Psychedelics Today

Psychedelics Today is the planetary leader in psychedelic education, media, and advocacy. Covering up-to-the-minute developments and diving deep into crucial topics bridging the scientific, academic, philosophical, societal, and cultural, Psychedelics Today is leading the discussion in this rapidly evolving ecosystem.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Psychedelics Today










All Episodes
Now displaying: October, 2018
Oct 30, 2018


In this episode, Lori shares her first hand experience of MDMA Therapy assisted by Therapist, Shari Taylor. Shari Taylor is a PhD, MSN and RYT(Registered Yoga Teacher).
Both from New Orleans, Lori Tipton was Shari’s MDMA patient who suffered from traumatic life experiences and PTSD.

3 Key Points:

  1. Lori shares her heartfelt story about her experience in healing her PTSD in MDMA Therapy
  2. Before her therapy, Lori says she struggled with loving herself, and the fact that she loves herself now after her healing is the reason she is alive today
  3. Lori says she wants people to understand that this is a legitimate form of therapy, and wants this to be accessible to everyone

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Show Notes

About Lori

  • Lori has a love/hate relationship with social media
    • She saw on Facebook that they were opening the phase 3 trials for MDMA therapy in New Orleans
    • Sent an email on a whim and Shari replied
    • They looked for people who suffered from significant traumatic events in their lives
      • Lori lost her brother to a drug overdose, her mother killed two people and she was the one to discover their bodies, and she was raped by someone she trusted and got pregnant and then had an abortion
    • Lori says there was an extensive screening process and psychometric testing
      • “You become more of a manifestation of the disorder, and it starts to become who you are” - Lori
      • She felt so 'untethered' and removed from everyone and everything because of her PTSD

Day one of Therapy

  • There are many sessions before even taking MDMA to get to know each other first
    • Set and setting are so important
  • Lori says she went in with an open mindset, but was so skeptical
    • She had seen psychologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, dietitians, taken anti anxiety meds and antidepressants, went vegan, became a yoga teacher, and even saw a witch doctor
    • But she was nervous that she was going to go into the sessions and come out a different person, which had her start to question who she really was

Taking the MDMA

  • She was offered the MDMA, and she accepted it
    • She lied there, started to feel the effects, listened to the music playing and it reminded her of a film she had seen
      • Buddy Boulden a trumpet player, who passed away at 30 at a mental institution in Louisiana
      • So this just popped into her head and then she told Shari about it and then next thing she knew she was telling her about her mother and her rape
  • The way that MDMA worked for her in the first session is that when she had a memory, she could feel it, and she hadn't truly felt the feelings from those memories before
  • As the session ended, it was anticlimactic
    • She said it was like dipping the corner of a towel in water, the water would eventually cover the whole towel
    • The amygdala is getting shut down in therapy, so you're able to bring up these memories without getting overwhelmed

Days Following Therapy

  • Lori said after the first session, it was awesome! She went and got pizza and it was the best pizza she has ever had in her life!
    • The first session of MDMA allowed her to experience life in a way she hadn't been in years
    • Her partner noticed her enjoying the world, and noticed the changes the most
    • Lori wrote a lot before going into the sessions, and writing has helped her with her healing

The Second Session

  • Having PTSD led her to repress her feelings
    • When she locked up her fear and anxiety, she unfortunately locked up happiness too
  • In the second session she took more MDMA, and it really helped her
    • She felt she was able to really separate herself from her memories and feelings and emotions
    • “It was like taking off a pair of foggy glasses and it was so empowering” - Lori
      • Joe mentions that after his one and only ayahuasca session, he got a strong message that he needed to reconnect to his family
      • He says MDMA is so special in that it allows you to feel love in such a strong way, unbounded
        • Lori says she struggled with loving herself, and the fact that she loves herself now is the reason she is alive today
      • She says her experience is proof that MDMA is not a schedule 1 drug
        • Joe says he hopes that the testing goes well to move MDMA into an accessible space
        • Lori agrees and wants this to be accessible for everyone in her life
        • She believes its revolutionary for psychology
  • After the second session, she didn't want to run away from her feelings, she didn't want to kill herself
    • Healing isn't always pretty, sometimes it looks like crying on the couch for 6 hours of the day
    • She knew she had to be with those feelings
  • Her therapist and her tarot card reader both said she would be more of herself after the therapy

