Isreali Nextage Explores Effective Delivery of Psychedelic Compounds

Israel is one of the leading countries for medical cannabis research and has held this title for decades; since the 1960s to be exact. Now, they’re joining efforts to study the benefits of psychedelics in a clinical setting as well.

Of the main areas of focus is using psychoactive compounds to treat clinical depression and other psychiatric disorders. One Israeli company, Nextage Therapeutics, is looking specifically at utilizing ibogaine, along with their own patent delivery system, to better treat people with these conditions.

When it comes to treating psychological disorders and minimizing the risk of side effects, psychedelics are the way of the future. Check out our newsletter, The Delta 8 Weekly, to learn more about these incredible compounds as well as gain access to exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products.


What are Psychedelics?

Psychedelic drugs are a subset of hallucinogens. They contain psychoactive compounds that are capable of altering a person’s mood, perception, and cognition; sometimes permanently. The active compounds are usually found in nature, like psilocybin or mescaline, but they can also be manmade, like LSD.

Psychedelics are known for causing ‘trips’, which is what the high is referred to. When a person is tripping, they may have altered perceptions of the world around them. Many people believe this is limited to visual and auditory hallucinations, but it can also include feeling, tasting, and smelling things that are not real, as well as a heightened sense of connection and understanding, and greater feelings of introspection.  

The trips that people most commonly associate with these types of the drugs are the ones in which a state of hallucinogenic delirium is reached, but that is not always the case. Many times, it is more of an experience than a trip, and something can be learned and achieved psychologically with every small dose.

The word itself, ‘psychedelics’, was first used in 1957 to recognize substances that were said to open the mind, however, the more accurate term for them is ‘entheogens’. This term was adopted, not necessarily for the sake of being scientific, but rather to allow the sector to operate without all the stigma attached to psychedelics from smear campaigns and restrictive policies throughout history. The term entheogen comes from Greek where it means ‘building the god within’.

Different psychedelics produce different trips. For example, with DMT you can expect a short high lasting less than 1 hour, whereas LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline trips can last up to ten hours. Some hallucinogens are more potent than others, like mushrooms vs acid. The active compounds are different in each drug so there is a lot of variation to the effects that can be felt.  

Some people experience bad trips in which negative, or even scary, hallucinations are experienced, and/or a rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, disorientation, and fatigue occur. There is indication that the majority of these symptoms can be controlled through proper dosing. This is why most modern-day, therapeutic users of psychedelics consume the drugs in micro-doses.

Nextage Pharmaceuticals and MindMend

According to Nextage Founder and CEO Abraham Dreazen, “there has been a shift in the last decade. The US Food and Drug Administration, for example, is starting to see quality of life as a factor in evaluating medicine, opening the door to these drugs.”

Earlier this year, Nextage signed a collaboration agreement with industry trailblazer Mindmend, to use their proprietary new technology known as Brain Targeting Liposome System (BTLS) – a delivery system Dreazen claims will “optimize the delivery of drug products based on noribogaine, and ultimately other ibogaine derivatives.”

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in Apocynaceae plant family in Gabon, a small coastal country in central Africa. Although minimal research exists, a handful of clinical studies found that Ibogaine and its derivatives can be used to combat addiction, and it was looked at particularly for the treatment of opioid addiction, for which the results were promising.

Unfortunately, when used at high doses over a longer period, there are potential side effects. In a recent press release, reps from MindMend explained that, “orally administered ibogaine and noribogaine present unacceptable safety risks due to their torsadogenic effects at high systemic concentrations.”

Simply put, there’s a moderate risk of heart attacks when using noribogaine. However, Dreazen believes that if the drug is administered using certain methods that better permeate the blood-brain barrier, so more of the drug actually reaches the brain rather than going to other parts of the body, including the heart. He described it as “the winning lottery ticket.”

Permeating the Blood-Brain Barrier

When it comes to treating psychological and neurological disorders, or really any other disease or condition affecting the brain, the main challenge is permeating the blood-brain barrier. The purpose of the blood-brain barrier is to protect the brain from foreign substances, and as such, can prevent up to 95% of molecules from reaching the brain.

So far, the most common way to work around that is by giving prescribing these drugs at extremely high doses, and that, needless to say, can have numerous unwanted and severe side effects. Using a more effective model, The BTLS platform, licensed from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, has been making use of a “liposomal vehicle with a unique targeting complex” that allows for blood-brain barrier permeation at much lower doses of various pharmaceutical agents.

This is a relatively well-known concept, but according to Dreazen, Nextage took it a step further and attached a “small arrow of seven amino acid peptides – essentially a very small protein – which is part of a much larger protein that is native to the brain and has a way of actively transporting the liposomal capsule through the blood-brain barrier. Once the capsule is drawn into the brain with the arrow, it gets lodged there and starts dissolving, facilitating release of the active material – the drug.”

What the Future Holds for Nextage

Nextage has been working in the drug delivery sector for 14 years and their daughter company, IMIO, is focused solely on psychedelics. The company completed most of required preclinical worked needed to determine the potential efficacy and generality of their new patent technology. They have already worked with CBD and THC-based medications and Nextage/IMIO plans to explore the potential of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

Dreazen says LSD “is a really promising drug.” Its challenge is that when taken, people can “trip” for 15 to 17 hours, making it very unfeasible as a chronic treatment. But just like with ibogaine, he believes that if the dose can be reduced and the least amount possible gets into the body as opposed to the brain, “you could potentially get the same therapeutic effect without the longevity of the trip.”

“In the US, the psychedelic movement has exploded in the last 12 months,” Dreazen added. “I think psychedelics in Israel are just emerging, and we are the first public company to really put our teeth into it. Israel has always been in the forefront of research and development and we are committed to spearheading this industry.”

Final Thoughts

As you can see, conversations surrounding the use of psychedelics to treat mental health and neurological disorders is reaching nearly every corner of the globe, and the countries that have been more accepting of cannabis are also spearheading the medical psychedelic revelation. Psychedelics are here to stay, and in the very near future, we can expect to see a lot of these compounds being safely used in clinical and therapeutic settings.

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Psychedelics are Changing End-of-Life and Palliative Care for the Better

They say you fly when you die…”

The only inevitable thing in life, is death. Many fear it, while others embrace the possibility of moving on to another realm. The truth is, none of us really know what happens after we die. What we do know, is that sometimes those remaining days/weeks/months on earth can be challenging. Luckily we do have some resources available to help provide comfort and dignity during death. As psychedelics gain momentum in the field of therapeutics, particularly for treating depression and trauma, the question of using them to alleviate end-of-life symptoms is coming up with more regularity.

Psychedelics are incredible. The therapeutic potential is staggering and the market is steadily growing. By far, the most popular psychedelic is still THC. For more articles like this one, and for exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other legal THC products, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, your top-source for all things cannabis-related.


End-of-Life: Physical Care and Spiritual Needs

Every person experiences death in a unique way, and as such, a person nearing the end of their life has many specific needs – typically in the areas of physical comfort, emotional obligations, mental stimulation, spiritual issues, and practical tasks.

Some people pass quickly while others face a more gradual decline, but almost universally, those who have a least a little bit of foresight into their deaths will go through some type of introspective, spiritual experiences.

If you have a loved one nearing departure from this world, your job is to provide comfort, reassurance, warmth, and understanding. Figuring out how exactly to do this is where it gets tricky. As the body diminishes, the spirit awakens… but unfortunately, our current healthcare system only addresses the former. However, imminent death is known to push the consciousness into new and heightened dimensional levels.

Sometimes, the transition is easy, but other times it can be more difficult and the need for treatment options that help our loved ones navigate the emotional and spiritual journey of death are just as important as medications for decreasing their physical symptoms. Sadly, when it comes to dealing with these types of complexities, modern medicine has always fallen short.

What Are Psychedelics?

Psychedelic drugs, also referred to entheogens, are a subset of hallucinogens which contain compounds that can alter perception. The term entheogen come from Greek and can be roughly translated to mean “building the God within”. The high produced by these types of drugs is known as a ‘trip’, and can include various types of visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip can vary dramatically based on the specific compound and dose consumed. Sometimes, a user will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spirituality, and euphoria.  

If you’ve ever heard someone mention a ‘bad trip’, this 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.

Psychedelics can be naturally-derived like psilocybin, or manmade like LSD; and they are generally regarded as safe. According to the results of a Global Drug Survey that polled 120,000 regular drug users, magic mushrooms were the safest recreational drug, along with cannabis. Their method at determining user safety was by comparing the drug used to the amount of required emergency room visits. Only 0.2% of the nearly 10,000 mushroom users surveyed had ever required emergency care, compared to the 1.0% of those using harder drugs like ecstasy or cocaine.

Furthermore, new research suggests that certain psychedelic substances can help relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and numerous other mental health disorders. “The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

Psychedelics and Near-Death Experiences

What’s interesting about psychedelics is that often times, the high can produce effects comparable to a near-death experience (NDE). Both, NDEs and psychedelic trips are very complex and subjective experiences, and many similarities between the two have been observed.

Parallels between these states of mind can include feelings of universal understanding, transcendence of space and time, communicating with angels, dead relatives, and various other entities, and questions that are insightful and pensive in nature (for instance, trying to figure out your purpose in the world).

DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) in particular is known for producing these occurrences, but anecdotal evidence suggests that other psychedelic compounds can cause them too. According to a recent, placebo-controlled study, researchers found “significant relationships between the NDE scores and DMT-induced ego-dissolution and mystical-type experiences, as well as a significant association between NDE scores and baseline trait ‘absorption’ and delusional ideation measured at baseline.”

Simply put, researchers found such substantial overlap between DMT-induced trips and near-death experiences that they believe it warrants further investigation to gauge the true medical potential of this discovery.

Psychedelics in Palliative and End-of-Life Care

For several reasons, the use of psychedelics in end-of-life and palliative care has been a hot topic of discussion for some time now. Terminal patients, or even those who are on a natural decline, often face significant feelings of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, perceived burdensomeness, and overall existential distress.

Although alleviating these symptoms should really be at the core of palliative care, currently, there are no pharmacologic options for helping end-of-life patients who need to find emotional peace. Yes, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs exist and are prescribed to dying patients on a regular basis; but numerous studies show that these medications have demonstrated absolutely no superiority over placebos.

Enter psychedelics. According to Ross and Reiche et al., “psychedelic-assisted therapy for patients facing life-threatening illness appears to be a safe and potentially highly efficacious intervention for psychological and existential distress associated with such conditions. Contemporary double-blind placebo-controlled trials of psychedelics for depression and anxiety associated with cancer have produced very promising results.”

The Research

The two most recent and noteworthy studies on this subject were both completed at well-known, prestigious facilities: John Hopkins University and New York University (NYU). Both also were published simultaneously with nearly a dozen editorials from experts in palliative medicine, psychiatry, and international drug policy.

In the John Hopkins study, a crossover design was used to monitor 51 patients who received both an experimental high dose of psilocybin (22 mg or 30 mg/70 kg) and a standard low dose (1 mg or 3 mg/70 kg) which served as an active placebo control. At NYU, a randomized trial was used to study 29 patients receiving either psilocybin or the active placebo niacin.

During both trials, participants received pre and post treatment therapy sessions to determine their current state of mind and be able to make a reasonable assessment after administration of psychedelics. Also, both treatment groups included subjects with a wide range of both physical and psychiatric disorders including life-threatening cancers, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.

And most importantly, both studies looked very carefully at the longevity of the results post-treatment, as well as safety profile of the prescribed active treatment. Across the board, there were both acute, immediate benefits as well as long lasting ones that were observed more than 6 months after use of psychedelics. Safety profiles were good in both trials and no serious adverse medical or psychological outcomes were reported.

Overall, the results were very promising. Participants claimed to experience reconciliation with death, emotional detachment from their diseases or ailments, reconnection with life, reclaimed presence and sense of self, and increased confidence.

“Those findings are consistent with published work about the safety and risk profile of psychedelics, which can be appropriately mitigated both with careful screening of subjects who have an underlying risk of psychosis and with appropriate support by the psychotherapy team,” says Daniel Rosenbaum from the Department of Psychiatry at University of Toronto. “These landmark studies from Johns Hopkins University and NYU also suggested a central role of the psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience, which correlated significantly with therapeutic outcomes based on ratings using validated scales.”

Mystical-type experiences can be characterized by many different qualities including but not limited to feelings of unity, a sense of experiencing “ultimate reality”, sacredness, positivity, and connectedness. In short, using psychedelics can make the experience of dying a more positive and spiritual one, rather than being scary, confusing, and depressing.

Final Thoughts

For many obvious reasons, death is a very sensitive subject. Of course, pain, physical ailments, and practical matters need to be addressed, but when is someone is nearing the end of their life, there is so much more going on beneath the surface. What needs to be discussed more is the need for treatment options that deal with the nonsecular symptoms of moving on to another realm, and psychedelics might be one of the most promising ways to accomplish this task.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. Remember to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products.

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Good Trip Guaranteed: Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Psychedelics

Psychedelics can be mind-opening, life-changing portals that propel you into another reality of introspective thought, deep connections, and beautiful discoveries… but if used incorrectly, they can be scary and borderline traumatizing. That said, they don’t need to be avoided or prohibited, as entheogens have been a part of human culture for millennia. Responsible and informed use of these compounds is crucial – just be sure that when prepping for your psychonaut adventure, you respect their psychedelic plant power and avoid some common mistakes that can make or break your trip.

Psychedelics are fun, but if you make any of the following mistakes before or during your trip, things can get too crazy, really fast. Make sure to follow our guide to ensure a positive trip, and to learn more about rapidly-growing psychedelic industry, subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter.


What Are Psychedelics?

Psychedelic drugs, also referred to entheogens, are a subset of hallucinogens which contain compounds that can alter perception. The term entheogens come from Greek and can be roughly translated to mean “building the God within”. The high produced by these types of drugs is known as a ‘trip’, and can include various types of visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip can vary dramatically based on the specific compound and dose consumed. Sometimes, a user will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spirituality, and euphoria.  

If you’ve ever heard someone mention a ‘bad trip’, this 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.

Are They Safe?

Psychedelics are generally regarded as safe. According to the results of a Global Drug Survey that polled 120,000 regular drug users, magic mushrooms were the safest recreational drug, along with cannabis. Their method at determining user safety was by comparing the drug used to the amount of required emergency room visits. Only 0.2% of the nearly 10,000 mushroom users surveyed had ever required emergency care, compared to the 1.0% of those using harder drugs like ecstasy or cocaine.

Furthermore, new research suggests that certain psychedelic substances can help relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and numerous other mental health disorders. “The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

Good Trip Guaranteed: Common Mistakes to Avoid on Psychedelics

Again, just because psychedelic drugs are typically safe that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a perfect experience with them. When partaking, it’s very important to set the mood beforehand to make sure everything goes smoothly and reduce your likelihood of having a bad trip. Avoiding the following mistakes will ensure that your experience with psychedelics is a positive one

Pick the right setting

Psychologist and author, Timothy Leary, could not emphasize it more… “set and setting” are of utmost importance when it comes to having a happy and therapeutic psychedelic trip. The general consensus is that it’s best to avoid unfamiliar situations, especially if you’re a novice user, and you should do everything possible to construct a safe and relaxing tripping environment BEFORE you start your adventure.

Make sure you’re in good company

At best, being around bad company or people that make you uncomfortable can be awkward and unpleasant. At worst, hanging out with the wrong people while tripping can become a literal nightmare complete with terrifying hallucinations. I don’t know about you, but for me, vibes are everything. If I get bad vibes from someone when I’m sober, you had better believe those negative feelings will be amplified if I’m on psychedelic drugs. To make sure you have a peaceful experience, you absolutely must surround yourself with people you trust and feel completely safe around.

Do NOT Use Hallucinogens with Other Substances

Psychedelic drugs are best used alone, unless of course you choose to smoke a little bit of cannabis along with them, which can have positive effects. Harder drugs and alcohol can be dangerous as they can magnify disorientation and physical symptoms associated with bad trips (nausea, chills, etc.), and some believe that combining these types of substances with entheogens can lead to violent thoughts and hallucinations.

Your Mood Impacts Your Trip

If you’re in a bad mood beforehand – feeling anxious, nervous, stressed, scared, or going through some sort of existential crisis – you might want to hold off on the psychedelics. Sure, when used therapeutically in a clinical setting, they can change your thoughts for the better. But if you’re inexperienced and grappling with dark thoughts, hallucinogens can amplify these and put you in a dangerously negative state of mind.

Don’t Rush

When planning your trip, it’s important to keep in mind that certain hallucinogens – mushrooms and LSD, for instance – can produce highs that last for up to 8 hours. Make 100 percent sure that you have enough time to complete your trip and come down from it properly without any type of activity or responsibility getting in the way. If you feel like you’re rushing and have too near of a cutoff time before getting back to reality, you could end up with a veil of dread and anxiety over your experience.

Final Thoughts

All in all, taking psychedelics successfully is not complicated or daunting in any way if you avoid making the above mistakes. Just be sure to keep a few things in mind, get your setting and company right, and don’t mix psychedelics with stronger drugs, and you can almost guarantee that your trip will be open, joyous, and transformative; rather than the complete opposite. Have you ever had a bad trip on psychedelics, and if so, was it related to any avoidable mistakes? We’d love to hear your thoughts, drop us a line in the comment section below!

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New Bill Would Make Michigan 1st State to Legalize Recreational Psychedelics

Michigan has had legal recreational cannabis since 2018, and is now looking to up the ante. A new bill introduced in the Michigan senate, would make Michigan the first state to legalize recreational psychedelics. This is incredible in a country where not only are psychedelics federally illegal, but only one state – Oregon – has anything similar, what with a medical legalization for psilocybin, which also decriminalizes recreational use. Will Michigan really push through recreational psychedelics?

Cannabis and psychedelics restrictions are loosening everywhere, with Michigan looking to be the 1st state to legalize recreational psychedelics if legislation goes through. The growth of the cannabis industry has helped this along, while also providing us with a bunch of great new products that were never available before. Like delta-8 THC, a different kind of THC which doesn’t make users anxious, or produce cloudy heads, or couch locking, while providing virtually the same medical benefits. In fact, there are tons of compounds from the cannabis plant that interested users can try. Take a look at our deals for delta-8 THC, delta 10 thc, THC-O, THCV, THC-P, HHC and even hemp-derived delta 9 thc, and see how big the world of weed has gotten.

