021, by the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, stymieing the effort.

However, seven months later, the nonprofit behind the venture was already pushing back legally, announcing in the summer of 2021 that it would be filing a petition to take the case to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court refused the case (likely something it will be sticking its foot in its mouth for later), in October, 2021.

safe use

This hasn’t deterred proponents, who are planning on relaunching the case at the district court level, with new arguments. Given Rhode Island passing this legislation, and increasing opioid deaths, I expect this time it will go through. While that’s just my opinion for now, that California and Massachusetts are also currently considering plans to implement a similar structure, indicates that this is actually a new trend being established in the fight against opioid addiction.

Conclusion

The whole thing is horrifying if you take a step back. The government fully approved and allowed these medications to be sold, and then didn’t respond to its people dying. In fact, it still hasn’t stopped the ability to write prescriptions for these medications. In fact, prescriptions haven’t gone down at all.

So not only did the government support – and is continuing to support – its people being killed by big pharma, but it’s working to stymie any progress in the fight against it, least of all anything related to helping citizens be safer with their pharmaceutically-induced drug issues. So here’s to Rhode Island, for being the first state to start the process of recovery through safe use sites, and for giving access to safe ways to use drugs for those who need it. No thanks to the federal government at all.

Hello and welcome to CBDtesters.co, the internet’s one-stop-shop for all the most relevant and ground-breaking cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on worldwide. Stop by regularly to stay informed on the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re the first to get all the news.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Rhode Island 1st State to Open Safe Use Sites for Drugs appeared first on CBD Testers.

The Fix on Roku Debunks the Lies Perpetuated by the War on Drugs

Harsher sentencing on drugs leads to record numbers of incarceration, yet data shows that the current system has no impact on addiction—nor the reduction of illicit drugs that are available.

“There has to be a better way,” a new series on Roku wonders. 

The Roku Channel will debut an all-new Roku Original The Fix, on Friday, January 21. Actor Samuel L. Jackson narrates the eight-part docuseries, which is based on the New York Times bestselling book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, written by Johann Hari. The book was translated into 15 languages as his second best-seller. Hari joined the project as an executive producer. 

If Hari’s name sounds familiar—his popular TED Talk “Everything You Know About Addiction is Wrong” might ring a bell. Why is it—that most people who are given powerful opioids out of surgery don’t turn into junkies? What really causes addiction? Is it the substances that are actually the problem, or something else?

Hari, who graduated from Cambridge with flying colors, argues that locking people up in prison does nothing to solve addiction at the root cause, nor does the system work. The series was directed by Jeremiah Zagar, along with Nathan Caswell, Cassidy Gearhart and Josh Banville, and produced by Public Record, Jeff Hays Films and Story Syndicate. Hari, along with Jeff Hays, Jeremiah Zagar, Jeremy Yaches, Dan Cogan, Jon Bardin, Liz Garbus, Geralyn White Dreyfous served as executive producers.

“What if the script we know so well hasn’t actually kept us safe?” Jackson proposes in the trailer.

“Almost everything that we, as society, think we know about drugs is false,” The Fix Director Jeremiah Zagar said in a statement. “The United States has fought the war on drugs for decades, but the painful consequences of addiction continue to rampantly impact our communities. Roku Original The Fix boldly tackles this topic by debunking common misconceptions about drugs and highlighting alternative approaches to addiction. Audiences will walk away from The Fix with a clearer understanding of how we can combat this complex crisis.”

The War on Drugs hasn’t made us any safer, the series argues. “The murder rate has actually gone up,” since the War on Drugs began, one commenter says during the trailer.

We’ve known the War on Drugs was a failure in solving the problem of addiction for over 10 years. “Arresting and incarcerating tens of millions of these people in recent decades has filled prisons and destroyed lives and families without reducing the availability of illicit drugs or the power of criminal organizations,” the Global Commission on Drug Policy 2011 report concludes. Most people know that U.S. drug policy heavily influences global policies via the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

The team at Roku hopes to become part of the conversation as the U.S. slowly takes a look at drug reform—notably seen in cannabis reform legislation.

Brian Tannenbaum is Head of Alternative Originals at Roku. “We strive to deliver bold storytelling that both entertains and informs our audience,” Tannenbaum said. “Roku Original docuseries like The Fix do just that by peeling back the curtain and teaching viewers something new about the most relevant cultural topics. We look forward to bringing the eye-opening stories in The Fix to audiences this January.”

Some families with drug-addicted family members think that sending them to jail will force them to get clean. Not necessarily. The Marshall Project highlighted the overdose crisis in U.S. prisons. That’s right—they still have access to drugs once they get in. So, it begs the question—what exactly is the point of locking up drug addicts?

Also check out Hari’s book Stolen Focus, which critics deemed “dangerous.” 

The post <i>The Fix</i> on Roku Debunks the Lies Perpetuated by the War on Drugs appeared first on High Times.

Can CBD Products Help with Addiction?

As the pandemic continues to spread, the number of drug and alcohol abuse has skyrocketed. With new COVID-19 variants coming to the surface, people are uncertain about what the future holds for their jobs, health, relationships, and financial status. The pandemic has caused a global mental health crisis. With continuous social distancing and the number of […]

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Kratom Strains – And What They Can Do For You

Though kratom has been around for quite some time, it has only entered into the mainstream arena within the last several years. As a plant, it offers many different medicinal and recreational qualities. So, here’s a bit about kratom strains and what they can do for you.

Different kratom strains are rising in popularity which means natural medicine is getting even more popular. Cannabis is still the #1 natural medicine today, and with the growing cannabinoids market, you can take advantage of different compounds other than standard THC. Like delta-8 THC – which doesn’t cause the same anxiety as delta-9, THCV – which might be an answer to the obesity epidemic, and HHC – which provides a milder version of regular THC. Check out deals for the new year to find your perfect product.