The Third Session

  • She believes in the power of the drug, but it was also the support of the therapists. The combination of the two is where magic happened
  • After walking into her mother's death, she couldn't remember so many parts of those moments
    • In that third session, she revisited that memory, and was more present in her memory than what she saw in that moment in her real life
    • She remembered things she wasn't able to remember from her life from over a decade
    • She was able to have such empathy for herself in that situation
    • In that moment, she would have been full of so much shame or blame and she was able to empathize with herself and forgive herself
    • “These types of experiences transcend words of how it feels to release that pain” - Lori
  • With the feeling of the release about her memory with her mother, she then began to talk about her rape and her whole demeanor shifted
    • She was talking about it in an angry tone
    • She had triggers post rape, when trying to have sex with someone she loved and it felt like a tiger entered the room, just frightened and in fear
    • Certain yoga poses also triggered this PTSD response
      • In the therapy session, Shari asked her to try entering into the yoga poses that gave her those feelings
      • Lori was overcome with anxiety, fear, she cried, and felt like she was in hell
      • Shari asked “what are you feeling?”
      • Lori said she felt afraid and full of fear
      • And Shari looked at her and asked “what does that feeling need?”
      • Lori responded and said “it just needs to be heard”
        • After that moment, she felt this huge release
        • “There are very few moments in my life that are so profound and beautiful and meaningful to me” - Lori
        • Joe said there is some magic in yoga to unveil certain energies when working through PTSD


  • She stayed the night each time after a session
  • The morning after she had an integrative session
    • She felt like she accomplished more than she even thought was possible
    • There was not a part of her that understood how magnificent her experience was going to be
    • She has been given the gift of being present in the moment
    • She now has the ability to be with the people she loves, it changed her life
  • To a therapist, who really wants people to be their best selves, this has to be a beautiful thing to see
  • Joe says we are seeing movement with this kind of therapy
    • With trials, publications, and people coming forward with their stories, its changing the mental health narrative
    • Lori wants people to understand that this is a legitimate therapy
    • “To deny this therapy is a disservice to human kind” - Lori

Life for Lori After MDMA Therapy

  • Startle response is so low
    • She works in a bar, and things are dropped and she used to jump at everything, and now she doesn't anymore
  • She’s less quick to get angry because she’s not thinking about all of the horrible stuff that could happen at the next moment
  • Her ability to be present in the moment has helped her raise her son
  • She doesn't have triggering moments when she is aroused
  • She is feeling joy and happiness in a way she hasn't felt in over a decade

Shari’s Thoughts

  • Hearing Lori’s story gave her a new passion in her field
  • Chipping away at the barriers through MDMA therapy is so remarkable
    • Therapists create a safe environment with trust and the ability for patients to allow their barriers to fall down so that their inner healer can come out, to help them heal themselves
  • She feels so lucky to be a part of this type of therapy
    • Stan Grof - inner healer
    • The same way that your body knows how to heal a wound on your hand, your mind also knows how to heal your psyche
  • After Hurricane Katrina, suicide rates tripled
  • Shari gets hundreds of emails from people wanting to be in this study, she hopes or it to become more available for people in the future
  • For people who are more interested in learning about these trials, get on the MAPS mailing list
  • Joe says or someone with PTSD symptoms, it's not always the best idea to go down to Peru and do ayahuasca, they could get re-traumatized
    • Joe hopes for expanded access sooner than completion of phase 3 testing
  • He says for therapists interested in MDMA therapy, he really hopes they dive in and learn a lot

Final Thoughts

  • Having discussions like this, storytelling, has the ability to change many people's mindsets
  • Taking MDMA away from counterculture will be the quicker we can see drug reform
  • Whether we see decriminalization, or given expanded access, we need to be aware of what that looks like so everyone can have access to this experience
  • It's important to break the stigma of psychedelics so people are more open to their benefits

Main Goals

  • We want doctors to be able to use these drugs
  • We want people to to use these drugs without going to jail
  • We want a flourishing underground provider network that are skilled
  • We need to keep working toward re-scheduling



The Mind-Body Project

Check out this FREE online course, "Introduction to Psychedelics"Navigating Psychedelics: Introduction To Psychedelics (101)

About Lori Tipton

Lori Tipton is an MDMA Assisted Therapy patient who suffered from traumatic life experiences and PTSD.

About Dr. Shari Taylor

Dr. Shari Taylor holds a PhD in Psychology from Northcentral University, a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, and a Post-Master’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in the field of child/adolescent psychology. She is a Registered Yoga Therapist and teaches yoga both privately and in a class setting. Dr. Taylor is an avid participant in the art, music, and culture scene in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is continually enrolled in courses and workshops to expand her knowledge of nutrition, psychology, wellness, and spirituality.

Oct 23, 2018


James Oroc is the Author of Tryptamine Palace and the New Psychedelic Revolution.
Show topics include Burning Man, visionary art, drug war, and politics around the 5-MEO-DMT experience.

3 Key Points:

  1. James Oroc is cautious about the medicalization of psychedelics. He believes psychedelics do not necessarily heal sick people, but instead bring a new perspective to healthy users.
  2. The 5-MEO-DMT experience is not like the typical psychedelic experience, not everyone should do it, and there are some serious negative side effects that could last for years if not integrated properly.
  3. The Bufo Alvarius desert toad is at risk. With climate change and the demand for using them for their 5-MEO-DMT, there is a lot of pressure on their survival as a species.

