2C-B: What Is It?

Drug use has been an integral part of human history, from peace pipes to Ayahuasca, we have benefitted from the gifts nature gives us. However, with the new scientific age we live in, so-called ‘designer drugs’ have been growing in popularity. Designer drugs are those that have been created by people themselves with the specific intention of giving us a high, trip or experience, think LSD in the 50’s and 60’s.

A newer designer drug that has been taking the drug scene by storm is 2C-B; a psychedelic and stimulant rolled into one. Sometimes known as ‘tripstacy’ or ‘seventh heaven’ – and described as crossing MDMA with LSD – this interesting drug has been dubbed ‘the scary party drug’. However, it’s also seen as a way to revolutionize partying; in general becoming the most popular novel psychedelic. So, what is 2C-B? where does it come from and what are its effects? As part of our What is: drugs series we’ll be delving into this tripstatic drug and figuring out just where it fits into the developing drug scene.

Party drugs like psychedelics are a big thing in the club scene, but they’re not for everyone. Some people prefer a more relaxing drug like cannabis. For the hardcode cannabis aficionados out there, there are more options available than ever. Take delta-8 THC for example, no one knew what this alternate form of THC was a few years ago, and now, this milder version, which doesn’t create the same anxiety, is available all over the place. We’ve got great deals for delta-8 THC along with delta-9 THCTHCVTHCPdelta 10HHCTHC-O, so go ahead, and check out our always-updated selections.


What is 2C-B?

According to the AAC, “2C-B, or 4-bromo-2,5 dimethoxyphenethylamine, is a hallucinogenic drug…whose effects are reportedly similar to MDMA, mescaline, LSD, and amphetamine”. It is a designer drug first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin in 1974, but became much more popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s as MDMA was becoming more controlled around the world. With MDMA being made illegal, and concerns over the purity of MDMA pills sold through the illegal drugs trade, people were marketed 2C-B as a legal and potentially safer  alternative, but due to its more psychedelic effects it became very popular for its own reasons.

The drug is now one of the most popular designer drugs to take and can be found in most club scenes, in fact in a study conducted on frequent drug users in Spain, 2C-B was found to be the most popular ‘new psychedelic’ taken, even beating Ketamine and mephedrone. 2C-B is just one of the types of 2C drugs synthesized, which we will discuss further in the history of 2C-B section in this article. 2C-B is illegal in most countries, including the US and UK. The US counts it as a Schedule 1 drug and in the UK it is a Class A, the highest class of drug illegality. Possession and selling will result in conviction.

What Does It Look Like?

The drug can come in different forms, but most often it is taken as a pill or a capsule, much like MDMA. The pill is swallowed and usually after about half an hour you’ll be coming up, then feel the effects, both euphoric and psychedelic for about 2-3 hours. Alternatively 2C-B can be sold as a fine, white powder and snorted which will give a more rapid onset of effects, but with a lower intensity. 2C-B can be combined with other drugs, most famously MDMA and LSD. Taking MDMA and 2C-B together is called a party pack, heightening the euphoric elements of the drug and when mixed with LSD, called a banana split, heightening the psychedelic side. If a user so wishes, they can also vaporize 2C-B and inhale it.  

Ways to Have a Good Trip

The bristol drug project has compiled a great list on ways to reduce the chances of having a bad trip. Some of their tips include: ‘weighing out your dose’, ‘being considerate of your setting’ and even ‘considering a trip sitter’. The drug is powerful and users must be wary that it isn’t completely the same as MDMA. Strengths can vary and a small change in dose can create a very different experience. 

The History of 2C-B

2C-B was first synthesised by Alexander Shulgin in 1974. Shulgin was a scientist interested in synthesising drugs and is perhaps more famous for synthesising MDMA. Though the drug had already been discovered by a German Pharmaceutical company in the early 20th century, Shulgin’s work meant that the drug could be more easily made and produced. He even tried MDMA out on himself and gave it to psychiatrists to promote its ‘therapeutic effects’. Shulgin then went on to investigate creating a psychedelic drug with stimulant effects. He stumbled upon the 2C series. A group of phenylethylamines that include 2C-C, 2C-D etc. 

