Study Analyzes Evidence of Benefits from Using MDMA with Psilocybin, LSD

A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports found evidence that MDMA can be a beneficial treatment for specific mental health-related conditions.

The study consisted of eight researchers from the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine in New York, as well as the Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research, and its aptly titled “Co-use of MDMA with psilocybin/LSD may buffer against challenging experiences and enhance positive experiences.”

On social media, the Centre for Psychedelic Research announced the publication of the study with a brief summary. “What happens when you combine MDMA with LSD/psilocybin? Our new work with @RickZeifman @RCarhartHarris @KettnerHannes etc is out! ,” the social media account wrote. “The combination reduces negative experiences (such as fear) whilst increasing positive ones (such as gratitude & love)!”

Researchers used a sample pool of 698 individuals, where 342 of which received LSD, 356 received psilocybin, and only 27 co-used psilocybin/LSD and MDMA. They measured participants’ “challenging experiences” through a Challenging Experiences Questionnaire, while positive experiences were recorded through a Mystical Experience Questionnaire, as well as “single-item measures of self-compassion, compassion, love, and gratitude.”

In the study abstract, researchers explained more about the effects that co-using both substances had on participants. “Relative to psilocybin/LSD alone, co-use of psilocybin/LSD with a self-reported low (but not medium–high) dose of MDMA was associated with significantly less intense total challenging experiences, grief, and fear, as well as increased self-compassion, love, and gratitude,” researchers wrote.

Participants who co-used substances significantly associated MDMA with feelings of conscientiousness and openness. “Co-use of 3,4-Methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA) with psilocybin/LSD anecdotally reduces challenging experiences and enhances positive experiences associated with psilocybin/LSD,” researchers explained.

The various dosage that participants received appeared to yield different results. Participants who received low doses of MDMA used with psilocybin/LSD experienced “significantly lower levels of grief and fear.” However, levels of grief and fear increased with medium and higher doses of MDMA.

Also, those who co-used MDMA with psilocybin/LSD did not experience a significant difference between feelings of compassion or “mystical-type experiences,” but researchers did observe an interesting effect experienced by low-dose MDMA participants. “However, it is noteworthy that (compared with LSD/psilocybin alone) co-use of low dose MDMA was associated with relatively higher mean scores for compassion and relatively lower mean scores for total mystical-type experience,” they continued.

The study identified the therapeutic potential of treating “psychiatric disorders and mental health concerns” with these substances but explained that it’s difficult to properly study the various effects a substance can have on a single individual. “A primary concern associated with classic psychedelics relates to their alteration of consciousness, which can range from highly positive ‘peak’ experiences to psychologically challenging experiences (often referred to as “bad trips”), such as grief, paranoia, and fear,” the study stated.

Previous studies, both those in controlled and uncontrolled environments, have encountered numerous challenges. A 2021 study entitled “Effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy on major depressive disorder: A randomized clinical trial” provided participants with major depressive disorder two doses of psilocybin alongside psychotherapy, 65% said the psychedelic experience was “one of the five most challenging experiences in their life,” and 92% said they felt like crying. Additionally, 79% said they felt sadness, 56% said they felt anxiousness, 77% experienced emotional or physical suffering, 31% felt strong or extreme fear, and 22% said the entire experience “was characterized by anxiety or unpleasant psychological struggle.”

Researchers also pointed out that while some “challenging experiences” lead to beneficial or therapeutic experiences, using these substances can also potentially yield more distressing experiences that could require medical attention. “For instance, among individuals with lifetime use of a classic psychedelic, 8.9% of individuals reported experiencing functional impairment for longer than one day, and 2.6% of individuals reported seeking medical or psychological assistance, following a challenging psychedelic experience,” researchers explained. “There are also reports of the emergence of psychiatric diagnoses, suicidality, and harm to self and others during and after challenging psychedelic experiences.”

As a result, the possibility of these more challenging experiences are the source of reluctance from both health care providers and curious consumers.

These facts only continue to bolster the argument that more research is necessary, with other studies having found evidence that also show benefits of co-using substances. “Co-use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) with psilocybin (referred to as ‘hippy flipping’) and LSD (referred to as ‘candy flipping’) is one method that is reportedly used to reduce challenging experiences and enhance positive experiences,” researchers pointed out in reference to two different studies in 2001 and 2012. 

Additionally, other studies conducted over the past 10-20 years have also found similar benefits. “MDMA, a potent serotonergic entactogen/empathogen, induces the release of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, vasopressin, and oxytocin; dampens amygdala blood flow [2015]; decreases feelings of fear and sadness [2018, 2006]; and may increase positive feelings [2015], including love [2010], compassion [2018], and self-compassion [2015, 2018],” researchers wrote.

This most recent analysis of co-using MDMA included work from numerous researchers, including Professor Robin Carhart-Harris, who recently also worked on a different study (one that has not yet been peer reviewed) that illuminated the antidepressant effects of psilocybin.

