🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[5-min read] Mycologists discover two new Psilocybe species in Africa.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. We’re the psychedelics newsletter that knows what’s new is old. In fact, from now you can call us an oldsletter. 🫡

Here’s what we got this week.

  • New shroom species discovered in Africa 🌍

  • Elon Musk weighs in on the MDMA debate 🚀

  • WA pushes two angles of psychedelic policy reform 🗳️

  • Grow (and know) your own mushrooms 📓

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MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

Throw it back: Some psychiatrists think we should bring back psychedelic research methodologies from the ‘50s.
Spiritual science: Neuroscientists can’t keep shying away from studying religion.
Too good to be true? A buzzy new paper on extended-release ketamine may have misrepresented its findings.
Minority report: Ethnic and racial representation in psychedelic research is improving but still has a ways to go.
What can’t they do? Catch up on 7 recent studies that explored psilocybin’s potential in various conditions and applications.

🏛️ Policy

We, the undersigned: A group of expert researchers and clinicians penned a letter to the FDA endorsing MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD.
Take note: Oregon is teaching the states how to tax psilocybin.
Open the floodgates: California’s legislature approved a bill to end the bottleneck on psychedelic research.
With time to spare: Massachusetts for Mental Health Options has submitted the final batch of signatures to put psychedelic legalization on the November ballot.
Speaking of: Here’s what Massachusetts (and others) can learn from Oregon’s ballot measure.
PSA: Even Colorado’s Natural Medicine Division is warning the public about Diamond Shruumz products.

📈 Business

Cultivation at scale: Mushroom growers from the underground are showing Big Pharma how its done.
Honesty is the best policy: The FDA is now investigating a death linked to the ‘microdosing’ brand that deceived its customers.
Mycelial network: How 3 leaders built thriving psychedelic communities.
Not financial advice: Investors have their eyes on these psychedelic stocks.
Seriously Scary: Nazi-branded ecstasy pills are sweeping through Europe.

🫠 Just for fun

Potency wars: Which psychedelic mushroom is the strongest?
Leading the charge: Meet the veterans pushing the psychedelic frontier.
Asking for a friend: Is a drug even needed to induce a psychedelic experience?
Meme of the week: Why psychedelics haven’t replaced the “standards of care”

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
babe wake up they found two more species from the genus Psilocybe

Mushrooms of the motherland

Babe, wake up. New shrooms just dropped.

That’s right. Two new psilocybin mushroom species were recently discovered in southern Africa. In a paper published last week, a team of researchers and citizen mycologists ID’ed the dynamic duo as Psilocybe maluti and Psilocybe ingeli.

Now aside from the fact that it seems pretty comfy chilling on cow patties in the grasslands, we don’t know much about P. ingeli yet.

On the other hand, P. maluti apparently has a rich history of indigenous use. Believe it or not, the authors claim they’ve collected the first and only first-hand report of psychedelic mushrooms being used traditionally in Africa. Here’s what they shared.

  • ⛰️ Nothing new about it: Basotho healers in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho have been using P. maluti in spiritual practices for generations.

  • 🍵 Move over, ayahuasca: Healers steep P. maluti with a hallucinogenic plant called Boophone disticha to make a signature psychedelic brew.

  • 🪞 Please, not the mirror: After drinking the tea, patients look into a reflective surface and relay their visions to the healer, who can interpret their meaning and significance.

Considering this is the first we’ve heard, it’s safe to say there’s still a lot to learn about the use of psilocybin in African traditional medicine. So far, mycologists have found 6 confirmed Psilocybe species native to Africa, but who knows? More could be hiding in plain sight.

When people celebrate ancient wisdom and natural medicines, Mesoamerica tends to get all the love. We’re taking this as a reminder that indigenous knowledge isn't limited to one part of the world. Mushrooms don’t discriminate, so why should we? 🫠

AFTERGLOW

Elon smokes stirs the pot

Grab some ice water, Cyclists. Because the MDMA therapy debate just got spicier than a club kid's pill stash. The latest drama began when Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, ex-Navy SEAL turned psychedelic crusader, posted an impassioned speech to X. Since then, his 2-min video has already cleared 17.5m views. We have a hunch why.

In the video, Crenshaw slams the FDA advisory board that voted against Lykos Therapeutics’ MDMA application for PTSD, following a similar thumbs-down from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). He accuses the "technocrats" on these panels of supporting the "status quo that makes Big Healthcare plenty of money." Crenshaw also takes a swing at Psymposia, a psychedelic watchdog group, for allegedly insulting vets and playing the white supremacy card.

Thing is, ICER's actually seen as an enemy to Big Pharma. They regularly challenge drug approvals and price hikes. But alas, social media is where nuance goes to die. And who’s there to put the final nail in the coffin? None other than X overlord Elon Musk himself, who reposted Crenshaw's message. With Musk's 189 million bots followers now in the mix, we predict this debate’s about to get a lot louder.

Washington wizards

Sure, Oregon blazed the trail for psilocybin services. But no one said it had to be the only stop for legal psychedelics in the Pacific Northwest. Now, policymakers in Washington state are stepping up. This week, two separate initiatives are pushing to make the Evergreen State a bit more... well, colorful.

First up, Measure 2076, aka the Natural Psychedelics and Supportive Services Act, just got its official ballot title. This proposal would let adults 21+ grow, share, and use certain psychedelics, including psilocybin and mescaline. Selling’s not allowed, but you can get paid for "supportive services." (Just don't call it therapy, okay?) Now, REACH Washington just needs to gather a few hundred thousand signatures to make the ballot. No biggie.

Meanwhile, Olympia is itching to join cities across the nation in decriminalizing entheogenic plants and fungi. Backed by Decriminalize Nature Olympia, a resolution at city council would make psychedelic law enforcement a low priority for local police. Of course, not everyone's on board. One council member—a veteran of eight Grateful Dead shows, no less—worries about potential abuse. But with public hearings scheduled through August, there's still time for minds to change. Can we get a testimony from the dancing bears, please? 

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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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