The name 2C comes from the fact that there are 2 Carbon atoms between the benzene ring and the amino group in its chemical structure. 2C-B was first marketed as an aphrodisiac sold under brand names such as ‘Erox, Nexus, Venus’ and easily picked up in head shops and adult shops as a way to alleviate impotency. The drug then made its way into the night club scene, and particularly when the US moved MDMA up to a schedule one, illegal drug in 1985. 2C-B was then itself made schedule one in 1994, but is still popular in night clubs across the world.

How Does It Feel?

2C-B gives the user a range of feelings and effects and especially, as discussed, gives both a feeling of euphoria and a psychedelic experience. When on 2C-B, you can feel energised, awake, your perception of colours and patterns can become heightened and you can hallucinate with a real connection to your surroundings. It’s a fantastic combination of some of the best parts of MDMA and LSD, though it is a little bit more intense than both alone because of this combination, so if you’ve never taken it before make sure you know your dosage. A small dose  of about 10 milligrams can create milder experiences, whereas increasing up to 20 mg will give a more intense hallucinatory trip. Even higher doses can give experiences similar to acid. A side note here to mention that Shulgin himself took a maximum does of 100mg and supposedly reported no harmful effects… we do not recommend this. 

Something to note is that, like MDMA, a user can experience a come down, feeling low and having troubles focussing and motivating in the week after taking the 2C-B. The comedown isn’t as bad as MDMA, but because the drug affects serotonin, you may still feel a little low.

What are the Psychoactive Effects?

So, where does 2C-B work in the brain? As you’d expect, much of 2C-B’s effects on the brain are very similar to MDMA, affecting Serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter linked to mood and is needed to regulate emotions, in particular happiness. Too little serotonin in the brain is what leads to depression and having lots of it, which is what happens after you take 2C-B leads to a sense of euphoria! 2C-B supposedly increases the level of Serotonin  in the brain making it a Serotonin agonist, this increase will also be linked to the hallucinatory effects of the drug as well.

Positives

2C-B is an incredible drug in that it brings together two very different drug experiences, the high of MDMA and the psychedelic experiences of  LSD. This is a huge positive for people looking to change up their drug taking habits or to experience something new in the club scene. 2C-B may also have some interesting effects on human emotional perception: 2C-B reduces feelings of anger and can even increase experiences of other’s emotions, read through facial expressions.This has lead some people to believe that drugs such as 2C-B could be used for some types of therapy. Shulgin himslef was an avid believer of the drug’s positive psychological effects.

Negatives

As with any psychedelic there are risks to 2C-B. Anyone taking the drug has to be mindful of where your thoughts can go. 2C-B can cause anxiety, negative thoughts and the feared ‘bad trip’. Of course if you’re in the right setting and have good people around you, this can be avoided but it is something to think about. Another issue is that the purity of the drug is variable. There have been very, very few deaths linked to  2C-B and any that are because the user was given a pill mixed with other substances. Shulgin himself has expressed anger at the way ‘amateur chemists’ don’t care about purity and just want to make some money. All of this has to be considered as a risk of 2C-B, so make sure when you buy, you try safe and manageable doses first. 

My Own Experiences 

I’ve only taken 2C-B once and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t a huge amount of the drug but it gave me an incredible feeling of calm and contentment. I was with a group of close friends and we listened to classical music (Mahler 9) and it blew my mind. I didn’t experience too many hallucinations, but the lights were much more twinkly and fractal. Unfortunately, the night before I’d eaten some bad Oysters and woke up after a very peaceful and calm trip to projectile vomit across my friends carpet… but that was nothing to do with the 2C-B. I definitely want to try it again. 

Conclusion 

2C-B is a fascinating drug which can really give someone a novel drug experience that perhaps they’d have never tried before. It can change the way we view stimulants and psychedelics and it could even potentially be used for therapeutic benefits. Of course, as with all drugs, 2C-B has to be taken safely, responsibly and in a good environment; but when done right it’s a brilliant drug.

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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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Psychedelic Legalization to Follow in the Footsteps of Cannabis

Just like cannabis gradually became a regular part of the mainstream conversation during the last decade, over the next few years we can expect to hear much more about psychedelics – everything from medical benefits to legalization efforts, societal views to current studies, and beyond. Given the safe and natural element to using these types of compounds, it’s no surprise that psychedelics are following the same path as cannabis: decriminalization and eventual re-legalization on the basis of scientific research and cultural acceptance.