The post Study Analyzes Evidence of Benefits from Using MDMA with Psilocybin, LSD appeared first on High Times.

Don’t Look in the Mirror – the Truth about Psychedelics and Reflections  

Have you guys ever seen the film Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics on Netflix? Although it came out in 2020, it somehow managed to slip under my radar. It’s a somewhat dramatized documentary with a handful of celebrities describing their experiences with psychedelics using story-telling, reenacting, and animations to bring life to their accounts. While I enjoyed the light-hearted nature of the movie, overall, the celebrities’ stories were shallow and cliched, reading like something out of a Hunter S. Thompson Novel.

One thing all the celebrities emphasized, was “don’t look in the mirror”, while on psychedelics. I’ve been told this before when I was in my teens and first started experimenting with hallucinogens, but never really gave it too much thought. The idea is that your face will morph and distort into something that could be possibly terrifying, sending you into a traumatic bad trip. But how much truth is there to this warning, or is it just an urban legend?

Tripping on psychedelics 

A psychedelic experience is a temporary altered state of consciousness induced by the consumption of a psychedelic substance. For example, an acid trip is a psychedelic experience brought on by the use of LSD, while a mushroom trip is a psychedelic experience brought on by the use of psilocybin.  

That’s a very basic definition of it, but what actually happens when you’re tripping? From a scientific standpoint, our brains react in a similar way when we trip, regardless of what the substance in question is. Typically, neuroscientists and other experts in the field use the term to describe substances that bind to the serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor; although there are a few other mechanisms through which these drugs can work. The other ways that psychedelic drugs can make us hallucinate is by activation of dopamine D2 receptors (usually happens when using psychostimulants like ecstasy) or by blocking glutamate NDMA receptors (like with dissociative anesthetics). 

Once the psychedelics reach the brain, we typically see an increased activation of delta and gamma waves and the suppression of alpha and beta waves. When we are awake and alert, the brain is dominated by alpha, beta, and gamma waves. When we sleep, delta and theta waves take over. The pairing of “alert” gamma waves and “sleeping” delta waves, could explain why psychedelics trips are akin to dream-like states that we experience while still awake. 

This is also why psychedelic trips are so sentient and thought provoking in nature. Trips often vary in intensity, but they can affect all the senses and can change a person’s thought process, and their sense of time, space and reality. They are known to produce auditory, visual, and sensory hallucinations, however, some users experience no hallucinations at all.  

Rather, they may invoke feelings of general well-being, spirituality, euphoria, connectedness, introspection, and overall well-being, and experiencing of mystical and otherworldly encounters. Numerous factors make tripping a very subjective experience such as dosing, set and setting, tolerance, among other elements.  

On the flip side, some people experience bad trips, which means they had some type of negative side effects or maybe even scary hallucinations. Physical symptoms of a bad trip can include but are not limited to: irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, and anxiety. Dosing and setting, among other factors, can significantly impact a psychedelic trip, so you want to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to ensure an uplifting and beneficial high. 

Don’t look in the mirror 

Many people have been told at least once by their more experienced friends that they should avoid looking in the mirror while using psychedelics. And while that typically applies to LSD, higher doses of mushrooms and other hallucinogens can have similar effects. So, is there any truth to this warning, or is it just an urban legend?  

While I’ve personally looked in the mirror many times on mushrooms and not had any life-shattering experiences, I can understand where the saying comes from based on how I personally see faces when I’m tripping. For example, the last time I tripped with my best friend, there were a few times that I’d look at her face and it would start morphing into something else, like an old witch or some type of mystical elf. It still looked like her, just kind of not. And mind you, this has been my best friend for the last 20 years, so she’s definitely someone I feel comfortable taking mushrooms around.  

Granted, we were wandering around the middle of the desert at night so we were in pitch-black darkness, and even when you’re not on drugs that can make you start imagining things. And it didn’t send me into a bad trip or anything, all I had to do was look away for a quick second, remind myself I’m high, and everything was cool and happy still. But nonetheless, it’s trippy and weird. And that’s a common occurrence for me, pretty much every time I take hallucinogens, faces contort.  

Now when it comes to my own reflection, I experience the same thing. Some slight morphing and distortions, but overall, nothing too crazy and I can look away and regroup with ease. One of the main problems that people have when looking in the mirror is that it can trigger some unpleasant self-reflection, like having bad thoughts about yourself, feeling older, ugly, hyper-fixating on certain aspects you don’t like about yourself, thinking about stuff you’ve done in the past, and so on.  

Seeing your own face doing crazy things and really examining yourself on psychedelics can be eye-opening, but also quite scary if you have self-esteem issues or any deep-rooted pain or trauma you’re dealing with.  

Do look in the mirror? 

Again, I disregarded this advice because I know that I usually maintain pretty good control and situational awareness while on shrooms. But a lot of people view the whole “don’t look in the mirror” warning as a sign of the person saying it may be lacking experience or self-knowledge. A person who is in touch with themselves spiritually will not avoid looking in the mirror – either literally or figuratively.  

