Psilocybin for Women with Jennifer Chesak

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Psilocybin for Women with Jennifer Chesak

Today we sit down with Jennifer Chesak, newest author to the book "The Psilocybin Handbook for Women" (2023). 
We cover questions such as: 

  • Does psilocybin affect women differently?
  • Does it matter where I am in my cycle when I use psilocybin?
  • Can psilocybin help with menstrual migraines, endometriosis, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder?
  • Will psilocybin boost my sex life?
  • Do hormones have an impact on the entourage effect?
  • What the heck is the entourage effect?
  • And more!


Sign up for our podcast giveaway here. Our next winner will be selected on January 24, 2023 and contacted via email.

TRANSCRIPT
Unknown Speaker 0:11 Welcome, welcome. You are listening to the mushroom revival podcast, we are absolutely obsessed with bridging the gap between you are fantastic, beautiful listeners and the wonderful, wacky world of mushrooms and fungi. I'm your host, Alex Dora. And we are obsessed with just figuring out what is going on with with the whole fungal, Unknown Speaker 0:34 Kingdom queendom, whatever you want to say. And they are weird, they are wacky, they're mysterious. And we are here to interview the top experts from all around the world to geek out with us and go down that rabbit hole. So today we have Jennifer, who is joining us to talk about psilocybin and women and how we can bring more women in this space. And what are we missing when we're talking about psilocybin? So Jennifer, how are you doing today? I am great. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for coming on. And for people that don't know, you and your work, what? What are you up to? Yeah, so my name is Jennifer chessick. And I'm the author of The psilocybin handbook for women, which just came out June 2023. So I've been on book tour for this book, but I'm a journalist. And in fact, I'm a medical and science journalist and a fact checker. And so that's sort of my background and in everything. That's awesome. Yeah, we just found your book at a Olympia Washington mushroom festival and picked it off the shelf and got it. So it's it's super exciting. Congrats on the book. That's, that's really awesome. Yeah. How did you originally get into mushrooms in the first place? Unknown Speaker 1:52 Yeah, sort of, in a weird way. I've always been fascinated by psychedelics, and very specifically, psilocybin. I've been writing about psilocybin and other psychedelics in different news outlets just as a journalist, and then I have a huge background in writing about women's health. And of course, I'm super passionate about women's health. And so it seemed like a natural thing to bridge the two. And there was a publisher looking for this exact thing. And I just happened to be the right fit with my weird background. So yeah, and so that kind of I've always, like I said, I've always been interested in psilocybin, but I had some nervousness around trying it myself. But when I landed the book deal, I was like, Okay, this is the reason to try it. I mean, obviously, I couldn't write accurately about psilocybin without diving into it. And I'm so glad I did, because it was one of the most profound experiences of my life to do a very therapeutic journey. That's awesome. And you work with Simon and Schuster, right? Unknown Speaker 2:48 So my book is published through Ulis press. And they're distributed by Simon and Schuster. But I'm a freelance journalist and writer in general. Nice, nice. And why? Why do you think it's needed to write this book? Unknown Speaker 3:03 on women's health? Yeah. So what's interesting is that actually, in many cases, more women are using some psychedelics more frequently than men are. And at first, when I started the research that came as a bit of a surprise to me, when I dug a little deeper, it made total sense. So what we're finding and through research is that in many cases, men use psychedelics more recreationally. Not all men. That's just a what was discovered in these in this survey, the global drug survey, I think it was 2020. And so and then they looked at, you know, Why are women reporting their usage, and they are saying that they're using psilocybin or other psychedelics to self treat for conditions like any any mental health condition, or chronic pain, or just things that they're not getting adequate treatment for in the mainstream medical system. And then a little bit of background on women's health. So we're really behind in women's health, we're not where we should be, especially when comparing to men's health or the health of the male body as compared to the female body is the way that I should say that. And so it's interesting because women were largely excluded from early stage clinical trials until the 1990s. And that's have had some huge ramifications for women, especially in terms of their health, and they're not getting adequate treatment in the mainstream medical system. And I always like to backup my information with facts. So I have this little timeline to sort of illustrate this. So men got a drug for male sexual dysfunction in 1998. And everyone knows what that is. It's Viagra. It's like a household name. At that point in time, the medical community, let alone anyone a woman was sleeping with didn't even have a complete picture of the clitoris. So there's all this internal structure to the clitoris. And that wasn't determined until 2005 If you can believe that. And then it wasn't until 2015 That women got a drug for female sexual dysfunction. So that is a 17 year gap from when guys got a drug for the same condition that when women finally got that Unknown Speaker 5:00 ROG so that's alarming to me. And even though you know, sexual health affects the female body and the male body very differently, it's still the same condition, ultimately. And it's just that the main, the mainstream medical community gave more Unknown Speaker 5:15 research and expertise to male sexual dysfunction. So I can see my whole point here is to say that I can see why women are finding alternative treatments and turning to them to self treat for various conditions. And of course, there's lots of great research out there now to show that that psilocybin may be able to help with some of these conditions. And we can, of course, talk about that. But yes, that's the importance of having. Getting back to your question, the importance of having this book on just a female body is so important, because we can't keep treating the female body the same as the male body. So I want women to have accurate information out there about the use of psilocybin, what are the benefits? How may I help them? What are some safety concerns, all of that? Unknown Speaker 6:00 Interesting, yeah, that