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Show Notes

About James

  • James has written a few psychedelic books, and is kind of a psychedelic icon
    • His interests are in noveling and extreme sports journalism
    • He wrote a book for Burning man, and gave away 500 copies at the festival
    • He is a world class paragliding competitor
    • He believes always being in nature is important
    • In the late 80’s the psychedelic culture had crashed, except for the mountain towns, which is where psychedelic community ended up
      • Joe lives in the Rockies, and was hanging out in Aspen and ran into an old hippie deadhead who talked about skiing on mescaline, when everyone would typically ski on acid
    • In James new book he goes into psychedelics and extreme sports, about using a dose smaller than the psychedelic dose but larger than a micro dose
      • Joe references a movie, Valley Uprising, where most of the climbers would hang out on the side of a mountain face, party all night, drop a bunch of acid and then sprint to the top

James’ Interest in Psychedelics

  • James says that 5-MEO-DMT converted him from to being a scientific, rationalist, atheist to agnostic, being merged and one with the god source, through the classic mystical experience
    • He says it took him multiple years to figure out how a 40 minute trip experiences shifted his entire perspective for the rest of his life
    • That's why he wrote his Burning Man book, as a way to help others relate to the experience and make their own sense of it
      • Joe says James Book is far more fascinating than Michael Pollan’s Book, especially for people that have been in the psychedelic space for a while
      • Michael Pollan states in his book that LSD was given to Tim Leary by Alfred Hubbard, but James says that's not true, he says that a man by the name of Michael Hollingsworth gave LSD to Leary, after coming to America with a jar of mayonnaise full of LSD
      • James says its amusing for Pollan to form stories to fit his own narrative
        He says Pollan has talked about using psychedelics only four times, and that he doesn't like the psychedelic culture and by using them we will become more depressed
        • James thinks depression is a result of the paradigm that we are in
        • “I don't like the idea of psychedelics being used as bandaids to help people except the current paradigm, I like the idea of psychedelics being dynamite, to help bring the next paradigm shift” - James
        • Smart people are depressed because they are realizing we are screwing this planet up, and we may not have that much time left on it
        • He called it ‘extinction denial’ in his last book, and after writing his last book in 2009, its gotten exponentially worse
        • Joe asks James why he thinks people are denying the extinction narrative
        • James replies saying people feel like they can't do anything about it, they worry about paycheck to paycheck, and get caught up in all the small distractions of life. He says no wonder people are depressed

Psychedelics aren't a Medicine

  • James thinks the only reason they didn't take hold as medicines in the 60’s is because they were difficult to use, and didn't fit in the medical model
    • “The problem with medicalization is it puts psychedelics in one box, I’m more interested in giving psychedelics to healthy people than sick people”
    • They don't fall under the true classification of medicines
    • James thinks they should be called therapy, instead of medicine
    • He understands the interest of why people want to use them as medicines, but that shouldn't be the only way they are used
  • Joe adds that the medicalization doesn't mean rescheduling - via drug policy alliance
    • James says that last year alone had the most arrests for cannabis than any other year, even as more states are ‘legalizing’
    • Joe mentions a comment from Brian Normand who runs Psymposia, “Is cannabis really legal, if you can only have 6 plants? It's just heightened regulation.”
    • James thinks that keeping cannabis illegal in the south is the main tool for racial profiling, it's the gateway drug to prison
      • Brooklyn wants to release 20,000 cannabis offenders


  • James thinks living in America is like living in the belly of the beast
    • There are so many forces at work in the US, James thinks the best thing for the world would be for it to break up in a few smaller countries, although it's probably not going to happen
      • “It's not where you want to be, its where they'll have ya” - James
  • The data that John Hopkins comes up with is what we need to fight the cognitive liberty we should have to take psychedelics
    • Roland Griffith
    • Joe says Stan Grof became uninterested in the research of psychedelics and became more interested in visionary art
      • Creativity is what could help us survive
      • “Art could be the next religion” - Alex Grey

Reemergence of Spirit

  • James thinks we are in an interesting time in history, all of the models and structures are collapsing, we are getting to an individualized view of everything.
  • We have the right to create our own spirituality and religion. If we all go find what we find and then come together in clusters of like findings, that is a way for our spirituality to grow
    • Daniel Pinchbeck mentions cloistering up in small subculture communities focused on individual sub aspects of what interest you
    • Reemergence of spirit is important and can happen with the democratization of psychedelics
    • Psychedelics play a role in inner reality and outer reality
    • “Psychedelic perspective is the worldview that we take on as a psychedelic user, and its the perspective that the planet needs to survive. Whether as a society that we can shift to that perspective quick enough, is the issue. But the tools are in hand.” - James

