Esketamine in the UK

The world of drugs is constantly shifting and changing. It seems like, finally, government’s are beginning to open their minds to the many magical benefits of drugs, and are no longer being blinded by the potential recreational uses. The truth is, almost all drugs that people may buy from street dealers or off the dark web – are also used daily in medical practices.

This is the case with heroin, NOS, cocaine, MDMA and ketamine. What some of these drugs offer are quick relief from mental and physical pains, which usually prescribed medicines do not have the capability for. This is the situation with esketamine. Since 2019, esketamine has been medically legal in the UK due to its proven benefits for treating depression. But how has it been going? How easily accessible is it? And, more importantly, what even is esketamine? The UK isn’t championed by the rest of the world for their open-drug policies, but perhaps this is a start. 

Ketamine and esketamine therapy are all the rage, but they’re still not as easily accessible as cannabis. Fortunately, there has been more focus on these compounds in recent years and the market is poised to explode in the very near future. Remember to subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one. And save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What is Esketamine?

Esketamine is an isomer of ketamine, which essentially means that it has a very similar chemical structure, despite a few certain atoms. For those of you who aren’t aware, ketamine is both a popular recreational and medical drug. Ketamine has been found to be an anesthetic and anti-depressant and was actually used to treat injured Vietnam soldiers. Not only that, but Ketamine is often referred to as a ‘horse tranquiliser’ as it’s often used in veterinary practices to anaesthetize bigger animals. Ketamine has also been found to have euphoric effects, which is why it’s often used as a party drug, and is also why it’s not being further considered as a potential antidepressant. This is why Esketamine has not been created. Esketamine is actually a more potent version of ketamine.

“…blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and interrupts the association pathways of the brain, resulting in dissociative anaesthesia and analgesia and in restoration of neural pathways regulating mood and emotional behaviour.”

Now, this might sound a little bit scientific, but actually esketamine works quite simply. The drug is believed to act on a brain chemical called glutamate, which is thought to restore connections between brain cells, which supposedly shrink during long periods of depression. This regrowth leads to the production of healthy serotonin, which affects the emotions of a person. 

How It’s Taken

Esketamine, unlike ketamine, is taken in the form of a nasal spray called Spavato. It’s taken alongside an oral anti-depressant. The patient will usually seek a prescription, and if they’re able to get one, they will embark on two key stages of treatment. 

Step 1

Step 1, also known as the induction phase, consists of the user taking two treatments per week, for a full month. The amount of sprays and dosage will be different depending on the patient. 

Step 2

Step 2, also known as the maintenance phase, will consist of the esketamine dosage being slowly reduced to once a week, or even perhaps once a fortnight. This is to see how bad the depression flares up with less of the medication. 

Esketamine & Depression

Depression is a mental health problem that can affect 1 in 5 adults in the UK. The symptoms of depression can include: feeling low, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, lack of appetite and a loss of hope. Most doctors prescribe anti-depressant drugs to deal with depression. These drugs are known as SSRIs and they help to keep more serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between nerve cells; it’s thought to have a positive influence on mood. SRRIs stop serotonin from being reabsorbed after it carries these signals, which keeps more serotonin in the body. However, esketamine does not work like this. The issue with SSRIs is that they can take quite a long time to take effect – perhaps a few months – and for some people they don’t work at all

“As many as two-thirds of people with depression do not respond to the first medication prescribed and are considered to have TRD. TRD is a term used to describe depression that has failed to respond to at least two different antidepressants.”

This is where esketamine comes in. TRD stands for treatment-resistant depression and essentially means that the usual SSRI treatment is obsolete for them. Esketamine works differently to mainstream antidepressants, it instead increases the levels of glutamate – which has the largest quantity of chemical transmitters in the body. The new drug is thought to be the future of antidepressants as it has robust effects within a few hours and the effects are long lasting. Eskatimine

“…Is one of the first “rapid acting” drugs for depression and the first drug in decades to target a new brain pathway. Unlike conventional antidepressants, which take weeks or months to take effect, ketamine has been shown in some patients to have enduring effects within hours.”

The benefits of Eskatimine is undoubtable, and this has caused many countries to turn their heads towards it as a potential, more mainstream treatment option. That is why the UK, among other countries, have begun this process. 

Is Esketamine Legal in the UK?

Yes. As previously mentioned, esketamine is a more potent, and slightly different version of ketamine. Ketamine is of course one of the most popular party drugs in the UK and in many countries. However, due to ketamine’s street-drug credit, many governments are fearful of using it as a viable antidepressant alternative. Nonetheless, in 2019, things changed. Spravato had been subject to many medical trials with those suffering from treatment-resistant depression and now...

“..It has been deemed a safe treatment and was licensed in the UK for use in late 2019, as well as approved in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in early 2019”

The companies that are the creators of the drug were Johnson & Johnson in the US, and Janssen-Cilag in the UK. Eskatmine in the form of a nasal spray is legal and available from specific psychiatric prescribers and pharmacists within the UK. However, like with all legalization, it’s never just as simple as ‘here you go, whoever needs it, come get it’. The truth is that, just like medical cannabis in the UK, esketamine is not an easy substance to get ahold of, and it’s not cheap either. So, let’s take a little look into how the UK is doing since legalizing this substance in 2019. 

