medicine – Psychedelic Frontier make the most of your dose Mon, 29 Oct 2018 14:42:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48719013 Oklahoma Voters Just Legalized Medical Cannabis Wed, 27 Jun 2018 16:01:18 +0000 Oklahoma Voters Just Legalized Medical Cannabis

In a historic referendum, Oklahoma voters have just approved one of the most progressive medical cannabis laws in the country.

With a doctor’s orders, Oklahomans will be able to possess eight ounces in their homes, carry three ounces in public, and cultivate 12 plants. Unlike many other states, there is no limit to which diseases may be treated by cannabis — a doctor may prescribe it for any condition. The measure passed with a 57% to 43% margin.

These regulations are relatively lax, especially for a red state in the heart of Trump country. But perhaps it should come as no surprise that a conservative state like Oklahoma would pass this measure — national polling indicates that 90% of Americans support medical cannabis.

In honor of Oklahoma’s new status as the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana, I’m sharing an excerpt from the Cannabis chapter of my new book, Magic Medicine.

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The Walls Come Tumbling Down Tue, 16 May 2017 11:00:54 +0000 The Walls Come Tumbling Down

This story by Andy Gold first appeared in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2016 edition.

I went for my first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session on November 30, 2015, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Was it really a coincidence that the colonoscopy which found a malignant tumor in my colon some years earlier had also taken place on the Monday after Thanksgiving? I think not. Full circle, indeed.

I arrived at the site in Marin County, Calif., where the session was to take place, at 9:30 in the morning. One of the study requirements is that you do the sessions while fasting. Someone also has to bring you to the site and pick you up. My adult son dropped me off and took a couple of minutes to meet Dr. Phil Wolfson and Julane Andries (the study co-therapists) and see their place. I think he was suitably impressed by the location, and comfortable with the idea of his father tripping in that environment, under the care of those people.

Continue reading The Walls Come Tumbling Down at Psychedelic Frontier.

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My Interview with Rick Doblin, Psychedelic Pioneer Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:33:02 +0000 My Interview with Rick Doblin, Psychedelic Pioneer

I recently had the good fortune of meeting my psychedelic hero, Rick Doblin, the founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. What’s more, he graciously agreed to an on-camera interview. I asked him about the origins of MAPS, the Russian ban of methadone in Crimean addiction clinics, New Zealand’s new regulatory framework for legal highs, MAPS’ recent partnership with the military to research MDMA as a treatment for PTSD, and much more.

My favorite part is when Rick tells the story of taking LSD on his twenty-first birthday. He heard a siren and became convinced that the Russians were bombing Tampa, and that he was about to die. The story of what he decided to do with his remaining time on Earth is both hilarious and touching. You can find that clip in text format at the bottom of the page, or in the video at 42:30.

Continue reading My Interview with Rick Doblin, Psychedelic Pioneer at Psychedelic Frontier.

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MAPS Completes First New Therapeutic LSD Study in 40 Years Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:40:33 +0000 MAPS Completes First New Therapeutic LSD Study in 40 Years

Update 5 March 2014: The study has been published, and the final copy is available here.

Rick Doblin, the founder and president of MAPS, said this in a recent “Ask Me Anything” interview on Reddit:

We’ve just completed the world’s first study of the therapeutic use of LSD in over 40 years, in Switzerland to treat anxiety associated with end-of-life issues. Eleven of the 12 subjects had never done LSD before and there were no serious adverse events, even in people facing death.

This recently completed Swiss study is truly momentous — it’s the first “double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of LSD-assisted psychotherapy since the early 1970s.” This pilot study found that two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions successfully reduced anxiety in patients with terminal illnesses. The study was led by Peter Gasser, M.D., who wrote a letter (PDF) to friends and colleagues at its completion.

Continue reading MAPS Completes First New Therapeutic LSD Study in 40 Years at Psychedelic Frontier.

