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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.
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Now displaying: April, 2024
Apr 30, 2024

In this episode, Joe and special guest, Court Wing, interview Tommy Aceto: former Navy Seal and trauma medic, NCAA athlete, Michigan State Champion Wrestler, and now, psychedelic advocate and ambassador for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition.

He discusses his journey from childhood to wanting to become a SEAL, and the toll that military life and its programming can take on a person: how a life built on high levels of endurance, deprivation, and constantly surviving in a fight-or-flight mindset often manifests in Operator Syndrome, chronic pain, depression, and addiction. Veterans are seeing the potential of psychedelics to rewire their brains and allow them to process pain differently, by allowing them to feel emotions they were trained to turn off: “You’ve got to feel to heal.”

Aceto discusses:

  • The affirmation and approval many who join the military seek, and how that often translates into needing to stay at certain levels of risk to truly feel alive
  • The similarities between soldiers and professional athletes and high performers
  • Dealing with chronic pain, and how forcing movement is often the best tactic
  • The Controlled Substances Act and how opioids became a business
  • Why the most important thing vets can do today is to tell their healing stories

and more!

For links, head to the show notes page

Apr 26, 2024

In this episode, Kyle and Johanna catch up, interviewing each other about psychedelic education and what they’ve learned, the biggest challenges, and what advice they would give to anyone looking to get involved in the psychedelic field.

They discuss:

  • How sometimes it’s not about the substance: If you want to be a psychedelic therapist, do you see yourself doing therapy without the psychedelics?
  • How no part of education is exempt, and becoming truly psychedelically-competent can involve studying psychology, neuroscience, somatics, religion, history, etc.
  • How people’s experiences are evidence – it doesn’t have to come from a research study to be valid
  • The importance of figuring out what your gifts are and how you could best contribute to progress, and then finding the job that matches it

and more!

The next round of our year-long training program, Vital, begins in September, but for those who feel that that may be too much of a commitment, our most popular course – the 9-week Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and Wellness Practitioners, LIVE – begins on May 8. Head to the Psychedelic Education Center for more details!

Click here to head to the show notes page.

Apr 23, 2024

In this episode, Joe interviews Philip Wolf: writer, member of Rolling Stone's Culture Council, founder of Cultivating Spirits (the first company in the U.S. to offer legal culinary cannabis experiences), and founder of CashoM, an education company offering a certificate in cannabis stewardship.

He discusses his recent Rolling Stone article about the need to divorce ourselves from the colonial mindset that pervades the psychedelic movement, and he talks about the difficult conversation that came about when he asked a very critical group of psychedelic leaders how they felt about the article, and how it taught him just how powerful having these difficult conversations can be. 

He also discusses: 

  • The importance of asking questions and not making assumptions
  • Why we may need to abandon the "no justice, no peace" attitude if we ever want to move forward
  • The idea that instead of endlessly battling the establishment, maybe it makes more sense to change our consumer mindset and allow capitalism to do its thing
  • The importance of reaching out to local Indigenous tribes and allocating resources to go to them, not make them come to you
  • The challenge of merging spirituality and science, especially for a regulatory model focused on profit

and more!

For links, head to the show notes page

Apr 19, 2024

In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview Lenny Gibson, Ph.D.: philosopher, Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork® facilitator, 20-year professor of transpersonal psychology at Burlington College, and the reason Joe and Kyle met many years ago.

He talks about his early LSD experiences and how his interest in the philosophy of Plato and Alfred North Whitehead provided a framework and language for understanding a new mystical world where time and space were abstractions. He believes that while culture sees the benefits of psychedelics in economic terms, the biggest takeaway from non-ordinary states is learning that value is the essence of everything. And as this is being released on Bicycle Day, he discusses Albert Hofmann’s discovery and whether or not it’s fair to say that Hofmann intentionally had the experience he did on that fateful day.

He also discusses:

  • The end of Cartesian thinking and the need for a new understanding of reality that incorporates the insights of quantum mechanics
  • How philosophy has been taught as an intellectual endeavor, and how we need to embrace the practical and conceptual side of life
  • John Dewey and quantitative thinking, William James and pragmatism, and was Aristotle a Platonist?
  • The novelty of the creation of LSD, and how it gave us a path to a mystical experience that wasn’t culturally bound

and more!

For links, head to the show notes page. 

Apr 17, 2024

In this episode, Joe interviews Joey Lichter, Ph.D.: professor in the Chemistry & Biochemistry department at Miami’s Florida International University, and one of the few professors in the U.S. teaching a course about psychedelics at the collegiate level.

