How's everybody doing? Welcome, welcome. You're listening to the mushroom revival podcast. I'm your host, Alex Dora. And I love mushrooms. We love diving deep into the mystical, wonderful, wacky,
miraculous world of fungi and mushrooms and bringing on experts and guests from all around the world to geek out with us and go down that mushroom rabbit hole. So today we have CJ, how're you doing? I'm doing well. How you doing? Alex? Awesome. Awesome. I'm really excited to bring you on microdosing is, is a big topic right now. And I think you bring a lot of insight into a lot of areas that people aren't talking about, which I think are incredibly important with your medical background. And so let's dive into it. Who are you? What are you doing? So I must CJ Spottswood. I'm a psychiatric nurse practitioner,
I would have to say I also go online as the name of the field nurse. I've been doing psych nursing for over 20 years. In the last couple of years, I've transitioned into a psychiatric nurse practitioner, which if anyone that's listening, isn't aware of what that is. That is I'm a medical provider, I have an Advanced Practice degree. So I diagnose I treat. I prescribe medications. I do psychotherapy, with patients for mental health purposes. I have a practice here in Central Maine, I've got a couple 100 patients and I treat people for all ages from children up to geriatric and all sorts of mental health conditions from depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, substance use disorders have across the whole spectrum. So it's really been really exciting with that a little more of my background a little more specific for this.
I've been a like I said psychiatric nurse for over 20 years in the last five years or so I've kind of gone down the rabbit hole of doing psychedelic education and doing in providing psychedelic education, which has been really a fun fun thing. My undergrad nursing degree was a I went to a holistic School of Nursing, I didn't even realize what it was at the time. I just knew that the diff, that the courses were different what because I was taking classes like Reiki for nursing, yoga for nurses, things like that, and really talking about treating the whole person instead of just a medical condition, which is, which I find is really exciting about doing. The difference is it's not like the medical model necessarily where, you know, we treat like someone breaks their leg, we end up treating that broken leg. It's really like, Okay, how is this affecting your life? What are the things that we looking at? How does that affect the person, the family, the family structure, etc. I've, I've had the privilege of being I was in psychedelics, today's navigating psychedelics course, I've now teaching with that. And I'm also been teaching their vital education now their year long certificate program with them. I've also been in the the California Institute of integral sciences, the CIS see PTR program, which is a year long certificate program for psychedelic therapists and research with the maps MDMA training portion with it.
That's wrapping up here now. So I've really kind of done a lot of different things with this nursing degree that I'd never thought was going to be possible. I never knew that was even a thing until it started rolling. So yeah, the one of the holistic School of Nursing and it's one of the one I went to is like one of 15 in the country. So I can be board certified in holistic nursing, which I think is where the psychedelic piece really kind of comes in, because it is so radically, radically different.
And then what you know, with this, here today, about a year and a half ago, I end or about a year ago, I wrote and then I ended up this April, published my book, The microdosing. guidebook,
which you just send to me and I'm really excited about I was reading more of it last night, and it's, it's an amazing book, I feel like it's incredibly succinct. I love the way you laid it out. There are sections in there especially a lot of the drug interactions and things like that where I've actually never seen that in anywhere. So that was really, really cool to see an author write about and someone speak about which, you know, most people out there just like everyone should microdose take the you know, the Fadiman protocol and follow a standard stack and you know, it's gonna be great for you and they say the same thing over and over again, but I think
yeah, I love what you're
We're talking about and I want to dive a little deeper into this episode for the people who who haven't.
before. So, just to start out on your journey, were you a nurse first and then you got into psychedelics or psychedelics first. And then you knew that you wanted to weave that in.
will say over the years, I've had some fun, fun experiences, where I've kind of come, but where I've really gotten into making it
approachable, the education and the research and all that has been in about the last five years. And I guess the kind of the little bit of the story of that is about six years ago actually had a patient come in to my emergency department at that time, I was working as a nurse in the emergency department. And this guy had his first psychotic break in his mid mid to late 50s.
Didn't really know the patient. So we did a full workup medically of him trying to figure out what was going on. Was this altered mental status, medically induced, et cetera, and talking with him? Like he was pretty psychotic, he couldn't answer the questions talking with the family doing drug screens, nothing kind of came up. And as we treated him about a day or two later, he had finally he admitted that he had been dosing on the penis MD mushroom to help did a macro dose of that trying to help his your attractable depression, and or Tifa Sorry to cut you off for people who don't know what that is. Because I just had this conversation was actually my, my brother and his wife had no idea what that was. Penis Envy is a strain of,
or a variety of psilocybin cubensis mushrooms. So it's, it's a magic mushroom variety that got that name just
Well, I know there's gonna be some at least one listener, there's gonna be like, wait, what? And that's the that's the common The thing is, because when he told me that I was like, Okay, I've got to look this up. So when I look, of course, looked it up. I was like, as soon as I google search to that work, I'm like, now when I have, you know, I'm gonna get a call from HR going, Why are you looking this up? And what is this? But
yeah, but what was really exciting is when I google search that I ended up going down the rabbit hole very quickly, because the only real major stuff at the time that was talking about that one that was readily available, was some of Hamilton Morris's work, where he was looking at and his story in Harper's Magazine of the blood spore in the mycologist. Steven Paul is a great story, amazing story. And that really kind of set me into going, what is this? So like, of course, I went into reading all of the literature that he had published, and then went into all of the literature that was published, that he had cited in his paper, and went down that rabbit hole. And and I guess it's kind of important to also point out here is, when I did that, this was before Michael Pollan's book came out. So like, I'm doing all of this research and reading all of this stuff. And, and kind of for me, it was like, I knew of the early research, like hypothetically, from growing up and learning about this stuff and everything else. But it was, it wasn't something that was kind of taboo, no one was talking about it. So I got into the early research and doing that. And then Michael Pollan's book came out. And as a result of that, I ended up putting in a paper to present at a national conference on psychedelics, in psychiatry, and the history of it, which blew up I didn't know how that was going to go, when I went to this conference of like, over 500 people, and like, absent there, I was, like, Are people gonna I'm talking to like, Psych nurses and substance use nurses and like, are they going to be open to this? Am I committing career suicide during this time, you know, and it was, like I said, like, 500 people, people were sitting on the floor standing up around, it was sold out. And the rest of the week, as I was talking about these drugs being such healing properties, people in the in the group that I'm talking to, the older people were kind of going haha, yep. Like they knew. Like, it was like, Yeah, of course, we know. You guys aren't even asking us anymore, because everyone else is now the war on drugs. And you know, this is your brain on drugs of the 80s has changed all their thoughts in the in the negative way. So the rest of the week, people were coming up to me and kind of like, Hey, you're the mushroom nurse. Like, we're glad that you're talking about it. And I was just like, I guess I'm onto something here. And that's when I felt like I need to really get into more education and doing my part to kind of learn and teach other people and kind of grow because there is a mix. There is no market for this. No one's doing this at this time.
So I know you just listened to the episode I did with James Fadiman. And something that's come up with me with the whole talk about micro dosing, and from my experience for the last 10 or so years micro dosing myself is this concept of sub perceptual doses versus perceptual doses.
I talked about this with
With Mr. Fadiman, on on the on the episode of, you know, there's a ton of papers coming out about sub perceptual doses being pretty much the same as placebo, during double blind placebo controlled studies, however, the people get amazing benefits, whether whether they're actually take whether they're taking a sugar pill or not.
And so, in the end, great, you know, whether whether it is sub perceptual and, and, you know, on a biochemistry, chemical level, or whatever you call it, it's not actually from the mushrooms, as long as people are getting the benefits. Great. But what is your thought process around that? When when you? I don't know if you can prescribe that currently in Maine, or or
in your own practice? Like, what what are you going for in a microdose? Yeah, and how do you define that? So there's a couple of things I want to unpack before I get to that answer. Because one, I want to just say, you know, Dr. Fadiman talk on here was absolutely fantastic. And I really, I think that's a great talk to kind of one two with this with this one. So people kind of get a little bit more of the background for it.