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“Ask Me Anything” Reddit Interview with Rick Doblin & MAPS Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:33:14 +0000 “Ask Me Anything” Reddit Interview with Rick Doblin & MAPS

Yesterday, Rick Doblin and ten other MAPS staff members engaged in an online “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. The turnout was phenomenal. Questions ran the gamut from personal (“Have you ever tried psychedelics?”) to political (“Will the legalization of psychedelics will come next after marijuana?”) and much more.

Several posters asked about minimizing the risk of MDMA toxicity, while others were curious about treatments for cluster headaches, depression, autism, and other conditions. A couple people even asked if MAPS accepts Bitcoin (as of yesterday, they do). As you might expect, the answers from MAPS staff were incredibly informative and insightful.

It can be a hassle to sift through all the replies on Reddit, so I have copied the questions and arranged them by topic below. This was a live online interview, so please excuse any typos made in the questions and answers. My omissions and minor changes are indicated in square brackets.

Continue reading “Ask Me Anything” Reddit Interview with Rick Doblin & MAPS at Psychedelic Frontier.

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Help Heal Trauma Survivors by Supporting MDMA Research Mon, 18 Nov 2013 07:45:48 +0000 Help Heal Trauma Survivors by Supporting MDMA Research

MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has been an instrumental force in psychedelic research and advocacy since its formation in 1986. In my opinion, this non-profit organization has done more to establish psychedelics as legitimate medicines than anyone else in the world.

Their biggest project is proving the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They have performed a number of studies around the world indicating its effectiveness — even with the one-third of PTSD patients who do not respond adequately to other treatments.

As you can imagine, MAPS does not have the budget of Big Pharma. The non-profit depends on private donations for all of its research, and clearing the FDA hurdles to establish MDMA as a legal medicine will take millions of dollars in the coming years. In order to help fund their ongoing studies, MAPS is looking to raise $50,000 with an Indiegogo campaign.

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FDA Approves Lorcaserin, Diet Drug with Psychedelic Effects at High Doses Thu, 09 May 2013 20:38:25 +0000 FDA Approves Lorcaserin, Diet Drug with Psychedelic Effects at High Doses

This is a landmark step towards sensible US drug policy. Since the Nixon Administration passed the Controlled Substance Act passed in 1970, nearly all psychedelic-style drugs have been automatically classified as Schedule I, which means absolute prohibition with no recognized medical potential.  (LSA presents an exception as a Schedule III drug, and the case may be made for the “psychedelic” nature of dextromethorphan and ketamine.)

Lorcaserin, a weight loss drug with euphoric, hallucinogenic, and dissociative effects at high doses, has been classified as a Schedule IV medicine. This marks the first time that the DEA has acknowledged the medical benefits of a 5-HT2A agonist with seemingly psychedelic effects at high doses. I say “seemingly” because studies focusing specifically on lorcaserin’s psychedelic effects have not been undertaken, and the subjective effects may differ considerably from well-known psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin.

Lorcaserin is a weight loss drug, the first one to be approved since 1999.

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Ketamine shows promise in treating “Fear of Harm” Mon, 25 Mar 2013 21:03:03 +0000 Ketamine shows promise in treating “Fear of Harm”

There has been a huge resurgence of research on psychedelic and dissociative drugs recently. This is very promising because for 40 years, the study of these very promising medical compounds was shelved in the name of prohibition. Finally, after decades of hiatus, we are able to shed light on some of these compounds in controlled clinical settings. The studies may be small and few in number right now, but their positive results should help open the door to larger and ever more diverse studies. If early studies are any indication, the medical potential of psychedelics is absolutely vast.

What a relief to see these long-outcast compounds invited back to the fold of mainstream science. New and pioneering studies of psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, and others are playing a huge role in renewing the good name of all these compounds in the public eye. Substances like these have offered powerful benefits to humanity for centuries, so it’s about time modern society starting taking them seriously instead of treating them like toxic poisons. 

Continue reading Ketamine shows promise in treating “Fear of Harm” at Psychedelic Frontier.

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