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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, 2023
Apr 28, 2023

In this episode of Psychedelics Weekly, David speaks with Kyle, who recorded at Joe’s place while he was away at Trailblazers in NYC. 

They talk about David’s trip to the UK last week for Breaking Convention, then discuss a recent Vice article about looking outside the binary and confined thinking of Western medicine and embracing the underground – that there are cheaper and more accessible peer support models and affinity groups for everyone, but in going underground, we need to be careful that more accessible models aren’t dangerous or re-traumatizing. While businesses are competing to make headway in the psychedelic space, nobody is controlling all of it, which leads to both possibility and risk. 

They cover SB23-290, the bill Senate President Steve Fenberg created to establish a regulatory framework for psilocybin access and administration in Colorado in lieu of the advisory board that should have been put in place as part of Prop 122. They break down the positives and negatives of this framework, and ask: how much do these committees who are passing legislation really know about psilocybin? 

And they briefly discuss an article on what MDMA therapy may look like when MAPS hopefully gets approval via the FDA early next year, Rick Doblin’s speech at Breaking Convention, and his concept of society eventually having “net zero trauma.”

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 25, 2023

In this episode, Joe interviews Deborah Parrish Snyder: ecologist, Director and VP of the Institute of Ecotechnics, and Co-owner and CEO of Synergetic Press, which has published over 40 books on ethnobotany, psychedelics, biospherics, and social and ecological justice. 

Straddling the line between ecology, psychedelics, and psyche, she discusses the many projects of the Institute: Biosphere 2, the large-scale closed ecological system she helped design in 1986; London's "October Gallery," a man-made city biome project that could be a model for other cities; their "Eden in Iraq" wastewater project; and the Heraclitus, an 82-foot ship which has sailed 270k miles around the earth, studying different cultures, mapping coral reefs, and more, and will soon be setting sail again after being rebuilt for the last decade.  

She talks about where we're at as a society in regards to the environment: how we're in a period of consequences and it's easy to feel hopeless, but much of the youth are "solutionists" who don't want to hear apologies, and instead, want to do something about it. She believes that while schools don't teach ecology, it's never too late to learn, and non-ordinary states of consciousness could help people remember our connection to nature, care about our planet, and find the others who feel the same way. Consider pairing your self-exploration with improving the world around you: what can you do to turn your perfect, overly fertilized lawn into a regenerative landscape instead?

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 21, 2023

In this episode of Psychedelics Weekly, Joe and Kyle once again record in person, diving into novel compounds, changing opinions, Bicycle Day, and more. 

They start by dissecting a very recent controversy around The Church of Psilomethoxin and whether the sacrament they label as psilomethoxin – supposedly created by adding 5-MeO-DMT to the substrate of cultivated Psilocybe mushrooms – actually contains any psilomethoxin in it. Usona Institute published a paper last week reporting on their analysis of a sample they allegedly collected from the Church, which only showed what we’d see in a sample of a typical psilocybin-containing mushroom. While the Church has issues with Usona’s data collection, analytical methods, and motives, they also reiterate a main component of the church: that their "claims to the existence of Psilomethoxin, at this time, are solely based on faith," and bolstered by their “own direct experiences with the Sacrament.” It’s a very interesting story that touches on faith, consent, personal safety, and the harms of the drug war, which Joe covered extensively in a Twitter Space last night with Andrew Gallimore and the writer of a very critical article, Mario de la Fuente. 

They also discuss: 

-a Time magazine article about the mystery of Long COVID, and how many believe the anti-inflammatory and neuroplastic benefits of psychedelics could be the answer; 

-how Bicycle Day may soon become more popular than 4/20, likely due to society’s warmer reception to the life-changing effects of psychedelics (as opposed to their propagandized and unmoving beliefs about cannabis); 

-how some analysts believe that seven in 10 ketamine companies will likely face financial challenges as the industry grows too quickly; 

and why Snoop Dogg apparently microwaves blunts before smoking them (and does that actually do anything?).

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 18, 2023

In this episode, on the eve of Bicycle Day, Victoria and Kyle interview two long-standing icons of visionary psychedelic art: Alex and Allyson Grey.

They talk about the LSD trip that saved Alex’s life, connected him to Allyson, inspired his art, and even made him change his name; his decades-in-the-making “Sacred Mirrors” project of 21 7-foot tall pieces depicting the complex layers of human existence; the interconnectedness of life; the history of psychedelic art; how imagination and non-ordinary states help us connect with the divine; and the value of art in conveying the mystical experience.

Alex and Allyson are the Co-Founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, an interspiritual church/retreat center in upstate New York that, after years of work, is debuting Entheon: an art sanctuary and psychedelic reliquary featuring much of their art and work from favorite artists, a shrine to Tool (who Alex has worked with for most of their career), and a collection of relics from psychedelic legends that includes Albert Hofmann’s glasses, art signed by Stan Grof and the Shulgins, and even Timothy Leary’s ashes. Entheon opens on June 3, on the anniversary of the first acid trip the Greys took together, which gave them a framework for understanding life and an inspiration for art they still follow to this day.

And in honor of Bicycle Day, Alex talks about two pieces dedicated to Albert Hofmann, and continues his Bicycle Day tradition of reading a statement Hofmann made a year before he passed about psychedelics being the “absolute highest importance to consciousness change.” In celebration of Albert Hofmann and the gift he gave us, and with inspiration from the incredibly complex and beautiful art Alex and Allyson create, have a happy, safe, and creative Bicycle Day! 