How’s It Going Since 2019?

Legalizing esketamine for medical use was a big leap for the UK and highlights a potential but a slow shift in drug policy. Nonetheless, the sad truth is that – whilst the substance could be having huge medical benefits for those suffering with TRD – it’s currently very difficult to get a prescription. Almost all of the limited prescriptions of Spravato come from private institutions, and the prices are not cheap. Supposedly, the current price of a 1 x 28mg nasal spray bottle is £163. In addition, to access esketamine you need a written prescription from a private psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are a luxury and are not something that the majority of people are able to afford. 

The NHS is the UK’s free health care service, and it is perhaps the UK’s pride and joy. However, it’s constantly underfunded by the Conservative government. The NHS do not currently back esketamine in the UK, as they don’t see it as being  a cost effective option for them. Due to the price of it, it’s easier for them to continue prescribing other antidepressant medication than spravato. However, there is one specific case where the NHS has prescribed the drug. And that is in, of course, Scotland. Scotland is known to be the liberal side of the UK. 

“the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) accepted the use of esketamine (Spravato; Janssen) nasal spray for use within NHS Scotland for adults with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder on 8th September 2020.”

Whilst this isn’t massive, it’s still a step in the right direction. The hope is that, going forward, the government will help the NHS to back the spravato medication and finally allow people who need it to have access to it. However, it could still be a long road ahead.

Conclusion – Esketamine in the UK

Esketamine is an example of a drug that has forced itself to be noticed by medical professionals and government officials due to its undoubtable worth. Even the UK, who aren’t the leaders of drug acceptance, have decided to give it esketamine shot. Whilst it is not the cheapest and most accessible antidepressant medication, the hope is that now it’s been accepted for medical use, it’s only a matter of time before more people have access to it. The hope is there. Let’s wait and see.

Hello to all. Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most thought-provoking and current stories going on today. Give us a visit frequently to stay on top of the always-changing world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out  The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re never late on getting a news story.

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 advise, 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 Esketamine in the UK appeared first on CBD Testers.

Want Ketamine or Esketamine Therapy? Here’s What to Do…

Drug cousins ketamine and esketamine are being used more frequently as anti-depressants. But that doesn’t mean they can be found anywhere and be used by anyone. Here are some things to know about ketamine and esketamine therapy, and what to do if you want to try it for yourself.

Ketamine and esketamine therapy are all the rage, but they’re still not as easily accessible as cannabis. Fortunately, there has been more focus on these compounds in recent years and the market is poised to explode in the very near future. Remember to subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one. And save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What are ketamine and esketamine?

Esketamine is a close relative of the drug ketamine, which has been used as a club drug since the 80’s. Ketamine was discovered in 1962 at Parke-Davis, a pharmaceutical company, in an attempt to find a strong anesthetic. When it was discovered, it was described to be a compound with “cataleptic, analgesic and anesthetic action but without hypnotic properties.”

The term ‘dissociative anesthetic’ has since been used to describe it, as it has a tendency to disconnect the different parts of the brain. Ketamine’s chemical formula is C13H16ClNO, and it’s only cleared for use as an anesthetic for humans and animals, though it has been found useful for depression and pain issues as well, and is used off-label for these purposes.

Esketamine is much newer than ketamine, which shares its chemical formula. It first came out in 1997 in Germany as an anesthetic. While being used in this way, it was discovered that it can very quickly produce anti-depressant effects, and study into its use for this purpose began. The compound finished trials for treatment-resistant depression in 2017 in the US, and the first company to file its application for a new medication with the FDA, was Johnson & Johnson, which subsequently put the drug out as Spravato upon approval on March 5th, 2019.

ketamine and esketamine

The current approval stands as a compound to be used in conjunction with other standard monoamine antidepressants. The approval was updated in 2020 to include use for suicidal thoughts. This is a testament to how quickly and effectively it works, that it would be approved for something which requires the fastest of onsets. Ketamine and esketamine are provided through clinics, and administered either as a nasal spray, or IV.

How legal is this?

I want to take a second to clear something up. When talking about ‘esketamine therapy’, it refers to the only FDA-approved medication put out by Johnson & Johnson called Spravato, which is a nasal inhaler. When talking about the term ‘ketamine therapy’, it generally refers to ketamine IV treatments used for the management of pain and psychological issues like depression, and is administered as an off-label use.

While this doesn’t have to matter, it creates confusion when talking about what the drug can be used for, and how its prescribed. Ketamine is currently a Schedule III drug approved for anesthesia (its placement making it safer, according to the DEA, than cannabis). Ketamine will only be officially prescribed for anesthesia purposes for now, because that’s all its approved for. It has no official approval for psychological issues or pain. This, however, doesn’t mean that ketamine won’t be given for these things.

