Pennsylvania Poised to Become National Leader in Psychedelics Research

Pennsylvania is set to become a national, and possibly global, leader in psilocybin research, thanks to a new bill that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill passed a Health Committee vote in Harrisburg and is on its way for votes in the house and senate.  

Titled the Public Health Benefits of Psilocybin Act, the purpose of this legislation is to lay the foundation for researchers within the state of Pennsylvania to begin clinical trials on psilocybin, the predominant psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, as well as other natural psychedelics in the future. As it currently stands, with psilocybin categorized as a Schedule 1 narcotic on the DEA’s list of controlled substances, anyone trying to do any worthwhile research on the psychedelics has been massively hindered by a seemingly endless list of cumbersome and overbearing regulations.   

Just like cannabis, psychedelics are beginning to take hold in the Western World. Not only are they being used recreationally at much higher rates, but the world is becoming familiar with their many benefits, especially in the field of mental health. For more articles like this one, make sure to subscribe to our Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing industry. 


What are psychedelics? 

Psychedelic drugs, are a subset of hallucinogens which contain compounds that can alter mood and perception. They are also referred to as entheogens, a Greek term that can be roughly translated to mean “building the God within”. The active compounds in psychedelic drugs can be found in nature, like psilocybin or mescaline, but they can also be man made, like LSD or Ketamine. 

The high experienced when taking these types of drugs is known as a ‘trip’, and can include visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip will vary dramatically based on the specific compound, dose consumed, and tolerance of the user. Sometimes, a person will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spiritual connectivity, and euphoria.    

If you’ve ever heard someone mention a ‘bad trip’, this means the person had some type of negative side effects, or maybe even frightening hallucinations. Physical symptoms of a bad trip can include but are not limited to irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, and anxiety. Bad trips, due to their negative nature, can seem more intense than good trips but this is not always the case. 

Dosing and setting, among many other factors, can significantly impact a psychedelic trip, so you want to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to ensure that your high is uplifting and eye-opening, not scary and traumatizing.  

Surrounding yourself with familiar people that make you feel comfortable, go low and slow with dosing, and picking a location that you know you’re safe in – these are all steps you can take to foster a good trip. Many present-day, medical (not recreational) users of psychedelics consume the drugs in micro-doses to avoid the risk of bad trips and other negative side effects altogether.  

More about the bill 

The Public Health Benefits of Psilocybin Act is primarily sponsored by Tracy Pennycuick, an Army veteran and Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving her first term, along with 20 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill, which has does not come with any funding, would place the state’s Department of Health in charge of clinical trials and other research efforts, starting with studying how psilocybin could help treat PTSD in military veterans.  

“I have PTSD, so it interests me,” Pennycuick said. “Not every treatment works for every veteran. So, you have to be always leaning forward into treatment.” 

What’s unique about this bill compared to other psychedelic research initiatives is that this one authorizes at least two state-licensed growers to cultivate psychoactive mushrooms to use in the clinical trials. Most research, like that conducted at Johns Hopkins University, is done using a synthetic form of psilocybin.  

This distinction is important because we will have legitimate, clinical information about how the varying naturally occurring compounds work together in the human body and how different mushroom/truffle strains could be used to treat different conditions. The entourage effect of psychedelic fungi.  

Another adamant supporter of this bill is Brett Waters, a Pennsylvania-native currently practicing as an attorney in New York. “It’s very clear at this point that current treatment that we offer people is not effective,” says Waters. “It has limited efficacy for some people and no efficacy for many people. We need to do better.”  

Waters is also the founder of Reason for Hope, a nonprofit organization that advocates for psychedelic-assisted therapy. Waters, who grew up in Merion, lost both his mother and grandfather to suicide. His organization is also working with politicians in New York, North Carolina, and Florida to push for more progressive legislation regarding psychedelic research.  

Another supporter and industry expert, Mason Marks, a professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce School of Law and head of the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation at Harvard’s Petrie-Flom Center, feels this bill should be a top priority in the minds of lawmakers.  

“For two decades we’ve seen rising rates of suicide, rising rates of drug overdose deaths, and so there is a certain amount of urgency on this issue, so I think increasing access is really important,” he stated.  

The race to legalize and study mushrooms 

If you’ve been following industry news lately, you’ve probably noticed that numerous cities/states are updating their psilocybin regulations. For the most part different regions are decriminalizing their possession. This has happened in several large cities across the US including Detroit, Seattle, Oakland, and Denver.  

However, a handful of states are approaching these new policies from the paradigm of research and medicine. On November 3rd, 2020, Oregon passed Measure 109, making it the first US state to legalize the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy, and lawmakers are currently working on developing the necessary regulatory framework.  

Early last year, Florida House Representative Michael Grieco introduced a bill that would legalize psilocybin medicinally for people with mental disorders, to be microdosed in licensed clinics. Late last summer, Texas passed House Bill 1802 calling for the state’s Health and Human Services Commission to do a human clinical trial on mental health disorders and psilocybin treatments, using a synthetic version of the compound.  

Where Pennsylvania differs, aside from the fact their programs aim to use natural psilocybin, is that this bill will be focused on university studies, clinical trials from medical research institutions, and hospital research and data.  

Even more research 

Last month, the National Institute of Health awarded nearly $4 million to Johns Hopkins researcher Matthew Johnson, who is looking into the benefits of pairing psilocybin-assisted therapy with traditional talk therapy. Given the introspective and sentient nature of psychedelics, microdosing with shrooms before a therapy session could definitely help one be more honest, open, and transparent. 

Recently, a publicly traded British firm known as Compass Pathways, released the results on their larger-scale psilocybin trial completed late last year. Researchers examined 233 patients who were given different doses of synthetic psilocybin, and they found that a one-time, 25-milligram dose was able to substantially reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression for up to three weeks.  

“The trial is encouraging being a larger sample of patients with a control group than earlier [treatment resistant depression] studies and having a significant effect for a clinical need,” said William R. Smith, a fourth-year psychiatry resident at Penn Medicine. “Treatment-resistant depression is a major challenge for contemporary psychiatry, we need more options.” 

