Study Finds Genetic Link to Effects of Psychedelic Drugs

Common genetic variations in a particular serotonin receptor could be responsible for the varying effects psychedelic drugs have on different individuals, according to a recently published study from researchers at the University of North Carolina. The study, which comes at a time of reinvigorated research into the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs, could shed light on why the substances seem to have dramatically positive effects for some patients with serious mental health conditions while others find little therapeutic value in the drugs.

Bryan Roth, MD, PhD, led a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) to complete the study. The goal of the research was to explore how variations in this one serotonin receptor changes the activity of four psychedelic therapies. The laboratory research in cells showed that seven variants uniquely and differentially impact the receptor’s response to four psychedelic drugs—psilocin, LSD, 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) and mescaline. The researchers believe that the in vitro research could be useful for determining appropriate mental health therapies for patients.

“Based on our study, we expect that patients with different genetic variations will react differently to psychedelic-assisted treatments,” said Roth, who leads the National Institutes of Health Psychotropic Drug Screening Program. “We think physicians should consider the genetics of a patient’s serotonin receptors to identify which psychedelic compound is likely to be the most effective treatment in future clinical trials.”

Psychedelics and Mental Health

Research published in 2020 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was a quick-acting and effective treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder. A separate study published in 2016 determined that psilocybin treatment produced substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer. And last year, researchers determined that psychedelic users had less stress during lockdowns put in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior research has also determined that psychedelic drugs stimulate serotonin receptors in the brain. The 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor, also known as 5-HT2A, is responsible for mediating how a person reacts to psychedelic drugs. However, there are several naturally occurring, random genetic variations that can affect the function and structure of the 5-HT2A receptor. Much of the research into the effect that psychedelics have on mental health is inspired by the effect the drugs have on serotonin receptors, which bind the neurotransmitter serotonin and other similar molecules to help regulate mood, emotions and appetite.

Although they show great promise, psychedelic drugs do not seem to be effective as a treatment for everyone. Dustin Hines, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience in the department of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who was not involved in the UNC study, said the research could shed light on why psychedelic therapies work well for some patients while others find little therapeutic benefit from the drugs.

“Genetic variation in this receptor has been shown to influence the response of patients to other drugs,” Hines told Healthline. “While psychedelic therapies can provide rapid and sustained therapeutic benefits for multiple mental health concerns, there are a proportion of patients who fail to respond.”

Hines also noted that differences in mental health conditions from person to person could also contribute to how well patients respond to both psychedelic and more traditional treatments.

“Some individuals with depression may have a genetic predisposition that increases the likelihood that they will experience depression in their lives,” Hines said. “Other individuals facing depression may have more situational or environmental contributions.”

The researchers at UNC noted that the study could help provide insight to clinicians considering psychedelics as a treatment for their patients and called for further investigation.

“This is another piece of the puzzle we must know when deciding to prescribe any therapeutic with such dramatic effect aside from the therapeutic effect,” Roth said. “Further research will help us continue to find the best ways to help individual patients.”

Results of the study were published last week in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

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Poll States 28% of Americans Have Tried At Least One Psychedelic Substance

The poll asked 1,000 adults to answer questions online between July 22-25, which revealed that 28% of Americans have used at least one of the seven psychedelic drugs included in the questionnaire. In order of most used to least used, the list of substances included LSD (14% of participants), psilocybin (13%), MDMA (9%), ketamine (6%), DMT (6%), and salvia (5%).

The poll notes that psychedelic acceptance is increasing, and more legislation is being proposed. “Recent shifts, both in policy and public opinion, suggest the tide in the United States may be turning toward increasingly favoring psychedelic drugs,” YouGov states. “In the past few years, a number of cities across the U.S., such as Oakland, California, have decriminalized psilocybin, also known as psychedelic mushrooms. This November, Coloradans will vote on whether to legalize the drug state-wide, and by January 2023, Oregon is expected to begin allowing its use for mental-health treatment in supervised settings.”

According to the poll, 42% percent of those who have tried psychedelics at least once have a family income of $100,000 or more, while only 34% have an income of $50,000 to $100,000, and 23% reported having an income of $50,000 or less. Forty-two percent also said they had earned a postgraduate degree, with 26% having graduated with an undergraduate degree, and 24% who have a high school degree or less.

In terms of age, 39% of participants who have tried psychedelics range between 30-44 years old, whereas 35% range between 18-29 years of age, and only 14% were over 65. Thirty-four percent of participants who have tried a substance identified as men, while 22% identified as women.

Regionally, the pattern of acceptance follows areas that have enacted psychedelics-related legislation. Thirty-seven percent of participants who have tried substances live in the western United States, with 34% in the Northeast, 23% in the South (other regions were not specified). Those who have experimented with psychedelics often live in cities (36%), compared to those who live in suburbs (26%), and rural areas (19%).

Other categories of definition explored people from different religions, those who live in other regions of the country, age, and other identifiers such as “very conservative,” “conservative” or “liberal.” The poll data shows that those who are liberal, which is defined by the 52% of participants, said that they have tried at least one psychedelic drug.

However, many of the participants still showed opposition to decriminalizing of some of these substances. Forty-four percent oppose decriminalization of psilocybin, 53% oppose decriminalizing LSD, and 53% oppose MDMA decriminalization. Overall, those who have tried one of these substances are more likely to agree that it should be decriminalized. “And while support for legalizing psychedelic drugs is relatively low among Americans overall, it’s much higher among people who have personal experiences with the substances—especially in the case of people who have used mushrooms.”

Those who have tried these substances also expressed support for medical initiatives that promote psychedelics as a medical treatment. “Recently proposed bipartisan amendments to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, suggested by Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, relax federal restrictions on research into psychedelic-assisted post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment for veterans,” YouGov wrote. When participants were asked about their support of research such as that initiative, 54% said they supported it and 18% said they were opposed. Sixty-three percent of those who hold a college degree supported research efforts for at least one psychedelic drug, but 49% of those without a college degree also support research. Sixty percent of participants who aligned as Democrat said they were more likely to favor psychedelic research, versus 54% of Independents and 45% of Republicans.

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Legal Psychedelics – What Can You Buy in the United States?

Despite growing mainstream popularity, and unlike cannabis which was always widely available – psychedelics are much harder to find if you don’t have a connection. You shouldn’t be incredibly hard-pressed to track down a mushroom or MDMA dealer in your area, if you’re diligent; but stuff like LSD, DMT, and mescaline often pose a greater challenge.  

