Pink Floyd: the Highs and Lows of LSD

Psychedelics and rock n roll have gone hand in hand for decades. The Beatles enjoyed acid, Hendrix was known to dabble in LSD and Eric Clapton also enjoyed hallucinogens. The question is: do psychedelics cause brilliance? Or does brilliance gravitate towards psychedelics? Today we’re going to be zooming in on psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd and, more specifically, their lead guitarist and lyricist Syd Barrett. His musical career and life is perhaps the perfect example of the highs and lows of LSD.

Did it make him? Or did it break him? That’s up for debate, but an interesting story no less.

The legalization of psychedelics is a hot topic of discussion right now, and we’re here to keep you updated every step of the way. For more articles like this one, remember to subscribe to the Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing and important industry.


Pink Floyd

In 2004, the Independent referred to Pink Floyd as ‘the biggest band of all time’

“Now Pink Floyd have received an accolade to match the enormity of their sound and performances – by being named the biggest band of all time, ahead of acts such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.”

But who actually were these guys and why did they leave such a mark on the world? Pink Floyd, previously known as Pink Floyd Sound, were a psychedelic rock band who formed in the 1960s. The main members were Syd Barrett on lead guitar and lyrics, bassist Roger Waters, keyboard player Rick Wright and guitarist David Gilmour. These four made up the original band. It’s important to remember that Pink Floyd still exists today, sort of. Syd Barrett, after struggling with LSD, died in 2004 of Pancreatic Cancer. He was the life and soul of the band, therefore, the group were never really the same again after that. Similar to how Joy Division tried to continue as New Order after the death of the incredible Ian Curtis. It was never really the same. 

Pink Floyd boasted 15 studio albums, 4 live albums, 27 singles and 6 number one albums. Their best selling song was Another Brick in the Wall and their number one album was Dark Side of the Moon. The band led the psychedelic rock genre during their time. In fact, their sound was so original, that it’s hard not to know when you’re hearing a Floyd tune. The choral music, reverby guitar and spiritual lyrics are such a symptom of Pink Floyd’s genius and, specifically, the magic of Syd Barrett. He, many believe, was the diamond in the crown. Far Out Magazine goes into depth about why Syd’s writing ability was so unique:

“A true genius pop song economises its use of time. The hardest part of writing a good pop song is crafting that rare gem of a centre – the easy part is creating the shell around it. So when that time comes, the listener will have been entranced in the outer layers of the song. The gem within the middle makes itself known and shines its mystique, blinding the listener just for a few moments, and while it is a short moment at that, it completely changes our understanding and feelings regarding the song – that is the hook…Syd understood how to write this kind of hook.’

Syd Barrett most definitely suffered from mental health issues and his obsession with LSD, many believed, to be worsening his condition. However, this is only speculation. The fact is that in 1968, during a recording of their album A Saucerful of Secrets , David Gilmour began to take more guitar and band responsibilities due to Barrett’s condition. Gilmour joined the band in January of 1968 as the frontman and guitarist and, essentially, replaced Syd who he’d known since their school days. Barrett was reportedly mentally unbalanced and dealing with drug addiction. He was unhinged. In an open and honest interview about his guilt after 1968, Gilmour said:

“I don’t suppose I saw any option, but to just do the best that I could. I’m sure we were all full of some sort of guilt, and remained that way for a long time… I think there were only five gigs, as I remember it, where there was the five of us played together. Then we ceased to go pick him up.”

After this, Pink Floyd were never the same. However, it’s important to note that whilst rock n roll is full of genius artists who can be difficult to work with, the bands who have stood the test of time are the ones who’ve banded together through the bad times. Look at Oasis, their flame burned bright, but for a very short period of time due to the tumultuous relationship between Liam and Noel Gallagher. Alternatively, if you look at the Beatles, they stuck together through thick and thin and only death tore them apart. However, geniuses do exist. And sometimes it takes a bit of mental imbalance to be a real genius. It comes with its highs and lows. 

Syd Barrett

Roger Keith, later known as Syd Barrett, was the lead singer and guitarist of Pink Floyd before Gilmour took his place in 1968. He has been championed for his stream-of-consciousness writing, where it feels like he’s literally just allowing his mind to do dances on the page. This kind of writing freedom and imagination is hard to come by and, perhaps, it will never be matched again. In the first song of Dark Side of the Moon, Speak To Me, Barrett wrote:

“I’ve been mad for f*cking years, absolutely years, been

over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for bands…

I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, like the

most of us…very hard to explain why you’re mad, even

if you’re not mad…”

This is perhaps a perfect summary of his mental state at that point in his life. But, his and Pink Floyd’s best piece of work was probably that album. Dark Side of the Moon has a case to being the best music album ever written. The entire album plays through smoothly and is a spiritual experience. The incredible vocal explosion during Great Gig in the Sky is one of the major highlights. Some have likened the album to an LSD trip due to its ebbs and flows and beautiful journey. 

LSD and Barrett

It was in the 60s that Barrett began to delve into the world of psychedelics. Whilst mental health issues did not have the voiced platform that they do now, many professionals have theorised that Barett did have pre-existing mental health conditions; perhaps even schizophrenia. However, whilst many would like to label Barett’s experience with LSD as a tragedy, that would be a huge waste. Barrett evidently saw the world differently, in a way that the majority of the world does not. Syd Barrett said about himself:

“I don’t think I’m easy to talk about. I’ve got a very irregular head. And I’m not anything that you think I am anyway.”

Society is too quick to demonize people like Syd Barrett. They loved him when he was writing incredible lyrics, but hated him when he was mentally imbalanced. Both sides to Syd were intrinsically him. The truth is that his brain and turn to psychedelics actually benefited Pink Floyd in a wonderful way. 

“Pink Floyd began doing away with the R&B covers that were being imitated by countless other bands from the era and embracing original sounds. And the highly intelligent Barrett, already known for marching to his own peculiar beat, began heavily ingesting LSD and producing song lyrics that were seemingly pulled from unknown realms of the cosmos.”

He was a genius already, but LSD’s mind-opening capabilities was allowing him to go that step further in his music. Just as the Beatles had done, Pink Floyd’s music was becoming unpredictable and incredibly original. This was Barett at his best.

The Downfall

However, Syd Barrett was most definitely unwell. Whilst he passed in 2004 due to Pancreatic Cancer, many believed he’d died long before that. Whether this was due to LSD, pre existing mental health conditions, or the stress of fame, no one will ever truly know. People will frame it the way they want to fit their narrative. In 1968, Syd officially left the band and Gilmour replaced him. The bassist of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, said:

“It felt to me at the time that Syd was kind of drifting off the rails, and when you’re drifting off the rails the worst thing you can do is start messing around with hallucinogens … It definitely exacerbated the symptoms that, loosely strung together, you and I might call schizophrenia. He heard voices. He became incommunicative. He turned into a different person; [his eyes] were black holes in the sky.”

Gilmour, who was a school friend of Barret, also highlighted how this new persona was out of character for him:

“Syd didn’t seem to recognize me and just stared back… I got to know that look pretty well and I’ll go on record as saying that was when he changed. It was a shock. He was a different person.”

Conclusion

Barrett’s genius flame shon extremely brightly, but not for very long. The band went on without him out of professionalism, but the real soul and magic was now gone. This wasn’t the first time an artist had suffered from similar conditions and it definitely won’t be the last. Does music breed this type of person? Does LSD breed this type of person? Does fame create this type of person? Or is true genius actually something that is unattainable? Perhaps the cost of thinking so incredibly differently and magically, is that there will inevitably be a downfall. That was the case with Barrett. Syd gravitated towards psychedelics because they matched him as a substance, the rest of the world didn’t come close. He will go down as another young person who suffered from mental illness in unforgiving London during his 20s. 

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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 Pink Floyd: the Highs and Lows of LSD appeared first on CBD Testers.

Utah Lawmaker Files Bill To Explore Therapeutic Use of Psychedelics

A Utah lawmaker has introduced a bill to explore the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat serious mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and PTSD. The legislation, House Bill 167, was introduced on Tuesday by Utah state Representative Brady Brammer, who noted that the measure “doesn’t legalize anything.”

“It asks our Huntsman Mental Health Institute and other experts in the field to review the science that’s out there, the research that’s out there, and make any recommendations that they have if they feel psychedelics can be safely administered through a prescription basis and under what circumstances,” Brammer said in a television news interview.

If passed, HB 167 would direct the state’s Health and Human Services Department to create a Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force. The group would “study and make recommendations on drugs that may assist in treating mental illness,” according to the text of the legislation. The legislation specifies the makeup of the task force, which would include mental health professionals, researchers and patients.

