Seattle Is Biggest City to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms

The psychedelics boom is certainly underway, with the biggest individual city yet joining in on it. With Seattle now on board, the landscape of magic mushroom use in the US has inched up further, which may just lead the way to a national legalization, at least medically. So what’s the deal with Seattle, and how exactly did the city decriminalize magic mushrooms?

With Seattle as the latest city to decriminalize magic mushrooms, the world of psychedelics is expanding out further. And this on top of the massive progress of the cannabis industry! A few years ago, the only thing to smoke was standard weed. These days, compounds like delta-8 THC, delta 10, THCV, HHC, THCP, THC-O and even hemp-derived THC are flying off shelves, and giving users that many more options. We’ve got great deals for you to check out for all kinds of hemp-derived cannabis compounds including, so take a look at our ever-evolving catalogue – The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter – and pick your perfect product.


What happened?

On Sunday, October 4th, the city council of Seattle unanimously voted to decriminalize psilocybin, the active component of magic mushrooms, as well as other plant-derived psychedelics like ayahuasca. This decriminalization applies to non-commercial use, although no decriminalization measure technically applies to commercial use, as this requires an actual legalization.

The new measure in Seattle to decriminalize magic mushrooms means that arrests and prosecutions for possession and use of these compounds, has been lowered in priority for police, though the substances still technically remain illegal. Seattle became the largest independent city to decriminalize these drugs, when the vote was made. As of right now, all substances to be decriminalized by Seattle, are still Schedule I on the DEA’s Controlled Substances list.

At least part of the reason this measure came up at all, is because magic mushrooms, and other plant-based psychedelics, are actually used for spiritual purposes. This was clearly not the only reason though, as council member Andrew Lewis stated: “These nonaddictive natural substances have real potential in clinical and therapeutic settings to make a really significant difference in people’s lives… This resolution really sets the stage as the first significant action in the state of Washington to move this policy forward.”

magic mushroom decriminalization

Lewis went even further, telling Bloomberg of the decision in Seattle to decriminalize magic mushrooms, “There’s a huge demonstrated potential for these substances to provide cutting-edge treatments for substance abuse, recovery from brain injuries and other issues… I want to make sure we’re following the science in our policies around regulating these substances.”

Is it legally binding?

Unfortunately not, which means in actuality, Seattle didn’t decriminalize magic mushrooms. Seattle’s vote is considered a non-binding resolution, which means it was voted on and adopted, but cannot become an actual law. This means, it’s really not a law, but only a general recommendation, something that should be taken into account. The resolution states: “the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among The City of Seattle’s lowest law enforcement priorities.”

It also goes on to state that “full decriminalization of these activities” is supported by the council. While this is all fine and good, and certainly a step in the right direction, I personally wonder if the lack of a legal resolution could end up creating issues, particularly if some law enforcement do not feel the same way. How that will actually go down remains to be seen, as there is no legal directive actually stopping law enforcement from continuing as they were.

Some council members saw this aspect of the decision in Seattle to decriminalize magic mushrooms as an issue as well, like Kshama Sawant. Councilwoman Sawant stated, “I am a little confused by this resolution… We have not pushed for resolutions in place of ordinances where it is possible, realistic, and necessary from a political and moral standpoint for the council to have an ordinance passed. I fail to see what the plausible reasons are for councilmembers who claim to support this issue to let an ordinance which takes concrete action sit in the city’s computers unintroduced, and instead push a resolution which only has the power to make requests.”

What other places have legalized magic mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms, and psychedelics in general, have gotten much main stream attention of late, following in the foot steps of the cannabis industry, which itself has gone from demonized, to pretty well accepted, in the last decade. When Seattle passed its decriminalization measure, it became only the latest of many locations to do so. It joins Denver, the first city to make such a law three years ago (May 2019), and Oakland (psilocybin and peyote) and Santa Cruz in California which also set measures that same year and the next.

Ann Arbor, Michigan was next, decriminalizing entheogenic plants or plant compounds also in 2020, followed by Washington DC, which decriminalized all psychedelics that are plant and fungus based in 2020. January 2021 started with Washtenaw County, Michigan following DC’s lead, with Somerville, Massachusetts decriminalizing entheogenic plants including mushrooms and ibogaine later that month. In February of this year Cambridge, Massachusetts decriminalized, followed by Northampton, Massachusetts in April. This October, not only did Seattle join the ranks, but Arcata, California, and Easthampton, Massachusetts did as well. Most of these have an actual legal basis, whereas Seattle does not.

entheogens

And then there’s Oregon. In November of 2020, Oregon included two ballot measures called Measure 109, and Measure 110 which worked to decriminalize psilocybin state-wide (along with other drugs), as well as legalizing its medicinal use. This made Oregon the first state to allow for the legalization of psilocybin (or any psychedelic outside of esketamine which was passed federally), in any capacity. The initiative had qualified to be on the ballot by May 26th of 2020, and officially passed on November 3rd, when the measure was voted on by the public during the general elections.

Are all psychedelics illegal federally?