With the rise of internet psychonaut communities, that too has become much easier, but then you’re left with questions of legality, and whether what you’re buying could possibly get you into trouble. Although the actual drugs themselves are 100% illegal to buy and sell online, there are still numerous products you can purchase that contain these compounds – and they are perfectly legal!  

Check out our list of legal psychedelics and related products below, and to stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!

Legal status of psychedelics in the U.S.  

The federal laws regarding psychedelics are pretty cut and dry: they are overwhelmingly prohibited. So far there is only one exception – ketamine/esketamine – two different versions of essentially the same drug (esketamine is an isomer of ketamine) that have received FDA approval for a handful of regulated medical uses. Other psychedelics, even those that are undergoing clinical trials like LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin, are all still on the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances.  

Like cannabis, psychedelic drugs were not always illegal in the United States. Throughout the 1940s and 50s they were studied somewhat extensively for their ability to treat mental health disorders that were proving resistant to standard pharmaceutical medications. Eventually, when the FDA banned entheogens, the research came to a screeching halt and patients were once again barred from these innovative treatments.  

However, in recent years there has been a renewed public interest in the use of psychedelics in psychotherapy. Both MDMA and psilocybin have received ‘breakthrough therapy’ designations by the FDA for PTSD and severe depression respectively, for which both are undergoing trials. This means a US federal government agency is pushing for the research and development of compounds with Schedule I listings. And this indicates that laws could be changing very soon. 

So, what can you buy? 

While you can’t legally buy psychedelic compounds themselves, you can purchase the products that are used to make these drugs. For example, psilocybin is illegal, but mushroom spore syringes are not. This is because the spores don’t contain any psilocybin yet, so they are legal by default. Also available are some psychedelics that are less common in this area, and so they aren’t well-known enough for regulators to start making laws against them.  

First, let’s take a look at what the DEA has to say about psychedelic compounds:  

“Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another 
schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which 
contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances, 
or which contains any of their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers 
whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers 
is possible within the specific chemical designation: 
(1) 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine. 
(2) 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine. 
(3) 3,4,5-trimethoxy amphetamine. 
(4) Bufotenine. 
(5) Diethyltryptamine. 
(6) Dimethyltryptamine. 
(7) 4-methyl-2,5-diamethoxyamphetamine. 
(8) Ibogaine. 
(9) Lysergic acid diethylamide. 
(10) Marihuana. 
(11) Mescaline. 
(12) Peyote. 
(13) N-ethyl-3-piperidyl benzilate. 
(14) N-methyl-3-piperidyl benzilate. 
(15) Psilocybin. 
(16) Psilocyn. 
(17) Tetrahydrocannabinols” 

That leaves us with numerous products that are legal by default, and countless others that are not quite legal, but also not heavily regulated. For example, some psychedelic (or psychedelic-adjacent plants) you can find easily online are:  

  • San Pedro and Peruvian Torch cactus (both contain mescaline)  
  • Egyptian Blue Lotus (said to have MDMA-like effects at high doses)  
  • Salvia Leaf (contains opioid-like compounds that can produce hallucinations and synesthesia)  
  • Banisteriopsis Caapi (used to make ayahuasca, paired with Chacruna Leaf)  
  • Hape Ritual Snuff (sacred shamanic tobacco snuff)  
  • Kratom (used as a natural pain reliever and mild stimulant)  
  • Kanna (contains mildly psychoactive alkaloids)  
  • Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (AKA Elephant Creeper, seeds contain LSA [d-lysergic acid amide])  
  • Mimosa Hostilis Bark (contains DMT)  
  • Ergine (AKA morning glory, seeds contain LSA [d-lysergic acid amide])  
  • Kava (mildly psychoactive and depressant properties)  
  • Damiana (mildly psychoactive, relaxing and helps with sleep)  
  • Mexican dream herb (Calea zacatechichi, said to induce lucid dreaming) 

Additionally, you can buy a lot of ancillary products and supplies such as grow kits, mushroom spore prints, psilocybin spore syringes, liquid culture vials, reagent kits/drug testing kits, and so forth. What you can purchase depends on what state you live in, so you will have to look up regulations in your area for more specific details on what psychedelics are legal for you.  

DMT-source plants  

Legality is a funny concept, and understanding whether DMT containing plants – such as Mimosa Hostilis Bark, Chacruna Leaf, and Acacia confusa – are legal or not has become quite the topic of debate in the psychonaut community. Some believe it’s legal by technicality, falling into a sort of regulatory limbo, while others claim the FDA explicitly bans these products. So, which is the correct answer? 

If we take the above statement: “… any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which 
contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances…”, it seems relatively clear. But if we dissect the legal text a little bit more, some questions surface. Take into consideration how widely DMT is found in nature – it’s produced my countless animals (including humans) and thousands of plants, even some very common ones like the leaves of lemon and orange trees. There are even some plausible theories floating around that every living thing produces at least trace amounts of DMT. With that in mind, in would be impossible to regulate “any material” containing “any quantity” of DMT.  

Overall, I think it’s safe to say that this definitely falls under a legal gray area. Although the government would probably like all DMT-containing plants to be illegal, and they may even go to the extent of regulating a few select ones, it would be extremely difficult to do on a larger scale, especially for a compound that has relatively low statistical use. But that doesn’t mean they are not trying. For example, shipments of Mimosa bark and other products used to extract DMT are often intercepted. And it’s illegal to own Bufo alvarius (or Incilius alvarius, the Colorado river toad, used in the production of 5-MeO-DMT) as a pet.  

But if any material which contains any quantity of DMT is considered a Schedule I drug, then quite possibly, nearly all living things would be Schedule I – from your own lungs and brain to the citrus trees growing in your backyard. The law is unenforceable as it is currently written, and it would be hard to imagine someone getting prosecuted for possession of one of these plants (assuming they have a decent lawyer and there was no intent to distribute).  

Keep in mind that although no law expressly bans all these plants and products, local law enforcement may still look at items of this nature unfavorably. Individual buyers are not likely to be targeted by federal law enforcement for small purchases, but local law enforcement could be a wildcard. Avoiding raising any suspicion from postal service workers, nosey neighbors, and local law enforcement is key to staying above board with these things.  

Final thoughts on legal psychedelics

The psychedelics product market isn’t raging just yet (at least not domestically), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on some fun, interesting and legal products still. From mescaline-producing cacti to DMT-containing bark to psilocybin mushroom spores, there is no shortage of plant products to trip on; and if you know where to look, most can be found with relative ease.  