Burning Man

  • James tells a story of this wealthy CEO who attends Burning Man, and gets back and realizes he's a rich asshole and starts contemplating how he can make his company better for the world and be better to his employees
    • Burning Man has a lot of potential like psychedelics do, but it was easier back then Burning Man has blown up and isn't what it used to be
      • These highly impactful experiences are more influential when they are small
    • Boom, a festival in Portugal is a free environment because everything is legal, there is no paranoia
      • Burning Man used to be free, but because things are still illegal, it has more of a defensive posture now
      • There are so many resources, police, undercovers, put into Burning Man for how little of crime that happens
        • Joe says its a means to scare the people
  • There's a report that the administration put out recently that agreed that climate change is happening but they don't want to do anything about it


  • James says he is a very interested observer to see psychedelics ‘come out of the closet’
  • Is medicalization a means to take the fangs off of the drug war, or take power away from the psychedelic culture?
    • James says medicalization is just a financial opportunity
    • MDMA is leading the push toward legalization
      • US Military is super interested in MDMA because of the PTSD
      • Drone operators suffer from depression when they realize they are bombing people they've never even seen
      • But the MDMA could keep these operators at the desk

History of government's involvement in psychedelics

  • Robert Forte - The Dark History of Psychedelics
  • MK Ultra did happen
  • Robert believes Albert Hofman was in charge
  • OSS - Office of Strategic Services
  • John Perry Barlow - founder of EFF Electronic Freedom Foundation
  • John Gillmore - had the largest civil suit against the US govt. for phone tapping
  • If you have an intense psychedelic experience, take some time and integrate it
    • “The first place you go after a major psychedelic experience is the library”
  • James says 5-MEO-DMT was the greatest intellectual adventure of his life
    • He couldn't grasp the concept of quantum physics, after 5-MEO-DMT it was one of the only things that made sense
  • Alexander Shulgin - plus four
    • James had a paradigm shift after the first time smoking 5-MEO-DMT
    • He says 5-MEO-DMT is extremely powerful, he doesn't do it as much anymore, because he appreciates how powerful it is
    • He also believes that it's wrong for ‘shamans’ to take the drug while facilitating
    • LSD is considered not powerful because its been dialed down
      • People don't take the same dose that people used to in the 70’s
  • Every community should have its own psychonaut
  • James thinks people should not start with 5-MEO-DMT, but start with something less intense like mushrooms and a walk in the woods
    • Joe did a lot of holotropic breathwork before taking psychedelics
    • So many people go right to ayahuasca because they are out of the psychedelic culture and are being advertised to
    • James is annoyed with people calling drugs medicine out of context, like at a festival
    • He thinks toad is a sacrament, or therapy, not medicine. It hasn't healed anybody
    • He believes that the ‘toad shaman’ culture will be eliminated once chemists start to synthesize 5-MEO-DMT
      • The toads are coming from an overly populated desert, and with climate change, there is a lot of pressure on these species survival

Final Thoughts

  • James suggestions
    • The 5-MEO-DMT experience is unique, it’s not like the typical psychedelic experience, not everyone should do it, and there are some serious negative side effects that could last for years if not integrated properly
    • Start with classic psychedelics like LSD or mushrooms, and go for a walk outside
  • Stan Grof’s house/library burnt down, Terence McKenna lost two libraries, and Jonathan Ott’s library burnt down. Decades of research burnt down


Check out this FREE online course, "Introduction to Psychedelics"Navigating Psychedelics: Introduction To Psychedelics (101)


James Facebook

Typtamine Palace Facebook




About James

Journalist, photographer, and artist James Oroc was born in the small South Pacific nation of Aotearoa. Since 1998 he has been pursuing and reporting on the cutting edge of extreme sports in more than 40 countries around the globe, his work appearing in magazines, films, and on MTV Sports. He has been a member of the Burning Man community since 1999, and he is also involved in the documentation and advancement of “Alternative Culture.”

Oct 16, 2018


Tom Hatsis is an intellectual, occultist, psychedelic user and advocate from Portland, Oregon. In the show, Joe and Tom talk about his new book about microdosing. Joe prepares listeners about the controversial topic, magick, which is highly discussed in the show. Witch craft, western shamanism, old religion and magick are all mentioned during the conversation. Tom is a coordinator for Sanctum Psychedelica, a psychedelic club in Portland.