Psychedelic research and legalization is a hot topic right now, and of all the psychedelics, THC is still the most popular one. For THC users who have a problem with the anxiety or experience paranoia, delta-8 THC might be preferable. If you think you could benefit from this altered version of THC, take a look at our awesome delta-8 THC deals, and try it out for yourself.


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 scientific term for them is ‘entheogens’. This term was adopted, not necessarily for the sake of being scientific, but rather to allow the field to operate without the stigma attached to psychedelics from the smear campaigns of the 1960’s. 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.

Medical Research on Psychedelics

Just like cannabis, legalization and normalization of psychedelic drugs would be impossible if there weren’t some type of medical benefits to show on paper. Luckily, the research does exist, especially in the field of mental health. A study published just last month in the journal Nature Medicine found that MDMA-assisted therapy could be “a potential breakthrough treatment” for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Other studies have looked at psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, as a possible treatment option for clinical depression, and the results were incredibly promising. Additional research is underway to determine the effectiveness of numerous other psychedelics as well, including LSD and ketamine.

Most psychedelics are serotonergic, meaning the affect the serotonin receptors in our bodies. Many antidepressant drugs involve some type of serotonin signaling, although there are numerous different ways that substances can interact with these receptors. Using pharmaceuticals often leaves the patient with many unwanted side effects, whereas natural compounds are typically considered safer, when used correctly.

Psychedelics had a brief stint in modern medicine in the 1950s and several psychologists at the time were utilizing them to treat patients with depression and addiction, LSD in particular. They found it to be especially helpful in curbing alcoholism, which can be proven by this study in which it was reported that even 1 full year after treatment, subjects were still off the booze.

Known as ‘psychedelic therapy’ in the U.S. and ‘psycholytic therapy in the U.K., it was really catching on. However, when these compounds were added to the Schedule 1 narcotics list in both countries, the ability to research psychedelics, let alone utilize them in treatment plans, came to a screeching halt.

In recent years, we’ve seen a massive shift in the way the public, as well as healthcare and government agencies, view this class of drugs. The FDA itself has deemed both psilocybin and MDMA (magic mushrooms and ecstasy) as “leading breakthrough therapies” for depression and PTSD. This means that we can anticipate a rush in research and development for products containing these active ingredients in the very near future.

Psychedelic Legalization Efforts

The heavy regulation of psychedelics began in 1966, just as these drugs started making their way in the realm of recreational use. At the time, ‘recreational’ use of psychoactive substances was rooted in their ability to expand one’s consciousness. Psychedelic activists of today could very well be driven by similar motives, but the focus of their public campaigns is ‘safe, natural, alternative healthcare’ – a topic that many people have been showing greater interest in over the last decade.

Looking at it from a purely legal perspective, it not only makes sense, but it seems like the only logical way to tackle a subject like this one. Pushing for full legalization of highly intoxicating substances is already a pretty tall order, but if using the argument that our collective consciousness is suffering and in need of expansion, you can imagine that the movement wouldn’t gain much traction (regardless of how true sentiment that actually is).                                           

Psychedelic legalization will undoubtedly face many of the same challenges we have seen time and time again in the fight for cannabis legalization. We know medical research fueled by cultural mainstreaming makes for a remarkably effective weapon against outdated regulations. But despite how far we have come on both of those fronts in the cannabis industry, it remains federally prohibited. And when looking at our current administration, we know that Joe Biden really has a bug up his you-know-what about cannabis, so it seems incredibly unlikely that we will see any kind of turnaround with psychedelic regulations on his watch.

Nevertheless, we know it’s in the cards and by the end of this decade it will be a booming industry. Numerous, cities, states and countries have relaxed their laws surrounding possession and use of psychedelics drugs.

Cultural Views on Psychedelic Legalization

Compared to cannabis, psychedelic have the unique advantage of being carrying less social stigma. Many advocates of psychedelic drugs are healers themselves, dedicated to conserving cultural traditions regarding the healing of pain and trauma through rituals that include psychedelic use – and this will be a huge contributing factor to eventual legalization.