Further research has found the psilocybin can even help regenerate brain cells. Yale researchers released this study: Psilocybin induces rapid and persistent growth of dendritic spines in frontal cortex in vivo. The research was conducted using synthetic psilocybin on mice, and it was was published in the journal Neuron in July, 2021.  

At this point, even the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published a statement saying they need more cannabis and psilocybin produced for research purposed, and they want it as soon as the middle of this year. 

Final thoughts 

The Pennsylvania bill is expected to pass, but even if it does not, it shows how far public opinion on this subject has progressed. It’s a sign that curiosity about psychedelics is flourishing in the US and around the rest of the world. Despite what federal regulations might say, when you talk to people, you see that there is a general acceptance of these compounds, especially naturally occurring ones like psilocybin, mescaline, or DMT. Keep a close eye on Pennsylvania in these coming weeks, and check back here for updates on this important bill.  

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

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

The post Pennsylvania Poised to Become National Leader in Psychedelics Research appeared first on CBD Testers.

Amanita muscaria: The Most Misunderstood Magic Mushroom

Perhaps the most iconic, yet misunderstood, hallucinogenic mushroom species on earth is none other than the Amanita muscaria, also known as the fly agaric mushroom. This toadstool mushroom species is one of the oldest types of psychoactive fungi to be used by humans, that we know of, and it’s represented somewhat widely in the mainstream media – normally, when you see an animated, whimsical mushroom, it’s typically an Amanita muscaria (like the mushrooms in all the Mario Nintendo games).  

By definition, Amanita muscaria is NOT a psychedelic mushroom, because its active compounds do not affect the human mind and body same way actual textbook psychedelics do. Rather, it’s categorized as a poisonous mushroom whose side effects may include hallucinations, or trips. It has been used medicinally, spiritually, and recreationally for thousands of years and is considered a common, old-world substance, although modern-day shroomers typically prefer the psilocybin varieties. Regardless, these mushrooms are widespread and making a comeback, so let’s take a closer look at this ancient entheogen.  

Psychedelics are exciting, healing compounds with enormous potential. However, when used improperly, there can certainly be some negative side effects. That’s why it’s so important to know what you’re consuming, how to use and get the right dose, and make absolute sure that you’re not mixing up your intended mushroom with some other fungus. In the meantime, you can find a trove of information in our Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing industry.


What is Amanita muscaria? 

Amanita muscaria, often referred to as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a member of the Basidiomycota family of fungi, of the genus Amanita. This mushroom species gets its common name from its ability to attract and kill flies and possibly, mosquitos. 

The fly agaric is native to the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere including Europe, North America, and Siberia/Northern Asia. It’s a highly adaptable mushrooms species that can now be found throughout the world, and it’s closely related to various deciduous and coniferous trees, commonly found growing under birch and pine.  

Amanita muscaria mushrooms have round, often dome-shaped, red caps with white spots and white gills. They are without a doubt one of the most recognizable of the toadstool mushroom species. You can spot Amanita muscaria mushrooms in the Mario franchise games, the Alice in Wonderland mushroom scene, and many other cartoons and animated games. 

Although they have many features that make them easily discernible from other mushroom varieties, there are several known subspecies of Amanita muscaria, some more potent/toxic than others. Additionally, new DNA fungi research has discovered that many of the mushroom species often believed to muscarias are actually entirely different species, like the peach-colored fly agaric, which retains is common name although it is not a fly agaric at all.  

Muscimol vs psilocybin 

Once again, Amanita muscaria does produce hallucinations and altered states of conciousness, by it is not considered to be in the same classification as a formal psychedelic fungus. This is because the active ingredient is different. In classic psychedelics like psilocybin/shrooms, mescaline, and LSD, the active compounds interact with our serotonin and/or dopamine neurotransmitters, which are 5-HT2A agonists.  

In A. muscaria, the psychoactive ingredients are muscimol and ibotenic acid. Muscimol activates the major inhibitory neurotransmitter system, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). As an inhibitory system, muscimol works by suppressing the activity of neurons in the brain. Ibotenic acid is a neurotoxin and agonist of glutamate receptors, specifically at both the N-methyl-D-aspartate, or NMDA, and trans-ACPD receptor sites. Neurotoxins interrupt communication between neurons across a synapse, changing the way the nervous system functions. Ibotenic acid is a secondary metabolite that converts to muscimol via decarboxylation. 

While that may sound pretty intense, people who use these mushrooms compare the feeling to being drunk, but with a bit more of a curious and psychedelic vibe to it. The muscimol in these mushrooms can produce feelings of euphoria, hallucinations, muscle jerks, drowsiness, sweating, pupil dilation, and increased body temperature.  

Many documents list Amanita muscaria as deadly/fatal, but according to David Arora, an American mycologist, naturalist, and writer, this is incorrect and implies that the mushroom is more dangerous than it really is. Even the North American Mycological Association has state that there were “no reliably documented cases of death from toxins in these mushrooms in the past 100 years”. Fly agaric mushrooms were used widely in the “old world” but eventually their use faded away as psilocybin mushrooms and truffles, which are more potent and carry less side effects, became increasingly popular and more available.  

Shamanism and old-world customs  

Fly agaric mushrooms have been used globally for thousands of years, but they have been most closely associated with shamanic rituals of ancient Siberia, Northern Europe, and parts of Asia. Numerous cultures and societies in this region were using mushrooms for religious, spiritual, and sometimes recreational purposes. In Siberia specifically, the use of fly agaric mushrooms is believed to precede the crossing of the Bering Straits into North America, which was over 15,000 years ago.  

As a matter of fact, the Evenki Northern Tungusic people of that region have an interesting history with fly agaric mushrooms. Every winter, their shamans would dress in thick, wooly garments trimmed with white fur. Then, they would go into the woods, pick fly agaric mushrooms and lay them out to dry around the pine trees under which they can be found.  

After they dried a bit, the shaman would collect all the mushrooms in a large sack and deliver them to the locals by dropping them through a smoke hole in the top of their yurts. The locals would then hang the mushrooms in socks over their fireplaces and continue the drying process. If this all sounds strangely familiar, it’s because this is basically the entire story of Christmas.  