Is this for real?

Indeed it is. Thursday, September 3rd, 2021, the Michigan Senate introduced SB 631 which would officially legalize the cultivation, delivery, creation, and possession of recreational psychedelics derived from plants, which include compounds like psilocybin and mescaline. This would be on a personal level only, with the bill stating that “receiving money or other valuable consideration for the entheogenic plant or fungus” would still be illegal. However, the bill would force the update of the state statute to not allow criminal penalties for these actions when done on an individual basis.

While this is called a ‘legalization’ in some places, and a ‘decriminalization’ in others, as there is no stated punishment whatsoever, this would qualify as a legalization. Decriminalization measures do come with civil penalties, which doesn’t seem to be the case here. And since its not specific to medical disorders, it’s not specifically for medical use. To be more precise, the co-authors of the bill want the legalization of plants used for religious reasons, but there doesn’t seem to be any caveat about requiring anything formal to show religious intent, meaning it would be open to anyone. Since the government can’t tell a person when or how to be spiritual, it would be incredibly hard to put legal boundaries on spiritual use.

The bill specifies the exception of both cannabis (which we knew), as well as “a substance listed in section 7212”, from Controlled Substance violations. It states: “An individual is not in violation of this section if the individual manufactures, creates, delivers, or possesses with intent to manufacture, create, or deliver an entheogenic plant or fungus without receiving money or other valuable consideration for the entheogenic plant or fungus.”

entheogenic plants

Since money can’t be transferred, according to the bill, no commercial market would be started. However, having said that, it does allow individuals to charge a fee for services like counseling, spiritual guidance, or any other service related to the use of entheogenic plants. So, a person can’t sell the plants to another person, but a person can charge another person to counsel them through a trip.

The bill doesn’t speak about ‘psychedelics’, so much as ‘entheogenic substances’. An entheogen is a “psychoactive, hallucinogenic substance or preparation (such as psilocybin or ayahuasca) especially when derived from plants or fungi and used in religious, spiritual, or ritualistic contexts.” Michigan’s bill would allow for recreational psychedelics in the form of plants and fungi which are natural producers of the substances DMT, ibogaine, mescaline, psilocybin and psilocyn.

Two democratic senators brought forth the bill: Sens. Jeff Irwin and Adam Hollier. The bill comes as the result of a strong push in Michigan for psychedelics reform, headed by activist group Decriminalize Nature, which has been pushing local city councils within the state to reform current laws. In fact, Michigan stands out as a central point for the psychedelics movement, partly because of the activist groups, and the work they do. This is still quite a big step, though, so whether it can actually pass into law remains to be seen.

What’s the current status of psychedelics in Michigan?

Michigan and its current bill to legalize recreational psychedelics, is just the latest move in a state which has already made a lot of progress in loosening up restrictions for psychedelics. Last year Ann Arbor’s city council decriminalized entheogenic plants, and the city even designated (officially, as per governmental resolution) the month of September as ‘Entheogenic Plants and Fungi Awareness Month’. When the legislation was passed, it was announced by a county prosecutor that no charges will be pursued for possessing entheogenic plants and fungi, and this regardless of the amount in question.

Elsewhere in the state, Grand Rapids is currently working to enact policy changes for psychedelics. It’s expected that by fall of this year, the city will ‘de-prioritize possession, cultivation, and use of entheogenic plants and fungi.’ How is de-prioritization different from decriminalization? Decriminalization is when criminal penalties are taken away, but still with legal consequences of some kind. De-prioritization means it’s simply not a priority to do something about it, whether it has criminal penalties or not. In this case, according to Kurt Reppart, Grand Rapid’s City Commissioner, it’s “allowing for what’s called the ‘grow, gift, gather’ model… outside of that, the rest of this is illegal.”

Apart from the locations mentioned, psychedelics are not legal in Michigan for medical or recreational use, and are currently on the state’s Controlled Substances list, with fines and jail time attached for offenders.

Where does Michigan stand with cannabis?

Michigan is certainly showing itself to be one of the more forward-thinking states when it comes to getting rid of antiquated drug laws. Back in 2008, Michigan legalized medical cannabis via the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative, which was passed on November 4th of that year. This bill came with measures for the possession of up to 2.5 ounces for medical patients, and allowed patients and caregivers to cultivate up to 12 plants. This measure was approved by voters overwhelmingly. The bill did not come with the inclusion of dispensaries, however, that was amended in 2016, when Governor Rick Snyder signed a set of bills, which allowed a commercial market to open for medicinal use.

legalized recreational cannabis

Then in 2018, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act was passed to legalize and regulate an adult-use market, for those 21 and above. The new law allows adult residents to carry up to 2.5 grams on their person in public, and have up to 10 ounces at home, along with the ability to cultivate up to 12 plants. The bill passed by ballot measure with Proposal 1, with nearly 56% of voters in support.

In order to get the initiative on the 2018 ballot, some 365,000 signatures were collected and submitted in 2017 for recreational cannabis legalization. The initiative was officially certified on April 26th of that year by the state, and by election time, voters were able to decide the fate of recreational marijuana in their state.

To give an idea of just how much Michigan seems to be into cannabis, the state created the very first Cannabis Studies Degree a few years ago, which is offered by Michigan Universities. This four-year degree teaches all about cannabis, from growing the plants, to processing into products, to laws and regulations concerning it. Since that time, many more universities have opened up similar programs in other states.

The psychedelics movement is picking up in the US

If the Michigan bill passes to legalize recreational psychedelics, it would make Michigan the first state to legalize the recreational use of psychedelics, even if it wouldn’t immediately create a commercial market. But Michigan isn’t the only state to make headway in the fight to end prohibition laws for psychedelics. One of the biggest recent wins came from Oregon, which put Measure 109 on the 2020 ballot, which authorized the creation of a program to allow licensed providers to medically administer plants containing psilocybin for those 21 and above. The measure passed with 55.75% of the vote, and also worked to decriminalize the drug under other non-medical circumstances.

Plenty of locations in the US also have decriminalization measures for psychedelics including Denver, Colorado, which was the first to pass such a measure in 2019 to decriminalize psilocybin. In California, Oakland and Santa Cruz did the same later that year and in the beginning of 2020, respectively. Washington DC decriminalized psilocybin in November 2020 through Initiative 81, which also included ayahuasca, and mescaline. Massachusetts saw similar policies set in Somerville, Cambridge, and Northampton in January, February, and April of 2021 respectively.

Aside from these places where decriminalization measures have already been set, plenty more locations are working on getting policies through local governments. California, for one, is looking to put a ballot measure before voters in 2022, which would legalize the possession and sale of psilocybin, thus creating the first legal market if it does happen. In Denver, which was first to decriminalize, there are plans to expand the current laws to decriminalize noncommercial gifting and communal use of these plants.

psilocybin

Massachusetts, which already has three decriminalized locations, is subsequently looking to pass a bill that would create a taskforce to study implications of psychedelic legalizations. Connecticut has newly signed legislation which requires the state to study the therapeutic value of psilocybin. Texas did the same in terms of how these substances can be used for military veterans, and New York too has passed legislation requiring a facility to be established to research psychedelic benefits medically.

In Seattle, legislators are interested in how ayahuasca and ibogaine can be used specifically to help deal with the massive opioid issue, and in neighboring Oregon, which still leads the way, there is a push for cultivation, gifting, and religious use of many other psychedelics other than psilocybin, to be legalized. Oregon voters have already approved a measure to decriminalize the possession of all illicit drugs.

Beyond all this, it should be remembered that not only has the FDA earmarked both psilocybin and MDMA as ‘breakthrough therapies’, meant to get products to market faster, but the DEA just recently proposed a massive increase in the amount of cannabis and psilocybin to be produced for scientific research, meaning two government agencies are very clearly pushing for greater psychedelic awareness and use. And of course, esketamine, a close relative of ketamine, is already legal in the US for medical use for major depression and suicidal thoughts.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say whether this new Michigan bill to legalize psychedelics will go through, as this is obviously a contentious subject. However, laws are progressing very quickly, and in light of how cannabis has gained so much traction, it makes sense that psychedelics will enjoy the same benefits, especially as so much positive medical evidence is coming out on them. Much like with cannabis, if more and more states break with federal code, there will eventually come a time when the US government will be forced to legalize, or accept that it has no power over its states.

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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.

The post New Bill Would Make Michigan 1st State to Legalize Recreational Psychedelics appeared first on CBD Testers.

Opened Mind, Heightened Libido – A Guide to Sex and Psychedelics

Very few subjects spark as much controversy as sex and drugs. Especially taboo is the idea utilizing either in ways that are viewed as socially non-conventional. The connection between sexuality and psychedelics is very prevalent throughout both ancient and modern history, both having been used to foster connections and boost spiritual experiences. So, at what point did they both become so heavily regulated and harshly stigmatized, and how can sex and psychedelics be harnessed to improve mental health and overall wellness and quality of life?

If something feels good and makes you happy, it’s probably illegal or socially vilified, right? That’s usually the case, and in our disconnected world, that seems especially true of anything that is naturally-derived and generally safe for your health – like cannabis, psychedelics, and sex, for example. Although the latter isn’t actually ‘illegal’ like pot and mushrooms, many aspects of sex and relationships are subjected to constant stigma and judgement, to the point that people are kind-of policing and regulating themselves on these matters, as to not fall out of the realm of what’s considered traditional.

