Magic mushrooms may be making headway in medicine.
As voters in Oregon and DC opt to decriminalize psilocybin, there is growing evidence that the active compound in “magic,” or hallucinogenic, mushrooms might benefit individuals with moderate to severe depression—at least when used alongside psychotherapy under a doctor’s supervision.
“The findings that we have in our study, we believe, are related to the fact that it was in a controlled setting where we have trained professionals,” explained Alan Davis, a psychologist, social work researcher at Ohio State University, and adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.
“We certainly would not suggest that someone go out and take this on their own,” he added. “However, there are currently multi-site trials going on in the US and Europe, testing this in phase 2 and phase 3 trials in order to hopefully garner FDA approval in the next couple years.”
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A Vancouver-based psychedelics company has become the first in Canada to complete a legal harvest of magic mushrooms since the last wave of psychedelic research ended there in the 1970s.
Numinus Bioscience, a healthcare company with a focus on research and product development, announced the harvest of its first flush of psilocybe mushrooms yesterday at its licensed facility in Nanaimo, B.C., where it operates a research and testing laboratory. The firm is developing formulations and solutions intended for use in the burgeoning psychedelic therapy space, and received a license from Health Canada to grow and extract magic mushrooms as recently as June of this year.
The license, issued under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, allows Numinus to test, import, store, and distribute MDMA, psilocybin, psilocin (two compounds present in psychedelic mushrooms), DMT and mescaline.
Read more at Forbes
On Tuesday, supporters of Measure 109 came together virtually to talk about the mental health benefits of the drug.
If passed, this measure would allow the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities to adults aged 21 and over.
Currently, the manufacturing and consumption of this drug is illegal under both state and federal law.
Supporters say psilocybin therapy relieves debilitating anxiety and depression that comes with a terminal illness.
On the Zoom call Tuesday, attendees heard from a cancer patient in Portland who has a terminal diagnosis.
Mara McGraw says she underwent psilocybin therapy with a trained facilitator recently after trying other options.
“In just one session, I feel tremendous relief from fear and anxiety that had been burdening me for three years now, and I did not receive that type of relief through a year of talk therapy. So, one session gave me more than going weekly to talk therapy for an entire year,” said McGraw.
Keep reading at MSN
Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.
The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. It’s accelerated in recent months as companies seeking to use psychedelic substances as medical treatments have gone public on US and Canadian stock exchanges.
Like cannabis, psychedelic substances like psilocybin and ibogaine are Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act in the US, which creates complications for businesses seeking to work with them. That helps create new clientele for cannabis lawyers, who have the expertise of helping cannabis companies navigate complicated laws and regulations over the years.
Read the full story at Business Insider
City Council members voted unanimously this week to decriminalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in Ann Arbor.
The city joins a handful of others across the country. Ann Arbor is a college town that prides itself in a more relaxed approach to drug enforcement. In the 1970s, it was among the first to decriminalize marijuana. Now, it’s doing the same thing with mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.
“They are non-addictive chemicals,” Ann Arbor City Council member Anne Bannister said. “They are healthier than many of our pharmaceuticals people can fill their bodies with for years for treatment resistant anxiety.”
The drugs in question are ayahuasca, from South America, ibogaine, from Africa, and popular ’60s drugs such as mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms.
The Council voted 11-0, saying Ann Arbor police should stand down enforcing possession.
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While vaping has falling out of favor, mushrooms are headed in the other direction in Oregon.
The state may be just a few months away from legalizing psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic reasons, if Measure 109 passes in the November election.
Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms, has been outlawed in the United States since 1968. But over the years, studies show the drug may have lasting benefits for mental health patients.
“I’ve just seen these incredible changes occur in people who come into a room closed-off, angry, suspicious, and just really hurting and then after one session of psilocybin therapy, come out the other side smiling,” said Chad Kuske, a former Navy Seal who’s been undergoing psilocybin therapy to cope with post traumatic stress disorder.
Four veterans groups are endorsing the measure.
Keep reading at MSN
Psychedelics are the next billion dollar industry, according to market analysts, and investors and donors are taking note.
Over the past six months, $30 million in donations has gone to the nonprofit funding research into MDMA-assisted therapy, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), according to the group’s announcement on Aug. 20. Major donors, who each donated at least $1 million, include GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, and Joby Pritzker, co-founder of Tao Capital Management and part of the family behind Hyatt Hotels.
MDMA isn’t the only psychedelic gaining support. Earlier this month, the Canadian government ruled that four citizens could legally use psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms), to treat end-of-life anxiety. Meanwhile, clinical studies on psilocybin are racing towards the final stages of trials at a similar pace to MDMA, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved its second ketamine-based treatment for depression.
Read more at MSN
A petition that will go before the House of Commons and calls for the legalization of natural psychoactive drugs has gained over 13,000 signatures.
After it was posted on Apr.18, Trevor Millar, Chair of Board for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the petition gained a whopping 500 signatures in a mere 12 hours.