In other shamanic cultures, shamans would take the mushrooms and others would drink his urine to feel the psychedelic effects. As weird as that sounds, it was the safest way to consume these mushrooms and still experience the high. The urine still contains all psychoactive elements, but many of the toxins that could cause illness are filtered out. The shaman acts as a sort of buffer to lessen the negative side effects and enhance the benefits of A. muscaria.  

Now, that is just the most famous account of fly agarics in ancient cultures, but many more exist. Finnish historian T.I. Itkonen wrote about A. muscaria use among the ancient Sami people as well, in which he described shamans or “sorcerers” who would consume fly agarics with seven spots. Back in 1979, two German writers, Said Gholam Mochtar and Hartmut Geerken, published an article detailing the discovery of medicinal and recreational use of this mushroom among a Parachi-speaking group in Afghanistan. There are also unconfirmed reports of religious use of A. muscaria among two Subarctic Native American tribes. 

Health benefits 

Although not extensively studied in any modern clinical setting, anecdotal accounts of medicinal use go back thousands of years. Amanita muscaria is believed to be helpful in treating numerous different types of neck and back pain, musculoskeletal pain, joint pain, and sciatica.   

It also has been said to work on rheumatism, radiculitis, weakness in the limbs, twitching, numbness, and frostbite. Additionally, a fly agaric dilution was used to treat issues with female menstrual cycles and menopause, also bladder and intestinal cramps. It was also frequently used as a treatment for sore throats. A. muscaria tinctures were often used topically to treat external issues like nail fungus, minor infections, and skin conditions associated with Lyme disease.  

The Koryaks of the Kamchatka Peninsula have a long history of consuming and documenting their use of fly agarics for spiritual and therapeutic purposes. Amanita muscaria has been used as a homeopathic medicine, for physical ailments as well as mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and addiction/withdrawal, and even applying it sublingually to help with concentration and energy.  

The Koryaks of the Kamchatka Peninsula have a long history of using A. muscaria for shamanic purposes, for healing, and for divination. Amanita muscaria has been used as a homeopathic medicine. There are reports of its use to treat a variety of illnesses, including pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and addiction/withdrawal. 

Proper preparation is key  

Correct preparation and dosing are essential when consuming fly agarics. Traditionally, they were dried to perfection by local shamans than consumed through various methods, either eating directly or drinking the urine of someone who has eaten them. Nowadays, the drying still applies but people often microdose with Amanita muscaria. Even in very small doses, these mushrooms can produce therapeutic and psychoactive effects.  

Throughout Europe, Japan, and parts of North America, A. muscaria is prepared for culinary uses by parboiling and eating as a side dish or mixed with other foods. Like all other aspects of fly agarics, there is not much information on the edibility and nutritional value of eating these mushrooms, but it is said to have a hearty yet sweet, very delicious flavor when cooked properly.  

Because many subspecies of Amanita muscaria can be quite toxic, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right kind. The general consensus is that you should only be collecting mushrooms with caps that are bright red in color; never use a species that orange or cream/white colored.  

Conclusion 

Amanita muscaria mushrooms are no longer a commonly used psychedelic mushroom like it was in centuries prior, but they have been getting a bit more attention in recent years. A quick google search will yield quite a few articles, how-to guides, and YouTube videos that explain how to safely utilize this old-world fungus. Me personally, I’ll likely stick to psilocybin mushrooms, because they’re easier to find and I don’t have to worry about negative side effects. But if the opportunity presented itself, I would probably give fly agarics a try, just to see how they feel compared to standard psychedelic varieties.  

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

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

The post Amanita muscaria: The Most Misunderstood Magic Mushroom appeared first on CBD Testers.

Using Cannabinoids & Fungus For The Development Of Medicine For Cancer

*** THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE ***
Cannabotech is advancing in the development of botanical medicine for cancer: It reports obtaining a worldwide exclusive license to use a unique fungus for the development and commercialization of products for the treatment of pancreatic and colon cancers

The studied fungus was found effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells and reducing the extent of cancerous tumors in animals; Cannabotech estimates it will present a prototype of the drug as early as the first half of 2023;

Using Cannabinoids & Fungus For The Development Of Medicine For Cancer - Credit PR
Using Cannabinoids & Fungus For The Development Of Medicine For Cancer – Credit PR

Herzliya, Israel – 2 January 2022 – Cannabotech, which develops, among other things, medical cannabis-based products and fungal extracts, reports it received exclusive use of a patent for the development of drugs based on the extract of Cyathus striatus fungus. The fungus is being researched in the laboratory of Professor Fouad Fares, an expert in molecular biology and cancer research at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Haifa.

According to the agreement signed between Cannabotech and Carmel, the economic company of the University of Haifa, Cannabotech will develop a botanical drug for pancreatic and colon cancers, based on a combination of cannabinoids from the cannabis plant with the fungus extract researched in Professor Fares’ laboratory, which has shown promising results and found to be effective in killing pancreatic and colon cancer cells, and reducing the extent of cancerous tumors in animals, without damaging healthy tissues. 

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Dr. Alex Weissman, an expert in organic chemistry and former director of R&D at the Chimagis Active Ingredients Factory (API), and Dr. Isaac Angel, an expert pharmacologist with more than 15 years of experience in leading drug development processes, will assist Cannabotech in the research process.

A few days ago, Cannabotech reported the results of a study according to which its CannaboBreast product for the treatment of breast cancer, based on a unique combination of cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, combined with standard chemotherapy, resulted in an improvement of up to 6-fold in the killing of cancer cells compared to existing treatment (from 10% to 60% cancer cell mortality). 

Cannabotech CEO Elhanan Shaked said: “Cannabotech continues to advance according to its business plan. Along with our preventative medicine products that are already available today, we are operating in the medium-long term in a variety of clinical trials, the most significant of which is the development of a botanical drug for cancer-based on a unique combination of cannabinoids with the Cyathus striatus fungus.”

 Cannabotech CEO Elhanan Shaked - Credit: PR
Cannabotech CEO Elhanan Shaked Credit: PR

Professor Fouad Fares said: “We are pleased with the results achieved so far in animals and the critical reduction in the extent of cancerous tumors and with improved cancer cells’ mortality. The collaboration with Cannabotech enables us to accelerate the research and development process.”