When it comes to micro dosing, you know, I have to say, how I got into doing the microdose, specifically, I think is kind of important. Because I ended up a I had a friend that reached out and she was doing microdose coaching. And she was like, I'm getting asked all these questions about med on med interactions, medical conditions, can I do this? Can I do that? And I'm over my head. I'm not I'm not qualified to answer that. And I know that you with your background and in nursing and in your background, would you be willing to kind of jump in to do this with me? And I was like, Oh, I don't know. Because I was kind of torn on it. As for the point of, you know, everything I knew at this point, and I knew air quotes was this is a placebo, and this isn't doing anything. So I was kind of like, ethically Can I do this or not? So as I started getting into doing the research myself and kind of looking at it, I'm going, we've got research about using these micro dose amounts and these low dose amounts. That is, in the early literature that people are, are not referencing people aren't even making acknowledgement of I mean, when we found out in the early papers in the 50s, into the 60s there, they found a threshold dose, which is like the minimum amount that you feel something, obviously, obviously, then there's something for LSD for LSD. Yeah, the threshold dose, what is it? 25 milligrams, it's like 13 or 15, somewhere in that even even a little bit lower than that. So I was kind of like, you know, if there's something going on here, and then reading some of the other people, the literature that was there was talking about how they were researching using it for helping with psychoanalytic psychotherapy. There was a there was a site psychiatrist out of Germany, because they loved doing the psychoanalytic work over there at the time, and was encouraging his people to use it before they started psychotherapy. And he saw better results for those using like 25 to 50 mics and having better results and people were doing better. And it's like, how do you measure this? So I felt like a lot of the literature that wasn't there was either they're given the small doses, and they didn't see anything. So they're escalating doses up, which are they knowing what they're measuring? Are they knowing what they're seeing? And if they don't, are they just kind of glossing over without anything going on? And I'm kind of I was kind of like, you know, why? Why is this in Torsen pasties book the history of micro dosing I think is another one that's under under cited. It he talks about, like there was there was a group that was using and handing out micro doses in the I believe it was the late 60s or early 70s of LSD for people to help with with with treatment resistant depression, like back then. So as I'm reading this stuff, I'm going Of course, I'm going to get into this, like this is exciting. So I started doing the group with her. We had I was doing some coaching and kind of like keeping my own questions that people were asking and coming up with. And as I did that, I ended up putting these questions into this quick handbook. My thought was, if I have this quick handbook, it'll just save time for people as they read it. And when we meet, they have some of the answers there. And we can kind of talk about it, you know, so I put together this handbook. And as I was doing that I had this thought one of the questions I had, one of the things I said to them was, I encourage you to I'm not giving you medical advice. You are not my patient. I am not your provider. There is none of this level here. But I encourage you to talk to your providers about this. In one study, there was about
20 People 20% of people were actually talking to their medical providers about it. So, you know, people were doing it. And I, so I said, you know, I'm not giving you medical advice, but bring this handbook, bring this handbook to medical provider, give this to them, and they can research it, and they can give you answers. And at that moment, that little light bulb came up above my head that way, Oh, crap, like, this is bigger than what I thought like this, I'm putting together if this was my patient, and I, they wanted me and they brought me this book, this is what I would want. And I was like, this is where I need to kind of get going with this, this is, this is going to be this can be so useful. So many people, because of the amount of people doing microdose coaching, and people wanting to do it without paying for coaching, like, you know, I've seen the prices for coaches,
being anywhere from like, relatively inexpensive to nothing to be a huge amount for that individual. Whereas if someone wanted to do this, for 20 bucks, you know, if they can get access to whatever they're doing, and answering some of these questions, they could do it, I want to make it approachable for them.
So, and for in my experience of dealing with doctors throughout all the years, I found that if I can't talk about this with any, you know, whether they are more holistic or not, even if they say hey, like, I'm not, I can't legally condone this, but do your thing. And here's the research.
If they have to say in a way where they go around legal loopholes, you know, that that's fine. But
in my experience, if I come across a doctor who's
just incredibly opposed to it, then I'm like, okay, then you're, you're not looking out for my best interest. And, and not looking at the side effects of, you know, the other prescribe drugs and, and all the other things. So that's, that's just my, that's just my experience dealing with, you know, the, the Western medicine framework, but to your right, and I think and I think you're right, and that's where, like when I put this book together, I you know, I wrote it, like a thesis statement is the thesis to start with. So I cited all of my stuff. And when I talked to the publisher, they're editing, they're like, you don't need to put all this stuff in there, you can cut this out which cut pages for taking out just some of the citations, because they're like, you're telling people how to go about this. And I was like, but there's stuff in here, I need to have, I need to have the references there. So like people can go to, and that's where kind of the answer was really making that differentiation of the first part, being approachable to the average person. And then the second part for the medical provider that's looking to do it. And I ended up taking that second step to that and kind of like writing like, here's my conversation with like provider to provider, like, you have a patient who is coming to you to talk about this. They're excited about this by not having it you're a ruining your poor, and B, you can have more harm that's happening if they if you're just kind of putting up those barriers, because they don't want to have those conversations. And that's the common question I get from people like how can you go about doing this? Like this is kind of radical, like, are you worried about your licensing your board and all of that, and it's kind of like, no, because I'm giving the information out there into a handy package that they can have, I have conversations with patients every day about, you know, quitting smoking, decreasing their alcohol intake, if someone's using opioid medications have a Narcan kit, you know, no needle sharing, having a clean, having a clean, so that we have in our we have in our practice already this harm reduction model. So I felt that this book was more of a risk reduction. And I like to call risk reduction, because in some psychedelic substances aren't inherently harmful, there's risks involved, but they're not harmful. And kind of having that there can help build that rapport and people can know where it is. And I also put in there some companies or not companies, but agencies in places to get more education on this, that I'm that I have a vested interest with either companies that I've kind of gone to, like cis working with psychedelics today, psychedelic dot support.
Ben Malcolm, the spirit pharmacist,
people like that, and where some of this vested interest is, like, here, you want to go learn more, you can learn it, because I think that we, we, in the psychedelic field, know what we know. And we become kind of, we feel that there's a privilege to that, like, we just feel everyone's speaking the same language and everyone knows we're talking about meanwhile, the average person, when you talk about psilocybin, they might go, Oh, I saw this thing on 60 minutes with Anderson Cooper, that looks interesting. And that's that's what they know. And they know that there's some healing properties, but they don't know anything further. And like, that's where the average doctor that's coming out of school. Has that coming out with the this is the war on drugs, and these are psychedelic. These are substances that are unlike anything else, and they just don't know and they just need to get up until we started having these as conversation
She has an education in schools themselves, that people just aren't going to understand or comprehend that.
Oh, yeah, I mean, the dare programs are
I am thankful that it it deterred me away from like meth and heroin. And, you know, all they're really gnarly drugs, but at the same hand, I feel like I had to do a lot of unlearning when it came to, you know, LSD, mushrooms. Yeah. We, yeah, you know, I mean, yeah, LSD can be laced with a bunch of stuff. And same with MDMA, when it's a chemical but like, mushrooms are mushrooms, you know, like, there's natural, no, fentanyl and mushrooms, you know? No, no. And that's, and that's where it's really I think it's, you know, that's the nice thing about with, with micro dosing is as a as a knock on option. Yes, knock on wood, there is those horror stories that I always take with a grain of salt of like, marijuana having, you know, fentanyl, and this and that, and it's like, okay, but there could be, you know, I guess people could still put, you know, razor blades and candy, you know, whatever. Yeah, but, but, but, ya know, like, for me, it's kind of like, you know, one great thing about psychedelics, specifically with psilocybin, you know, and I'm not, I guess I should start with, I'm not condoning anyone breaking any laws. But hypothetically, from what I've heard, it's very easy to obtain spores, and then grow them and inexpensively for like, probably under 40 bucks if someone really wanted to, and have them. And where this is an option. Because I was at my training recently, I was talking to another nurse, who, during COVID, in the lockdown, she was never established with the site provider, or PCP. And she was depressed. And she says, I need to start my SSRI again, like I was on this in the past, it worked for me, it worked well, but she couldn't get a prescriber to even do it, because she wasn't established. So she started micro dosing and having effect and got better with it. So you know, there's that privilege, I think that sometimes we forget that not everyone has access to even regular medicines, because of the American amazing healthcare system that we have. That's very profit driven, and insurance companies and all that. It's in its in its problem. And I'm sure I haven't even looked up this statistics, but I know that, you know, the rate of depression and anxiety has skyrocketed since COVID. And I'm sure, I haven't looked it up the numbers, but I would guess that more more people have been prescribed SSRIs and, you know, anti anxiety and depression meds and things like that.
Let's talk about maybe some interactions. Okay. We all, we all heard the story I microdosing is amazing. But on on the flip side, it being cautious and being smart.
