THE FUTURE OF PSYCHEDELICS: Are LSD and Mushrooms The New Prozac?

Magic mushrooms can’t cure cancer, but they can alleviate the anxiety and existential dread that come along with the disease.

At least, that’s the apparent conclusion from a pair of studies published in late 2016, wherein participants who had been diagnosed with both cancer and clinical depression or anxiety were administered psilocybin mushrooms within a controlled, living room-esque environment.

The psychological effects of psilocybin were not only positive, but enduring. Most participants ranked the experience among the most meaningful of their lives, and six months after taking the dose, 65 percent had almost fully recovered from their depression, and 57 percent from their anxiety. In contrast, antidepressants have been observed to help only 40 percent of terminal cancer patients in past studies—making them about as effective as a placebo.

Read more at Dope Magazine

How Texas Tested Psychedelics on Death Row Inmates

Imagine you are an adult of the 1950s. Since this thought exercise places you in a saloon, let’s assume you are male. You have a crewcut and a wardrobe consisting of dark slacks and short-sleeved white shirts. Your drink of choice is bourbon and soda—and that’s your lone tipple.

Drugs are unthinkable. The mere mention of the word “reefer” conjures images of insanity, social decay and jazz musicians. (That speed habit you picked up during the war, when government-issued Benzedrine was available in your medical kit, doesn’t count.)

And then, one fateful night, after you knock back a tumbler of brown liquor, you smack your empty glass down on the bar—and everything, the glass, the bar and your hand, starts to melt and run together in a technicolor hellscape, all while a government agent—dressed exactly like you—watches and takes notes as your mind unspools and your reality comes apart.

Read more at High Times

Ice Cube to Produce Film about Dock Ellis: MLB’s Acid Tripping Pitcher

We have written about people doing extraordinary things while tripping on acid and about LSD helping with certain disorders, but frankly, baseball great Dock Ellis takes the cake.

Forty-seven years ago this week, one of the most important moments in baseball history was made when the Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher took to the mound and pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres—while tripping on acid.

Reporters at the game, who learned of Ellis’s feat 10 years later, said they couldn’t believe it.

Read more at High Times

How 100 LSD Therapy Sessions Helped Cary Grant Make Peace with his Past and Find Harmony

Just in case you didn’t make it over the the Cannes Film Festival this year, let’s at least talk about an amazing new documentary film about one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors—and about his 100 acid trips.

Becoming Cary Grant is a look at how the iconic actor’s meteoric rise seemed to shock himself most of all. One of his famous quotes was: “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”

And he wasn’t joking.

Read more at High Times

LSD Microdosing Study Will Pit the Human Brain Against Artificial Intelligence

Microdosing psychedelics has become quite popular these days. People who take small doses of LSD have said that it helps elevate their mood, increase focus, productivity—and some are even microdosing LSD to treat bipolar disorder.

Up to now, there has been precious little research done on the practice, but that’s about to change.

Researchers in the United Kingdom are undertaking the first-ever rigorous scientific study on the effectiveness of microdosing.

Read more at High Times

LAUGHING AND LEARNING ABOUT PSYCHEDELICS: Comedian Shane Mauss Combines Comedy and Science for “A Good Trip”

Comedian Shane Mauss started writing jokes at age 15, around the same time he first experimented with psychedelic drugs. Today he’s mined those experiences to create his most popular show yet, “A Good Trip,” using insights both comedic and scientific to discuss the myths and merits of psychedelics like LSD, DMT and psilocybin mushrooms.

Shane Mauss performs Conan, Episode 0408, May 02, 2013 Meghan Sinclair/Conaco, LLC for TBSDOPE Magazine: What inspired you to devote a whole show to psychedelics?

Shane Mauss: I like doing themed shows. I’ve been using psychedelics for 20 years, so I had the material to do a whole show, but I was nervous about outing myself as a psychedelic user. Then I performed at a show in Houston with no one there except other comics, so I started doing all the psychedelic jokes I could think of, and suddenly, an hour had gone by. So I started trying the show out.

Read more at Dope Magazine

This Is What LSD Looks Like When It’s in Your Brain

Scientists at the University of Carolina School of Medicine have, for the first time ever, crystallized a human serotonin receptor with an LSD molecule attached to it, which has offered incredible insight into how this powerful substance effects our brains, like why it lasts so long.

Since its discovery by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938, lysergic diethylamide (LSD) has remained arguably the most fascinating and mysterious drug in the history of drugs. The unique patterns of visual hallucinations and mind-blowing revelations seem logically impossible given the minute dose required for said effects.

Despite being one of the longest lasting psychedelic drugs available (we’ll admit, some 2C and 3C drugs have it beat on length, but not quality), virtually all of it leaves your body before you’ve even began to reflect on the sheer amazingness of the last 12 hours.

Read more at High Times

Research on LSD Reveals How The Brain Attributes Meaning

New research out of Switzerland used LSD to uncover how exactly the brain attributes emotional meaning to different aspects of life.

Their findings have important implications for psychiatric disorders, which are often characterized by distortions in personal relevance. In doing so, they also clearly identified how LSD acts on the brain to make people feel the way it does.

Scientists had patients listen to a series of songs and had them rate the level of personal meaning it instilled in them. Under the effects of LSD, stimuli that seemed previously meaningless all of a sudden had immense personal relevance. People under the effects of this powerful, long-lasting psychedelic drug often attribute great significance to events, objects or music around them with seemingly life-transcending influence. Neuroscientists previously thought that LSD acts mainly on dopamine receptors in the brain to make people trip, but this latest research has flipped that idea almost completely on its head.

Read more at High Times

Could Microdosing LSD Treat Bipolar Disorder?

In her new book, Ayelet Waldman says she’d been “held hostage by the vagaries of mood” throughout her entire life. Psychotropic meds and all manner of treatment never did the job. So she decided to try LSD.

 A Really Good Day is Waldman’s first-person account of her month-long adventure into microdosing LSD. In the preface, Waldman tells readers that she was diagnosed years ago with a variant of bipolar disorder.

“When my mood is good, I am cheerful, productive and affectionate,” Waldman writes. “I sparkle at parties, I write decent sentences, I have what the kids call swag. When my mood swings, however, I am beset by self-loathing and knotted with guilt and shame.”

Read more at High Times