And if you’re taking hallucinogens to gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you, learning how to deal with various unpleasant aspects is a really important aspect of your psychedelic journey. Although unpleasant, people often learn a lot more from bad trips than good ones.  

If you approach every psychedelic journey with honesty and humility, and with the sincere willpower to learn from the experience regardless of what happens, then you’re already halfway there. With this mindset, looking in the mirror on psychedelics can be viewed as an opportunity for self-discovery and growth, rather than something scary that should be avoided.  

Final thoughts  

To look in the mirror, or not… that is the question. The answer? It really depends. Is there a reason to look in the mirror? If not, then there really is no point. But if you happen to catch a glimpse of yourself, just know that it might not be as horrifying as everyone says it will be. If you’re not suffering from crippling self-esteem issues, looking in the mirror on psychedelics should be ok.

Do you have any experience with this? Have you been lost in the mirror while tripping on drugs? Let us know in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you!

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Woman Says Disney Imagery ‘Hijacked’ Her Experience In Ketamine Study

One woman’s experience in a clinical trial on ketamine therapy turned into a real Mickey Mouse operation. 

In a study published last month in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, a group of researchers based in Canada sought to “investigate how previous environmental stimuli shaped the experiences of patients receiving ketamine for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), and develop the concept of ‘imprinting’ to account for such time-lagged effects across diverse hallucinogenic drugs.”

“Psychedelic drug experiences are shaped by current-moment contextual factors, commonly categorized as internal (set) and external (setting). Potential influences of past environments, however, have received little attention,” they wrote.

The research team used recordings of treatment sessions and interviews involving 26 participants of the clinical trial, which entailed intravenous ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant depression from January of 2021 until August of 2022.

In detailing the results of the trial, the researchers zeroed in on two participants, a 28-year-old female and a 34-year-old male, whose “subjective ketamine experiences were significantly altered by varying exposures to particular forms of digital media in the days preceding treatments.”

The 34-year-old man described “a pixelated consciousness” while on ketamine, an experience owed to his habit of regularly playing as many as 16 hours of video games a day. 

“This patient’s first three ketamine experiences were characterized by vivid visual hallucinations described as ‘videogame-like’ in both content and form. I.e., he reported that most of his time during the infusion was spent reliving recent game experiences and he described ‘pixelated’ complex hallucinations that strongly resembled the aesthetic of video games like Minecraft, which he had played frequently in the days preceding the treatment sessions. He summed up his experiences as evidence that he had ‘a pixelated consciousness,’” the researchers wrote.

The 28-year-old woman’s experience was, well, a whole new world.

“The patient responded robustly to these first two ketamine treatments and described them as having many typical features of psychedelic therapy: feelings of connection, introspection, emotional processing, and mysticism. They resulted in rapid and significant improvements in depressive symptoms and suicidality, and the patient was discharged after six weeks in hospital with the plan for further infusions if necessary,” the researchers wrote in their evaluation of the patient. 

“Six months later, as an outpatient enrolled in the aforementioned clinical trial, she received a course of six ketamine infusions over four weeks with the same team, a nearly identical treatment protocol, and a similar treatment setting. Despite reporting a similar degree of psychedelic effects, her first outpatient ketamine treatment was described as having remarkably different phenomenology,” they added. “Namely, the patient reported that involuntary visual hallucinations of Disney iconography ‘hijacked’ her experience, greatly diminishing its mystical and emotional qualities.”

In an excerpt from one of the session’s recordings, the woman is quoted as saying that she “saw Disney stuff” but “didn’t want to.”

“It hijacked it! And it’s my fault for always scrolling through the ‘pins’… I’m just annoyed that I felt like I had the Band-Aid on. It felt like I almost ended up going to important things and then Disney frickin’ covered it up,” the patient said in the recording.

The researchers said that the exchange provides evidence that “the patient readily drew a link between this treatment’s visual images of Disney characters and her previously undisclosed habit of trading commemorative Disney pins on a social media forum.” 

“She described spending approximately six hours per day on this digital activity since many years, with the notable exception of her month-long hospitalization when she received her first two ketamine infusions. Of note, she also described various Disney-themed physical objects in her home environment though precise details are not available,” the researchers said. 

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Study Explores Therapeutic Benefits of Candy Flipping

Can the combination of MDMA and LSD, producing the effect known on the street as “candy flipping,” mellow out some of the effects of taking LSD alone? One research team set out to get to the bottom of it and determine if there is any therapeutic benefit from combining the two drugs.

A study published recently in the journal Nature exploring the benefits of combining MDMA and LSD, entitled “Acute effects of MDMA and LSD co-administration in a double-blind placebo-controlled study in healthy participants.”

“There is renewed interest in the use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in psychiatric research and practice,” researchers wrote. “Although acute subjective effects of LSD are mostly positive, negative subjective effects, including anxiety, may occur. The induction of overall positive acute subjective effects is desired in psychedelic-assisted therapy because positive acute experiences are associated with greater therapeutic long-term benefits. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produces marked positive subjective effects and is used recreationally with LSD, known as ‘candyflipping’.” 