For people on prescription medication, what things maybe should they, if they're on it, they should stay away from it or lower? or raise their their starting dose, etc? Well, I think I want to start if we're gonna start talking about medicine, I want to, like preface this with, you know, I do, if someone medical advice,
hey, that wasn't exactly that wasn't what I was gonna say was, the bigger thing was, you know, I want to preface that I'm not biased against medications. And that's that I think if someone jumps into the middle and catches this, they might go, Oh, you're anti drug. I'm not anti medication. I mean, I'd be a hypocrite to say that, because I prescribed medications every day for many, many things, and many people have had huge benefit from it. That being said, some people don't have benefit from standardized medications. And there's, you know, and if someone doesn't want that they should have the option to go and use these other ones.
So I guess that's kind of the preface to start. The kind of the, the big thing, you know, is kind of looking at what are what are they trying to treat, you know, what is it that someone's trying to treat because when it comes to microdosing, there's really like three, three things, they're trying to
fix something medically that's going on wrong with them, either being depression or physical symptoms, things like that. They're trying to have a personal improvement of some sort, which could be like decreasing anxiety, focus, concentration, having better creativity, etc. Or the third reason that someone might be as to come off of medications or drugs like to come off of their antidepressants and switch over to this potentially. And I think all reasons that people are doing this is one of those three reasons. So looking at, you know, before someone comes off, like if someone wants to go off of their antidepressants and go on to this, I think part of the question is, is what's it look like risk benefit of coming off of their antidepressants, because you know, even with all the medications having some side effects, there's also side effects that can come with people's rapidly stopping
them being brain zaps, withdrawal symptoms, nausea, increased agitation, anxiety, increased depression, suicidal thoughts, things like that. And that's where I think it's important to have that your medical provider and teaming up with them to kind of go, I want to come off of them. I mean, if you don't, if you choose not to disclose that you're going to do, you're going to microdose that's up to you, I guess. But you at least have that conversation, you're coming off of the mat.
Really, with a lot of the antidepressant medications that work on the serotonin system. So like the SSRIs or SNRIs, relatively, they're safe to interact. There's basically I don't want to say zero because, you know, there's always a snowball's chance in hell that something could happen. But there has not been a chant anything where anyone has done micro doses or macro doses that in with psilocybin or LSD, specifically with antidepressant medications and causing a serotonin syndrome, so that's a good thing. You know, serotonin syndrome is when there's too much serotonin temperate, typically, we'll see if someone has taking an overdose of SSRIs work on numerous medications that act on that serotonin system, at the same time, can end up having nausea, hyper hyperthermia, convulsions,
it's considered a medical emergency. That's why when people are doing, like an Ayahuasca journey, and they're coming off of it, because one of the drugs in there the MA ally, that prevents the breakdown can cause the serotonin syndrome. So really, with SSRIs, there is no major risk necessarily, to have any problems. That being said, some people might have to, if they're still taking it, if they're doing me, SSRI, with the micro dosing concurrently, they might need to increase the micro dosing amounts, because there might be some,
some blockages that are happening there, that's kind of preventing the full dose of the micro dose getting in, really, and that's kind of one of the challenges in doing the research for this book and putting it together was, there's not a lot, there's literally zero research on concurrent use with micro doses. So as I did it, I am putting the research together, you know, a lot of it was looking at macro doses with medications, and then extrapolating it down to micro dose amounts, you know, because it is such a miniscule amount that people are doing, and being that sub perceptual sub hallucinating, Tory, whatever you want to call it.
So the relatively safe kind of one of the big ones to know go with it would be lithium, lithium being a mood stabilizer, probably the most natural medicine that's out there, because it is on the periodic table. But in macro doses, people have had more increased problems, up to even having convulsions and having seizures with lithium with with full dose, like psychedelic. So, you know, I would have to say with that, you know, extrapolating that down to the microdose amounts, it probably just be better not to want to, there's a few papers that are published on that as being a problem. Whereas if other people are doing, like the medication Lamotrigine, which is a mood stabilizer, it's used for mood stabilization for bipolar as well, that one that can be safely taken together.
And with like Lamotrigine, it is hard to take some time to kind of build up because of the it can cause a rash that can be life threatening if someone doesn't go slowly with the dosing. And so stopping it would be too problematic. So it's better you know, harm reduction, wise reprise, stay on that medication and do them together. Other medications kind of specifically, I think, have to kind of question is a lot of like, the well, I guess I'll start with kind of, it's kind of problematic when we know of mad and people refer to it as a sleep medication or a metaphor to their depression or whatever. Because a lot of times we use prescribers might prescribe a medication off label, meaning it's not for the FDA approved indication, right? Like one of the medications I'm thinking of specifically like medication Trazodone
is on that right now. I was just thinking of that same thing. Yeah, I looked it up. And I was like, No, that's exactly what I was thinking. Um, because yeah, I'll let you talk about it. So yeah, so So Trazodone is is it's not a good antidepressant like that is what it's prescribed for, but it doesn't it's not. There's better medications out there for anti depression, but it has a wonderful side effect that it can help someone induce being sleepy. So I use it off label all the time as a medication because it has minimal interactions, and I'll prescribe it for sleep indication to help them sleep off label
Trazodone is because of the way it works, it can block that serotonin to a receptor, which I guess probably should have even talked about what micro dosing is. It's affecting that serotonin to a receptor, it kind of acts on that. So it might decrease the amount of that's available for micro dosing amounts to that. So you block it. And that be, you know, if someone just knows as an antidepressant, then don't think about that it's, you know, what it actually does, they might not take that into consideration. So that's one, that's one, I have people who are looking at micro dosing, who might be on Trazodone, and they take it every night for sleep, they might want to I, what I might encourage them is not taking it the night before they microdose because then you can get rid of maybe that possibility that it might block the microdose the next day. Other medications I think of like I said, off label use, sometimes people will use off label anti psychotic medications, such as quit typing, for sleep, or using air for Brazil as adjunct for depression. Other Other names I guess, I'm not at an academic place right now. So I could say would be Seroquel is quit typing. And Abilify is air for Brazil. They also kind of act on that as well. So the great locket, they are They absolutely are just trying to remember like flippers.
Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, so some of these like in their classifies anti psychotic, but people might use them off label for depression, or to use it for, for sleep. And those can kind of block some of it. So and I kind of, and that's where I put it in the book was kind of like, you know, in the section for providers specifically. But if someone was to kind of go in there, I think it's approachable enough for them to kind of go, Oh, I'm on this. How do I tease this out? Maybe. But really, overall, fairly safe. Overall, for it fairly safe to take pretty much a lot of medications. I know, Doc Fadiman has on his list, from his experience on, on his website, more specific, some of the ones that people have had interactions to that they've said that they haven't gone. But there's really, it's either for a lot of these medicines, when you're doing it, it's either it might block it a little bit, or it might not do anything at all. But really, other than really the lithium, that's kind of the big one, I really encourage people not to do at the same time together.
And it's a little sidenote, if anyone's wondering why my dog's on Trazodone, she just got sprayed, which I
conflicted of for the last like almost two years of whether I wanted to do it, because who am I to do like remove to Oregon's without her consent and whole thing, but it elongates her life to yours and all the other things. So I'm still conflicted about it. But she's in recovery right now. And that was the medication that she was put on. And I was doing research on it and was like, what the weird it was approved for this. But now they're, they're giving it to a dog and recovery. And it's like, Why, yeah, so I went down a rabbit hole on that particularly. So I'm glad you brought that up.
On the flip side, so we're talking about medications. And so lithium is also prescribed for a lot of people with, you know, bipolar or schizophrenia, which I know are kind of the big two, that for all psychedelics, everyone's just says, Don't mix them, you know, yeah, so what about on the other side of
you know, anything that that people have, that you wouldn't conditions or disorders that people have, that you just shouldn't have psychedelics, or be extremely careful of? So what, you know, that really kind of opens up, you know, the, the big question here, and kind of I know that when you were talking with Dr. Fadiman, you're talking about like the research out there in the real world evidence, stuff like that.
Really, when we think about what's going, what we know, in research is, is based on either, you know, some of these early studies, and all of the stuff that we've learned from real world evidence, or what's being done in these clinical trials, and unfortunately, most of the clinical trials that we've been seeing, you know, out of Hopkins, NYU, the Yale big ones like that, are are really, they they don't want to have any side effects. They don't want to have any negative outcomes with it. So lots of times they cut out individuals that have a history of psychosis, schizophrenia, or even with for first generation, one, once removed type of people that have that in their history as well. And unfortunately, with that, that that cuts a lot of people out. If you go through like the early research, there's the guidelines that Hopkins put out Matt Johnson and team I think was 2008 talking about the guidelines for psychedelic therapists. It really goes
into a lot of the in that people that have high blood pressure if they have high blood pressure, numerous times in a row with a psychosis piece to it, so it denies it. And luckily, with the research, as we've seen it getting safer, people are getting a little more robust with allowing the research and participants to come in. So we're finding out more. So really, once I'd really be I'm really, I probably would say, probably stay away from would be someone who might have schizophrenia.