Although the bill does not specifically mention psychedelics or any particular drug, the task force would be authorized to “provide evidence-based recommendations on any psychotherapy drug that the task force determines may enhance psychotherapy when treating a mental illness.” The legislation would empower the task force to study the research into psychedelic drugs, which has shown the potential to treat serious mental health conditions.

“We need effective tools to treat mental illness,” Brammer said in a statement to local media. “If psychedelics can be helpful and safely administered, we need them in our toolbox.”

Cannabis Activists Support Utah Psychedelics Bill

Brammer’s bill is supported by groups that campaigned for Proposition 2, the 2018 ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana in Utah. Kylee Shumway, the medical director for the Utah Patients Coalition, said that psychedelics may be able to help residents of the state who are struggling with mental illness.

“We have higher rates of depression and anxiety than a lot of other states and even for people that are looking for help, there’s not enough psychiatrists; there’s not enough mental health professionals to help them,” said Shumway. “And a lot of the medications aren’t working.”

Research into psychedelics including psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine has shown that the drugs have potential therapeutic benefits, particularly for serious mental health conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety. Research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in 2020 found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was an effective and quick-acting treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder. A separate study published in 2016 determined that psilocybin treatment produced substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.

“It’s very promising,” Shumway exclaimed. “There are some huge studies that have just been finished recently on psilocybin that put it head to head against SSRIs which are antidepressants and psilocybin performed better across the board.”

“Utah has some of the finest researchers in the areas of psychiatry and neurosciences at Huntsman Mental Health Institute,” said Brammer. “This bill seeks to leverage that expertise, along with other experts grappling with mental illness, to review the research results, and if appropriate, make recommendations on how to safely administer these therapeutics under the care of qualified physicians.”

Steve Urquhart, a former Republican Utah state senator, also supports Brammer’s bill to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs.

“Psychedelics changed my life,” he told local media. “It changed the way I see myself, the way I regard myself, and that allows me to see others and love others a lot more.”

Urquhart is the founder of The Divine Assembly, a Utah church that promotes religious and responsible use of psilocybin. 

“I’ve always been a bit of an activist at heart, and I decided I wanted to form a church where people can have these freedoms to worship with psychedelics,” Urquhart said. “I tell people, don’t get too lost on psychedelics; The Divine Assembly is about connection, and psychedelics can help with that.”

Urquhart believes that state lawmakers are likely to appreciate the cautious approach HB 167 takes to explore the benefits of psychedelics and may eventually support the legislation.

“Remember, this is Utah. Of course, we’re likely to take a slower approach to something like this,” he noted. “But on things like this, when the process runs, when it works, Utah can kind of come up with some magic. I’m optimistic about this.”

Brammer introduced HB 167 in the Utah House of Representatives on January 18. The bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee for consideration.

The post Utah Lawmaker Files Bill To Explore Therapeutic Use of Psychedelics appeared first on High Times.

States That Might Legalize Psychedelics in 2022 – Is Yours on the List? 

Over the last decade we’ve seen a wave of cannabis reform efforts that have seemingly reached every corner of the earth. In the US alone, nearly three-quarters of the nation has adopted some type of medical cannabis program, while over a dozen states have legalized it completely for adult recreational use. Now, we’re seeing the psychedelics industry following in the same exact footsteps – first with sweeping decriminalization and the implementation of psychedelic-assisted therapy, and eventually, one can only assume, full-scale adult-use legalization.  

As of now, psychoactive plants, roots, and fungi remain federally prohibited, categorized under Schedule 1 on the DEA’s list of controlled substances. However, individual cities and states are taking steps to loosen up restrictions on these plants. 2022 is expected to be an amazing year for drug reform, and many states have legislation in the works regarding entheogenic substances. Is your state on this list? Will psychedelics legalization happen where you live?

The legalization of psychedelics is a hot topic of discussion right now, and we’re here to keep you updated every step of the way. For more articles like this one, remember to subscribe to the Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing and important industry.


Decriminalization vs Legalization of Psychedelics

The terms “decriminalization” and “legalization” are often used interchangeably, but they are very different. Full legalization of psychedelics removes most legal prohibitions against such compound (age restrictions, DUI laws, and some other restrictions would still apply). If psychedelics are completely legalized, individuals found selling or possessing it for personal use will not be subject to criminal OR civil penalties.  

Decriminalization means that the substance in question is still federally illegal, but criminal penalties are not enforced. Instead, users would face civil penalties such as fines and forced rehabilitation, although any type of legal action would be the lowest of priorities.  Records may be kept in a local tribunal, but they will not affect employment, housing, or travel opportunities. If an individual is court-ordered into a rehab program, and they chose not to attend, it’s possible that criminal penalties would be imposed at that point.  

The problem with decriminalization is that it can allow for too much “interpretation” of the law. For example, in a decriminalized state, a police officer can take your cannabis, fine you, and send you to court where your case will end up getting thrown out if it meets the criteria of a legal decriminalized amount. So, you’re out the money you spent on flower that remains confiscated, the city doesn’t get any additional money from you because the case is tossed out in court, and the entire ordeal is majorly inconvenient and a huge waste of time for everyone involved. 

The plus side to decriminalization is that if signifies the changing and more progressive views of the general public. A quick google search of psychedelics will lead to a seemingly endless list of news stories about different regions that are decriminalizing psychedelics, specifically psilocybin, for various reasons – be it personal use or therapeutic.  

California 

California has made a lot of progress this year on the psychedelic front, and it’s highly likely that these substances will be legalized by the end of the year. This could happen one of two ways: either through a legislative approached sponsored by democratic senator Scott Wiener, or via a ballot campaign that would allow citizens to vote on the subject during the 2022 elections. 

Senate Bill 519, which aims to legalize various psychedelics including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, and MDMA for adult use (21 and over), passed through a second senate vote last spring. It was expected to be finalized by the end of 2021, but ultimately, the bill was turned into a two-year proposal to be revived in 2022. Experts believe there is a “50/50 chance” that SB 519 will advance this session.  

Luckily, that is not the only current path to legalization in the golden state, as California activists are currently collecting signatures to add a psychedelics reform initiative to the November ballot. This route would only legalize psilocybin mushrooms, however. Psychedelic mushrooms are already decriminalized in Oakland and Santa Cruz.  

Colorado 

Colorado is already on the forefront of psychedelic legalization, with Denver having decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms two years ago. The Capital City became the first in the nation to take such a progressive step, so it makes sense for the rest of the state to follow suit. The city of Colorado Springs, the second largest city in the state, also has its own bill in the works. 

On a grander scale, Colorado’s 2022 ballot will contain a few different initiatives regarding psychedelics reform. The first one would legalize possession, cultivation, and personal use of psychedelics for anyone over the age of 21 years. Additionally, a framework for regulating “healing centers” would be established, where patients could safely utilize psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline for therapeutic treatments.  

The other two initiatives, both titled The Natural Medicine Healing Act, were spearheaded by national advocacy groups. One is similar to the above proposal, and would legalize cultivation and possession of numerous different psychoactive substances, as well setting up a licensing process for psychedelic therapy clinics. The second bill is almost identical but would only apply to psilocybin and psilocin.  

Michigan 

In Michigan, a handful of cities have already passed psychedelic reform laws, the largest being Grand Rapids and Detroit. At the state level, a bill sponsored by democratic senator Jeff Irwin would legalize cultivation, possession, and even delivery of many different plant-derived entheogenic substances.  

Delivery, not in the normal sense of the word, which is typically paid for. Irwin specified that people would be exempt from criminal penalties so long as “they are not receiving money or other valuable consideration for the entheogenic plant or fungus.” Commercial production, sales, and distribution would remain illegal. 

The most interesting part though, is a clause that states people will still be permitted to “charge a reasonable fee for counseling, spiritual guidance, or a related service that is provided in conjunction with the use of an entheogenic plant or fungus under the guidance and supervision of an individual providing the service.” 

Missouri  

A republican lawmaker from Missouri, Rep. Michael Davis, submitted a proposal that would legalize psychedelic use for people with certain serious medical conditions. Some of the substances in question include MDMA, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, peyote and psilocybin.  

Additionally, the proposal states that, “production and distribution of any Schedule I psychedelic drug that qualifies as an investigational drug…by a manufacturer and any dispensation of such drug by a physician or pharmacy for use in accordance with this section shall be considered lawful.” 

This bill would be building on the state’s existing ‘right-to-try’ law, which was “passed by a conservative majority in Congress and signed by President Trump in 2018.” Right-to-try laws were created with the intent of allowing terminally ill patients to utilize experimental treatment options (drugs, devices, biologics, etc.) that have completed Phase I clinical testing but have not yet been approved by the FDA. Missouri was the third state to enact such laws, and currently, 41 state offer the “right-to-try”.  

