🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[5-min read] Local police crack down on psilocybin dispensaries.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. This newsletter is dedicated to D.A.R.E. instructors everywhere. Thank you for teaching us to resist peer pressure and choose psychedelics intentionally. 🙏 

Here’s what we got this week.

  • Ketamine helps, until it doesn’t 💉

  • The psychedelic defense strategy 🇺🇸

  • Shroom dispensary activism 🍄

  • Join a meaningful cult 🌈

FROM OUR SPONSORS
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Set & Setting

The top stories in psychedelic research, policy, and business

RESEARCH

Don’t stop the K if you want to feel okay

Unlike most psychedelics, ketamine is already legal in the US and being used to treat severe depression. This week, we added to the mountain of evidence that it works way better than traditional antidepressants.

In the largest ever placebo-controlled trial of racemic ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, 1 in 5 patients achieved total remission from symptoms after a month of twice-weekly injections.

179 people participated in the trial. Of those who got ketamine:

  • 🤩 20% were in remission (no symptoms of depression) at the end of the month

  • 😌 About ⅓ had at least a 50% reduction in severity of symptoms

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. By the 4-week follow-up, only 2% were still in remission. That’s a 10x dropoff from the initial 20%. 😞

The researchers behind the study weren’t totally surprised. They think ketamine patients will need ongoing, long-term treatment to maintain control over their mood and lives.

The silver lining is, this trial used generic ketamine, which only costs about $5 per dose. That’s a lot more manageable than the ~$800 for Spravato, the patent-protected esketamine nasal spray many people are using today.

Next, the researchers want to find out if psilocybin therapy can produce a longer-lasting effect than ketamine. Until then, we’ll take some refills on that K, please.

Refill pease

Shots, shots, shot-shot-shot shots, EVERYBODY 💉

MICRODOSES

😴 Catch some LSD-Z’s: People who microdose LSD sleep an extra 24 minutes the following night, according to the largest study of its kind.

❤️‍🔥 Feel it all: Unlike Lexapro and other SSRIs, psilocybin and ketamine therapy may treat depression without the emotional blunting.

🦠 Follow your gut: Tryp Therapeutics has received approval from the FDA to proceed with a Phase 2a clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

🧴 Rub it in: Psycheceutical Bioscience has dosed the first healthy volunteer in a Phase 1 trial of its NeuroDirect topical ketamine cream for PTSD.

🧬 No spin zone: Drug Science, a research group free from political or commercial influence, is launching a brain-imaging study to see if DMT can help the human brain repair itself.

POLICY

Psychedelic dream team fights the good fight on Capitol Hill

It’s a rare day that politicians put their differences aside, reach across the aisle, and pursue a mutual goal. But that’s exactly what it’ll take to keep psychedelics on the national agenda.

Thanks to bipartisan members of Congress, the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still includes its psychedelic research amendment, even after painstaking review and edits this week.

It’s been a whole saga, so here’s your House-of-Cards-ready precap:

  • The original psychedelics measure required the defense secretary to conduct a clinical trial of psilocybin, MDMA, ibogaine, or DMT for active duty service members with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

  • The House Armed Services Committee slashed key language from the measure that allocated $15 million in funding and mandated the use of clinical trials (as opposed to loosey-goosey studies).

  • The House Rules Committee advanced the NDAA with the psychedelics language as-is (without restoring the scrapped provisions).

  • As the bill moves to the House floor, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) hasn’t given up on reinstating the original language. He’s eyeing the bicameral negotiations (i.e. between the House and Senate) as his shot at redemption.

Looking forward, AOC predicts the psychedelic amendment will breeze through the House but could face resistance in the Senate. Here’s hoping our politicians can summon the courage to do what’s best for those in need.

progressives 🤝 conservatives

Two parties, one non-duality 🤝

MICRODOSES

🌲 Land of the free: Berkeley, California is the latest city to decriminalize naturally occurring psychedelics.

👣 Step by step: California Senate Bill 58, which would delay decriminalization until the state adopts a regulatory framework for psychedelics, has passed another Assembly committee.

📊 Ready for change: The majority of American voters support policy reforms for psychedelics, according to UC Berkeley’s first-ever psychedelics survey.

🛋️ How does that make you feel? Researchers from UT and COMPASS Pathways argue it’s time to get clear on the benefits of psychedelics vs. psychotherapy. After all, regulators approve drugs, not psychotherapies.

BUSINESS

Psilocybin dispensaries keep getting busted in Canada

The only thing that grows back faster than a fungus? A mushroom dispensary, apparently.

Just this week, several illicit psilocybin dispensaries across Canada were shut down by local law enforcement.

But if you think a little run-in with the po-po is gonna stop these shroom sellers, you don’t know who you’re dealing with. FunGuyz already has eleven locations in Ontario and plans to open another in Quebec this week.

They might be risk takers, but they’re not stupid. Edgar Gorbens, the owner of FunGuyz, is fully aware that he’s breaking the law. He calls his business an “act of disobedience” designed to “speed up the process of legalizing psilocybin.”

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt.

If you eat mushrooms, you’re pretty much Gandhi.

Basically, he figures he’s got a better shot at challenging the courts and influencing the law through commerce than traditional activism. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.

Either way, it appears cities in the US are hopping on the trend, too.

Have you spotted a mushroom dispensary in your hometown yet? Reply and let us know where! ✍️

MICRODOSES

🧑‍⚕️ Talent farming: Cybin is streamlining its EMBARK Training Program to churn out more facilitators ready to support participants in the company’s clinical trials.

🪔 A whole new world: Lucy Scientific Discovery has tapped an ex-Disney and Amgen exec as its new CEO. He arrives just in time to oversee the rollout of a new line of Amanita nootropics.

🪖 Saving Private Ryan: Beckley Retreats has extended its partnership with the Heroic Hearts Project and Imperial College London to research the benefits of psychedelics in tackling the veteran suicide crisis.

📝 Spiritual contract: Soul Tribes is offering free psilocybin sacrament to investors who join the non-profit faith-based organization’s crowdfunding campaign.

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Healing Identity-Based Trauma

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That’s all for today. Before you head off, don’t forget to share, rate, and review Tricycle Day below. Catch ya next time, Cyclists! ✌️

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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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