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But what’s traditional is not always right for everyone, and people are starting to explore the idea that there is more to life than what we have always been taught. This seeking of truth and cosmic awakening is the backbone of the psychedelic movement, but lesser discussed is the role that sexual energy plays in opening the mind and connecting to the divine. Sex and psychedelics have been used together to reach new spiritual (and orgasmic) heights for centuries, from the free-love sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s to all the way back to the ancient shamanic sex rituals of Nazca. Both have also been overtly condemned over the years, but have we as a society, just been looking at things the wrong way this whole time?

Psychedelics are fun, and the most popular one by far is still THC. For more articles like this one and access to exclusive deals, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter. We’ve got tons of delta-8 THCdelta 10THCVTHCP, THC-O and even HHC products, so check out our deals and find a product perfect for you.


A Little About Psychedelics

Psychedelic drugs are a subset of hallucinogens. They contain psychoactive compounds that are capable of altering a person’s mood, perception, and cognition; sometimes permanently and often for the better. The active compounds are usually found in nature, like psilocybin from mushrooms or mescaline from peyote, but they can also be manmade, like LSD.

Psychedelics are known for causing ‘trips’, which is what the high is referred to. When a person is tripping, they may have altered perceptions of the world around them. This can include everything from auditory and visual hallucinations, to heightened sense of touch, and even greater feelings of connection, understanding, and introspection.

The trips that people most commonly associate with these types of the drugs are the ones in which a state of hallucinogenic delirium is reached, but that is not always the case. Many times, tripping is more of an experience than an actual “trip”, and something can be learned and achieved psychologically with every small dose. Trips don’t always have to be those completely mind-bending, no-idea-what-planet-you’re-on kind of trips; they can be mild and simply make you feel relaxed, happy, and open in new and exciting ways.

Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own

The word itself, ‘psychedelics’, was first used in 1957 to recognize substances that were said to open the mind, however, the more accurate term for them is ‘entheogens’. This term was adopted, not necessarily for the sake of being scientific, but rather to allow the sector to operate without the stigma attached to the word ‘psychedelics’ from past smear campaigns and restrictive policies. The term entheogen comes from Greek, and it translates to ‘building the God within’.

Different psychedelics produce different trips. For example, with DMT you can expect a short high lasting less than 1 hour, whereas LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline trips can last up to ten hours. Some hallucinogens are more potent than others, like acid versus mushrooms. The active compounds are different in each drug so there is a lot of variation to the effects that can be felt.  

Some people experience bad trips in which negative, and sometimes scary, hallucinations may occur. Additional side effects can include rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, disorientation, and fatigue. While some people may just tolerate psychedelics poorly, in most cases, the majority of these symptoms can be controlled through proper dosing. This is why most modern-day, therapeutic users of psychedelics typically consume the drugs in micro-doses.

From a sociological perspective, psychedelics still pull in very mixed reactions. On one hand, they’re still federally prohibited and there’s much less support for legalization, as opposed to cannabis reform efforts; on the other hand, there is a growing body of research suggesting that psychedelics can be good for treating numerous different mental health conditions and a handful of regions around the world are loosening restrictions on these compounds. According to a survey conducted by USA RX, 39 percent of American adults believe in the legalization of certain psychedelics for any use and a further 37 percent would support legalization specifically for medical use (76 percent total in support).

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Sex and Social Stigma

We are sexual beings. As much as we like to repress that, it’s a fact. Nearly universally, what is considered sexually “normative” behavior has been limited to heterosexual relationships between traditional couples. Typically, the system was designed to privilege those who encompass these roles and disadvantage those who fall out of line – for example, those engaging in homosexuality, prostitution, sex outside of marriage and/or with multiple partners, open relationships, and so on. (Herek, 2016, p. 397). Frontiers | The Experience of Sexual Stigma and the Increased Risk of Attempted Suicide in Young Brazilian People from Low Socioeconomic Group | Psychology (frontiersin.org)

Women are especially prone to experiencing sexual stigma, and most aspects of society seem intent on teaching us to be ashamed of or objectify ourselves, rather than rejoice in our sexuality. Naomi Katz author of Beautiful: Being an Empowered Young Woman and the founder of Beautiful Project, a movement dedicated to building self-confidence among adolescent girls and young women, puts it very well.

“The stigma surrounding female sexuality is pervasive and affects girls and women of all ages. Even in our most intimate relationships, we often don’t know how to express ourselves. We often find ourselves reacting to being sexualized, rather than expressing our own desires.”

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Stigmatization of sexual pervasiveness exists in nearly every facet of society, and normally it’s looked at poorly rather than embraced as it should be. Although these acts have no negative bearing on society as a whole, derogatory terms are often used to describe people who engage in non-traditional sexual experiences.

If all this sounds strangely familiar, that’s because it is the same type of stigmatization and prejudice that drug users experience. Of course, there are some instances and certain types of drugs that are more problematic to society, like meth and heroin for some very obvious examples, but even naturally-occurring and mildly-intoxicating drugs like cannabis have been looked down on for decades.

Shifting Tides, Shattering Shame

Some might say that we’re currently on the cusp of a revolution, and rightfully so. Although we still have some strides to make, public opinion on both sex and drug use has progressed dramatically over the last few years. For the most part, we no longer have to hide in the closet with our pot and fetishes, and people are freer to experiment with natural compounds, love who they want to love, and enjoy life on their own terms.

I personally have a phrase that I got from an old friend: “If you like it, I love it”, and that seems to be the general attitude these days, so long as safety and some level of personal responsibility is taken into consideration.

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Statistically, support for cannabis and psychedelic drug reform, as well as embracing of more sexually-open concepts, are both gaining traction. For example, an overwhelming 91 percent of American adults believe cannabis should be legal in the US – 60 percent say legal across the board while and additional 31 percent believe it should only be legal for medical reasons. Given these numbers, it’s seriously a travesty that weed is still prohibited, but that’s beside the point today. Psychedelics are seeing a rise in popularity as well, with approximately 39 percent of respondents stating that certain psychedelics should be permitted for any use, while another 37 percent believe medical psychedelics should be approved. To reiterate, that’s 91 percent for cannabis, and 76 percent for psychedelics – yet both are STILL illegal.  

Swinging the pendulum back to sex stats, a large-scale survey found that 1 in 5 Americans have been involved in at least one consensual, open relationship in the past and around 9% of American adults engage in some sort of open relationship regularly. Over the last decade we have also seen a sharp rise in the number of adults who identify as LGBTQ – not necessarily because more people are becoming LGBTQ, but because a growing number of people are feeling increasingly comfortable with expressing their true sexuality. It’s a beautiful thing.

Sexual Energy, Psychedelics, and Mental Health

Although it’s not frequently discussed, sex is considered one of the most desired and coveted experiences in modern-day culture. The reasons go far beyond just, “because it feels good”. It’s because many humans seek a deeper and more meaningful connection with the divine; and sex, when done correctly, is a transcending, transformational experience like no other.

Sex is a core function of life on earth, but even more so, it plays a major role in both physical and mental health. In my own experience, creative, spiritual, and sexual energy all go hand in hand. If you’re in a powerful creative or spiritual flow, there is likely a sexual aspect to it as well. As the saying goes, “If you are expressed creatively, you are going to be expressed sexually. If you are in the flow of expressive sex, then you know that God must have a hand in it. And creativity is about spiritual communion.”

And the same applies to psychedelics. Initial high aside, psychedelic use can be an incredibly mind-opening experience. “People often come out of a psychedelic experience and say it was one of those most remarkable things they’ve ever experienced—that the experience led to creative insights and improvements in self-identity and mood,” says Matthew Johnson, a researcher at the Center for Psychedelics and Consciousness Research. “When people consistently say things like that, you start to ask yourself what the heck is going on—you want to understand why.”

Sex and psychedelics boost dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, respectively. Release of these hormones are said to help relieve depression and anxiety and improve your overall state of mental wellbeing. Low levels of serotonin can lead to numerous different psychological health disorders as well as lack of sleep, which is believed to be the root cause in dozens of both immediate and long-term health conditions. Low levels of dopamine can cause depression as well, and interestingly, is also a precursor to Parkinson’s disease.

A Brief History: Sex and Psychedelics

It’s undeniably difficult to say exactly what went on with intimate human experiences thousands of years ago. However, ancient texts and artwork serve as evidence that even back then, sex and psychedelics were much more than just for procreating and getting intoxicating. Both were culturally significant, and sometimes, a means to a spiritual end.

Nazca Shamanic Sex Rituals

Little is known about the specifics of these rituals, but ancient art, pottery, and petroglyphs depict the use of psychedelics and sex during shamanic rituals as very commonplace. Overall, the use of psychedelic drugs in ancient Peruvian society has been well documented and much of their ancient texts and drawings are very sexualized in nature.

Tantra

Psychedelics have long been intertwined with the ancient practice of tantra. In Sanskrit, the word tantra means woven together. The practice of tantra is basically a form meditation or yoga that harnesses sexual energy as a way to “weave” together the physical with the spiritual.

According to philosophers like Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson — “the psychopharmacological techniques for activating higher states of sexual consciousness remain unknown by most people, and they are often kept secret from early initiates of Tantra. Techniques for enhancing sexual rituals with sacred plants are rarely mentioned in popular books on Tantra or in Tantra workshops.”