Off label use refers to “the use of pharmaceutical drugs for an unapproved indication or in an unapproved age group, dosage, or route of administration. Both prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs (OTCs) can be used in off-label ways, although most studies of off-label use focus on prescription drugs.”

If you’re wondering if this is legal, it actually is. According to the FDA, “once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.” In this way, though ketamine has not been approved for use with depression, it can still be administered for it, making ketamine infusion clinics legal, even if being used for something not authorized for the drug.

Since ketamine is still a controlled substance, its use – whether off-label or not, must follow federal and state laws for Schedule III drugs. However, the FDA has no regulation set up for ketamine infusion clinics, and neither do any of the US states. This means that options for treatment really can pop up anywhere, but it should be remembered when considering clinics, that there is no regulation for patient safety protocols.

ketamine clinic

How to get a prescription for ketamine or esketamine therapy

The first thing is to get your prescription. When it comes to esketamine, you’ll either go to your primary care physician who will give you a referral for a psychiatrist, or you’ll work with your already existing psychiatrist. From going through different sites, it becomes clear that like with any other psychological issue, the prescription of esketamine is very much done based on subjective opinions, meaning if your therapist doesn’t like the idea of it, or doesn’t believe in it, you might need to find a more accepting doctor.

Things to be assessed include current and past medications and how effective they were, family history, substance abuse issues, and a general look at overall medical history, including past experiences with anesthesia, likely as a way to assess how well a patient will respond to esketamine.

Funny enough, though psychedelics have repeatedly shown strength in dealing with psychiatric disorders, doctors are less likely to prescribe it if a patient has a disorder like schizophrenia. Other issues that will stand in the way include: pregnancy, seizure disorders, the use of aminophylline for COPD or asthma, and those with high blood pressure, cardiac disease, and pulmonary issues.

When it comes to ketamine, since its not approved for uses outside of anesthesia, its given as an off-label medication for depression and pain. Many patients go directly to a ketamine clinic, where they are evaluated by the therapists employed. Conversely, some family doctors will refer patients directly to these clinics for treatment. Though unregulated for this purpose, ketamine is still only administered medically, and interested patients will have to receive doctor approval before using ketamine or esketamine for treatment.

How to find a clinic for ketamine or esketamine therapy

This is where it gets a bit dice, since you can’t just walk into a pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Each patient has to find a clinic close to them for their therapy, and this can be difficult depending on location. Interested patients can use the following sites to find a relevant clinic.

Johnson & Jonhnson’s Spravato is the most used version of esketamine, and clinics that administer it can be found here. Users can input their locations to find clinics in their area that administer the treatment. Depending on where a person is, there can be various options, or essentially none at all, meaning if you live in a place where there isn’t a provider nearby, you might be out of luck.

psychedelic therapy

If looking for a ketamine infusion, the Ketamine Clinics Directory has listed locations across the US for treatments. This directory shows updated clinic locations in the US, and makes clear that many areas of the country are very much underserved at the moment, leaving people in those locations at a loss for using this treatment. In this way, ketamine and esketamine aren’t the most easily available options.

The cost of ketamine therapy

Apart from simply finding a location to get it, ketamine and esketamine therapy come with another big issue, the cost. Whereas every standard antidepressant is covered by insurance, this is not always the case for esketamine. Some insurance companies will cover all or part of the cost, depending on the exact type of therapy. For example, those using FDA approved Spravato nasal spray, have a better chance of being covered.

If there is no coverage – which will always be the case with ketamine, the unfortunate reality is that most people really won’t have access. According to TMS & Brain Health, standard pricing for treatment runs about $400-800 per session, making it an expensive treatment. The same site claimed most clinics will create their own treatment schedule per individual, with standard schedules offering the treatment twice a week for a month, and then once a week for following months, for however long its designated necessary. This schedule is almost always followed when dealing with Spravato nasal inhalers.

Another clinic called Revitilist Clinic which works with both ketamine and esketamine, put the cost at $474 for each Mood Protocol Infusion (for depression, suicidal ideations, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD), $600 per each two-hour Pain Protocol infusion, and $800 per four-hour esketamine infusion. Once again, these are not low prices, and this will make getting such treatments very difficult for those who cannot pay these sums out of pocket. For this reason, while I almost never promote a large pharma brand, it might be beneficial for interested users to seek out a Spravato prescription, in order to get at least some costs covered.

Conclusion

When it comes to medications, accessibility is extremely important. As of right now, ketamine and esketamine therapy aren’t exactly widely accessible, leaving many people, in many locations, without any access. Hopefully in the future this will change, especially with impending legalizations for fellow psychedelics MDMA and psilocybin.

Hello to all. Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most thought-provoking and current stories going on today. Give us a visit frequently to stay on top of the always-changing world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, so you’re never late on getting a news story.

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 advise, 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 Want Ketamine or Esketamine Therapy? Here’s What to Do… appeared first on CBD Testers.