What is kratom?

Before getting into the specific strains of kratom, best to answer the question of what it is. Kratom – or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. It’s actually from the coffee family. Kratom can be found in Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Indonesia, and has been used in natural medicine for at least hundreds – and possibly thousands, of years. It became a part of Western medicine in the 1800’s when Pieter Willem Korthals, a Dutch botanist, classified the plant as Stephegyne speciosa. This was later reclassified by George Darby Haviland in 1859 to it’s current status.

Kratom can produce a stimulant effect similar to coca leaves when its leaves are chewed. But there’s a strange aspect to kratom apart from this. While it can be like the coca plant in small doses, where euphoria and alertness are triggered, it can also act more like an opiate, and overall downer, in higher doses.

Why does this happen? While it’s not well understood, kratom has 26 different alkaloids which have been identified, and they are responsible for the different attributes of the plant. These include: 7-hydroxymitragynine, mitragynine, and (-)-epicatechin, among others. 7-hydroxymitragynine only comprises a small percentage of the plant, but its potent, and reacts with opioid receptors.

The most common alkaloid is mitragynine, which binds to delta receptors to give stimulant effects in smaller doses, and which also binds to mu receptors in larger doses, which creates a sedative effect. This compound could explain the difference in effects at different doses. Lastly, it contains alkaloid (-)-epicatechin, a compound that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, and which can minimize free radical damage. This flavonoid can be found in other places like cherries, grapes, tea leaves, cocoa, apples, blackberries, and broad beans.

kratom

Sometimes its even considered a psychedelic because of its alkaloid structure, which resembles the structure of drugs like psilocybin and LSD. However, even with a similar alkaloid structure, and the ability for euphoria and stimulation, it does not produces the same psychedelic effects as the other drugs mentioned.

Is kratom addictive?

This is an important point to touch on. Though local governments certainly have it out for kratom, it’s good to remember that these same local governments were/(and often still are) putting out smear campaign after smear campaign for cannabis, just to take 180º turns and legalize it when they can no longer substantiate their made up arguments. Perhaps this is simply to help bolster pharmaceutical industries by keeping natural plants away from consumers. Whatever is going on isn’t quite right, and really, kratom is a great example.

There are studies that show a certain level of dependence on the plant, but perhaps this word shouldn’t be used at all. A dependence is an addiction, it’s simply another word for it. ‘Dependence’ is often used to denote a physical dependence, and the word ‘addiction’ is generally used for that same concept, but in the context of continuing to do the drug despite negative consequences. These definitions aren’t different, no matter how much this is flubbed in the press. They both denote a situation whereby a user’s body has acclimated enough to a substance, that a certain level of withdrawal will happen upon stopping, thus keeping the user using.

In fact, to give an idea of just how ridiculous this gets, check out this attempt to differentiate the two according to Turnbridge: “When people talk about addiction, they are usually referring to the harmful effects that drugs and alcohol have on a person’s behavior. When they talk about dependence, they are typically inferring that the person is reliant on drugs and alcohol, despite the negative consequences.”

One is saying that a person is going to keep taking something despite its harmful effects, and one is saying that a person is going to keep taking something despite its negative consequences. Maybe it’s just me, but ‘harmful effects’ and ‘negative consequences’ sound about the same. In fact, this definition is trying so hard, that it leaves out one of the main aspects of addiction, and then only relates it to dependence; that a person is reliant physically or mentally. This is the same for both terms, meaning in the end they are merely synonyms.

This is all important here, because whatever research that did show some sort of addiction/dependence, also strongly indicated that while the plant can (if this is even true) cause a certain level of dependence, this dependence does not lead to bad health, like it does much of the time with hard drugs like opioids. As in, those who use kratom, remain healthy. If this is an addiction, sounds like a pretty good one to have. In fact a 2014 study out of Malaysia showed literally no impairment of social functioning, with literally all complaints coming out of the West, where the pharma industry reigns supreme.

What can kratom be used for?

This is an interesting question which has more to do with where it’s being used at this point, East, or West. Traditional uses out of Southeast Asia include chewing the leaves, making them into a tea, or smoking them (though this is less common). Historically its been used to treat fever, pain, wounds, to enhance physical endurance, to stop diarrhea, and for stress relief. It has also been used to help with substance abuse and withdrawal. Imagine that, a plant fingered by the West for causing addiction, is actually known to help deal with addictions from actually dangerous drugs.

kratom medicine

In fact, in the West, that’s one of its main purposes. Yes, you can facepalm this one. While the West tells you its addictive, its main use, aside from pain relief, is to help people deal with addictions to other drugs. It has also entered into recreational use in the West, sold as a way to get high, with concentrated forms of alkaloid mitragynine becoming the main ingredient of products. This is NOT how its used in Southeast Asia.

In Southeast Asia, the plant can be legally distributed, meaning the producer is known, whereas in the West, it generally comes from anonymous internet sites, and often in unusual forms, like pills, capsules, powders, and gum.

Whereas kratom has no death count in Southeast Asia, these unsafe practices in the West have led to reports of seizures, hypothyroidism, and liver injury, although a closer look indicates strongly that its still not even kratom, but mixtures with other substances. Case in point, ‘Krypton’ out of Sweden, which caused nine deaths, but which also included the synthetic opioid O-desmethyltramadol.

Kratom strains by color

Like with most plants, there is not just one type of kratom, but many strains, each which can offer specific benefits. The strains can be separated by color and by location. When dealing with color, this relates to the veins of the leaf. The three main colors are white, green, and red:

White – White strains are very popular and are related to many benefits including stimulating and energizing effects. They can increase mental alertness, lift mood, help with concentration, and promote better stamina. Overall, they have more of an upper effect than the other colors.