A small pool of 24 participants ​​randomly received four different treatment drug combinations: MDMA, LSD, MDMA and LSD combined, or a placebo. The participants who received a combination of LSD and MDMA said they had higher levels of well-being, happiness, and trust during their experience, compared to those who took LSD alone. It’s important to note that the size of the study is small. 

“LSD and the LSD + MDMA combination produced comparable subjective effects with no significant differences,” researchers wrote. “However, the co-administration of MDMA and LSD prolonged the psychedelic experience compared with LSD alone. Overall, effects of LSD and LSD + MDMA were significantly stronger and longer compared with MDMA alone. There was no significant difference in peak ‘drug high’ between the substances alone and the combination.”

Lucid News reports that the anxiety from the onset of LSD that certain people experience could be helped by the effects of MDMA. “The acute subjective effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) are mostly positive; however, negative effects, such as anxiety, may occur,” said Isabelle Straunmann, a PhD in Clinical Research at UHB who led the study. “MDMA produces marked positive subjective effects and we hypothesized that when combined with LSD it can induce an overall more positive experience than LSD alone.”

Straunmann added that LSD is a very powerful hallucinogen on its own, and researchers didn’t see a statistically significant difference between those effects and the effects of combining LSD with MDMA.

Candy Flipping Explained

The idea of combining the two is based on anecdotal reports that they mix well together. Per the the first entry in the Urban Dictionary, candy flipping is “taking LSD (acid) and MDMA (ecstasy) together. Actually regarded quite highly within the drug subculture.”

“The effects of the MDMA lend a very upbeat feeling to the user, usually resulting in a positive acid trip,” Urban Dictionary continues. “Because MDMA is a fairly ‘reliable’ good high, but acid isn’t (there can be bad trips), the MDMA high helps to stabilize the acid trip.”

Medical properties begin with anecdotal evidence before they are proven in medicine through peer-reviewed research.

But does the combination of the two drugs present harmful drug interactions? Harm-reduction expert Adam Waugh told Lucid News, “the combination of MDMA and LSD is generally viewed as a low risk combination, in the sense it isn’t likely to cause harm to someone’s physical health.” However, he added that psychologically-speaking, “MDMA can increase the intensity of a trip substantially—which for some people can lead to an overwhelming experience.” 

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Psychedelic Toads Invade Arizona After Monsoon Season Kicks In

The Sonoran Desert Toad, with glands secreting a venom rich in the hallucinogens 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, is invading Arizona now that monsoon conditions have kicked in for the late summer. They can measure up to 7 inches long and have a low-pitched croak that inevitably serenades the night in multiple states during hot wetter months.

Local news stations are reporting a surge in Sonoran Desert Toad populations now that the rain has started. Reporters focused on the poison danger to pets, and well as the temptation for teens to try it for its psychedelic properties.

“Also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad, this amphibian has a pretty mighty punch,” KOLD 13 News correspondent Andres Rendon said. “What the toad does is that it actually secretes a very strong psychedelic compound, and although very dangerous for animals like dogs and cats, using it for a drug in humans is very much illegal.” 

5-MeO-DMT is a naturally-occurring hallucinogen found in many plant species and in toads. Used across South America for hundreds of years as an entheogen, it’s now being explored in the medical sphere for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The Arizona monsoon season runs from June 15 to Sept. 15 every year, the Arizona Republic reports, but conditions kicked in a bit later following an abnormally hot year. This year, the state is facing a particularly hot year with record-breaking heat. Additionally, last year’s monsoon season brought record-breaking rain to Arizona and tied for the seventh wettest July-September period on record, according to data from the National Weather Service. 

“The monsoon rain brings in the perfect conditions for breeding for the Sonoran Desert Toad in the summer months, and now that monsoon is in full swing. You’ll be hearing more of the croaking often.”

Sonoran Desert toads are most active for the mating season from late May to September, thriving especially when the weather is hot and rainy. Once the monsoon seasons are over, the toads burrow back into the ground after mating. They can be found in Mexico and in parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico. 

How Toad Venom Works

“Please refrain from licking [the toads],” the National Park Service warned last November. Toad licking has become so popular that they are considered “threatened” by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish and they are considered endangered in California. 

The recreational and medical use of the toads are catching on. Vice Media’s Hamilton Morris documented the Sonoran Desert toad in detail—calling the toads’ secretion the “most potent psychedelic toad venom on Earth,” which also makes it ideal for medical research. Sonoran Desert Toad venom should only be vaped or smoked, InStyle reported. Toad venom is scraped from the glands on the animals and dried into a paste, which is later smoked. “The experience is going to start within 10 to 30 seconds and then you’re going to be physically incapacitated for 20 to 30 minutes,” Alan Davis, a Johns Hopkins psychedelics researcher, previously explained in Johns Hopkins Magazine

Mike Tyson discussed smoking toad venom on Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson. Interestingly, his show includes an animated depiction of toad hallucinations. 