“There is emerging interest and significant clinical research supporting the safety and efficacy of psychedelic drugs for PTSD, traumatic injury therapy and numerous other conditions,” Davis said in a press release. “Because the [Food and Drug Administration] has not taken action to reschedule these drugs and make them generally available, I am working to make these drugs available through Missouri’s investigational drug access statute.”  

Virgina 

Last week, Virginia lawmakers introduced two bills that would decriminalize the possession and use of a handful of natural psychedelics, one in the House of Delegates and one in the Senate. The house bill would reduce the possession of “peyote, ibogaine, psilocybin, or psilocin by adults 21 and older” from a Class 5 felony to a civil penalty that carries a $100 fine.  

As per the proposal, “Any dollars collected from psychedelics possession violations would go to the state’s Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund, which supports substance misuse treatment programs and drug courts.” 

The senate bill is pretty much identical but only applies to psilocybin and psilocin found in psychedelic mushrooms and truffles. Virginia is also working on implementing a commercial cannabis market, so this should be an exciting year for the Old Dominion State. 

Washington State 

Being one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis back in 2012, alongside Colorado, and with their neighbors to the south having already decriminalized all drugs, it makes sense that Washington is considering more lenient regulations on psychedelics as well.  

As a matter of fact, the ballot prepared by industry activists would decriminalize drugs on a wider scale, making the possession of any “unlawful” drug only a civil infraction. People caught with such contraband would either pay a fine or be referred to a drug treatment program. Currently, drug possession in Washington is a misdemeanor, reduced from a felony in 2021.  

Christina Blocker of Commit to Change WA, says her organization is “energized by the support that we have received across the state of Washington,” and that “2022 is the year where we will have the opportunity to end the War on Drugs and its impacts on our families, our neighbors, and our communities.” 

Final Thoughts on Psychedelics Legalization in 2022

Exactly how many of these bills and ballot proposals will actually pass remains to be seen, but it’s exciting to see that the country is taking psychedelics seriously and at the state level, we are beginning to witness the loosening of all these overbearing restrictions that are currently in place. Maybe full legalization of psychedelics is not as far-fetched as we once thought.

Welcome readers! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, your one-stop-shop for the most important and relevant cannabis and psychedelics-related news happening now. Read-thru the site regularly to stay informed on the constantly-in-motion universe of cannabis, and medical psychedelics, and sign up for the The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always on top of 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 States That Might Legalize Psychedelics in 2022 – Is Yours on the List?  appeared first on CBD Testers.

Did Psychedelics Help Our Brains Evolve?

There are tons of theories of evolution that attempt to explain how we went from single-celled organisms to the highly complicated structures we are today. I’m not getting into that entire process, but instead, am focusing on the more recent changeover from early cave-dwelling humans to the 21st century beings we are today. What happened to make us what we are? And did psychedelics help our brains evolve?

If psychedelics helped our brains evolve, there’s no telling how useful they could be in the future. It could even mean that we’re not done evolving yet!! For more articles like this one, remember to subscribe to the our Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing and important industry.


What are psychedelics?

It’s quite a question of whether psychedelics did help our brains evolve. Before getting to that, let’s identify what we’re talking about in general. Psychedelic drugs go under the heading of hallucinogens, which are a part of the psychoactive drugs grouping. Psychedelic compounds can be found all over nature in the form of magic mushrooms, DMT, peyote, and ayahuasca. Or, they can be made in a lab like LSD, DXM, and ketamine.

Psychedelics are associated with hallucinations, though different compounds cause varying effects. Hallucinations include a sensory experience that isn’t actually there, like seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling something that doesn’t exist. They are also widely known for causing spiritual experiences for users; making users feel more connected to each other, and the universe as a whole; inciting feelings of euphoria, and wellbeing; altering perception, and mood; and affecting cognitive function. This all includes what users have repeatedly called ‘life-changing experiences’ connected to life and consciousness, when on these drugs.

While psychedelics have repeatedly shown to be safe, and without a death and disability count, there is the possibility of experiencing a ‘bad trip’. A bad trip is as it sounds. A generally not fun incident wherein users experience negative hallucinations, and physical symptoms like anxiety, paranoia, nausea, raised blood pressure, erratic heartbeat, vomiting, chills, and dizziness. There are several things a person can do to avoid a bad trip, which is mostly about getting the dosage correct. However, there are other things that can be controlled for, like taking the trip in a place that’s comfortable, or being around the right people.

magic mushrooms

Psychedelics have been used widely throughout ancient history, but were essentially banned after the creation and marketization of LSD in the mid-late 1900’s. The Vietnam war was likely a catalyst, as drugs were used to denigrate the anti-war movement which was tightly tied to counterculture and draft-dodging. In the US, the Staggers-Dodd bill was passed in 1968 specifically illegalizing LSD and magic mushrooms, and this was followed up by the passing of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Globally, the UN’s Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971 made these compounds illegal all over the world.

What is evolution?

For most people, the idea of evolution is understood, though many see it as truth, and many see it as a lie. In all honesty, regardless of how much this answer is liked, it really is only a theory. The theory of evolution is “The scientific theory explaining the appearance of new species and varieties through the action of various biological mechanisms (such as natural selection, genetic mutation or drift, and hybridization).” This includes the “descent with modification from preexisting species: cumulative inherited change in a population of organisms through time leading to the appearance of new forms: the process by which new species or populations of living things develop from preexisting forms through successive generations.”

Essentially, it’s a theory that seeks to explain how life might have changed on this planet over time, allowing one form of living species to become something else. It doesn’t propose this happened randomly, but as a response to different factors like mutation, or the right attributes helping some survive over others in a particular environment.

I was on a message board once, where whether the theory of evolution was ‘true’ or not was being discussed. I was personally disgusted by how many medical and scientific research professionals touted it as a truth, when indeed our history cannot be tested, meaning it’s not a provable theory by default. Though changes have been identified in more recent times (like sherpas, and their acquired ability in recent history to use oxygen more efficiently at high altitudes) the reason the theory of evolution is called ‘the theory of evolution’ and not the ‘law of evolution’, is because like it or not, and whether it’s the best answer we have or not, there is no hard proof that this theory is true.

We learn a lot through history. It’s always good to remember that it was once thought the sun moved around the earth, or that tiny people were in our bodies making things function, or that letting out blood could cure illness. We constantly find new ruins and artifacts that change the story, like that neanderthal DNA can be found in our DNA, something ruled out previously. So though I myself see evolution as the best answer, unlike the scientists erroneously saying it ‘has to’ be true, I also understand it’s a huge topic for which we don’t understand everything.

While many detractors choose a more religious, god-centered story to explain how we came to be, others point to possibilities like genetic material landing on earth from a meteor, while others propose that aliens had something to do with it. And like it or not, we as a people can’t technically rule any of this out, even if the go-to answer has become evolution.

brain evolution

Did psychedelics help our brains evolve?

Now that psychedelics have been described, we can get more into how they might have affected the human brain through time. In fact, psychedelics are under much investigation at the moment for help with things like depression, anxiety, and drug addiction. LSD studies from the mid-1900’s did well to draw out the possible ability for the compound to help hardcore drinkers stop in their tracks. The FDA is supporting research into MDMA and psilocybin through giving ‘breakthrough therapy’ designations to both. These designations are given when research is underway on something that shows to be a better answer to a problem than a standard remedy.

All of the things mentioned denote the idea that psychedelic compounds can help change the way the brain works. In fact, esketamine, (the legalized version of ketamine), as well as ketamine itself which is widely used in clinics for therapy as an off-label product, have both shown to be great helps with major depression. More so than monoamine antidepressants, which have been the pharmaceutical answer that realistically never worked. Psychedelics seem to be able to allow the brain to make new connections, and essentially, reformulate parts of itself.

Early humans did not function like we do today. Their brain capacity was much more limited, which is known by their limited abilities to establish societies, or live outside of basic, wild, animal means. We know the brain would have had to change extensively to allow us to be what we currently are (assuming evolution is the answer), meaning, something led to that happening. Maybe it was just mutation, or natural selection. Or maybe, early humans ate some plants that helped them expand their minds, and grow their brains.

More on the theory that psychedelics helped our brains evolve

So where is this idea backed up? In more and more places these days. First off, before worrying about evolution specifically, and whether psychedelics did help our brains evolve, the first thig to understand is that psychedelics may change the structure of brain cells. In 2018, Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity was published in Cell Reports, which found four key points of interest:

  1. That serotonergic psychedelics (most psychedelics are in this category) increase neuritogenesis (the sprouting of neurites from a cell, which is the first step in the development of a mature neuronal morphology), spinogenesis (the development of dendritic spines in neurons), and synaptogenesis (the formation of new synapses).
  2. That psychedelics promote plasticity (the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience) via an evolutionarily conserved mechanism.
  3. That TrkB (receptor), mTOR (protein kinase), and 5-HT2A (receptor) signaling underlie psychedelic-induced plasticity. As in, these three help psychedelics to change the brain.
  4. That noribogaine (primary metabolite of ibogaine), but not ibogaine (psychedelic compound found in many plants), is capable of promoting structural neural plasticity.

