- Tricycle Day
- This Week in Psychedelics
This Week in Psychedelics
[5-min read] Study reviews common methods for ending psychedelic experiences.
Welcome to Tricycle Day. It’s the last week of 2023. While you’re dreaming up new year’s resolutions, can we make a suggestion? Say it with me: I will open and click all my Tricycle Day emails in 2024. 😏
Here’s what we got this week.
The most popular trip-killers ☠️
Denverites give the gift of shrooms 💝
Ayahuasca church gets denied 👮
Coffee for psychedelic healing ☕
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Trauma-informed fungi: Compass Pathways has shared safety data from the first clinical trial of psilocybin in PTSD.
No more ouchies: New research suggests psilocybin could provide long-lasting relief from chronic pain.
Medicine for connection: A survey shows psychedelic users are more open and extraverted than non-users.
Fear factor: Experienced psychonauts may be less reactive to scary and emotionally negative stimuli.
Commander-in-chief: Biden has signed the defense bill that funds clinical trials into psychedelics for active duty military.
Decriminalize Michigan: The city council of Ypsilanti will consider decriminalizing entheogens in 2024.
Doctor’s orders: A New Hampshire lawmaker has prefiled a bill to legalize psilocybin, LSD, and mescaline with a physician’s recommendation.
It’s hard enough: UK government advisors are calling for rule changes that would ease research on psychedelics.
Can’t fall behind the FDA: The European Medicines Agency is hosting a two-day workshop on psychedelics this April.
Not a bad start: More than 700 people took mushrooms through Oregon’s state-regulated psilocybin program this year.
No deal: Filament Health has called off its acquisition by Jupiter, the SPAC that would have taken the company public.
Dissolve and dissociate: Awakn Life Sciences has signed an exclusive licensing deal to provide a sublingual, oral-thin-film formulation of ketamine at its clinics.
Good Great will: This thrift store is subsidizing psychedelic therapy for people who can’t afford it.
Just for fun
Happy hour: Are mushrooms the social drug of 2024?
Amanita Claus: National Geographic asks what Santa has to do with psychedelic mushrooms.
The reality center: Esquire reviews an hour-long psychedelic experience without the drugs.
Meme of the week: What Christmas is really about…
THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
How to end a trip early
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar.
You’re four hours in, the geometric visuals have lost their novelty, and things have gotten a little too weird. Your mind has become a scary place, and you want off the ride. Now.
Yeah, yeah. We can have the “no bad trips” conversation later. Even if “the medicine gives you what you need, not what you want,” the fact is, people do get in over their heads. And sometimes they take drastic measures to abort their trips.
In a new study, doctors dug through Reddit to suss out what exactly people take to cut their journeys short. After analyzing over 700 posts, they identified the top 10 most recommended trip-killers.
🥇 Benzodiazepines were the #1 most popular trip-killer, recommended in 46% of the posts.
🥈 Antipsychotics were next, accounting for 18% of the recommendations.
🥉 Antidepressants were named in 10% of the posts.
4️⃣ Alcohol was suggested in 5% of the posts.
5️⃣ - 8️⃣ Opioids, antihistamines, herbal remedies, and sleeping pills each got 3%.
9️⃣ - 🔟 Cannabis and CBD each came up 2% of the time.
But don’t get it twisted. Just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In fact, the study authors were pretty uneasy about what they found. Benzos, for instance, pose serious risks. With frequent use, it’s possible to get hooked, develop dementia, or even die from overdose.
Our take? We’re giving the unsung hero award to CBD. Because while THC can enhance a trip, separate research suggests CBD could counteract classic psychedelics neurochemically, by knocking them off the 5-HT2A receptor.
In hairy situations like these, we’d rather sit with the experience, eat a grounding meal, or call Fireside than take another mind-altering substance. But maybe that’s just us. Whatever you do, just don’t turn on an episode of Black Mirror.
‘Tis the season, and as the saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive. But who says you have to choose? This week, in the true spirit of the holidays, a Denver nonprofit held a 100% free Gifting Portal for psilocybin enthusiasts. Between the 155 people who attended, not a single dollar changed hands. But a whole lot of mushrooms did.
The event’s organizers, a group called the Denver Mushroom Collective, say their whole purpose is to “cultivate conscious community.” Given their methods, they’re certainly in the right place. When Prop 122—aka the Natural Medicine Health Act—passed in 2022, Colorado became the first and only state to allow the legal cultivation, consumption, and gifting of magic mushrooms. (That goes for DMT and mescaline-containing plants, too.)
Everyone who showed up got a 150-page guide to shrooms and a name tag indicating whether they were there to give, receive, or either/both. If the FOMO is hitting you hard, at least you don’t have to wait ‘til next Christmas. The DMC is planning to host another gifting event as soon as Feb 2024.
The spirit of the law
Say a prayer for the entheogenic churches ‘cause they could use a miracle right now. Last week, after a long legal battle with the DEA, the Florida ayahuasca church, Soul Quest, got a disappointing ruling from a federal appeals court. This case could set a precedent that threatens hundreds of similar churches all across the US.
Let’s rewind. Back in 2016, the DEA caught wind of Soul Quest’s ayahuasca retreats. The agency then “invited” the church to apply for an exemption to use its sacramental tea under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). After Soul Quest filed the petition in 2017, it went unanswered for years until the DEA flatly rejected it in 2021, citing public safety. *Cue sad trombone sound.*
But Soul Quest wouldn’t roll over that easily. They sued the DEA for denying their request to handle DMT, a controlled substance, for religious use. And that brings us to today. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that the DEA’s decision primarily fell under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), not the RFRA. That means the district court lacked jurisdiction to review the denial and had to dismiss Soul Quest's claims altogether. Seems like it’ll take an act of god to end this drug war, doesn’t it?
UNTIL NEXT TIME
That’s all for today, Cyclists! Whenever you’re ready, here’s how we can help you.
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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.