Science

An open letter to the newly founded Center for Psychedelic Research at Johns Hopkins

With the recent creation of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, we must remember that, while industrialized medicine has never attempted to serve all people, institutional histories vary from one organization to the next.

MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about?

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.

Will MDMA-assisted psychotherapy be covered by health insurance?

Until MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is proven without a doubt to reduce long-term costs, many insurance companies do not have an incentive to cover it.

How will MDMA be rescheduled in the future? You may be disappointed

What does MDMA rescheduling mean for the recreational user? If you are under the impression that MDMA is on its way to being rescheduled, across the board, you may be disappointed.

The Future of MDMA: Phase 3 and Beyond

What does the future hold for MDMA? We explore MAPS' ongoing FDA phase 3 clinical trials, rescheduling, health insurance, and expanded access. 

Intentionally-diverse MDMA research at University of Connecticut Cut Short

The research team at UConn studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD is now defunct.

psychedelic.support creates a network for psychedelic therapists

psychedelic.support could soon become a useful asset to anyone interested in the professional world of psychedelic-related therapy.

It’s time to debunk prohibitionist narratives and calls for monopolies within psychedelic science

As venture-capital-backed, for-profit companies barrel into psychedelic therapy, the potential for the widespread privatization of psychedelic knowledge and profits looms large. Some researchers are so enthusiastic about medicalization by “any means necessary” that they’re resorting to prohibitionist historical narratives and calling for monopolies to push the agenda forward.

Finally, there’s a group giving grants to students researching psychedelics

We talked with Johns Hopkins psychedelic researcher, Alan Kooi Davis, about the Source Research Foundation, a non-profit awarding grants to students researching psychedelics.

What happens when you give an octopus MDMA?

A team of researchers bathed octopuses in MDMA. Here's what they learned.

I talked with Adam Strauss about Ketamine for OCD, Trip Sitters, and The Mushroom Cure Los Angeles

Before I met Adam I didn’t really know anyone with OCD. It was just an abstract concept to me. Like most people, I had the image of the stereotypical germaphobe who obsessively scrubs their hands in a futile attempt at washing the thousands of bacteria away.

For someone who hasn’t taken a psychedelic drug it can be difficult to imagine what it’s like.

Think of a glass of water: under normal circumstances you might think ‘I drink water when I’m thirsty’. But when consuming a psychedelic substance you might think ’water is the essence of life’.

Salvinorin A. Is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

We Need New Drugs. The opioid epidemic gripping the United States has brought into public awareness a problem that has bedeviled the world of medical science for decades: is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

Becoming a Psychedelic Researcher: Alan Kooi Davis

Why researchers like Alan Kooi Davis — the newest addition to the Johns Hopkins psychedelic research team — decide to devote their careers to studying psychedelics.

We talked with a researcher using psilocybin for cocaine addiction in Alabama

I came to a working hypothesis: at the center of the mystical experience is awe, wherein one is in the presence of something so great, so large, that it requires they completely reorder their mental structures - completely change the way they view reality.

We now call ‘bad trips’ ‘challenging experiences’. Here’s why that’s misguided.

Renaming adverse effects of psychedelic drugs as “challenging experiences” minimizes, almost trivializes, their negative effects.

Psychedelics and the Full-Fluency Phenomenon

I first discovered the potential psychedelics have for treating stuttering during an experience with psilocybin mushrooms.

Johns Hopkins studying effects of psilocybin on brains of long-term meditators

Are these states really similar? Many meditators have answered quite clearly, yes.

The State: The Opioid Epidemic

For anyone who remembers the Reagan Administration's awesome response to the '80s crack epidemic, the Trump plan may prompt discouraging deja vu.

A day in the life of a consultant psychiatrist and psychedelic drug researcher

I work with children whom have used drugs before incarceration to have fun. I also work in an adult addictions service with people whose drug use is mistaken for the cause of their problems. My patients are simply self-medicating. Nevertheless, I give them my drugs and help them off theirs.