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1960s Summer of Love

Broadly, the summer of love refers to the summer of 1967 when up to 100,000 people – mostly between the ages of 15 and 30 – gathered in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco to revel in new music, hallucinogenic drugs, anti-war protests, and “free-love”. Although the movement dominated the West Coast, it managed to spread across the entire nation.

Those participating were known as Hippies, and many were drawn together by their shared views on various different social issues such as collective suspicions of government deception, the rejecting of consumerist values, and a general opposition to the Vietnam War. A large number of hippies were focused on activism and political issues, while others were more interested in art and/or spiritual and meditative practices, many of which included the use of sex and psychedelics.

Opened Mind, Heightened Libido

We’ve covered all the different parallels between sexuality and psychedelics, now let’s talk a little bit more about combining the two. Very few human experiences are as transformative as having sex and consuming psychedelic compounds. When used safely and correctly, both can propel you to otherworldly magnitudes of physical and emotional healing; and yes, electrifying, earth-shattering orgasms as an added bonus.  

So, what entheogenic drugs actually work in the bedroom? Although many have been used throughout history, I’d say the best modern-day psychedelics to pair with sex would be cannabis, mushrooms, and MDMA. Exact methods and physiological function of these drugs varies, but they all have an impact on the two main components of a sexual experience: sense of touch and feelings of connectivity.

We can naturally expect that studies in this field are dismal, but here are a few quotes from the small tokens of research that we do have. “Desire and satisfaction were moderately to profoundly increased by MDMA in more than 90% of subjects. Orgasm was delayed but perceived as more intense,” (European Psychiatry: 2001 Mar,16(2):127-30).

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“Marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function… Daily users actually reported having 20% more sex than their counterparts who have never used cannabis before,” (Journal of Sexual Medicine: Volume 14, Issue 11, P1342-1347).

Now when it comes to dosing, this can get include a bit of trial and error sometimes. Obviously, you don’t want to be tripping balls if you expect to have a decent sexual experience. Some people choose to micro-dose which could certainly help lower inhibitions without making you feel completely inebriated. Other’s might choose to get a good body high, maybe a couple grams to one-eighth of shrooms for example, depending on your size and tolerance. It really is all contingent upon the individual user and desired experience, so giving highly-specific dosing advice is close to impossible.

Final Thoughts on Sex and Psychedelics

In the so-eloquent words of Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Ph.D., was a medical anthropologist, associate clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine, and professor emerita of anthropology at California State University, Fullerton:

“Sexuality anywhere is a polyvalent function, whose primary and supreme valency is the cosmological function. To translate a psychic situation into sexual terms is by no means to belittle it. for except in the modern world, sexuality has everywhere and always been a hierophany and the sexual act an integral action. Therefore, a means to knowledge…”

The post Opened Mind, Heightened Libido – A Guide to Sex and Psychedelics appeared first on CBD Testers.

Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own

The medical psychedelic boom has already started with the release of esketamine. Now, with MDMA and psilocybin on the way, medical psychedelics are looking to majorly disrupt the standard mental health treatment industry. And the great thing about psilocybin is, much like cannabis, the mushrooms it comes from, can be grown in home. Here are some basics to know, if you want to learn to grow mushrooms.

Psychedelics are getting more popular, and now you can learn to grow mushrooms on your own. If you’re not quite ready for mushrooms, there’s still cannabis, and plenty of new options like delta-8 THC. This alternate form of THC creates less psychoactive effect as delta-9, and has less associated anxiety and paranoia. Plus, it doesn’t cloud the head or couch lock users in the same way. We’ve got tons of delta-8 THC, delta 10, THCV, THC-O and even HHC products, so check out our deals and find a product perfect for you.

Disclaimer: While legalization is almost a sure thing, psilocybin is illegal in most states, while holding decriminalization status in some, and medical legalization status in Oregon. Mushroom growing equipment is legal to own, and this article is merely helping people learn the process to grow mushrooms, it is not telling anyone to do so, or telling them they should grow any specific kind of mushrooms. This information covers mushroom growing for all types of mushrooms.

What are magic mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are a group of varying fungi that all contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin, as well as lesser psychedelic compound psilocin. These psychedelic compounds operate like other psychedelic compounds like LSD, and MDMA by being serotonergic – attaching to serotonin receptors, and creating a ‘psychedelic experience’.

The term ‘psychedelic’ refers to a class of compounds in the general grouping of hallucinatory drugs, which is itself a subset of ‘psychoactive drugs’, or drugs that can change perception. Psychedelic drugs vary, but they are known for creating a similar experience, complete with hallucinations – things that are felt, seen, heard, smelled, or tasted, that are not actually there. Along with hallucinations, psychedelics are known for creating a sense of spirituality in the user, a feeling of connectedness with others and the universe in general, a feeling of over overall well-being, mystical feelings, and euphoria.

If you’ve ever heard someone talk about a ‘bad trip’, this refers to a negative psychedelic experience in which the user has negative – or scary – hallucinations and physical symptoms, like fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, and anxiety. Though psychedelics have been generally judged as safe, dosing is important, with bad trips more often associated with too much of a compound being taken. New users might want to start with micro dose amounts, as is often what is used in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

magic mushrooms

Learn to grow mushrooms

For those that like to do it on their own, growing mushrooms is not the most intense exercise, and can be done with just a few different tools and basic instructions. The first thing you need, of course, is mushroom spores, which generally come in a syringe, much like the oil syringes used for cannabis oil. They are usually 12CCs. To be clear, mushroom spores are legal as they contain no psychoactive compounds within them.

  • The first real step has to do with growing the mycelium network, a network of tiny thread-like structures that are produced by fungal spores, and which is necessary for any mushroom growth. In order to do this, you need a substrate – or way in which the mushrooms will grow. For this, something called vermiculite is used, which is a mineral that looks like a rock, or rock chips. Approximately 2/3 cup is used in a jar, as creating a mycelium network is best done in a jar. ¼ cup of water is added, and ¼ cup brown rice flour.
  • The jar being used should have a tightly fitting cap, and should have about four holes drilled into it. The vermiculite and water are mixed and then strained, and then the rice flour added. This mix is then packed into the jar up until about a half-inch below the rim. Dry vermiculite is put on top. It should be noted that all tools used should be sterilized with rubbing alcohol to ensure no bacterial contamination.
  • The jar is tightly closed and covered with tin foil or plastic wrap to keep the drilled holes covered. The jar is placed in a pan, with water filling the pan until about halfway up the length of the jar. The water is brought to a slow boil, and for 75-90 minutes the jar is steamed. More water can be added to the pan if too much boils away. The jar is then allowed to cool for several hours.
  • Then come the spores. The holes on the lids are uncovered and the syringe is inserted as far as it will go and split between the four holes. It’s good to clean the syringe in between putting it in each hole. The jars should then be kept in room temperature, and out of sunlight. Many people prefer to keep them in a dark closet.
  • It takes about 1-2 weeks for the mycelium network to begin to grow. It takes about 3-4 weeks for full colonies to grow and form cakes. At this point, another week should be given to strengthen the mycelium cakes. Any jar that looks contaminated should be disposed of as soon as possible, making sure all equipment used is sterile is best to ward off contamination.
learn to grow mushrooms
  • At this point, a plastic storage container is taken and holes are drilled all over it in even intervals. The container should be put on four stable objects to keep the bottom from touching the surface so air can flow through. A towel is put over it to retain moisture.
  • The next step is to take something called perlite (a volcanic glass which expands when heated), clean it with water, and then put it at the bottom of the container. There should be about 4-5 inches covering the base. The mycelium cakes are taken out of the jars where they’ve been growing, and carefully washed to remove vermiculite, and then put in lukewarm water – made to stay underneath it – for about 24 hours. This is to rehydrate them. Then they’re taken out, rolled in dry vermiculite, and put in the storage container on foil squares, so the cakes don’t directly touch the perlite. They should be evenly spaced. Then they’re sprayed with a  mist bottle, and fanned off before the lid is closed.
  • The container should have mist sprayed on it about four times a day, being careful not to soak anything. The container should also be fanned several times a day to make sure there’s air circulation. Regular light is generally fine at this point, though some growers use growing lights on a 12 hour cycle. The mushrooms will take varying times to grow, but the grower will know something is happening when white bumps appear on the cakes. These then sprout into ‘pins’, and harvest comes about 5-12 days after this point. The whole process takes approximately 1-2 months, which is far less than the 3-6 associated with growing cannabis.

Grow kits

Not everyone wants to put that much time and effort into growing their mushrooms, and – to show how far along this industry is – there are mushroom growing kits that greatly break down the amount of time and energy needed to grow mushrooms. Mushroom growing kits generally contain all the needed equipment, and are streamlined to help the grower. This is like buying marijuana growing equipment which has already been streamlined to help the user have an easier and more productive experience.

Growing kits often include a box, or log-type instrument, which is already seeded with spores and ready to go, meaning the entire setup phase is not necessary. These are called pre-colonized fruiting blocks. The kits must be kept moist, and at the right temperature, but this is menial work compared to actually growing from nothing. Since the kits already have the mycelium network setup, the whole part of creating a mycelium network from scratch, doesn’t have to happen. They also usually come with a mushroom growing bag, which can remain dormant if kept in low temperatures.