Nope, although most people might not realize this. Not only has a compound like DXM (dextromethorphan) been in products like cough syrups since 1958 – the entire reason behind the term ‘robotripping’, but in testing, it has shown very similar characteristics to psilocybin from magic mushrooms. I can honestly say from my own personal experiences, that the only positive benefit to being sick when I was younger, was using Nyquil for that awesome cough syrup high. Somehow or other, despite all other psychedelics being illegal, DXM slipped through the cracks years ago, becoming one of the most widely used psychedelics in America, with literally no requirement for over-the-counter purchases.

For those unfamiliar with the name ‘DXM’, it’s a dissociative drug of the morphinan class. Morphinans are generally naturally occurring components like morphine and codeine, but includes chemical derivatives as well like DXM. DXM doesn’t bind to opioid receptors like other morphinans, which sets it apart from the rest of the class. Instead, its mechanisms of action include being a nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and a sigma-1 receptor agonist among other functions. In low doses it makes a person feel pretty good. In high doses it acts as a dissociative hallucinogen.

DXM isn’t the only federally legal psychedelic. Ketamine and esketamine make the cut as well. Ketamine is only approved for certain medical uses, particularly as an anesthetic. However, its close cousin esketamine, was approved in 2019 as the first non-monoamine anti-depressant, for use medically. This was updated the following year when it was cleared for use with suicidal thoughts as well, something that requires an incredibly quick action from a drug, which esketamine is known for.

While esketamine therapy is becoming more well-known, and even covered by insurance, clinics are taking time to pop up in many locations, and access is still limited. Beyond this, many doctors will never inform patients this is an option, either for their own reasons of confusion over the compound, (likely from years of government smear campaigns), or their general lack of knowledge about the option in general. Even so, esketamine represents the first major step in formally legalizing medical psychedelics, though DXM proves the US government is pretty cool with letting them through if mass amounts of money can be made. Though I couldn’t find specifics on revenue for this specific compound, considering over 100 over-the-counter cold and flu products contain it, I’d say it holds a massive value.

Into the future

One thing to keep in mind, is that the FDA has already awarded ‘breakthrough therapy’ designations to three companies operating in the psychedelics field, and covering two different compounds. This designation is given when a company is doing research that shows a compound to be more beneficial than standard options, for which the FDA agrees and wants to see products get to market. In 2017, the designation was given to the organization MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies). MAPS is currently in phase III of it’s studies, which were put together in conjunction with the FDA to ensure that results would meet regulation.

magic mushrooms depression

In 2019, this same designation was given to Compass Pathways, and Usona Institute, for their respective studies into psilocybin for major depression. The idea that a US federal agency has awarded this designation repeatedly to compounds in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances list, says quite a bit about the US’s intention to eventually legalize them.

Further to this, other states are also working to push through bigger measures, much like Oregon, or even further. A bill was introduced in Michigan in September 2021, which seeks to legalize recreational psychedelics. SB 631 is currently in the Senate, and has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. California, not to be outdone, has its own plans, hoping to institute a ballot measure in 2022 for the complete legalization of the possession and sale of psylocibin statewide. The California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative would allow a vote by residents in order to pass into law.

Conclusion

Though Seattle’s new policy is certainly lacking in terms of legal backing, it does put a step in the general right direction of loosening the prohibition of psychedelic compounds. Regardless of specifics, it does say something that a city as large as Seattle has now put in a measure to decriminalize magic mushrooms.

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your one-stop-shop for all the best and most relevant cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Take a read-thru every day to stay aware of the ever-in-flux world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to sign up for The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, so you always know what’s going on.

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

The post Seattle Is Biggest City to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms appeared first on CBD Testers.

Good Trip Guaranteed: Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Psychedelics

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

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


What Are Psychedelics?

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

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

Are They Safe?

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

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

Good Trip Guaranteed: Common Mistakes to Avoid on Psychedelics

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

Pick the right setting

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

Make sure you’re in good company

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

Do NOT Use Hallucinogens with Other Substances

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

Your Mood Impacts Your Trip

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

Don’t Rush

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

Final Thoughts

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

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things relating to cannabis and psychedelics. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

The post Good Trip Guaranteed: Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Psychedelics appeared first on CBD Testers.

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

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

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

Is this for real?

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

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

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

entheogenic plants

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

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

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

What’s the current status of psychedelics in Michigan?

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

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

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

Where does Michigan stand with cannabis?

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

legalized recreational cannabis

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

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

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

The psychedelics movement is picking up in the US

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

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

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

psilocybin

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, a preeminent internet location for the most interesting and relevant cannabis and psychedelics-related news from everywhere in the world. Read-thru the site regularly to stay informed on the quickly-changing universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for our newsletter list, to make sure you never miss a 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 advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Little About Psychedelics

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

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

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

Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own

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

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

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

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

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Sex and Social Stigma

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

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

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

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

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

Shifting Tides, Shattering Shame

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

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

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

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

Sexual Energy, Psychedelics, and Mental Health

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

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

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

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

A Brief History: Sex and Psychedelics

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

Nazca Shamanic Sex Rituals

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

Tantra

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

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

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1960s Summer of Love

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

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

Opened Mind, Heightened Libido

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts on Sex and Psychedelics

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

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

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