VIDEO: Ayahuasca: The New Medical Pot?
Welcome to my latest Weekly Weed Report video presentation. Below is a condensed transcript.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, pop-culture astrophysicist, recently posed the question: “How many plants out there remain undiscovered simply because we don’t have enough people saying, ‘Now, let’s smoke that, let’s smoke this, let’s smoke this?’ I mean, there’s gotta be.”
Fact is, human beings don’t simply rely on plants for food. For millennia, plants have enabled people to alter their consciousness.
LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and other “classic psychedelics” no longer hog the spotlight. A host of other psychotropic substances are transitioning to the medical and psychiatric mainstream.
These drugs can be synthesized in the lab, but they originally derive from plants. One such drug, ayahuasca, is becoming especially prominent. The drug is used to make a tea that’s deployed in spiritual and religious rituals in South America. Researchers are discovering its medicinal and psychological benefits.
New public companies are coming to the fore to exploit ayahuasca, just as they’ve done for LSD, psilocybin, and marijuana. Big Pharma, institutional investors, and venture capitalists are taking notice, too. Could ayahuasca become the new medical marijuana?
Many mind-bending substances extracted from plants have been used for thousands of years by native cultures. They’re getting re-discovered by contemporary society. Many of these substances are ingested via drink, rather than smoke, but deGrasse Tyson’s point is well taken. The “green exploration” continues.
The divine within…
Psychedelic plants used for medicinal purposes are now being rebranded as “etheogenic plants.” The word etheogenic literally means “creating the divine within.”
Official documents that were presented to the Oakland (CA) City Council during a current psychedelic legalization effort explains that etheogenic plants are those that have been used by indigenous peoples, likely since the dawn of humanity, for the purpose of “healing, knowledge, creativity and spiritual connection.”
In June 2019, Oakland became the first city in California, and the second in the country (after Denver in May 2019), to decriminalize magic mushrooms.
Oakland’s latest resolution regarding etheogenic decriminalization seeks to encompass “the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials deserving reverence and respect from the perspective of the individual and the collective.”
Ayahuasca’s main ingredient is DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a very powerful hallucinogenic chemical.
Ayahuasca has dramatically increased in popularity in the U.S. and worldwide in recent years, but it remains illegal in this country at the federal level. Whether in the U.S. or abroad, it’s typically ingested at ayahuasca retreats led by a shaman, although it can be purchased for solo use.
Unsupervised ayahuasca “trips” are not recommended by health professionals, even for those experienced with psychedelics, because of the drug’s potency.
While a handful of groups have claimed ayahuasca as part of their religious ceremonies to secure immunity from prosecution, many have traveled to Costa Rica, Peru, and Brazil where ayahuasca retreats are legal. Ayahuasca tourism has become all the rage and it’s developing into a big global business.
Supporters of this medicinal brew claim that it is a profoundly cathartic experience, in which the effects of many years of “therapy” can be achieved with one trip. Others say that it is a way to quickly meet “God,” whatever that word means for you.
San Francisco lawmakers also are attempting to legalize ayahuasca, as well as other psychedelics such as psilocybin. City supervisors are considering a bill that mirrors one passed in the state Senate that would legalize not only the possession but the cultivation and sharing of small quantities of psychedelics for adults 21 and older.
The proposal also urges the mayor of San Francisco to advise the state and federal lobbyists that work in the city to support all efforts to decriminalize etheogenic plants.
The upshot: The movement to legalize marijuana and psychedelics is getting broader with each passing day, in turn opening new investment opportunities.
To learn more about these trends, I suggest you read my new book: The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics. My book is your definitive guide for making money in the thriving cannabis and psychedelics industries. Click here for your free copy.
John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.