that is you said, 2005. That's wild. Unknown Speaker 6:07 Crazy, right? You know, to focus on one disorder, just to kick it off that Unknown Speaker 6:13 affects women more more than men is, is eating disorders. And you know, anorexia, nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and, you know, many others. How can mushrooms be helpful for for women with with these types of eating disorders? That's a great question. And I, you know, I agree with you that women are largely disproportionately affected by eating disorders. However, I would say that the eating disorders in men, or the male body is much more underreported, possibly, and so those stats may be more even than they think. But yeah, that that is a great question, how may psilocybin be able to help. So researchers are studying this. So there's actually 11 types of different eating disorders, which are not not many people know. And, you know, some of the most common, of course, are in terms of discussion are anorexia, nervosa and bulimia and then also binge eating disorder are some of the most common. And so researchers are now doing clinical trials with psilocybin to study eating disorders, they're especially looking at anorexia nervosa, and what they're learning or what they, they are having some really good results with these clinical trials, but we need more research on it still, but what they're finding or what they believe, is that so with anorexia, or with certain eating disorders, we have some abnormal Sara to nergic activity if you have an eating disorder. And so, and then you also may have reduced concentrations of a substance called brain derived neurotrophic factor. And that's present with anorexia. And so psilocybin, as we know, binds to serotonin receptors, and it can also enhance this brain derived neurotrophic factor expression. And the other thing to note about eating disorders is that there can be some rigidity in our pathways of thinking about ourselves. And so and there's also a prevalence of emotional avoidance. These are just characteristics of anorexia. And so a psychedelic experience can positively impact these traits that can reduce that cognitive rigidity, and it can also reduce that emotional avoidance. And then another thing to consider is that people with anorexia nervosa have this increased connectivity between a resting state network called the default mode network, and we know that psilocybin greatly affects the default mode network. And, and but it also affects the Angular Gyrus. And so there is some, you know, increased connectivity is associated with issues regarding interoceptive awareness, which is how we kind of look at our bodies or understand our bodies. And so it's our internal state of awareness of our body. And so psilocybin decreases this connectivity between the with the default mode network, and that may provide some benefit with anorexia and other eating disorders. And then in terms of something like binge eating disorder, we do know that psilocybin is having some beneficial effects for reducing addictive habits, and so addictive behaviors as well. And so we are seeing there's some potential there research, I should say, researchers are seeing some potential there to help with binge eating disorder as well. So we need again, we need more research that more broadly covers all of the different eating disorders, but I'm so glad that this research is getting started because I do see a lot of potential and we just don't have very good adequate treatments for eating disorders at this juncture. Unknown Speaker 9:47 It might be a little bit of a stretch but I see a connection as well. You have a chapter all about consent, boundaries, abuses of power when it comes to the mushroom space and Unknown Speaker 10:00 I'm sure those same chemical pathways in the brain that help with, you know, developing self worth and kind of Unknown Speaker 10:11 organizing habits that in the past, were damaging to your body and creating safer spaces not only in your in your own body, and you're in as an individual, but connecting with others, as well. So can you talk a little bit more about that section of the book? And I know it's a very, so I have this. Oh, go ahead. I'm sorry. No, I just I hear a lot of people talking about it now that there's more clinics opening up. There's more psychedelic retreat spaces. I think it's a really important topic. Unknown Speaker 10:47 Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for asking that question. It is such an important topic. So as an MD, any industry sexual assault is happening in the psychedelic industry. And, you know, the psychedelic industry doesn't love to talk about this, but it is something that we really do need to talk about. And so I was first sort of introduced to what is happening through this really great podcast called cover story, power trip. And that is put out by New York Magazine. But it's really the brainchild of Dr. Lilly K. Ross, and she's one of the hosts and producers and she does a really great job of explaining what is happening in the psychedelic industry with sexual assault. So essentially, some people have reported that they've worked either with a therapist or a guide, or shaman and have had inappropriate touch or, and that would essentially be sexual assault. And so some people have been blatantly raped. So this is really problematic, and we need to be talking about it. So I did incorporate a whole chapter on on sex with consent at the top because without without consent, you have sexual assault. And I think it's really important that we are noting this because a lot of people are going to retreats, working with therapists and, and, you know, and so forth, to recover from traumas, and then they're being re traumatized, returned, traumatized when they are with people who are predatory. And so I think the important thing that I covered in that chapter was how to navigate consent. And so again, the onus is not never on the client, it should be on the practitioner to navigate consent with you. But it is something that if we're aware of, we can perhaps help protect ourselves a little bit better, and try to find really good guides and therapists and things like that. So in terms of consent, it's important to understand that sometimes Therapeutic Touch is appropriate in therapeutic settings, not even outside of psilocybin, if you were just going to see a therapist, if you needed to work on trust and touch, they may give you a therapeutic hug with your consent. But any any topics of consent need to be discussed outside of a therapeutic settings, or I shouldn't say outside of a therapeutic setting outside of a psilocybin session. So when you're sober, and you're with your therapist, or whomever is going to be administering the psilocybin to you have that should be