From their initial emergence into the mainstream discussion, psychedelics have been positioned as a therapeutic drug, rather than recreational; as compounds that you use in micro doses to get only the psychological benefits without any of the psychoactive side effects; and as compounds that will soon be utilized in some of the most cutting-edge therapy sessions, by the most progressive practitioners.

Stigma still exists, as is the case with any intoxicating compound, but much of this stems from completely irrelevant fear; and luckily it’s nowhere as commonplace as it has been in years prior. Most people, even those who generally lean conservative, are adopting more liberal views when it comes to the use of certain substances, especially those that are found in nature. Plant-based healing is a much more popular concept now that in has been in our nation’s recent past.  

Looking West

In a big move for the psychedelic industry, a bill was recently passed by a second California Senate committee which would legalize the possession of numerous different forms of psychoactive drugs in the Golden State. The legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Scott Wiener (D), advanced through the Public Safety Committee earlier this month, followed by a pass from the Health Committee one week later. If this bill fully passes, an extensive list of psychedelics including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, and MDMA would be legalized for adults aged 21 and older.

Additionally, the bill would call for the expungement of prior convictions for possession of psychedelic drugs, the same way the state is trying to expunge cannabis convictions; as well as redefining what paraphernalia will be lawful to possess and use with these newly legalized substances.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar it’s because California was also the first state to legalize medical cannabis use back in 1996, long before it was a frequent topic in any political discourse. The golden state is also the birthplace of most cultural cannabis trends over the last few decades. California has been at the forefront of cannabis legalization efforts since the early 1970s and is one of the first states to begin expunging prior cannabis-related convictions after Prop 64 passed in 2016.

“The war on drugs has been an abject failure because it is based on the false belief, the false notion, that criminalizing people, arresting them, incarcerating them for possessing, for using drugs, will somehow deter use and improve public safety,” commented democratic Senator Scott Wiener. “It has done neither.”

Oregon, Washington and Colorado are also very liberal states that have been working to change the national narrative on drug use, particularly cannabis and other psychedelics. Oregon became the first state in the United States to decriminalize the possession of all drugs. Possessing heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other intoxicating substances for personal use is no longer a criminal offense in Oregon. Those drugs are still against the law, as is selling them. But possession is now a civil – not criminal – violation that may result in a fine or court-ordered therapy, not jail.

Final Thoughts

The path to drug legalization can be bumpy, and taking psychedelics from illegal to medical-use-only to legal for adult-use will take some time. But based on current patterns, we can expect this will happen relatively soon. Just like cannabinoids, psychedelic compounds are the medicine of the future and when legalization does occur, there will be an industry boom like we’ve never seen before.

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Welcome to the World’s 1st DMT Trials into Depression

As research into medical psychedelics heats up, more drugs have been brought into the spotlight for medical testing. The FDA is pushing for research and products with MDMA and psilocybin in the US, and over in England, the world’s 1st DMT trials into depression have begun.

THC might be one of the most popular compounds on earth, with people using it in every country. The invention of delta-8 THC gives users more options, offering a less intense experience with less psychoactive effect, and for many people, less anxiety. More options means it’s easier to get what you want. So make sure to check out these great Delta-8 THC deals, and figure out which THC is optimal for you!

What is DMT?

DMT – N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, is a hallucinogenic compound that can be found in nature in many plants like Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi. It is processed into a white powder that can be vaporized or smoked, brewed into a drink like ayahuasca, snorted like cocaine, or even injected. It has been used as a medicine, and in spiritual applications, for thousands of years. DMT trips can be as short as 30-45 minutes, or as long as 4-6 hours when taken as ayahuasca.

Evidence of DMT use has been found going back at least 1,000 years in the Sora River valley in southwestern Bolivia with the finding of a pouch which contained both DMT and harmine. Together they imply the use of ayahuasca (a psychedelic tea made from the combination of Psychotria viridis – which produces DMT, and Banisteriopsis caapi vine – which produces MAO inhibitors which keep the DMT from breaking down, allowing for the longer trip time.)

