Hello and welcome back.

We’re hoping your St. Patty’s Day hangover has subsided by now. If you’re taking it easy tonight and need some entertainment, check out the latest Daily Mushroom Podcast. Or catchup on previous episodes to hear peoples’ wild (yet life-changing) experiences on psilocybinayahuasca, and DMT.

Here’s what’s in store for you in today’s issue:

🍄 Psychedelic therapy + nature

🍄 Microdosing reverses the effects of stress on the brain

🍄 Treating pain and mental health simultaneously

🍄 And more.

Be sure to check out this week’s Daily Mushroom podcast:

A doctor’s view on group psychedelic therapy

In this episode of the Daily Mushroom podcast, we have Dr. Pam Kryskow, a psychedelic researcher, medical doctor, and the medical lead for ketamine-assisted therapy for the Roots to Thrive program. Pam shares the benefits of psychedelic therapy in group settings and how her hiking “trips” helped her cope with daily trauma experienced in her previous job as a firefighter.

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The shift toward nature-based psychedelic therapy 🌲

Experts from Imperial College London predict that combining psychedelics and contact with nature could have a beneficial synergy, as both are known to decrease rumination, increase mindfulness, and elicit feelings of awe and transcendence.

Combining the two could also restore the disconnect and fear of nature that more and more people are feeling as technology takes over.

In their review, the researchers note that it may be beneficial to incorporate natural elements into treatment rooms and include contact with nature in the therapy sessions leading up to and following the psychedelic session.

While a fully outdoor session has drawbacks, the researchers explain that a hybrid indoor/outdoor structure with large skylights and windows and nature-based design elements would be the ideal setting for psychedelic therapy.

Organizations like Usona Institute and Synthesis Institute are already working to incorporate nature into treatment programs – let’s hope this trend continue!

A push for equity + global psilocybin reform

Major non-profit Global Wellness Institute just launched a Psychedelics & Healing Initiative with the goal of establishing evidence-based best practices, equity, and accessibility within the psychedelics industry.

The initiative brings together physicians, business innovators, research scientists, impact investors, and policy makers, including high-profile members like Rick Doblin, founder of MAPS.

The group will also advocate for the International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative, a recent movement to suspend psilocybin’s Schedule I status through the United Nations to remove research barriers across the globe.

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Microdosing reverses the effects of stress on the brain

study published yesterday suggests that microdosing LSD reduces stress-induced anxiety and promotes neuroplasticity.

McGill University researchers found that when rats were exposed to chronic stress conditions, those that were given microdoses 7 days in a row did not show anxiety-like behaviour. A single dose had no behavioural effect.

Repeated microdoses also prevented two neurobiological changes that occur with stress:

  1. The loss of dendritic spines (the branches on neurons that conduct electrical signals)
  2. A decrease in serotonin transmission.

“We have shown that LSD can rebuild these branches that are ‘dismantled’ due to stress. This is a sign of brain plasticity,” explains researcher Danilo De Gregorio.

Interestingly, a single microdose actually decreased serotonin neurotransmission – it was only the repeated regimen that increased the firing of serotonin neurons.

So if you’re going to microdose, you may want to try it multiple days in a row 😉

If you’re looking to start microdosing, follow @chloedeutscher on TikTok for advice from an industry expert.

Treat pain and mental health simultaneously

About 60% of patients with chronic pain also suffer from a second condition like depression or anxiety.

A University of Tasmania researcher predicts that ketamine therapy will have a “dual beneficial effect” on both pain and mental health.

Other chronic pain experts share this belief. “The domains of pain, anxiety and depression are all connected. If you treat one, another often gets better,” according to researcher Dr. David Borsook.

The hypothesis will be put to the test in an upcoming study of 30 chronic pain patients, which received a $80K grant from the Clifford Craig Foundation.

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Awakn Life Sciences (AWKN) received approval to begin ketamine treatments for mental health and addiction at its third clinic, located in London. The company also has ketamine clinics in Bristol, UK and Oslo, Norway.

Novamind (NM) announced that it will host MindMed’s (MMED) Phase IIb study on LSD for generalized anxiety disorder later this year. The trial will assess 200 patients for 12 weeks following a single dose of MindMed’ LSD formualtion.

MYND Life Sciences (MYND) entered into an agreement to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of Tidal Psychedelics, a company with access to a $10M facility for cannabis and mushroom cultivation.

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Here’s what you missed in the legal world:

  • Colorado activists decided on one of four potential ballot measures to push for. The chosen measure, which will be voted on this November if enough signatures are gathered, would legalize psilocybin and establish licensed healing centers, similar to those being created in Oregon. Read more…

  • Georgia lawmakers introduced a bill that would establish a research committee to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics and make recommendations for reforms. Read more…