Your Brain on Psychedelic Drugs

What is it about psychedelics that has the power to change lives for the better? The answer might lie in the unique ways that psychedelics interact with the brain.

The State: Friday, Oct 27, 2017

To get a vision of the future of psychedelics from a legal and regulatory perspective, the most useful thing to do might be to see what's happening already in the realm of weed.

Psychedelics and Mental Health

Depression. Anxiety. Addiction. Most everyone of us knows somebody who is battling such a condition. Talk therapies may help, but sometimes they don’t. Antidepressants may help, but sometimes they don’t. Some patients are of the opinion that antidepressants are like “Band-Aids” in the way that they never really tackle the underlying issues of their problems.

What’s so controversial about microdosing?

The incredible mainstream press microdosing has received has managed to avoid many discussions.

I was in the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study. It freed me from a childhood of abuse.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy gave me the ability to feel compassion and empathy for myself.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. An Interview with Iker Puente on Holotropic Breathwork

Holotropic Breathwork is not just a breath technique. It was conceived as a non-drug way of accessing non-ordinary states of consciousness.

How Psychedelic Science Privileges Some, Neglects Others, and Limits Us All

There is an urgent need for cultural humility in psychedelic science in order to prevent it from falling into the same limiting, and often unethical, traps that we see in Western science and medicine.

The State: Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017

Welcome to the first edition of The State. This column will look at a few of the more noteworthy stories making waves in the psychedelic and reform spheres, and when appropriate, examine how they fit into a larger context.

Psychedelic cluster busting headache medication saves me. And it’s completely illegal

Cluster headaches to me feel like someone has my eyeball in their fist, steadily putting more and more pressure on it until it threatens to pop like a grape

Of Molecules and Minds: The Science of Ayahuasca

There’s a beauty and sense of wonder that comes from knowing how the world works, and the nature of the psychedelic experience dovetails almost perfectly with that awareness.

The latest piece on psychedelic science in the New York Times is dead wrong

First, the entire premise—that Schedule I status is the primary obstacle to research—is flat-out wrong.

Dennis McKenna on his ethnopharmacology conference 50 years in the making

It’s been 50 years since the last one. The original idea was to hold followups every 10 years. But the war on drugs came along, and they were never held. It’s time to take another look at the current state of the art.

Psychedelics Can’t be Tested Using Conventional Clinical Trials

Should these drugs become part of medicine cabinets from San Francisco to America’s heartland, it will be high time to develop drug tests that control for the cultural diversity of this country’s doctors and patients.

A Short History of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Pt. 2

Let’s go forward in time through the government’s ban on psychedelics, and look how it has blossomed into the psychedelic renaissance.

A Short History of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Pt. 1

Psychotherapy-assisted psychedelic experiences may revolutionize how we treat mental illness. The philosophy and techniques have evolved over the past 50 years.

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #3

Dose #3 was the most intense, powerful, horrendous, terrifying, awful experience of my life. In the end, it was all worth it. Conclusion to a 3-part series.

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #2

This time my dose was 45 mg of pure psilocybin. I took it and waited for the show to begin. There was fear and a sincere hope that this experience would not be as hellish. Pt 2

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #1

A 3-part series on one participant's high dose psilocybin experience in the Pharmacokinetics of Psilocybin in Normal Adult Volunteers study at the University of Wisconsin.

Precautions with Underground Psychedelic Therapy

In underground sessions, you’re taking a huge risk choosing to work with someone who may not have adequately prepared or may have dubious subconscious motivations.

Do psychedelics trigger neurogenesis? Here’s what we know.

What is neurogenesis? Do psychedelics really cause it? If they do, what doors might that open up?

Non-PTSD Uses for MDMA

MDMA has the potential of treating and reversing even the most pervasive of pathologies in the mental health world

How Does LSD Induce Short-Term Psychosis but Long-Term Optimism?

There’s only one way to find out – more scientific experiments.

