psilocybin – Psychedelic Frontier http://psychedelicfrontier.com make the most of your dose Wed, 16 May 2018 11:00:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 48719013 A Reverend’s Moving Sermon About Psychedelics and Religion http://psychedelicfrontier.com/change-your-mind-sermon/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/change-your-mind-sermon/#comments Tue, 05 Sep 2017 11:00:36 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4106 A Reverend’s Moving Sermon About Psychedelics and Religion

“If I Could Change Your Mind,” preached by Reverend Mike Young at The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu on 5 November 1995.

If, on some Sunday morning, I would step up here into the pulpit and announce to you that I had an experience available to you, that you could come to the church on a given Saturday afternoon and spend with me between six and eight hours and I guarantee — virtually guaranteed at least almost guarantee; well, pretty certainly guarantee; oh, a good chance — that you would experience a total transformation of your own mind, the way you saw yourself, the way you experience the world out there and your relationship to it. How many would be interested? [About a dozen hands went up!]

There are a few adventurers left.

On Good Friday 1962, I was a subject in one of the last legal experiments that were done in this country with psychedelic drugs.

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Scientists Unlock the Mystery of Magic Mushrooms, Allowing for Mass Production of Psilocybin http://psychedelicfrontier.com/4109-2/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/4109-2/#comments Sat, 19 Aug 2017 11:00:30 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4109 Scientists Unlock the Mystery of Magic Mushrooms, Allowing for Mass Production of Psilocybin

Some sixty years ago, Albert Hofmann — the Swiss chemist better known for discovering LSD — first isolated the active components of “magic” mushrooms, psilocybin and psilocin. Yet the question of how, exactly, the mushrooms produced these unique compounds remained a mystery ever since.

Until now, that is. Scientists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany have identified the four key enzymes used by these fungal bio-factories to produce their magical ingredients. To accomplish this, Dr. Dirk Hoffmeister and his team sequenced the entire genome of two psilocybin mushroom species, Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe cyanescens.

Even more impressive, they were able to splice the mushroom genes into E. coli bacteria so that they, too, could produce psilocybin.

The upshot? A remarkably effective “one-pot reaction” which takes a serotonin-like compound called 4-hydroxy-L-tryptophan and pumps out psilocybin.

The new method improves greatly upon the efficiency of the tried-and-true method of growing mushrooms, and lays the groundwork for industrial-scale psilocybin production.  

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Religious Leaders Tripping on Magic Mushrooms for Science http://psychedelicfrontier.com/religious-leaders-tripping-mushrooms/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/religious-leaders-tripping-mushrooms/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:00:55 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4065 Religious Leaders Tripping on Magic Mushrooms for Science

Among traditional cultures, psychedelic plants and fungi have long been viewed as spiritual medicines. Indeed, why partake of sacraments such as mushrooms, ayahuasca, or peyote cacti if not for their spiritual power? Yet in the West, where “spirituality” has long been conflated with religion — and where few sacraments aside from communion wafers and a bit of wine are acknowledged — these visionary plants have been viewed with suspicion.

That’s all changing. Among progressive scientists, psychedelics are now all the rage. Psilocybin, the active component of “magic” mushrooms, has shown promise in pilot studies for a wide range of applications, including quitting smoking and relieving anxiety among terminal cancer patients.

So in the midst of a “Psychedelic Renaissance,” it’s only fitting that researchers would turn their attention to the spiritual dimension of psychedelics. At Johns Hopkins University, 24 spiritual leaders — including Catholic priests, Protestant pastors, rabbis, and even a Zen Buddhist — are being dosed with psilocybin.

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New Study: Psychedelics Really Do Produce a Higher State of Consciousness http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-study-higher-state-consciousness/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-study-higher-state-consciousness/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:00:07 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3904 New Study: Psychedelics Really Do Produce a Higher State of Consciousness

Trippers, researchers, and abstainers alike have casually referred to the psychedelic experience as an “expanded” state of mind for many years. Even the terminology of being “high” implies a somehow raised form of consciousness.

Now, for the first time ever, researchers have found neurological evidence to support that view. In a study conducted at the University of Sussex and Imperial College, London, scientists discovered that psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, and even the dissociative ketamine all produce a “higher” state of consciousness.

But what does that mean? Previous research has shown that measures of “neural signal diversity” in the brain change depending on the “level” of consciousness. Put simply, the firing of neurons becomes more unpredictable and more random as a person becomes more conscious. For instance, someone who is awake and alert will exhibit more unpredictable neural patterns than someone who is asleep. A sleeping brain, in turn, shows greater complexity and randomness than a more unconscious brain, such as that of someone who has been knocked out with a general anesthetic.

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Psilocybin Healing http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-mushrooms-cured/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-mushrooms-cured/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:50:47 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3823 Psilocybin Healing

While traveling in Italy and Greece in 2006 I developed a sinus infection that got so bad that once back in the US it ruptured the lining of my sinuses and allowed a strep infection to travel unchecked into my brain and spinal column. Bacterial meningitis ravaged my brain as a 107° fever raged out of control. I spent a week in the hospital unconscious and on life support before my folks whisked me off to their farm for lots of rest and lots of organic food from their gardens. Years of challenging recovery led to more and more medications and to the eventual realization that all the doctors were ever going to be able to do for me was prescribe more medications or up the dosages of those I was already on.

