Psychoactive Treatments and Information
Note: None of the following information constitutes clinical advice. As stigma decreases around certain substances and more research is being done with them, medical use of these substances are increasingly being recognized. However, each of these substances also carry risk and may not produce the desired effect in the user; sometimes use can be harmful. It is recommended people who are under age 25 or have history of psychosis do not try any of these substances to risk of negatively affecting brain development or triggering psychosis.
Cannabis has increasingly been shown to have a plethora of medical benefits, and can be a healthier, less habit-forming alternative to treating anxiety, insomnia, and PTSD than benzodiazepines and other sedatives. However, there is still addictive potential to the psychoactive components in cannabis and it may trigger anxiety or even psychosis in some people. Jessica Jarrard cannot provide approval for a medical registration card, but you may find providers to help you with this below (note these are only for Americans).
This seems to be the most affordable and easiest way to get an online medical card evaluation from a certified doctor, at only $39 an appointment. Currently available in California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.
CannaCare Docs is the largest multi-state organization providing cannabis evaluations and education. They provide online evaluations with certified doctors for people in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Appointments are $150-200.
Jessica Jarrard helped to start this company and assisted in making the registered vending training curriculum. She is currently a trainer to registered vendors and people who want to work in the legal cannabis industry to comply with state regulations in the legal cannabis industry in Massachusetts, USA. Jessica also provides advanced trainings about diversity and meeting social equity requirements, reparations the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission requires the industry to make to communities of color and individuals hurt by the war on drugs.
Therapeutic use of psilocybin, the main active ingredient in "magic mushrooms"
The use of psilocybin and other psychoactive ingredients in various species of "magic mushrooms" is still illegal in most countries except Norway and most states in the USA (except Oregon). As more therapeutic uses get discovered, we will likely see more legal options available for therapeutic use in the future. Theses substances have very low addictive potential, but some users can have intensively negative experiences, especially if they are not in right mood and setting during their use. It is highly recommended one be in a clinically supervised setting when using psilocybin with therapy sessions before and after use to maximize its therapeutic potential and minimize negative experiences and safety concerns.
Effects of Psilocybin Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder, A Randomized Clinical Trial
This study by by Davis, Barret, and May et al. published in the Journal of American Medical Association found participants with clinical depression showed remarkable rapid and sustained positive results in response to psilocybin treatment paired with 13 sessions of psychotherapy. The study found the treatment to be approximately 2.5x more effective than therapy alone and 4x more effective than antidepressant medication alone. Find the article for free here:
Compass Pathways is the lead group of researchers on psilocybin assisted treatment in North America and Europe. Learn more about their research or see if you are eligible to participate in their current study using psilocybin to treat treatment-resistant depression.
Synthesis Retreat, Amsterdam
This is a retreat center in Amsterdam that offers legal use of psilocybin containing "truffles" (the mycelium of psilocibes cubensis) in a therapeutic and medically assisted setting. They are also a good resource for news about therapeutic use of magic mushrooms.
How to Change your Mind by Michael Polland
This is a good book to read if you are interested in learning more about the science, history and use of psychedelics. The later half of the book is about Michael Polland's personal experiences trying various psychedelic substances.
Ketamine assisted therapy
Ketamine is a sedative that typically produces a dream-like, mildly psychedelic state. This treatment can be useful for people experiencing treatment resistant depression. Ketamine can also be habit forming, particularly when it is used in non-clinical settings or with other substances, so it is not generally recommended for people with history of substance abuse. If you are interested in ketamine treatment, research if any local clinics or private practice doctor or psychiatrist providing treatment near you.
Please read this article before considering ketamine treatment
Field Trip Mental Health
Field trip mental health provides ketamine assisted therapy to people at their offices in Amsterdam, Toronto, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles. They alternate sessions of talk therapy with sessions of intravenous ketamine. This treatment is costly ($2,000-5,000 USD), but many HSAs and FSAs cover the cost and some insurances pay for the initial assessment.
Ayahuasca is a strong psychedelic brew made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, used traditionally among indigenous people of the upper Amazon. Some research suggests that people with depression, PTSD, and addiction can benefit from use and countless anecdotal evidence suggests people can have positive life transformations after participating in ceremonial use. People who take ayahuasca should be guided by a trained shaman and have a separate sober monitor who also speaks your language. It produces an intense psychedelic experience for 2-6 hours, often accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes severe anxiety/panic- all considered to be part of the cleansing process. This is a sacred ritual, and although ayahuasca retreats have become popular to non-indigenous people across the world, it should be noted that non-indigenous use of it can be considered cultural appropriation. Also note that certain medications interact with Ayahuasca.
Please read these articles before considering Ayahuasca
Soltara Healing Center, Gulf of Nicoya
Costa RicaSoltara’s retreats offer ceremonies with the sacred plant medicine ayahuasca in a beautiful setting of rainforest bordering the ocean. Retreats range from 5 days to 3 weeks in which guests prepare for medicine work with one-on-one consultations with Shipibo master healers (there’s a translator present), receive individual support from healers and facilitators during each sitting, and integrate their experiences with yoga, breathwork, journaling, creative expression, floral baths, nature immersion, and community events.
Niwe Rao Xobo, Pucallpa, Peru
Niwe Rao Xobo hosts ayahuasca ceremonies and traditional plant dietas led by Shipibo master healer Maestra Ynes. It’s a small, family-run outfit that stays close to tradition. Maestra Ynes works with participants to choose among seven master plants—each has a different spirit and wisdom—that support healing over the course of the retreat and help guide the ayahuasca experience.
Ibogaine is the psychoactive chemical found in the bark of the West African shrub Iboga. It is made into a brew used historically in healing ceremonies and initiations by members of the Bwiti religion in various parts of West Africa. It's use is showing considerable promise in treating people experiencing addiction, particularly in helping them through the withdrawal phase and cravings. It should be noted that Ibogaine does not "cure" addiction but simply helps to disrupt the detox process and craving thoughts. A person who undergoes a successful Ibogaine treatment is still likely to relapse if they do not participate in a longer term treatment and if they return to a triggering environment. It is also not safe for everybody and should only be taken under medical supervision. Please read the articles below about success rates and health risks before taking this treatment:
Pangea Biomedics, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Pangea Biomedics is an ibogaine-assisted drug detox and mental health clinical-care facility. What Pangea Biomedics does differently from other ibogaine-assisted healing centers is administer the drug incrementally, using the plant in three different forms with three different levels of intensity to acclimate the user to its effects. The center supplements its ibogaine program with somatic therapy, meditation, personal nutritional protocols, and self-inquiry programming.
Clear Sky Recovery, Cancún, Mexico
Clear Sky Recovery is a luxurious residential facility in Cancún specializing in ibogaine-assisted drug detox founded by the foremost researchers in the world on ibogaine treatment. Each treatment is tailored to the patient and their specific condition and monitored by medical doctors, clinical psychologists, and registered nurses. Their treatment protocols includes blood work, a cardiology check, psychotherapy, integration work after the ibogaine treatment, aftercare planning and optional yoga, massage and use of their beach and pool. Clear Sky administers a flood dose—an ingestible dose of ibogaine hydrochloride that interrupts withdrawal symptoms and results in dreamlike visions, followed by optional doses as needed.