3 Key Points:

  1. Tom’s book Microdosing Magic is a book of templates for people to fill in the blank according to what works for them
  2. Magic isn't the ‘hocus pocus’ witchy stuff that people always assume, it's actually mind hacking, reframing and neurogenesis, that every individual is born with the ability to tap into
  3. Magic is a great way to create containers to frame our psychedelic experiences

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Show Notes

About Tom

Tom’s Book - Microdosing Magic: A Psychedelic Spellbook
Tom thinks having a childlike wonder and being curious helped him write his book
He has written 4 books, 3 have been in psychedelic topics
Tom’s background - a part of the Roller derby background since 2005
His first book was called The Roller Derby: A Sensation that caused a Book, the Confessions of a Roller Derby Mascot.
Then he got into psychedelic history and wrote The Witch’s Ointment, Psychedelic Mystery Traditions and his newest book, Microdosing Magic.
Portland is a great place for the psychedelic renaissance

Microdosing Magic

Tom said we should be using psychedelics in a magical way
Joe agrees saying when using psychedelics we should be flexible philosophically
Joe mentions the Robert Anton Wilson reality tunnels
We all have a B.S. (Belief System) and then reality tunnels are the marxist sunglasses and the capitalist sunglasses and feminist sunglasses, instead of having 40 glasses to see behind bias, we all have our own pair of shades
Microdosing is a tool that helps people become childlike, more genius


Microdosing Magic is a book of templates for people to fill in the blank to what works with them
Tom never tells people what to do with psychedelics, he is offering insight and techniques
Using his own techniques, him and his partner are about to win a guinness world record
“If microdosing is like a healthy diet and magic is like exercise, that's great. But what happens when you put healthy diet with exercise? You have something far more powerful than those two things could have been by themselves. That's how microdosing magic works.”
Magic = mind hacking, re-framing and neurogenesis

The Four Gifts

Tom talks about ‘The Four Gifts’ in his book
They make up the beginning of his personal magical system that he has cultivated over his lifetime
Carl Sagan quote, “The cosmos are within us, we are a way for the universe to know itself”
Tom agrees strongly with that saying, he thinks we are microdoses of that cosmic magic and from it, we've received 3 immaterial gifts, Intellect, Emotion and Will, however, due to our evolution in physical bodies, we've inherited a fourth gift, action
The magical system is about aligning your intellect, emotion and will, so that when we take action, we are acting in pure magic
Magic is super powerful, not something that happens at Disney World. It's a very real thing that every individual is born with the ability to tap into
Orenda - the magic that you are born with
Microdosing Magic is Tom’s small contribution to bettering the world
Joe says there are so many people that practice subtle magic and don't even know it; in catholic religion, in yoga practice
Tom has a friend who ‘doesn't believe in magic’, who is a hardcore material reductionist, who has a ‘lucky hat’
Tom - “This isn't for people with claws and fangs, magic is for anybody who recognizes their own power and wants to harness their power to make their lives and the world around them a better place”
Neurogenesis, better firing, and re-framing happens in a person’s brain after consuming Psilocybin, Lions Mane and Reishi
Tom says he was addicted to coffee, and after using Microdosing Magic, he hasn't needed a cup of coffee on 8 months because of his new neural pathways
Joe jokes about overdosing on coffee for a few months on his coffee addiction
Tom jokes back that he’d just drink it out of the pot

Creative Genius

Dr. George Land study - 98% of 5 year old scored in the creative genius category in the same test that 32 year-olds only scored 2%
The modern education system robs us of our creative genius that we all had when we were kids, but at no fault to the teachers. The education system, buys these education models that just don't work
Tom - “You have to use the internet wisely and not foolishly, to educate yourself and not de-educate yourself”

The Book Tour

Joe asks about the most interesting questions Tom has received on tour
Most people ask about dose sizes and safety questions
Tom explains that he gets nervous about certain questions because he isn't a medical professional or a therapist
Tom “If you wouldn't take a psychedelic dose, don’t start microdosing”


Tom has been microdosing on and off for over 20 years
“We didn't call it microdosing, we called it being broke, we could only afford 1/8th of acid, so we split it up. We felt way more energy, I started writing way more songs, I couldn't put my guitar down. It sparks that creativity”
Joe says it's never been a better time for the psychedelic and microdosing renaissance
Cannabis is now legal in 13 states
FDA just approved mushrooms for PTSD in Canada
MDMA is in phase 3 testing
Tom says people in Silicon Valley, and believes people in Congress and DC are microdosing, they just can't talk about it
He mentions a talk he just did in Salem, a very conservative place, and no one had any questions. And then after the talk, everybody came up to him privately and asked him their questions
Tim Leary made a joke on Liberals not wanting to ‘risk face’
Joe comments on Tom’s book saying it was playful, inspiring, and not threatening like some magic can be
Tom says we don't have villages for support anymore, we have community which has replaced that
Sanctum Psychedelia’s main focus is community building
Tom uses an example of people going to Peru, taking ayahuasca, and because they don't have that mystical framework, they come back to their regular lives and say “now what”? That's why integration and community are so important
Tom says he’d love to see ayahuasca and ibogaine clinics with all the great results people have received from their heroine or cigarette addictions
Tom’s favorite presentation ever was Mark Haden’s blueprint on the future of psychedelics psychotherapy Mark Haden's Presentation on Psycehdelics
Mark Haden Psychedelic Reneissance