It’s also being explored for its medical properties in the field of medicine. Oxford-based startup Beckley Psytech in the United Kingdom announced August 15, 2021 that it raised $80 million to ramp up clinical trials and research using a pharmaceutical formulation of ​​5-MeO-DMT.

Clinical studies using psychedelics show huge potential to battle treatment-resistant depression, under the guidance of a therapist. But while a psilocybin experience can last five to eight hours, a 5-MeO-DMT session will last just one hour, which could radically reduce the cost of treatment. 

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LSD Microdoses Led to Extra 24 Minutes of Sleep the Following Night, Study Suggests

The magical and potent hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) may have a new, clinically significant medical benefit: getting sleep. A new study, entitled “LSD Increases Sleep Duration the Night After Microdosing,” was published June 28 by researchers associated with the University of Auckland in New Zealand. 

Results showed a significant improvement in sleep patterns, but that particular benefit took a day to kick in, after the initial effects wear off.

Researchers observed 80 healthy adult male volunteers over a six week time period as they took either LSD (10 µg) or placebo with doses self-administered every third day. There’s a reason for this. As MAPS notes, a solid tolerance of the effects of LSD develops and won’t wear off until 2 or 3 consecutive days.

Researchers used the microdose range in the study. The normal recreational dose range of LSD—50-250 μg—is still a small dose compared to other hallucinogens, but with a much more profound effect.

A “clinically significant” improvement in sleep patterns the next day was observed, including improvements in REM sleep time, the stage of sleep when most dreams happen and when dreams are more vivid.

Improved Sleep Time

“In this study it was found that participants in the LSD group had significantly increased sleep time compared to participants in the placebo group when they had taken a microdose the previous day, but no differences were found the night of the dose,” researchers noted. “These differences corresponded to an extra 8 minutes of REM sleep, 21 minutes of sleep time and 24 minutes of total sleep time the night after microdosing with no differences in sleep on the microdosing day itself with participants going to bed earlier the night after microdosing.”

The study was written by authors Nathan Allen, Aron Jeremiah, Robin Murphy, Rachael Sumner, Anna Forsyth, Nicholas Hoeh, David B Menkes, William Evans, Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, Frederick Sundram, and Partha Roop. 

The authors continued, “There were no differences in the ratio of time spent in each sleep stage, nor were there detectable differences in the physical activity of participants between the groups or evidence of tolerance/sensation.”

The researchers explained that the purpose of microdosing compounds like LSD or psilocybin below the threshold to induce hallucinations has profound implications in psychotherapy, which includes improving mood and well-being, reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as potentially enhancing creativity and productivity.

LSD is complex and can have both stimulant and depressant effects.

They used a commercially available sleep/activity tracker to keep track of sleep duration during the study. Data from numerous nights of sleep showed that on the night after microdosing participants in the LSD group slept an extra 24.3 minutes per night compared to placebo. There were no reductions of sleep observed on the dosing day itself. 

Implications for LSD in Medicine

“These results show clear modification of the physiological sleep requirements in healthy volunteers who microdose, and may have implications for the proposed therapeutic effects of microdosing in mood disorders such as major depressive disorder where sleep is frequently disturbed. The clear, clinically significant, changes in objective measurements of sleep observed are difficult to explain as a placebo effect.”

The authors noted that several microdosing studies have provided some subjective reporting around sleep quality. These studies tend to show bidirectional effects, with both improvements and difficulties in sleeping reported. 

Meanwhile, the data aligns with confirmatory positive sleep responses reported by MindBio Therapeutics earlier this month. In that study, 80 clinical trial participants were given either a microdose of LSD or a placebo.

Also in 2022 a New York-based biotech firm has begun a clinical trial to study LSD as a treatment for anxiety.

The post LSD Microdoses Led to Extra 24 Minutes of Sleep the Following Night, Study Suggests appeared first on High Times.

Elon Musk’s Alleged Ketamine Use May Risk His Security Clearance

Summary: Elon Musk’s alleged use of ketamine, a controlled substance, during social events could potentially threaten his security clearance, according to two national security law specialists. Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has previously been scrutinized by the federal government for his drug use. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Musk uses ketamine in small doses to treat depression and in larger amounts at parties. While the government has become more tolerant of marijuana use in recent years, it takes the use of hallucinogens like ketamine very seriously. If an investigation into Musk’s security clearance is initiated, he will have the opportunity to respond.

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Elon Musk’s Security Clearance Under Threat Due to Alleged Ketamine Use

According to two attorneys specializing in national security law, Elon Musk’s alleged use of ketamine, a controlled substance, during parties may potentially put his security clearance at risk. Musk, who serves as the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has previously faced government scrutiny regarding his drug usage. In 2019, the Defense Department reviewed Musk’s clearance following his apparent marijuana consumption on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

In China and Hong Kong using CBD is a crime…

Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk uses ketamine, both in small doses to combat depression and in larger quantities at social gatherings. While marijuana use has become more tolerable in recent years, the government treats the use of hallucinogens like ketamine more seriously.

