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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: August, 2023
Aug 29, 2023

In this episode, David interviews East Forest: Portland, OR-based producer, podcaster, ceremony guide, and musician, specializing in ambient, electronic, contemporary classical, and indie pop music largely to guide listeners through deep journeys.  

Forest discusses his live performances and influences; how his music pairs with journeys and specific psychedelics; the difference in the connection and vibe from a live performance vs. a recording; the difference between single-artist music created specifically for sessions vs. Spotify playlists; the inhumanity of generative music; his Journey Space online music and journey platform; and the challenges of making money in a time when music is more prevalent than ever, but also more in-the-background and diluted. 

He talks a lot about sound itself: the role of rhythm and sound in communication and personal transformation; how richer overtones and increased layers of sound increase effects; research into very low pulsating tones, and how more synthesized sound and the growth of AI has created a yearning for more authentic, imperfect sounds.  

His newest album was just released August 18: “Music For The Deck of The Titanic,” an homage to the musicians who spent their last few hours playing songs for passengers amidst the chaos and tragedy – an album Forest sees as an offering to the chaotic moment we’re all in.

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Aug 25, 2023

In this episode, Joe interviews Satya Thallam: Policy Advisor at the international law firm, Arnold & Porter; and longtime policy expert based in Washington, D.C. who previously served in senior roles at both the White House and the U.S. Senate.

Thallam was the lead author and negotiator of the Federal Right to Try Act, which grants terminally ill patients access to experimental therapies and substances that have completed Phase I testing but have not yet been approved by the FDA. He discusses its intricacies and benefits, how psychedelics were not a focus but were always obvious, whether or not it allows people to grow their own mushrooms, and more. He talks abut the implementation of the first Federal legalization of hemp under the Farm Bill in 2018, breaking down the history and detail of how it came to be, and why a difference of .3% in weight truly matters when establishing law.

He discusses the changing landscape of politicians and psychedelics; how local action creates a culture of inspiring Washington; the internal fight between different agencies and the endless lobbying it takes to get things done; how one needs to cater their argument by who is listening; risk assessment and judgment-proof operations; the concern over whether or not we got everything wrong with cannabis; and why we will likely begin seeing a lot of coalitions popping up in the psychedelic space.

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Aug 22, 2023

In this episode, Kyle interviews Lisa Wessing: Clinical Psychologist and facilitator specializing in harm reduction at Kiyumí retreats in The Netherlands. 

Wessing shares her personal journey and the shift from being uninspired with studying psychology to being a part of space-holding in Mexico and finding her true path. She dives into the world of Kiyumí retreats, discussing their holistic healing approach using psilocybin, somatic movement, dance expression, and other methods supporting their four pillars of embodiment, nature, mindfulness, and art. She discusses their more long-term program with Dr. Gabor Maté integrating his Compassionate Inquiry framework; their Equity Program, which offers partial or full funding for people who may not have the financial resources or who come from marginalized communities (e.g. BIPOC & Queer); and the importance of integration as a continuous process and checking in with people much later to build their “Kiyumíty.”

Much of this discussion covers the challenges of somatic psychology and facilitation in group containers: how most people are somatically illiterate and the journey of becoming more somatic; what to do about someone laughing or singing in a group context; what moving into one’s body really means; and different ways of using art to integrate an experience.

As part of our Vital program, we are running a psilocybin retreat with Kiyumí from September 6-11, and we have some available spots left! If you like what you hear, you’ll be in The Netherlands in September, and want to have an amazing experience with us, click here for more info!

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Aug 18, 2023

In this episode, recorded in-person at Psychedelic Science 2023, Kyle interviews Senator for the Mexican Green Party, Alejandra Lagunes.

Lagunes is the first Senator in Mexico to promote the use of psychedelics, and has been organizing open parliaments to foster collaboration between researchers, scientists, politicians, and Indigenous people, culminating in a groundbreaking decriminalization initiative to decriminalize psilocybin and psilocin from list 1 to list 3 (meaning they could be prescribed), create a new chapter for entheogens (and move mushrooms there), build an economically beneficial framework for Indigenous people, protect ancestor knowledge by law, and make big bioconservation moves with changes to environmental laws. 

She discusses her personal journey with depression, anxiety, and a life-saving ayahuasca journey; how Covid uncovered a crisis in meaning and an openness to talk about mental health; the need for accessibility and safety in psychedelics against challenges in politics and policy implementation; our mental health crisis and the need for innovation, education, and overcoming stigma; the influence of US drug control policies on international regulations; the power of storytelling; and why we need to go back to our origins.

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Aug 15, 2023

In this episode, Joe interviews Stéphane Lasme, a former professional basketball player from Gabon who is now a partner at SteddeCapital, a private markets investment platform investing long-term capital into U.S.- and Africa-based opportunities across sports ownership, infrastructure, technology and plant medicine.