Robo-Tripping – The Cough Syrup Psychedelic Answer to Getting High

With all the talk about upcoming psychedelic legalizations, and the beginnings of the medical psychedelics market, it’s easy to forget that some psychedelics are already legal. For years now, people have been robo-tripping off cough syrup, (or at least taking the medication), making it the most commonly used psychedelic in America, and an OTC one at that!

Robo-tripping and cough syrup might represent legal psychedelic use in the US, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some prefer a good old standby like cannabis, and all the recreational and medicinal compounds within. Not only can you now get hemp-derived delta-9 THC, but compounds like delta-8 THC, THCV, and THCA are all available as well, and come with their own specific benefits. We’ve got great deals for delta-8 THC and more, so check out our stock, and figure out which compounds work best for you. Check out our selection of products in The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter. And save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!

What is robo-tripping?

You might be familiar with this term, or you might not be. The word ‘robo-tripping’ is based on the name Robitussin, a brand name cold and flu cough syrup, which contains a special ingredient. This ingredient can also be found in Nyquil, and is associated strongly with both of these brand names, among others.

The drug in question is DXM, or dextromethorphan. DXM has been legal in the US since 1958, so while the government was running smear campaigns about LSD and magic mushrooms, it was simultaneously pushing the use of DXM in over-the-counter (OTC) medications, without using the term ‘psychedelic’. Though there may be some confusion over where exactly DXM fits in, most consider it under the general umbrella of psychedelics.

DXM is, in fact, a member of the morphinan class of drugs, which also comprises drugs like codeine and morphine. Morphinans are generally naturally occurring (like the two just mentioned), but as exemplified by DXM, can be synthetic as well. DXM does not have the same effect on receptors as other morphinans, and is not related to pain relief in the same way. In high does, DXM acts as a dissociative hallucinogen. At lower doses, it has sedative, dissociative, and stimulant properties, while also bringing on feelings of euphoria and general well-being. I know this from my own experience.

DXM

What does DXM from cough syrup feel like?

As stated, at regular doses, DXM has sedative, dissociative, and stimulant properties. It makes a person feel high and good, even at standard doses, and can go on to cause more extreme dissociation, and hallucinations in higher does. On the other hand, in testing, DXM and psilocybin (of magic mushrooms) were found to produce similar effects, with the biggest difference being that psilocybin causes more extreme hallucinations and mystical experiences.

In my personal experience, I found cough syrup to be the best part of being sick. I mean, no one wants to be sick, but whenever I was, I knew I could jump on the Nyquil train (my preferred brand name DXM remedy). These days I don’t take pharmaceuticals except if necessary, so I stay off the Nyquil train for the most part, but still hop back on at times when I need a sick-time pick-me-up.

It always made me feel great. I never took it above recommended doses, and if I did, it wasn’t by much. I did go as far as buying just the cough syrup to avoid unnecessary acetaminophen (Tylenol) use. If I take it today, it’s strictly without the acetaminophen. DXM has always been a sick-time oasis for me. That one thing that can be taken at a miserable time, to make a badly feeling body, feel a little better. And all the while reaping the benefits of a cough suppressant.

I expect at higher doses I would’ve been more out-of-it, but even with the standard dose, I always felt euphoric, but in a kind of not-totally-there way. I don’t remember experiencing any negative side effects over years of intermittent sick-time use. It should be remembered though, that when a person is ‘robo-tripping’ on cough syrup, they often consume an entire bottle, or more. I’ve never done this.

Where did DXM come from?

Since it’s synthetic, we know it wasn’t found out in the wild, or as part of an existing plant. Which means we know that at some point, someone created DXM in a lab. The parent compound was first described in a patent application by Hoffmann-La Roche in 1946. The patent was granted in 1950. The parent compound underwent testing and was mentioned in published literature in 1952, DXM was first tested in 1954.

Who did this testing? None other than the US Navy and CIA, on research into non-addictive options instead of codeine. It gained approval from the US’s FDA in 1958 as an antitussive – or cough suppressant. While opioids like codeine are generally associated with pain management, such compounds can also serve as cough suppressants. In the 1960’s and 70’s, DXM really took off in the States with the brand Romilar selling it for this purpose. The brand was discontinued in 1973 because of misuse of the medication.

cough medicine

A few years after this (showing the government was actually totally cool with it), new brands emerged like Robitussin and Vicks-44. When the internet emerged in the 1990’s, it allowed for the quick spreading of information, which led to discussions about use and how to get it. By the mid-90’s, wholesale DXM powder could be ordered online, thereby bypassing the need to take a product with other ingredients.

In September of 2010, the FDA shot down an initiative to make DXM prescription, once again showing that the government was cool with people using, and abusing, this psychedelic. Though DXM is federally legal as an OTC medication, some states like California and Oregon have instituted regulation to bar sales to minors.

How does DXM work?

DXM has several mechanisms of action including being a nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and a sigma-1 receptor agonist. In terms of its function as a cough suppressant, DXM works differently than opioids. Whereas opioids produce an antitussive effect by way of opioid receptors (though how and why is not necessarily understood), DXM actually tricks your brain into not feeling the need to cough. This is because the airways and lungs have tons of nerves attached, and these nerves can detect fluid in the lungs, other irritants, respiratory constriction, and mucous build-up.

