🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[5-min read] Microdosing improves mindfulness in people with ADHD.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. Are you paying attention? Okay, good. Just checking. Actually, will you prove it by supporting our sponsors and giving us a glowing review at the bottom of this email? 😏

Here’s what we got this week.

  • Microdosing for ADHD 🤪

  • Shroom dispensary loophole? 🍄

  • Policymakers love vets 🪖

  • Plant medicine in a can 🥫

FROM OUR SPONSORS

Holy shaman, this year went by fast. Can you believe it’s almost 2024?

If it feels like life is speeding by, it may be time to pause, reflect, and shake things up.

And what better way to do that than a ceremony?

Avalon is hosting two traditional ayahuasca retreats over the New Year. Their award-winning center in Barcelona has the highest facilitator-to-guest ratio anywhere, so you’ll get personal attention as you integrate lasting change.

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MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

To trip or not to trip? Some neuroscientists believe psychedelics’ hallucinations are just a side effect.
Salud! Clearmind Medicine is bringing its MEAI-based drug for alcohol use disorder to Johns Hopkins.
Confirmation bias: Psychologists propose fixes for 10 common problems threatening the validity of psychedelic research.
Memento mori: A Harvard-affiliated hospital is testing whether mushrooms can help dying patients face death.
Marlboro mouse: Psilocybin can help treat nicotine withdrawal in mice.

🏛️ Policy

Across the pond: Members of the European Parliament want the EU to support psychedelic research.
Dynamic duo: Meet the California Republican teaming up with Scott Wiener to write the next psychedelic bill.
Privacy policy: Oregon has released new draft rules for the state’s psilocybin data collection practices.
Stimmy for science: NIH is ready to give out $2 million in grants for research projects on psychedelic treatments for substance use disorders.
Texas <3 Kentucky: Former TX governor Rick Perry makes the case for ibogaine in the fight against opioid addiction.

📈 Business

Working capital: Cybin is raising up to $64 million from new and existing investors.
There goes your tuition: University of Melbourne has invested $4.5 million into Psychae Therapeutics.
Rescheduled and delivered: PharmAla completed the first shipment of MDMA and psilocybin into Australia for use by authorized prescribers.
When they zig, we zag: Rather than synthesizing chemicals in a lab, Filament Health is betting on all-natural psychedelic drugs.

🫠 Just for fun

Monday Night Ayahuasca: Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer says Aaron Rodgers was right about plant medicine.
Mushrooms and music: What happens at a ceremonial concert?
Meme of the week: Pharma bros finding another psychedelic compound

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
Can you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about the things?

May we have your attention, please?

Dealing with ADHD is tough because—oh whoa! Look at this sweet mushroom! 🍄 Isn’t it amazing that fungi are more closely related to humans than plants?

*Ahem* where were we?

Ah yes. As I was saying, ADHD stinks. It makes paying attention and being present for life difficult, and it’s one of the common neurodevelopmental conditions in the world. Not just among children, either. More than 366 million adults have ADHD, and they tend to face economic challenges as a result.

That’s why a recent paper captured our… um, attention.

You see, people have been microdosing to treat their ADHD for quite a while. But so far, there hasn’t been much rigorous investigation into this use case.

So a team of researchers watched 233 microdosers with ADHD in the real world to see how the practice of taking itty bitty doses of psychedelics affected hallmarks of the disorder. Here’s what they found.

  • 😌 Mindfulness increased. Participants noticed a marked improvement in their everyday awareness of the present moment, especially when it came to “description” and “non-judging of inner experience.”

  • 😰 Neuroticism decreased. By the 4 week mark, participants rated themselves as significantly less neurotic (or prone to self-consciousness, nerves, and other negative affects).

  • 😐 Other personality traits were unaffected. The researchers expected to see improvements in extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness, too, but changes in these areas weren’t significant.

Of course, the study wasn’t placebo controlled. And even if it were, we still wouldn’t be able to rule out the influence of positive expectations

Thankfully, the participants got the same positive effects from microdosing, whether they were on traditional ADHD meds or not. Hey, we’ll take it. That’s one less thing we have to remember. 🫠

AFTERGLOW

Enemy of the state? Or model for the state?

After Vancouver police raided three mushroom dispensaries and charged the owner for trafficking drugs illegally earlier this month, you might think psychedelic retailers would get the message. But some are unfazed. One entrepreneur named Darren Lyman, who operates a psilocybin co-op in Denver, is feeling bolder than ever.

Located in a small studio, Darren’s unconventional business involves selling his wisdom, educational pamphlets, and activated charcoal capsules (which psychonauts can use to pump the brakes if they’ve taken too much). And yes, he also provides the psilocybin itself. But the shrooms, he insists, are free.

According to Lyman, he’s in full compliance with Colorado’s Natural Medicine Health Act (aka Prop 122), even though the regulations prohibit retail outlets. He’s so confident in his approach, in fact, that he believes regulators will eventually copy him and seek out his advice for rulemaking in the psychedelics industry. We respect the hustle, Darren. And we’re rooting for ya.

Ah yes, the Veterans’ Day rush

You know that feeling when it’s halfway through December and you still have all your gift shopping to do? Yeah, lawmakers around the country continent apparently just went through the same panic for Veterans’ Day. This week, legislators in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, DC, and Canada got their act together and took steps to make psychedelics available for military vets with mental health conditions.

In Canada, a Senate committee is calling for “the immediate implementation of a robust research research program” funded by Veterans Affairs Canada. Back in the US, bills in Massachusetts (filed by the governor herself) and Wisconsin (with bipartisan support) propose similar programs focused on studying “alternative therapies” for vets, including psilocybin and MDMA.

And just yesterday in DC, Congress held its first-ever hearing on psychedelic-assisted therapy for veterans’ mental health. Lawmakers heard witness testimonies from advocates, VA officials, researchers, and vets themselves who’ve undergone profound transformations with psychedelics. Let’s just hope the politicians were actually listening, not browsing Black Friday pre-sales under the dais.

🎙️ ICYMI: We interviewed Jesse Gould, founder of the Heroic Hearts Project, about his work to offer vets a path to healing with psychedelics. Read it here.

CYCLISTS’ PICKS
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ONE CYCLIST’S REVIEW
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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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