So far, Ontario has the lion’s share of signatures, with 4,746. B.C. follows in second with 3,698 and Alberta comes third with 1,918.
MP Paul Manly of the Nanaimo—Ladysmith Green Party Caucus is sponsoring the petition, which will close for signatures on Aug. 14. As such, Millar tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that he hopes people will take time to understand what the petition is about.
“It is only about legalizing natural substances right now,” says Millar. “Things that grow from the ground.”
Read more at Tricity News
Magic mushrooms should be rescheduled in Britain to treat depression, top doctors have said.
Leading experts have called for a change in the law to allow ‘shrooms’ to be used in a similar way as medicinal cannabis.
But they said recreational use would remain illegal, with Brits caught in possession of the Class A drug facing a jail-term of up to seven years.
Scientific studies have repeatedly shown psilocybin — the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms — has promise in boosting mental health, fighting off depression and helping PTSD sufferers.
Experts from Oxford, Manchester and King’s College London universities have called for magic mushrooms to be rescheduled.
Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it’s thought to have no medicinal value and therefore cannot be legally possessed or prescribed.
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Magic mushrooms should be legalised as a potential medical treatment for depression and mental ill health, say leading doctors in a major report on the emerging benefits of the drug.
The researchers, from King’s College, London, Oxford and Manchester universities, say psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, has been shown in early trials to be a promising treatment for mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
They propose a law change that would re-categorise it as a drug that could be legally used as a therapeutic treatment in medical trials in a similar way to the Government’s rescheduling of cannabis for medical use. Any recreational use of the class A drug would continue to be illegal.
Read more at the Telegraph.
Oregon will vote to legalize the use of therapeutic psilocybin under medical professional supervision this year, after an initiative qualified for the November ballot. If approved, Oregon would become the first state to allow the use of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in psychedelic mushrooms.
The group behind the ballot question, Initiative Petition 34, collected 164,782 signatures from Oregon residents to put the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act on the ballot. 112,020 signatures was the official amount required to qualify.
“This careful, regulated approach can make a real difference in peoples’ lives and we’re looking forward to bringing this program to the state,” Sheri Eckert said in a statement. Eckert, along with her husband Tom, were chief petitioners on the measure and also founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society.
Read more here
A push to legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings is one step closer to appearing on the Oregon ballot in November, The Oregonian reported.
The Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Initiative announced this week that it has received the necessary amount of signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot.
Election officials will now work to verify whether the 164,782 signatures collected are valid.
Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, meaning the U.S. government has determined it has “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.”
The Oregon campaign, known as Initiative Petition (IP) #34, would legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in controlled doses when administered by professionals in the state.
Read more at MSN.
In 1955, a bank executive and a New York society photographer found themselves in a thatch-roofed adobe home in a remote village in the Mazateca mountains. Gordon Wasson, then a vice president at J.P. Morgan, had been learning about the use of mushrooms in different cultures, and tracked down a Mazatec healer, or curandera, named María Sabina. Sabina, about 60 at the time, had been taking hallucinogenic mushrooms since she was a young child . She led Wasson and the photographer, Allan Richardson, through a mushroom ceremony called the velada.
“We chewed and swallowed these acrid mushrooms, saw visions, and emerged from the experience awestruck,” Wasson wrote in a Life magazine article, “Seeking the Magic Mushroom.” “We had come from afar to attend a mushroom rite but had expected nothing so staggering as the virtuosity of the performing curanderas and the astonishing effects of the mushrooms.”
Read more at VICE
Advocates for decriminalizing “magic mushrooms” and other psychoactive plants are asking D.C. voters to sign a petition online or by mail to put Initiative 81 on November’s ballot.
Decriminalize Nature D.C., the nonprofit behind the decriminalization effort, first will send 10,000 petitions to D.C. voters to sign and return by mail or email. Depending on the response to the first 10,000 mailers, the campaign intends to send out 250,000 additional petitions to voters.
The group needs to get 30,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the “Entheogenic Plants and Fungi Act of 2020” on the ballot.
The D.C. Council last week approved its omnibus coronavirus-related bill, which changed how petitions can be collected for ballot initiatives to make the process safe during the pandemic.
Read more at Washington Times…
Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz voted to decriminalize mushrooms. Washington, D.C. just took a major step toward adding legalization to the Nov. 2020 ballot. Chicago city leaders passed a resolution supporting scientific and medicinal research, with a goal of decriminalization. Vermont lawmakers filed a bill to decriminalize it, as well. Even Oregon is pushing to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic purposes.
All thanks to reports that show psychedelics have therapeutic benefits. For example, researchers at New York University found psilocybin mushrooms caused a “rapid and sustained” reduction in anxiety and depression in patients with cancer, as reported by the Financial Post. Researchers from the University of California David found that micro-dosing with psychedelic drugs for a prolonged period of time showed promise.