In the event that an investigation into Musk’s clearance is initiated, he will be afforded the opportunity to provide a response. This situation highlights the ongoing debate about drug use and its potential implications for individuals in high-profile positions, particularly those with access to sensitive information. It also raises questions about the broader societal and legal perspectives on drug use, as well as the potential for reform in these areas.

[Source: Business Insider]

No, Deta-8 THC is not for kids…


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Evidence Shows Ancient Egyptian Cult Tripped on Hallucinogens

An Ancient Egyptian vase with a face resembling the deity Bes was found with traces of a mixture containing several psychedelic compounds.

A recent preprint of a study intended for peer review, scientists discovered direct evidence inside a vase, indicating that the Ancient Egyptian cult of fertility god Bes used Syrian rue, Egyptian lotus, and royal jelly to trip on during religious ceremonies. Ptolemaic-era vases from the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida were analyzed.

Bes (and his female counterpart Beset) was worshiped during the New Kingdom, Ptolemaic period, and Imperial Rome as protector of households, i.e. women and children. Offerings to Bes usually were meant for fertility purposes. In the New Kingdom, Egyptians bore the image of Bes tattooed on their skin, and evidence suggests festivals in honor of Bes.

Researchers found traces of multiple plants and ingredients known for their hallucinogenic properties. “Our analyses revealed traces of Peganum harmala, Nimphaea nouchali var. caerulea, and a plant of the Cleome genus, all of which are traditionally proven to have psychotropic and medicinal properties,” researchers wrote. “Additionally, the identification of human fluids suggests their direct involvement in these rituals.”

Courtesy D. Tanasi et al., 2023

Other Egyptian cults and Ancient Mayans also used Nimphaea nouchali var. Caerulea for psychedelic purposes. Researchers also detected cow DNA, and speculate the vases may have contained a fermented milk or some other cow product. Traces of royal honey or royal jelly was also found in the vase, known for both hallucinogenic effects and for increasing sexual vitality, (though the FDA warned about hawkers mixing it with Cialis). Some of royal jelly’s benefits, however, are backed by science.

“Furthermore, metabolomics and SR μ-FTIR analyses also revealed the presence of fermented fruit-based liquid and other ingredients such as honey or royal jelly,” researchers wrote. “The identification of specific chemical compounds, such as alkaloids and flavonoids, provides insight into the psychoactive and therapeutic uses of these in ancient ritual practices. This multidisciplinary study highlights the complexity of ancient cultures and their interactions with psychoactive, medicinal, and nutraceutical substances. These findings contribute to our understanding of ancient belief systems, cultural practices, and the utilization of natural resources, ultimately enhancing our knowledge of past societies and their connection to the natural world.”

Along with the Egyptian or blue lotus, the most popular psychoactive plants we know about among the Ancient Egyptians are opium, tobacco, and coca.

Ars Technica reports that ceramic vases and similar vessels depicting Bes have been found and now populate museums and private collections across the world. Researchers speculate they held beer or an elixir. He’s usually depicted with a bearded dwarf and sticking his tongue out, sometimes with a phallic symbol.

“The familiar image of Bes is a composite of anthropomorphic and theriomorphic elements, part dwarfish, part feline,” the report reads. “He emerged from the magical realm of the world of demons as a guardian figure, and gradually seems to have obtained a more numinous status until, in the Roman Imperial age, he sporadically acquired divine worship. In terms of his functions, Bes provided protection from danger, while simultaneously averting harm, and being able with his power to prevent evil. In critical circumstances, he was also placating in nature as told in the well-known Myth of the Solar Eye, when he stopped the wrath of bloodthirsty goddess Hathor serving her an alcoholic beverage, spiked with a plant-based drug, disguised as blood to a deep forgetting sleep on her.”

Chambers painted with the image of Bes were built at the site of Saqqara near the Egyptian capital Memphis, south of Cairo, but little is understood about the religion specifics.

Expanding the sampling chemical study to other examples of similar times would show a clearer picture, researchers said.

The post Evidence Shows Ancient Egyptian Cult Tripped on Hallucinogens appeared first on High Times.

News Update 6/6 – LSD and Magic Mushrooms, Drug Overdose Treatment, Thailand and more

Start your day with our News Update, where we bring you a comprehensive roundup of the latest headlines from the past 24 hours. In this edition, we cover a wide range of topics across LSD, Mushroms, Policy, Science, Health, Business, Cannabis and more. Join us as we dive into the latest developments and insights shaping the cannabis industry.


LSD and Magic Mushrooms Dramatically Rewire the Brain, New Study Reveals: A study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience reveals the profound impact of psychedelics on brain rewiring, shedding light on their potential therapeutic applications. [Inverse]

Why is it that people are afariad to be caught with LSD?