DXM works by being a communication disruptor between the brain and the nerves which are responsible for the coughing reflex. It creates a temporary block of this information, so that the brain never receives the signal from the body that it should cough. When enough receptors are blocked, a person no longer feels the need to cough, even if they technically should. For this reason, DXM (much like opioids) is not advised for anything other than a dry cough, as it can stop a person from coughing up fluid from their lungs, which can cause other issues.

Though DXM was supposedly meant to keep prospective chronic coughers from getting addicted to opiates, it ended up being used recreationally, much like opiates. In fact, the term robo-tripping was coined in reference to the high that legal cough syrup can provide users, whether in the correct dosages, or by taking more than the recommended amount.

Psychedelic legality in the US

DXM is strange because it gets treated fundamentally differently than every other psychedelic out there. While everything from LSD to MDMA to psilocybin is a Schedule I Controlled Substance, DXM just slid right through, not just to legality, but to OTC legality. The only other pharmaceuticals that have any legalization status, are ketamine and esketamine.

ketamine

While ketamine has been cleared for use as an anesthetic, it can’t be used or prescribed for anything else. So while it’s not Schedule I, it’s also not accessible legally for anything but anesthesia. Ketamine remains big as an illicit party drug. It’s close cousin esketamine was cleared for medical use with treatment-resistant depression, for which it received authorization by the FDA in 2019. This authorization was updated in 2020 to cover suicidal thoughts as well. This requires a doctor’s prescription, however, making it significantly less accessible than DXM to the average person.

Esketamine does show a new trend arising. The treatment of psychological issues by way of psychedelics over monoamine antidepressants, and this trend looks to be picking up and continuing. 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.

Conclusion

Robo-tripping from cough syrup is the most common way to experience psychedelics legally in the US. That is, unless you live in a place like Oregon, which has decriminalized their recreational use, and legalized medical use for some compounds like psilocybin.

The idea of DXM certainly stands out as inconsistent when it comes to regulation for psychedelics. Though its nice to know that not everything is banned, there’s a certain strange aspect to the idea that DXM is so openly sold, while comparable compounds are kept off limits. I guess no one says much about it because DXM isn’t advertised as a psychedelic, and the connection is not made by the masses. It truly is astonishing how brilliant well-orchestrated marketing campaigns can be.

Hello and welcome! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, your premiere cannabis and psychedelics news publication online. Check us out everyday to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and make sure to sign up for The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, so you’re never behind on 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 advise, 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 Robo-Tripping – The Cough Syrup Psychedelic Answer to Getting High appeared first on CBD Testers.

KETAMINE: What Is It?

The world of new drugs and drug fads move quicker than anyone can keep up with. In fact, if you even tried to understand what ‘the kids’ are taking these days, you’d probably end up both confused and intoxicated quite quickly.

There used to be a time where cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy was all anyone spoke about. However, nowadays, the world of drugs has opened up excessively. The likes of GHB, M-CAT, ketamine, mushrooms, acid, crystal meth and unlimited others are all being taken around the world. Each drug has its own story and its own positives and negatives. So what about Ket, K, or Ketamine? The horse tranquillizer that many people have decided to take, despite not being horses. What is it and what does it do? Let’s delve into the world of ket. 

Ketamine is a drug with a very interesting history and reputation, but, like many other mind-altering compounds, it does have a place in both the worlds of the therapeutics and recreation. To learn more about cannabis and psychedelics, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one, as well as exclusive deals Delta 8Delta 10 THCTHCVTHC-OTHCPHHC and even on legal Delta-9 THC!


What is Ketamine?

Ketamine, like most drugs, has many different names: ket, wonk, donkey dust, K, Klein and many others. There are unlimited names for most drugs as often all it takes is for someone to invent a new one whilst they’re high, and usually it will stick. Ketamine, or often shortened to just ‘ket’, is an anesthetic that is used by both doctors and veterinarians. The reason why most people refer to ket as ‘horse tranquillizer’ is because it technically is. However, ketamine is also used as anesthetic for most animals. The reason why it is especially popular with horses is because doctors find ketamine to be a helpful way to deal with larger animals. 

Most people would say that all drugs have to sit in one of two categories: uppers and downers. Whilst ecstasy would be described as a stimulant or upper, alcohol would be considered a depressant or downer. Ketamine is part of the latter category: the downers. That is because it is literally anaesthetizing the user. Whilst there are also feelings of euphoria, the overarching feeling is weighty and thus it is a depressant, not a stimulant. But what does this drug look like? 

What Does It Look Like?

Although Ketamine can be used as a clear fluid by those in the medic world, on the streets – Ketamine is most commonly found as a white powder. It looks very similar to cocaine, but don’t be fooled, they are very different drugs. They are also very different in their potencies. In fact, if you were to take a line of ketamine with a cocaine amount, you’d most definitely be surprised by the strength. It wouldn’t be a good idea, that’s for sure. Ketamine is most commonly sniffed either through a note, or by using a key. Due to its strength, it is often ‘keyed’ because the amount you can place on a key and sniff is usually enough. 