Welcome all! Thanks for dropping by, a top offering for comprehensive news covering the burgeoning cannabis and psychedelics industries. Stop by daily for a dose of news on these dynamically changing fields, and sign up for The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re up on everything important going on.

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Canadian Firm Seeks Approval to Manufacture MDMA and Other Psychedelics

A Canadian company that produces functional mushroom formulations for health and wellness has submitted a request to federal regulators that would allow it to manufacture MDMA and other synthetic psychedelic drugs. If the request made to Canada Health by Optimi Health seeking an amendment to its Controlled Substances Dealer’s license is approved, the company plans to manufacture MDMA, LSD, Mescaline, GHB and other psychedelics at its production facility in Princeton, British Columbia.

Optimi Health Corporation is a Canadian firm that produces psilocybin and other functional formulations at its two plants in British Columbia following the European Union’s standards for good manufacturing practices (EU-GMP). Operating under a vertically integrated business model, the company is engaged in the cultivation, extraction, processing, and distribution of functional and psychedelic mushroom products at its two facilities in Princeton, which cover a combined total of 20,000 square feet.

The company noted that with its major capital expenditures now completed, Optimi Health plans to expand its product offerings to include a wide variety of synthetic psychedelic compounds, leveraging its state-of-the-art cultivation facility and analytical lab in the process. The move aligns with the company’s transition to commercialization through standardized psychedelic drug research, testing, and product development via approved clinical trials and exemption-based applications.

Growing Market for Psychedelics

Optimi Health noted that ongoing large-scale studies including Phase III clinical trials into MDMA sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and a move to decriminalize drugs in British Columbia have led to an increased demand for psychedelics.

“Since our inception, Optimi has received a steadily increasing volume of inquiries related to the production of synthetic psychedelics from stakeholders within the sector, made all the more timely by recent developments,” Optimi Health chief science officer Justin Kirkland said in a statement from the company. “Our analytical laboratories were purpose-built to enable us to act as an EU-GMP compliant drug manufacturer for these interests, without in any way detracting from our primary goal of cultivating natural psilocybin.”

Optimi CEO Bill Ciprick said that the company’s EU-GMP compliant operational footprint and production capacity is unmatched in North America, adding that it would likely take new entrants into the psychedelics sector years and millions of dollars to meet Optimi’s scale and clinical efficiency.

“We have a strong idea of our position in the market and how the amendment fits with our strategic priorities,” said Ciprick. “We are filing this amendment following conversations with researchers and drug developers which have led to a high volume of requests for GMP-compliant synthetic psychedelics. The positive reports from trauma sufferers, including veterans groups, for whom substances such as MDMA might make a difference, mean that safe, scalable supply is going to be more crucial than ever to the success of psychedelic medicine.”

“As we continue with our planned year of commercialization, Optimi views the capacity to produce and distribute these substances as integral to our overall positioning and revenue generation within the sector’s supply chain,” Ciprick added.

The psychedelic drugs included in the Optimi request to Canadian regulators are N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (“DMT”); 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine (“Mescaline”); 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2- (methylamino)cyclohexanone (“Ketamine”); Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (“LSD”); 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)piperidine (“Phencyclidine”); 4-Hydroxybutanoic Acid (“GHB”);  4,9–dihydro–7–methoxy–1–methyl–3H–pyrido(3,4–b)indole (“Harmaline”); 4,9–dihydro–1–methyl–3H–pyrido(3,4–b)indol–7–ol (“Harmalol”); Salvia Divinorum, Salvinorin A; and, 4-Bromo-2,5-Dimethoxybenzeneethanamine (“2C-B”).

British Columbia to Decriminalize Drugs

Last month, the Canadian federal government announced that it had approved a request from British Columbia to decriminalize possession of street drugs including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine for three years.

“Eliminating criminal penalties for those carrying small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use will reduce stigma and harm and provide another tool for British Columbia to end the overdose crisis,” federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

Late last year, provincial officials requested an exemption from enforcing the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to test the impact decriminalization will have on British Columbia’s ongoing epidemic of overdose deaths. Under the plan, personal possession of up to a cumulative total of 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA will not result in an arrest, citation, or confiscation of the drugs. The limited drug decriminalization plan does not apply at airports, schools, and to members of the Canadian military, however.

“This is not legalization,” Bennett told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver. “We have not taken this decision lightly.”

Under the plan, possession of larger amounts of the drugs and the sale or trafficking will remain against the law. The limited decriminalization test program will begin on January 31, 2023, and continue until January 31, 2026.

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Animals That Get You High

We’re a curious species. And we like to do things that make us feel good. Put those two attributes together and we’re a species that’s curious enough to find new things to make us feel good. Even when those things come from odd places. We know of tons of plants and other substances that can change the way we feel, but that’s pretty standard. What’s less standard and more ethically debatable? The idea that some animals can also get a person high.

Whether you’re picking certain flowers or mushrooms, or letting a snake bite you, there are tons of ways to have a psychoactive experience in nature. Welcome to our independent news publication; which specializes in cannabis and psychedelics reporting. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, and make sure you’re first in line when product promotions become available.

Psychedelic toads

One of the best examples of animals that can get you high, are psychedelic toads. Psychedelic toads are toads that contain chemicals called bufotoxins within glands in their skin. These bufotoxins are known for containing 5-MeO-DMT, a name that should sound familiar. This compound is another form of the DMT found in plants like Psychotria viridis which is one half of ayahuasca.

DMT is a hallucinogenic compound that’s found in plant genera like Phalaris, Delosperma, Acacia, Desmodium, Mimosa, and Virola, as well as in the leaves of more ordinary citrus plants. DMT is also found in some sea sponges, like Smenospongia aura, S. echina and Verongula rigida, but is most well-known, in toads like Incilius alvarius (sometimes incorrectly called Bufo alvarius), also known as the Colorado River Toad and Sonoran Desert Toad. This particular toad originates in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern US. There are also a number of psychedelic fish, some of which may or may not be related to DMT.

Though the toads don’t need to be killed to access the venom, which is released upon excitation of the toad, they often are. This becomes an issue with the practice in that it threatens the lives of the animals. Technically, the toads can simply be excited and the venom collected, but their killing is an unfortunate aspect of getting high off a living thing.