a conversation about consent beforehand. And so you may they may say, Hey, would you be okay, if I hold your hand during something difficult comes up for you during your journey, would that be useful to you, you're you can totally say no to any type of touch, and certainly any sexual touch to be completely off the table no matter what in a psychedelic setting. But with with therapeutic touches, again, that could be something that you want, especially if it's something that you're trying to work through and gain trust for. So again, that conversation needs to be had outside the psilocybin session. And then when you are inside the psilocybin session, you they need to honor the rules of consent that you set out, maybe you did consent to having your handheld, but they still need to ask you again, when you're on psilocybin, if the moment comes up, and you can revoke that consent at any time during your session. What can't happen, though, is that if you are outside of a psilocybin session, and you said, You know what I don't want any hand holding, I want no touch whatsoever, that therapist should never ask you in a psilocybin session, if they can then touch you, whether it's hand holding or whatever, that should just be completely off the table because you didn't consent to that, and you cannot consent to it when you're on psilocybin. And the thing to remember, and why this is so important is that when you are on psilocybin or any psychedelic, we become much more vulnerable. And that has to do with the changes in the resting state networks that I was just briefly talking about. And and we're also much more open to suggestibility. So someone could try to convince you that you need this touch even though it's inappropriate, inappropriate sexual touch and you don't absolutely you don't you definitely don't need Unknown Speaker 15:00 About in the psilocybin session, they may try to convince you of that. And so if we navigate consent outside of the psychedelic session, and if we share resources with each other, we can try to help protect ourselves. And what I mean by sharing resources is that if you know, so, for example, I worked within an underground guy to do my journey, and he was great. And I completely trust him. And I trust to send other people to him. And so there are all these great communities out there that are able to help you if you do need resources in terms of who to work with, whether that's a therapist, or a shaman, or whatever. And so some of those resources include moms on mushrooms is a great organization. It is literally what it sounds like a bunch of moms who are in community and they talk to each other about their mushroom use. They're open about it, they're trying to destigmatize it. There are others out there, there's called there's something called the flourish Academy. And it it arose out of a community called Sisters and psychedelics. And so sisters in psychedelics is no more but the flourish Academy was started by one of their founders, and she's really great and shares resources with people as well. So those are just some examples of how we can work together to kind of keep each other safer. Unknown Speaker 16:15 And then in in a consensual relationship with your partner. How can mushrooms add magic to people's sex lives? Oh, yeah, such a great question, too. So women are disproportionately affected by female sexual dysfunction? Well, obviously, female sexual dysfunction, they have that but in sexual dysfunction in general, women are disproportionately affected by that. So it's the statistic is that there is when you're a reproductive age, it's about 40 45% of people that have signed female at birth have female sexual dysfunction. And then it goes up to 85%. Once Once people reach menopause. So that's pretty alarming disparity there. And yeah, I think that I'm sorry, were you gonna ask the question? I don't mean to cut you off. But would you mind defining what that is? Yeah, sure what female sexual dysfunction is. So it can mean a lot of things for the female body. I mean, it's a little clearer with a male body, it often means that you know, erectile dysfunction. With women, it's a little bit different. So it could be anything from pain with intercourse to not having sexual desire, like having a low libido to begin with, which also could be a male thing, the male body can have low libido, and that's considered male sexual dysfunction to but in the female body, low libido, not being able to climax during sex pain with intercourse. These are all different types of female sexual dysfunction. So it's a very broad umbrella term. But in terms of with psilocybin, like, how could that be a benefit. So there are two things that are really protective against female sexual dysfunction, and that is having a positive body image. And then also, the second thing is intimate partner communication, the better your intimate partner communication, the less likely you are to have female sexual dysfunction. And of course, I want to point out that trauma can contribute to female sexual dysfunction. And so, you know, having an absence of trauma can be beneficial. But of course, we can't reverse trauma. So it's just something to to consider that that is a contributor. But we do know that psilocybin can help with body image based on the studies that are coming out about anorexia nervosa so far, and then also it can facilitate an intimacy simply because we, as we use psilocybin, we feel exponentially more connected to people. And that can be people directly around you, or it can be the universe as a whole, or the flora and fauna, you know, just nature and whatnot. But you don't necessarily have to do psilocybin with your partner to have that benefit of that of growing that, that intimacy. It can just happen naturally, if you go off and do your own journey. But I did talk to an expert to see like, could psilocybin essentially facilitate a boost or boost her sex life, and her name is Dr. Michelle Ross, and she's a neuroscientist, and she talks about how it's not necessarily a classic aphrodisiac in terms of oh, if you do psilocybin, you're gonna get you know, really armor amorous and want to go out it or anything, it could, but but not necessarily. So it's probably more so that that intimate partner communication can be facilitated, especially if you are doing that with your partner, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that you're with your partner to do that. And then additionally, it psilocybin May, again, improve your body image and it also may give you more confidence in when you do end up in the bedroom. So what she recommended, what the neuroscientists recommended is to go off and do your own journey, explore yourself a little explore your body, gain that confidence to bring that back into the bedroom and tell