In the years that followed the meningitis, information about psilocybin mushrooms kept coming across my radar.

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New species of lichen is apparently psychedelic: Dictyonema huaorani http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-species-lichen-dictyonema-huaorani/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-species-lichen-dictyonema-huaorani/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 14:15:43 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3752 New species of lichen is apparently psychedelic: Dictyonema huaorani

25 February 2015 — This article has been updated to better reflect the limitations of the study.

A new species of lichen has been discovered in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, according to a recent paper published in The Bryologist. Researchers led by lead author Michaela Schmull have tentatively identified tryptamine and psilocybin in the lichen, among other potential substances.

The story is a rather unusual one. There is only one known sample of the lichen in all of Western science, and it was collected in 1981 by ethnobotanists Wade Davis and Jim Yost while conducting research in Ecuador. In a 1983 paper describing their discovery of this lichen, Davis and Yost write:

In the spring of 1981, whilst we were engaged in ethnobotanical studies in eastern Ecuador, our attention was drawn to a most peculiar use of hallucinogens by the Waorani, a small isolated group of some 600 Indians.

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Psilocybin may help treat alcoholism, according to new study http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-alcoholism/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-alcoholism/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:04:46 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3650 Psilocybin may help treat alcoholism, according to new study

According to a new study published in Psychopharmacology, psilocybin may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. The research was conducted at the University of New Mexico by a research team including lead author Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, and Dr. Rick Strassman. Yes, that Rick Strassman — the one who performed pioneering DMT research in the 1990s and authored DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

With only ten human subjects, this was a “proof of concept” study — the researchers aimed to show that the drug is effective for treating alcohol dependence, and to provide a baseline for further studies.

“Although recent studies have investigated the effects of psilocybin in various populations,” the researchers write, “there have been no studies on the efficacy of psilocybin for alcohol dependence.” They set out to change that by dosing ten alcohol-dependent volunteers with psilocybin in supervised sessions. The ten subjects were also provided with ongoing Motivational Enhancement Therapy, as well as special therapy sessions aimed at preparing for and integrating the psychedelic experiences.

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A 1914 Trip Report of Psilocybin Mushrooms from Science Magazine http://psychedelicfrontier.com/1914-trip-report-psilocybin-mushrooms/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/1914-trip-report-psilocybin-mushrooms/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:44:31 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3007 A 1914 Trip Report of Psilocybin Mushrooms from Science Magazine

In the treasure troves of Erowid I found a very old experience report for psilocybin mushrooms — a ‘trip report’ from long before that term was coined. It predates mycologist R. Gordon Wasson’s groundbreaking article, Seeking the Magic Mushroom — which exposed psilocybin mushrooms to a much wider audience in 1957 — by over forty years. It is as funny as it is historically interesting, so I am taking the liberty of re-posting it.

Erowid Note: The following report is from the September 18, 1914 issue of Science magazine, generously contributed to Erowid by archivist Michael Horowitz, as a silvered, heavily-aged copy from old microfiche. This stands out as one of the earliest known experience reports for psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Although the author identifies the mushrooms as Panaeolus papilionaceus, Paul Stamets suggests that Verrill’s identification may have been wrong and the mushrooms might have instead been Panaeolus subbalteatus.

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All the Butterflies http://psychedelicfrontier.com/shrooms-thank-earth-you/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/shrooms-thank-earth-you/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:24:05 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3389 All the Butterflies

Thank Earth You is a memoir by Armand Daigle about his transformation from cubicle slave to a free-spirited creative force. In last week’s chapter, he embarked on a camping trip with three good friends — his wolf pack — and downed a heady brew of psilocybin mushrooms.

This week we share the next chapter, All the Butterflies, in which the mushrooms take effect! Armand calls it “the most important campfire in my twenty-eight years of existence.” If you like what you read, you can buy Thank Earth You here.

On our late afternoon descent, a phalanx of purples, dreams, triangles, oranges, and jellyfish races above us, fanning out from one horizon to another, never to be seen again. But riding in on the coattails to begin the opus of daylight is a new angelic horde of labyrinthine patterns and entangled rapture that’s destined to give the wolves yet another rich, chromatic performance.

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Power-up Pelt http://psychedelicfrontier.com/campfire-tripping-thank-earth-you/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/campfire-tripping-thank-earth-you/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:37:30 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3386 Power-up Pelt

Thank Earth You is a terrific memoir by Armand Daigle about his transformation from cubicle slave to a free-spirited creative force. Central to the story are two profound psychedelic experiences, one with mushrooms on a camping trip, and the other a traditional ayahuasca ceremony.

I interviewed Armand last week, and today we’re sharing a chapter of his memoir for free. In this chapter, Power-up Pelt, you get to know Armand’s wolf pack while witnessing the early stages of the mushroom trip that stretched his consciousness and changed his life.

You can buy Thank Earth You here.

 

The four of us are holding hands in a circle—one hand up, one hand down—seeking to find balance in the fold. After a moment of silence, Antonio says he wants us to speak our intentions and bless the journey we’re about to take.

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