 About Cannabotech:  

Cannabotech is an Israeli biomedical company that develops botanical solutions for preventive medicine and integrative medicine.  These solutions are based on combinations of active agents from the cannabis plant and fungi that work on two central systems in the human body: the endocannabinoid system and the immune system.

As part of the concept of integrative medicine, in the last two years, Cannabotech has been developing a series of 8 preparations based on unique combinations of botanicals from medical cannabis and fungus-based products, designed to help patients with cancer and chronic pain.  Upon completion of their development, the company’s goal is to designate the products to be integrated into oncology patients’ existing treatment protocol.   

At the same time, Cannabotech is working to develop a defined treatment protocol made available to physicians and technology for treatment customization. 

*** END OF PRESS RELEASE **

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DEA Presents Emoji Explanations for ‘One Pill Can Kill’ Campaign

In a campaign to educate parents on the emoji conversations of their children in regards to drug use, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has created a legend for parental reference.

On December 16, the DEA held a press conference featuring DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, who reviewed the dangers of illegal drug use, especially on the nation’s youth. Specifically, as a part of the DEA’s “One Pill Can Kill” Campaign, the conference content reviewed a reference sheet of identifiable emoji compilations.

Entries include Oxycodone, Xanax, Percocet, Adderall, cocaine, meth, heroin, MDMA/mollies, cough syrup and mushrooms, as well as phrases that the DEA identifies as “drug dealer adverting that they sell/dealer,” “bomb ass shit,” “high potency,” “universal for drugs” and “large batch/amount,” according to the DEA’s breakdown. “Do you know the meaning behind certain emojis? Emojis were originally designed to represent an emotion, event or activity, but have recently taken on a language of their own,” the DEA writes. “Criminal organizations, including drug traffickers, have noticed and are using emojis to buy and sell counterfeit pills and other illicit drugs on social media and through e-commerce.”

The emoji combination for “marijuana” includes six characters that some might, or might not, consider applicable in translation (although it’s all about interpretation). “The reference guide is intended to give parents, caregivers and influencers a better sense of how this language is being used in conjunction with illegal drugs,” the DEA writes. “It is important to note, this list is not all-inclusive and the images contained below are a representative sample. Emojis, on their own, should not be indicative of illegal activity, but coupled with a change in behavior; change in appearance; or significant loss/increase in income should be a reason to start an important conversation. We understand initiating those conversations can be difficult so we have resources available at dea.gov/onepill.”

The DEA also provided a PowerPoint presentation regarding a variety of stats and information about black market drug sales and how to identify counterfeit pills. It also included a brief mention of which social platforms are most commonly used, referred to as “Cases involving criminal drug network activity on social media platforms,” the top three of which are SnapChat, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The emojis for cannabis in the presentation differed slightly from the provided infographic.

Milgram wrote in her press conference statement the tragedy of youth deaths due to drug overdoses such as fentanyl produced by Mexican drug cartels. “What is equally troubling is that the cartels have harnessed the perfect drug delivery tool: social media… social media applications that are available on every smartphone in the United States. Eighty-five percent of all Americans have smartphones: that is about 280 million smartphones.”

Cannabis is only mentioned once in her statement, specifically in regards to the DEA illegal drug haul over the past few months. “In total, between September 29 and December 14 of this year, DEA seized over 8.4 million fake pills, over 5,400 pounds of methamphetamine, and hundreds of pounds each of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, often in the same places that we seized fentanyl. During this surge, DEA has arrested 776 people and seized 288 firearms connected to these drug seizures,” Milgram stated. She concludes the statement with a message urging citizens to “Know the dangers and accessibility of deadly drugs online.”

A recent report from the Mexico Defense Secretary state that Mexican cartels are beginning to shift from cannabis and opium production to that of synthetic drugs, partially due to the legal status of cannabis in many states in the US. Fentanyl is now the leading causes of death for Americans between ages 18-45, as according to 2019-2020 data collected from the CDC and presented by Families Against Fentanyl. More people died from fentanyl poisoning than suicide, COVID-19 and vehicle accidents.

The post DEA Presents Emoji Explanations for ‘One Pill Can Kill’ Campaign appeared first on High Times.

Santa Claus, Paganism, and Psychedelic Mushrooms of Siberia 

The tale of Santa Claus and Christmas can be traced back to numerous different origins and cultures throughout history. The most popular narrative is the legend of Saint Nicholas, a Christian bishop of Greek descent who was known for his kindness and generosity. It’s a great story, but it’s not the only historical account of Santa Claus, and personally, it’s not my favorite rendition.  

The reality is that winter festivals and a version of “Christmas” have been celebrated since long before Christianity swept the world, and certain elements of Santa Claus’ life and common Christmas themes seem to better align with ancient Pagan and Shamanic traditions of centuries prior. In this article, we’ll explore the Siberian and Arctic regions, where, as the story goes, ‘Santa’ was actually a local shaman who dropped bags of psychedelic mushrooms into the homes of residents during the winter solstice.  

Christmas stories are fun, espeically when they include psychedelics. Remember to subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and all the latest, most exciting industry news. And save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What is Paganism? 

In the mainstream world, there are a lot of preconceived notions about paganism connecting it to witchcraft and Satanism, but these ideas simply are not rooted in any sort of fact. The word ‘Pagan’ is an umbrella term coming from the Latin word ‘paganus’ which can be roughly translated to mean “those who live in the country”.   

When Christianity began to take hold in the Roman Empire, it happened mainly in larger cities. The new Christian began using the word ‘pagan’ to describe those living in rural areas who continued to follow and believe in the old ways. 

Nowadays, a Pagan is basically anyone who is spiritual but falls out of the realms of major religion, although the definition does still vary a bit depending on who you ask. Christians, Jews, and Muslims use this term to categorize those involved in “any religious act, practice, or ceremony” that is not theirs. Hindus, Buddhists, and others define it as “being without a religion”.  

In a way, these definitions are accurate. Paganism is technically not a religion, but a system of overlapping beliefs lacking an official doctrine or text (like the Bible, Koran, Tanakh, etc.). A common thread among Pagans is a belief in the divine and natural order of the universe.   

Christmas before Christianity  

In modern culture, Christmas is a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrated on the 25th of December. But prior to the birth of Christianity, winter festivals with Christmas-like elements were incredibly popular among European and Siberian Pagans. Some of the Christmas traditions that we still know and love today stem from Celtic winter celebrations, like the hanging of mistletoe and ivy.  