Because that says or has a history of psychosis. That's not not drug induced psychosis, I guess. That's the kind of the way to differentiate. But that being said, you know, a lot of people also say people with bipolar and I think that this is an area, like if so, Bipolar depression is notoriously difficult to treat a lot of people because most of the treatment options out there for depression are these antidepressant medications such as the SSRIs, which we know can induce manic type of episodes for individuals, and kind of
D, destabilize them to the point where they might end up becoming fully manic and needing a hospitalization to life, clinician clinicians won't do that.
I have some patients I do have on SSRIs that have Bipolar depression, just for the fact that without that their depression is horrible. And really, it comes back to that maca valium piece at the beginning where they had mentioned kind of like the ends justify the means. Like if someone has severe depression that's on left untreated, unfortunately, the side effect could be that they kill themselves, the suicide is there. And you know, it's kind of like balanced the balancing act of that. So I think,
you know, we need to take that consideration one of the great talks, I'm thinking of an episode of psychedelics today with Dr. Benjamin budge, who is a doctor who also has bipolar, and he's looking at trying to find ways for Iosco to help with Bipolar depression, because he knows so many people who has died at their own hands untreated, I think that someone who has bipolar depression, you know, it might be beneficial for them because a it works differently, it hits that serotonin to a, it doesn't act so much on bumping that surge, the serotonin in the brain loves the amounts in the brain, it doesn't get artificially put them in like the antidepressants do, and changing the transporters and keeping that level there. But it kind of changes the thinking changes the way that we think about things around us and how we interact differently. And get also maybe that bump in the lifting of the mood as well. So I what I I kind of recommend I kind of talked about the book a little bit is, if someone's looking to do it, you know, maybe that part of the journaling, which I think is very important to kind of like kind of track your mood and see where you're at, and kind of maybe even having someone who's working with you to kind of help track your mood with you and kind of they can kind of step in and go, Hey, Alex, you know, your moods a little bit too high? You know, do you think that maybe we need to kind of keep an eye on this, because you're seeming to have some of these symptoms here. Because you know, you might not catch it yourself, you're just feeling better. So that might be you know, a way of kind of safety, improving that I know, Ala Wai let really good day she is she talked about using
micro dosing to help her with her depression. And she did disclose that she also had bipolar depression in a couple of interviews as well. So I think that that's an option that's there. It's a little maybe a little bit more risky. But I think it's something that we could actually see some benefit. I really am. I'm hopeful for my fingers across for that.
Yeah, I I've, I've actually talked to a lot of researchers that just say, yeah, there might be benefit, but I'm too scared to do the research because I don't, yeah, I don't want to be held liable if it's actually a terrible interaction. And people you know it, it just screws people up for life completely. So other people can do it great. I fully supported, but I don't want to do it. And that's kind of been the consensus of like, you know, I don't want to touch it with the 100 yard stick, just stay away from it.
And, and that's the same with you know, you know,
pregnant women or breastfeeding, I feel like that's the same thing of like, I don't want to touch it with 100 yards take just stay away from it, which I also want to get into. But
let's bookmark that topic. And then I want to ask you a question. And it might be
a little interesting. And I want to I want to get your take on it. But talking about schizophrenia. I just saw a paper yesterday that was published 12 years ago, you might have seen it. I just saw it. Do
you know what I'm talking about with with a higher level of the DMT in the urine of the schizophrenics
booth of booth and 15. Yeah, yeah. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Yeah. So we run in the same circles, Alex. Right. That just blew my mind and
I was like, What the hell.
But it kind of reminded me of toxic, you know, Terence McKenna and, and various people saying that, Oh, you know, in some indigenous communities that
schizophrenia is actually viewed as you're tapping into shamanic realms of the spirit world. And that's actually something that you you shouldn't treat, but you should actually dive deeper in a controlled setting. And it's actually kind of a superpower in a way. And it also reminds me of, you know, Aldous Huxley, when he was talking about the brain has kind of like this filtering mechanism, and psychedelics with, I don't know if this has actually been proven, but kind of turn off that filter in a way. So we can tap into more consciousness or more data at one time. And actually, autism and schizophrenia are actually just the brain receiving more data that's already there. And hallucinations aren't false. They're not like made up there actually, just more data that our brain
normally filters out. So I just want to get your your thought on that.
I don't know if you have a Oh, yeah, I know. There's a few. So So first, I want to say is I have not read the paper? Yep. Because I bookmarked it to read today after I'm done teaching and doing some educational, because when I saw that, I was just like, Oh, my God, I need to read more about this. I've never seen that. So really, it was just like, holy crap. Yeah, yeah, it. I mean, right now, like, just what the research comes out, I spend, usually my Fridays trying to catch up on everything that was printed in the week. And like, I don't get enough time to go back into the deep stuff. When I pull something like that. I'm like, Oh, my God, I need to touch this. So I, I know I'm not supposed to have like a favorite anything, be you know, provider, anything. But I can tell you that, in my years, some of my favorite patients I've ever had have had schizophrenia. I've worked in patient with in the psych hospitals. And they're, I mean, they're just amazing, amazing, amazing, beautiful human beings that are just, you know, that
the society is shunned upon. And just like just interesting ways of being about it. I also while I was in college, back in the day, one of my fraternity brothers had, was diagnosed with schizophrenia who lived with us. And it was an amazing
experience to have that, at one point, he actually ripped the door off of a room during the middle of a party with a bunch of people there. And so, you know, the answer that we had kind of gave was, oh, he took LSD today. And they're just like, okay, that's normal. Because the, because taking LSD is at least a little more socially acceptable than schizophrenia. And it was like, Oh, my God, there's so many. Right, wrong, you know.
So it was fascinating, but I really, I think that with it, you know, it I just think of some of these patients, you know, and, and, you know, what, we don't know what we don't know. So what are we measuring that we miss? You know, what is that? It? There's, there's a lot to it, and I and you know, what is the the risk harm to it, you know, when the reading. So there's so many early published papers on schizophrenia with LSD that were done in the 50s. And 60s, like I said, I'm a nerd with the early research, because you could, they did whatever, you know, they kind of wanted to do, and doing research, trying to figure out stuff, and just doing the research trying to figure out after the fact, as opposed to now you need to know what your end result is that you want.
And I think of like reading LSD, psychotherapy, by grace, he ended up talking about in their how, in the early psychedelic research that they did,
in the in the hospitals, where they did group psychedelic work, the doctors will be taking the LSD with them, the nurses will be taking the LSD in a group therapy, and some of them we take, and some of them will be taking micro doses, so they'd have their crap together while they're doing it. And the idea was, there was a better connection between the participants in the group therapy and the participants that are giving this therapy because of that connection. That's there. I mean, a you could never measure that. I mean, how could you and B, they're doing this for a reason to have that connection. They're like, it's just amazing to me to think about that, you know, and it makes me think of a patient I had years ago who ironically had the same birthday as me and he'll erotically was hospitalized every every year around his birthday. So every year I'd be like, happy birthday, happy birthday, and, but he would, he'd get mad because his anti psychotic medication that was prescribed took away the voices in his mind. And by taking away those auditory hallucinations, he lost his only friend in the world.
Yeah, it was like, Oh my god. So I remember having the conversation with him. I'm like, you know, we need to find a happy medium here because I don't want to take away your friend. I don't want you being alone.
and more depressed because you don't have that here. But I also can't have you assaulting people and destroying your group home, because you're losing your, your, where you're living, and now you're coming back into the hospital, we need to find a happy medium for that to treat you. Because at that point, you know, the treatments worse than that, arguably worse than the condition because now you're more depressed cuz you don't have that. You know, it's it's tough. You know, I think that some people don't think about that or, you know, they think that sometimes the voices are inherently bad. It actually, studies have shown that in other societies, other places, that auditory hallucinations of someone with schizophrenia are more positive, like in India than in the US, which is fascinating to me also to think about, you know, hearing the voice of God and loved ones and kind of being encouragement. Which then is that the other part of that closer to God and closer to superpowers or whatever? Because we don't know.
So yeah, I really appreciate more talk about neuro neuro divergence. And I feel like even in the last year, just that word alone, I feel like wasn't a thing. Like five years ago, at least I didn't have any
association with that word. Maybe it was around. It just wasn't in my circles. But
yeah, I really appreciate it. Because
yeah, I mean, yeah, I, there's so many incredible minds out there. And if you look at some of the most incredible minds out there, they're probably artistic or schizophrenic or whatever, you know, you think, you know?