Like many psychedelic drugs, DMT acts on serotonin receptors, particularly the 5-ht2a receptor. It acts as a non-selective agonist at most/all receptors. Serotonin is a hormone that’s known for mood stabilization, happiness, well-being, anxiety levels, and feelings of depression. It also plays a big role in communication within the nervous system, and to help regulate basic functions like eating, digestion and sleeping. Too little serotonin has been associated with depressive disorders, and too much is often associated with excessive activity in nerve cells.

DMT trials depression

There is growing evidence that the human body can actually produce DMT itself by way of the pineal gland in the brain. There has even been research into whether DMT is released right before death in order to quell the anxiety of dying. Most testing into this has been done on animals thus far. Recent research has shed light into the similarities between near-death experiences and DMT use.

DMT was first synthesized by Richard Manske, a Canadian chemist, in 1931. It was not actually located in plants until 1946 when Oswaldo Gonçalves de Lima, a microbiologist, was able to find the compound in nature. The hallucinogenic aspect wasn’t discovered until 1956 when Hungarian chemist and psychiatrist Stephen Szara self-administered DMT he had extracted from the plant Mimosa hostilis.

What are psychedelics in general?

Psychedelics are psychoactive substances with a powerful ability to alter perception, mood, and cognitive processes. Psychedelics are a subset of hallucinogens, and can cause a person to perceptually experience things that are not actually happening – aka a hallucination. Psychedelics are also known for promoting self-introspection, feelings of connection between people, mystical experiences, relaxation, feelings of overall well-being, and euphoria.

They are also associated with negative side effects like bad trips which can cause negative hallucinations and feelings of anxiety and fear. Bad trips, and other negative effects like sweating, vomiting, chills, numbness, and dizziness, can often be entirely avoided with correct dosing. Psychedelics can be made in laboratories, like LSD, or found in nature like DMT and psilocybin. They are not associated with causing major injury or death.

Currently, plenty of research is going on into psychedelic drugs, though research was stymied for years due to psychedelics being made globally illegal with placement in Schedule I of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971. This treaty defines drug legalities worldwide. The scheduling implies the drugs in this category are uniformly dangerous, with no medical value, and the grouping includes DMT and other psychedelics. Even so, plenty of research is going on right now into LSD, MDMA, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), ayahuasca and more.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy

When it comes to psychedelics for therapy, there isn’t a model that I’ve seen where a subject is simply given a dose of a drug and told to have a good time. In the past, and in more recent testing, psychedelics have been/are used as part of psychedelic-assisted therapy. The basic model involves three phases: preparation, psychedelic experience, and integration. Research from the 1950’s-1970’s involves two ways of doing the second phase.

major depression

One method was developed by Humphry Osmond, a Canadian psychiatrist, who used one large dose with a therapeutic session, which was termed ‘psychedelic therapy’. Conversely, UK psychiatrist Ronald Sandison used smaller doses that gradually got bigger, over several sessions, which became called ‘psycholytic therapy’. Here is an overview of the three basic stages, regardless of which methodology is used in terms of number of sessions and amount of drug per session:

Preparation phase– In this first stage, the doctor and patient get to know each other, which is important because the relationship between the doctor and patient can affect the psychedelic session. This phase generally involves talk therapy sessions where the patient’s issues can be identified and flushed out, and the patient can be prepared for the following phase. Preparation can involve behavioral directives for the experience, like explaining to the patient they should open a door if one appears in his/her experience, or to go up to a scary creature to ask questions rather than run away, as a way to encourage a patient to deal with difficult situations instead of avoiding them.

Psychedelic phase – In this phase, the patient is given a psychedelic, and then experiences their trip while their doctor gives them general guidance, with little or no analysis at this time. The session can last as long as 8+ hours as it must last as long as the drug. It’s usually carried out in a space that looks and feels comfortable to the patient. In testing, the space is usually set up to look like a living room. These sessions have two doctors present, likely for safety reasons as the patient is being put in an altered state of mind. This phase varies greatly depending on the methods used by the particular doctor. But at all times during this phase, the patient is attended to by their doctor.

Integration phase – This phase occurs soon after the psychedelic phase and can be done in one or multiple sessions, much like the other phases. The doctor facilitates this session, and helps the patient make sense of their experience. To process what happened during the session, to gain some kind of positive value from it, and to integrate an understanding between the psychedelic experience and their issues in reality.