Frequent marijuana users tend to be leaner and less likely to develop diabetes. But the pseudo-health benefits come at a price, experts say: Researchers discover a correlation between frequent marijuana use, lower body weight, and reduced diabetes risk. However, they also warn against potential adverse effects. [Cannabis Business Executive]

ATRI Assesses Impact of Marijuana Use on Trucking: The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) conducts a study on the impact of marijuana use on the trucking industry, highlighting the removal of drivers due to positive marijuana tests. [Transport Topics]

New weed control option described as ‘game changer’: An innovative weed control option gains approval, revolutionizing vegetation management for farmers. [The Land – News]



New Zealand to ban disposable vapes

New Zealand has announced a ban on disposable vapes as part of its efforts to reduce smoking and tobacco sales. [medicalxpress]

Have you tried the new Amanita mushroom vapes?

Children’s doctors call for outright ban on disposable vapes: The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) advocates for a complete ban on disposable vapes to protect children and young people from their harmful effects. [Talking Retail]

Lawmakers scramble to fix NY’s struggling rollout of retail cannabis: New York lawmakers seek solutions to address challenges facing the retail cannabis market in the state. [Cannabis Business Executive]



Senators Introduce Drug Overdose Treatment Legislation: Senators propose legislation aimed at helping individuals recover after drug overdoses by addressing their treatment needs. [The Legal Intelligencer]

The opioids are still killing us…

LGBTQ+ Pride’s Crucial Role in the Modern Cannabis Industry: The historical contributions of LGBTQ+ activists during the AIDS/HIV crisis have played a pivotal role in reintroducing cannabis as medicine and shaping the current cannabis landscape. [Green Market Report]


What Hallucinogens Will Make You See: Explore the perceptual experiences induced by hallucinogens like LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. []



Can you tell the differences between the two?


Cannabis operator Canopy to be booted off S&P/TSX Composite Index: Canadian-listed shares of Canopy Growth Corp., a major cannabis operator, face removal from the S&P/TSX Composite Index. [MJBizDaily]

Black Farmer Cannabis Bill Passed in Florida: Florida’s state legislature passes a bill benefiting black farmers in the medical cannabis sector. [Cannabis Business Executive]

Thailand’s cannabis industry in limbo a year after decriminalization: Uncertainties and regulatory challenges impact Thailand’s burgeoning cannabis industry. [Nikkei Asia]

Thailand is moving fast, too fast

Arkansas medical marijuana sales on track to top 2022: Arkansas’ medical marijuana dispensaries anticipate surpassing last year’s sales figures. [MJBizDaily]

STAT+: Medicare taps acting official to head up its new drug price negotiations: Medicare appoints an official to lead the implementation of drug pricing policies, demonstrating its commitment to addressing healthcare accessibility. [STAT]



Dr. Phil stands by disturbing Shelley Duvall interview: Dr. Phil defends his controversial interview with Shelley Duvall, while Duvall shares a different perspective on the experience. [The A.V. Club]


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The post News Update 6/6 – LSD and Magic Mushrooms, Drug Overdose Treatment, Thailand and more appeared first on Cannadelics.

How Your DNA Can Impact Psychedelic Experiences

Getting high on hallucinogenic drugs, otherwise known as a psychedelic trip, can be an unpredictable experience ranging from incredible joyous bliss, fear and despair, establishing deep connections, or sometimes, simply crazy, confusing, and all over the place. Set and setting, which refers to a range of psychological and environmental preparations a person can make to facilitate a better trip – has become the golden standard for determining the nature of these trippy endeavors. However, new research indicates that how a person feels psychedelic drugs may be influenced by something even deeper: a person’s DNA.   

Based on the study, certain DNA sequences and genetic mutations can make an individual predisposed to stronger trips, no trips, or feeling the effects of some psychedelic drugs and not others. Let’s take a closer look.  

Your brain on psychedelics 

Defined simply, or if you look up the term in an online dictionary, a “trip” can be described as a “temporarily altered state of consciousness”. This is accurate, but really a very basic explanation for something that can be transcendental and life-changing for many people. A “temporarily altered state of consciousness” can technically be achieved through the use of any drug that produces a “high”. Even sleeping can put you in a “temporarily altered state of consciousness”. 

That being said, exactly which drugs count as “psychedelic” has been a matter of some debate, but generally speaking, neuroscientists and other experts in the field use the term to describe substances that bind to the serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor; although there are a few other mechanisms through which these drugs can work. The other ways that psychedelic drugs can make us hallucinate is by activation of dopamine D2 receptors (usually happens when using psychostimulants like ecstasy) or by blocking glutamate NDMA receptors (like with dissociative anesthetics).  

The authors further explain this: “Psychostimulants-induced hallucinations result from increased dopamine transmission and hyperactivation of dopamine D2 receptor (D2R). Furthermore, “dissociative anesthetics” drugs induce complex schizophrenia-like clinical pictures, including hallucinations, that result from the blockade of glutamate NMDA receptors (NMDAR). Lastly, psychedelics act by stimulating the serotoninergic 5HT2A receptor (5HT2AR)”.  

