037: Dr. Sarah Mennenga from NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory on Using Psilocybin to Treat Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is December 18, 2016, and we are discussing the recent publication of studies from NYU and Johns Hopkins showing that psilocybin can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients, and we’re pleased to be joined by Dr. Sarah Mennenga from the NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory.

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Topics:

  • We are grateful to be joined by Dr. Sarah Mennenga, Doctor of Neuroscience, NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory

  • NYU and Johns Hopkins just released studies showing that psilocybin can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients

  • 80 percent of participants showed significant reduction of anxiety and depression

  • “One theory is that psilocybin interrupts the circuitry of self-absorbed thinking that is so pronounced in depressed people, making way for a mystical experience of selfless unity” i.e. interrupting or disrupting the Default Mode Network?

  • What is the neurological basis for the geometric shapes and auditory effects that characterize the psilocybin experience. What part does suggestibility play in the experience?

  • The “intensity of the mystical experience described by patients correlated with the degree to which their depression and anxiety decreased” – Why is that? What is it about the nature of the psychedelic or mystical experience that does this?

    • Octavian Mihai “saw black smoke rising from my body”

    • Kevin, a participant in the Johns Hopkins study saw “spirals of iridescent spheres that folded in on themselves”. “But you have to approach the session with the right intentions of why you’re doing it. Because you’re going to meet yourself.”

  • Study protocols, and the unique considerations for psychedelic session
    • “seven-hour music playlists.[...] N.Y.U. leaned toward New Age and world music — Brian Eno; sitars; didgeridoos. Johns Hopkins favored Western classical.”

    • Chalice

    • Buddha statue

  • Collaboration among the few institutions doing psychedelic research
  • Criticism from the academic/scientific community?
  • Political concerns; safety concerns around legalization

  • Stigma in the academic community?

  • fMRI scanning during a psychedelic experience?

  • NYU seeking participants in two upcoming studies:

  • NYU seeking $10 million funding for center to study psychedelics

How to Help:

Further Reading:

 

036: Dr. Jami – Broaching Psychedelics with the Uninformed by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is October 23rd, 2016, and we are talking with, Dr. Jami, a psychologist in the Bay Area of California.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

To reach Jami, please get in touch with Entheogen.

Topics:

  • Jami’s professional experience with couples therapy, Imago, Attachment theory

  • Encounter-centered Couples Therapy (EcCT)

  • Burning Man experiences

  • Our Burning Man opening ceremony this year, incorporating a buddhist meditation and mindfulness exercise

  • Justin’s poem: “...and with the power of our Eucharist, the mystical compound more commonly known as lysergic acid diethylamide, we can, as smarter minds than mine describe, 'disrupt the default mode network' in our brain, allowing us to relish in our pleasure receptors, illuminating the interconnectedness of life, and urging us to, quite literally, trip the light fantastic.”

035: MAPS to Move Ahead with Phase 3 MDMA Trials by Joe

F.D.A. Agrees to New Trials for Ecstasy as Relief for PTSD Patients – NY Times, Nov 29, 2016

“It changed my life.”

It allowed me to see my trauma without fear or hesitation and finally process things and move forward." – study participant Ed Thompson

“There is now a clear path ahead to make MDMA a legal medicine for millions of people suffering from PTSD.” – MAPS Bulletin

MAPS needs to raise approximately $25-30 million (of which they’ve already raised more than $10 million) to complete these Phase 3 trials and all associated toxicity and pharmacology studies over the next 5 years. – NY Times

MAPS.org

034: Remastered: Interview with Rick Doblin, Alex Grey & Allyson Grey at Burning Man 2016 by Joe

Do we have a treat for you.

To welcome our new listeners, we present you a re-mastered special edition of the episode we recorded live at Burning Man on August 31, 2016, which features three pioneers and key drivers in the movement to mainstream psychedelic medicine.

Special thanks to Rod for the audio engineering!

Special note for Patreon supporters: you will get a special before-the-show "opening conversation". Check patreon.com/Entheogen.

Burning Man 2016

We had the great pleasure and honor to speak with three pioneers and key drivers in the movement to mainstream psychedelic medicine:

Alex Grey & Allyson Grey, co-founders of CoSM, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM.org).

Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS.org).

We thank deeply all three of our esteemed guests for their time and generosity of spirit.

We’d also like to thank Dr. Bronner’s ReFOAMation Village for their hospitality and Alex & Allyson for graciously hosting the recording in their RV.

Topics:

  • Alex & Allyson Grey’s take on the state of the movement to mainstream psychedelics

  • Has non-violence slowed our progress?

  • Alex & Allyson’s $2000 fine for cannabis possession upon entering Burning Man

  • Alex mentions Roland Griffiths’ reprisal of Walter Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment at Johns Hopkins University: Hopkins Scientists Show Hallucinogen In Mushrooms Creates Universal “Mystical” Experience

  • Rick Doblin discusses the improved relationship with Law Enforcement and the Burning Man organization including better integration of the Zendo Project at Burning Man 2016

  • Rick quotes Einstein: “There’s no conflict between science and religion. There’s a conflict between bad science and bad religion.”

  • Rick talks about how he sees psychedelics being integrated into society in 25 years

  • Rick discusses the “beautiful breakup” he had while on MDA

  • Rick compares MDA to MDMA

  • Allyson discusses her personal experiences with MDA and MDMA

  • The idea of patient self-titration

  • Alex, Allyson, and Rick discuss their milestones this year: 20 years since the founding of CoSM and 30 years since the founding of MAPS

  • Rick describes building a handball court at New College of Florida, overlooking the nudist colony where his girlfriend was lifeguarding

  • Rick discusses the first responders and veterans enrolled in the MDMA for PTSD study (“not just for hippies at Burning Man”)

  • Cannabis as a neuroprotective, anti-tumor agent (and it makes you feel better too)

  • Carl Sagan’s friendship with Lester Grinspoon

  • Carl Sagan’s secret use of cannabis for 40 years

  • Psychedelics and schizophrenia

  • Rick’s idea to create a “drug license” system

  • Time to “come out of the psychedelic closet”

  • MAPS organizes Global Psychedelic Dinners to encourage “coming out” about our psychedelic use

  • BuildEntheon.com

 

Thank you so much for listening to Entheogen and for supporting us on Patreon and for telling your friends.

Entheogen Listener Update: We Doubled our Reach in Two Months! by Joe

Wow. Did we call last month an inflection point? Now this is an inflection point!

Welcome new listeners – all 4,187 of you! Let us know who you are on Twitter or Facebook, post a comment, or send us an email!

Fun fact: we started the year with just over 4,000 listeners total, and we've just added that number in a single month. Thank you! And please keep spreading the word.

We're planning to redouble our efforts for Season 3 of Entheogen, and we need your help. Please support us on our new Patreon campaign by pledging to donate $2 or more per episode. It really helps!