🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[5-min read] New study explores the effects of psychedelics in adolescents.

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Here’s what we got this week.

  • The first psychedelic study in teenagers 🧑‍🏫

  • FDA issues warning on toxic shroom chocolate 🍫

  • CA tries to legalize psychedelic therapy… again 🥑

  • A summit thousands of years in the making 🦅

FROM OUR SPONSORS
Psycon

Don’t let recent setbacks break your spirits, Cyclists.

The psychedelic renaissance is in full swing, and no one can stop today’s innovators from bringing these medicines to society.

Want to learn from seasoned pros, build connections, and find out how you can contribute to the movement?

Come to Psycon—the leading trade show for psychedelic entrepreneurs, researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts. Tickets are now available for the Denver event this fall.

(PS: It’s not too late to become a speaker, exhibitor, or sponsor.)

MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

Give peace a chance: People who use psychedelics are less likely to commit acts of violence.
Blame inflation: There’s a big difference between what people consider a reasonable price for psychedelic-assisted therapy and what it actually costs.
Not a listicle: 5 ethical issues to address as psychedelics move into clinical practice.
Snap out of it: Psychedelics may help silence chronic pain that’s disconnected from any physical injury.
Citizen science: Share your experience with PMDD and microdosing for a new study from Moms on Mushrooms.

🏛️ Policy

Feeling lucky? MAPS founder Rick Doblin places the odds of MDMA’s FDA approval in August at greater than 50/50.
Jersey spore: A majority of New Jersey residents support the legalization of psilocybin.
Researchers rejoice: The DEA has formally canceled its hearing on the proposed ban of DOI and DOC.
Cluster buster: For the first time, Health Canada has granted a cluster headache patient special access to psilocybin.
How ironic: An advisory panel just told the Dutch government that it should legalize MDMA therapy for PTSD.

📈 Business

Be greedy when others are fearful? Psychedelic stocks tanked after the unexpected FDA panel vote on MDMA.
Lessons learned: Other psychedelic industry players see the committee’s rejection of MDMA as a mere speed bump, but they’re still distancing themselves from Lykos.
Say that again: The Department of Defense awarded $825k to Delix Therapeutics to develop a non-hallucinogenic version of LSD for the treatment of hearing loss.
We’re still early: One year in, Oregon’s psilocybin services market is short on customers.
Harm reduction meets content production: Fireside Project is hiring a director of marketing.

🫠 Just for fun

Holy smokes: Inside the megachurch where shrooms and weed are religion.
Over-under: Guess how many people plan to use drugs at music festivals in 2024.
Toad medicine: The past, present, and future of 5-MeO-DMT.
Meme(s) of the week: Post FDA AdComm MDMA rejection meme drop

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
The vibes have been off. No cap fr fr.

The kids aren’t alright

Kids today have it rough.

Remember fumbling through high school, trying to figure out who you were, and dealing with all those hormones? (So many hormones.) Now add in social media and the pressure to maintain a well-coiffed broccoli cut.

No wonder modern teenagers have more issues than a twice-weekly newsletter *ahem* 👀

So, with psychedelics showing therapeutic promise in depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, inquiring minds want to know—can psychedelics help angsty teens, too?

In a new first-of-its-kind study, researchers looked at survey data to see how psychedelics affected adolescents (ages 16-24) and adults (25+) differently. Now, the good news.

  • 🙌 Young people do benefit. After a psychedelic experience, adolescents had higher self-esteem, psychological wellbeing, and emotional stability.

  • 😮‍💨 Psychedelics could save lives. They also had lower scores for depression, delusional thinking, and suicidal ideation. (FYI, teens are at scary-high risk for suicide as it is.)

But the researchers also noticed some watch-outs.

  • 💀 Ego death hits different. Ego dissolution predicted improvements in adults. But for adolescents, those experiences weren’t so beneficial.

  • 🥺 Teens tripped harder. Adolescents tended to have more intense visuals, paranoia, and feelings of fear and insanity.

  • ✨ HPPD is a risk. They were also more likely to have lingering visual quirks (like trails, halos, and colors) weeks later. Most weren’t too bothered by the sparkle, though.

It looks like psychedelics do help teens and young adults feel better in their skin—at a particularly trying time in life, no less. Since their tender brains are still developing, they may just need a little extra support to keep their trips from going sideways.

Matter of fact, kids could probably stand some TLC regardless. Growing up is tough. (Or so we’ve heard… we haven’t tried.) 🫠

AFTERGLOW
I'm ok, honest.

(Near) death by chocolate

Microdosers, beware. Scarf down the wrong mushroom chocolates, and you could wind up in the emergency room. That’s the tl;dr on the FDA warning issued this week. So far, at least eight people across four states have gotten sick after eating Diamond Shruumz “microdosing” chocolate bars. Several of the victims had seizures and vomited, and one even had to be intubated. When the brand promised a "new way to chill," we’re guessing that’s not what they meant.

But wait—there’s more. According to company’s lab reports, their chocolate bars don’t even contain psilocybin or any psychedelics whatsoever. Yup, Diamond Shruumz has been peddling a "primo proprietary blend" of who-knows-what, while riding the tailwinds of the microdosing movement. Really, guys? It wasn’t enough to put consumers at risk. You just had to go and sully the reputation of an already stigmatized industry, didn’t ya?

Imagine if psychedelic products—micro or macro—were legalized and regulated, just like any other CPG category. Then maybe bad actors would have a harder time making empty promises and tarnishing the whole field’s credibility. Until then, remember to stay vigilant, Cyclists. Flashy packaging + mystery ingredients = 🚩🚩🚩

California says hero’s doses are for heroes

Say what you will about California politicians, but you gotta admire their persistence. Despite three failed attempts to legalize psychedelics since 2021, a bipartisan duo of state senators are going for it once again. But this time, they're taking a more—shall we say—surgical approach. The latest bill, SB 803, is designed to help veterans and first responders in just three counties: San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and San Diego.

Under the proposed measure, these folks would be able to take psilocybin at a psychedelic-assisted facilitation center, where they’d sit with a licensed facilitator, who might be a doctor, therapist, or naturopath. The bill's sponsors, Senators Brian Jones and Josh Becker, stress that they’re not pushing for widespread legalization. This is about supporting the brave men and women who serve our communities and country.

For Jones, to introduce this bill was a total 180. (The Senate Minority Leader has opposed every other attempt to increase access to psychedelics in California.) Honestly, we’re not sure what sparked his great awakening, but here’s hoping he’ll realize soon enough that vets and firefighters aren’t the only ones with trauma to resolve.

CYCLISTS’ PICKS
UNTIL NEXT TIME

That’s all for today, Cyclists! Whenever you’re ready, here’s how we can help.

ONE CYCLIST’S REVIEW
Feeling euphoric

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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. The use, possession, and distribution of psychedelic drugs are illegal in most countries and may result in criminal prosecution.

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