Using toads to get high isn’t a new invention, even if its gaining popularity today. The practice goes back as far as the Olmec period in pre-Columbian era Mesoamerica, from around the years 1,200 BCE to about 400 BCE. DMT trips are short, lasting from just a few minutes to an hour and a half. When mixed with Banisteriopsis caapi (caapi vine), DMT breaks down much slower due to the presence of MAO inhibitors, and trips last for many hours. This mixture is called ayahuasca. DMT is under investigation for its medical value, and is undergoing trials currently for depression.

Fire salamander

When it comes to animals that get you high, most seem to be in the slippery skin category, although how they get you high varies between animal species. Plenty of creatures can bring on a psychoactive reaction without the help of DMT. Take the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra. This species is quite common in parts of central Europe, and is usually seen as a black salamander, with spots or stripes of yellow.

Fire salamanders produce an alkaloid called samandarin, which for humans and all vertebrate animals causes muscle convulsions, hypertension, and hyperventilation. Samandarin comes from a family of compounds called samandarines, which are effective through transdermal uptake, or which can be taken orally. What starts as a restless reaction, progresses to convulsions, paralysis, and even death within a few hours, if the right amount is taken. Poisonings are generally characterized by internal hemorrhaging. These salamanders can produce a range of other toxins as well. Another main one is tetrodotoxin, a sodium channel blocker, which prevents nervous system messages from getting through, therefore keeping muscles from working correctly.

If this all sounds not super awesome, there is folklore around the compound which says it has hallucinogenic effects and is a strong aphrodisiac. While these claims are often dismissed, there are overlapping stories of the compound being used in salamander brandy (which is actually schnapps), a drink native to the country of Slovenia. However, it didn’t become a part of conversation until a 1995 article by a gay named Blaz Ogorevc, which described the process of making brandy with the creatures. According to a 2003 article entitled Salamander Brandy: “A Psychedelic Drink Between Media Myth and Practice of Home Alcohol Distillation in Slovenia, salamanders were indeed used for brandy making, but only as a cheaper method to make it, which was looked down on by the general population. While it is known to cause effects, these effects don’t sound very psychedelic.

This idea was echoed in another place. A Cracked writer might have done the most to understand the situation, traveling through Slovenia, and then making the brew himself at home upon not finding the real thing in his travels. He described the process of procuring a salamander, milking it for secretions for a period of time, and then adding it in during the fermentation process to make brandy. In the end he described a powerful drunken high, in line with many of the stories he was told, but not quite in line with a powerful psychedelic aphrodisiac experience. He said he was repeatedly told that it “takes the legs out from under you”, and described an experience that included difficulty in standing and walking, likely a result of the neurotoxins.

The banning of the drink (if it actually is) could be to preserve the animals from getting killed, but it could also hark back to the older back hills tradition of using salamanders and their poison to make a cheaper form of brandy, which apparently made people sick quite often, and which is/was associated with being a lower class cheat. In fact, I find that the much more plausible answer, as it is a poison that causes some kind of effects, and humans have been known to play around with such poisons all throughout history.

Hallucinogenic fish

Next up we’ve got hallucinogenic fish (dream fish), like Sarpa Salpa of the sea bream variety. Interestingly, what it is that they contain is not well understood, but it can apparently cause a trip similar to LSD, according to some. Others say that effects are much more like deliriant hallucinogens, which are more likely to cause delirium (mental disruption and confusion) than hallucinations. Sarpa salpa and other similarly acting species are found in coastal areas, particularly close to Spain, and sometimes around Britain. In Arabic these fish are known as the ‘fish that makes dreams’, though the term ‘dream fish’ is used for a number of different fish that all lead to ‘ichthyoallyeinotoxism’. This term is associated with intoxication from consuming fish, and most come from the genus Kyphosus.

Some researchers think the psychedelic effects have to do with macroalgae that accumulates from what the fish eat, and that its not produced by the fish themselves. It has not been ruled out that DMT is responsible in some cases, with German anthropologist Christian Rätsch describing how several reporters have eaten these dream fish, and subsequently experienced intense hallucinations.

Other fish species eyed for possibly causing psychedelic effects include the sea chub, though its unclear once again if the toxins from the fish come directly from the fish, or the algae that it eats. Siganus spinus is another possibly psychedelic venomous fish, nicknamed ‘the fish that inebriates’, and Mulloidichthys flavolineatus called the ‘the chief of ghosts’, is found around Hawaii. Yet another grouping of hallucinogenic fish, represented by Tetraodontidae, includes the likes of puffers, blowfish, toadfish and bubblefish, all of which contain the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin.

hallucinogenic fish to get high

Snake venom

Some animals we don’t necessarily think of trying to kill us, like toads, even though technically the venom is a self-defense measure. For smaller animals it means death, whereas to humans it might mean tripping out. Other animals though, we are wary of, because we know they have the strength to kill us. Such is the case with many species of snakes, some of which are capable of killing a human being pretty fast. However, as with the case of many plants, just because something can kill us at some level, doesn’t mean it can’t make us high on another. Such is the case with snake venom, though it extends to the use of scorpion venom and wasp venom as well.

Medically there are not many cases to go off, and the method for getting high is primarily used by opioid addicts. In one account by scientists from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s Drug Deadiction Center in Chandigarh, India, two users hooked on cobra venom, were getting their jollies by allowing the snakes to bite them on the tongue! They were both opioid addicts of at least 15 years, and stated that the high lasted close to a month. The case was published in a study called: Snake Venom Use as a Substitute for Opioids: A Case Report and Review of Literature.

According to that report, “the snake bite was associated with jerky movements of the body, blurring of vision, and unresponsiveness, i.e. “blackout” as per the patient for 1 h. However, after waking up he experienced a heightened arousal and sense of well-being, which lasted for 3–4 weeks…” The subject also said that the practice was common for where he came from in India (Northwestern Rajasthan).

The report also pulled from a few other cases, all presenting in India, and all dealing with recreational snake bites, mostly with opioid addicts. Cobras, kraits, and other green tree snakes were mentioned for this use, and one patient told of ‘snake dens’ where snakes were graded based on the level of intoxication of their venom. Besides the tongue, patients reported getting bites on the feet as well. Venom intoxication is described as promoting “happiness, grandiosity, and excessive sleepiness”, and from the report, evidence points to higher socioeconomic classes partaking in this activity.

In terms of how the venom works, while its not entirely understood, “it is known that some of the neurotoxins result in an analgesia, which is independent of the centrally mediated opiate-independent analgesia. Long-form of alpha-neurotoxin found in cobra venom is known to act on nicotinic acetyl choline receptors (nAChRs). These possibly act through the acetylcholine receptors and can substitute morphine and mitigate opioid withdrawal.”