World’s 1st DMT trials for depression

Most of the studies in the 1900’s revolved around testing LSD for use with alcohol addiction. In today’s world, there is growing interest in several compounds. The new trend can be seen clearly in the US (FDA) Food & Drug Administration’s push to get some of these compounds tested and brought to market. In 2017, the FDA designated MDMA as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for PTSD, and in 2019 it made the same designation for psilocybin from magic mushrooms for major depression.

According to the FDA, the ‘breakthrough therapy’ designation is meant “to expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions…” So it suffices to say, that legal or not, there is a growing pressure even within the US government to get these drugs to market.

DMT and ayahuasca

It’s therefore not shocking that the 1st DMT trials into depression recently started. It was announced in December 2020 that the (MHRA) UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approved the use of DMT in the first ever clinical trial of the compound, specifically for the treatment of depression. The trials are being done as a collaboration between Small Pharma and Imperial College London. In this first trial, considered a phase I/IIa trial, the drug is being given to a small number of healthy individuals to establish safety and efficacy. A second trial is expected, in which patients will be given DMT in trials as a part of psychedelic-assisted therapy for depression.

The explanation for the first trials, according to Small Pharma’s chief scientific and medical officer Carol Routledge, is that “Taking the drug before therapy is akin to shaking up a snow globe and letting the flakes settle.” She says, “The psychedelic drug breaks up all of the ruminative thought processes in your brain – it literally undoes what has been done by either the stress you’ve been through or the depressive thoughts you have – and hugely increases the making of new connections.” She goes on to say:

“Then the [psychotherapy] session afterwards is the letting-things-settle piece of things – it helps you to make sense of those thoughts and puts you back on the right track. We think this could be a treatment for a number of depressive disorders besides major depression, including PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and possibly some types of substance abuse.”

Unlike an LSD, psilocybin, or even ayahuasca trip (in which DMT is mixed with another compound to make it last longer), all of which can last many hours, DMT trips are significantly shorter, usually over within a couple hours max. This might prove preferable to the aforementioned drugs which require significantly more time for therapeutic sessions. These DMT trials into depression can help establish if DMT is suitable for treatment, and if the shorter time period really is beneficial.

Conclusion

While everyone focuses on every minute detail of the fight for cannabis legalization, most people are ignoring the rise in medical psychedelic research and use. Maybe because the topic just hasn’t been promoted enough, which is possibly because there isn’t yet a product to make money off of. But there will be soon, and then, what I’m writing about now, will be front page news in every publication. For now, though it’s still a minor story to the average person, it’s a major one in the medical/pharmaceutical world, with these 1st DMT trials into depression signaling even further expansion of an industry ready to blow off the roof.

Hello! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 location for the best cannabis-related news from everywhere in the world. Check us out frequently to keep up on the ever-changing world of legal cannabis, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the loop!

Resources

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, and How It Works
South Africa Introduces Some of the Most Lax Laws on Cannabis Yet

The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics
Next Stop for Cannabis Industry Investors: Malawi
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Opening Your Third Eye – How Cannabis Affects the Pineal Gland
Ayahuasca In the Fight Against Drug Addiction
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers).  MDMA – The New Way to Treat PTSD Desert Tripping – A Closer Look at Peyote: Spiritual, Medicinal, & Controversial
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Florida Bill Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms
The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals. Best Delta-8 THC Vape Bundles – Winter 2021 Can LSD Treat Your Mental Illness?
Plant Power: Everyday Plants That Activate the Endocannabinoid System Sinaloa Cartel Might Run Mexico’s New Cannabis Industry Merry Cannabis! Christmas and Marijuana
Denver Residents Vote to Decriminalize “Magic Mushrooms”
Africa’s Green Rush and the Mad Dash to Update Cannabis Regulation Nature’s Magic – The Health Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms Cannabis Election Results – What Just Became Legal in the United States

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Can LSD Treat Your Mental Illness?

For several decades, psychedelics have been uniformly outlawed, with massive campaigns from the late 1900’s used to raise fear and controversy over their effects. Now, as the world acclimates to the medical and recreational use of cannabis, psychedelics are being looked at once again for their medical benefits. In fact, one of the leading points of research is the use of LSD to treat mental illness.

