🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[4-min read] Drug policy foundation proposes regulatory model for psychedelics.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. We’re thankful for you, Cyclists… especially if you’re still checking emails over the holiday. 🦃

🤷 Everybody’s doing it. So why not? We’ll run a Black Friday Tricycle Day sale, too. This week only, use code PUMPKINPIE to get 40% off our psychedelic courses. (You keep ‘em for life.)

Here’s what we got this week.

  • The playbook for regulating psychedelics 📓

  • Psilocybin: an employee benefit 🍄

  • Can weed make you trip? 🌿

  • Start a psychedelic coaching practice  🧑‍🏫

FROM OUR SPONSORS
Soul Surgeon by Moos MD

Reminder: Tricycle Day is NOT your doctor.

That means our content should never be taken as medical advice. (I know what you’re thinking—no, not even the memes.)

But if you are looking for a clinician’s perspective, meet John Moos, aka Soul Surgeon MD. He brings two decades of experience as a trauma-informed healer to his monthly newsletter, The Container.

Recent editions have unpacked juicy topics like giving psychedelics to kids and how psychedelics can help romantic partners.

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MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

Journeyer, beware: Of all psychiatric diagnoses, personality disorders put psychedelic users at the highest risk of psychological harm.
Cut the ribbon: Compass Pathways has opened a new research center for its Phase 3 psilocybin trials in the UK.
Bon appétit: Psychedelics may be the future of eating disorder treatment.
On the wagon: Awakn Life Sciences is approved to begin its Phase 3 trial of ketamine therapy for severe alcohol use disorder.

🏛️ Policy

Signature snag: Activists botched their campaign to get psychedelic legalization on Massachusetts’ 2024 ballot but quickly recovered.
Debate club: Kentucky officials streamed a heated discussion over the proposal to use $42 million for ibogaine research.
Hoosier healer: A former Indiana health commissioner makes the case for reclassifying psilocybin.

📈 Business

False advertising: Researchers say marketing for ketamine therapy is misleading at best.
Buy the dip? Clearmind Medicine has been delisted from Nasdaq for trading below the minimum price.
All together now: TheraPsil conducted the first legal group psilocybin therapy session in Quebec.
The trough of disillusionment: Market analysts are predicting a psychedelic industry shakeout.
Step aside, Leary: Michael Pollan gave the first talk for Harvard’s new Psychedelics in Society and Culture program.

🫠 Just for fun

When you can taste colors: A researcher traces the history of our understanding of synesthesia.
Animorphs: Outkast musician, André 3000, drank ayahuasca and “turned into a panther.”
Meme of the week: When mushrooms develop psilocybin as an evolutionary advantage

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
It's almost too easy

A step-by-step guide to legalizing psychedelics

When it comes to drugs, we’re pacifists. Can we all agree that the War on Drugs has been a colossal waste of resources that has destroyed more lives than it has protected?

Okay, stepping down from my soapbox… 😅

So let’s say we end the global drug war tomorrow. What happens next? Where do we go from there?

A UK-based charity, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, thinks they have the answer. This week, they outlined a plug-and-play plan that policymakers could use to regulate psychedelics worldwide and released it for free.

To be clear, Transform is talking about the non-medical (i.e., religious, recreational, or personal) use of psychedelics. That’s because the medical regulatory pathway is already well established. It’s when you take these substances outside the clinical box that regulators tend to throw their hands up.

Transform’s model includes four proposed “tiers” of regulation, where each level would require progressively more oversight.

  • 🌱 Tier 1: Grow, gather, gift. You’d be able to cultivate (or forage for) psychedelics and share them with friends and family. This kind of private activity is hard to regulate anyway, so we’re essentially talking about decriminalization.

  • 👬 Tier 2: Non-profit communities. You’d be able to join or visit a non-commercial organization where it’s legal and safe to take psychedelics. Plus, you’d get peer support and harm reduction education as a bonus.

  • 🛒 Tier 3: Regulated retail. You’d be able to purchase quality-controlled products—either natural and synthetic—from licensed vendors operating out of online and brick-and-mortar storefronts.

  • 🧑‍⚕️ Tier 4: Facilitated use. You’d be able to sit down with a trained and licensed guide who could supervise your psychedelic experience. This is the approach currently in effect in Oregon.

To their credit, the policy analysts at Transform aren’t too rigid. They say all four tiers can work in parallel and be modified to accommodate local culture.

But one thing they won’t budge on? No marketing to kids with flashy branding or infused edibles.

As one Transform representative put it, “If you really like sweets, just buy some f*cking Haribo.” 🫠

AFTERGLOW
This is mommy's special work trip

A different kind of business trip

For all the stress and burnout our jobs cause us, the least they can do is pick up the bill for our mental healthcare, right? Psychedelic health plan startup, Enthea, certainly thinks so. This week, the third-party insurance benefits administrator announced that it would cover psilocybin-assisted therapy in legal states starting next year.

Although the company is young, they’ve already dipped their toe into covering psychedelics for employees. After a successful pilot with Dr. Bronner’s, Enthea rolled out ketamine therapy coverage nationwide this year. Now, they’re setting their sights on shrooms with an aggressive timeline. If all goes well, they’ll be covering patients’ psilocybin-assisted therapy by mid-2024.

Enthea says their data show ketamine “leads to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher retention, and lower medical expenses for employers.” That’s great and all. But we wanna know if it can help calendar abusers learn when a meeting should have been an email. (You know who you are.)

Magic mushrooms marijuana

Is cannabis a psychedelic or not? In a new paper, researchers reviewed the scientific literature to settle the age-old debate once and for all. We won’t bury the lede… the study didn’t yield a definitive answer. But it did turn up some thought-provoking considerations for your next blaze sesh.

Cannabis users, it turns out, have reported all kinds of psychedelic effects from smoking weed. First, there are the acute effects—tingling sensations in the body, visual and auditory hallucinations, even the occasional flashback. Then, there are the more profound mystical experiences. Study participants recalled feeling closer to God, nature, or mankind. Others even experienced ego death from ganja.

And to our fellow nerds who won’t be satisfied without a neurochemical explanation, we’ll throw you a bone. The research also found that THC, much like the so-called “classical” psychedelics, can indeed up-regulate 5-HT2A receptors. On the other hand, CBD apparently has the opposite effect. So choose your strain wisely, psychonauts.

CYCLISTS’ PICKS
UNTIL NEXT TIME

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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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