Take the Germanic, midwinter festival known as Yule. It was time for festivities, baking, decorating, gift giving, and family that occurred over a period of 12 nights around the winter solstice (yes, that is where 12 days of Christmas come from). So much of the current iconography and themes that we associate with modern-day Christmas – such as the Yule log, decorated trees, the wreath, holly, mistletoe, and the star – all originated from Yule.  

Other European cultures had their own festivals and celebrations, components of which were stolen by Christian settlers as well. Ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a festival celebrated from December 17th to 23rd and celebrated the agricultural god Saturn. During Saturnalia, people would also decorate their homes with intricate wreaths and different types of greenery.  

Even Christmas carols come from the ‘Kondela’, an Eastern European, pagan custom of singing seasonal songs to drive away evil. These kondelas were sung during their winter festivities to protect the villages and usher in a blessed new year. 

Santa the Siberian Mushroom Shaman 

Some of our Christmas customs even come from further east, from the Evenki Northern Tungusic people in what is currently known as Siberia. The Evenki were hunter-gatherers and reindeer herders, and their survival depended almost entirely on the latter. Reindeer provided the tribes with almost all their basic needs including food, transportation, milk, clothing, tools made from the bones and antlers, as well as cultural, spiritual, and artistic inspiration and customs.  

The Evenki participated in a form of Paganism, known as Shamanism. The word “shaman” can be traced back to the Tungus word “saman”, which can be loosely defined as “one to talks to spirits”. A prominent aspect in their Shamanic rituals included the consumption of Amanita muscaria, or the Fly Agaric Mushroom. This fungus, arguably the most recognizable species of toadstool mushrooms, is known for its powerful psychoactive effects, attributable to the presence of the neurotoxins ibotenic acid and muscimol. 

Amanita muscaria was sacred to the indigenous people of Siberia and the Evenki Shaman used them regularly during ceremonies and rituals. Because these mushrooms can be very toxic, they need to dry a bit before eating. While collecting the mushrooms, people would lay them out under the big evergreen trees in the woods, very much resembling a present-day Christmas tree with red and white bulbous ornaments.  

Amanita muscaria (fly agaric mushrooms)

“Why do people bring pine trees into their houses at the Winter Solstice, placing brightly colored (red and white) packages under their boughs, as gifts to show their love for each other?” asks James Arthur, author of Mushrooms and Mankind. “It is because, underneath the pine bough is the exact location where one would find this ‘Most Sacred’ substance, the Amanita muscaria, in the wild.” 

Once ready, the shaman would collect all the mushrooms in a large sac and deliver them to the villagers as gifts during the winter solstice. The villagers would then continue the process of drying their mushrooms by handing them in a sock near the fire. Sounds vaguely familiar right? It’s because the Santa we tell our children about today is just a modern counterpart of an ancient shaman who consumed psychedelic plants to connect with the natural and spiritual world.  

Magical Reindeer, Chimney Drops, and other stories 

 Again, reindeer play a pivotal role of the Tungusic people’s existence and success. According to Mircea Eliade, “shamans take on a chimeric association with regional animals including wolves, bears, fish, and reindeer. The shaman dies to his old identity as he assumes this hybrid role, where the animal symbolizes a real and direct connection with the beyond.” 

In Siberia, it’s not uncommon for reindeer to eat the Amanita mushrooms, and yes, they do feel the psychotropic effects to some extent, although how ‘high’ they actually get still remains up for debate. Some experts theorize that, while humans seek out psychedelics to feel of sensation of spiritual connection, some animals might use them to make the monotony of a cold, bleak, depressing winter a bit more tolerable.  

The chimney symbology hails from these pagan, shamanistic Siberian communities as well. We know that shamans were collecting magic mushrooms and delivering them to the homes of their people, but how they entered the homes is another story. Since it was common to be snowed in during that time of the year, the teepee-like homes had an opening in the roof, to allow smoke from fireplaces to escape and for people to enter and exit when there was too much snow. And so the Santa chimney story was born.  

Speaking of mushrooms and gift giving, this story is not unique to Siberian shamans, as surprising as that sounds. The Sami Shamans of Lapland in Northern Finland share similar tales of winter parties, passing out healing fits to children, and drying psychedelic mushrooms and trees.  

 “An all-knowing man who defies space and time? Flying reindeer? Reindeer-drawn sleds? Climbing down the chimney? The giving of gifts? The tales of the Sami shamans have it all,” says Matthew Salton director/producer of New York Times Op-Docs Santa is a Psychedelic Mushroom.  

“Regional connections shouldn’t surprise us. Wherever psychedelics appear in nature, rituals have emerged to celebrate them. Secret societies being built around the notion of death and resurrection are a repeated historical phenomenon. And what story better fits the mythos of Santa Claus, a man dressed like a psychedelic mushroom who is reborn every year, flying around the world bringing healing gifts to children, yet is never seen by a soul?” 

Conclusion 

Almost every single contemporary Christmas tradition can be traced back to paganism, and the same can be said for Easter and Halloween. When the first Christian missionaries were forcibly converting the people of Europe, they found it easier and less controversial to simply repackage the annual festivities as “Christian Holidays” and just let people continue celebrating as they had been. 

But just because we have been fed a certain story our whole lives, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the ultimate truth. As a matter of fact, most of what we know about holidays, religion, and history is inaccurate and we’re learning more every day about the importance to due diligence and doing your own research.  

When you get down to the core of it, the idea of Santa being a mushroom-eating shaman who rode an intoxicated reindeer to deliver gifts to local children on the winter solstice, oddly, makes more sense than the alternative.  

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

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone 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 Santa Claus, Paganism, and Psychedelic Mushrooms of Siberia  appeared first on CBD Testers.

Meet the Mushrooms – Health Benefits of Various Fungi  

Mushrooms are widely regarded as a superfood because they taste great, add richness and can elevate most meals, and are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that translate to incredible health benefits for consumers. If you’re looking for one type of food to add to your diet that could really make a difference in your overall health, fungus is truly where you get the most bang for your buck.  