The study was conducted on several different animals, from rats and other rodents, to zebrafish embryos. These studies were not done on humans, which should be considered when looking at results. It should be remembered, however, that we regularly rely on animal studies to give us information about what will work for humans. According to the study investigators:

psychedelics brains evolve

“Here, we report that, like ketamine, serotonergic psychedelics are capable of robustly increasing neuritogenesis and/or spinogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. These changes in neuronal structure are accompanied by increased synapse number and function, as measured by fluorescence microscopy and electrophysiology. The structural changes induced by psychedelics appear to result from stimulation of the TrkB, mTOR, and 5-HT2A signaling pathways and could possibly explain the clinical effectiveness of these compounds.”

Going further into the possibility that psychedelics helped our brains evolve

Yet another recent study got into this idea. On September 29th, 2021, Psychedelics, Sociality, and Human Evolution was published in Frontiers in Psychology. The study authors start out by saying: “Our hominin ancestors inevitably encountered and likely ingested psychedelic mushrooms throughout their evolutionary history”, which they relate back as far as the Pliocene age.

According to researchers, “Psilocybin and similar psychedelics that primarily target the serotonin 2A receptor subtype stimulate an active coping strategy response that may provide an enhanced capacity for adaptive changes through a flexible and associative mode of cognition. Such psychedelics also alter emotional processing, self-regulation, and social behavior, often having enduring effects on individual and group well-being and sociality.”

They go on to say, “A homeostatic and drug instrumentalization perspective suggests that incidental inclusion of psychedelics in the diet of hominins, and their eventual addition to rituals and institutions of early humans could have conferred selective advantages.”

Finally, they break it down to, “the evolutionary scenario put forward suggests that integration of psilocybin into ancient diet, communal practice, and proto-religious activity may have enhanced hominin response to the socio-cognitive niche, while also aiding in its creation. In particular, the interpersonal and prosocial effects of psilocybin may have mediated the expansion of social bonding mechanisms such as laughter, music, storytelling, and religion, imposing a systematic bias on the selective environment that favored selection for prosociality in our lineage.”

They broke this into four aspects:

  1. Management of psychological distress and treatment of health problems
  2. Enhanced social interaction and interpersonal relations
  3. Facilitation of collective ritual and religious activities
  4. Enhanced group decision-making
brain evolution

Conclusion

How we really got to be who and what we are is a massive question that no one has a definitive answer to right now, no matter what they may think they know. Recent research has certainly opened the door to the exploration of psychedelics as a factor in our growth and development through history, but much more needs to be learned. If there is truth in this, it speaks volumes to what we can do with psychedelics, and how useful they can potentially be in our future growth and development.

Welcome readers! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, your one-stop-shop for the most important and relevant cannabis and psychedelics-related news happening now. Read-thru the site regularly to stay informed on the constantly-in-motion universe of cannabis, and medical psychedelics, and sign up for the The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always on top of what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone 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 Did Psychedelics Help Our Brains Evolve? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Magic Mushrooms and Truffles in Amsterdam – What’s the Difference?

Some people see the Netherlands, and more specifically Amsterdam, as a drug-utopia. A place where everything is legal, allowed and thriving. A place where you can smoke cannabis on the street, walk along the red-light district, and munch on some magic truffles. But what are magic truffles? And are they as potent as magic mushrooms? In addition, why is one legal but the other is not? Although Amsterdam may seem like an unapologetically open city, it’s far more nuanced than that. Using Amsterdam as a reference point, let’s take a closer look at what the true difference is between magic truffles and magic mushrooms.

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!


Netherlands Drug Laws

Cannabis

It’s a common misconception that drugs are legal in the Netherlands. In fact, even cannabis, which is sold publicly on the streets of Amsterdam, is still an illegal drug. This means that Luxembourg was actually the first country in Europe to officially legalize cannabis for growing and consumption. But how can this be the case? Well, CNN Travel elaborates:

“You may be surprised to learn that recreational drugs are illegal in the Netherlands. Yes, even pot. But an official policy of tolerance emerged and in 1976 the Dutch parliament decriminalized possession of less than 5 grams of cannabis.”

What occurred after this decision was a new culture of coffee shops where you could buy up to 5 grams of cannabis flower, under the guise that it was not illegal, only decriminalised. That evolved and now Amsterdam is known for its cannabis culture, with over 160 coffeeshops in the city center. There are a wide range of cannabis products on sale in Amsterdam, these include: edibles, high-THC buds, tinctures, and more. 

Magic Mushrooms

So, what about other kinds of drugs? How about magic mushrooms? Almost all other drugs are dealt with harshly. Much like the rest of the world. Cocaine, heroin and MDMA are all illegal and only sold unlawfully on the dark web or from street dealers. It’s only cannabis that has seemed to find its own loophole. Well, interestingly, before 2008, magic mushrooms actually were a legal drug in the Netherlands.

Magic mushrooms are wild growing fungi found all over the world. Mushrooms can be poisonous, so it’s important to know what exactly magic mushrooms look like if you decide to go searching for them. The magic kind look like an ordinary mushroom except they have a longer stem and smaller head. Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is a naturally-occurring hallucinogen and psychoactive ingredient. It’s the psilocybin that is responsible for the well-known effects of shrooms. These effects include: 

  • Distorted sense of reality 
  • Euphoria
  • Sensory enhancement
  • Hallucinations
  • Introspection

Magic mushrooms are usually placed in the top tier of drug categories around the world because they are a hallucigen. In the USA, they are considered a Schedule 1 and in the UK they are considered a Class A, meaning they’re believed to carry a high risk of abuse and addiction. Any drug that twists and re-shapes reality are often considered to be the most dangerous drug by most nations, although this is not necessarily accurate. And this is despite the fact that psilocybin has been found to have numerous different medical benefits. In 2016, a John Hopkins study found that psilocybin could help treat people with anxiety and depression.

In the Netherlands, it wasn’t until recently that mushrooms were made illegal.This was a headline for an NBC News article, written in 2007:“The Netherlands will ban the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms, the government announced Friday, tightening the country’s famed liberal drug policies after the suicide of an intoxicated teenage girl.”

After a girl under the influence of mushrooms jumped out of a window in 2007, protests against hallucinogens took place and resulted in the drug being made illegal. Consequently, the majority of magic mushroom types were banned. All, except one: the truffle. 

What are Truffles? 

So, in order for us to understand why truffles were left legal, we first need to understand what they actually are. And, of course, how they differ from magic mushrooms. Truffles are mostly spoken about in relation to the Netherlands because most other countries do not allow them. In addition, when people visit Amsterdam, many are surprised by the ease of purchasing truffles. They can be bought in coffeeshops and smart shops and usually come in colourful packaging with names like: ‘mexicana’, ‘atlantis’ and ‘high hawaiians’. All claim to be stronger than the next. But really what are truffles? 

Magic truffles are nothing like the kinds of truffles you cook with, except they do have one similarity: they grow underground. Magic truffles are sclerotia, which is essentially a hardened mass of fungal mycelium that grows beneath the surface. Magic truffles are from the psilocybe mushroom mycelium and contain psilocybin. Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound and gives both truffles and mushrooms their psychedelic effects. 

Taste & Look

Magic truffles are essentially magic mushrooms that never made it to the surface, and this is exactly what they look like. They look like mushrooms that have never seen the sun and haven’t been able to grow. This means they taste a little like soil and dirt. In addition, they’re very dry so eating them without liquid can be quite difficult.  

Magic Mushrooms vs Magic Truffles

So, what are the differences between these two fungi, and why is one legal and the other is not in the Netherlands? 

Science

First up, let’s take a look at the scientific differences between the two substances. So far we know they both contain psilocybin, which is a psychedelic compound. But also, this is what the National Library of Medicine has to say:

“Magic mushrooms is the most common name given to hallucinogenic fungi containing the psychoactive alkaloids psilocybin and psilocin. In recent years, fungis’ sclerotia, commonly called “magic truffles” have become a form of supply of psychoactive Psilocybe alkaloids since Psilocybe sclerotia are not specifically included in the laws banning the sale, the purchase and the use of such substances and mushrooms containing them”

What this means is that magic mushrooms and magic mushrooms are essentially the exact same thing. However, magic truffles are simply at an earlier stage of development. They are at a more embryonic stage, hence why they are ‘picked’ whilst they’re still underground. Known also as sclerotia, hallucinogenic truffles are a younger fungus, which stores food reserves in a hard mycelium. These then grow into magic mushrooms after time. 