Each kit will come with its own instructions, and when looking to buy a kit, a prospective grower should ensure the kit they buy is good for the kind of mushrooms they want to grow. These kits are not sold specifically for magic mushrooms at all, but are made so that all kinds of mushrooms can be grown in-home. If you want to learn to grow mushrooms with a kit, it means you will learn how to grow all kinds of mushrooms.

grow any mushrooms

Why should we expect psilocybin to be legalized?

There is actually very little saying psilocybin won’t be legalized for medical use in the US. In fact, Oregon already applied such legalities to the compound in the last 2020 election. But more importantly than Oregon specifically, is that the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration), has already earmarked psilocybin as a ‘breakthrough therapy’. What does this mean? According to the FDA, a ‘breakthrough therapy’ is a:

“…drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.”

The FDA doesn’t randomly assign this, but the designation is given when a company has done – or is doing – medical trials that signal they have a compound that might be a better option than existing remedies. In 2019, the FDA assigned its second designation for this to Usona Institute, the first was given a year before to Compass Pathways in their study of psilocybin as a therapy for treatment resistant depression.

The reason this matters is because psilocybin is currently a Schedule I drug in the US Controlled Substances list, made completely illegal in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill in the US, and then followed with the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, and the international drug treaty, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971, which actually only illegalizes the psilocybin, and does nothing to illegalize magic mushrooms, a conundrum seen in many parts of the world. The idea that a government agency could – and would – allow this designation for a Schedule I compound does a lot to say how the US government actually feels about it.

After all, the breakthrough therapy title is meant to get drugs tested and to market. A similar designation was made for MDMA in 2017 for the organization MAPS, and their study of the compound for PTSD. Phase three of MAPS trials were even planned in conjunction with the FDA to ensure that results would meet all regulation standards. Now, that really says a lot.

Conclusion

Anyone looking to grow mushrooms should know the laws of where they are, and be prepared to deal with any issues surrounding their grow. Realistically, as mushrooms get closer to legalization, they will likely follow in the same steps as cannabis, with home growing becoming standard, and very little the government can really do about it. For now, these basic instructions highlight the general process. Prospective growers should do further research, and remember, these instructions are for growing all mushrooms.

Hello and welcome! You made it to CBDtesters.co, the #1 spot for the most relevant and up-to-date cannabis and psychedelic-related news globally. Read through the site every day to stay aware of the ever-changing world of legal drugs, and become a part of our newsletter list, so you always know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone 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 Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own appeared first on CBD Testers.

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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New Psychedelic Anti-Depressant Esketamine: What the Patients Have to Say

Psychedelic-assisted therapy, and the legalization pf psychedelic drugs, is most definitely a thing. We know this, because the psychedelic drug esketamine is already legal for use, with MDMA and psilocybin on the way, and being pushed by the FDA. Is esketamine an effective treatment, here’s what the patients have to say.

Esketamine therapy is a real thing with plenty of patients letting us know what they have to say. If you’re not quite ready for psychedelics, there’s always cannabis, and plenty of different options. Like delta-8 THC, an alternate form of THC which leaves users with more energy, less cloudiness in the head, and no anxiety. There are so many compounds to choose from, that there’s something for everyone. Take a look at our selection of THCV, THC-O, Delta 10 THC and Delta-8 THC deals, and figure out your best option.

What is esketamine?

Before getting into esketamine treatment and what patients say about it, let’s cover what it is. If the name ‘esketamine’ sounds incredibly similar to a popular party drug, that’s because it is. The drug ketamine has been a staple of the party circuit since the 80’s and 90’s, and esketamine is its close cousin. Ketamine was discovered in 1962 by scientists at Parke-Davis. They were in search of a strong anesthetic, and after creating, testing, and ultimately rejecting PCP, and other closely related compounds, ketamine was discovered. It was described as a compound with “cataleptic, analgesic and anesthetic action but without hypnotic properties.”

It became known as a dissociative anesthetic, because of how it seemed to disconnect parts of the brain. This was subsequently described as “electrophysiological and functional dissociation between thalamocortical and limbic systems.” Since that time, ketamine has been used as an anesthetic in both animals and humans, as well as being used as a recreational party drug. Essentially it doe three things, provides pain relief, anesthetic affect, and sedation. The chemical formula for ketamine is C13H16ClNO.

Of course, we’re not talking about ketamine, we’re talking about esketamine. Esketamine hasn’t been around as long, making its first appearances in Germany in 1997 as an anesthetic. While it was being used as an anesthetic, it was noticed that the compound had very fast-acting antidepressant effects, and began being investigated for this purpose. In 2017 the drug finished trials in the US for treatment-resistant depression, and in 2018, Johnson & Johnson filed an application with the FDA for a new medication – Spravato. It was approved on March 5th, 2019.

It was technically approved in conjunction with standard antidepressants for the treatment of depression in adults. In 2020, this was updated to include prescription for suicidal thoughts on account of how fast-acting it works. It is already being prescribed for use in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Esketamine

Esketamine therapy, what the patients say

Pharmaceutical companies put out all kinds of medications, and they promote them all like they’ll save your life, even when going through litigation because of lies. Though psychedelics do seem to have good efficacy for helping people, this does not mean that any psychedelic medication will be okay. So, it suffices to say that hearing directly about esketamine from patients, and what they have to say, is the best thing for understanding the current situation. In the first few years of something being out, it can be hard to find the stories. These are the stories around right now.

One test subject, Amelia D., started receiving esketamine in 2017 at the Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine. As she explains, she began taking anti-depressants shortly after she finished college, and had been given a range of diagnoses ranging from dysthymia to ADHD to anxiety to major depressive disorder. She explained how after the intake for the study, she was required to take the drug twice a week for at least a month, each time under supervision in the doctor’s office.

She explained how those taking part were not allowed to drive for 24 hours following administration. She says it started with four hours of supervision, but was brought down to between one and two hours over time. This makes sense for shorter acting drugs like ketamine.

By the time a Time article was written about her in 2019, she was going every two weeks for treatment, in which she was administered three nasal doses at five minute intervals, and then watched for an hour or two. She also stated fears of not being able to continue the medication when the trials were over due to insurance not covering it, and not being able to find a therapist. Though she had plenty good to say about the treatment, she highlighted the fact that she had gone from being unemployed for quite some time, to holding a job steadily, and being generally okay. She said she always knows when she’s ready for another dose.

It doesn’t seem like this particular trial included the therapy aspect of it, and was likely more to establish effects of the drug. She did not mention negative side effects, and spoke generally of an improvement in her life.

Esketamine, what more patients have to say

patients say

Esketamine therapy has begun to find its way into the mainstream, and has been spoken about openly by American comedian Theo Von. Von, known for his stand up and podcast work, among other projects, runs a podcast called This Past Weekend with Theo Von. In Episode 341, called Ketamine Therapy, Von talks about his own experiences with depression and ketamine therapy, as well as interviews with founder and medical director of the Chattanooga Ketamine Center, Dr. Jason Pooler.

Von talks about the hallucinations he had while taking esketamine (it is often called ketamine by users, but the drug they are prescribed is esketamine). Theo’s father died when he was young, and through the ketamine therapy, he was able to deal with the subconscious pain of not having his father, and he said that using esketamine allowed him to complete the grieving process.

Yet another public personality, albeit on a smaller scale, is podcaster Ariel Kashanchi who runs the show Mad Genius. In her June 16th episode ‘Ketamine Touchup’, she goes into specifics about getting ketamine therapy. She starts by talking about her 7th infusion. She did six consecutively, followed by the 7th touch-up. She explains how touch-ups can be done per person needs, and that for her it’s every eight weeks or so.

However, before this, she had an April 8th, segment called Ketamine, TMS & My New Brain in which she describes more about the actual process. At the time of the recording she was one week into her esketamine and TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapies, having had two ketamine sessions at that time. She talks about her longstanding issues with depression, PTSD and childhood trauma. She said more than once in the episode that she feels like a different person since treatment began.

She explains that in her case its administered via IV. She talks about being in a comfortable setting, with a comfortable chair and blankets, eye mask, and noise canceling headphones. She talks about being hooked to the IV for about 40 minutes, with a doctor checking on her every so often (not the standard format for psychedelic-assisted therapy). She was told she had to have an intention the fist time she went in, and hers was to feel valuable and lovable. She said the experience felt a bit like virtual reality…but her overall sentiment was that prior to this she didn’t think she’d ever feel okay, and now she does. She also – like Von, spoke about hallucinations of dead loved ones, and how it created a positive situation to experience them like that.

What is psychedelic-assisted therapy?

When we talk about the new rise in medical psychedelics, it’s not about a doctor blindly giving out a prescription for a drug and saying ‘go take a trip’. In fact, quite the opposite. Perhaps in the future this will be less restrictive, but for now, the only legalization for psychedelics is for medical use, and this goes for Oregon, the first state to legalize for use in this way (although that state, and others like Denver do have decriminalization policies for drugs like psilocybin from magic mushrooms).

magic mushrooms

If you’ll notice, esketamine only has an approval at the moment for use in conjunction with other antidepressants. I don’t expect this will last forever, but this is the first one to get a legalization like this, so it’s not shocking that there are several caveats attached that don’t make a lot of sense. If this stuff works better than standard antidepressants, which actually come with a lot of warnings, why not just use it? In the future, this stipulation will probably be cleared, but for now, that’s the way it’s been legalized.