your partner exactly what you need, which can be difficult for women to do. And so yeah, so I see a lot of potential there and you know, also something to consider is that, again, sexual dysfunction can crop up more often for people Unknown Speaker 20:00 Who are in menopause and I do see a lot of potential for psilocybin to help with menopause including menopausal related depression. So that's such a prevalent symptom of menopause that people deal with. And the first thing that will happen when you go to your doctor, if you're like, Hey, I'm in menopause, or I think I am, and I'm having actually say perimenopause, and I'm thinking, I think I have depression. And the first thing they'll do is put you on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which is an SSRI, or an antidepressant. And the problem with those again, they're great medications, and I'm nothing against them. And I certainly don't want people to stop those medications that they're on them without talking to their doctors and things like that. But Unknown Speaker 20:40 one of the major side effects of SSRIs for all people is sexual dysfunction. And so this can, giving someone a medication for one symptom of menopause may exacerbate a another symptom. And so, we do know that psilocybin has beneficial effects on depression. So I am an advocate for trying that instead of necessarily going straight to an SSRI, whereas I'm certainly getting pushed blowback on that from, from people when I say that, because they're like, Oh, well, SSRIs are a first line of defense, and we should reserve psilocybin for treatment resistant depression. And I'm like, why, you know, you take you if you use psilocybin once and you do a deep journey, and it's therapeutic, that can we already have the research to support that, that has lasting effects, it might last for six months, or up to even a year. And so but with an SSRI, you have to take that regularly every day to make it work. And it has side effects, whereas psilocybin, we have very minimal side effects for that, and they're very temporary. And so that is, that's a question that I'm asking now is, why do you care if people jump straight to psilocybin? Are we just trying to fund the pharmaceutical industry at this point, you know? Unknown Speaker 21:57 Have you read the book, The Body Keeps the Score? No, but I have it on my stack I want to read because I have just bought it I just started reading. Vander Kolk, right. Unknown Speaker 22:09 Um, Unknown Speaker 22:12 yep. Yep, it is. Yeah. So I just started reading it a couple days ago. So I'm not very far in but one of the, one of the first I think it was in the first chapter or something like that. Unknown Speaker 22:23 This researcher was a professor at this university. And he was talking about sexual assault. And he said, Well, statistically, you know, I just Googled it. I can't remember what he said in the book, but it was very low, reportedly, and I just Googled it, it shows one in six, but he was like, what I thought was interested, interesting was 50% of the women in the class came up to me afterwards, and shared stories of Unknown Speaker 22:54 them being assaulted by a family member. And he was like, I don't think that statistic is accurate, if I'm getting 50% of my class of people that are comfortable enough to even come forward. And he's like, if I'm getting 50%, I don't think that statistic is really accurate. I think it's a lot higher. Unknown Speaker 23:13 But I thought it was interesting as well, you know, with our further understanding of Cymatics, you know, we have issues in our tissues, right of it, pretty much any any trauma gets trapped in the body, and whether, you know, we go toward, you know, XYZ trauma, it affects our body and our ability to open up. And so, you know, yeah, I think, I mean, we're seeing psilocybin have such immense effects on PTSD and trauma. And I think this is just whether it is adding magic to your sex life or just getting back in your body. I think it's so important, right? We're, yes, I had a teacher say, you know, most Americans are just like, big floating heads. Unknown Speaker 24:00 Like, we're so disconnected from our bodies, like, we're just kind of big floating heads. And we have hot heads and cold hearts, and we need to have warm hearts and cool heads. And, yeah, you bring up an important thing. And I wanted to dive into this just briefly, but So you mentioned that, I mean, essentially, yes, the Body Keeps the Score. And I think that that can be a hard or an abstract thing to understand. But what we need to understand is that when we have adverse childhood experiences or what are called aces, they actually physically change our stress response. So we have a different when you have an ace and that could be anything from sexual assault or you know, abuse as a child, whether that's, you know, physical or sexual or verbal, or it could be having, you know, violence in your home living through poverty or systemic racism in your community. These types of things are all traumatic events, and they, they actually change our stressors. Unknown Speaker 25:00 response. And so then when we have, you know, we're just driving about during the day. And, you know, so we think everything is a threat even when it's not, you know. And so that can be this what's called hyper vigilance where you're hyper vigilant about stress, and you're always in this fight or flight mode. And so that's what happens when we have aces and one in six adults has, has at least four has four or more ACEs, which is an alarming statistic, when you think about it. And I in the book, I have a whole chapter on parenting. So I just wanted to briefly bring this up. But Unknown Speaker 25:36 aces, if you've had, if you've had four or more ACEs as when you were childhood, you know, your children are four are threefold, more likely to have four or more ACEs as well, which is a little bit alarming as well, I shouldn't say a little bit, it's a lot alarming because we end up passing down these cycles of trauma, not because we're intending to traumatize our children. But we pass that down not only genetically, but then also just because if we're raised in a very traumatic or chaotic environment, that's the only model we have. And we can perpetuate that on our kids. And so I say, our kids, but I don't have I don't actually have any kids. I'm not a mom, but respect parenting and think it's, you know, a honorable thing to do. And so I just wanted to raise that point, because you're talking about how it is carried in your body, it's actually carried in your genetics, too, which is crazy to me. Unknown Speaker 26:34 I don't know if this is true, I read in an article that Unknown Speaker 26:38 trauma can be passed down nine generations in the battle. I don't know how I have to Google this