Look

Magic mushrooms and magic truffles do not look the same. In fact, truffles look like what they are: stunted mushrooms that never made it to the surface and never saw the sun. They also resemble a darker-looking bit of ginger. Whatever you want to liken them too, they definitely don’t look appealing. Magic mushrooms – on the other hand – look the same as usual mushrooms, except with longer stems and smaller heads. 

Potency

Some believe that truffles must be less potent than mushrooms because they are legal and less formed. This is not necessarily correct. Both contain psilocybin and the same chemical compounds, therefore they should technically have the same potency. However, due to the fact that magic truffles are standardised and commercialised, they have been able to create and package various strengths and potencies. Therefore, you can purchase weak, mild and strong magic truffles in Amsterdam. It’s harder to do the same with magic mushrooms as they are illegal and are usually sold by people who do not have various types. Both magic truffles and magic mushrooms are digested, they usually kick-in after around an hour and their effects can last from 4-8 hours. Overall, magic truffles and magic mushrooms have the same level of potency, but truffles can be bought to have less if customers require it. 

Legality 

If all this is the case, then why have the Netherlands decided to illegalise magic mushrooms but not magic truffles? Well, it’s first important to understand that countries like the UK and the USA have banned the substance of psilocybin which, as a result, has made anything containing this substance also illegal. This includes both magic mushrooms and magic truffles. However, in the Netherlands, they decided to illegalise magic mushrooms as a substance, rather than what they contain. This left room for magic truffles to slip through the cracks. 

Conclusion

Magic mushrooms and magic truffles are both essentially the same drug, except they are both at different stages of growth. The Netherlands, in particular, have decided to treat each drug individually rather than the substances that the drug contains. Whatever you believe to be right or wrong, the situation is that magic truffles are potent and extremely easy to purchase in Amsterdam. So, if you’re looking for an exciting and legal experience, make sure to head over there and try them out.

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 Magic Mushrooms and Truffles in Amsterdam – What’s the Difference? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Weed Plus: The Healing Mystique of Magic Mushrooms

The winter sun was beating down through the open windows of my older sister’s Porsche as we cruised down Pico Boulevard toward the beach, bumper to bumper with other cars in the westward traffic of a warm Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

“That smells good,” she hollered to the guys in the next car over, pot smoke filling the space between lanes. They motioned to pass a joint through the open windows, my two best pals and I giggling in the back seat. I was 18 and by this point familiar with the terrain of a cannabis high, but I wanted to keep my head clear for later — for what my sister described as “weed plus.”

I’d spent my first semester of college smoking weed out of a hookah with friends, my nights ablaze, as one does in Berkeley. In the daytime, I’d burrow into a pile of books about psychedelic counterculture for an upcoming research paper. I had become obsessed with Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, and as if I’d read the guidebook to Paris before a trip, I decided that all my academic probing into psychedelics better culminate in lived experience. So, I bought a half ounce of shrooms and headed to Venice Beach with a few friends for our first time “tripping.” My older sister — a dedicated stoner and a cannabis attorney 14 years my senior — along with a family friend, who was a medical marijuana doctor and a seasoned psychonaut, were there to guide us in case things got too weird.

Unlike acid (which I still hadn’t tried at that point), mushrooms felt like the next level up from cannabis — that is, “weed plus” in the words of my sister. The psychedelic experience, or “trip,” would be longer than a regular weed high, but shorter than 12 hours of LSD. After that first time tripping, I soon learned that, for me, mushrooms and cannabis bring on similar visuals of swirling floral patterns and paisleys in a pink Technicolor palette.

My first time taking mushrooms was easily one of the best, most significant days of my life: playful, exploratory, spiritual. I felt like I was reborn, discovering the world and its wonders for the first time. The shrooms had turned down the volume on the anxiety that defined my day-to-day and turned up the volume on my appreciation for life. For the first time, the phrase “be here now” meant something to me on an embodied level — but like Ram Dass, who ventured to India after coming up and down on countless psychedelic trips during his tenure as a psychiatry professor at Harvard in the 1960s, I too wondered why it seemed I needed mushrooms to feel the way I did. I asked myself, “Would I be able to get there on my own one day?”

Psych 101

It’s a common adage that one can accomplish the same degree of healing in a single psychedelic trip that might otherwise require years of therapy. By the same token, in the psychedelic community it’s often said that “the journey is the medicine.” In other words, such as in the case of mushrooms, it’s not just the psilocybin, the main psychoactive compound, that spurs a neurological reset — it’s the experience of the trip itself. This can come with insights, challenges and joys that consequently foster lessons and memories that nourish the soul and last a lifetime. Science can only attempt to describe this alternative headspace.

Many well-known research institutions such as Johns Hopkins and UCLA are exploring how psilocybin is being used for mental health treatments and can occasion a “mystical experience,” defined by “scale scores” of seven criteria. What scientists are finding is that the degree to which a patient undergoes a mystical experience often correlates to the degree of healing they experience for whatever condition they are treating, be it anxiety, depression, or something else.

“When you optimally screen, facilitate and integrate these [psychedelic] experiences, you can almost reliably facilitate a mystical level kind of encounter, which may be predictive of positive therapeutic outcomes,” said Dr. Charles Grob, psychedelic researcher and UCLA professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

To put it bluntly, the promise of psychedelic therapy is forcing researchers to grapple with notions of God or mysticism that have otherwise been absent from Western science and medicine. Indigenous cultures, on the other hand, are well-known for structured spiritual-medicinal approaches and traditions that incorporate psychedelic plant medicine, such as ayahuasca, magic mushrooms or peyote.

Grob notes that clinicians have much to learn from indigenous practices, which “were entirely dependent on a harmonious relationship with the world of nature for shelter, for food, for continuity, and for societal groups.”

He goes on to say that the psychedelic experience may be symbolic of a death and rebirth ritual. That could be thanks to the experience of “ego death” — a psychedelic-induced dampening of the brain’s default mode network (DMN), where the ego resides. Ego death, or “ego dissolution,” can act as a reset for the DMN, helping to rewire thought patterns that were otherwise constrained by the ego, and facilitating an increase in personality traits like openness or empathy.

In breaking out of old thought patterns, a person who experiences ego death may also obtain a degree of healing from habits that previously kept them in a loop, particularly in addiction. Turning down the volume on the ego can also help engender a sense of oneness with the surrounding world, people or nature.

“The ego is looking after us,” Grob says. “There’s good reason to be compassionate toward the ego: It’s trying to do its best, but it’s not useful, and it overshoots in what it does and disconnects us. What psychedelics do is turn down the defenses.”

The ego’s defenses can manifest in addictions, such as eating disorders, compulsions and obsessions. “They’re all a maladaptive defense response to adversity,” says Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London.

Through psychedelic therapy, Grob says, we can engineer a context in which it’s safe to let the ego go off duty and allow us to be vulnerable in a caring, nurturing environment. “It’s about going backwards to go forward,” he said. “Being vulnerable to be stronger, more flexible, more capacious.”

Safe Travels

Finding the right setting for a psychedelic experience is up to the beholder; it could be in a therapist’s office, a spiritual ceremony, with friends at a music concert, or decidedly alone in the woods. Once that ideal setting is found, one can relax and focus his or her mindset on whatever kind of healing or intention they set out to explore with the help of psychedelic medicine.

Even back in the ’60s, Grob says, pioneer researchers “found that those who had a mystical level experience had improved quality of life.” 

With psilocybin in particular, he said, “the replicability and degree to which the trip might happen, and the depth is more apparent”— than perhaps with other psychedelics such as LSD — because the six to eight-hour trip is “easier to control” than something that could otherwise be twice as long.

Despite the growing amount of research, psychedelic scientists have yet to fully comprehend how substances such as psilocybin work in the brain. Psilocybin definitely stimulates the serotonin 2A receptor in the brain and can occasion ego death by dampening the default mode network. Even so, the compound remains a mystery.

That said, there’s mounting evidence that psilocybin — much like cannabis — can facilitate healing from a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, addiction, and eating disorders, among others. It can also increase the personality trait of openness, allowing the afflicted to become more amenable to new patterns and solutions, and enhancing general well-being for those who are otherwise already well.

While people who use cannabis medicinally can get a great deal of relief from chronic pain or mood disturbance, Grob says it’s more of a lifestyle drug. “The effects of cannabis are dwarfed in comparison with the potential that psilocybin or LSD might have in evoking a powerful altered state of consciousness that allows individuals to see themselves and the world around them and their lives in a novel manner,” he said.

In other words, psilocybin offers more bang for your buck if you compare it to regular cannabis use.

#TBT

Around the peak of that Venice Beach mushroom trip so long ago, my friends and I decided to venture out of our apartment and head to the ocean. As the sun set and temps started to cool, the winds picked up. 