Yeah, I mean, probably, Leonardo da Vinci had a bunch of stuff that, you know, he was probably put in in a kook house,
or whatever. Now, I mean, yeah, probably be put on a ton of medications. And some of the greatest minds ever would, if if they came around maybe a couple 100 years later, or something like that they would have been treated differently.
And I think we're kind of coming back around in,
in kind of understanding and accepting that everybody's different. And there are beautiful things and that difference, and then how do we how do we meet people halfway of like, yeah, don't destroy the group home you're with. But, you know, let's tap into that. Those strengths while working on the quote unquote, weaknesses. Again, that's a good and bad, you know, let's, let's make it more symbiotic. Yeah. Well, and and, yeah.
Yeah, I mean, I had so I had a patient, I did an intake this week. First time I've met with him. He's been in our system, seeing other other provider came to see me and kind of his first question. You know, I was asking you, why are you here? I don't have a provider now, etc. I don't like to make uses I'm on and he's like, Do you know anything about micro dosing? I was like, Yes, I do. That happens often. And then, after a couple of minutes, you know, we're talking and I did disclose my book to him. And he was like, Well, I guess you do you, you wrote the book on it. I'm like, Yes. Let's have this conversation. And in talking with him, he He's now retired. And his was like, how was your anxiety? You know, common question. I asked everyone. He's like, Well, now that I'm retired, I'm not in the rat race of the of number one, if I want to, you know, have a cup of coffee at midnight, and not worry about getting up in the morning. And, you know, I didn't have a problem with doing it before my boss did. So I couldn't do that. Now, I don't have that anxiety. I'm not tied to society, I just think of how much of this is like, how much of our mental health is tied to the the big wheel of the system that we have? And you know, how much of that is kind of society's, you know, take on that. And how much of it you know, and reading through it, you know, and I've only met him once and getting to know him, his history. He also has a personality disorder, nos, not otherwise specified. Kind of trying to figure out I'm like, thinking I'm going, No, this guy's got to figure it out. Like he's talking about how he wishes that he could be in maybe a potentially in a different society, where he didn't have to worry about this. I'm like, you're kind of a misanthrope. Like you don't like society. You don't like that, like, are you antisocial or personality or authority? Or do you or do you really have shit figured out? You know, you want to go live off the land and that works for you. And you don't have the rest of that. And that works great. That's amazing. Yeah, how am I didn't know.
This is perfect because
James Fadiman talked about this one of his clients or some someone that he knew.
But he took a microdose that was maybe quote unquote, too big. He went into work with it. I think he was in sales. And he during a meeting or something, he realized that he didn't like what he was doing. He didn't like selling these things in like, the things that he was selling. And the takeaway from that was, oh, I took too too big of a dose. And my takeaway from that story
was, Oh, that was a perfect dose, because you realize that your job was so sucky. And to me, that's why, like, I now am not a big fan of the sub perceptual micro dosing, because you don't get uncomfortable insights like that. Yeah. And, and it's uncomfortable, because it's so true. And, and it, it forces you to see the stuff in your life that causes you suffering that you don't want to look at. Right? I think that's the juiciest part of perceptual microdosing is that you're able to see the stuff in your routine that causes you suffering that you in a normal day, just distract yourself from, and it just kind of puts the spotlight on and it might feel uncomfortable in the moment. But through it, it's at such a low dose that you're able to work through it real time. Right, which I think is really incredible, that you're able to work through it real time. Whereas a big dose, you know, you're like, incapacitated, you can't move, and then you got to journal and then you got to have the whole day the next day to you know, integrate, hopefully, yeah. And you're like, we're getting like, what were the insights whereas, whereas a perceptual microdose you can actually work through those things real time, which I I love and and, yeah, it kind of
figures out like, what is your role in society, if you want to go live off the land and have one friend, you know, some sheep and great hell yet do your thing like maybe you you're not a sales and marketing guy, and you want to have a sheep farm, you know, in the middle of nowhere, like, have that insight and do it. But you you have to have that uncomfortable confrontation, some time or another whether that's a micro uncomfortable confrontation, or a macro uncomfortable confrontation. But please have that uncomfortable confrontation, you know? Well, that's why we say it's not a bad trip. They're just difficult if someone's doing a high dose, because sometimes it's that realization that holy crap, my life's not working for me. And, and the reason why is me, I'm not sitting here, you know, yeah, I'm not I'm not made to make widgets all day. You know, that's not my point. I'm not, I'm just another cog in the machine. Like, that's just not my point. I'm not I'm not meant to be doing this. I don't know what this is. But I know it's not that like, like another patient I've seen recently who it was amazing. Because I saw him at the beginning of the summer, or the end of the summer, he's getting ready to retire. And I saw him he had his appointment made. But I think it was like in May or something. And by the time he got scheduled to see me, but he because of his he was he had some depression and severe anxiety, and coming back. He's like, I don't know, necessarily why I'm here today. I kept the appointments. But I went on vacation. I went on vacation for 10 days. And for the first time ever, I put my phone down and I wasn't answering emails for work. I wasn't doing this. I wasn't. I was like, so you actually unplugged from work? He goes, Yeah, I've never been able to do that. He goes, I've always been kind of worried about coming back to doing like having a pile up. But I realized I don't want to do that. He's like, and also we're on a cruise where I don't have cell service. I was like, Oh, great. So how's the anxiety? But now he's like, Well, the anxiety was gone while I was on vacation. I'm like, That's great. Yeah, so you don't have that gota. And then I was like, So what do you want to do moving forward? He goes, at this point, he goes, I retire in five weeks. I was like, Okay, I'll deal with my anxiety through now. And if I need it after that, he goes, I'll have that conversation. I'll come back and see it, but chances are, I don't think I'm going to and I'm like, good. Yeah, I think we just solved you like your your mental illness quote unquote. And I use that lightly, because it's the societal piece that you're in. Right, right person where they are. And that's where it's like for me, you know, and I talked about the beginning of my book, like there's this bio psychosocial spiritual model. And that's kind of my approach to this, like the biology that we are, this is like the social piece of where we are in the connection with others. The psycho like the mental health piece of it, and then the spiritual piece, which some people do have either pre existing or with using the sills using different psychedelics, they ended up having that spiritual connection with other people there and that's where like for for the book, you know, I put together the workbook at the end was really looking at the journaling piece of your bio psychosocial like who are you? What do you want to have for the growth What do you want to kind of go and kind of how do you get there and kind of what kind of the blocks are there because you know, and I'm very open with my patients when I'm talking about my about the into depressants, I can prescribe and and what we can kind of do for treatment. I'm like, you know, the medication is not going to fix anything. You know, that's the part of the
Also people don't realize I think or don't think about when it kind of that existential dread when it comes to mental health medications, like, it doesn't fix anything, it just makes you more tolerant of the world around yeah, it might get rid of the depression of the of the situation, it might help you tolerate the gravity of the situation might decrease the anxiety might help you improve sleep, which, whatever it might be, but it's not fixing that. And that's why you know, the kind of the, the golden rule when it comes to the gold standard of antidepressant medications, you should don't stop them within six to six months to a year, not because the depression is going to come back because of it. Because of, for one reason or another. It's because it takes the time to get rid of the whatever this stressor is that's kind of going on. Because if you stop the medication, the stress, you're still there, guess what, the mood comes back and you can't tolerate it anymore. And I think that's where people kind of don't think about that. I mean, that's where, you know why when, when people are doing either taking an SSRI antidepressant medication, and doing psychotherapy, there's a 30% improvement over either of those separately, because you're doing not only the medicine that's helping you tolerate, but also where's your place in the world? Where are you going about that, and having those changes? Like, so I just tell people, you know, if you're, if you're eating like crap, you're sleeping like crap, you're doing all this other stuff. You're burning yourself out, and you're in a miserable and job that you know, you hate. Guess what? The pills aren't going to fix any of that. It's going to make you so you can tolerate. Yeah. It's a hard reality of it. People will go. I never thought of it that way. Or, yeah, I know. Just, we should do something about it now. And it's like, okay, just give me the pill. Just yeah. Yeah. Okay, so Okay, here's your pill. So I've come across so many people in the last, I don't know, to whatever, two and a half, three years now that COVID started that kind of, I feel like more and more people are realizing they're in a dead end job, or, you know, having a lot of existential anxiety. And with that, I've met a lot more people that are changing their minds about having kids or are Yeah, realizing they don't want kids, they don't want to bring little ones into this world. Because XYZ, you know, the world's on fire or whatever. And then on the flip side, I have friends having babies right now, and you know, or wanting to have babies in the works. And I have one friend right now that just had her baby. And she
Yeah, had had postpartum depression, like most other a lot of mothers do. And
she wanted to microdose she didn't want to do it while she was pregnant. But she figured that, you know, afterwards, that would be fine. And you have a little section in your book about breastfeeding and and psychedelics, specifically psilocybin. And I think LSD you talked about, but I just wanted to cover that because, you know, I talked about a little bit of like, most people don't want to touch that topic with 100 foot pole. But you brought some some pretty good insight in there. And I just wanted to see kind of what your stance on that was. Yeah, I mean, you know, granted, there's zero real research out there on this, no one wants to give this to someone who's pregnant or breastfeeding because of potential. So it's kind of like, buyer beware. But I do know that this is kind of a huge area that people are doing this now the the mommies microdosing groups and all of it. So that's once again, to that harm reduction, people are going to do what they want to kind of have that have that idea before you go in. And, you know, I talked about how LSD being metabolized, and it takes longer because it's stickier on those serotonin receptors, it can stick on there longer than what it is. But when we're talking macro micro doses, it is incrementally tiny. And, you know, with also the amount
there shouldn't do I, Jim, Dr. famine had mentioned on a podcast with Lymbery morskie, from the psychedelic Medical Association, about how there should be no concern with it. There's no evidence that it crosses into the breast milk, there's no evidence showing that it can that it does.