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 14, 2023

In this episode, Joe interviews Melissa Lavasani: CEO of Washington, DC-based Psychedelic Medicine Coalition and now, President of the brand new Psychedelic Medicine PAC.

She discusses her path to psychedelics, how she ended up running the Initiative 81 campaign (the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020), and how she came to realize that decriminalization efforts can't be the only option we go for – that, like it or not, we live in a system where politics and money are major factors behind any systematic change, and if we want to make any headway, we have to play the game. The Psychedelic Medicine PAC (Political Action Committee) was created to open up federal funding for psychedelic research, as nearly all research today (of which there still isn't enough) is being funded by private companies. They will use donations to support politicians who are on our side and can advance psychedelic progress, who will push for federal funding to get the new and necessary data people who aren't bought in yet need to see. 

They talk about speaking with people from the other side of the aisle at a recent education campaign in DC; how federal funding is neutral money; what she learned from DC's deprioritization of cannabis policing; how personal stories and one-on-one human connection can change minds better than traditional confrontational activism; and the need to get ahead of the inevitable wave of big pharma propaganda they'll bring when they officially step up to the table. She believes the path to helping the most people is advancing science and data through federal funding, and that begins with education and getting more politicians on our side. If you agree, follow them for details about their upcoming event in May, visit their table at Psychedelic Science this June (use PT15 for 15% off tickets), and donate to the PAC or the coalition. 

Also, as a bonus, this episode begins with a mini version of Psychedelics Weekly. Joe and Kyle didn't have enough time to record a full episode, but still wanted to check in and review a few notable stories and highlight our recent Vital graduation ceremony. See you next week!

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 11, 2023

In this episode, Joe lets Court Wing take lead in interviewing two of the leaders behind Clusterbusters: Founder and Executive Director, Bob Wold; and President, Eileen Brewer.

A long-time friend of the show, Court Wing has become our resident expert on chronic pain, writing articles about how psilocybin relieved his chronic pain, and hosting Timothy Furnish, MD & Joel Castellanos, MD in their episode about phantom limb pain. Now he speaks with Clusterbusters, a non-profit dedicated to educating people about the horrors of cluster headaches, funding ongoing research into new treatments, and normalizing the miracle that psilocybin has been to so many sufferers in alleviating their headaches. 

Wold and Brewer discuss their past struggles (Wold is a cluster sufferer and Brewer has migraine disease) and discovering the amazing intervention of psychedelics; the battles they've gone through in spreading this knowledge; how using psychedelics is also helping people work through PTSD; the barriers that legal psilocybin is creating; the concept of schools having a drug education program; the research looking at cluster headaches and other headache diseases; their creation of the Pain And Psychedelics Association, and more. While cluster headache sufferers have a lot to be frustrated about; as psilocybin becomes more mainstream and more and more research is funded, they now have a lot of hope.

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 7, 2023

In this episode of Psychedelics Weekly, Kyle is back in Colorado and in-person with Joe, and they discuss what stood out to them in the news this week:

-A New York Times interview with Roland Griffths, where he talks about his cancer diagnosis and how meditation and psychedelics have helped him prepare for the inevitable end;

-An article on the rising popularity of psychedelics among mothers, and the benefits and risks of moms rejecting alcohol culture in favor of something new (and largely illegal);

-The NBA removing cannabis from its list of banned substances and allowing players to invest in cannabis companies, which follows years of other sports slowly accepting that cannabis is a part of our culture and there’s no need to play the part of “big brother” anymore;

and an article looking at legalization from the perspectives of people who were against recent measures like Prop 122, and how some towns in Colorado and Oregon are looking for ways to prevent the creation of psilocybin service centers from being built in their backyards.

They also go further into the Psychedelic Medicine Coalition’s recently created Political Action Committee and the work they’re doing to educate lawmakers; Harvard Law School hosting webinars comparing psychedelic legislation and the role of psychedelics in Indigenous groups in Europe, Australia, and North America; Arizona’s HB-2486, which would give $30 million in grants to universities and non-profit organizations to conduct psilocybin research; and Rick Doblin’s recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience.

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Apr 4, 2023

In this episode, David interviews neuroscientist, artist, and educator, Melanie Pincus, Ph.D.; and Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience, lead or co-author on over a dozen scientific publications, and regular contributor to PT, Manesh Girn. 

They tell their stories of how they became interested in neuroscience, and stress the importance of staying radically open-minded (or “epistemically naive”) when it comes to how much we can claim we understand about the brain, the mind-body connection, and consciousness itself – that while fMRI and other advances have brought us a long way, there are still a ton of “unknown unknowns,” especially around creativity, decision making, and imagination. They discuss the misconception that we only use 10% of our brains; comparisons between the brain and the universe; society’s misunderstanding of “happy hormones” (dopamine, serotonin, etc.); how chronic stress takes a toll on all parts of the body; how MDMA works with memory processing; and how stacking modalities with the psychedelic experience (like play or activities focused on emotion regulation) can really help with personal goals and growth. 

They have taken their understanding and fascination with neuroscience and applied it to a new course in our Psychedelic Education Center: “Psychedelic Neuroscience Demystified: How Psychedelics Alter Consciousness and Produce Therapeutic Effects“: an 8-week live course with 10 hours of prerecorded material and a built-in community. It was designed with practitioners and clinicians in mind, but with the goal of still being as accessible as possible for anyone who is curious about the neuroscience of psychedelics, and how that knowledge can help with preparation, the journey, integration, and working with a heightened window of neuroplasticity. 

Class begins on May 17, and if you sign up before April 12, you can get $100 off!

www.psychedelicstoday.com

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