From common grocery store types like creminis, to incredibly rare psychedelic varieties, all edible mushrooms are extremely beneficial. Remember that some are poisonous, so don’t go running around the woods eating unidentified fungi. But do try to incorporate more healthy mushrooms into your diet. Whether you’re adding shitakes to dinner once a week or microdosing with liberty caps, you’re sure to experience some positive changes. Remember to subscribe to The Psychedelic Weekly Newsletter to learn more about mushrooms and the psychedelic industry as a whole.  


Why mushrooms are amazing  

In addition to being considered a gourmet food, mushrooms are one of the most nutritious foods on earth. They’re a low-calorie source of fiber, protein, potassium, and antioxidants, known to have the ability to mitigate (or completely heal in some instances) many serious health conditions. The list of ailments that can benefit from mushroom consumption is vast but includes: diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure.  

Not only can fungi help treat existing conditions, but they can make you healthier overall. The anti-inflammatory effect of fungi is proven to greatly improve immune function and efficiency. The anti-inflammatory effect of mushrooms has been shown to greatly improve the efficiency of the immune system. Numerous studies have found that mushrooms help stimulate macrophages in the immune system, amplifying its ability to fight disease.  

In that same vein of general wellness, research indicates that mushrooms, when combined with other healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise, are key to weight loss and maintenance. Mushrooms have low calories, no cholesterol, and no fat, so they’re a great way to get the recommended amount of dietary protein for building muscle, without all the unnecessary compounds that can make you gain fat.  

Another interesting feature of mushrooms, one that was only recently discovered, and by accident, is that they can produce antibiotic compounds for a huge range of bacteria. If exposed to certain bacterium, mushrooms will create metabolites to kill that pathogen. This discovery could be pivotal in changing the way we treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.  

Fungus as a healing superfood is a somewhat new concept in the western world, but they’ve been utilized in eastern medicine and nutrition for centuries. The oldest official record of medicinal compounds from Traditional Chinese Medicine, dating from the 29th century BC, lists several mushroom species. In recent years, they’ve become a popular meat substitute as we’ve seen a steady rise in vegetarianism and veganism across the globe. They’re also being discussed with increased frequency in the realm of mental health, especially psilocybin mushrooms.  

Lion’s Mane  

Hericium erinaceus is an edible mushroom hailing from the tooth fungus group. It’s native to three different continents, North America, Europe, and Asia, and they resemble of clump of long spines growing on various hardwood trees. They can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or steeped in soup and tea. They have a strong seafood/shellfish flavor, like crab or lobster. Lion’s mane extracts are commonly found in health supplements, and Asian countries like China, India, Japan, and Korea have been using these mushrooms medicinally for ages.  

Research has found that lion’s mane mushrooms contain high levels of two compounds that can aid in brain cell regeneration: hericenones and erinacines. These compounds can also prevent neural damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which are abnormal clusters of protein fragments built up between nerve cells; commonly found in the brains of people with Alzeihmer’s.  

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are also known to be extremely effective in fighting cancer. This theory has been tested and proven numerous times over with several different types of human cancer cells in test tubes. Liver, colon, stomach, and blood cancer cells have been studied and Lion’s Mane was successful in destroying them all.  

Cordyceps 

Cordyceps are not quite mushrooms, but rather a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on insect larvae. The fungi attacks the host and replaces its body tissues with stems that grow on the outside of the larva’s body. Over 600 species of cordyceps have been discovered all over the world, although most are concentrated in Asia and medical literature has focused heavily on two types: Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris 

The remnants of these infected insects have been harvested, dried, and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine formulations to treat inflammation, fatigue, low sex drive, kidney disease, and many other illnesses. Formal research on this fungus is limited, but anecdotal evidence is abundant.  

Additionally, cordyceps are believed to increase the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), source of cellular energy for muscle contractions, nerve impulse propagation, and other physiological functions. In Eastern cultures, cordyceps are often used by the elderly for the anti-aging properties – attributable to their high levels of antioxidants – as well as to battle weakness and fatigue and improve their sex lives.  

Reishi  

Ganoderma lucidum, also known as Lingzhi or Reishi, is a reddish-brown colored, polypore fungus with a banded cap and peripheral stem. Fresh reishi look soft and flat, and they grow at the base of deciduous trees, particularly maples. They can be eaten fresh, dried, in tinctures or extracts, or in powdered form that can be added to smoothies or drinks. 

Reishi mushrooms contain a bunch of different compounds that are beneficial to human health, such as triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. Although many mushrooms lack the scientific literature to back up their benefits, that is not the case with reishi. As a matter of fact, over 3,300 research papers published on these mushrooms in the US National Library of Medicine alone.  

Although all mushrooms are believed to have positive effects on immunity, reishi mushrooms are especially known for this. Studies have found that reishi mushrooms can affect the genetic makeup of white blood cells, making them more effective immune system agents.  

Morels  

Morchella, or true morels, are a genus of edible sac fungi that can be found in temperate regions around the world including North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan. They are a prized ingredient in many types of cuisine, especially French. Cultivation of these mushrooms can be tricky, so harvesting wild morels has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. 

It’s important not to confuse true morels with false morels, a term loosely applied to describe Gyromitra esculenta, Verpa bohemica, and other species morel lookalikes. Although some false morels can be eaten safely, the ones in my area and many others are extremely poisonous. So toxic in fact that even fumes from cooking the mushrooms can cause dizziness and nausea. When cut down the middle, true morels have a hollow cap and a stem that connects at the bottom of the cap, whereas false morels have a thick fibrous stem that runs through the entire cap and connects at the top. Check the photos on this page to learn more.  

That said, I personally love morels. You can’t really find any in grocery stores but I’m blessed to have them growing in abundance in my yard in Indiana. I live in the woods near some small creeks and a large lake and find them frequently in open fields along the forest edge, near oak, elm, ash, and aspen trees. 

Like all mushrooms, morels have many benefits but one thing that makes them unique is that they have one of the highest amounts of vitamin D out of any edible mushroom species. Only 100 grams of morels (less than 1 cup) will provide you 34% of the daily required levels of vitamin D. They’re also loaded with potassium, vitamins, copper, and antioxidants.  

