Melissa Lavasani never expected to grow psychedelic mushrooms in her Washington, DC, home or became a force behind a successful measure that makes farming and plant and fungi possession the lowest priority for local police and prosecutors.
But the mother of two became desperate in 2018 as her mental health sparked a long battle with postpartum depression and chronic pain. He had tried everything: antidepressant, talk therapy, meditation and even cupping. None of it was working.
After hearing a podcast about the use of psilocybin, Lavasani, a naturally occurring chemical compound found in certain types of mushrooms, became part of a movement he was not intended to be involved in.
“People are coming out of the psychedelic closet now, but that’s a risk for you,” she said. “It has a stigma.”
Due to the growing body of research and greater acceptance of cannabis for recreation and medicine, psychedelics are experiencing a renaissance as voters and legalists reconsider the so-called war on drugs.
When voters in Washington, DC passed Measure 81 on November 81, their counterparts in Oregon approved a voting initiative to legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings. The Canadian Health Minister recently granted permission to four Divyang patients to use Psilocybin to treat life anxiety.
In California, state Sen. Scott Wener, D-San Francisco, said last week that it would introduce a bill next year to decriminalize psychedelics. In New Jersey, lawmakers on Thursday amended a cannabis bill that included language that would reduce penalties for keeping up to one ounce of mushrooms.
The cities of Oakland, California and Denver adopted a resolution to decriminalize each mushroom in 2019.
Weiner said he was encouraged by developments around the country and is talking with experts about how his proposal should be taken, the Associated Press reported. They said they were leaning toward Oregon’s supervision-use approach while allowing the use of synthetic psychedelics such as LSD.
Weiner, who stated that they do not themselves take psychedelics, mentioned that cultures around the world have been using them since the beginning of time.
“Any substance can be harmful, so I’m not suggesting that anything is like nirvana,” he said. “But we know that psychedelics can be used safely. We know that they have important medicinal uses. “
For Lavasani, the mushroom proved to be a revelation.
After delivering a healthy baby in 2017, Lavasani, a budget officer in the district’s Department of Energy and Environment, began to hear voices and experience panic attacks. She gradually spent less time with her husband and children. In the end she was afraid that she would take her own life.
Worried, a friend recommended listening to an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” featuring mycologist Paul Stamets, who detailed the mushroom’s advantages. Looking back, Lavsani calls it his “Hell Mary” moment.
“It blew my mind a little bit,” he said. “I try to keep my life as natural as possible. I eat well, try not to use too many chemicals at home. It made sense to me. “
Lavasani and her husband took to the internet for tutorials on how to grow the fungus at home. He devoted the top shelf of his bedroom’s wardrobe to experimentation and woke up through trial and error before the mushroom blossomed.
First, Lavasani, who had never used psychedelics, only took small doses of fungi, or microdoses. She said it was like “waking up after a great night’s sleep”.
As Lavasani became more comfortable with mushrooms, she decided to experiment with Ayurvedic medicine, a psychoactive tea that is often swallowed during shamanistic rituals. She attended some guided ceremonies and returned home with a fresh outlook.
“Mental health issues are not resolved in our health care system,” she said. “I think people are fed up with prescribed drugs that don’t work.”
Medical hallucinations have been studied in the US since the discovery of LSD in the 1940s. But when psychedelics became illegal in the 1960s, research stalled. Renewed interest over the past 20 years as institutions around the world, including Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, received regulatory approval for kickstart research in the field.
Medical associations appear largely united in supporting more studies and psychedelic treatments. The American Psychiatric Association opposed Oregon’s measurements, but only because the psilocobin has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and requires more scientific understanding.
Nevertheless, advocates and researchers have begun to recommend mushrooms, ketamine, a prescription painkiller and sedative and MDMA, sometimes called by its street name ecstasy, including depression, PTSD, and mental health. To treat a host of disorders.
In a recent study by Johns Hopkins, researchers found that psilocybin, the active ingredient found in silotherapy, was more effective in treating major depressive disorder than traditional antidepressants.
Participants in the study received two doses of psilocybin week between August 2017 and April 2019. Dosing was facilitated in a spontaneous, supervised setting, in which physical or emotional support was offered when needed. Each treatment, including assisted psychotherapy, lay on a couch with participants for about 11 hours, wearing eyeshadow and listening to music on headphones.
“The magnitude of the effect we saw was four times larger than in clinical trials for traditional antidepressants,” said study co-author Ellen Davis and a faculty member at Johns Hopkins Medical School. “Because most other depression treatments take weeks or months to work and may have undesirable effects, it can be a game changer if these findings are included in future ‘gold-standard’ placebo-controlled clinical trials Be. “
In a separate Johns Hopkins study, patients received synthetic silocobins to help with depression and anxiety related to cancer. Eighty percent said their symptoms had faded and the effects lasted for six months.
An addiction specialist at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Evan Wood stated that psychedelic therapy is radical because it aims to treat disorders by not just managing them.
“If you look at existing medicines to treat mental health disorders, many of them are very addictive, others have bad side effects,” he said. “These treatments are not about symptom management – it’s about disorders with a motivational intent.”
Recent Johns Hopkins research comes less than two years after the FDA approved ketamine-containing nasal sprays for treatment-resistant depression.
Jackie Stang, a Southern California resident and co-founder of Dalek Corp, a company focused on destroying psychedelics, has been using doctor-prescribed ketamine since last year to treat her anxiety and depression Used to be. When combined with psychiatry, ketamine has done more for him in a year than in the lifespan of traditional medicines.
“It takes the doubt demon away on your shoulder and locks it in the closet,” he said.
Psychedelics clinics began popping up nationwide after the FDA approved ketamine nasal spray. Field Trip Health, a Toronto company, has three locations in the US where patients can combine talk therapy with medication.
According to Ronan Levy, co-founder and executive chairman of Field Trip, the experience is often more like a luxury spa than a rain and nightclub. He credits the cannabis industry with the emergence of a legal psychedelic market driven by science activism.
“Supportive medicine is as important as medicine,” he said. “That’s where the magic happens.”
Kevin Matthews, the driving force behind Denver’s decriminalization effort, described a “fog raising” when he started using silocobins to treat his depression. The former West Point cadet was forced to leave the academy in 2008, a year after graduation, as his mental health was declining.
He replaced mushrooms first for fun and then for welfare. Eventually, he distanced himself from sleep aids and antidepressants. He remembers his initial experience with Psilocybin as “joyful”, yet challenging. He cried, but he “plugged back into life”, a feeling that was erased when he was taking traditional pharmaceuticals.
“Drugs are winning the drug war right now,” he said. “Be prepared to see a lot for it.”