Tree frogs

When looking into psychedelic toads, it becomes clear that this has to do with toads and not frogs, but this doesn’t mean that their slippery counterparts won’t also get a person high. In fact, such is the case with tree frogs of the Phyllomedusa genus, which have been getting people high for possibly centuries. These frogs are mainly found in South America, particularly in the Amazon rainforest.

tree frogs - animals that get you high

The frogs produce a wax secretion that they use to keep from drying out, and rub all over their skin for this purpose. The species Phyllomedusa bicolor (also called the giant leaf frog) is the most well-known, and has been used in natural medicine traditions and by shamanic hunters in a practice called the ‘Kambo cleanse’. Hunters go as far as to say it temporarily heightens their senses.

The compound in these secretions is called dermorphin, a natural opiate which binds strongly to mu Opioid receptors, and is reportedly 20-30 times the strength of morphine, but without the same level of addiction ability. This compound is not found in mammals, but can be found in certain other bacteria, amphibians, and molluscs. Dermorphin is a potent pain killer, with illegal use tied to racehorses, where its ability to dull pain can enhance horse performance. Why we aren’t using this, rather than more addictive opioids which are causing massive issues with addiction and death, is certainly a question that should be investigated further.

Ants – Animals That Get You High?

While most people think of ants as an irritation they’d prefer not to have in their house, others consider ants as interesting creatures. They behave in well organized ways, working together to construct and maintain intricate structures and tunnels, and have a fine-tuned ability to communicate together. They manage to avoid drowning in rain storms, are known for carrying many times their own weight, and in the right circumstances can make you trip your head off.

Different cultures describe experiences of hallucinogenic encounters with ants, particularly in shamanistic rituals or natural medicine traditions. Some Native Americans in the US had rituals which involved things like fasting for three days from food, water, and sex, and then consuming harvester ants to induce hallucinations. It was also written of eating patches of eagle down which were moistened, and stuffed with about five ants each. These were eaten until the eater’s face turned red, and they couldn’t eat more. This kind of consumption went on through the late 1870s and was associated with as many as 17 indigenous groups, however it died out since that time.

Though ants are very small, consuming large amounts can have an effect. Native Americans in South central California ate Red Harvester ants, that contain a venom full of proteins, histamines and other reactive chemicals. The venom of these ants is said to be as much as 10 times that of honeybees, and the amounts taken were equivalent to 35% of a lethal dose for a 45.5kg (100lb) person.

Most of the stories involving ants include a fast period, or sleep deprivation period, beforehand, and the use of other psychotropic substances like Datura, a poisonous flower. It could be that the toxins had a better chance of working on a very empty stomach, or in stressed conditions. Though these ants are said to possibly cause mild-altering effects, hallucinations, and catatonic states, the end result seemed dependent on several different factors.

red harvester ants - animals that get you high

Animals That Get You High – Conclusion

There are a lot of substances with psychoactive properties, and most of them aren’t well-known. In terms of animals that can get you high, while there are plenty of options, it must always be considered that 1) we don’t know everything and there’s often a fine line between getting high and death, and 2) these are living things that can feel pain and fear, and arguably shouldn’t be used solely to get a person high.

However, issues of morality aside, it’s quite interesting that the body of one animal can cause such highs in another. While I personally believe we should be conscientious in how we treat other living animals, it certainly opens a door of possibility that such compounds are created by other living beings.

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What is Ayahuasca?

“When you drink ayahuasca, and you get to see divinity, you can almost never speak of it because it’s too big for words.” ― Gerard Armond Powell

When William Burroughs, famed beat writer, entered the Amazonian basin not long after killing his wife and in a tormented addiction to Opium, he stumbled upon a drug that would change his life.  “This is the most powerful drug I have ever experienced. Yage is not like anything else. It produces the most complete derangement of the senses.” He said in his book the Yage papers. Yage is another name for the hallucinogenic mixture of plants drunk in certain regions of the Amazon rainforest better known as Ayahuasca, an ancient psychoactive drink that has been a part of shamanic ritual for years. In this article, as part of our ‘what is drugs’ Series, we will be investigating this mysterious mixture and looking into the history, culture and science behind Ayahuasca. We’ll talk about the ceremony, controversy and preparation involved in so-called Ayahuasca retreats in South America and beyond. 

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Ayahuasca is defined as “a decoction (concentrated liquid) made by prolonged heating or boiling of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine with the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub” by the Alcohol and Drugs foundation. In simpler terms, heat up two particular plants into a hot green broth and hey presto, you have a hallucinogen. What does Ayahuasca look like? Well, to be blunt, it doesn’t look very appetizing, nor does it taste very appetizing. The mixture looks like a mushy green tea and the taste has been described as “bitter, salty and yeasty”. Not ideal. Ayahuasca can be taken personally, but is more likely to be taken as a part of an Ayahuasca retreat.

Organised trips where a group of people will be guided through an Ayahuasca ceremony together, often led by a Shaman. You can look at some of the top rated Ayahuasca retreats here. They mostly take place in southern american countries like Peru and Mexico, but can be found across the world. Ayahuasca is also very interesting legally. The mixture itself isn’t illegal, however because it contains DMT a schedule 1 drug in the US you could be arrested for possessing it. Ayahuasca is only legally allowed for specific religious procedures in approved churches. Ayahuasca is legal in many countries in Southern America where there are indigenous tribes still using it to practice rituals.

The History of Ayahuasca

One of the oldest hallucinogens, Ayahuasca has its origins among the Amazonian tribes of South America, for whom the plants needed were readily available. It is believed that in early Aztec tribes, Shamanic figures within the group would use Ayahuasca to communicate with ancestors and spirits. In fact, a pouch containing Ayahuasca was discovered that dated back over a thousand years.

However, this compound may be even older. There are some claims that the drug has been in use in Southern American tribes for over 5000 years. Of course, it is almost impossible to accurately know this. Many guesses have been made based on the fact that Ayahuasca is so integral to many Amazonian tribes, but many tribes have no or little written history. What we do know is that Spanish invaders encountered the drug and deemed it the work of the devil.

How Does it Feel?

An Ayahuasca trip is often described as very intense, but quite a spiritual experience. Described as being different to other psychedelics as it often incorporates the natural sounds occurring around the user. The trips can lead to revelations, and often lead to a feeling of acceptance about events that have happened in the user’s life. Ayahuasca trips are unique though and sometimes people can have bad experiences. It’s impossible to predict whether you’ll have a good or bad trip, but making sure that you’re ready mentally and in a safe environment can help.