afterwards. Now that I said it, but I remember reading that and that was very interesting. And Unknown Speaker 26:53 yeah, I have a couple of friends recently, we were just like reminiscing about trauma in our childhoods. And we're like house like, you know, and it's, it's the thing is, it's like, parents are doing the best that they can with all the tools that they've been given. And you know, we are very much like Plato, we're products of our environment. And we Unknown Speaker 27:15 we can only try as hard as we can and do the best. And then it's up to the next generation, hopefully to do a better job. But sometimes that doesn't happen. When it comes to parenting. What's What's your view on? I know, you brought up was it mom's on mushrooms, mom's on mushrooms? Yes, mom's on mushrooms, what what is your, Unknown Speaker 27:36 what's your take on parenting with mushrooms, I think it's a great thing. So I just talked about ACEs, I do think that we have a lot of potential to help resolve some of our ACES if we use psilocybin. And so that doesn't mean that I'm suggesting that you go and do psilocybin for your kids. I mean, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying go off, do your own journey, work on your trauma. And that can perhaps help you become less reactive with your kids. And also even be more present with your kids. And maybe that's involving micro dosing to all of those things. But what I'm hearing from people is, as parents, they, they find that they enjoy clay a little bit more after they use psilocybin. And that's simply because those five and helps us recapture that childlike state of wonder and awe. And so I can see where it might be more exciting than to get down on the floor and play Legos with your kids as opposed to just in normal life, when you're dealing with all these stressors, if we can reduce some of those stressors with whatever tools we have available to us, and psilocybin can be one of those, to go ahead and do that. So yeah, so I love this idea of, you know, reducing trauma if we can, and then also being less reactive, and then finding that we'd love to play a little bit more when we're hanging out with the little ones. Yeah, I'm reading this, this parenting book right now. And one of the main takeaways is, Unknown Speaker 29:02 we a lot of parents have like these big egos, like I'm gonna be this really good parent, you know, and then a lot of times, one of the traps that a lot of parents get into is they tell their kids not to do things or do things and, you know, when when psychology things like, what pisses us off the most and other people is our demons, you know, and this happens a lot with parents is like, they get mad at their kids for doing the thing that the parent messed up on as a kid and they're like, don't do that, you know, and, and their whole thing was, you can't, like kids are not going to listen, they're just gonna be rebellious. You have to be an example you know, and be Be the change you want to see and fill your own cup up. If you want anyone to change like you can't, you can tell them all day and they're just going to do the exact opposite. If they don't see you in body Unknown Speaker 30:00 that change, right? And I think mushrooms are, you know, it's, it's not it's not only the, you know, five hour journey, it's how are you integrating that into your life? And then how are you affecting not only your own body, but but your family, your friends, your community? And? Unknown Speaker 30:19 Yeah, well, I don't have kids either, but Unknown Speaker 30:22 it's all for my buck. Well, we'll see what your easier said than done. We'll see when it happens. Unknown Speaker 30:29 Also, in terms of parenting, what, what is your opinion on using psilocybin while pregnant while breastfeeding? Unknown Speaker 30:39 Yeah, I covered that in the book as well, in this whole parenting chapter. And it's such an important question. So you know, we don't have direct evidence of harm to the fetus from using psilocybin. Like, there's all this historical data from or I should say, data, but like, we have indigenous wisdom to lean on have cultures that have historically used psilocybin while pregnant. And while breastfeeding, and there's no evidence of harm yet. We don't necessarily want to be reductive about and be like, yeah, go do you go to a bunch of drugs while you're pregnant. That's not what I'm saying people, but still want to get a bunch of hate mail. But anyway, um, you know, we do have to consider the health and wellness of the pregnant person as well as the fetus, you know, and so, in the book, I interviewed this woman, she goes by mama de la myco, on Instagram, but her name is Michaela de de la myco. And she, yes, she's amazing. And she, you know, she brings a lot of indigenous wisdom to the psychedelic industry, as it exists now, where obviously, historically, it was an indigenous practice. And so I always want to honor that. But she talks about her own usage of psilocybin while pregnant I was, I thought that was really I love that she spoke about that. And what she was saying is that she had a problem, that problematic relationship with alcohol. And so she chose to use psilocybin during pregnancy to abstain from alcohol, and I don't know her dosages, or if she was just micro dosing or doing deeper journeys, or whatnot. But we do know there's direct harm from consuming alcohol while pregnant. I mean, in large amount, I mean, one glass of wine there, here and there, it doesn't generally hurt from the research. But, you know, we know that if you're constantly using alcohol while you're pregnant, then yeah, that can cause fetal alcohol syndrome. So I think the, the, that was the appropriate thing for her to do in that context. And, and so it's, that's just an important consideration. And so it's something that I advocate for people to talk their doctors about, if they feel comfortable doing that, or talking to a psychedelic expert that they feel comfortable talking to you about, if that's something that they're considering. And then in terms of breastfeeding, I talked to a lactation consultant, and she was really great. She, I think one of the things that was so important that she said was, hey, we're lactation consultants, we're here to help you figure out strategies, we're not here to judge you in any way. And I thought that was a really important thing, because we do we do need to de stigmatize this for people who are pregnant, AND, OR, AND or breastfeeding, or in their postpartum phase of any sort. But with with breastfeeding, there are, if you feel uncomfortable with having psilocybin in your breast milk, there are certainly strategies that you can create around breastfeeding, whether you're going to do a deeper journey or microdose. So I included all the information about