So, if standard treatments are not working, the doctor can prescribe esketamine to be taken under the supervision of the doctor. There are a few different steps in the process of psychedelic-assisted therapy, and it goes something like this, though the process could certainly be tweaked as the industry progresses. This model may also be more relevant for psychedelic trips on drugs like ayahuasca, LSD, or psilocybin, which create much longer experiences.

  • Preparation – These are initial sessions in which the psychiatrist gets to know the patient, and the issues the patient has. In this phase it’s important to build repour between the two in order to facilitate a meaningful psychedelic session. In this phase, the doctor provides instructions for the psychedelic phase, that include things like not running away from something scary, but approaching it and asking a question instead, or opening a door if one is there. These instructions are meant to help the patient face their issues when they encounter them in the next phase.
  • Psychedelic session – This phase is done in a comfortable setting, which is important, because the setting can affect the patient’s mindset. Two doctors are generally present, likely as safety since the patient is being put in an altered state. The drug is given to the patient, and the doctor guides them through the experience, but does not perform any analysis at this time.
  • Integration – This phase takes place soon after the psychedelic phase, and is meant to help the patient make sense of their experience. This is where the doctor can help the patient analyze their experience to gain meaning out of it.

To be clear, it does not sound like the esketamine therapy model matches this one exactly, but that could be on account of it being very short acting.

Into the future

mdma

Esketamine might be the only legalized psychedelic at the moment, but that should change soon. In 2017 the FDA granted a ‘breakthrough drug’ designation for MDMA for the treatment of PTSD, and in 2019, the FDA granted not one, but two ‘breakthrough drug’ designations for psilocybin from magic mushrooms, also for the treatment of severe depression.

These designations are granted when a drug company finds in testing that a new compound might work better than existing alternatives, and is meant to quicken research and production to get products to market. In this way, the FDA is outwardly pushing for the approvals of these two psychedelic compounds.

To give an idea of how much the FDA seems to want this to happen… the organization running the MDMA studies, MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), actually planned its third MDMA trials in conjunction with the FDA to ensure that the results would fall in line with existing regulation. I’m not sure there’s a better indication of what’s to come, than an actual government agency helping to design drug trials. With all this going on, it becomes that much more important to get first hand descriptions of esketamine from patients, who are right now the only people who can say anything about it.

Conclusion

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is a real thing, and esketamine in the first drug to get approval. In understanding how esketamine works, it helps to hear what patients themselves have to say. It should never be assumed that every medication will be an answer for everyone, but the information trickling in shows esketamine to be a very promising drug.

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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.

The post New Psychedelic Anti-Depressant Esketamine: What the Patients Have to Say appeared first on CBD Testers.

Wesana Health to Acquire PsyTech, Emphasizing New Shift to Psychedelics

If you haven’t been paying attention, medical psychedelics are on the rise, with the new industry gaining an impressive foothold even before legalizations occur. In this new move, Wesana Health will acquire Psytech, Inc., giving the company new strength to dominate this new emerging market.

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Wesana will acquire Psytech, Inc., what will this mean?

Wesana Health Holdings, is a life sciences company that specializes in developing and delivering therapies for neurological health issues. The Chicago-based company looks to help patients overcome the damage of physical brain trauma which results in neurological, psychological, and mental health problems. The company was founded recently, in 2020, and looks to develop therapeutic solutions using psychedelic therapies including drugs like: Ketamine (and esketamine, which is currently legal), mescaline, MDMA, and psilocybin.

Psychedelitech, Inc. (PsyTech, Inc.) is a company specializing in the medical psychedelics industry, which provides clinical tools and education, as well as clinical care. The company promotes psychedelic-assisted therapy, novel methods of care and the tools to go along with them, and integrative ways for mental healthcare delivery. The company focuses a lot on the use of psilocybin therapies. The company has three parts: Tovana Solutions – a SaaS platform, Tovana Clinics – which provides a psychiatric care network, and PsyTech Connect – a community for psychedelic practitioners.

It was announced on June 13th, 2021, that Wesana Health would acquire PsyTech for $21 million, making PsyTech a completely owned subsidiary of Wesana. This will give Wesana access to all three parts of PsyTech. Wesana is looking to expand its efforts into neurological healthcare. According to CEO Daniel Carcillo (who is also a former NHL hockey player and two-time winner of the Stanley Cup), Wesana is working on new treatments and medications to treat traumatic brain injuries. He made this statement about the acquisition:

medical psychedelics

“The acquisition of PsyTech will greatly accelerate our ability to understand, analyze and improve neurological health and performance by providing a data platform on which to build our technical strategy, clinics in which to apply and accelerate our neuroscience research and relationships with many thousands of the practitioners who will leverage our medicines, diagnostics, and technology to heal people.”

The three arms of PsyTech

PsyTech has three components that Wesana will be taking over. Tovana Clinics – soon to be Wesana Clinics is a chain of mental health clinics which specialize in the delivery of psychedelic-based care, which currently involves esketamine therapy (as this is the only currently legalized psychedelic medication), and looks to incorporate new compounds as they become legal. The chain currently involves two locations, with a third set to open later this year, and about 12 more in the works that should be operational by this time next year.

PsyTech’s Tovana Solutions platform provides data collection, tracking in real-time, patient management, and general analysis tools. It also provides healthcare professionals the ability to learn current protocols and track effectiveness. The platform will be renamed Wesana Solutions.

The last arm, PsyTech Connect, is a network of over 8,000 professionals who tune in to find out about best clinical practices and protocols. Besides the network of practitioners, it also provides conferences, and educational material. The idea for Wesana is to integrate with psychiatrists across the US to expand the company and its therapeutic model.

Wesana founder and Executive Chairman, Chad Bronstein, reminds: “There are over 50,000 psychiatrists and 15,000 psychiatric practices in North America alone who will require solutions to adopt the novel and effective psychedelic-assisted therapies that already exist and are currently in development.”

Both the boards of Wesana and PsyTech have approved the acquisition unanimously. In order for it to officially go through, 2/3 of PsyTech’s shareholders must also approve. With 67% of shareholders already signed onto an agreement of support for the measure, there shouldn’t be anything getting in the way of the acquisition happening.

What psychedelic medications are already used?

Esketamine therapy

The medical psychedelic movement is massively picking up speed, even if it hasn’t quite filtered through to mainstream media just yet. There are, by the way, reasons that news of this industry’s growth hasn’t made major headlines in major publications. As of right now, there are a lot of smaller biotech companies like Wesana and PsyTech getting in on it, and that means competition for the major pharmaceutical companies, which so far do have the only legal offering. Until large pharmaceutical companies can fully profit off the industry, I expect it will be kept quiet, despite major growth.

So what is currently legal? Only one medication is out called esketamine. What is this compound? Esketamine, as the name implies, is a close relative of the dissociative and psychedelic party drug, (and animal tranquiller and human anesthetic), ketamine. In 2019 the FDA approved esketamine for treatment for major depression.

In 2020, the FDA updated the approval to cover prescription for suicidal thoughts as well because of how fast-acting the compound is. Esketamine is the first new medication approval for depression which does not fit the standard model of antidepressants, as its not an SSRI, tricyclic antidepressant, or MAO inhibitor. In fact, it entirely goes against the current model for the treatment of mental illness, meaning it does not work with monoamines.

Esketamine is sold under the name Spravato, being marketed by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. It has been approved as an anesthetic under other trade names like ketanest. Esketamine is a Schedule III substance in the US.

What psychedelic medications are on the way?

Obviously, if one psychedelic drug has been approved, which already breaks with the idea that all psychedelics are illegal (obviously not the case), then why shouldn’t it be expected that more are on the way? In fact, they most certainly are, and to show how clear it is these legalizations are coming, the US government is actually pushing for them through its own Food & Drug Administration. In fact, the two compounds its currently pushing, are specifically Schedule I drugs at the moment, but will not be for much longer. Here’s why:

In 2017, the FDA earmarked the drug MDMA as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for the treatment of PTSD. What does this term mean? According to the FDA, “A breakthrough therapy designation is for a drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.” This designation isn’t blindly made, but generally comes at the request of a drug company, which is currently doing research that shows the compound is more promising than current options.

mdma therapy

This description is meant to quicken research and get products to market faster. What this means, is that the FDA is pushing for a Schedule I substance – defined as a highly dangerous compound with no therapeutic value, to be on pharmacy shelves sooner, rather than later. To make it even more clear, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) – which is the organization that won the designation for its research, is currently in phase 3 trials for an MDMA drug, which were put together in conjunction with the FDA to ensure the trials and outcomes would be in line with FDA regulation. Is there a better way to say the US government wants this drug out to consumers?

The thing is, MDMA isn’t the only drug being backhandedly pushed by the US government. In 2019, the FDA gave two separate ‘breakthrough therapy’ titles to psilocybin from magic mushrooms, for use with major depressive disorder. The first granting of this designation was given to Compass Pathways, which looks to treat the most severe treatment-resistant depression, and the second time around it went to Usona Institute, which has ongoing trials to test the efficacy of just one dose of psilocybin to treat major depression.

Conclusion

That Wesana Health is about to acquire PsyTech, is just another indication of the growing magnitude of this new industry. The acquisition also highlights not only the growing appeal of psychedelic compounds to treat mental illness, but of the networks now being put together, which will set up the entire framework of how these therapeutic services will run.