Although Ketamine can resemble cocaine, it’s important to remember that they both smell and taste different. For those who are well versed in the worlds of drugs, the differences are pretty obvious. Plus, cocaine can sometimes be sold in rocks, which means you have to crush it first. Ketamine will never be sold in rocks, always in fine powder. However, the similarity between the two substances is definitely something to keep an eye on. Getting the two mixed up will most likely lead to something not very nice. In fact, it could lead to the infamous ‘K-Hole’. Don’t worry… we’ll get on to that later. 

The History of Ketamine

The history of Ketamine is a surprisingly interesting one. In 1956, a drug called Phencyclidine was found to be a very good anesthetic for monkeys. It was so useful that doctors then began using it on humans. However, there was a problem. The problem was that those using this drug were beginning to experience side effects. With an ideal anesthetic, the patient will wake up and feel normal after. However, with Phencyclidine, patients were waking up with loss of sensations in their limbs and other senses. This was of course an issue. In conclusion, Phencyclidine was considered to be a bad anesthetic, despite the initial successes. It was then that Dr. Calvin Lee Stevens decided to mess about with the substance, with the aim of synthesizing a better alternative. One without the bugs, but with the positives. Reset Ketamine speaks about what happened next: 

“The compounds he synthesized were sent to pharmacological testing in animals, and one compound in particular was found to be a successful, short-acting anesthetic. Selected for human testing, it was titled CI-581 and is what we now call ketamine. Ketamine was named because of the ketone and the amine group in its chemical structure”

After the creation of this new substance, Ketamine took off and was used for a variety of different things. Obviously it was used as an anesthetic on all types of animals and humans. But not only this, Ketamine was found to have euphoric and antidepressant qualities. In fact, Ketamine was used on injured soldiers during the Vietnam War. This is because it was known to help with short-term pain. In addition, Ketamine was being used in small doses to deal with mental health issues like schizophrenia and depression. The use of this drug in dealing with mental issues was seen was a huge breakthrough. However, like all substances, there was of course the recreational side. People were finding ways of making Ketamine and selling it on the black market. This is perhaps where Ketamine gets a negative reputation from. 

Ket: How Does It Make You Feel?

Now you understand the history of Ketamine, what it is, and what it might be used for, the question still remains: what does it feel like? Ketamine is a hugely popular drug both in the medic world and recreationally. When used recreationally, ketamine lasts around 30-60 minutes, and takes about 10 minutes to kick in. 

Positive Effects

  • The feeling of euphoria
  • Positive dissociation
  • Slows down time 
  • Allows you to concentrate
  • Physical pains subside 
  • Mental pains subside 
  • Funny and elaborate thoughts 

Negative Effects

  • Agitation 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Short-term or long-term memory loss 
  • Negative dissociation 
  • Can become addictive 
  • Can feel depressed without it 
  • You can feel invincible, which could lead to harming yourself
  • K-holing 

The K-Hole 

Anyone who knows about ketamine will have heard of the infamous ‘k-hole’. Now some people enjoy the k-hole, whilst others fear it. It’s sort of like the ‘whitey’ in the world of cannabis. A k-hole occurs when someone takes too much Ketamine. Due to the strength of Ketamine powder, it’s very easy to take too much or become unaware of how much you’ve taken due to anesthetic feeling of the drug. Therefore, k-holes are actually a lot more common than you’d think. The feeling of a k-hole is peculiar. All of those feelings of being outside your body, unable to move freely, and feeling slow, all become extremely strong and sort of paralyze you. It usually feels like it’s lasting hours, when actually it only lasts 30 or so minutes. Ultimately, It isn’t a very pleasant feeling. However, if you’ve got someone around you that you can trust then you should be fine. 

Is Ketamine Legal?

Ketamine, much like the majority of drugs, is used in medicines and in doctor’s practices but is illegal to use recreationally. In the UK, it is a Class B drug, which is the same as cannabis. In the US, ketamine is also illegal and is a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act. 

According to the DEA, Ketamine is illegal because it has the potential for abuse. But, on the positive side, in 2019 the…

“FDA approved…Ketamine nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression”

This is a potential positive. Whilst Ketamine is illegal in most major countries, research is definitely being done into how it can be used to help people with mental conditions. 

Ket: My Own Experiences

I always like to include my own experiences of the drugs I write about in this series, just so it doesn’t sound like someone who hasn’t himself had his own dealings with Ketamine. I always hate reading about drugs on websites where I know, quite clearly, that that person has never touched a drop in their life. So what do I think about Ketamine? 

Well, university was when I had my first dealings with Ketamine; or ‘Ket’ as everyone called it. I was drunk at a very un-cool club night and someone gave me a bag full of white powder and told me to go take a ‘key’ of it. At the time, I didn’t actually know what a ‘key’ was. I imagined you just placed as much powder on a key as you could. I also didn’t want to risk asking and seeming inexperienced. Oh the wonders of peer pressure! So I snuck into the bathroom, got out the baggy, got out my key, and put the key inside. I placed, what I thought, was the right amount of Ket onto the key (which ended up being far far too much) and tried my best to snort it up my nose. I then went back on the dance floor, unaware that my nose now had a huge amount of white powder quite blatantly stuck to it. 