Finding The Sweet Spot : At 62 I Had My First Dose Of Psilocybin At Johns Hopkins

A research program was seeking volunteers with a spiritual background to ingest a hallucinogen.

Winter Blues Got You Down? Try These Integrative Antidepressant Approaches

Here's some integrative antidepressant approaches that have low or no side effects and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Union of Opposites: Trump Selects War Cabinet, Psychedelics Make Mainstream Waves

"We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist." Carl Jung

My First Psychedelic Experience at Johns Hopkins Changed My Life

It’s been more than six years since I participated in the Johns Hopkins Spirituality study, but it continues as the most life-changing event of my life.

Psychedelic Frontiers of Western Medicine

Johns Hopkins and Yale Schools of Medicine reviewed dozens of studies and recent trials on psychedelic compounds.

A Divine Encounter In The Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Study

"On Tuesday, you will be the only person in the U.S. who will be taking psilocybin legally.”

Canada Approves Legal Heroin For Severely Addicted Patients

Canada has amended its policies on heroin to allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering severe addiction.

Did Carl Sagan use LSD? We asked his son

I offered to take it with him, and suggested that the nearby greenery and scenery would be a good place to trip.

An Interview with Amanda Feilding, the ‘Hidden Hand’ in Psychedelic Science

We talked with Amanda Feilding about LSD, psychedelic neuroscience, Beckley Foundation’s latest research, and her promise to Albert Hofmann.

Comedian Adam Strauss on treating OCD with psilocybin mushrooms

Inspired by a scientific study showing that psilocybin mushrooms can potentially cure OCD, Adam Strauss embarked on vigilante psychopharmacology.

Patterning a World of Mushrooms: The Challenges of Co-Production

‘Co-production’ refers to processes in which a range of experts and non-experts are enrolled as researchers and attempt to generate knowledge together.

The Psychonaut’s Dilemma

During an earlier era of psychedelic research, the 1950s-70s, some scientists believed that in order to ethically administer psychedelics to others it was necessary to first experience them oneself.


Science

An open letter to the newly founded Center for Psychedelic Research at Johns Hopkins

With the recent creation of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, we must remember that, while industrialized medicine has never attempted to serve all people, institutional histories vary from one organization to the next.

MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about?

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.

Will MDMA-assisted psychotherapy be covered by health insurance?

Until MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is proven without a doubt to reduce long-term costs, many insurance companies do not have an incentive to cover it.

How will MDMA be rescheduled in the future? You may be disappointed

What does MDMA rescheduling mean for the recreational user? If you are under the impression that MDMA is on its way to being rescheduled, across the board, you may be disappointed.

The Future of MDMA: Phase 3 and Beyond

What does the future hold for MDMA? We explore MAPS' ongoing FDA phase 3 clinical trials, rescheduling, health insurance, and expanded access. 

Intentionally-diverse MDMA research at University of Connecticut Cut Short

The research team at UConn studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD is now defunct.

psychedelic.support creates a network for psychedelic therapists

psychedelic.support could soon become a useful asset to anyone interested in the professional world of psychedelic-related therapy.

It’s time to debunk prohibitionist narratives and calls for monopolies within psychedelic science

As venture-capital-backed, for-profit companies barrel into psychedelic therapy, the potential for the widespread privatization of psychedelic knowledge and profits looms large. Some researchers are so enthusiastic about medicalization by “any means necessary” that they’re resorting to prohibitionist historical narratives and calling for monopolies to push the agenda forward.

Finally, there’s a group giving grants to students researching psychedelics

We talked with Johns Hopkins psychedelic researcher, Alan Kooi Davis, about the Source Research Foundation, a non-profit awarding grants to students researching psychedelics.

What happens when you give an octopus MDMA?

A team of researchers bathed octopuses in MDMA. Here's what they learned.

I talked with Adam Strauss about Ketamine for OCD, Trip Sitters, and The Mushroom Cure Los Angeles

Before I met Adam I didn’t really know anyone with OCD. It was just an abstract concept to me. Like most people, I had the image of the stereotypical germaphobe who obsessively scrubs their hands in a futile attempt at washing the thousands of bacteria away.