Green – These strains are like middle strains for effects. They can be relaxing or energizing, but not in extremes, so no feeling super drowsy or super stimulated. These strains are especially good for muscle and joint pain, and are often looked to for their euphoric effects.

Red – These come from letting the plant mature more, as that means higher amounts of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which is known for binding to pain receptors. These strains are the best for pain relief, as well as promoting feelings of calm and relaxation, and promoting sleep. This is opposite to white kratom, and represents the other end of the spectrum.

Kratom strains by type

Apart from color, kratom types are often denoted by the location they were found, as different climates can produce different kinds of plants. Each type can be found in the different colors red, green, and white, meaning each type can be associated with different strains, which have different effects depending on the color they are.

Kratom tea

Malay – These strains are known for their stimulation effects and pain reducing effects, which are not brought on with fatigue or drowsiness. They are good for positivity, focus, and attention. These strains are often mixed with green or white strains since together they prevent overstimulation. These are longer lasting strains.

Sumatra – From Sumatra, Indonesia, the red version can be used for stress reduction and sleep, whereas the white version is more for energy and euphoria. These strains also last a little longer, but lack the intensity of some, and are good for promoting focus and stimulation for a whole day.

Maeng Da – These are stronger strains out of Thailand. They can be used as a caffeine substitute as they promote energy and mood. Their effects are long lasting and intense, leading many users to take smaller doses. Their pain relief qualities kick in at higher doses, when they can produce feelings of calm and control anxiety, as well.

Bornea – Also known as ‘Bali’ kratom, these strains are more relaxing than others, and promote feelings of euphoria, as well as helping with pain relief. They produce less energy and stimulation than other strains, and are known more for their downer and pain controlling effects.

Vein kratom – This doesn’t denote specific strains, but a different way of using the plant. Vein kratom relates to using the stems and veins of the plants specifically to access different alkaloid combinations. This is done through crushing stems and veins, which has been known to produce calming and mood-enhancing effects.

Then there is also yellow kratom, which is generally a mix of two other colors. This means yellow does not indicate a distinct strain type, but a combination of two different color strains. There is also Bentuangie Kratom, which is specifically a fermented red kratom, and which is known by users for its intense pain relief qualities.

Conclusion

Not only has plant medicine been around for thousands of years, but it has persisted through the advent of Western medicine, which says quite a bit about the positive benefits that plants can provide. In the case of kratom, I’ll venture a bet that it won’t solve a lot of problems if the user isn’t willing to take a look at their life and habits, and make major changes within. But that doesn’t mean it can’t help. If you think kratom might be beneficial for you, check out the different types and strains available to find one that meets your needs, and as always, make sure to know your brands if you want to ensure quality.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co! Thanks for joining us at the internet’s #1 spot for the most relevant and interesting cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on today. Read-thru regularly to stay on-top of the quickly-moving landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you always know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Kratom Strains – And What They Can Do For You appeared first on CBD Testers.

Canadian Groups Gives Free Weed And Edibles To Fight Opioid Abuse

Volunteer groups in Canada are providing relief to people struggling with addiction by giving away free marijuana and cannabis edibles as a substitution for opioids. Addiction experts, however, are wary that the unproven treatment might prevent people with opioid use disorder from seeking evidence-based therapies that have proven to be effective.

In London, Ontario, volunteers with the Cannabis Substitution Program set up a table outside a church each Tuesday to distribute packages of free cannabis and edibles to people who use drugs. Members of the group maintain that high doses of THC, as much as 100 milligrams baked into an edible, can serve as a substitute for opioids and other dangerous drugs while treating the symptoms of withdrawal. 

Since launching in April, the program has been popular, with up to 200 people showing up each week and forming a line that stretches down the block. Members of the group say that the cannabis it distributes is paid for and donated by private individuals.

Stefan Nichol, outreach director at Impact Church and a supporter of the substitution program, said that while cannabis is not a definitive treatment for opioid addiction and withdrawal, it can provide relief to those trying to break the cycle of drug abuse.

“To be honest, weed will never cure dope sickness,” Nichol told the CBC. “But it does help people sleep through a day of it.”

Cannabis Substitution Program volunteer Mary McCarty said that organizers began holding the weekly events to help address the city’s opioid epidemic after learning of similar initiatives in Vancouver, British Columbia and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“I thought, ‘You know what? London needs one of these,’” McCarty said. “It’s ridiculous what’s going on.”

In Halifax, volunteers with the East Coast Cannabis Substitution Program put together packages of cannabis to be handed out to people who use drugs every Monday. When CBC News visited the group at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, each package included a roll-your-own joint kit, a cannabis gummy, THC capsules, and edibles including chocolate, cookies and a meatloaf slider.

Volunteer Chris Backer, who travels to the city’s north end each week to hand out the packages, says that he believes the donations can help people quit more dangerous drugs. 

“It’s breaking the cycle of addiction,” he said last year. “Cannabis has been documented to be very successful and is an adjunct to try to help beat addiction.”

Addiction Experts Skeptical of Weed and Edibles as Substitute

Addiction experts including Steven Laviolette, professor in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, however, are skeptical of using cannabis for those struggling with opioid abuse.

“I’m not aware of any evidence to suggest that would be effective as a substitute for opioid-related dependence and addiction,” he said.

But Laviolette acknowledged that cannabis may have a place in treating some forms of addiction. He has conducted research into the use of CBD as a treatment for amphetamine addiction.

“We were able to show that it quite literally blocked the activation of these drugs on the dopamine neurons, so the neurons would stop firing in the presence of CBD,” he said. “That has really strong implications for CBD as an anti-addiction treatment.”

