🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[4-min read] Monash completes the fastest psychedelic trial of the modern era.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. Speed isn’t everything, Cyclists. Nothing magical happens if you read this email in under four minutes. But if you share it with your friends and family… brownie points and gold stars for everyone. 💫 

Here’s what we got this week.

  • The fastest psychedelic clinical trial yet ⚡️ 

  • Oregon to end decriminalization? ⛓️ 

  • Preparing for Colorado’s shroom boom 🍄 

  • How to work in psychedelics 🧑‍💻 

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MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

Where’d you get that neuroplasticity from? Psychedelics may increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
True or false: Do psychedelics bring old memories to the surface or create entirely new ones?
Your brain on drugs: fMRI scans can predict the effectiveness of psilocybin-assisted therapy.
Keep out of reach of children: Psilocybin-related calls to poison control centers tripled among teenagers from 2018 to 2022.
You are woman; hear you roar: Contribute to studies on psychedelics and women’s hormonal symptoms or specifically microdosing for PMDD.

🏛️ Policy

Third state’s a charm: Arizona is one step closer legalizing psilocybin service centers.
Doctor’s orders: A new Utah bill would allow the medical use of psilocybin and MDMA in clinical settings.
Over their skis: Vermont lawmakers may stick with a working group for now, instead of legalizing psilocybin outright.

📈 Business

Goggle up: UC Berkeley is incorporating VR into its psychedelic facilitator training.
L’Chaim: Filament Health shipped the first batch of botanical psilocybin to Israel.
No pain, more to gain? Clearmind is patenting formulations of MDMA, ibogaine, and ketamine combined with PEA, a treatment for chronic pain.
The whales are coming: Even J.P. Morgan is bullish on psychedelics.
Gotta have faith: This ayahuasca church hopes to be the first to get a DEA exemption without suing the government.
UGC no evil: Gray market psilocybin brands are letting influencers do the dirty work.

🫠 Just for fun

Spice things up: The author of Dune was heavily inspired by peyote and mushrooms.
Lose yourself: With ketamine, dissociation is more than a side effect.
Don’t try this at home, kids: Meet the visionary artist who drank ayahuasca at age 10.
Meme of the week: When you try to have a carefree mushroom trip

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE

Need for speed

When Mark Zuckerberg said “move fast and break things,” he probably wasn’t talking about disrupting mental healthcare.

And yet, that’s exactly what Dr. Paul Liknaitzy, a psychedelic researcher at Australia’s Monash University, is doing. His team just completed the “fastest psychedelic therapy trial run out of a single site in the modern era.

As for breaking things? Let’s just say the standard of care for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) may never recover.

The new study, which took just 16 months to finish, compared psychotherapy with a placebo to psilocybin-assisted therapy as a treatment for GAD. In total, 72 people participated in the trial. Of those who got psilocybin:

  • 📉 44% had a clinical reduction in anxiety. That’s a 4x higher response rate than the placebo group.

  • 😤 27% experienced full remission. That’s a 5x greater success rate than the placebo group.

Keep in mind, the placebo group still got 40+ hours of psychotherapy, so that’s saying something. We technically can’t compare results across trials, but these scores blow established anxiety meds out of the water, too.

For Incannex Healthcare, the study’s commercial sponsor, next steps include a larger multi-site Phase 2b trial throughout the US and UK.

For Liknaitzky’s Clinical Psychedelic Lab, the plan is to keep moving fast and breaking other things. One study on their bucket list, for instance, would explore MDMA-assisted couples’ therapy for parents in conflict.

Are mommy-daddy issues at play here? Who knows. But whatever’s driving Dr. L to put the psychedelic pedal to the metal, we’re here for it. (Maybe we’ll find out in his documentary.) 🫠

AFTERGLOW
It is evolving. Just backwards.

Recrim nature

Progress isn’t always linear, folks. Three years ago, Oregon became the first and only state in the nation to decriminalize “hard drugs,” including psychedelics. Now, a bill that would unwind the historic Measure 110 heads to the governor’s desk. Unfortunately, all signs point to rolling back decriminalization and bringing psilocybin under tighter control.

On the one hand, you can see why lawmakers might feel the need to step in. Since the ballot initiative passed in 2020, drug-related deaths in Oregon have skyrocketed. On the other, it seems unfair to group non-addictive, life-saving psychedelics like psilocybin with deadly narcotics. After all, fentanyl is responsible for most of the overdoses.

If Gov. Kotek signs the bill, drug possession will be punishable by up to 180 days in jail. But it wouldn’t interfere with Oregon Psilocybin Services, the state’s regulated program for facilitated psilocybin sessions. So unless you’ve got a few grand to spare, Oregonians, it’s back to the underground you go.

You gotta do the (natural medicine) work

When one door closes, another opens. Meanwhile in Colorado, state leaders are preparing to launch the nation’s second psilocybin service program. Psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline (aka “natural medicines”) have been decriminalized state-wide since Prop 122 was passed in 2022. But the first commercial licenses have yet to be issued. As that fated day approaches, the city of Denver is looking to weigh in.

So, it’s forming a Natural Medicine Work Group. Organized by the Denver Department of Excise and License, the group will discuss and recommend what psilocybin policy and licensing laws should look like in the city. As of today, there are still plenty of question marks and gray areas, many of which are being exploited creatively explored. By setting up clearer guardrails, NMWG could offer a bit more confidence to would-be psilocybin entrepreneurs and their community members.

As the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin back in 2019, Denver has a pretty progressive reputation to uphold. Don’t let us down now. (The city welcomes anyone to apply to join the NMWG by Wed, March 13.)

CYCLISTS’ PICKS
UNTIL NEXT TIME

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

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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.Unf

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