For someone who hasn’t taken a psychedelic drug it can be difficult to imagine what it’s like.

Think of a glass of water: under normal circumstances you might think ‘I drink water when I’m thirsty’. But when consuming a psychedelic substance you might think ’water is the essence of life’.

Salvinorin A. Is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

We Need New Drugs. The opioid epidemic gripping the United States has brought into public awareness a problem that has bedeviled the world of medical science for decades: is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

Becoming a Psychedelic Researcher: Alan Kooi Davis

Why researchers like Alan Kooi Davis — the newest addition to the Johns Hopkins psychedelic research team — decide to devote their careers to studying psychedelics.

We talked with a researcher using psilocybin for cocaine addiction in Alabama

I came to a working hypothesis: at the center of the mystical experience is awe, wherein one is in the presence of something so great, so large, that it requires they completely reorder their mental structures - completely change the way they view reality.

We now call ‘bad trips’ ‘challenging experiences’. Here’s why that’s misguided.

Renaming adverse effects of psychedelic drugs as “challenging experiences” minimizes, almost trivializes, their negative effects.

Psychedelics and the Full-Fluency Phenomenon

I first discovered the potential psychedelics have for treating stuttering during an experience with psilocybin mushrooms.

Johns Hopkins studying effects of psilocybin on brains of long-term meditators

Are these states really similar? Many meditators have answered quite clearly, yes.

The State: The Opioid Epidemic

For anyone who remembers the Reagan Administration's awesome response to the '80s crack epidemic, the Trump plan may prompt discouraging deja vu.

A day in the life of a consultant psychiatrist and psychedelic drug researcher

I work with children whom have used drugs before incarceration to have fun. I also work in an adult addictions service with people whose drug use is mistaken for the cause of their problems. My patients are simply self-medicating. Nevertheless, I give them my drugs and help them off theirs.

Your Brain on Psychedelic Drugs

What is it about psychedelics that has the power to change lives for the better? The answer might lie in the unique ways that psychedelics interact with the brain.

The State: Friday, Oct 27, 2017

To get a vision of the future of psychedelics from a legal and regulatory perspective, the most useful thing to do might be to see what's happening already in the realm of weed.

Psychedelics and Mental Health

Depression. Anxiety. Addiction. Most everyone of us knows somebody who is battling such a condition. Talk therapies may help, but sometimes they don’t. Antidepressants may help, but sometimes they don’t. Some patients are of the opinion that antidepressants are like “Band-Aids” in the way that they never really tackle the underlying issues of their problems.

What’s so controversial about microdosing?

The incredible mainstream press microdosing has received has managed to avoid many discussions.

I was in the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study. It freed me from a childhood of abuse.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy gave me the ability to feel compassion and empathy for myself.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. An Interview with Iker Puente on Holotropic Breathwork

Holotropic Breathwork is not just a breath technique. It was conceived as a non-drug way of accessing non-ordinary states of consciousness.

How Psychedelic Science Privileges Some, Neglects Others, and Limits Us All

There is an urgent need for cultural humility in psychedelic science in order to prevent it from falling into the same limiting, and often unethical, traps that we see in Western science and medicine.

The State: Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017

Welcome to the first edition of The State. This column will look at a few of the more noteworthy stories making waves in the psychedelic and reform spheres, and when appropriate, examine how they fit into a larger context.

Psychedelic cluster busting headache medication saves me. And it’s completely illegal

Cluster headaches to me feel like someone has my eyeball in their fist, steadily putting more and more pressure on it until it threatens to pop like a grape

Of Molecules and Minds: The Science of Ayahuasca

There’s a beauty and sense of wonder that comes from knowing how the world works, and the nature of the psychedelic experience dovetails almost perfectly with that awareness.