I think that probably if someone's going to do it,
you know, it's a choice of theirs to have. And in going from there, and I think about it the other part and I know I didn't really go into this in the book, the conversation I have with my with my patients that I'm seeing is, you know, the the risk if they're, if someone's pregnant and taking medicine,
you know, we have to look at the risk benefit of the medicine of what it can do, and by someone going off of their meds and their mood is off their focus concentration all
That's off, when that's going on, what is the harm that's being done there? You know, that's that can be inherently harm, because you're causing a stressful situation that's going on. Some of the other parts, like with the psycho stimulant medications and stuff can cause low birth weight. That being said, so can anxiety if someone comes off of it, too.
So really, if I, you know, if someone came to me and said, you know, can I do this while I'm pregnant? My answer is going to be, you know, there's not a great research, but I'm not going to tell you one way or the other, the decision is kind of up to you. But here's what the research says, you know, and then we're not seeing a lot of it that's kind of going on. And it is such an incremental amount when it comes to the breastfeeding part. If the same answer I give patients as well is look at the risk. Look at the benefit, this is not crossing over. This is not going to have it. But in I have the I've said with patients who are like back to the psychostimulant pieces, monitored monitor like, so if they're on a medication that might, hypothetically we don't necessarily know if it's crossing or not monitoring, if you see a behavior change in your child where they're more tired, or more wired, as a result afterward, then you can kind of go about that and kind of go, Okay, I need to pump once before, like, if I do it in the morning, if I make notes in the morning, and I pump during the day, don't give that to the child. And then later on same thing that people do with alcohol, they'll say, immediately afterward, wait so many pumps and then have words not there, then you can do it. So you know, maybe even going from that approach of, you know, risk reduction, if they're just going down, or it might be a reason that people want to come off of doing breastfeeding, and they're trying to motivate to come off of it. And it's kind of that hard part's I've had many patients that just haven't weaned. And they're like, that was my motivation with my medicine, not microdose medicine to kind of come down. And they've done that. So it's kind of like, buyer beware, but monitor and see, I guess, and that's kind of, you know, what's the harm? The harm might be if you're not doing it, you're not feeling well? How present are you as well? Yeah, it's tough. It's tough it is. And my friend, I was just talking to her last night, and she said that she is able to kind of, like, enter her little ones world more time, when she sees her little kid kind of like staring off into like, a rug or something, she's able to kind of like, go into that world as well, and see all the cool patterns and like, you know, and kind of understand her kid more from from a childlike lens, which I think is really beautiful. And she says, like, you know, colors are a little more vibrant, XYZ, and she's able to just, like play more with the kid and just kind of interact and connect more on that level and have that mutual understanding. But, you know, like you said, teach their own and,
you know, go with some caution. But yeah, it's your body, your choice, but, um, I want to talk about a topic of psychedelics and sleep, which is another juicy topic that I've been, like, thinking about for so many years. And
two little short stories, one, and they're both in the same story is one, the first time I did Ayahuasca was in like, 2015, or something. During the trip, there was a patient and
a client, a doctor, I can't remember if they were
a therapy, I don't know what their exact title was, but they went down with their, their patient, which I thought was amazing. And he said, you know, they tried all these medications, I can't remember what he had. But,
you know, he read a story about souls, or I mean, about ayahuasca being incredible for whatever. And so he's like, Hey, I can't, I can't prescribe or recommend this without doing it myself. So I'm gonna go down with you, you know, and so they went down together, they had it together, and they transformed so much during the week, and it was so beautiful to see this relationship of, you know, patient client and, or patient,
In that same trip, the, you know, I had a lot of social anxiety around that time. And sometimes it'd be almost crippling. And so that was one of my main intentions for the trip. And I've told the story before of so the first night, the first actually couple of nights, I, you know, would drink Ayahuasca then I would fall asleep, you know, and then so the first night you know, I woke up like when I went to breakfast, and everyone's talking about, oh, you know, I saw this crazy multicolored dragon and blah, blah, blah. I talked to my spirit guides or what all this stuff and
And then they, you know, talk to me, like, how's your experience? So I was like, ah, yeah, nothing, nothing happened. And that's what I was, you know, telling people is like, nothing happened. I just fell asleep. And then, you know, one of the guides pulled me aside and was like, Hey, how was your experience? And it was like, Oh, nothing happened, you know, I just fell asleep. And
she goes, Well, what was your intention? And I go, Oh, well, it was social anxiety. And she goes, Oh, interesting. Because when you first came, you know, you didn't talk to anybody, and you kind of had your head down, whatever. And then during breakfast, she was like, I was watching you the whole time you talk to every single person in the room. You were like, looking them in the eye. You were talking to them and like, had all this confidence or whatever. And I just had this moment of like, oh, yeah, it was like this night and day difference. And it was almost like my subconscious mind was, was doing the healing work while I was sleeping. Which leads me to my next point of like, you have a section in your book about psychedelics and sleep, which I thought was incredibly fascinating, kind of correlates with Trazodone that we're talking about, have I is it an SSRI? Trazodone into depression, but it's not an SSRI? Not necessarily an SSRI? Exactly. It does it. It does antidepressant effects, but not necessarily the same. It hits a couple of different receptors. Yeah, got it. I can't remember what exactly you said in the book of if there is research about something increasing REM. Yeah. So yeah, let's, let's talk about that. Yeah. So I guess, first, we think about what is sleep, we don't even necessarily know what it is. Like, when you think of it as a general, we know that if we don't have it, people end up showing like psychotic type symptoms, they have slower reaction rates and stuff like that.
And we've been trying to figure out for years, how to kind of minimize the amount of sleep that we can do, making super soldiers, et cetera, jet PA, jet flight pilots, etc. But it during that time, it also helps to restore and rebuild and clean out the body and clean out the mind, which then leads to like, What are dreams? You know, and I think about like, some of the old Stephen King movies where you kind of see the dreaming, and like the cabinets and kind of moving stuff around. And in the amount of stuff that kind of comes up in dreams. It's just kind of like, weird, you know, it's,
and I have, I have a lot of patients that were asleep at the dreams, you know, sleep problems, having problems with sleep is a huge problem for them. And then if they do get sleep, they have nightmares as a result. And that's a problem for them too, with PTSD, things like that. Yeah. So with with it, we know that if we increase serotonin, some people can have increased dreams as a result. As a result of that, you know, I'll sometimes encourage patients that are having more dreams and having more weird dreams, take their medications in the morning. And that way, it's kind of gets away from the sleep time. And sometimes that kind of gets rid of it a little bit, which is why I kind of talked about in the micro dosing piece, most people end up having where they
they get a little more energized, get a little bit better with it. But there's some people that will take a micro dose and get tired from it, and just kind of the opposite. And for them, I'll tell them, you know, try take it at night will like some of the other antidepressant medications that might work for you. That might be what you need.
But yeah, some of the earliest, like I said, early studies, they can kind of do weird stuff that we can't do now. And they would dose people with LSD while they're sleeping and doing the EGS. And, and measuring their sleep. And it would change their sleep waves and change their change their dreams and everything with that. And it's just, I think it'd be an interesting thing to see moving forward. Learning more about that. I think it'd be exciting to see.