Laviolette noted that researchers in the U.S. are also studying CBD’s potential as a treatment for opioid addiction. But he says that THC may pose a risk to some people with addiction disorders.

“THC has been shown to cause overactivation of addiction pathways in the brain,” he said. “It could make it even worse because THC would be ramping up the brain’s addiction pathways and could potentially make problems like relapse and withdrawal an even greater issue for people suffering with opioid dependence.”

Dr. Samuel Hickcox, the physician lead for addictions medicine at Nova Scotia Health, said that the cannabis substitution programs do not have “high-quality scientific evidence” to support their effectiveness. He fears that people will turn to cannabis instead of medications that have been proven to be an effective treatment for opioid addiction.

“That really worries me because we know that people who have an opioid addiction, if they are on medications like Suboxone or methadone, that their health will improve. They’re much less likely to have fatal overdoses,” he said. “If we take that away from people by offering an unproven alternative, we run the risk of actually causing more harm than benefit.”

McCarty, however, says that she has witnessed how the gifts of cannabis can positively impact those struggling with addiction.

“People come and thank us all the time,” she said.

The post Canadian Groups Gives Free Weed And Edibles To Fight Opioid Abuse appeared first on High Times.

How Cannabis Changed Mike Tyson’s Life

Tyson Ranch broke ground in 2017 in the middle of the California desert. It was good timing.  Proposition 64 had freshly legalized cannabis for recreational use in the state. When Tyson is being asked about his corporate vision or business savvy, he inevitably gets personal. He describes marijuana as medicine that has put his life […]

The post How Cannabis Changed Mike Tyson’s Life appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Ayahuasca In the Fight Against Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a major issue in the modern world with sky-high numbers for deaths due to drugs throughout the world each year. Very little in the standard medical world has provided an answer to the question of how to break a drug addiction, and recidivism rates for addicts have always remained high. New research into the medical properties of ayahuasca indicates it might be an answer in the fight against drug addiction.

Psychedelics are becoming popular once again, and THC, which is often considered a psychedelic, is one of the most in-demand. These days there are options when it comes to THC. You can go with standard delta-9, or opt for less psychoactive effect and less anxiety with delta-8 THC. Want to give it a shot? Check out these great Delta-8 THC deals, and try the ‘other’ THC.

The US drug overdose issue

Some people will attribute any use of drugs to there being a drug problem. Consider that for decades, marijuana smoking was treated the same as heroin use, though today it’s clear that it doesn’t deserve that treatment. Trying to determine who has a drug issue is moot in the end, as it almost doesn’t matter. One of the ways to judge a drug issue is by the problems that come out if it, with the biggest ones being drug-related violence and deaths. So rather than worry about how many people are using drugs in a way that might be defined as problematic, let’s instead look at drug deaths to gauge the issue.

There are plenty of different national and international reporting agencies about drugs, often with different numbers coming out, though they tend to be in the same direction. It’s also hard to get full global statistics, so sometimes the best possible option is to investigate particular locations to see trends.

According to the CDC, the first three months of 2020 saw approximately 19,416 drug overdose deaths in the US alone. The same period from one year earlier had about 16,682, nearly three thousand less. In the CDC’s US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics report from October of 2020, the agency also approximated 75,500 overdose deaths between March 2019 and March 2020.

drug addiction

The grand majority of overdose deaths in the US are related to the opioid crisis, the massive widespread addiction to synthetic opiate drugs which has been increasing to incredible heights, particularly because of over-prescription, and the inclusion of new drugs like OxyContin and fentanyl. Even the CDC itself says the initial wave of the opioid epidemic started “with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 1999.” The CDC goes on to say that the second wave began in 2010 and was related to heroin overdoses, and that the third wave starting in 2013 with an increase in synthetic non-prescription opioid use.

The CDC likes to claim this is related to illicit fentanyl, but this undermines the fact that while the CDC also likes to claim a decrease in prescribing rates in 2019, this decrease still amounts to over 153 million opioid prescriptions doled out that year at an average rate of 46.7 prescriptions per 100 people.

To be clear, when going through the numbers for specific counties, also put out by the CDC, there are actually plenty of individual counties where there were over 100 prescriptions written per 100 people. So, I think it suffices to say that any recent issues with opioid deaths are just as much at the hands of pharmaceutical companies (and the US governmental agencies that allow this to happen) as the illicit market that sprouted from this pharmaceutical one. Regardless of who is responsible, this is now the situation.

If it was only about opiates, that would be problem enough, but it’s not. According to Statistica, regarding US deaths related to cocaine poisoning from 2009-2019, the number has gone up from approximately 3,822 deaths in 2009 to about 15,883 in 2019. This, of course, does show a large increase that cannot be attributed to pharmaceutical companies at all. It also brings up the question of how much these deaths are related to additives rather than cocaine itself, as the drug is often cut with other drugs like methamphetamine.

Drug overdose issues worldwide

Drug addiction is hardly a US invention (even if the US has done well to dominate the field). Take this article from December 2020 from the BBC concerning Scotland. According to the article, Scotland is actually the epicenter of the European drug crisis with the most deaths on average in Europe. The article stipulates the issue with underreporting in some countries, and makes the statement that of reported numbers, Scotland is highest. The 2018 reports had already put the drug issue as a public emergency, with 2019 numbers coming out late due to corona and other issues. The 2019 numbers show a 6% rise to 1,264 deaths.

