🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[5-min read] Psilocybin retreat center publishes two years of clinical outcomes.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. Reading this newsletter is kinda like meditating. Give us five minutes of focused attention, and you’ll feel better all day. (You’re on your own for the inner peace part though.) 🧘 

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You can win merch, courses, and treats from a few of our favorite brands. All you gotta do is refer a new reader. Enter the giveaway. 👈

Here’s what we got this week.

  • Clinical results from a psychedelic retreat 🏖️

  • Prepare to trip on your phone 📱

  • Ibogaine initiative heads to Ohio 🔬 

  • We meditated with Lil Jon 🧘🏾‍♂️

FROM OUR SPONSORS
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MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

Small dose, big results: Microdosing LSD led to a 60% reduction in depressive symptoms in MindBio’s latest clinical trial.
Pay attention: Another study found that microdosing psychedelics outperformed conventional ADHD medication.
Ancient wisdom: Chacruna Institute rounded up the most important texts on the indigenous use of psilocybin mushrooms.
Save some for Palestine: MAPS Israel is planning an MDMA therapy trial for survivors of the October 7 Hamas attack.
Knowledge gaps: European researchers highlighted the most pressing unanswered questions about psychedelic medicine.

🏛️ Policy

New Ben & Jerry’s flavor incoming: Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize psilocybin.
Crossing the aisle: Psychedelic therapy has become a bipartisan issue in California.
Slap on the wrist: Connecticut lawmakers want to reduce penalties for psilocybin possession.
How ‘bout both? Maryland House committees are discussing psychedelic legalization and decriminalization.

📈 Business

Why donate when you can invest? How MAPS’ drug development subsidiary morphed into the for-profit Lykos Therapeutics.
Wake up, stock pickers: Awakn Life Sciences is now trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Look inside: What actually happens during a psychedelic therapy session in Colorado?
Po-po shut us down: Hamilton, Ontario police raided three more shroom dispensaries.
Get on the same page: Beckley Academy published a framework for psychedelic-assisted therapy training standards.

🫠 Just for fun

Disrupt with grace: Fast Company draws out some lessons for leaders from the psychedelic movement.
Humble pie: Man who experienced ego death sure loves flaunting it.
Meme of the week: When you’re tripping on your period

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
Tripping on the beach

Jamaican me heal my depression

Clinical trials are important. Full stop. But imagine going through months of screening, consent forms, treatment, and follow-ups just to find out you were in the placebo group.

Oof. Forget a sad trombone sound. Cue the entire sad orchestra.

It’s a 50/50 toss-up that puts anyone trying to access psychedelics legally in a tough spot. Fortunately, there’s another path—one that still adds to the body of psychedelic research, apparently.

This week, a psilocybin retreat center in Jamaica called MycoMeditations published two years’ worth of client outcomes. They’re the first non-academic entity to collect and share this kind of data, and the results are arguably just as impressive as the largest clinical trials.

Here’s how their clients with mental health conditions responded to their flexible psilocybin treatment protocol.

  • 😭 Major Depressive Disorder: 59% improvement at 1 month → 50% at 1 year

  • 😰 Generalized Anxiety Disorder: 69% improvement at 1 month → 59% at 1 year

  • 🫣 Social Anxiety Disorder: 74% improvement at 1 month → 39% at 1 year

Sure, this wasn’t a formal study. But the results were analyzed and verified by an academic third party, so we know they’re legit.

Besides, maybe the center’s unconventional methods are a strength, not a weakness. Shouldn’t we welcome evidence of psilocybin therapy’s impact outside the clinical setting?

Then again, with no placebo control, we can’t be 100% sure it was the mushrooms that improved people’s mental health. If someone wants to send us on a tropical island vacation for a week, we’ll report back. 🫠

AFTERGLOW
Kermit hugging phone

There’s an app for that

If Calm can build a $2 billion business off an app that literally reads bedtime stories to grownups, then surely there’s room for a psychedelic therapy app. This week, researchers from Imperial and Harvard published beta results from their smartphone-based psychedelic prep course. The goal? Reduce the need for expensive clinician-led sessions.

To collect feedback, the team recruited participants from several psilocybin retreat centers and had them run through their 21-day, self-paced program. Users learned what to expect from psychedelics, techniques for navigating trips, how to set intentions, and steps they could take for safety and integration.

Hands down, the program’s most effective tool for psychedelic preparation was meditation. Not only did participants say meditating made a difference; it actively protected against challenging trips. Now, if the developers really want this thing to take off, they’re gonna need a better name. Digital Intervention for Psychedelic Preparation just doesn’t have that Silicon Valley ring to it.

Oh hi, Ohio

You snooze you lose, Kentucky. Last year, the finger-lickin’ state almost put $42 million toward research into ibogaine as a treatment for opioid abuse disorder. But in December, a new Attorney General came in and nixed the program. Now, the former chair of Kentucky’s opioid commission has moved the initiative to Ohio.

We can think of a few reasons why Bryan Hubbard would pick the Buckeye State to set up shop. Ohio has one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation, it’s expecting $2 billion in opioid settlements over the next 17 years, and it’s home to Ohio State University, which already has a dedicated center for psychedelic research ready to get to work.

Hubbard has been hired by ResultsOhio, a department of the state Treasurer’s office, to move the project forward. If successful, it could lead to the FDA approval of ibogaine therapy for opioid dependence. And if someone shoots it down again, well, we’ve still got 48 states left.

CYCLISTS’ PICKS
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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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