I don't know if you've caught Conor Murray Murray and his team has they just published a paper on micro dosing, probably within a month ago. And he was just talking about, they're doing be doing EGS, sending out like 50 G's that people can rent for a month and wear it and kind of collect their brainwave patterns while they're microdosing and things like that.
And I'm just sweet. That's awesome. With this technology that we've gotten now, I mean, just this crossroads, so we can kind of find out this mass collection of data. I'm thinking of like, people have I, the Apple Watches, people have the core rings, they're chasing, you know, the heart rates, if we put an EEG and measure the Yeah, and Dr. Fadiman was talking with Connor, recently on a podcast talking about that, like if we can measure these kinds of things that we kind of know. And we can kind of go that and go, What are these common factors that people are having an experiencing? What is this what the heck does this all mean? Maybe we can learn so much more. I mean,
And that's where, you know, we didn't know what serotonin was at the beginning until we started learning what LSD was. And serotonin came out as after the fact. So like, we might be able to find out so much more as we're doing this full dose or micro dosing amounts that we see some of these different scoring. What is this correlation? What can we go with this? So yeah, I mean, the dreams do go up with it. And what is that? What's going to happen with that? I that I mean, that was the only study I could find. I didn't when I was looking, I think there was like two of them. And they were from the early 60s. And that's it.
That's it for
I could go down this rabbit hole for so so long, because it I have a, I have a very strange and strong dream connection that I've always had.
I have very, very weird dreams all the time with like people in it where like, I just had a dream.
Just because I was hanging out with this person, like a week or whatever. But
I had a dream that her and her partner were getting married. And I woke up the morning, the next morning, and I sent her a message and was like, hey, like, you were in my dream and you're getting married. And she goes, you'll never believe this. But I was just proposed to like an hour ago.
And I have that all the time of people in my dream. I have this all the time of people in my dream, doing something very specific. I reach out to them the next morning and they're like, You have no idea like how did you know that? Or whatever. And
I'm getting into
who's Do you know?
Rupert? Sheldrake? Tino he is? Yeah, I'm kind of getting into that territory a little bit. But like, yeah, what what do you mean, our dreams? And and can we?
Yeah, if we're actually conscious of dreams, and we're microdosing? Yeah. And if we're unbelievably relaxed, like, what, what quote unquote, dimensions Can we tap into? And like, what healing work? Can we get into? If we're that relaxed, and entering the psychedelic spaces where there are no constraints on quote, unquote, reality, right, we could apply, we could do whatever. And I brought on these people doing VR work with psychedelics, and, and it's kind of like,
with this ex exponentiating healing, if you can do that work in a dream. Yeah. Oh, incredibly relaxed with like, zero constraints on reality, you could do whatever you can, you could, you know, pop up any person living or dead. And this is kind of like working in the spirit world. I'm so fascinated about that. And, um, I feel like there's not enough people working in the dream space. Especially with psychedelics, I'm just, that's a space that, um, I would love to see people do more research with so that, yeah, the sensors all about it, I'm actually going to get an aura ring here pretty soon in the next few weeks. So I'm excited to do my own little research. But that's, that's an awesome topic. Well, I think I think of like some of the work that
Rick Strassman did with a DMT. And kind of like the DMT sleeping piece that, you know, people were talking about, like the IV DMT, where they're kind of blast out of this world in 30 minutes, and like, you know, now you're having the spirit machines, and all of that, with all of those experiences that are going on. And you think of like, that is the closest probably we have for a psychedelic substance that really gets into that dream world where it's such a power, but I know that there was talks of like, with long travel,
astronauts going into space, and like, maybe they don't feel so bored, hooking them up into asleep and doing like potentially, like DMT to travel the time so they're not noticing it, like, Oh, my God, like what's going on in that level. And I think of the other piece of God, I just said the deep wave asleep, you know, what's going on there. I think of something else I find very helpful for myself and I really enjoy is doing the sensory deprivation tank and I don't know if you've ever done one of them, but they're just it's your heroes. Those they are waves in your look at John Lilly and the research he was doing with with ketamine and doing the tanks and then of course, the talking with dolphins and trying to get the language that we had talked about and all that. But yeah, we did a sensory deprivation we're hitting and I ended up doing earlier this year. I did ketamine sessions, myself. I did a lozenges and did. I am ketamine and they like the first thing that says how are you feeling right now? And I was like, I feel like I am in when I'm in the sensory tank. Like I felt like I was floating in space. The the stars are right here, but there's a string
tied to my toe that tethers me to Earth. And that's how I felt in a tank I feel in the tank. And that's how I felt that ketamine and I'm just going. And like when I had that, that was like my first real experience with ketamine and I'm going, this is kind of a weird feeling like I'm kind of trying to fit because I did it for, like X for school and kind of like with my program was I had to have an experience for the DMT training or for the MDMA training. So I did that. And I'm kind of like, I need to remember this when I talk to my patients and kind of know, and I was just kind of like, oh, wait, I know where I am. This feels like I took a high dose of psilocybin like this kind of like, in between worlds where up is down, down is up, and just nothing makes sense. And I'm okay with that. Like, this is a cool little space for this and just what's going on. And that's where I think getting more of that EEG is a measuring and kind of being able to, you know, get more than just blood levels and knowing like, let's find this out, let's see what these common things are. Let's see where they overlap is, you know, what can we do with this? It's unreal. And what does that end up being like, compared to like someone going back like schizophrenia? What does that look like with some of that, you know, with that psychotic thinking, because I think that there may be more, more alike than different. You know, I don't think that the cycle mimetic inducing of psychosis, that the idea of back in the day with the substances is necessarily true. But I think there's so many more other things that can be with, you know, where there's that change in personal exploration in the altered, expanded states of consciousness, hugely different. There are so many things that we have no idea how to explain. Right? Yeah, I mean, just you were talking about, like the machine elves, that if anyone has smoked DMT, and kind of blasted into that other realm.
A lot of people, including myself, have seen those entities. And it's like, it's all the same, like, everyone, and it's like, what, why? Why? Why does everyone or not everyone, but a lot of people see the same visuals. And like, there's, there's accounts of, you know, whole rooms, that people taking psychedelics, and then they talk the next day, and they see the same, quote, unquote, hallucinations. And it's like, why would like, go out talking to each other? Going back to that connection that people are like, speaking without speaking, what is that connection that's going there, which then goes into, like the psychedelics where people have that more of a connection with others. That's why it works different than conventional medicines, you know, and these people, they're, you know, having these these DMT, spirit elves, all these things are sometimes without having anyone ever telling them, like they, you know, different language, different place, and all of a sudden, they go, the weirdest thing happened, like, Oh, really? Yeah, that's what this is called, you're like, I had no idea. They'd never heard of that. Like, why am I seeing jaguars, it's just like, it is that the spirit of the substances that in there is in the threat of it, you know, and I think that we as, as we, we, as a society, we as science, try to, like, get down to the nitty gritty to the point where, you know, we can measure so far. And then the rest of it kind of gets declassified or pushed into this, what I, how I was, like, when I keep my research in my office of the Voiceprint, of the mystical experience, all that I keep it in this whole file folder, I call the woowoo piece of it. And that's the part people don't want to touch into. And that's the part that's fascinating to me, is the stuff that we can't explain, whereas people want to know, down to the molecule what's going on and, and you know, me, you know, I'm a science background, but I don't, I don't need to know, at this point, I'd like to know down the road. But when we get to that point, we can't measure this right now. We don't know what we're looking at, you know, like the experiment of the bringing elf into the room and kind of like asking someone to describe and everyone has a different different description of the one thing, what is that going to look like with this? I am very curious in what MK Ultra discovered, because I mean, the government was was literally I mean, the US government was literally in this rabbit hole. What in the 70s was MK Ultra? And they were literally asking the same questions of okay with the intention of using as a weapon, but you know,
and yeah, this is not a conspiracy theory. This is leaked. I mean, this is this is yeah, MK Ultra is is a true operation.
We don't know all the intricacies of it but and if anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about, please look it up. It is wild CIA giving people psychedelic drugs and seeing what happens fucking around and find it out. But
yeah, I'm curious what what they know that we don't know. And we're gonna go down that rabbit hole here. Alex, have you read chaos? Have you read chaos? Yeah, no. Oh my god. Oh, no, it's it's a book. It's chaos. It goes into its starts out as Charles Manson and goes
into the trail and it goes down the rabbit hole. And every time you're like, the book is literally this thick, right? And every time you go down the rabbit hole, you're like, there's, there's hundreds of pages left, like, what's the next thing and you go, oh shit, this is what we're talking about now. And it goes into this whole piece of like, there. And so I listened and I did the PPE I listened to it because it was just as I was driving, and I think it's like 18 hours long listening to it.
