Here’s what’s in store for you in today’s issue:
🍄 How microdosing helped a struggling mom
🍄 The first ever annual world psychedlics day
🍄 A genetic test kit that can predict how hard you’ll trip
🍄 End to the 50 year war on drugs in the United States
🍄 And more.
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After having her second child, Melissa Lavasani became so severely depressed that she could barely function. She finally found relief through microdosing psilocybin. “It was as if I was blind and deaf and could see colors and hear again. The quality of my life vastly improved”. She explained that there are no hallucinogenic effects with microdosing, rather “a feeling of empowerment” in which she felt well-rested and in control of her emotions.
A study at Johns Hopkins Behavioral Biology Research Center found that 80% of participants were able to quit smoking for at least six months after taking one dose of psilocybin, including one participant who was a heavy smoker for over 25 years. This suggests that psilocybin therapy is over twice as effective as the leading smoking cessation drug, varenicline, which has a 35% success rate after six months. Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu explains that psilocybin is effective for treating addiction because it changes the way the brain makes connections, which can “interrupt old patterns, well-worn neuro pathways, or habits”.
Psychedelics Awareness Foundation, a Canadian non-profit, is launching the first World Psychedelic’s Day this Sunday, June 20th to celebrate the resurgence of psychedelic research. The event aims to “educate, enlighten, and inspire people worldwide about the untapped potential of psychedelics” through expert discussions, documentaries, and art. Learn more and join the event at worldpsychedelicsday.org.
Vocan Biotechnologies Inc., a subsidiary of Core One Labs Inc. (COOL) is days away from receiving a patent for its biosynthetic psilocybin production system, which is more efficient and significantly cheaper than conventional methods of extracting psilocybin. The proprietary system aims to produce a reliable product that is consistent in quality and concentration while remaining comparable to naturally occurring psilocybin. Core One believes that there is a wide appeal for biosynthetic production as the psychedelics market grows, as “the need for a steady and consistent supply chain will also increase”.
Entheon Biomedical Corp. launched the first psychedelics genetic test kit through its subsidiary, HaluGen Life Sciences Inc. The kit includes a pre-screening mental health survey and cheek swab DNA test that will provide “genetic, personal and familial insights” to “better understand an individual’s sensitivity to classical psychedelics and ketamine”. The cheek swab tests for the HTR2A gene mutation, a variant present in 20% of people that makes them more susceptible to strong hallucinations due to increased serotonin receptor density. Customers receive a personalized profile with sensitivity and risk reports to inform them before their next psychedelic experience.
Mydecine Innovations Group (MYCO) partnered with the University of Alberta to launch a new AI drug discovery program that will make their research more efficient. The in-silico program uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to “rapidly screen hundreds of thousands of new molecules without the need to produce them, allowing Mydecine to focus on the strongest potential therapeutics”.
Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO) introduced a new bill, the Drug Policy Reform Act (DRPA) that would end incarceration for possessing any illicit drug. The bill will be filed on June 18, exactly 50 years after Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs that has contributed to racial inequality and higher incarceration rates than any other country. The DRPA would make it illegal to deny employment for simple drug possession or to require drug testing to receive federal benefits, and would also reinvest funds in harm reduction programs.
The City of Vancouver applied for an exemption from federal drug laws that would decriminalize the possession of 15 illicit drugs including psilocybin. Mayors from Victoria, Saanich, Nanaimo, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam and Kamloops all signed a letter in support of the so called “Vancouver Model”, recognizing that the current approach to the opioid crisis is ineffective. Saanich mayor Fred Haynes believes that if the exemption is granted, “there would be less police involvement, access to a regulated drug supply and less stigma around addiction”.
A registered clinical counsellor, Dave Phillips, went on a mushroom trip for research purposes and said it was “the most powerful personal experience I’ve ever had in my life” and that it gave him “the most overwhelming sense of being loved”. During the six-hour trip which was guided by an expertly-curated playlist, Phillips was able to connect with his father and son who both passed away, and saw himself as an embryo. Phillips said that experiencing psilocybin gave him an understanding of how to respond effectively when patients undergo the treatment. He believes that the treatment is effective because it “opens up the connectivity power of the brain” so that the brain can solve its own problems. Although the experience was overwhelming, he believes that there are no bad trips, only challenging ones.
Playlist title: Psilocybin Research: Johns Hopkins, Sacred Knowledge, William A. Richards