the half life of psilocybin, which would be when when is it reduced by 50%. And in your body after doing a journey, and then when or or micro dosing and then when is it out completely out of your system. And so certainly, you could create strategies about your timing on breastfeeding. And of course, some of this will, what will matter will be the age of your child, because if you're breastfeeding a newborn, and that's very different than breastfeeding, you know, a one year old or even an older child, you're breastfeeding less often. And so, you know, certainly, but then thinking about micro dosing, you have such a minuscule, minuscule amount that you're using any ways that's out of your system fairly quickly. So that would be much more accessible to someone breastfeeding a newborn to create strategies around that than doing a deeper journey where you need, you know, more of a full day. But of course, you could be pumping and dumping during that time, if that's something that you want to do, especially if you've already have breast milk stored up to then, you know, feed your child. So, yeah, all these things are covered in the book. And I think it's just one of those things that I want people to think there is not just a blanket, there's not a blanket answer to it. It's not like oh, no, you can't do this. It's more like, Well, let's think about this. What are your personal considerations? What are the considerations for your family? It's going to be an individual choice for everybody. Right, great question. Have you read the study where they gave psilocybin to pregnant rats? Oh, yes. Yes. Yeah. What? What's your take on that? I do kind of briefly touched upon it, but I'm just curious. Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess my big take is that we're not wrapped Unknown Speaker 34:58 up true. Unknown Speaker 35:00 We can't really go off of that we do know that. It did. I think in that study, if I recall correctly that it did this little Simon did get into the infant rats, you know, or the fetal rats or whatever. Unknown Speaker 35:15 Fetal rats, but anyway, cross the placental blood brain barrier. Yeah, cross the placental. But, um, you know, we still didn't necessarily have that it harmed them, you know, but again, we're not rats. And so, again, not trying to be reductive about this in any way. It's just we need we can't just have blanket statements about things like this, especially when we're considering a pregnant person's mental health. And, you know, they this may be the thing that really helps them. Yeah. And, you know, I was just talking to Michaela about this as well, if we, if we know it doesn't do any, if if the LD 50 test for psilocybin shows it's not going to kill anybody. Unknown Speaker 36:01 You know, there is speculation of, well, what's it doing to a underdeveloped brain? We don't really know. However, the the Unknown Speaker 36:15 what's the word? The other argument on the other side, which Makayla points out? And you'd have other people pointing out as well as like, well, Unknown Speaker 36:25 what? Would you rather have a mother that has alcoholism? And what's the trauma on that? versus not? You know, or, you know, I interviewed this woman, Dr. Stephanie natspec, who studies treating anorexia with psilocybin. And she was like, Yeah, well, most kids develop it really young. And so what's the effects of not treating anorexia for years and waiting until they're 18? Or 21? And putting them on? You know, we give kids sugar and fast food and candy, and and yeah, ADHD medication, and all this stuff? Like, what's that doing to them? And you know, what's untreated trauma for many, many years doing to kids? And is that way worse than potentially one or two psilocybin journeys to heal trauma? My gut is telling me the psilocybin is way safer, but, you know, we'll see it with more research coming out. But I think it's a much healthier alternative than a lot of things being pumped into kids systems. Well, I agree, you mentioned sugar. And that is, I mean, I also write a lot about metabolic health. And I won't get into all of that, because obviously, this is a mushroom podcast. But we do know how damaging that is, kids are getting fatty liver disease. And fatty liver disease is a disease that adults should only I mean, nobody should get it to begin with. But it's traditionally been a disease that adults get, and kids are getting it at alarming rates now, and that sets them up for horrible health going forward. And so we do know that that's really bad for you. And so yeah, I'd love to see a head to head study on psilocybin versus look, Unknown Speaker 38:11 in teenagers, maybe you know, and see what's happening there. But you raise a good point. Unknown Speaker 38:17 Is there any research that shows that psilocybin affects women differently? Can Oh, yeah, that's such a great question. I'm glad you brought that up. So yeah, so we do have some research to show that estrogen affects the, the binding at the serotonin receptor sites. And so we don't know what this all means. Yeah, we still need more research on that. But there is some research to suggest that where we are in our cycles would would matter in terms of how we're doing when we are doing a deeper journey, or how we want to microdose and things like that. And so the research that I came across that was super fascinating, was done out of Johns Hopkins. And these are just anecdotal reports and case studies so far, but what we're learning is that women who do a deeper journey will often find that their cycle, their period comes a little early than when they expected it to come, which you know, that's fine and could have some really great beneficial effects. And so, the other thing that these case studies were reporting, it was a return to menstrual regularity after a time of your regularity. And there's lots of conditions that creep can create menstrual cycle irregularities, and then also a return to having a menstrual cycle after not having one and I'm not talking about menopause, but I'm talking about sometimes people stop having a period because they're really stressed maybe they've lost a lot of weight. They have a condition that's affecting their menstrual cycle, and then and so a return to a menstrual cycle after not having one. So those are the three potential benefits. Again, we need more research on that because we don't have clinical trials. We just have case studies and anecdotal reports at this point. But I was super excited to learn that and I see a lot of potential for things like maybe even Unknown Speaker 40:00 of fertility or dealing with something like premenstrual dysphoric disorder or polycystic ovarian syndrome, maybe even endometriosis, which is a condition that I have. Although endometriosis is not a menstrual cycle condition, it