“I’m shivering, but it’s not me,” I said through chattering teeth. I looked down at my hand with curiosity, flipping my palm over and under, upside and down, as if it was someone else’s hand.

I plopped down on the shore, near the sunset drum circle that takes place every Sunday. It smelled like weed, but I wondered how many others were also on shrooms. I remembered what my sister had said about psilocybin feeling like “weed plus,” but this was so much better. So. Much. Better.

“There’s no competition,” Grob said, when comparing psilocybin and cannabis. “The psilocybin experience has the potential of facilitating a life-changing kind of event.” Precisely how I felt about one of the best, most significant days of my life.

A huge smile crept across my face, and I was feeling more in touch with my essence than ever before. “Ohh, be here now,” I giggled, referencing the phrase and title of Ram Dass’ famous book which my parents had introduced me to as a child. “I get it,” I thought.

It was the first time I felt that sacred sense of time and space, of being in the moment — in my body — without feeling an attachment to the chronological series of events that took me here. I just was, feeling a sense of “is-ness.” I was simply being, and my nervous system, with all its anxieties and temporal attachments, was for once at rest.

My memory of that mind-bending Venice Beach experience remains vivid. The spiritual nourishment and sense of mystique from that day are still with me, infusing my life with the magic of those mushrooms. “These are like waking dreams,” Grob said. “Sometimes it’s important to just sit back and look objectively at the scene playing in front of you, and how that relates to your life.”

The post Weed Plus: The Healing Mystique of Magic Mushrooms appeared first on Cannabis Now.

What is Ayahuasca?

“When you drink ayahuasca, and you get to see divinity, you can almost never speak of it because it’s too big for words.” ― Gerard Armond Powell

When William Burroughs, famed beat writer, entered the Amazonian basin not long after killing his wife and in a tormented addiction to Opium, he stumbled upon a drug that would change his life.  “This is the most powerful drug I have ever experienced. Yage is not like anything else. It produces the most complete derangement of the senses.” He said in his book the Yage papers. Yage is another name for the hallucinogenic mixture of plants drunk in certain regions of the Amazon rainforest better known as Ayahuasca, an ancient psychoactive drink that has been a part of shamanic ritual for years. In this article, as part of our ‘what is drugs’ Series, we will be investigating this mysterious mixture and looking into the history, culture and science behind Ayahuasca. We’ll talk about the ceremony, controversy and preparation involved in so-called Ayahuasca retreats in South America and beyond. 

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!


Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is defined as “a decoction (concentrated liquid) made by prolonged heating or boiling of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine with the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub” by the Alcohol and Drugs foundation. In simpler terms, heat up two particular plants into a hot green broth and hey presto, you have a hallucinogen. What does Ayahuasca look like? Well, to be blunt, it doesn’t look very appetizing, nor does it taste very appetizing. The mixture looks like a mushy green tea and the taste has been described as “bitter, salty and yeasty”. Not ideal. Ayahuasca can be taken personally, but is more likely to be taken as a part of an Ayahuasca retreat.

Organised trips where a group of people will be guided through an Ayahuasca ceremony together, often led by a Shaman. You can look at some of the top rated Ayahuasca retreats here. They mostly take place in southern american countries like Peru and Mexico, but can be found across the world. Ayahuasca is also very interesting legally. The mixture itself isn’t illegal, however because it contains DMT a schedule 1 drug in the US you could be arrested for possessing it. Ayahuasca is only legally allowed for specific religious procedures in approved churches. Ayahuasca is legal in many countries in Southern America where there are indigenous tribes still using it to practice rituals.

The History of Ayahuasca

One of the oldest hallucinogens, Ayahuasca has its origins among the Amazonian tribes of South America, for whom the plants needed were readily available. It is believed that in early Aztec tribes, Shamanic figures within the group would use Ayahuasca to communicate with ancestors and spirits. In fact, a pouch containing Ayahuasca was discovered that dated back over a thousand years.

However, this compound may be even older. There are some claims that the drug has been in use in Southern American tribes for over 5000 years. Of course, it is almost impossible to accurately know this. Many guesses have been made based on the fact that Ayahuasca is so integral to many Amazonian tribes, but many tribes have no or little written history. What we do know is that Spanish invaders encountered the drug and deemed it the work of the devil.

How Does it Feel?

An Ayahuasca trip is often described as very intense, but quite a spiritual experience. Described as being different to other psychedelics as it often incorporates the natural sounds occurring around the user. The trips can lead to revelations, and often lead to a feeling of acceptance about events that have happened in the user’s life. Ayahuasca trips are unique though and sometimes people can have bad experiences. It’s impossible to predict whether you’ll have a good or bad trip, but making sure that you’re ready mentally and in a safe environment can help.

How Does it Effect the Brain?

So where in the brain does Ayahuasca affect? There is a growing amount of research that seems to suggest Ayahuasca has quite a widespread effect on many brain areas. The active chemicals that create the psychedelic effects of Ayahuasca come in two parts, each from the different plants used in the mixture. Psychotria viridis contains DMT and the other component plant, Banisteriopsis caapi, contains chemicals called Harmine and Harmaline. DMT (a drug that we have discussed before) seems to bind to serotonin receptors in the brain, perhaps leading to the hallucinogenic effects experienced in Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Haemine and Marmaline are known as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), which act by inhibiting the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, Dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which in high levels can lead to psychedelic outcomes. MAOIs are sometimes used in the treatment of depression as well, which could explain some of the therapeutic benefits of Ayahuasca. 

Positives 

Perhaps not surprisingly considering the growing research into Psychedelics and mental health, Ayahuasca has been linked to improving depressive symptoms. A recent study by Jiminez-Garrido and team looked into a sample of 40 participants, some of whom had mental disorders, including depression. They were then sent on an Ayahuasca retreat and their mental health measured after. They found that  “Remarkably, at the 1-month follow-up, 61% of participants who initially met the diagnostic criteria no longer met the criteria for any psychiatric disorder.” and that “overall, 83.2% of participants reported a clinical improvement. This improvement lasted until the 6-months follow-up.”

All rather incredible findings that suggest Ayahuasca has a rather potent medical potential. It has also been shown to have benefits when used to treat some substance abuse issues. Research shows that, in the correct and safe environments, Ayahuasca can reduce dependency on certain substances, even more evidence of its potential medical benefits. Scientists seem to be in agreement that Ayahuasca and DMT need more research done into them. From a more holistic approach, analysis was conducted on what the leaders of Ayahuasca retreats believed to be the benefits of Ayahuasca, particularly for treating disorders such as depression and eating disorders.

Some of the leaders believed that it was Ayahuasca “facilitates physical, spiritual, mental and emotional healing; enhances and reorganizes relationships with symptoms, self, community and creation”. A very interesting interpretation of the many benefits here.

Negatives

A very obvious down-side of Ayahuasca is that it can often produces quite… unpleasant side effects when ingested. Many people after taking Ayahuasca will start vomiting and even sometimes be prone to diarrhea. This is likely due to the plants being used having a slightly toxic effect on the body. Some people have described these initial side effects as hell. Ayahuasca can also cause a significantly increased heart rate as well as feelings of dizziness.

Some also claim that there are problems with the way Ayahuasca retreats are run. People claim that they are not only forms of cultural appropriation, but also exploitative of Native peoples. Writer Kevin Tucker believes that Ayahuasca retreats are endemic of colonialism, in that we lack meaning in our world so will create a market of using another’s culture to find an artificial meaning. Damaging their culture in the process. This is a compelling argument and something I think each person considering an Ayahuasca retreat must consider first.

My Own Experiences 

I’ve never taken Ayahuasca, but a friend’s dad once recounted the experiences he had on his retreat in Brazil to myself and a group of uni friends. He described the entire experience as equal parts odd and magical. Meeting with a group of strangers, all there for an Ayahuasca experience and then carted onto a minibus out to the rainforest. When there, they sat in a make-shift marquee made from bamboo and leaves. Listening to the rain falling about them as a man in a shaman outfit poured them each a glass of Ayahuasca.

He said that he wasn’t sure if the man was a genuine Shaman, or someone being paid to play the part, either way he said it was convincing. Once the ceremony had been blessed they all drank their Ayahuasca. He said the trip was incredible and that the shaman was an incredible guide, making sure everyone was safe and ok. He said he felt totally connected with his past, accepting of all the events that had led up to where he was right now. He also said he was sick… A lot.   

Conclusion 

Ayahuasca is a mysterious, powerful and spiritual drug with a long and ancient history. Ayahuasca retreats may have their issues, but it’s clear that the therapeutic and recreational benefits of this compound are many. It is a drug that I hope to one day try, in the correct and safe environment and with the right people. As always it is important to note that this is a very powerful hallucinogen and should be treated with respect. If you are considering taking it, make sure that you are in the correct headspace and have thought about this decision thoroughly. Where better to finish than with another quote from William S. Burroughs’ Ayahuasca experience: “You see everything from an hallucinated viewpoint.  Ayahuasca is not like anything else”

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 What is Ayahuasca? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Psychedelic Industry Predictions for 2022

It’s been a whirlwind rise for psychedelics in general in the past few years, with tons of research into medical properties, and new legal policies being set in different parts of the country to allow medical use, or decriminalize recreational use. What’s in store for this class of drugs? Here are my 2022 predictions for psychedelics.