When it comes to psychedelics, cannabis is one of the most popular, and its not hard to see why. THC has medical benefits and makes people feel good. However, for some people, regular THC is just too much. If you’re one of those people, check out our Delta-8 THC deals, and experience THC with slightly less psychoactive effect, and less anxiety.

What is LSD?

LSD, known more scientifically as Lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic psychedelic drug, which was first synthesized in 1938 by Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman. He was also the first person to experience its effects when he accidentally ingested a small amount in 1943. As a psychedelic, it is known for altering perception, feelings, and thoughts, as well as causing visions and sensations that are not actually there (hallucinations). LSD is in a class of drugs called ergolines which are often used to treat disorders like Parkinson’s. Unlike some compounds like DMT, LSD is manmade, though derived from the ergot fungus.

How exactly LSD works to cause the effects its associated with, is still not completely defined. However, certain aspects have been found in research. In one study put out in 2017 from the University of North Carolina, it was found that LSD interacts with serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a big role in mood and brain communication. The particular receptor it effects is called 5-HT2AR. One of the interesting things that happens when LSD attaches to this receptor, is that the receptor closes over the molecule, preventing it from leaving quickly. This could very well explain why the drug can last for many hours, even after it has left the bloodstream.

The serotonin receptor it attaches to can activate two signaling pathways through G-proteins and β-arrestins within cells. With LSD, it primarily works through the β-arrestins. The researchers on this study found that different drugs in the ergoline group effect serotonin receptors differently, and found evidence that the compounds themselves can modify the structure of the receptor in order to activate different effects.

Research

There has actually been plenty of research into how LSD can aide in the treatment of mental illness. Back in 2014, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was done to investigate how safe and effective LSD is in treating the anxiety experienced by patients with life-threatening illnesses.

12 patients were used in the study, and they were given drug-free psychotherapy sessions, along with two psychotherapy sessions with LSD. A two-month follow-up showed a positive trend according to the (STAI) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory in terms of reductions in trait and state anxiety. The reductions in anxiety related to the LSD were sustained for 12 months. No serious adverse effects were noticed, and minimal adverse effects subsided within one day. The overall outcome of the study was LSD safely decreased anxiety.

In a systematic review of LSD in psychiatry, 11 studies were identified  concerning LSD and mental health that consisted of randomized and controlled clinical trials. These were done between the years of 1950-1970 when it was not illegal to use LSD in medical testing, and when LSD was regularly studied for use with addiction, anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic diseases. As part of the 11 studies that made the cut, 567 subjects were administered LSD in doses of 20 to 800 micrograms. The overall finding was that LSD has positive results in psychiatric symptoms, particularly for alcoholism. A grand majority of the study authors from the review cited positive, if short-term, improvements. This was not always seen in long-term follow-ups.

LSD in the treatment of mental illness today

Yet another systematic review was done on studies into LSD from after 1970. This review, called the Modern Clinical Research on LSD was published in 2017. The review looked at five recent studies in London, Zurich and Basel. All studies were placebo controlled. The London studies were single-blind, non-randomized, the Switzerland studies were randomized, double-blind. In all studies, low-moderate doses of LSD were used between 40-80 micrograms. (It takes about 100-200 micrograms for a full LSD effect).

In terms of subjective effects according to validated psychometric scales, the response in controlled settings was mainly positive. Average group ratings for liking the drug and having positive effects reached 90% of the maximum possible on the VAS scale after 200 micrograms had been administered. At 200 micrograms, only a small percentage increase was made for the average of those who had a negative drug effect (<25%), however negative ratings did go up with the increase.

No high levels of anxiety or panic occurred, necessitating no sedation of patients to stave off negative effects. The main feelings experienced during testing were: bliss, altered perceptions, audiovisual synesthesia (think crossed wires and mixed-up responses), and derealization and depersonalization in positive ways. Higher doses included more insightfulness.

LSD for mental illness

In terms of the synesthesia, LSD produced spontaneous experiences, indicating it alters spontaneous processes, rather than creating an induced response. At under 100 micrograms, LSD promoted suggestibility, and at 200 micrograms it inspired mystical experiences during psychotherapy combined with LSD. Similar studies that have been done on psilocybin have shown that more intense mystical experiences are tied to long-term positive benefits.