Cannabis and the War on Drugs

Tom likes to buy his cannabis directly from his farmer, he prefers to not have the government interfere
He says Gene Simmons from KISS has been so anti cannabis and now all of a sudden is promoting cannabis
Joe brings in the drug war issue, or the issue of people being put in jail for nonviolent crimes (cannabis)
Tom brings in another issue, saying that if a person is charged for drugs at one point in time that later becomes legal, they aren't allowed freedom because of the fact that they did the crime during the time where it was illegal
Racism and the war on drugs really bothers Tom

Amanita and the True History of Christian Psychedelic History

Predominant Paradigm - the ‘Holy Mushroom’
Tom says there aren't mushrooms in Christian art after doing the historical research
He has debunked the Amanita Muscaria Santa Claus connection
Psychedelic Santa
Debate with John Rush
The Mushroom in Christian Art: The Identity of Jesus in the Development of Christianity
People say the Amanita Muscaria and Santa Claus outfit are the same colors, but Santa’s outfit comes from the American Flag
Carl Ruck
Dionysus in Thrace: Ancient Entheogenic Themes in the Mythology and Archeology of Northern Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey
Psychedelic Christianity - a scholarly debate
a scholarly debate pt. 2

Final Thoughts

Tom - “Psychedelics are an excellent way to change your mind and yourself”
Magic is a great way to create containers to frame difficult psychedelic experiences. It’s about putting new frames on your reality


Tom's website
Tom's Book

Check out this FREE online course, "Introduction to Psychedelics"Navigating Psychedelics: Introduction To Psychedelics (101)

About Tom

Tom Hatsis.

Thomas Hatsis is an author, lecturer, and historian of witchcraft, magic, Western religions, contemporary psychedelia, entheogens, and medieval pharmacopeia. In his spare time he visits rare archives, slings elixirs, and coaches roller derby.

Oct 10, 2018


Key Takeaways

  1. Bluebird Botanicals is leading the industry in third-party testing and Lab results, green initiatives and a stand on hemp policy.
  2. CBD helps cushion the psychoactive impact of THC on CB1 receptors, making for a less intense ‘high’.
  3. Lex has a lot of hope for the 2018 Farm Bill, and believes hemp has widespread uses that will open many market opportunities in the future.

Joe interviews Lex Pelger, Science Director of Bluebird Botanicals, a Colorado-based company. They talk about CBD and the issues with the FDA talking about health benefits. The use cases of hemp and drug war are discussed.

Who is Lex Pelger?
He is a Science Director of Bluebird Botanicals. Lex moves from New York to Colorado. He did a psychedelic storytelling open mic tour (Blue Dot tour) across the USA and it culminated at the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference. Moved from the hustle of New York to Colorado to have his baby.

The Cannabinoid
Lex gets excited the more he learns about how intricate the endocannabinoid system is to humans and all mammals
Bluebird Botanicals doesn't make any medical claims
CDB supports health and homeostasis
The cannabinoid system was discovered in the body only 25 years ago
Opium and Cannabis were the two oldest plants used in the body
There isn't anyone connection for cannabis, because there are so many receptors in the human body
There is a ton of research happening on cannabinoids
Lex thinks the research ban on phytocannabinoids is unfortunate
Cannabis and cannabinoids are the most studied drugs in the US
CBD functions as a homeostasis molecule
Anandamide was the first endogenous cannabinoid discovered in the human brain in 1991 by a team led by Raphael Mechoulam in Israel
Raphael Mechoulam discovered the final structure of THC in 1963
CB1 Receptor in the brain was discovered in 1991 also

CB1 Receptor
If the CB1 receptors are blocked in a human or animal, they won't get ‘high’ on weed
The presence of CBD doesn't allow THC to fully bind to the CB1 receptor, so when CBD is present in THC, you won't get quite as high
Lex thinks it's unfortunate that because weed has been in prohibition, it has been bred so hard to only have THC
He thinks all weed should have a little bit of CBD to cushion the psychoactive nature of THC

The Endocannabinoid System
Joe says there is no profile to test the endocannabinoid system to know if a person is deficient or not, that he knows of
Lex says if you get your genetic results from a company like 23 and me, it will tell you about your cannabinoid alleles
A bad trip to a young brain can damage it forever
The activists that annoy Lex are ones that refuse the obvious negatives
Weed should not be given to all children

The ‘Right to Fly’
Jonathan Thompson - Psychedelic Parenting Blog and Podcast
How to create a community on psychedelics
Noah Potter - Psychedelic Law Blog
An open-source thought experiment in psychedelic law and policy
“This plant is tied down by so many regulations” - Lex
In the state of Colorado, you can't make new genetics
Lousy laws made it hard to diversify the cannabis plant
Lex believes Aldous Huxley’s book The Island is the best blueprint for what a sane integration of psychedelics and psychoactive might look like.
Lex says people taking mushrooms in the woods together is so special, simply because a group of people is spending 6-8 hours with nature and with each other.