But the but the author would, he would, he went into and there's originally started out as like a 30 year follow up after the Manson murders. And he started kind of doing some of this. It's kind of like the what it was like in LA after the fact. And no one wants to talk about no one wanted to go into it. And as he kind of in one person said to him, don't go down. This rabbit hole is going to be all encompassing of your life. And he ended up taking 15 years to write this, do numerous jobs went all over the place and trying to get freedom of information, all of this stuff. And what it went into was like the research that was done out in Haight Ashbury, actually, the, the Journal of
the Journal of psychedelic Journal of Medicine was published, it's still publishing this day, was he was involved in one of the doctors that was that he he Ashbury, he was involved with this with the Manson and all of this like, and then ties in, like, Manchurian Candidate not to spoil anything, but you kind of keep going into this next, next next and you go, Oh, shit, like, what is this? So I highly, highly recommend if the shady stuff that's kind of there. I mean, I can tell you.
When I was in, I'm, I'm in Maine. Now originally, I was from Northern New York. And while I was when I grew up in where I grew up in Northern New York, I went to college in Plattsburgh, New York, which there used to be an Air Force base years before I went to college there. One of the two shooters from Columbine lived there with his family. And there was this whole rabbit hole of his dad worked as part of this questionable
and mind control experience type of stuff unknown.
You know, that whole conspiracy theory, which is also the same place in the middle of this is in between where MK Ultra was being conducted research from New York City to Albany to Montreal, like it's a straight line between all these places is kind of going, what the hell's here? You know, what do we not know, on this air force base that then he moved to Colorado after the fact. And then this happened, like, and then,
you know, Ted Kaczynski ended up being with the Unabomber, who was also part of, you know, some of the psychedelic research back in the day as well, like, I don't know. All right, Joe Rogan. This is this is the topic of these podcasts. Yes, I want to hear this. I think I think that the author of that book was on Rogen, at one point, it was just like, this, is it just fascinating this other level, then of course, you know, I mean, I grew up in the age of The X Files, you know, so you just kind of like, it sounds good. I went down a rabbit hole in in COVID. where I started from the beginning. I got so many seasons in it. Yeah. It's so good. It's such a great show. It holds
it Yeah. And I'm there's so many episodes, it's so long.
All right, let's let's wrap this conversation up, because I feel like we could go down any of these rabbit holes that we uncovered for the next like five hours. But um, yeah. All right, I have like two more questions. The first being a little a little more grounded, and maybe a little more dull. But
But what is the levity of this situation here, as, as a new published author about microdosing, you know, in this space microdosing is being talked about and just psychedelics in general are being talked about, by literally everyone, you know, someone saw, you know, someone read a book by Michael Pollan had one mushroom experience, and then the next weekend, they start their own business, and they're like, a micro dosing expert. I see that all the time, or like that happens. Everyone's claiming they're a shaman or whatever.
So yeah, like, there's a lot of people out there with many different levels of of credibility, what what in the space, whether it's, you know, practices or people or whatever misconceptions, malpractice, whatever, just kind of, yeah, give you the cringe.
I guess. Well, before I guess, I guess I keep doing this, like before we have this answer. I won't go to this answer. But, you know, I think that when we see what's going on in Oregon is huge with the ballot initiative. And then what's going to be happening here with Colorado that's having that ballot initiative to end up opening up to having access to a
mescaline, not from peyote, DMT. And Ibogaine, like, here's some substances that are being under researched that we know could be helpful. Let's get these out here. And now we have this social experience experience that's coming out, which when this ends up being, we're going to see so many more, so much more published so much more research so much more right being done, which is very, very exciting to me. Like, let's get this out here. Because one of the challenges of this being so illegal is that so many people are doing this underground. And then as they're doing it underground, possibly unsafely, or possibly, you know, without recourse, like, there's problems, which is why there's such a need that's going on where people are, you know, I had an experience, and now I'm a shaman. Like, that's so yeah. That it's just out of necessity. And and that's the way it's, that's LA. That's Los Angeles in a nutshell. Yep. It is. It is. I think sorry, la people.
Well, yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, I mean, I think San Francisco would have something to say about that. Because they've they've, they've never stopped, you know, they've been doing this the whole time. And they're just going, Oh, you guys are up to the snap to Okay, cool, right.
But yeah, I think what's the first thing is that when someone says that they're shaman, like, first thing, I'm going okay, Where's, where's your where's your background? Where are you learning from this? Where's the, you know, who did you get this from?
And I think it's good to have, you know, as we've talked about this healthy skepticism of just everything in society, you know, if you're going to an IO Wasco Well, I watch Arrow who was like a start, say, What's in this, you know, because different ones have different brews that have different things. I want to kind of know what's in this. And if they're like, don't worry about just take it, that would make me my hair, like rays, the back of my neck going, I don't necessarily feel comfortable with this. I want to know, what am I taking into my body? Whatever it is.
But I think, you know, with widdle sidenote, really quick, did you I can't remember what this was. But um, what's his name?
Hamilton? Yeah. What's his full name? Hills? Morris. I can't remember where this was some interview where he was talking about how he he makes his own ayahuasca, you know, with like, synthesized chemicals, because he wants to know exactly to the milligram what he's taking. And then yeah, I just a little side note, but I'll let you finish. But I thought that was very that goes, well, that's where I think we might actually see iOS come out as far as Alaska, because they even measure what's there. So you know, as a measurable amount, because the research that with Ayahuasca is just if there's such a radically different, and going back to the piece, where I said with Dr. Benjamin Mudge, he was talking about on his interview with psychedelics today, how he's got over 100 Different brews of Ayahuasca that he's got. And he's trying to like, go through them to find out what are the constituents? And can we end up having the best outcomes by knowing this ratio of this and this and this, and the nuances of that, which is, which is just great to be able to go, you know, what is it that's good? What's what's bad? And what can we kind of come down to, to be be pure and know what exactly what's there? So, yeah, I think that, you know, having a healthy answer, I think, kind of going back to like, thinking about, like, kind of the reason I put out the book was, you know, to make sure that this is a harm reduction thing. Like if you end up having these questions when you're talking to a microdosing coach, and they're go, Oh, don't worry about it, you can take this without a problem without them being able to explain why. And kind of like understanding like where they're coming from, that makes me kind of worried, because people will just go well, I mean, we've seen this like, not to go after the cannabis industry. But that's kind of where cannabis has kind of gone rays go after it.
I mean, that's where we see the problem with the cannabis industry where people just go, Oh, you just need to smoke more, or Oh, you haven't found the right screen, that when it? Of course, it's not working for you, you need to try this and and then they go try this, this this strain. And this will be better for you. This is like, how do you like, just because you have this effect on one for one person, you're not this isn't for everyone, just because you're having a good response from it doesn't mean that I'm going to, and that's kind of, you know, the bigger issue here is is, is we can't this is not a one size fits all. Some people that want to take a micro dose might be better off doing a micro dose versus a macro. So there's the exceptionalism that people want to say, you know, macro dose is not enough or or micro dosing is too much, or whatever. It's like looking at what it is individualize. And that's why like with the book, I was like, looking at your dosing and kind of tailoring the dose to you and what you need and finding out what is that sweet spot of the amount? What is it it's going to work and some people it's not going to be the best thing for you. Sometimes some people just don't have a result. So it's kind of like asking those healthy questions, finding out where are they coming from? What is it what is it going to do? What is your intention? And kind of asking that and just knowing
And, you know, having that upfront, like, here's what I'm on my fear, like, you know, if someone went to do an Ayahuasca retreat, you know, they're inherently they can be saved. But if someone's lying about taking their medications, now they have a serotonin syndrome, because they're taking the SSRIs. They never want to stop, like, there's a problem. And then he kind of huge and was was, were they being told this is the rescue, this is the benefit. This is actually what's going on? Do they know why they can't take these things together? Do they know that the you know, and you have this underground people might not be asking those for for whatever reason, we're just assuming they did their own research. And we need to have that. I mean, when we come from a medical background for me, whenever I started Med, it's, here's the risk, here's the benefit, here's what I'm hoping to treat, you know, it's the informed consent. What does that you know, and I think that that's the respect of underground or not, you know, do you know what that is? Do you know what you're getting yourself into other than here, take this little brown thing I found in the ground.
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