If this number sounds small, consider that the population of Scotland is approximately 5,463,300, which brings the death rate to .023%. That’s actually slightly higher than the US! There were about 75,500 deaths from March to March, 2018 to 2019, and approximately 330 million people in the US, making for an overdose rate of .022%. While Scotland also attributes the majority of overdoses to opiates, it registered a growing amount of benzodiazepine overdoses, and multi-drug overdoses as well.

ayahuasca drug addiction

Then there’s Canada, where in three months of 2020, April-June, there were 1,628 opioid-related deaths. This is a 54% increase from the same months in 2019, and a 58% increase from January-March of the same year. If we were to take that number and multiply by four to get a rough yearly estimate for a year at those rates, we’re looking at 6,512 deaths out of a population of about 37,590,000, or .017%. From January to June 2020, 86% of overdose deaths in Canada happened in British Colombia. 75% of overdose deaths in general in Canada in that same time period were related to fentanyl.

Much like with Scotland pointing out multiple drugs used in overdose scenarios, it was also found in Canada that 52% of accidental overdoses involving opiates, also involved a stimulant. Between January to June of 2020, 70% of deaths related to stimulants involved cocaine, while 48% involved methamphetamines. In that same time period, 84% of the deaths related to stimulants, also involved an opiate.

In a place like Australia, which as of yet hasn’t been hit as hard, the 2018 drug-related overdose death toll was 1,740 out of a country of approximately 25.2 million people that year, making for a rate of .0069. This is way lower than the other countries mentioned, but it should be noted that 2/3 of these over-doses were related to opiates. However, when looking at the drug class that showed up most often – whether by itself or in combination – it was not opiates, but benzodiazepines. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “Over the past decade, drug-induced deaths were more likely to be due to prescription drugs than illegal drugs, and there has been a substantial rise in the number of deaths with a prescription drug present.”

On a broader scale, according to OurWorldInData, which uses the UN’s Global Burden of Disease report, over 750,000 deaths worldwide were attributed to illicit drugs in 2017. And this with underreporting from many countries. As a comparison, this number is nearly twice the global homicide rate which sits at about 400,000, although this number is also likely to be way off.

Of course, just to mess with those numbers a bit, it’s also estimated that approximately three million deaths a year are attributable to alcohol use. This encompasses more than just overdoses, but is highly significant in that alcohol is considered a leading risk factor for early death and disability for those 15-49, and is responsible for as much as 10% of deaths in this age group. This makes the opioid epidemic look like nothing. Yet we barely talk about it at all.

What is ayahuasca?

Standard methods of drug addiction therapy have not proven terribly effective. One of the ways we know this is by the sheer number of people with addictions, which indicates new cases being added with few being deleted. There also wouldn’t be a massive market for addiction medicine specialists, rehab centers, or drug maintenance if these things were not a part of an expansive field that also brings in a lot of money.

So, if you’re reading a report telling you that talk therapy, rehab centers, and group counseling are useful, consider that the addiction rehab industry was worth approximately $42 billion in the US alone last year, and is growing quickly. Does it really sound like these methods are working, or just working to bring in money?

And this brings us to medical psychedelics, and the use of ayahuasca. Though the background story of ayahuasca is a bit hazy, it has been used plenty both in history and today, and has been reviewed in medical testing. Ayahuasca is a tea made from the combination of two plants: Psychotria viridis and the Banisteriopsis caapi vine.

ayahuasca ceremony

Though both plants have their own effects, when put together the DMT from the former and the beta-carbolines in the latter (also known as MAO inhibitors, which stop the DMT from being broken down), trigger a powerful psychoactive response. Though the use of ayahuasca might not match all the stories told at ayahuasca retreats, it was certainly used in different places in history. In today’s world, the user ingests the tea, and has a hallucinogenic experience, often with the help of a guide.

So, how is ayahuasca useful in the fight against drug addiction?

Ayahuasca in the fight against drug addiction

Ayahuasca is not the first psychedelic to be looked at for addiction, as many studies were performed on LSD for alcoholism last century. The best way to get an idea of how ayahuasca can be used for drug addiction, is to see how it performs in medical testing. The following is a list of general research related to ayahuasca for drug addiction:

  • In 2013, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) published this study about ayahuasca-assisted therapy for problematic drug addiction, in rural British Colombia. The results found were that: “…participants may have experienced positive psychological and behavioral changes in response to this therapeutic approach, and that more rigorous research of ayahuasca-assisted therapy for problematic substance use is warranted.”
  • In Chapter six of Ayahuasca and the Treatment of Drug Addiction, from 2014, the authors state that more systematic studies must be done with improved methodology, but that long term studies have shown the ability to discontinue drugs among users in Brazil, and that therapy centers using ayahuasca claim to have higher success rates.
  • In the 2019 systematic review: Ayahuasca: Psychological and Physiologic Effects, Pharmacology and Potential Uses in Addiction and Mental Illness, the study authors found that “Research into medical use of ayahuasca indicates potential as a treatment in addictions, depression and anxiety [7], with a variety of other possible medical uses, though these require more research”
cannabis psychedelic
  • In the book Psychedelic Medicine by Dr. Jacques Mabit, there is a section called ‘Ayahuasca in the treatment of Addictions’, and not only does Mabit  make the case for ayahuasca use for addiction therapy, but he points out regarding the two plants used to make the tea, “This specific symbiotic action, which modern science identified just a few decades ago, has been empirically known for at least 3000 years by the Indigenous groups of the western Amazon, according to archaeological evidence (Naranjo P., 1983)”, reminding us that while these topics are fought over in modern medicine today, ancient populations seemed to understand them just fine.

Conclusion

That there is a massive drug problem in the world is by now a fact, so long as a person considers unnecessary deaths related to drug use as a problem. This is seen in overdose deaths worldwide, with growing issues related to opiates, and a long-standing issue with alcohol.

As the drug-addiction therapy industry grows exponentially, signaling major issues with both over-prescription and recidivism, new avenues should be explored to get people the help they need. In light of cannabis making its way from ‘hated’ to a ‘medical darling’, its no surprise that psychedelics are following suit. With a host of new research, and plenty of historical evidence, ayahuasca is being looked at as the new weapon in the fight against drug addiction. With the current and growing dilemma with opiates, this is one of the most promising things to come along.