just, there are some relationships there. Just wanted to point that out. But um, but I did talk to again, I'm gonna bring up Mikayla de la myco, who is just fabulous. I asked her to bring in her indigenous wisdom to this topic. And she recommended that if you are going to do a deeper journey to do that closer to ovulation rather than when you're getting closer to your menstrual cycle. And the reason for that is because our and our bodies become very energy depleted as we get towards our periods. And we have a lot more energy in our body during ovulation. And when we use psilocybin, that can be very energy depleting as well. And then plus also, some people tend to fast before doing a journey that might be for a few days, or maybe just in the hours leading up to when they're taking their dose. But it's really difficult to fast when you're getting close to your period, as opposed to near ovulation. And this This is all supported with science simply because as we get into that luteal phase where we're getting closer to our periods, the Our bodies become more insulin resistant, I warned you I wrote about metabolic health, so our bodies become a little bit more insulin resistant. And that's simply because we're shuttling all that glucose and energy that's in our bodies to the potential, you know, growing fetus. And so it makes sense that from a scientific standpoint, to to potentially do the journey closer to ovulation. And then also, Mikayla didn't Dayla myco. She mentioned if you're planning to micro dose, and you want to see how that affects your cycle over time, there's a bunch of different micro dosing protocols out there, and you can follow whichever one, but stick to that same protocol for about three months to actually see how it affects your menstrual cycle, because it may take three months to really take effect there. And I thought that was really great information too. So I just loved talking to her as I'm sure you did. Yeah, she's, she's brilliant, and super sweet. Unknown Speaker 42:14 I'm, that's so I love that you just brought this up, because I had two experiences one in Ecuador with a San Pedro ceremony, and two with the sweat lodge, here in the States, but in both times, the facilitator you know, it was like, Hey, I can't have anyone on their moon cycle, do participate. And it caused a lot of Unknown Speaker 42:42 angry responses from from various women in the in the group. And to to women both times had to had to step out and they're really excited about it. They prepared all this stuff, and they just didn't know that. Unknown Speaker 42:55 And, you know, it was kind of the thing of like, Hey, this is my indigenous tradition, sorry, like that. I'm not going to change this for you. And there's like frustration, but respect and, you know, they they stepped out but Unknown Speaker 43:09 that I now I'm curious to dive deeper into that, because Unknown Speaker 43:15 it does make sense. And it also rattles a million questions in my brain. Yeah. as well. If you had a hypothesis, why do you think that? For certain women it sometimes will, their period will come sooner? What do you think? Like, yeah, evolutionary response for that was all supported by science too. So and I'm glad you asked this, because I did want to bring up the the mechanisms of action. So our menstrual cycles occur on what along what's called the hypothalamus, pituitary gonadal axis and in the case of the female body at the gonads or the ovaries, so meaning that your hypothalamus, your pituitary gland and your ovaries like work on a feedback loop where when when when a hormone kicks off, let's just say estrogen. It tells another hormone what to do. And that's why we have that follicular phase ovulation and the luteal phase and you get your period. That's how that all works, this feedback loop but our we also have and everyone has this A, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, and that's where our stress response occurs. So you know if you get fight or flight that's occurring along that HPA axis. And what's interesting is when we use psilocybin we are activating our serotonin receptors, and that's activation occurs along that HPA axis. And just by their names, you can tell they overlap the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland being the overlap there. And so we already have situations where we know one axis affects the other. So if you're stressed out that could prevent you from getting your period or you might have a really excruciating period that time or vice versa. If you get your period you get that can also be very strong. Unknown Speaker 45:00 stress inducing on the body. You know, just because you're hot, you can have a lot of symptoms with that. And so these two axes overlap one affecting the other. We already know that from science. And so if we just think about it from the perspective of using psilocybin, it's not a stretch to assume that one impacts the other and that the female hormones are likely playing a part there. So yeah, I hope people pay attention to that. And I think it's really important that if you are going to do a ceremony in an indigenous community to really respect those practices, because they're there for a reason, you know, they're there, don't discount them as being like woowoo or silly. Just because you think that it's really important to honor those traditions, we think we think of science as a process of doing things over and over again, to reproduce the same results. That's what we think of mainstream science. But that's what indigenous communities have done forever with psilocybin long before my white self got a hold of it, you know, so it's just really, really important to honor those traditions if you are going to sit in ceremony with a an indigenous community or an indigenous practitioner. Unknown Speaker 46:07 So I'm glad you brought that up. Unknown Speaker 46:12 Going, going from kind of the overview of this whole segment industry right now. And obviously, we're at such a weird point, it seems like such a gold rush. And there's a million different companies popping up and million self proclaimed experts in the field. Unknown Speaker 46:31 Time tons of retreats and things like that. What if you can kind of look at it from 10,000 feet? What areas in the psilocybin industry do you feel most need women to enter the space to be involved to have a spotlight? And and to be more involved in the space? It's absolutely great. Yeah, I mean, it's it's all areas for sure. But you know, I'm really glad I'm seeing female researchers studying some really cool things. So Dr. Natalie, good Kassian at the Johns Hopkins Center for psychedelic research center, or whatever it's called, they she's been really doing some great research on not only anorexia, but also the menstrual cycle. So I'm super