Bluebird Botanicals
Many different products - isolates, oils, vape juice, and topicals will be back soon
Independent Lab Verification
Leading the industry with third-party lab results
Transparent about ingredients, NO pesticides used!
Paired with Eurofins - world’s biggest testing lab
Bluebird partners with the farmers, packaging partners, etc to be green and more eco-friendly always
CEO Brandon hears about a new point of quality to be added, he goes for it
Passed 99% inspection quality, CGMP
Lex thinks its so nice to work for a company that focuses on giving back to the customers, focusing on employees, quality, the planet, and just giving back

CBD Drug Law Changes in California
The regulations restrict being able to add CBD to food, which goes is against the 2014 Federal Farm Bill
Bluebird is on the board for the US Hemp Roundtable - Hemp Policy
Jonathan Miller - Lawyer of the group and writer to address misinterpretation of the law
“It's foolish to have the 1950’s 1960’s mindset of cannabis” - Joe

Marijuana vs Hemp
Both are cannabis plants
Cannabis is the species, THC is more than .3% THC, Hemp is less than .3% THC
“If a state inspector comes in and tests 6 samples and the results come up as .4% or .5%, they make you burn it. They don't burn it for you, you have to burn it yourself while you watch.” - Lex
Cannabis is tricky to grow for commercial use
It takes 3 generations for the plant to get used to the environment
“Thank you, farmers, for being farmers” - Joe

2018 Farm Bill
Mitch McConnell majority leader of the Senate, is pushing this because he comes from Kentucky, the Hemp state. The Senate version of the Farm Bill is correct, the House version has none of the correct language in it. McConnell and the pro-hemp committee will hash out the differences between the two bills. This Bill expands on all of the rights so it makes it look more enticing and safe for big businesses like Whole Foods and Banks. This bill is going to open up many markets.

Hemp as an Industrial Product
“What’s really cool about hemp is how widespread the uses are” - Lex
The Hemperor, Jack Herer discovered all of the uses for the hemp plant
Oil and plastic did win, hemp did not win as a top 10 commodity
It’s a hard plant to work within the processing stage
Thomas Jefferson stopped growing hemp because the retting stage was too hard on his slaves
Hemp is not going to change all the markets it's been said it will transform
Lex says hempcrete is fascinating. Using hemp as lubricants, bath bombs, and just the seeds are fascinating uses
The Russians and the English fought in a war over access to hemp
Hemp is a rope that doesn't get destroyed by saltwater, fueled the world’s Navy
Fiber is so important, and hemp as a fiber was widespread
Hemp seeds are a perfect mix of essential fatty acids
Hemp seed made pigeons breed more
Joe says there was a huge tradition of people eating pigeons
Agriculture is so bad for topsoil, hemp can help repair our lands for us to keep surviving
Hemp is a holy material in Korea
Joseph Needham layed out all of China’s inventions and explained that the founders of Daoism had a cannabis-induced ‘dream’ and envisioned the first Daoist school where Yin and Yang came from

Lex’s job as a Science Director for Bluebird
Lex does a lot of education around CBD, Cannabinoid science conferences
His passion for cannabis stems from his grandma’s medical condition
He wanted to find a way to describe the cannabinoid system for elders to understand
Lex is thankful for groups like Erowid, who sit down and interview our elders
Lex tells a story about a man who took LSD in the woods, and fell to the ground and felt one with the trees, felt himself rooting down, and felt complete. He never forgot that feeling
Lex thinks that a person should be stable before embarking on a psychedelic journey
“Huxley says that therapists are attracted to psychedelics because of their own dark icebergs” - Lex. He thinks that therapists should be A gatekeeper, not THE gatekeeper

Joe has been trying to get in touch with Dana Beal who popularized ibogaine
“Dana Beal was an old-time, cowboy pot smuggler to fund yippie political activism, outreach, and political activism, so he could make the way that he made money, illegal” - Lex He used the system against itself

Cannabis can cause catalepsy in people - which makes one ‘blackout’
90% of cointel pros were against the Black Panthers
Hoover feared them because they were black and he was racist
They were extremely effective
Lex explains that the war on cannabis has a racist framework, Nixon said “Because black people use cocaine and hippies use cannabis, we can use it against them”
Lex goes on to talk about the history of the CIA, which puts its money into drug trade because it's untraceable, they protect the drug lords to use it for their own financial benefit
He says the CIA and DEA are inefficient bureaucracies
“Our belief at Bluebird, is we have to end the war on drugs. It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on people. The war on drugs is incredibly effective at doing what it was designed to do, and that was to hold, certain people groups down”
Joe comments saying that there are babies being born and being brought into this world. He appreciates Bluebird for having proper business practice

Final Thoughts
Lex finished his Moby Dick Pot books about the endocannabinoid system and the war on drugs He says he based them on Moby Dick because it was the only thing large enough to fit the entire history of cannabis and war on drugs
He does the Greener Grass Podcast for Bluebird which includes topics on cannabis and green initiatives.

