After more than 50 years of political suppression, many parts of the world are experiencing an explosion of psychedelic research and medicine which is revolutionizing mental-health care, addiction treatment, palliative care and our understanding of the nature of self, consciousness and mystical experiences. This relatively recent explosion of interest and return to research into psychedelic medicines is being called The Psychedelic Renaissance. Every Tuesday between September 22 and December 29 2020 (17:00-18:30 PST), the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in Canada is hosting 14 (1.5 hour) webinars to discuss the current state of the global psychedelic renaissance. “The 14 episode webinar series will showcase luminaries in the field of psychedelic research from around the world. Each live session will consist of a presentation from an esteemed thought leader, followed by a Q&A with the audience” (MAPS Canada). MAPS is a non-profit organization founded by Rick Doblin in 1986 and continues to be a leading global force, advocate and psychedelic research funding organization. I encourage EVERYONE interested in learning more or wanting to get involved with this promising area of science, research, study and practice with psychedelics, sign up for these VERY AFFORDABLE series of talks.

There was far more covered by Rick Doblin than what is listed below, but anyone signing up after September 22 still has access to all previous webinars. Below are a few bullet points from the founder of MAPS (1986) Rick Doblin’s opening session in the first of the 14 episodes titled “Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance”. There was one more really great point but I am going to write a short article about it – It deserves more than a bullet point IMO.

  • 100 million raised by MAPS for psychedelic research (non-profit) since 1986
  • 30 million raised by MAPS (non-profit) in the last 6 months (August 20 2020)
  • First Psychedelic drug stock (Compass Pathways) raised 1 billion dollars in IPO (September 18 2020)
  • MDMA should see FDA approval by 2022/2023
  • Psilocybin hopefully around 2023
  • Canada basically watches the US FDA and Israel before moving on our own psychedelic laws
  • Should see hundreds, possibly thousands of psychedelic clinics around the world in 5-10 years
  • Currently a challenge to get more people of color into the psychedelic therapy space and clinical trials.
  • Two Person Therapy Model (often male/female), safer, more support but more expensive. MAPS would like one licensed therapist and the other a student or trainee. Want to make it economical by not forcing two licensed therapists. FDA currently pushing for MD/PhD for lead therapist. FDA is also pushing for a doctor on site. MAPS is working with the FDA to loosen these requirements to lower costs.
  • We have now vastly surpassed the huge body of published psychedelic science from the 50’s to 70’s.
  • Major universities around the world are rushing to establish their own psychedelic research centers/programs
  • Psychedelics have been widely accepted in the academic and psychological fields.
  • Rick Doblin was asked about some of his proudest moments: Albert Hoffman and his wife were alive in 2008 when MAPS got permission to study LSD and the start of the psychedelic renaissance. Both Albert and Anita Hoffman died not soon after. Also, the heart warming stories of the patients he has worked with, to see and hear their remarkable stories of healing.
  • Rick Doblin was asked why MDMA was chosen as the first substance to study and gain FDA approval? Paraphrasing Doblin, because the experiences with MDMA are easier to integrate compared to the classic psychedelics. Fewer bad trips, basically less risk of a negative experience and gentler than the classics. Also, typical psychiatrists and mainstream psychologists are more frightened of trying classic psychedelics. So all together choosing MDMA was a strategic decision.
  • Concerts, social parties and raves with psychedelics should also be seen as a sacred and ritualistic atmosphere.
  • Using a Sitter: Having someone there who is sober watching over you can allow you the comfort and safety necessary to allow yourself to go much further than if you were in a group or even alone (write an article about this).
  • Dreaming is good practice for navigating another altered state of consciousness.
  • Great use of MDMA in couples therapy (MDMA was already recognized as beneficial for couples therapy in the 80’s before it was prohibited). Ayahuasca and MDMA are being investigated together with couples therapy in Israel right now.
  • Canada vs America with regards to psychedelic legislation: America is ahead of Canada currently with regards to accepting psychedelics for compassionate use. Although we did just allow 4 Canadians to use psilocybin to treat end-of-life distress. At least initially, Health Canada (HC) has been at times harder to work with than the FDA in the USA. Strangely HC had a long list of requirements and even more security than the storage of opioids, and then bullet proof glass was required for the storage facilities. But HC seems more comfortable now with what MAPS are doing and seem more willing to start approving more research and clinical trials. It may also be easier to get insurance coverage for psychedelic therapies in Canada because we have a national health care system.

Highlighted Material

MDMA and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy-Ethics and Law

The Secret Chief Revealed

Trip of Compassion

Psychedelic Resources

(MAPS Canada) Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting research into psychedelic compounds.

(MAPS USA) Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting research into psychedelic compounds.

(MAPS Europe) Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting research into psychedelic compounds.

MAPS – Featured Research Papers –  Various featured research papers on psychedelics.

MAPS – Free Books & Essays –  Various books an essays around psychedelics

MAPS – Psychedelic Bibliography –   Searchable research biography database.

Heffter Research Institute – A nonprofit dedicated to supporting research into psychedelic compounds.

The Beckley Foundation – British organization supporting research into psychedelics and advocating internationally for drug law reforms.

MIND Foundation – The MIND Foundation envisions a healthier, more connected world through evidence-based, safe, and legal applications of the psychedelic experience.

Mind Medicine Australia – Charity that enables the development of regulatory-approved and research-backed psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of mental ill-health in Australia.

North Star – A nonprofit shaping psychedelic business around psychedelic wisdom, to not only change mental healthcare but to develop role models in the needed transformation of business as a whole.

John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research – Institutional research center looking into how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health.

University of Toronto Psychedelic Studies Research Program – The researchers at PSRP are a team of experts with varied backgrounds in neuroscience, clinical psychology, creative thinking, psychotherapy, and more. The PSRP aims to gain an understanding of the potential benefits and drawbacks of microdosing. It is a multidisciplinary effort that looks at how microdosing can affect creativity

Berkley Center For the Science of Psychedelics – The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) will explore psychedelics as tools for understanding the brain and mind, enhancing well-being, and deepening spirituality

Psychedelic Science Review – List of psychedelic research publications.

Chacruna – Various writings on psychedelic plant medicine and science, culture and spirituality.

The California Institute for Integral Studies Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research – Information on CIIS’s psychedelic research and training program for psychedelic guides/therapists.

Compass Pathways – A healthcare company working to develop and obtain regulatory approval for psychedelic therapy for treatment-resistant depression in Europe and the U.S.

Numinus Wellness – Canadian (for profit) business “advancing psychedelic laboratory testing, therapy, and research and hope to create a lifelong relationship between Numinus and our clients in their journey to heal and be well.

Field Trip Health – “Evidence-based, legal psychedelic therapies to help you heal depression and feel better”.

TheraPsil – “Supports Canadians who are in palliative care, who experience end-of-life distress, to exercise their charter right to seek compassionate treatment using psilocybin, through an application for exemption of section 56(1) of the controlled substances and drug act (CDSA).”

Council on Spiritual Practices – A collaboration between guides, scientists and religious scholars seeking to “make direct experience of the sacred more available to more people.

Facebook Group (Sunshine Coast BC, Canada)

Psychedelics, Microdosing & Wellness – The primary purpose of this group is to provide a safe, supportive and knowledge-based environment to connect like-minded people who share a passion and dedication towards advancing the healing and transformational potential of psychedelic medicine and mystical experiences.