For about 30 minutes I felt nothing, and continued to drink and dance with my friends. However, as the minutes went past, I began to feel heavier. I felt amazing. The music slowed down, I slowed down, everyone slowed down. My limbs began to feel like warm pillows and all the negative thoughts in my head left me. It wasn’t the same euphoric feeling of ecstasy, but I still felt good.

However, after a while I realized I’d obviously taken too much. Time didn’t just go slow, it basically stopped. That’s when I remember thinking ‘I’m gonna die’. Which, to be fair, was a classic thought I had when I took most drugs at that age. I then don’t really remember much. It felt like I was stuck in time for hours, but it later turned out to only be about 20 minutes. I just remember sort of regaining consciousness outside in the smoking area, with my friend chatting to me about the price of plastic bags. A very odd experience. I then continued my night and just had very elaborate, comical thoughts. It was definitely a mixed first experience. Although I will add, that now I know how much Ketamine to have, I do find it a very amusing drug; and one with the least negative sides. 

What’s Your Opinion?

So, what do you think? Do you think Ketamine is a drug that deserves more research and consideration? Or is its recreational abuse proof that it should be regulated forever? As always, we want to know what you think, drop us a line in the comment section below. Make sure to keep up to date with the rest of the articles in this series as we go through all of the most popular street drugs. Until next time.

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Magic Mushrooms Levitee Labs Entered Canadian Securities Exchange

If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, medical psychedelics are the next big thing, and there are great reasons why, that mare made clear through medical testing every day. To give an idea of just how quickly this is now happening, the magic mushrooms company Levitee Labs has just entered the Canadian Securities Exchange. What does this mean?

It’s not hard to tell medical psychedelics are on their way, with the inclusion of a magic mushrooms company in the Canadian Securities Exchange. It’s a story we know well from the current situation of fighting for legalization of cannabis, and all included products like delta-8 THC, THCV, and THCA. More legalizations means more products, and this is great for you. We can’t wait until we can offer you psychedelics, but for now, take a look at our delta 10, THC-O, THCV & delta-8 THC deals, and the rest of the compounds we have on offer, to find something that works well for you.

Medical psychedelics have been on the rise for several years, with esketamine legalized in 2019 in the US for use with treatment resistant depression and suicidal thoughts (updated 2020), and research on the way to legalize MDMA and psilocybin from magic mushrooms, complete with ‘breakthrough therapy’ status from the US’s FDA. This makes it not that shocking that a country that already legalized recreational cannabis, would be one of the first to allow a psychedelics company into a securities exchange, and that’s exactly what happened.

What magic mushrooms company just entered the Canadian Securities Exchange?

On July 19th, 2021, it was announced that integrative medicine company Levitee Labs, Inc., a producer of magic mushrooms and associated products, would enter the Canadian Securities Exchange on July 21st 2021, which it did, with a starting share price of $.50. This makes it the very first company geared toward the growth and sale of magic mushrooms to enter any global exchange. Which is obviously big news if you follow the expanding world of medical psychedelics, as this now makes it an acceptable route.

Levitee is now traded under ‘LVT’, after it announced that it received final approval from the CSE (Canadian Securities Exchange). Levitee operates under two names: Sporeo Supply, which offers premium cultivation feedstock for mushrooms, based out of a facility in British Columbia, and Monk-E Nutraceuticals, which focuses on a line of nutraceutical supplements based on mushrooms, as well as supplies for cultivating mushrooms. It currently works with non-psychedelic mushrooms, but is looking to include the psychedelic counterpart. The company has a main focus on mushroom extracts, and has already raised over $12 million CAD through private offerings.

mushrooms Canadian Securities Exchange

In order to get this clearance, Levitee needed to accomplish a few things, which were all done. First, it agreed on the acquisition of all of the operational assets of ACT Medical Centres, Inc. This is made up of five clinics for addiction and pain management across the state of Alberta – which came to a total of $350,000, all paid. These clinics have serviced over 35,000 patients in the last year.

Second, it also made a share purchase agreement (when a seller agrees with a buyer for a specific amount of shares at a specific price) to acquire three pharmacies in Alberta by taking over issued and outstanding shares. These pharmacies focus on medications for substance abuse, mental health issues, and chronic pain. The cost of acquisition was $3,685,262.

Lastly, the company made a share purchase agreement for BlockMD LTD, a telemedicine platform geared toward patients with addiction issues who are seeking to get prescriptions and find doctors in Alberta, Canada. This cost Levitee $1,475,000. This was paid with Levitee’s common shares upon closing. In the last year, this platform has hosted over 20,000 doctor visits remotely.