My 2022 predictions for psychedelics are mainly that the industry will grow more with steps toward legalization, which is the same for the cannabis industry, which should also see growth in many ways in 2022. This can already be seen in the new cannabinoids industry, which allows the sale of compounds outside of regulation, and outside of dispensaries. For more articles like this one, remember to subscribe to the our Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing industry.


What are psychedelics?

Psychedelics are a subset of hallucinogenic drugs, which are themselves a subset of psychoactive drugs. Psychedelics can be naturally occurring like magic mushrooms or DMT, or made in a lab like LSD and ketamine. Either way, these compounds are specifically related to producing hallucinations, wherein a user experiences a sensation (hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling) of something that is not there.

Along with hallucinations, these drugs are known for inciting spiritual experiences in users; bringing on feelings of connectedness between users, and between users and the universe at large; stimulating feelings of euphoria, and wellbeing; and causing alterations in perception, mood, and cognitive function. Users have throughout time reported life-changing experiences regarding life and consciousness when on these drugs.

While psychedelics are generally safe, with no actual death or disability count directly related, there is one aspect to be wary of: the bad trip. In a bad trip, a user can experience negative – even frightening, hallucinations, and have physical symptoms like anxiety, nausea, erratic heartbeat, vomiting, chills, dizziness, paranoia, and raised blood pressure. This seems to be a big aspect of dosing, with correct dosing, or the use of micro-doses, eliminating the majority of these problem. People more sensitive to these drugs might want to try in smaller quantities.

magic mushrooms

The illegalization of psychedelics

Psychedelics gained momentum in the mid-1900’s after LSD was synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938 (but more formally realized in 1943), in Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland. This set off a cascade of LSD products being sold throughout the world. By the 1950’s it had been adopted by the world of psychiatry, with over 10,000 studies published between 1943-1970 according to the Oxford Press. LSD was the basis for the Saskatchewan trials in Canada led by Humphrey Osmond and Abram Hoffer, where it was shown to help alcoholics quit the juice. It was also big in England, where Ronald Sandison showed the benefit of LSD with psychoneurotic patients.

All of this ended by the late 1960’s when the US forged a campaign against psychedelics, likely in response to the unpopular Vietnam was, as a way of targeting counter-culture folks who were known for peace-loving and draft-dodging. This was done in the US with the Staggers-Dodd bill in 1968 followed by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1970. It was done in England through the 1973 Misuse of Drugs Act. The Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971 made psychedelic compounds illegal globally.

How do we know about drug smear campaigns in relation to the war and racism? In 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President Nixon, released this statement:

“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.”

My 2022 predictions for psychedelics

The class of psychedelics is gaining momentum, possibly inspired by the success of the cannabis industry, and its ability to change perceptions about the plant in the last couple decades. There’s a lot going on in the industry, so here are my 2022 predictions for what can be expected with psychedelics.

  • More states, cities, and individual locations will continue to pass laws like Oregon and Detroit to decriminalize recreational use, or legalize medical markets. These may be done through ballot measures during elections, or made as legislation by local governments.
  • In terms of ketamine, this might be the biggest standout of 2022. Ketamine clinics are already becoming very popular, which can be seen in the government’s attempt to divert the market to a pharmaceutical one by way of the legalization of esketamine. Esketamine will likely do nothing to stop the ketamine clinic industry, which, since it offers a seemingly better answer to monoamine antidepressants, should take off even further in 2022.
ketamine therapy
  • The tide will continue turning with psychedelics in the mainstream, with more and more people changing tack as they did with cannabis. This will likely be from the growing body of research into positive benefits, with the lack of negative results that were cried about for so long, becoming more obvious.
  • Having said this, since the government will badly want to keep a handle on it, there is also likely to be a continuation of smear campaigns aimed at driving fear and confusion into users. This in an effort to point them toward pharmaceutical options, rather than having the masses attempt to obtain these compounds illicitly or grow them on their own.
  • My 2022 predictions for the illicit psychedelics market, are that this will grow as well, with tons of illicit online retailers popping up, and a dirty, unregulated industry taking over. This is similar to the current state of affairs in the cannabis industry, exemplified by the unregulated cannabinoids market. This will help drive fear campaigns by targeting stories of seedy operators and adulterated products.
  • Magic mushrooms and psilocybin will be another big winner according to my 2022 predictions for psychedelics. As one of the compounds more immediately up for legalization, magic mushrooms also present the situation of being the most cannabis-like drug, in that they can be grown easily at home by users. Not only will magic mushrooms creep closer to a federal medical legalization, but I expect 2022 will see a huge push in home growing of these mushrooms.
  • MDMA is the other compound nearing legalization in the states, and 2022 should also be a year of progress for this drug, with further research getting it that much closer to a medical legalization. Though this is unlikely to happen in 2022, by the end of the year we might have a clearer picture of when this can be expected.
  • Another of my 2022 predictions for psychedelics is that we’re going to start seeing more legislation being floated in congress for federal legalization measures. This isn’t to say that any will succeed, but by the end of 2022, I expect several different bills for different purposes related to psychedelics, to come up and be discussed.
  • Lastly, I believe more politicians will come out openly supporting psychedelics and their uses in 2022. This will likely be on both the medical and recreational fronts, making upcoming legalizations that much more government-accepted.

What is the state of psychedelics currently in the US?

To give an idea of where things are now with psychedelics in the US, here is the basic rundown. Seattle didn’t exactly decriminalize legally, but in October of 2021, the city council unanimously voted on a non-binding resolution meant to discourage law enforcement from going after psychedelics users. It is not, however, a legal mandate. The most recent city to fall legally was Detroit, which decriminalized psychedelic (entheogenic) plants in November 2021 through Proposal E passed by voters.

entheogenic plants

Other specific locations that have set legal mandates include Denver, Colorado, which was first in 2019; and Oakland and Santa Cruz in California which made their own measures that same year, and the following year respectively. In 2020, An Arbor, Michigan; and Washington DC set decriminalization policies. This was followed by Washtenaw County, Michigan; Somerville, Cambridge, Northampton, and Easthampton in Massachusetts; and Arcata, California in 2021.

Of course, the biggest psychedelics champions right now is Oregon, which was the first state to adopt a statewide policy, with two ballot measures in 2020: Measure 109 – to legalize the medical use of psilocybin, and Measure 110 to decriminalize many drugs statewide. Both measures passed making Oregon the first state to allow legal medical use of a psychedelic, as well as the decriminalization statewide of many recreational drugs.

Two other states did institute lesser policies. On Thursday February, 4th, 2021, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that reclassified magic mushrooms to be a ‘disorderly persons offense’ so long as the amounts don’t go over one ounce. The maximum fine is now $1,000, and the maximum jail sentence is six months. While this pales in comparison to what Oregon did, it does greatly reduce penalties from $15,000 and five years in prison.

Rhode Island, on the other hand, signed into policy on July 7th, 2021, a law that allows for consumption sites for illegal drugs, where they can be accessed safely. This is a two-year pilot program that aims to give medical supervision to drug use, and individual municipalities are charged with authorizing facilities for this to happen. What will happen in the future, or if this will continue after two years, is hard to say, but for now it allows the use of drugs – including psychedelics – in specialized locations, without the threat of arrest.

In the works…

Currently there are two other statewide initiatives to legalize psychedelics. California has been working on the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative, which is possibly slated to appear on the November 2022 ballot as a referendum, and which seeks to “legalize psilocybin, including psilocybin mushrooms, truffles, sclerotia, and mycelium, in California.” This would allow the “cultivation, manufacture, processing, distribution, transportation, possession, storage, consumption, and retail sale of psilocybin mushrooms.”

Michigan has also made strides in this direction, introducing Senate Bill 631, in September, 2021. This bill floated would legalize psychedelic compounds recreationally statewide, and has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety for further review. The bill would legalize the cultivation, delivery, creation, possession, and communal use of plant-derived recreational psychedelics. This would not allow sales, except in the cases of “counseling, spiritual guidance, or a related service that is provided in conjunction with the use of an entheogenic plant or fungus under the guidance and supervision of an individual providing the service”, in which case a fee can be charged.