However, these mystical effects were correlated at a high level with blissful states as well, meaning the long-term response could be more related to blissful experiences than mystical ones. In these studies, LSD promoted feelings of happiness, well-being, openness, closeness to other people, and trust.

In terms of negative effects, they generally didn’t last more than 10-24 hours, and included headache, difficulty with concentration, decrease in appetite, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, exhaustion and feeling unbalanced. No severe adverse responses were noticed in any of the modern testing. LSD, in general, is considered non-toxic physically.

Why is it illegal?

When looking at all the positive scientific research, and the lack of detrimental side effects, it starts to look very strange that LSD has been illegalized, while pharmaceutical medications to treat the same things often have lower success rates and harsher side effects. While the US government might stick with a tagline of psychedelics being dangerous and having no medical value, there is another underlying story which makes a bit more sense.

LSD and psilocybin were first illegalized in the late 60’s after a years long smear campaign which coincided with the Vietnam war. America was off fighting a battle that didn’t technically involve it, and causing a massive death toll, and unspeakable and unnecessary violence and destruction to residents of Vietnam.

There was already a pretty heavy anti-war movement during that time. Want to speculate on how much bigger and harder to control that would’ve been if the country was focusing on the war as it should have been? The question of why America wanted to be in that war so badly is a whole debate in and of itself, but regardless of the ‘why’s, there are still some heavy truths. In 1994, a guy named John Ehrlichman, who had been the Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs in Nixon’s administration, made this statement:

psychedelics

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Is it really any wonder that in 1968 the US passed the Staggers-Dodd bill illegalizing both LSD and psilocybin? Or that in 1971 the Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty gave it a Schedule I ranking? And is it really any wonder that this was heavily pushed for by richer countries with developed pharmaceutical industries, while poorer countries that didn’t have industries that could benefit the same way, were against the illegalization?

What now?

Things can change easily from good to bad, but they can also change from bad to good. Growing scrutiny towards agencies like the DEA for blocking scientific discovery in order to restrict access, and a renewed interest in medical testing, has re-opened the door which had been closed on LSD. Last month, the company MindMed even announced the beginning of the very first clinical trial ever to incorporate LSD and MDMA to test the possible benefits in dealing with mental illness.

Mindmed is a biotech company specializing in medicines and therapies using psychedelics. The trials are being done in Switzerland, which has been the base for a lot of psychedelics testing. Considering it’s a biotech company doing them, the logic answer would be that they want to make a product to sell eventually. My guess is, by the time they’re ready, it’ll be more legal globally to make LSD products to treat mental illness. After all, think about how fast the cannabis industry changed in the last few years.

Conclusion

The ongoing legalizations of cannabis, which is also a psychedelic, though a much less intense one, do signal a change in things. LSD has shown a spectacular profile for aiding in mental illness, with so few adverse reactions, that its silly what people are taking instead. It’s hard to say what the future holds, but it might very soon be the legalization for LSD medically.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your primary spot for all cannabis-related news around the world. Stop by frequently to stay on top of the ever-changing world of legal marijuana, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the know!

Resources

Cannabis and Schizophrenia – Not a Testable Hypothesis
Forced Legalizations: EU & France Battle it out Over CBD Laws

Is Delta-8 THC Legal? What Does The Law Says? Is CBD Effective for Treating Bipolar Disorder?
Everything You Need to Know About Kratom
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

The New Italian Cannabis Contradiction
Merry Cannabis! Christmas and Marijuana
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). How to choose Delta-8 THC flowersDelta-8 THC Flowers: Everything You Need To Know.
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Relax: How CBD Can Reduce Anxiety
The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals.  Best Delta-8 THC Vape Bundles – Winter 2021 Gallup Poll Finds Americans Use CBD Mostly For Pain Management
Using CBG To Treat Clinical Depression The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official
A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression
Will Cannabis Tourism Be Over in Amsterdam?   Compared to Prescription Medication, Medical Cannabis Not Always Affordable Alternative
CBD’s Role in the Treatment of Multiple Mental Health Disorders

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