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The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). How to choose Delta-8 THC flowers?  A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Florida Bill Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms
The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals. Best Delta-8 THC Vape Bundles – Winter 2021 The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics
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Plant Power: Everyday Plants That Activate the Endocannabinoid System Nature’s Magic – The Health Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms Merry Cannabis! Christmas and Marijuana

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Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, and How It Works

When you think of a therapy session, you probably think of someone sitting on a couch talking about their life, while a professional looking person listens, and aids in the process. But what if one other component could be added to the scenario. Like 100 micrograms of LSD, or 20 mg of psilocybin? Psychedelic-assisted therapy is coming back in style, and there’s a really good reason why.

The world of cannabis is ever-changing and ever-improving. Take THC, for example. It used to be that there was only one way to experience it. Now, with medical science, there is also delta-8 THC, a version of THC with less psychoactive effect, and related anxiety. You can check out some great Delta-8 THC deals here and test it out for yourself.

What is a psychedelic drug?

Psychedelic drugs are a subset of hallucinogenic drugs, which are a subset of psychoactive drugs. Psychedelics are specifically associated with altering a person’s perception, mood, cognition, general sense of time and space, and emotions. As hallucinogens, they can also cause a person to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell things that are not actually there, or to experience things in a distorted way. Psychedelics can be found in nature, or made in laboratories. Examples of psychedelic drugs include LSD, magic mushrooms, DMT, MDMA, ayahuasca, peyote, and many, many more.

Psychedelics tend to promote empathy and feelings of connection between people, self-introspection, and mystical experiences, which vary by the drug taken, and in what amount. They encourage feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and overall wellbeing. They can also have some negative effects, especially when too much is taken. These can involve a fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, sweating and chills, vomiting, and numbness. As with any substance on earth being used as a medicine, it is important to understand dosing.

Psychedelic drugs have different modes of action, but many are serotonergic, like LSD and psilocybin, which means they interact with serotonin receptors in the brain, generally causing a rush of the neurotransmitter, and then blocking reuptake to promote absorption, essentially saturating the brain with serotonin. Serotonin (aka 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter associated with many functions including mood regulation, involuntary muscle control, and sending signals throughout the brain.

Along with promoting a lot of good feelings, and being investigated more and more for medical benefits, some psychedelics also come with the possibility of a bad trip. A bad trip is everything that a good trip is not. Negative and scary hallucinations, and feelings of anxiety and panic. This is often associated with simply taking too much of a drug, and can be mitigated by understanding dosing.

Psychedelic therapy

What is psychedelic-assisted therapy?

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is the combination of talk therapy with the administration of a psychedelic drug during the session. Examples of drugs that can be used for psychedelic therapy include, but are not limited to, LSD, psilocybin (the main psychedelic component of magic mushrooms), MDMA, ayahuasca, and DMT. Psychedelic drugs are tested in high doses, as well as micro-doses. The basic model for the psychedelic-assisted therapy process goes as follows:

1 – The preparation phase involves initial sessions held prior to any drug ingestion. This often involves talk therapy sessions, in which a clear picture can be made of the person’s issues, and the therapist can prepare the patient for the psychedelic experience. Preparation is done by helping with basic guidance, like encouraging the patient to go through a door if they see one in their experience, or to approach scary characters and ask questions rather than running away, so as to promote a person dealing with challenging situations. It is important in this phase that the patient and therapist create a good relationship, as that has an impact on how comfortable and positive the patient feels when entering the next phase.

2 – The next phase is the psychedelic session phase. The two big aspects to consider when going into a session of this nature, are the mindset of the patient as they go into it, and the physical setting around them, which should promote general comfort. In testing, the space is generally set up to be like a living room. A typical session can last as long as eight hours, or as long as the effects of the drug that was taken. Generally, sessions involving drugs will have two therapists in attendance, which I assume is partially a security measure since the patient is put into an altered state.

The patient can sit or lie down, can wear sunglasses if it helps them, and is sometimes given music to listen to. For a psychedelic session, the compound is generally administered in the form of a pill at a micro-dose level – though this is not a rule and many programs will seek larger doses. Models vary when it comes to how many drug-assisted sessions a patient undergoes, and the dosage taken. Therapists will guide patients through the experience, but perform limited, if any, analysis at this time.

3 – The final phase is the integration phase. This happens soon after the psychedelic-assisted therapy session, and can be done as one session, or multiple sessions. In this phase, facilitated by the therapist, the patient can process their psychedelic session, and work to make sense of their experience, and to gain some sort of positive meaning out of it.

mental illness

Psychedelic-assisted therapy isn’t a new invention

While it might seem like using psychedelics in therapy is a fantastic new discovery in mind-expansion to help treat mental disorders, it’s really not new at all. What is happening now, is a re-emergence of a field of study and therapy that started in the mid-1900’s, beginning with the use of LSD.

LSD was originally synthesized in 1938 by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann for Sandoz Laboratories. Hofmann, incidentally, also brought us the first isolated psilocybin compound from magic mushrooms, making him one of the more important characters in modern psychedelic research. The drug didn’t make its way to the States till almost 1950, where it caught the attention of psychotherapists.

One of the early pioneers into psychedelic therapy research was psychiatrist Humphry Osmond. Humphrey Osmond was one of a group of psychiatrists that got into LSD research for the treatment of alcoholism and other mental disorders in the 50’s.

He was actually the guy that coined the term ‘psychedelic’, and tried it himself before starting to offer it to patients in 1953. In one of his first experiments into alcoholism (limited as it was), Osmond gave one 200 microgram dose of LSD to two alcoholics, one of whom quit immediately, and one of whom quit six months later.