Lasme speaks of his childhood, growing up in Gabon with more traditional Catholic values while journeying deep into the jungle to visit his Grandmother every summer. It was there that he embraced the cultural aspect of Gabon and community, and first learned of iboga, which he had a profound experience with at age 12, and would later revisit in his basketball days. He discusses the drive and passion that led him to become the first person from Gabon to play in the NBA, and the subsequent pressure, stress, cultural differences, and “ok, what now?” moments that came at the end. He talks about Gabonese traditions; how iboga improved his stress relief and mental focus; how embracing yoga and Buddhist methods of self-discovery improved his life; scientific reductionism vs. the magic of mystery and trying to define an experience; and more. 

While Gabon allows for the export of iboga, Lasme’s goal is to build a lab and treatment center in Gabon and share the power of Gabonese culture with people – so they can experience the medicine in its own country, with its traditional rituals and music. He has begun the fundraising process, and through his investment and facilitation work, is working to get African athletes to invest back into Africa and make Gabon a major destination for iboga.

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Aug 11, 2023

In this episode, Kyle interviews The Susan Hill Ward Endowed Professor of Psychedelics and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins, and renowned researcher of nearly 20 years: Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D.

Recorded in-person at MAPS’ Psychedelic Science after running an 8-hour workshop on psychedelic therapy for addiction treatment, Johnson was still happy to sit down with PT to explore a wide range of topics: the under-researched concept of integration; how to best take advantage of optimal neuroplastic windows; why psycholytic therapy used to be more common; how our current protocols and research models are largely arbitrary; and his hopes for new, experimental, and flexible models of psychedelic therapy.

He also discusses his ongoing smoking cessation studies; the Oregon model (are we doing therapy or not?); misrepresentation in psychedelic therapy and knowing your lane; and the role of music in psychedelics: why shouldn’t people pick the music they know will give them goosebumps?

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Aug 8, 2023

In this episode, Joe interviews Maya Albert: Co-Founder of the Psyched conference, and Director of Operations at Tabula Rasa Ventures and the Synthesis Institute.

She shares her journey of how she became involved in the psychedelic space through her mother, and her personal experience as a patient in a clinical trial on psilocybin for the treatment of anorexia – a much more common and deadly affliction than most people realize. She discusses her involvement with the various psychedelic gatherings surrounding Davos and the World Economic Forum, as well as the work she’s doing with Tabula Rasa and some of their clients seeking to expand insurance coverage to psychedelic-assisted therapy. 

She discusses the Synthesis Institute’s recent struggles that shook up the psychedelic space, what they’re doing to save the company, how Retreat Guru has helped them, and the implications for the wider psychedelic movement. And she talks about much more: the legality and vetting process for training in Oregon and Colorado; truffles in the Netherlands vs. classic psilocybin; the idea of alcohol as poison and ‘Cali sober,’ and how can we all be more collaborative and not sling mud at each other?

Click here to head to the show notes page. 

Aug 4, 2023

In this episode, Kyle interviews the Founder and CEO of FreshCap Mushrooms and host of The Mushroom Show on YouTube, Tony Shields.

He talks about how an early interest in lucid dreaming sent him down a psychedelic path, and how, as his interest in mushrooms has grown, he’s watched the culture shift from a narrative of mycophobia to one of appreciation and interest. With FreshCap Mushrooms and The Mushroom Show, he aims to provide much needed education around this vast and mysterious world of fungi.

He talks about the thriving psilocybin scene in Jamaica, and how, through filming a documentary there, he learned how much communities still don’t know about mushrooms, how much tourism supports the country, and how much of a special vibe Jamaica has for psilocybin retreats.

And he discusses much more: why lion’s mane should help with concussions and TBIs; indications mushrooms could heal, from long Covid to paralysis; concerns over over-medicalization; why Terence McKennas’ ideas weren’t as crazy as many thought; visiting mushroom shops in Canada; the secret language of mushrooms; where psychedelic people can start to learn about functional mushrooms; and why, if he could embody any mushroom, it’d be cordyceps.

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Aug 1, 2023

In this episode, recorded on the eve of MAPS’ Psychedelic Science 2023, Kyle interviews MAPS’ Founder and President, Rick Doblin, Ph.D.

He begins with an overview of the fast-approaching (and largest ever) psychedelics conference, emphasizing its significant growth, many features, and bipartisan opening ceremony, then discusses MAPS’ soon-to-be-released confirmatory Phase III data on MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, which should set the stage for legal MDMA and the increasing need for trained psychedelic therapists. 

As the FDA is requiring studies on adolescents, he discusses this sensitive issue and questions why it’s so controversial, since teenage years are often closer to both trauma and a more malleable brain, Indigenous traditions certainly didn’t have age limits, and honest drug education – something that is absolutely necessary to fight the backlash against this quickly growing field – teaches us that it’s not the substance; it’s our relationship to it. Could not having these rites of passage be hurting us?

He also discusses the natural vs. synthetic conflict; breathwork; whether or not cannabis is truly damaging to young minds; Federal rescheduling vs. state rescheduling; why it’s controversial to give therapists MDMA in training; Gul Dolen’s work with reopening critical periods; psychedelics in couples therapy; and much more.

Click here to head to the show notes page.

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