He talks about his path towards the course, the challenge of creating a curriculum that covers everything in a few months, and the importance of teaching young minds about psychedelics the right away; shifting drug education from the “Just say no!” D.A.R.E. model to a more balanced, honest, and evidence-based approach. He aims for his students to think critically, ignore the hype, and see all possible angles with a fairly simple approach: Present the full story.

He discusses:

  • The importance of teaching history, from Stan Grof to MKUltra
  • The work of David Nichols, David Nutt’s drug harm scale, and the greatest lesson William Leonard Pickard took from LSD
  • The representation of Spravato as a new drug, and his concerns with the over-medicalization of psychedelics
  • Teaching about the complexities of Timothy Leary: Was he a positive or negative force?
  • Decriminalization, legalization, and how he gets students to think about drug policy

and more!

For links and more, head to the show notes page

Apr 12, 2024

In this episode, Joe interviews Devon Phillips: community & partnerships officer for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Phillips works on strategies to tackle the questions: How do we responsibly mainstream psychedelics? And how do we get culture engaged? He's focusing on being the bridge to psychedelics outside of research, facilitating workshops and psychedelic coming-out stories at music festivals and conferences. He talks about harm reduction and drug checking at festivals, the concept of training big names to become trustworthy resources, the differences found in a hop hop crowd compared to EDM, and the power in using psychedelics for pleasure and celebration – not just healing and growth. 

He also discusses: 

  • MAPS' involvement with the NFL for their 'My Cause, My Cleats' campaign, and how the San Francisco 49ers' Jon Feliciano is bringing awareness to psychedelic healing
  • Details about MAPS' first responders training, fiscal sponsorship program, international therapist education program, and upcoming membership program (launching in June)
  • The success of MAPS' Psychedelic Science and his hopes for the 2025 edition, taking place June 16 - 20 at the Denver Convention Center
  • Dr. Carl Hart, drug exceptionalism, and the importance of creating safe containers and inclusive drug policy 

and more!

For links and more, head to the show notes page.

Apr 9, 2024

In this episode, Joe interviews Keeper Trout: archivist, author, photographer, co-founder of the Cactus Conservation Institute, and creator of Trout’s Notes, a website compiling personal research and collected data to help ethnobotanical researchers.

From an interest in cactus taxonomy, Sasha Shulgin urged Trout to go through his files, resulting in a friendship, and eventually, an 8-year project of digitizing all of these files into the ever-evolving Shulgin Archive.

Trout discusses:

  • His relationship with Sasha and The Shulgin Farm project, which aims to make the farm a community resource for therapy, research, events, and more
  • The messiness of cactus taxonomy, and how he believes we’re nearing the end of being able to properly identify cacti
  • The perception of LSD as unnatural and why the natural vs. synthetic argument is largely political
  • Why repealing the Controlled Substances Act is the path we should take over decriminalization or legalization

and more!

For links and more, head to the show notes page

Apr 5, 2024

In this episode, Alexa interviews April Pride: creative entrepreneur, veteran of the cannabis space, and now, founder of SetSet, an educational platform and podcast (picking up where The High Guide left off) for women curious about psychedelics.

With Alexa about to embark on the journey of motherhood, she asks many of the questions parents working with psychedelics have to consider: How do you overcome the stigmas of being a psychedelic parent? How do you talk to your children about drugs? How do you know if a substance is ok to use during pregnancy?

Pride discusses:

  • Being dubbed “the weed mom” and why she embraced the nickname
  • Parenting children around drug use and how parents lose credibility when they lie (the kids are going to know)
  • The need for more research into how substances interact with women’s cycles and changing hormones
  • Knowing when to trust your doctor and how more conversations lead to more knowledgeable doctors
  • Microdosing psilocybin and the developing SetSet protocol

and more!

For links and more, head to the show notes page

Apr 2, 2024

In this episode, Joe interviews Paul F. Daley, Ph.D., who worked with Sasha Shulgin in his lab for the last seven years of his life, helping him finish (and co-authoring) "The Shulgin Index, Volume One: Psychedelic Phenethylamines and Related Compounds."

He is now the co-founder, Chief Science Officer, and Director of Analytical Science at the Alexander Shulgin Research Institute (ASRI), focusing on the discovery and development of novel psychedelic compounds. While Sasha was passionate about self-experimentation, the Institute is aiming for the next step for these drugs: FDA approval.  

He discusses: 

  • Meeting Sasha at the 2nd international conference on hallucinogenic mushrooms in Washington D.C.
  • Bonding with Sasha while reviewing the autopsy of researcher Robert van den Bosch for possible foul play
  • The two compounds ASRI is closest to being able to test in clinical trials
  • The 5-HT2B receptor, risk of valvular disease, and why we will likely be hearing more about this going forward
  • How AI and new technology can lead to better safety science  

and more!

Click here to head to the show notes page.

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