excited about the work she's doing. I'd love to see more female researchers out there and really focusing on the female body. But the other thing, we've made some progress recent in the recent year, I would say of where we are having. So there's all these conferences going on in the psychedelic industry right now. And I've mixed feelings about them. But it's it's so important that it's not just the white male standing up there. And so I'm glad to see more women speakers being included in psychedelic conferences and things like that. But I think one thing that we're really missing is, conferences tend to bring in Indigenous women or just women of color in general, to do ceremonies, rather than to get their takes on things or learn about their research or whatever they're working on. It's just for this very specific thing. And it feels very performative. I mean, yes, it's important to have ceremonies with indigenous people. I think that I honor that and respect that. But I want to hear from them in general, not just for ceremony. So that seems where we have a gap and where we're getting this whitewashing of the psychedelic industry right now. And that can be very problematic, because we do know, and especially with psilocybin, but it has this deep indigenous tradition, so very important to be bringing that that in and hearing from speakers on these topics, science based indigenous wisdom based, not just bringing people of color in just to do ceremonies. Unknown Speaker 48:51 What, Unknown Speaker 48:53 in doing this research and reading your book, what would you say is the hardest has been the hardest part. Unknown Speaker 49:01 Maybe this is sort of a funny thing, but it's getting really annoying is that I get anytime I have an event or I'm speaking somewhere or doing a bookstore thing. And I do a talk, men come up to me and they're like, Well, why did you write a book for women? Where's the one for men? And I'm like, Oh, right. Men never get any attention in the industry. Right, you know, and so I know I shouldn't say that's the hardest thing. It's one of the most annoying things. It's just I want them to stop and think about what they're saying before they open their mouths. This was not Unknown Speaker 49:34 an insult towards men. Not at all I love men have many male friends. But it's time to Unknown Speaker 49:42 let women speak and Don't ask stupid questions like that, I guess. Unknown Speaker 49:48 And if you were to give one piece of advice to women out there who are interested in in getting into psilocybin into mushrooms in general, what would that be? Unknown Speaker 49:59 Yeah, Unknown Speaker 50:00 Another really great question, I think Unknown Speaker 50:03 I, you know, I have a lot of hesitancy around trying psilocybin to begin with, and I get that it's, it can be a very scary thing. And especially if you grew up during the war on drugs and you like that that's sort of ingrained in you, I challenge people, regardless of gender to let that go, let go of any perceptions you have about psychedelics or other drugs, and learn, learn from the research, learn the potential benefits, and why is it beneficial. There's really great information out there on that as well. And so and I included in the book, but just to really let go of those misconceptions, and then start talking about it. You know, that's, that's a goal of something like mom's on mushrooms is that we all just need to be talking about it, because we need to de stigmatize it. So there are a lot of people out there that psilocybin Can, can help, whether they have PTSD, another type of trauma, depression, anxiety, any type, you know, lots of different conditions that are being where it's being studied for. And I see a lot of potential for it to help so many people, but we can't help people if we'd still have this stigma. So that's my goal is to reduce stigma, and then also to reduce that fear that I mentioned. And it's hard to reduce our fear around things. I know that but the more that you educate yourself, the less fear you'll have. And you will feel a little bit safer going into that. And I'm always available in my DMs to answer questions of people who want to know more, but I did include my personal journey, like I wrote that as my first chapter in the book. And then I incorporated some information from three other women, their journeys, as well as long as, as well as how it helps them. And so I think that helps to ease some of that fear. So I encourage people to read those types of things. Unknown Speaker 51:48 And where can people find your book? Oh, yeah, anywhere books are sold, you can get it, I always encourage people to order from their local independent bookstore, if possible, support the independent person. And and then you can find me on social media pretty much everywhere. My handle is at Gen chessick. So je NCHESAK If you've got questions, or just want to stay Connect. Unknown Speaker 52:13 Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on. Appreciate it. Thank you for having me. This was such a blast. Yeah, of course. And thank you, for everyone from wherever you're tuning in from around the world. Thank you for tuning in and tuning in for another episode of the mushroom revival podcast. We couldn't do it without you. Otherwise, I would just be we'd just be talking to a wall. So I appreciate everyone for tuning in and spending you know, an hour of your, your week with us every week to geek out with mushrooms and to to listen to these these amazing speakers talk about what they're passionate about. And if you want to support the show, we don't have a Patreon or any way that you can directly donate but we do have a website mushroom revival.com, where we have a bunch of organic functional mushroom products from gummies capsules, powders, tinctures, they're amazing. You can if you want to get some for yourself, you can use a coupon code pod treat for a surprise discount. It's only for listeners of the podcast, and we change it all the time. So who knows you got to plug it in to figure out what you're what you're gonna get. If you don't want to spend any money and you still want to try your product we have a giveaway going on. The link is in the bio if you want to enter to win we pick a winner once a month. We also have a bunch of free resources on the site as well a bunch of free ebooks you can download a Unknown Speaker 53:34 bunch of blog posts bunch of recipes. We also have my newest book, The Little Book of mushrooms on there as well. It's a cute little coffee table book for people that want to read and Unknown Speaker 53:45 that's it. Everyone keeps spreading the word about mushrooms and as always much love and made the spores be with you Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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