Turkey tails  

Turkey tails, also known as Coriolus versicolor, Polyporus versicolor, or Trametes versicolor (meaning ‘of several colors’) is a common polypore mushroom that grows in humid areas all over the world. They are technically considered to be inedible, only because they harden when cooked and don’t taste good, but they can be turned into powders, tinctures, and extracts for use in various products.  

Like reishi mushrooms, Turkey tails are also revered for their immune-boosting abilities. Turkey tails contain Polysaccharopeptides, which are protein-bound carbohydrates that block inflammation and activate beneficial immune cells. Because of this, Turkey tail mushrooms are used in combination with pharmaceutical treatments to enhance their efficiency. For example, a review of 13 studies found that chemotherapy patients who were consuming 1-4 grams of Coriolus versicolor had a greater chance of survival than those who did standard treatments alone. Overall, Turkey tails contributed to a 9% reduction in 5-year mortality.  

Another unique benefit of Turkey tails is that they can help regulate your gut bacteria, which plays a pivotal role in overall health. Many health conditions stem from an imbalanced gut microbiome. A study of 24 healthy volunteers found that this strain of mushroom contains prebiotics that suppressed the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella. Outside the digestive system, Turkey tails can prevent the growth and spread of Staphylococcus aureus.  

Chaga  

Chaga, formally known as Inonotus obiquus, is a parasitic fungus from the Hymenochaetaceae family. They grow on a lot of different trees but have an affinity for birch. Chaga mushrooms have been used medicinally for hundreds of years in Siberia and other parts of Asia. They’re not pretty compared to other mushrooms and resemble an irregularly-shaped clump of burnt charcoal, but they’re one of the more popular species on this list and are becoming better-known in the Western world as well.  

Chaga mushrooms contain a wide variety of different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as B-complex vitamins vitamin D potassium rubidium cesium amino acids fiber copper selenium zinc iron manganese magnesium calcium. The extract from this fungus is commonly used to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.  

During a 2-month study of lab rats on chaga, the extract was found to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Experts believe the high antioxidant content in chagas are responsible for this. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that eating chaga mushrooms regularly can reduce oxidative stress and lower blood pressure and greatly reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.   

Maitake  

Grifola frondosa, also known as Hen-of-the-woods or Maitake (not to be confused with shiitake) is a polypore mushroom found in Japan, China, Europe, and North America. It grows at the base of trees, mainly oaks, and can be found in late summer to early fall. The word “maitake” means dancing mushroom in Japanese. As the story goes, people were so elated when they found this mushroom in the wild that they ‘danced for joy’… and no, it’s not psychedelic.  

Although Maitakes are sometimes used in recipes, they are considered a medicinal mushroom and more often utilized in therapeutic settings. Maitake mushrooms are what’s known as adaptogens, or non-toxic plants that can be used to regulate body systems, both physical and mental. They’re one of the best mushrooms to use for ‘resetting’ the body and creating homeostasis. Maitakes have shown more promising results in treating and preventing various health conditions than other mushrooms.  

A 2015 study also discovered that maitake mushrooms can be effective in treating type 2 diabetes, which is on the rise. Statistics show that lifestyle choices (like diet, lack of exercise, and obesity) are responsible for up to 85% of new type 2 diabetes cases. In the study, maitake mushrooms had a positive impact on rats with this disease.  

Psilocybin  

Psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms, mushrooms or shrooms, are a polyphyletic, informal group of fungi that includes Copelandia, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Panaeolus, Pholiotina, Pluteus, and Psilocybe. Psilocybin, the main psychoactive compound in these mushrooms, is actually found in over 100 species around the world.  

Psilocybin is a classic hallucinogenic compound produced by over 100 species of mushrooms across the world. It has a strong effect on serotonin receptors in the brain, including some in the cerebral cortex and thalamus regions. Although mushroom use – casually referred to as “shrooming” – is commonly associated with hippies, artists and others that tend to live a more alternative lifestyle, their consumption actually dates back thousands of years. Historically, they’ve been used to aid in religious ceremonies and are still considered a gateway to some very profound spiritual experiences.  

Psilocybin mushrooms also have some powerful therapeutic benefits, and have already been decriminalized in a few locations around the world as researchers dive into their potential to treat numerous disorders. Areas of interest include conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and substance addiction. 

Unlike other mushrooms on this list, there is an issue of legality with psilocybin mushrooms, meaning that they are still illegal in most countries. In the United States, their active ingredient is listed as a schedule 1 narcotic, and so they are illegal. A few pockets of the world are changing these laws though, as the public becomes increasingly aware of their health benefits.  

Final thoughts 

The mushrooms listed above are just some of my personal favorites, but you can benefit from even the most common species out there. Adding some baby bellas or white buttons to your meal plan a couple times a week can have amazing wellness benefits, while microdosing with magic mushrooms on a regular basis could be a game changer for your mental health. As long as what you’re eating isn’t poisonous, you really can’t go wrong with any type of mushroom, they’re all incredible!   

Hello all! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your ultimate online destination for the most relevant and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Read through the site regularly to stay on top of the constantly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a thing.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. 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 Meet the Mushrooms – Health Benefits of Various Fungi   appeared first on CBD Testers.

Do mushrooms have terpenes and an entourage effect?

Mycologist, Paul Stamets, gave incredible wisdom with a specific type of psychedelic mushroom during a MAPS presentation. This advice is perhaps only needed for the strongest of the species known to man, but as it turns out, there is more to a shroom than psychoactive tryptamines. Lab tests have revealed that fresh mushrooms contain the more delicate […]

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New York Subways Ban Ads for Cannabis or Mushrooms

Ads pertaining to cannabis or psychedelic mushrooms are now prohibited on New York transit vehicle services.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York updated its advertising policies on November 17, noting that public transit services may not advertise cannabis or psychedelic mushrooms. “The revised policy includes certain provisions that were part of past policies (with some amendments), and adds new restrictions based on changed circumstances. For example, the revised Advertising Policy explicitly bars advertising for cannabis products, following the decriminalization of recreational use of such products in New York State,” the MTA wrote on its website.

The revised advertising policy notes that the ban applies to anything that: “Promotes tobacco, nicotine, or any tobacco-related or nicotine-related product; any alcohol product; cannabis or any cannabis-related product; or hallucinogenic mushrooms or hallucinogenic mushroom-related product.”