Now that we’ve covered the scientific side of things, let’s take a quick look at the actual psychedelic experience. Psychedelic trips include various types of visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip can vary dramatically based on several different factors. Sometimes, a user will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spirituality, and euphoria. 

Generally speaking, a few common things that can change the nature of a psychedelic trip include the specific compound and dose consumed, set and setting, state of mind at the time of consumption, overall mental health, how much water you drank or food you ate that day, and so on. Until now, we were mainly looking at external, or “environmental” aspects, but we are now learning that a person’s genes can have a substantial impact on how they experience drugs as well.  

Psychedelic experiences and the DNA difference 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that acts as a hormone and is responsible for regulating numerous different physiological functions including appetite, sleep, mood, and healing. Serotonin receptors, of which there are many subtypes, modulate the release of serotonin in the brain. The serotonin 2A receptors which are stimulated by psychedelic drugs, are also responsible for processes such as learning and memory, as well as neurogenesis.  

However, not everyone’s serotonin 2A receptors work the same way, and a major reason why is due to DNA variations and genetic mutations – known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Because these SNPs can have such profound effects on how a person reacts to psychedelic drugs, a team of researchers decided to take a closer look at the effects of hallucinogenic drugs on 2A receptors with seven common mutations.  

They published their findings in July 2022, in the Journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience. In the study, they detail how they observed the reaction between seven SNPs and various psychedelics: LSD, mescaline, psilocin/psilocybin, and 5-MeO-DMT (toad venom). The results were clear, the variations in genes altered how the serotonin receptors interacted with these compounds.  

“Significantly, the in vitro pharmacological effects of the SNP drug actions at 5-HT2AR are drug specific,” write the researchers. “Compared to the regular variant of the serotonin 2A receptor, two SNPs – known as Ala230Thr and His452Tyr – displayed a seven-fold decrease in signaling potency when interacting with psilocin. Meanwhile, the Ala447Val variant showed a three-fold increase in potency for 5-MeO-DMT.” 

They went on to explain that “Four polymorphic 5-HT2A receptors exhibited statistically significant changes in mescaline potency,” explain the authors. “Of these, the largest effect was observed for the Ser12Asn 5-HT2A receptor, which displayed a 9-fold increase in potency for mescaline.”  

Interestingly, most of the SNPs did not result in any significant changes when it came to overall LSD signaling potency. I was honestly surprised by this because the one time I tried acid, I didn’t feel a thing but the other people who took it with me were tripping balls. Apparently, a couple of variants did seem to influence the trajectory of a person’s LSD trip, such as Ala230Thr which reacted very intensely during the early stages of a trip, whereas another variant, His452Tyr, was found to minimize the potency and efficiency of LSD more towards the middle point of the trip.  

Another noteworthy variant is known as Asp48Asn, which produced weakened response to mescaline (found in peyote, san pedro, etc.), but a more powerful response to psilocybin/psilocin (found in mushrooms and truffles).  

To emphasize the importance of their research, study authors mention that “patients and populations with certain polymorphisms may be differentially amenable to psychedelic-assisted treatments.” Simply put, some people are naturally inclined to weaker or stronger trips when taking certain substances, and this is a considerable breakthrough in the way we can use psychedelics medicinally (and recreationally) in the future. 

Changing your DNA 

We know that environmental factors such as food, drugs, or exposure to toxins can alter your DNA for the worse. We also know that stress and negative experiences can do the same. And we know that these changes can be both permanent, and passed down to children. Generally, studies explore what components can have a negative impact on our genes, but what about changing your DNA in ways that are beneficial for your health and lifestyle? 

Indeed, positive experiences such as exposure to learning and enrichment opportunities, feeling love and joy, and so on, can change our brain chemistry as well. External experiences spark interactions between neurons, which then produce a series of regulatory proteins. These proteins attract or repel DNA-changing enzymes that attach to the gene and can permanently change the coding within said genes.  

So yes, things like positive interactions with people you care about, good sleep patterns, exercise, healthy eating, and even meditation can help you repair your DNA and prevent future damage. And repairing your DNA could help you have more powerful and beneficial experiences with psychedelic drugs.  

Final thoughts

To summarize, while external factors like set and setting were once thought to be the most important factors in having a successful psychedelic trip (and make no mistake, they are important), we now know that a person’s DNA also makes a huge difference in how drugs will impact them. It’s useful to know in both medical and recreational settings, as it can help consumers figure out what substances and doses work best for them.

Hello readers. We’re happy to have you with us at; a news source here to bring you the best in independent reporting for the growing cannabis and hallucinogen fields. Join us frequently to stay on top of everything, and subscribe to our Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, for updates straight to your email. Check out some awesome promos for cannabis buds, smoking devices and equipment like vapes, edibles, cannabinoid compounds, amanita mushroom products, and a whole bunch more. Let’s all get stoned together!

The post How Your DNA Can Impact Psychedelic Experiences appeared first on Cannadelics.