He is also a part of the Psychedelic Salon

Oct 2, 2018

Joe Moore interviews Brian Pace. He studies Evolutionary Ecology, is a science consultant at The Third Wave, and is the director of the project, Mind Manifest Midwest, and instigator of the “Find the Others” project.

3 Key Points:

  1. Psychedelics are not just illegal, they are also taboo, and Brian’s efforts are aimed to create spaces that make it more comfortable to talk about psychedelics.
  2. Online resources are great, but having local, and real psychedelic societies to create community will help people “come out” and be comfortable talking about their experiences.
  3. Brian’s interest evolved from ecology to psychedelics when he realized the issue of global warming. The top environmental problems are selfishness and greed, and changing people’s minds with psychedelics is a big hope for the planet.


Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Navigating Psychedelics

Show Notes

  • Getting Involved with The Third Wave
    • Met Paul Austin of The Third Wave at the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance Conference.
    • The conference was foundational in him becoming outspoken about psychedelics.
  • Ibogaine - last resort option for people suffering from addiction.
  • Brian and the team built The Third Wave with the goal to bring the conversation about psychedelics to be more comfortable among the general public.
    • It has been good about building bridges to invite all types of people to the community, not just white males. It's important to be inclusive in this space.
  • Find the Others
    • Started at Psychedelic Science, to talk about what psychedelic societies are.
    • Aware Project by Ashley Booth (
    • Psychedelics are not just illegal, they are also Taboo - Michael Pollan
    • “Were having a cultural hangover from the upheavals we've had in the late 60’s and early 70’s.” - Brian
  • “We can fight taboos when we can have conversations - about that which was taboo - in the grocery store, in the bar, with our parents. I think that's definitely what's needed with psychedelics.” - Brian
    • Had the first psychedelic society meeting at a bar that included a presentation about plant secondary compounds and human health and ended with storytelling.
  • 20% of Americans over the age of 15 have had some experience with psychedelics, 11% with LSD. (source unsure)
  • Mitch Gomez from Dance Safe - more than 50% of the population of the U.S has done illegal compounds at age 15 and up. Psychedelics have taken a big chunk of that number.
  • Cannabis is a great help for football players and traumatic brain injury.
  • “If psychedelics are ever going to be reintegrated meaningfully in society, we are going to need some kind of mentorship.” - Brian
  • Timothy Leary - “You're born with the right to fly”. If you start driving on LSD, you might lose that right.
  • Find the Others, Mind Manifest Midwest, The Third Wave
    • A collaborative project that allows people to speak in their own words what they are doing in their psychedelic societies.
    • Psychedelic Societies are real, local and create community.
  • MDMA for PTSD will be passed at the Federal level very quickly.
  • Evolutionary Ecology
    • Psilocybin - PhD focused on plant secondary compounds.
    • The mycorrhizae network - “the Earth’s natural internet” - Paul Stamets
  • Climate change
    • Consumption - eating meat and driving cars
    • The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy. Changing people’s mindsets with psychedelics could be an only hope.
    • “Given that psychedelics have reliably induced mystical and/or religious experiences in people throughout time and across a variety of contexts, it seems natural that we should start organizing communities that help unpack and contextualize these experiences.” - Brian
  • The status of our society
    • Why do we have to work 55 hours a week to barely afford a 2 bedroom apartment?
    • Guaranteed minimum income - an experiment in other countries.
    • What does our society look like when it is less stressed?
  • Timothy Leary
    • “Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
    • Helped create the importance of set and setting.
    • Saw the inside of 36 prisons for possession of marijuana.


Mind Manifest Midwest

Find The Others Project

Aware Project


Check out this FREE online course, "Introduction to Psychedelics"Navigating Psychedelics: Introduction To Psychedelics (101)

About Brian

Brian Pace - Find the Others Project

Brian Pace, M.S. is a scientist by training and psychonaut by inclination. His interest in biology was piqued acutely as a teenager while experimenting with his own neurochemistry. For more than a decade, Brian has worked on agrobiodiversity, food sovereignty, urban cycling, and climate change in the US and Mexico. Brian is the co-founder of Mind Manifest Midwest (, a Columbus, Ohio based psychedelic society and the instigator of the Find the Others Project (, a global collaboration of the burgeoning psychedelic society movement. Since 2016, he has contributed as a strategist for The Third Wave ( At The Ohio State University, he co-created a graduate-level class entitled: Cannabis: Past, present, and future cultivation for fiber, food, and medicine. He spent a year slogging around oil and wastewater pits left by Chevron-Texaco testing mycoremediation techniques in the Ecuadorian Amazon. All pipelines leak. Plant medicine is indigenous technology. Brian completes his Ph.D. in Plant Evolutionary Ecology this semester at OSU.