How Does it Effect the Brain?

So where in the brain does Ayahuasca affect? There is a growing amount of research that seems to suggest Ayahuasca has quite a widespread effect on many brain areas. The active chemicals that create the psychedelic effects of Ayahuasca come in two parts, each from the different plants used in the mixture. Psychotria viridis contains DMT and the other component plant, Banisteriopsis caapi, contains chemicals called Harmine and Harmaline. DMT (a drug that we have discussed before) seems to bind to serotonin receptors in the brain, perhaps leading to the hallucinogenic effects experienced in Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Haemine and Marmaline are known as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), which act by inhibiting the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, Dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which in high levels can lead to psychedelic outcomes. MAOIs are sometimes used in the treatment of depression as well, which could explain some of the therapeutic benefits of Ayahuasca. 


Perhaps not surprisingly considering the growing research into Psychedelics and mental health, Ayahuasca has been linked to improving depressive symptoms. A recent study by Jiminez-Garrido and team looked into a sample of 40 participants, some of whom had mental disorders, including depression. They were then sent on an Ayahuasca retreat and their mental health measured after. They found that  “Remarkably, at the 1-month follow-up, 61% of participants who initially met the diagnostic criteria no longer met the criteria for any psychiatric disorder.” and that “overall, 83.2% of participants reported a clinical improvement. This improvement lasted until the 6-months follow-up.”

All rather incredible findings that suggest Ayahuasca has a rather potent medical potential. It has also been shown to have benefits when used to treat some substance abuse issues. Research shows that, in the correct and safe environments, Ayahuasca can reduce dependency on certain substances, even more evidence of its potential medical benefits. Scientists seem to be in agreement that Ayahuasca and DMT need more research done into them. From a more holistic approach, analysis was conducted on what the leaders of Ayahuasca retreats believed to be the benefits of Ayahuasca, particularly for treating disorders such as depression and eating disorders.

Some of the leaders believed that it was Ayahuasca “facilitates physical, spiritual, mental and emotional healing; enhances and reorganizes relationships with symptoms, self, community and creation”. A very interesting interpretation of the many benefits here.


A very obvious down-side of Ayahuasca is that it can often produces quite… unpleasant side effects when ingested. Many people after taking Ayahuasca will start vomiting and even sometimes be prone to diarrhea. This is likely due to the plants being used having a slightly toxic effect on the body. Some people have described these initial side effects as hell. Ayahuasca can also cause a significantly increased heart rate as well as feelings of dizziness.

Some also claim that there are problems with the way Ayahuasca retreats are run. People claim that they are not only forms of cultural appropriation, but also exploitative of Native peoples. Writer Kevin Tucker believes that Ayahuasca retreats are endemic of colonialism, in that we lack meaning in our world so will create a market of using another’s culture to find an artificial meaning. Damaging their culture in the process. This is a compelling argument and something I think each person considering an Ayahuasca retreat must consider first.

My Own Experiences 

I’ve never taken Ayahuasca, but a friend’s dad once recounted the experiences he had on his retreat in Brazil to myself and a group of uni friends. He described the entire experience as equal parts odd and magical. Meeting with a group of strangers, all there for an Ayahuasca experience and then carted onto a minibus out to the rainforest. When there, they sat in a make-shift marquee made from bamboo and leaves. Listening to the rain falling about them as a man in a shaman outfit poured them each a glass of Ayahuasca.

He said that he wasn’t sure if the man was a genuine Shaman, or someone being paid to play the part, either way he said it was convincing. Once the ceremony had been blessed they all drank their Ayahuasca. He said the trip was incredible and that the shaman was an incredible guide, making sure everyone was safe and ok. He said he felt totally connected with his past, accepting of all the events that had led up to where he was right now. He also said he was sick… A lot.   


Ayahuasca is a mysterious, powerful and spiritual drug with a long and ancient history. Ayahuasca retreats may have their issues, but it’s clear that the therapeutic and recreational benefits of this compound are many. It is a drug that I hope to one day try, in the correct and safe environment and with the right people. As always it is important to note that this is a very powerful hallucinogen and should be treated with respect. If you are considering taking it, make sure that you are in the correct headspace and have thought about this decision thoroughly. Where better to finish than with another quote from William S. Burroughs’ Ayahuasca experience: “You see everything from an hallucinated viewpoint.  Ayahuasca is not like anything else”

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Disclaimer: Hi, 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.

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National Group Submits Colorado Psychedelics Decriminalization Ballot Measures

A national advocacy group has submitted two separate proposals that would decriminalize psychedelics in Colorado in an effort to put the issue before voters in next year’s general election. New Approach PAC, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee, filed the decriminalization proposals with the office of the Colorado Secretary of State on December 3, according to media reports.

The first proposal would decriminalize the psychedelic drugs ibogaine, DMT, mescaline (excluding peyote), psilocybin and psilocin for adults 21 and older, with a cap of four grams of the psychoactive substances. Under the measure, the governor would be required to appoint a Natural Medicine Advisory Board, which would be tasked with implementing decriminalization. The state would also license healing centers to supply psychedelic drugs and assist clients using them.

The second measure is similar to the first, but would decriminalize only psilocybin and psilocin, the psychedelic compounds found in “magic mushrooms.” Under the proposal, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies would implement decriminalization in a fashion similar to the one outlined in the first initiative.

If one or both of the proposals is approved by the Secretary of State’s office, organizers would then need to collect the required signatures to qualify the measures for the ballot in 2022.

“Our goal is to make the healing benefits of these natural medicines available to people they can help, including veterans with PTSD, survivors of domestic or sexual abuse, people with treatment-resistant depression and others for whom our typical mental-health treatments just aren’t working,” Ben Unger, psychedelic program director for New Approach PAC, told Westword.

Psychedelics for Health and Wellness

Researchers continue to study the potential medicinal applications of psilocybin and other natural psychedelic drugs, which are often also referred to as entheogenic plants and fungi. A study published last year in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was a quick-acting and effective treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder. And separate research published in 2016 determined that psilocybin treatment produced substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.

Denver was the first major municipality to decriminalize psychedelics in 2019, and similar measures have been passed by Oakland, Washington, D.C., Detroit and Cambridge, Massachusetts since then. In October, city leaders passed a psychedelics decriminalization resolution in Seattle, the largest U.S. city to approve such legislation to date. And in November, voters in Oregon approved a ballot measure that decriminalized psilocybin and legalized the compound for therapeutic use.