The list of banned advertising also applies to a variety of other types of content, including the promotion or opposition of a political party, anything relative to religious policies, anything “false, misleading or deceptive,” anything that “encourages or depicts unsafe behavior,” which includes promotions of escort services, strip clubs or other sexual services, anything with the use of profanity, among many other prohibited advertisement types.

The policy change is the result of a legal settlement with sexual wellness brand Dame. A complaint was filed by Dame in 2019 when the MTA rejected the company’s advertising efforts, even though the MTA had previously approved dating apps with suggestive imagery, the Museum of Sex and men’s sexual health products. Dame argued that banning the company’s sexual health ads was unconstitutional. “Sexual pleasure is a critical part of wellbeing. Denying Dame advertising space stifles our ability to articulate the value we bring; to innovate and develop products for female sexual pleasure; and enforces sexual shame as a societal norm,” said Dame CEO Alexandra Fine.

She continued, “The MTA was disproportionately applying their anti sexually-oriented business clause to women’s pleasure advertisements, which is unconstitutional. They allowed erectile dysfunction advertisements to run while denying us, making them a social and economic gate-keeper on who is entitled to pleasure. We’ve had to fight for our right to advertise and we believe this is a step forward in closing the pleasure gap.”

Now that cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms are banned from advertising in New York transit services, it leads to a few questions about the future. It is uncertain if the MTA will evolve or change its policies when New York’s recreational cannabis legalization officially launches (it’s currently projected to begin in 2022, but is subject to change).

The state’s recreational cannabis bill, also referred to as the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, gives the Cannabis Control Board the power to dictate rules on cannabis advertisement, especially for ads that are promote consumption, appeals to children, and more specifically “…is in public transit vehicles and stations.”

Furthermore, support for legalizing psychedelic mushrooms is growing across the country, but it is legal or decriminalized in only a few cities, such as Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California, and states such as Oregon, which decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms in 2020. Psychedelic mushrooms are not currently legal in New York, so there isn’t a legal market to promote the sales of mushrooms.

Other recreationally legal states have enacted laws to prevent cannabis advertisements such as billboards. In February, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the prohibition of cannabis billboard ads that are located near a highway or state border. More recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 1302, which would have allowed cannabis billboard advertisements to return to highways and interstate freeways, citing the effects of youth exposure. States such as Michigan have also introduced legislation to ban billboard advertisements.

The post New York Subways Ban Ads for Cannabis or Mushrooms appeared first on High Times.

Lil Nas X’s Album Was Inspired by Shrooms, Interview Reveals

In an interview with Myles Tanzer, published inThe Wall Street Journal Magazine’s Innovator Issue, Lil Nas X revealed that his recent album Montero was inspired by psilocybin mushrooms. The article also boldly called Lil Nas X, 22, the “new King of Pop.”

To record the album, Lil Nas X worked in the studio with the producer duo David Biral and Denzel Baptiste at various Airbnb rentals scattered throughout California. The producer duo also calls themselves “Take a Daytrip.” While the duo produced artists ranging from Kid Cudi to Juice WRLD, Lil Nas X is probably their most important partnership to date.

It was the first time Lil Nas X tried psilocybin, and it apparently had a profound impact on the recording of his first full-length studio album.  

Lil Nas X says “a pivotal moment in the process was trying psychedelic mushrooms for the first time,” Wall Street Journal reports. The “Take a Daytrip” producer duo babysat the artist as he navigated his way through the trip. And, “Baptiste and Biral sat by Nas’ side sober and talked to him throughout the day, occasionally taking dips in the pool and hot tub but not working on any music, just reflecting on life.”

“I was able to open up a lot,” Lil Nas X added. “I was able to write actual stories about my life and put it into my music. I actually did that for the first time.”

The music video for lead single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” spanned scenes from the Garden of Eden to Hell, which is now partially explainable by the impact of recent psychedelic experiences.

Lil Nas X added, “At the end of the day, I want to exist. I want to have fun, I want to cause chaos sometimes. I want a long, legendary, fun life.”

Lil Nas X attended the 11th annual WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards on Monday at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, along with fellow honorees including Kim Kardashian, Ryan Reynolds, Demi Moore, Lewis Hamilton and others. 

The pop star showed up to the awards sporting a Thom Browne look with a dog-shaped purse.

Lil Nas X: The King of Controversy?

At just age 22, the pop star topped the Billboard Hot 100 at number one three times, with several other tracks in radio and streaming circulation. 

The pop star prefers cannabis over tobacco. “I will smoke weed all day then cough if somebody smoke a cigarette near me LMAO,” Lil Nas X tweeted in 2018. He was recently forced to quit after a bout of pneumonia, which he didn’t even realize he had at the time.

If psilocybin mushrooms are considered controversial—rest-assured, it won’t be long until Lil Nas X is on top of it.

The pop star is attracted to controversy like moths to a flame. In once instance, Lil Nas X showed up to the 2020 Grammy Awards sporting a pink bondage-inspired cowboy outfit.

In September, Lil Nas X celebrated the release of his first album, the one inspired by shrooms, by sharing “pregnancy” photos, skillfully shot aesthetically.

The star’s music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” was a particular target, probably due to the depiction of him giving the devil a lapdance in Hell. Pastor Greg Locke said in a video shared on Twitter that the song contained a “bunch of devil-worshipping, wicked nonsense.” Fox News said the song and video were “desperate and pathetic.” Lil Nas X continued his faked “evil gay Satanic agenda” by releasing Nike shoes, customized with pentagrams, etc. He was forced to abort the Satan shoes stunt when Nike threatened legal action.

The pop star’s subsequent music videos were certainly not any less controversial. Given by Lil Nas X’s reactions to his controversies, he loves it.

The post Lil Nas X’s Album Was Inspired by Shrooms, Interview Reveals appeared first on High Times.

Arrive Alive – Tips for a Happy Halloween Trip

I have a friend named George and he likes to party a lot. George takes drugs but he does it in a safe way. If you’re going to party this year, have a Happy Halloween and arrive alive. To help you in this endeavour, here are George’s tips for having a good trip… and a […]

The post Arrive Alive – Tips for a Happy Halloween Trip appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.