When Levitee completed these steps, it fulfilled the transaction, which made the previous owner, Alex Wylie the principal business operator and a consultant, and Carrie Wylie the General Manager of operations in Alberta. Company CEO, Pouya Farmand, made this statement about the agreement:

“The Agreements we have entered today are integral to our growth strategy and goal of building a platform that will set a new standard for substance abuse and mental health treatment in Canada. Through these acquisitions, we expect Levitee will become the largest non-government provider of addiction treatment services in Alberta.”

What is Levitee Labs?

‘Integrative medicine’ has become a popular term of late, which is almost funny, in that its essentially the same as ‘holistic medicine’ which was badly demonized by pharmaceutical companies not looking to have patients focus on their entire selves when establishing and treating problems. Both holistic and integrative medicine use alternate approaches, or combined approaches, that take into account the full spectrum of a patient, including other health issues, lifestyle, diet, and habits.

integrative medicine

Levitee Labs operates in this space as an integrative wellness company that specializes in providing a central point to complementary wellness services for patients. The company provides products for addiction, pain, and mental health treatments using psychedelic medicine and associated therapies. This includes alternative medicines through evidence-based research, and newly emerging psychedelic therapies like esketamine.

Levitee’s recent acquisition agreement, which allowed it’s shares to become publicly traded assets, is basically a starting platform from which the company intends to administer esketamine therapy, along with other psychedelic treatments, for mental health-related issues, pain issues, and addiction problems. The company is pushing to implement treatments using both psilocybin and ibogaine, once these treatments become legal, or exemptions are made. As the company is based around mushroom treatments, this is one of the major avenues it intends to go down.

How did Levitee make it happen?

The company is using 2021 to increase revenue and grow further, starting with its acquisitions as a base to do so. It plans to continue strategic acquisitions to further integrate into the Canadian market, and further develop itself and its platforms and brands. The company was able to make the moves it made thus far, partially based off of a non-brokered private deal which grossed the company $10,570,000 CAD, the majority of the $12+ million raised privately so far.

Levitee was able to bring in this money because of incredible interest in the company and its efforts, so incredible that the demand exceeded the company’s initial offering by 3.5X. The initial offering was $8 million CAD, with the increase made by issuing 21,140,000 subscription receipts at $.50 CAD/receipt, which came to $10,570,000 CAD. A subscription receipt is a receipt issued by a company before an offering, which is worth one common share of the company to whomever holds it.

This massive interest led Levitee to hire investors to finance special warrants (dividends where the holder has the ability to sell or buy a security before it expires, at a specific price), with each special warrant going for $.50 CAD. This brought in an additional working capital of $1,230,000. All of this, and being the first psychedelics company to enter an exchange, makes Levitee one of the premiere companies in the psychedelics space. In April, the company stated that it expected its 2021 revenue to top $26 million CAD.

Legalization issues and looking ahead

It’s a pretty big deal that a company in the psychedelics space, and which specifically pushes magic mushrooms and associated products, was just added to the Canadian Securities Exchange. In order to do it, Levitee has leveraged some pretty good deals for itself by acquiring already existent companies that have lines into different sectors, like BlockMD LTD which gives a base for a telemedicine network. Levitee has some interesting possible future moves up its sleeve already.

magic mushrooms

The company is also eying direct-to-consumer online supplements and health food wholesale company Earth Circle Organics Inc, which operates mainly in the US. This could help it expand into the US market. It’s also looking at a mushroom based tea company, called BODIE Phytoceuticals Ltd. Lastly, the company is looking toward receiving a license from Health Canada to be a Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer. It was a late-stage applicant for this license, which is necessary for suppliers of controlled substance treatments in accordance with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

As far as magic mushrooms in Canada, though the mushrooms themselves are still illegal, spores, grow kits, and mycelium are all legal, and sold outright. Psilocybin and psilocin, the two main active psychedelic components in mushrooms, are Schedule III under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Possession, sale, and transport of these substances is therefore illegal, as well as obtaining and producing them without licensing, or a specific exemption for them.

This does not stop online retailers from already selling psilocybin in micro doses, which could be a reason the country began to allow medical use for end-of-life patients in 2020. That same year, 19 health officials obtained the right to administer psilocybin to themselves in order to help in the creation of medicine in the future. Last month, legal actions were threatened by advocates because Health Canada stymied its approvals for psilocybin therapy, with a growing resistance and disapproval to such lagging behavior. Exemptions to use psilocybin therapy are obtained through section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This legal article better defines the current status of mushrooms, how an industry is likely to get started in the same way as cannabis, and what can be realistically expected in the near future.

Conclusion

In the same way that it becomes clear through the FDA’s designation of a ‘breakthrough therapy’, that MDMA and psilocybin are on their way toward legalization in the States, it says the same thing that Health Canada is already making allowances for psilocybin therapy in Canada. Added to this that Levitee, a company in the magic mushrooms space, was just added to the Canadian Securities Exchange, and the idea that magic mushrooms will be illegal forever goes out the window.

The question with Canada, much like the US, is not ‘will magic mushrooms be legalized for medical use’, but ‘when will magic mushrooms be legalized for medical use.’

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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 advise, 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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