His collaboration with Abram Hoffer in 1951 started the Saskatchewan trials (named after the location of Weyburn Mental Hospital where the research took place.) Over 2,000 patients later, at the end of the 1960’s, the methodology of one single dose of LSD coupled with psychotherapy had consistently in their research showed positive benefits for treating alcoholism with 40-45% of test subjects not relapsing within a year.

Psychedelics in the UK

These positive results were mirrored by a UK psychiatrist Ronald Sandison who had already begun using alternative methods in psychotherapy like art and music. He began treating patients with LSD brought back from a trip to Switzerland where he met Albert Hofmann. His trials in the UK returned similar results to the Saskatchewan trials, and in 1954 Sandison published this study in which 36 psychoneurotic patients were administered LSD over the course of a year, leading to 14 recovered patients, only two without improvement, and the rest with some level of improvement.

psychedelic medicine

Sandison even opened the first LSD therapy clinic in the 1950’s. It could accommodate up to five patients, and included individual psychedelic sessions, and group discussion sessions. In 2002, Britain’s National Health Service agreed to pay £195,000 to 43 patients of Sandison’s in out-of-court settlements, though whether this was out of actual damage suffered, or opportunism to collect for the usage of a drug that had become illegal, is hard to say.

Osmond’s method of LSD therapy that included one large dose with psychotherapy, was termed ‘psychedelic therapy’, while Sandison’s approach of using multiple smaller doses that increase in size, also with psychoanalysis, was termed ‘psycholytic therapy’. Between the years of 1950-1965, over 40,000 patients were treated with LSD, over 1,000 scientific papers were published, and six international conferences on the subject were held. All of the research and treatments ended by 1970 when psychedelic drugs were formally illegalized by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty.

Benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy

Research will continue to build on the topic, but what is out there is certainly promising. In one systematic review from 2020 called Psychedelics and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy, the authors looked at research from 2007-2019, reviewing a total of 161 articles. The most significant results were related to MDMA for the treatment of PTSD and psilocybin for the treatment of depression and anxiety (related to cancer). The authors also noted promising results related to the use of LSD and ayahuasca for mental disorders.

In another systematic review from 2018 titled Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Paradigm Shift in Psychiatric Research and Development, the review authors investigated research related to psychotherapy involving psychedelics like ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin, LSD and ibogaine. Clinical results supported use of these drugs, even for treatment-resistant conditions, and backed-up that psychedelics have proven to be both safe and effective. The review authors also made a point of how psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can challenge the notion of standard diagnostics, saying the model:

“…has important consequences for the diagnostics and explanation axis of the psychiatric crisis, challenging the discrete nosological entities and advancing novel explanations for mental disorders and their treatment, in a model considerate of social and cultural factors, including adversities, trauma, and the therapeutic potential of some non-ordinary states of consciousness.”

Conclusion

Though the coupling of psychedelic drugs and psychotherapy might not technically be a ‘new’ version of treatment, it is new to current generations that were born in the wake pf psychedelic illegalization. In a way, the use of psychedelic-assisted therapy is simply going back to our own relatively recent history. Just imagine how far along research could have been if these drugs had not been illegalized in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened, and now, this old form of therapy, is becoming the new thing once again.

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The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). How to choose Delta-8 THC flowers?  A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
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Can LSD Treat Your Mental Illness?

For several decades, psychedelics have been uniformly outlawed, with massive campaigns from the late 1900’s used to raise fear and controversy over their effects. Now, as the world acclimates to the medical and recreational use of cannabis, psychedelics are being looked at once again for their medical benefits. In fact, one of the leading points of research is the use of LSD to treat mental illness.

When it comes to psychedelics, cannabis is one of the most popular, and its not hard to see why. THC has medical benefits and makes people feel good. However, for some people, regular THC is just too much. If you’re one of those people, check out our Delta-8 THC deals, and experience THC with slightly less psychoactive effect, and less anxiety.

What is LSD?

LSD, known more scientifically as Lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic psychedelic drug, which was first synthesized in 1938 by Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman. He was also the first person to experience its effects when he accidentally ingested a small amount in 1943. As a psychedelic, it is known for altering perception, feelings, and thoughts, as well as causing visions and sensations that are not actually there (hallucinations). LSD is in a class of drugs called ergolines which are often used to treat disorders like Parkinson’s. Unlike some compounds like DMT, LSD is manmade, though derived from the ergot fungus.

How exactly LSD works to cause the effects its associated with, is still not completely defined. However, certain aspects have been found in research. In one study put out in 2017 from the University of North Carolina, it was found that LSD interacts with serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a big role in mood and brain communication. The particular receptor it effects is called 5-HT2AR. One of the interesting things that happens when LSD attaches to this receptor, is that the receptor closes over the molecule, preventing it from leaving quickly. This could very well explain why the drug can last for many hours, even after it has left the bloodstream.

The serotonin receptor it attaches to can activate two signaling pathways through G-proteins and β-arrestins within cells. With LSD, it primarily works through the β-arrestins. The researchers on this study found that different drugs in the ergoline group effect serotonin receptors differently, and found evidence that the compounds themselves can modify the structure of the receptor in order to activate different effects.

Research

There has actually been plenty of research into how LSD can aide in the treatment of mental illness. Back in 2014, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was done to investigate how safe and effective LSD is in treating the anxiety experienced by patients with life-threatening illnesses.

12 patients were used in the study, and they were given drug-free psychotherapy sessions, along with two psychotherapy sessions with LSD. A two-month follow-up showed a positive trend according to the (STAI) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory in terms of reductions in trait and state anxiety. The reductions in anxiety related to the LSD were sustained for 12 months. No serious adverse effects were noticed, and minimal adverse effects subsided within one day. The overall outcome of the study was LSD safely decreased anxiety.