Read more here…
A nascent effort to reduce penalties on the possession and use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic plants in D.C. was dealt what seemed like a fatal blow by the coronavirus pandemic — but proponents say they plan on soldiering on, using the mail to collect tens of thousands of signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.
To get an issue on the ballot, proponents have to gather signatures from 5% of D.C.’s registered voters — roughly 25,000 signatures at this point — within a six-month period. But with normal signature-collection a virtual impossibility because of the city’s stay-at-home order and social distancing norms, leaders of the Decriminalize Nature D.C. say they instead plan on sending petitions directly to households and asking voters to sign them and send them back.
Read more here…
A pair of Hawaii lawmakers is pushing to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelic mushrooms, introducing legislation that could one day make psilocybin-based products available to medical patients in the state.
The package of resolutions, introduced last week by Sen. Les Ihara Jr. and Rep. Chris Lee, both Democrats, asks the state Department of Health to convene a “medicinal psilocybin working group” that would examine available evidence around the use of psychedelic mushrooms and eventually “develop a long-term strategic plan to ensure the availability of medicinal psilocybin or psilocybin-based products that are safe, accessible, and affordable for eligible adult patients.”
The proposal comes as a number of other jurisdictions around the U.S. explore relaxing laws around psychedelics, such as by expanding opportunities for therapeutic use or decriminalizing simple possession. In Hawaii, possession of psilocybin mushrooms is currently illegal under both state and federal law.
Read more here
A recent study provides new evidence that magic mushrooms have health benefits. Researchers found that a single take on the drug could help improve mindfulness and openness even for months.
The new study, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, shows that people become more curious and open to new experiences after just one psychedelic experience. Researchers said such positive effect of magic mushrooms could last for months after the first intake, IFL Science reported.
Health Benefits Of Magic Mushrooms
The researchers gathered 10 healthy individuals to test the effects of magic mushrooms. All participants never used psychedelic drugs prior to the study.
The participants reported that they continued to experience the same positive effects of magic mushrooms three months after the test. Researchers then collected PET brain scans to see how the drug caused changes in the brain.
They found changes in the serotonin receptor 5-HT2AR in the brain, which potentially contributed to the long-term feel-good effects of the drug. The receptor appeared binding even one week after exposure to psilocybin.
Read the full article at Medical Daily
“It wasn’t all that long ago that legal pot in the good ol’ “Just Say No” USA seemed like a fantasy. While it seemed rather absurd that you could go to jail for a drug that arguably caused minimal social harm, common sense didn’t seem to make a dent in our drug policies. And then, slowly, things changed.
I know what you’re thinking, but the idea is actually not as crazy as it sounds. In the past year alone, Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz have each voted to decriminalize natural psychedelics, including mushrooms. Washington D.C. this week took a major step toward a ballot question that would do the same.
The fact is, we’re at a cultural and scientific inflection point, rapidly and radically reconsidering what we thought we knew about drugs such as psilocybin (the chemical that makes magic mushrooms magic), LSD, and even MDMA and Ketamine.
The fact is, we’re at a cultural and scientific inflection point, rapidly and radically reconsidering what we thought we knew about drugs such as psilocybin (the chemical that makes magic mushrooms magic), LSD, and even MDMA and Ketamine. While mainstream society over the past half-century has often dismissed them as the stuff of burnt-out hippies and party kids or condemned them as downright dangerous, both the medical establishment and Silicon Valley have begun to loudly advocate for their untapped and possibly revolutionary therapeutic potential.
Researchers at Harvard are already dipping their toes in the water, studying potential psychedelic treatments, specifically MDMA. These studies are already operating with approval from and under the watchful eye of the feds, but legalization would allow experts to do things like, say, put their findings to use in therapeutic settings.
Read more at Boston
“Scientists ain’t trippin’.
It’s already known that small amounts of magic mushrooms can benefit the mind. However, groundbreaking research shows that only a single dose of the psychedelic fungi can reduce cancer-related mental health issues in the long term, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on Jan. 28.
The landmark research was a followup of a 2016 John Hopkins trial — using 51 subjects — studying whether magic mushrooms could relieve death anxiety and depression in cancer patients. The participants at that time were administered either high or low doses of synthetic psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms. Researchers then gave their subjects the opposite doses five weeks later, per the findings published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
However, he had vastly underestimated how long the benefits of a single psilocybin dose could last. When scientists conducted a follow-up about four years later with 15 members of the original 2016 trials, they found that up to 80% experienced “positive life changes” from the treatment.
“The drug seems to facilitate a deep, meaningful experience that stays with a person and can fundamentally change his or her mindset and outlook,” said Gabby Agin-Liebes, lead author of the long-term follow-up study and co-author of the 2016 study.
Nonetheless, the landmark results could help pave the way for more clinical trials involving psilocybin, and perhaps even help accelerate mushroom legalization. Last year, Oakland, California, and Denver, Colorado, became the first US cities to decriminalize the trippy truffles.
NEW YORK POST