Kevin Matthews, the leader of the group that campaigned for Denver’s psychedelics decriminalization measure, is now lobbying for the statewide effort advanced by national advocates.

“We’re glad to have New Approach as a partner who can help us bring this level of change to the entire state, because we’re going to create more opportunities for so many people to receive the help they need to deal with mental health conditions that are otherwise devastating,” Matthews said. “Creating new opportunities for people to heal is what drives us, and we look forward to engaging with Colorado residents on this issue.”

Activists Disagree on Best Path to Psychedelics Decriminalization

But not all psychedelics activists in Colorado agree with the New Approach proposals. Nicole Foerster, head of Decriminalize Nature Boulder County, said that she is concerned about some of the language in the potential ballot measures.

“They’re looking to create these top-down, restrictive policies in places where grassroots community has been the strongest and where policy has been passed by grassroots community,” Foerster said at a virtual meeting of the group held on December 16.

Foerster noted that local activists were not involved in drafting the proposals from New Approach, but said they are now trying to cooperate with the national group.

“We are trying to push and influence them to only include psilocybin and psilocin, because they said they’re unwilling to do anything that”s not going to set up a regulatory framework,” she added.

Unger said that the New Approach initiatives include a regulatory framework so that psychedelics can help as many people as possible safely.

“We believe more people will be served and treated by making psychedelics available in a safe, regulated and consistent way,” Unger said. “These natural medicines can be life-changing for so many, and we want people to be confident that the treatment they’re receiving is high-quality and held to clear standards of accountability.”

Some local activists at the Decriminalize Nature Boulder County virtual meeting expressed concerns that New Approach may be moving too quickly, but Matthews disagreed.

“We’ve been discussing the possibility of statewide reform since this spring, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far to ensure this initiative will be ready on the timeline necessary to set it up for success,” Matthews said. “We still have more outreach and collaboration to do in the coming weeks, and it’s been exciting working alongside so many of my colleagues and friends from our successful effort in Denver in 2019.”

The post National Group Submits Colorado Psychedelics Decriminalization Ballot Measures appeared first on High Times.

Everything You Need to Know About DMT

DMT…  few letters in the world of drugs have such an impressive following, reputations and devotion. Nicknamed the spirit substance due to its link to out of body experiences and incredibly strong trips, DMT is truly one of the most fascinating hallucinogens available, and one that deserves a thorough examination.

As part of our What Is (Drugs)  series, examining different compounds and presenting their histories, effects and legality around the world, we’ve looked at a plethora of substances that can truly alter one’s experience. We will now look at DMT, perhaps best known for providing most intense trip a person can experience, but also for being the only known psychedelic substance to be naturally produced within the brain. So strap in as things get intense and we dive into the wonderful world of DMT.

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What Is DMT? 

Brittanica defines DMT, an abbreviation of its longer, chemical name Dimethyltryptamine, as a ‘powerful, naturally occurring hallucinogenic compound structurally related to the Drug LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).’ It is the “naturally-occurring” part of this definition which is particularly interesting as DMT can be found in many plants and animals, including humans. DMT is a type of chemical called a tryptamine, a family of compounds that cause hallucinogenic experiences.

Another member of the Tryptamine family is Psilocin, found in magic mushrooms. Due to the fact that it can be produced by plants and is naturally occuring in the human body, DMT has a long historical connection with humans and has been used in Southern American countries for thousands of years in the plant based drink Ayahuasca, given at some shamanistic ceremonies. DMT can also be synthesised and produced artificially. In many European countries you are more likely to use synthetic DMT as fewer plants that produce it are grown there. DMT is known for giving users an intense and often spiritual trip that many have described as the most intense trip possible. 

What Does It Look Like?

DMT can be consumed in a number of ways, but it cannot really be taken orally unless consumed in a mixture as Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a plant based mixture of which DMT is the main active ingredient. Apparently it tastes like cigarette butts and stale beer, so enjoy.  Pure DMT is white and crystal like in its form but is often found as a yellowish powder or mixed with other substances. DMT can be smoked, snorted or injected. Regarding the smoking of DMT, it can either be vaporized as its pure substance, or smoked instead as a powder, often in its salt based form. 

The History of DMT

DMT has been present within some cultures for many years, due to it being the main active ingredient in Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca has a long history associated with many South American tribes, including the Aztecs and a pouch containing the substance was found on an Aztec archaeological site dating back to over 1000 years ago. It was likely used in shamanic practices, allowing chosen members of the tribe to experience otherworldly connections with gods and spirits (an experience even users today may have on the drug).

In terms of modern use, the drug was first synthesised by a Chemist called Richard Manske in 1931. The hallucinogenic properties of the chemical weren’t discovered until the 1950’s when another chemist called Stephen Szará injected himself with DMT and experienced the first artificially created DMT high. The drug very quickly became illegal in the US, being listed as a Schedule 1 in 1970. This didn’t stop further research into DMT though, people began to find DMT produced by plants and trees and eventually a scientist called Rick Strassman began to formulate ideas about human genesis of DMT in the brain after finding the presence of DMT in rat brains.

‘Strassman became obsessed with the chemical, even going as far as to explain near death experiences as a bi-product of DMT production in the brain, supposedly coming from the pineal gland. DMT’s fame has risen considerably over the past few years and the intensity and spirituality of the highs it produces has made it one of the bucket list drugs for many psychedelic fans. 

How Does It Feel?

There is no one way to describe a DMT trip, and indeed many users argue that words can;t do it justice. It is perhaps this complexity that makes the drug so compelling. Each person’s trip seems to be unique to them. The universal experiences seem to be a sense of euphoria, strong visual hallucinations, the feeling of floating and depersonalisation. The experience of a very strong DMT trip is described as ‘breaking through’ and is often accompanied with the feeling of moving through some kind of vortex, with fractal patterns and bright shapes.

Many people describe having intense encounters with ‘beings’ or ‘entities’ and having profound realisations and feelings of oneness. It all sounds quite incredible, but of course with all Psychedelics there is the risk of a bad trip. For some comprehensive accounts of DMT trips, good and bad, I highly recommend the youtube channel ‘Tales from the Trip’. 

DMT & the Brain

DMT, like many other hallucinogens, affects Serotonin receptors. DMT has a very similar structure to Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to mood control, hunger and inhibition. What this means is that DMT will bind to serotonin receptors. DMT also seems to alter the waves that our brains produce, moving people into a biological altered state. Some psychologists actually hypothesise that humans can naturally produce DMT within there own brains. This is where things get kind of crazy.