The latest piece on psychedelic science in the New York Times is dead wrong

First, the entire premise—that Schedule I status is the primary obstacle to research—is flat-out wrong.

Dennis McKenna on his ethnopharmacology conference 50 years in the making

It’s been 50 years since the last one. The original idea was to hold followups every 10 years. But the war on drugs came along, and they were never held. It’s time to take another look at the current state of the art.

Psychedelics Can’t be Tested Using Conventional Clinical Trials

Should these drugs become part of medicine cabinets from San Francisco to America’s heartland, it will be high time to develop drug tests that control for the cultural diversity of this country’s doctors and patients.

A Short History of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Pt. 2

Let’s go forward in time through the government’s ban on psychedelics, and look how it has blossomed into the psychedelic renaissance.

A Short History of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Pt. 1

Psychotherapy-assisted psychedelic experiences may revolutionize how we treat mental illness. The philosophy and techniques have evolved over the past 50 years.

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #3

Dose #3 was the most intense, powerful, horrendous, terrifying, awful experience of my life. In the end, it was all worth it. Conclusion to a 3-part series.

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #2

This time my dose was 45 mg of pure psilocybin. I took it and waited for the show to begin. There was fear and a sincere hope that this experience would not be as hellish. Pt 2

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #1

A 3-part series on one participant's high dose psilocybin experience in the Pharmacokinetics of Psilocybin in Normal Adult Volunteers study at the University of Wisconsin.

Precautions with Underground Psychedelic Therapy

In underground sessions, you’re taking a huge risk choosing to work with someone who may not have adequately prepared or may have dubious subconscious motivations.

Do psychedelics trigger neurogenesis? Here’s what we know.

What is neurogenesis? Do psychedelics really cause it? If they do, what doors might that open up?

Non-PTSD Uses for MDMA

MDMA has the potential of treating and reversing even the most pervasive of pathologies in the mental health world

How Does LSD Induce Short-Term Psychosis but Long-Term Optimism?

There’s only one way to find out – more scientific experiments.

Finding The Sweet Spot : At 62 I Had My First Dose Of Psilocybin At Johns Hopkins

A research program was seeking volunteers with a spiritual background to ingest a hallucinogen.

Winter Blues Got You Down? Try These Integrative Antidepressant Approaches

Here's some integrative antidepressant approaches that have low or no side effects and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Union of Opposites: Trump Selects War Cabinet, Psychedelics Make Mainstream Waves

"We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist." Carl Jung

My First Psychedelic Experience at Johns Hopkins Changed My Life

It’s been more than six years since I participated in the Johns Hopkins Spirituality study, but it continues as the most life-changing event of my life.

Psychedelic Frontiers of Western Medicine

Johns Hopkins and Yale Schools of Medicine reviewed dozens of studies and recent trials on psychedelic compounds.

A Divine Encounter In The Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Study

"On Tuesday, you will be the only person in the U.S. who will be taking psilocybin legally.”

Canada Approves Legal Heroin For Severely Addicted Patients

Canada has amended its policies on heroin to allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering severe addiction.

Did Carl Sagan use LSD? We asked his son

I offered to take it with him, and suggested that the nearby greenery and scenery would be a good place to trip.

An Interview with Amanda Feilding, the ‘Hidden Hand’ in Psychedelic Science

We talked with Amanda Feilding about LSD, psychedelic neuroscience, Beckley Foundation’s latest research, and her promise to Albert Hofmann.

Comedian Adam Strauss on treating OCD with psilocybin mushrooms

Inspired by a scientific study showing that psilocybin mushrooms can potentially cure OCD, Adam Strauss embarked on vigilante psychopharmacology.

Patterning a World of Mushrooms: The Challenges of Co-Production

‘Co-production’ refers to processes in which a range of experts and non-experts are enrolled as researchers and attempt to generate knowledge together.

The Psychonaut’s Dilemma

During an earlier era of psychedelic research, the 1950s-70s, some scientists believed that in order to ethically administer psychedelics to others it was necessary to first experience them oneself.