Hello and welcome! You’ve arrived at CBDtesters.co, your #1 spot for all the most thought provoking, and relevant cannabis-related news globally. Take a read-thru of the site daily to stay abreast of what’s happening in the exciting universe of legal cannabis and medical psychedelics, and sign up for our newsletter, so you never miss a thing.

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 Wesana Health to Acquire PsyTech, Emphasizing New Shift to Psychedelics appeared first on CBD Testers.

Pharmaceutical Psychedelics – What’s Already Legal and Available

The growing world of cannabis shows us that even when public opinion has been turned against something, that better information can ultimately prevail. The world might have been against cannabis, but now its on the fast track to approval. And the same can be said for pharmaceutical psychedelics. As medical legalizations for compounds like MDMA and psilocybin approach, there are already psychedelics available at your pharmacy.

The world of pharmaceutical psychedelics is growing, and that actually includes cannabis. It’s great that MDMA and psilocybin will likely be legal soon, but until then, we’ve still got THC, and not only do we have it, we have different versions of it, like delta-8 THC. Unlike its counterpart delta-9, delta-8 gets you less high, and keeps it clear-headed and energetic, while producing less anxiety and paranoia. Sounds kind of awesome, right? Check it out for yourself with our excellent delta-8 THC deals.

What are psychedelics?

Psychedelic compounds fit under the general term of hallucinogens, which itself is a subset of psychoactive drugs. As hallucinogens, psychedelics are known for producing sensory information that is not real. A person on psychedelics is likely to see/hear/feel/taste/smell things that are not there. Psychedelics also produce feelings of euphoria and wellbeing, promote connectedness between people, self-introspection, and mystical experiences.

When dosed properly, psychedelic users should experience mild to no side effects. However, improper dosing can more easily lead to ‘bad trips’, whereby a user experiences anxiety, fear, negative hallucinations, as well as nausea, vomiting, and elevated heartrate, among other physical effects. Psychedelics can be found in nature, like psilocybin from magic mushrooms, or peyote. Or, they can be synthesized in a laboratory like LSD or ketamine.

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Most psychedelics are illegal globally, as they are in Schedule I of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty. This is not an absolute however, as individual countries are more likely to go by their own internal criminal codes, many of which are not the same as the Convention. There is also a major psychedelics loophole in that psilocybin is often in schedule I of drug laws, but the plants from which it comes – mushrooms, are not always. This is the case with the global illegalization. In the US, most psychedelics are schedule I, however a closer look shows plenty of decriminalizations all across the US, and even a legalization in Oregon. Plus, other psychedelic compounds are already on pharmacy shelves, some of which have been used for quite some time.

A little on the recent history of psychedelics

Whole papers can be written on psychedelic use throughout history, and all the associated controversies therein, but it’s not terribly relevant to this article. What is relevant, is how psychedelics came into play in the last century, the psychedelic-assisted therapy that came out of it, and the recent push toward studying, and legalizing, different compounds.

psychedelic mushrooms

Psychedelics emerged into Western medicine in 1938 when Swiss chemist Albert Hoffmann synthesized LSD for the first time, followed by psilocybin in 1958. It entered the psychological field in the 1950’s, primarily with the help of English/Canadian psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond who started investigating how LSD could be used to help people stop drinking alcohol. Humphrey was the first to coin the term ‘psychedelic’, and was his own lab rat before offering the compound to patients starting in 1953. 

Humphrey, along with partner Abram Hoffer, conducted the Saskatchewan studies starting in 1951, which took place at Weyburn Mental Hospital, in Saskatchewan, Canada. By the end of the 1960’s, following administration to over 2,000 patients, Humphrey’s method of one large dose of acid along with psychotherapy (called ‘psychedelic therapy’) had helped 40-45% of patients not to relapse within a year.

Another psychiatrist who got in on it at that time was Ronald Sandison, a UK psychiatrist who modified Humphrey’s technique to give several small doses of acid rather than one big dose, but still coupled with psychotherapy. Along with other alternative therapies like art and music, Sandison found LSD to be useful, publishing a paper in 1954 about 36 psychoneurotic patients who had been administered LSD over the span of a year, with 14 recovering fully. Only two of the original 36 were not improved at all, and all other patients showed some level of improvement. Sandison’s method of several smaller doses of LSD was called ‘psycholytic therapy’.

Psychedelic-assisted research today

All of the research into psychedelics came to a halt when acid and psilocybin were illegalized in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill, followed by inclusion in schedule I of the US Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and the global Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty in 1971. However, possibly as a side effect of the rise of cannabis, psychedelics have come back into the spotlight.

In 2018, a  systematic review was published called Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Paradigm Shift in Psychiatric Research and Development. In it the study authors reviewed research into drugs like LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, ibogaine, and ketamine. Reviewed research showed results that supported use of these compounds for regular conditions as well as treatment-resistant conditions. The research backed up that psychedelic treatments are both safe and effective. The study authors went as far as to make a statement that this:

medical psychedelics

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

In 2020, researchers put out the systematic review, Psychedelics and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy which evaluated research put out between 2007-2019, including 161 research papers. The review found several points of interest, like the usage of MDMA for PTSD treatment, the use of psilocybin to treat depression and anxiety, and the use of LSD and ayahuasca for different mental issues.

To back up everything just stated, the US’s very own Food and Drug Administration (FDA), highlighted MDMA in 2017 and psilocybin in 2019 as breakthrough treatments for PTSD and major depression respectively. This designation is used when there is reason to speed up products to market, meaning the FDA is looking to have these compounds on shelves sooner rather than later. In fact, the latest trials into MDMA through the organization MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), were actually constructed in conjunction with the FDA to make sure trial outcomes wouldn’t break with regulation. According to the FDA, a breakthrough therapy is a:

“drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.”

Pharmaceutical psychedelics are already on the market

LSD was used successfully back in the mid-1900’s for alcoholism. MDMA and psilocybin are both earmarked by the FDA as breakthrough therapies. But does that mean there is no access legally to pharmaceutical psychedelics now? Not at all. Not only are there plenty of natural herbal remedies that can cause similar effects, like: Morning Glory, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, and Salvia, but there are plenty of good old pharmaceutical psychedelics already available for use.

Back in 2019, the FDA gave approval to esketamine (Spravato), which is both an anesthetic and a treatment for major depression. Esketamine is not an SSRI, or tricyclic antidepressant, or MAO inhibitor. It’s actually a close relative of the psychedelic, and dissociative drug, ketamine, which is used as an anesthetic for humans. Esketamine is the first antidepressant to not work on monoamines, meaning it breaks with today’s standard for treating mental illness. In 2020, the FDA updated it to be prescribed for suicidal thoughts as well as depression. Likely because much like other psychedelics being studied, its effects are very quick.

legal psychedelics

And that brings us to ketamine, or ‘special K’, which was first produced in 1963, and has been used for anesthesia for many decades. Ketamine has officially only been used in a hospital setting, and won’t be given out as a prescription. Doctors can write one, but since its only approved as an anesthesia, there wouldn’t be a way to access it. At one point, ketamine was a big club drug, and is still used quite a bit recreationally today.

One of the more interesting ones is 4-ACO-DMT. 4-ACO-DMT is a structural analogue of psilocybin, from magic mushrooms. It was synthesized in 1963 by Albert Hofmann, the same guy that brought us LSD and isolated psilocybin. 4-ACO-DMT is not listed under any drug scheduling category in the US or through international scheduling treaties, although as a synthetic analogue of psilocybin, it sits in a legal gray area in a place like the US. As of right now, unlike a product like delta-8 THC which also sits in legal gray area, there aren’t products on the market yet for 4-ACO-DMT, but it is used a lot recreationally.

One of my personal faves in terms of pharmaceutical psychedelics (not that there are many options) is DXM, or dextromethorphan. If you’ve ever taken Nyquil and wondered why you felt so good, it was the DXM. DMX is a dissociative drug of the morphinan class, and unlike every other drug mentioned thus far, its not only completely legal, but sold over-the-counter without a prescription, in products like Nyquil and Robitussin – from which the name ‘robotripping’ came. In testing, DXM and psilocybin have had very similar effects with the biggest difference being in visual hallucinations and mystical experiences, for which psilocybin had a greater effect. How this one managed to slip through and become the most legal psychedelic in the US is a strange conundrum of life, but as of now there are actually tons of products containing DXM out there, and we can all enjoy them!

Conclusion

Wondering whether psychedelics will be big in the medical domain is like wondering if cannabis will be. They will, and if the FDA earmarking them to go through doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure what will. Perhaps one of the biggest indicators is Spravato, and how it functions differently than other anti-depressants, offering help with the quick onset associated with psychedelics. Technically, psychedelic are already big the world over – and have been for a long time, but when the pharmaceutical psychedelic industry starts to boom, there will be tons of psychedelics to choose from, on every pharmacy shelf.

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Resources

MDMA – The New Way to Treat PTSD
Florida Bill Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms

Welcome to the World’s 1st DMT Trials into Depression What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8 THC)
What is Delta 10 THC and does it get you high?
How to Invest in Multi-Billion Dollar Medical Psychedelics Industry
Biggest US Drug Loopholes: Delta-8 THC and Magic Mushrooms
The BEST Delta 8 THC deals. The Best Delta 10 Deals
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, and How It Works

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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