DMT has been found to be potentially present inside human brains, suggesting that it is indeed produced naturally. Researchers began investigating this phenomenon after DMT was found to be present in the brains of dead rats. Locating exactly the amounts of DMT and indeed where it comes from is very tricky and lots of the research is preliminary, but still the idea that we have a naturally occurring source of one of the most powerful Hallucinogens in our own brains is quite incredible.


DMT is often described as the most intense tripping experience one can have, and for some people that’s already enough for them to hunt down their nearest supplier. The intensity of the stories people tell after tripping on DMT shows that if you want a profound, potentially life altering experience, this may be the drug for you. Another benefit is the relatively short amount of time it takes to wear off.

The effects supposedly wear off after 30-45 minutes, with many people saying that they feel completely sober as soon as the trip finishes, potentially even more clear minded than before. There also seems to be potential evidence of DMT’s therapeutic benefits, with a small dose of the drug possibly producing antidepressant effects in a sample of rats. This evidence, combined with anecdotal reports of the anti-depressant effects of DMT in humans, suggest a future avenue for research (though it must be re-stated, this is very preliminary evidence).


Bad trips. Always the fear with any psychedelic, but particularly with one so powerful. A bad trip on DMT often includes: anxiety, feelings of paranoia and scary hallucinations that can feel as though they stay around for a while. Also, DMT can cause a very rapid increase in heart rate, which could be dangerous for someone with an already unstable heart-rate. Flashbacks as well can cause some users psychological stress, if they are reminded of a particularly bad situation. For all of these reasons above, it is essential that if you choose to use DMT you must do so in a safe, comfortable environment, surrounded by people you know and trust. With the right precautions, you can ensure a good DMT experience. 

My Own Experiences 

I personally haven’t ever tried DMT, but know of people who have and swear by it. It’s a drug that I am very keen to try one day, but know that I have to be in the right mindset and with the right people. Friends have told me stories of seeing great, god-like figures on their trips, which both fascinates and scares me. I am a skeptical man, but am always open to experiences that may change my attitude to life and perhaps DMT might be one of those experiences. 


DMT is clearly an incredibly powerful drug with a reputation for spiritual and intense trips. If taken correctly it seems that an unforgettable almost life altering experience can be had. Of course, you must be cautious and certain that you want this type of experience before taking the drug, because there is no going back. The research around the potential of DMT’s synthesis in the brain is tantalising and may mean that taking the drug is the closest to a near death experience we can safely have.

I think it’s fitting to close with a quote by Rick Strassman, author of ‘The Spirit Molecule’ and one of the pioneers into DMT’s spiritual effects in the brain: “I thought I had died, and that I might not ever come back. I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden, BAM!, there I was. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Hello readers! Thanks for joining us at, the #1 internet location for the most recent and interesting cannabis and psychedelics-related news from around the globe. Visit the site everyday to stay abreast of the quickly-moving landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletterto ensure you always know what’s going on.

Disclaimer: Hi, 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 Everything You Need to Know About DMT appeared first on CBD Testers.

Psychedelics in magic mushrooms and 6 hallucinogens beyond psilocybin

Psilocybe and inocybe mushrooms are a treasure cove of opportunity to clinicians, patients, and chemists. Psilocybin, the centrepiece of psychedelic mushroom literature, shares characteristics with a larger family of molecules. In fact, at least six other psychedelics in magic mushrooms form a matrix of hallucinogens beyond just psilocybin and its active metabolite.   Few research labs, […]

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Elon Musk Embraces Potential of Psychedelics at CodeCon

Enter a long, strange trip into the mind of a genius. Elon Musk—who on September 27 became the world’s richest person, surpassing Jeff Bezos—said people should be “open to psychedelics” at a CodeCon event on Tuesday.

Ronan Levy, executive chairman of Field Trip Health hosted conversation with Musk during an interview at CodeCon 21, a celebrated tech development event, confronting him about whether or not he supports psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.

“I think generally people should be open to psychedelics,” said Musk. The session continued. 

“You’ve spent a lot of time talking about outer space, and I want to ask you about inner space. What role do you think psychedelics may have in addressing some of the more destructive tendencies of humanity?” Levy asked Musk.

“A lot of people making laws are kind of from a different era,” Musk replied. “As the new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics.”

Field Trip Health provides psychedelic-assisted therapies. In an August 31 press release, Field Trip announced new programs, including one that gives eligible therapists the ability to provide ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) to their patients at Field Trip Health Centers. They will use Field Trip’s medical teams for screening, prescribing and administration of ketamine. 

Field Trip’s programs will also provide both didactic and experiential training to therapists and medical professionals on KAP. Therapists who complete Field Trip’s training programs will automatically become eligible to join the KAP Co-op program.

It’s not the first time that the SpaceX founder and multibillionaire has spoken in favor of psychedelics.

On November 14, 2020, Musk tweeted three statements: “You can’t win; You can’t break even; and You can’t stop playing,” then tweeting in the thread, “Unless you’re on DMT.” Twitter couldn’t handle the statement, and commenters guessed whether it was an admission that the billionaire had tried ayahuasca or DMT.

Why is this important? Because so much weight is often put on Musk’s opinions—given his stratospheric wealth and influence. Musk’s powers are evident in the way his comments significantly influenced and tipped the value of Dogecoin and Bitcoin.

Elon Musk on Cannabis

Cannabis—itself a mild psychedelic—is also a recurring theme in the billionaire’s life. In 2019, Musk smoked a blunt on The Joe Rogan Experience—and High Times’ asked if it was “the most expensive blunt of all time?”

Few people in the world are as scrutinized as deeply as Musk when it comes to personal habits like smoking pot. Smoking a blunt live set off a firestorm.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned Musk. There was an active petition to get Twitter to deplatform him—and pop stars even dragged him on Instagram. Even Musk’s SpaceX assets were not safe. NASA investigated Musk also, after his debacle on the podcast. According to three unnamed sources who spoke with the Washington Post, NASA launched a safety review of SpaceX shortly after his spot on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Given the level of investments that NASA pours into SpaceX, to them, smoking a blunt was a big deal. At the time, NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs did not comment on whether Musk smoking a blunt was what triggered the review. But he did mention the importance of SpaceX adhering the rules of a drug-free workplace.

On another episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Musk suggested that most CBD experiences are “fake” and mostly hype. Rogan immediately schooled him, scolding him for dismissing the compound as a benefit for people around the world.

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