In a systematic review of LSD in psychiatry, 11 studies were identified  concerning LSD and mental health that consisted of randomized and controlled clinical trials. These were done between the years of 1950-1970 when it was not illegal to use LSD in medical testing, and when LSD was regularly studied for use with addiction, anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic diseases. As part of the 11 studies that made the cut, 567 subjects were administered LSD in doses of 20 to 800 micrograms. The overall finding was that LSD has positive results in psychiatric symptoms, particularly for alcoholism. A grand majority of the study authors from the review cited positive, if short-term, improvements. This was not always seen in long-term follow-ups.

LSD in the treatment of mental illness today

Yet another systematic review was done on studies into LSD from after 1970. This review, called the Modern Clinical Research on LSD was published in 2017. The review looked at five recent studies in London, Zurich and Basel. All studies were placebo controlled. The London studies were single-blind, non-randomized, the Switzerland studies were randomized, double-blind. In all studies, low-moderate doses of LSD were used between 40-80 micrograms. (It takes about 100-200 micrograms for a full LSD effect).

In terms of subjective effects according to validated psychometric scales, the response in controlled settings was mainly positive. Average group ratings for liking the drug and having positive effects reached 90% of the maximum possible on the VAS scale after 200 micrograms had been administered. At 200 micrograms, only a small percentage increase was made for the average of those who had a negative drug effect (<25%), however negative ratings did go up with the increase.

No high levels of anxiety or panic occurred, necessitating no sedation of patients to stave off negative effects. The main feelings experienced during testing were: bliss, altered perceptions, audiovisual synesthesia (think crossed wires and mixed-up responses), and derealization and depersonalization in positive ways. Higher doses included more insightfulness.

LSD for mental illness

In terms of the synesthesia, LSD produced spontaneous experiences, indicating it alters spontaneous processes, rather than creating an induced response. At under 100 micrograms, LSD promoted suggestibility, and at 200 micrograms it inspired mystical experiences during psychotherapy combined with LSD. Similar studies that have been done on psilocybin have shown that more intense mystical experiences are tied to long-term positive benefits.

However, these mystical effects were correlated at a high level with blissful states as well, meaning the long-term response could be more related to blissful experiences than mystical ones. In these studies, LSD promoted feelings of happiness, well-being, openness, closeness to other people, and trust.

In terms of negative effects, they generally didn’t last more than 10-24 hours, and included headache, difficulty with concentration, decrease in appetite, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, exhaustion and feeling unbalanced. No severe adverse responses were noticed in any of the modern testing. LSD, in general, is considered non-toxic physically.

Why is it illegal?

When looking at all the positive scientific research, and the lack of detrimental side effects, it starts to look very strange that LSD has been illegalized, while pharmaceutical medications to treat the same things often have lower success rates and harsher side effects. While the US government might stick with a tagline of psychedelics being dangerous and having no medical value, there is another underlying story which makes a bit more sense.

LSD and psilocybin were first illegalized in the late 60’s after a years long smear campaign which coincided with the Vietnam war. America was off fighting a battle that didn’t technically involve it, and causing a massive death toll, and unspeakable and unnecessary violence and destruction to residents of Vietnam.

There was already a pretty heavy anti-war movement during that time. Want to speculate on how much bigger and harder to control that would’ve been if the country was focusing on the war as it should have been? The question of why America wanted to be in that war so badly is a whole debate in and of itself, but regardless of the ‘why’s, there are still some heavy truths. In 1994, a guy named John Ehrlichman, who had been the Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs in Nixon’s administration, made this statement:

psychedelics

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Is it really any wonder that in 1968 the US passed the Staggers-Dodd bill illegalizing both LSD and psilocybin? Or that in 1971 the Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty gave it a Schedule I ranking? And is it really any wonder that this was heavily pushed for by richer countries with developed pharmaceutical industries, while poorer countries that didn’t have industries that could benefit the same way, were against the illegalization?

What now?

Things can change easily from good to bad, but they can also change from bad to good. Growing scrutiny towards agencies like the DEA for blocking scientific discovery in order to restrict access, and a renewed interest in medical testing, has re-opened the door which had been closed on LSD. Last month, the company MindMed even announced the beginning of the very first clinical trial ever to incorporate LSD and MDMA to test the possible benefits in dealing with mental illness.

Mindmed is a biotech company specializing in medicines and therapies using psychedelics. The trials are being done in Switzerland, which has been the base for a lot of psychedelics testing. Considering it’s a biotech company doing them, the logic answer would be that they want to make a product to sell eventually. My guess is, by the time they’re ready, it’ll be more legal globally to make LSD products to treat mental illness. After all, think about how fast the cannabis industry changed in the last few years.

Conclusion

The ongoing legalizations of cannabis, which is also a psychedelic, though a much less intense one, do signal a change in things. LSD has shown a spectacular profile for aiding in mental illness, with so few adverse reactions, that its silly what people are taking instead. It’s hard to say what the future holds, but it might very soon be the legalization for LSD medically.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your primary spot for all cannabis-related news around the world. Stop by frequently to stay on top of the ever-changing world of legal marijuana, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the know!

Resources

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Is Delta-8 THC Legal? What Does The Law Says? Is CBD Effective for Treating Bipolar Disorder?
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The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). How to choose Delta-8 THC flowersDelta-8 THC Flowers: Everything You Need To Know.
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
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The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals.  Best Delta-8 THC Vape Bundles – Winter 2021 Gallup Poll Finds Americans Use CBD Mostly For Pain Management
Using CBG To Treat Clinical Depression The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official
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CBD’s Role in the Treatment of Multiple Mental Health Disorders

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