Beyond this, while psychedelics are federally illegal, apart from esketamine and DXM (found in cough syrup), both MDMA and psilocybin have been given a ‘breakthrough therapy’ designation by the FDA in reference to research being conducted. Compass Pathways, and Usona Institute won this designation for research into psilocybin for major depression, while the organization MAPS not only got this designation for research into MDMA, but designed its phase three trials in conjunction with the FDA to ensure results meet regulation. Which means a federal government body is pushing for these legalizations.

Conclusions

With everything on the cusp of explosion, 2022 predictions for psychedelics can certainly be blown out of the water easily. It will be an interesting year to watch progress and see what happens, and it could very well be that some unexpected big moves could happen before year’s end.

Hello and welcome readers! You’ve arrived at CBDtesters.co, the best web source for the most interesting and essential cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on worldwide. Stop by regularly to stay abreast of the always-in-motion landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out the The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter, so you never miss an important story.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone 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 Psychedelic Industry Predictions for 2022 appeared first on CBD Testers.

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.

10 Steps to Becoming the Perfect Trip Sitter

Every hero has their sidekick. Every protagonist needs an assistant. Every train needs a driver. Just like Frodo had his Sam, Harry had his Ron, and Luke had his R2D2… a tripper needs a sitter. A psychedelic trip can be the most amazing experience of someone’s life, full of beautiful hallucinations and euphoric feeling.

However, it can also be horrifically awful, riddled with unwanted thoughts and scary sprites. A trip is always in the balance and could always go either way, and that’s where a trip sitter comes in. Being the perfect trip sitter is challenging, important and it takes time. That’s why we’re going to go through a few integral steps that should be taken when becoming a trip sitter, to ensure the safety and well-being of the person you’re watching over.

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 a Trip?

For hundreds of years our species have used psychedelic drugs as a way to enter into alternative realities. Ayahuasca is used by indigenous people in South America, LSD was used by the Beatles to inspire their music, and Ratafarians commonly use cannabis in their religious ceremonies. But why do people do it? Well, to understand why people trip, we first need to understand one crucial part of humanity: humans have always searched for more. It’s part of our DNA. When the first tribal communities spread themselves across more land and across vast oceans, they were searching for more. When man first landed on the moon in 1966, they were searching for more. When people turned to psychedelic drugs for an alternative way of looking at the world, they were also searching for more. Not only that, but a trip can allow a person to delve deep into their subconscious and deal with someone they’ve unlocked in their mind. In fact, hallucinogens are becoming more popualrly used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Many report feelings of clarity and contentment after experiencing a trip. That’s not to say that trips are always good things. Nonetheless, a trip is an experiential journey. Here To Help writes:

“When a person says they are “tripping,” it means they are experiencing the effects of hallucinogens. Hallucinogens are psychoactive (mind-altering) drugs that significantly alter our senses and perceptions. Some common ones are magic mushrooms, LSD and ecstasy. Cannabis can also cause hallucinogenic effects at high doses.”

But the question is: what does a trip feel like? Trips can vary depending on which drug you take, but almost always there are certain similarities between trips. When someone is experiencing a trip, it’s almost always due to them taking a hallucinogenic drug. More euphoric drugs like heroin and ecstasy, are not usually considered to cause trips. It is a very specific experience; here are some of the common feelings: 

Positive Feelings

  • Euphoria
  • Beautiful hallucinations 
  • Sensory enhancement 
  • A sense of love towards your surroundings 
  • Giggliness 
  • Sounds and smells become better
  • Mental clarity

Negative Feelings 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Scary or sad hallucinations 
  • Dissociation 
  • The world can seem cruel 
  • Existential dread

A psychedelic trip does not need to be a negative experience, but it can be. Like with anything, there are certain preparations that should be put in place before you decide to go on a psychedelic journey. One of these preparations is ensuring you have a perfect trip sitter. 

What is a Trip Sitter?

A trip sitter is an important part of the psychedelic experience. Although many people go on a trip without assistance, if it’s your first time then it might be worth getting one. Double Blind Mag writes:

“A trip sitter is a sober person you trust to keep you safe while you’re under the influence of a psychedelic, and having one along for the journey can make the difference between a meaningful and challenging trip. With a supportive presence, you’re much more likely to release your control…and have an insightful, perhaps even transformational experience.“

With a trip sitter you can feel more comfortable and safe letting yourself go and giving into the full potential of the psychedelic experience. In other words, you won’t need to keep one eye on your well-being and the other eye on having a good time. The trip sitter can look after you. That’s why it’s obviously very important to choose someone you trust and someone you know has your best interests at heart. 

So, assuming you’ve chosen that special someone or perhaps you yourself are about to be a trip sitter, let’s delve into how to be the perfect one. 

The Perfect Trip Sitter

Here are the crucial steps to consider in order to become the perfect trip sitter. Remember what Sam said to Frodo: “I can carry you”.

Step 1 – Research The Substance

The first step is to research the substance that your partner on this voyage will be taking. Is it LSD? Is it acid? Is it magic mushrooms? Although many trips are similar, it’s important to understand that all drugs are different and have various effects. If you haven’t taken the drug yourself, then research online the common positive and negative experiences of the selected substance. This will help you understand fully what your tripper is going through. 

Step 2 – The Psychedelic Experience by Tom Leary

The Psychedelic Experience is a popular book by Tom Leary and it’s, sort of, like a trip bible. Becoming aware of its contents could be useful to you when being a trip sitter. Leary splits trips into 5 categories, highlighting the various extremities of psychedelic experiences. Level 1 might include slight sensory enhancement, whilst level 5 will consist of complete dissociation from reality. This book can be used as a dialogue between you and your tripper. It will help you understand.  

Step 3 – Free As A Bird

Step 3 is ensuring everyone has the space and time to complete the trip. You can’t leave and go to work halfway through, and neither can your tripper. Most trips can take up to 6-10 hours so make sure the day is free and time is not at the essence. 

Step 4 – The Perfect Place

Next thing to consider is where this trip will take place. Not only must you ensure it’s safety, but also the correct atmosphere. You don’t want the location to trigger a bad trip. Nature is always a safe bet, although you cannot always trust the weather. Alternatively, indoors with soft surfaces, nice colours, warmth and comfortable blankets is also a good option. Speak with your tripper and decide on the ideal location beforehand. 

Step 5 – Essentials 

Experience a trip can make you hungry and thirsty. But it also can make you forget about drinking and eating all together. That’s where you come in. Ensure that there’s plenty of liquids and tasty food around, so that your tripper does not get too hungry or dehydrated. 

Step 6 – No Judgement or Questions

It’s important to ensure the surroundings are perfect for the trip, but it’s also important to remember how to speak to someone who’s tripping. Avoid judgemental comments and avoid asking too many questions. ‘How are you feeling?’, ‘why are you doing that?’ or ‘you’re acting weird’, these are definitely not good things to say. Instead, be open and allow the tripper to lead the conversation. Be calming and do not encourage fear or too in-depth conversation (unless they need to delve into this). 

Step 7 – Guide Don’t Dictate

A trip sitter is not a trip dictator. Don’t lead the experience, simply guide it. If you feel that the trip is becoming sour or dangerous, lightly try and change the atmosphere and mood of the trip. Encourage playing some games, or looking at some fun lights. Maybe even try giving them some sugar as that can slightly ease the intensity of the experience. 

Step 8 – If A Bad Trip Begins

What if a trip becomes really bad? Sometimes trips can take a dark turn and encouraging games or showing the tripper some cool lights isn’t necessarily enough. In this case, remind the tripper that they’ve taken hallucinogenic drugs and that this won’t last forever. If they keep trying to delve into bad thought patterns, speak to them on their level and help them through their negative thoughts. If the trip is out of your control and you fear the tripper could be in real danger, then don’t be afraid to call someone professional. 

Step 9 – Be Empathetic 

A crucial tip to remember when being a trip sitter is to be empathetic and loving. This trip isn’t about you. It might get boring and it might be longer than expected, but don’t let this turn you into a sour trip sitter. It’s integral that you personify a loving entity for your tripper. This will help them through the experience. If they feel you’re lacking in patience or that you’re getting agitated, this will manifest itself into their trip. Be kind and loving. 

Step 10 – The Aftermath

As the trip comes to a close it’s important not to ease off on your perfect trip sitting abilities. When the drugs wear off, your sitter may start to feel down or introspective. Ensure you’re still being empathetic and non-judgemental. Also, take some time to speak to your tripper about their experience if that’s what they want. It might be the first time they’re able to properly discuss it from an outside point of view. The aftermath is just as important as during when it comes to creating the perfect trip.

Conclusion

A psychedelic trip can be a beautiful experience and one that human being’s have been enjoying for centuries. However, it doesn’t always go to plan. The trip sitter can be the difference between a positive and a negative trip, and that’s why being the perfect one is so important. Hopefully these 10 steps will help you be just that.

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 10 Steps to Becoming the Perfect Trip Sitter appeared first on CBD Testers.