Dr Jamie Rickcord, Medical Director at Ananda Clinics in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia has presented a very interesting slide deck at the Nimbin Medican.
Dr Rickcord’s presentation is titled, Endocannabinoid Medicine – A Gateway to Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy.
We live-streamed his presentation, although there were issues with the sound and microphone at the venue, so the sound quality is not perfect.
If you prefer to read instead of watching the video, you can find the transcript of Dr Rickcord’s fascinating presentation below.
Introduction by Michael Balderstone, President of Nimbin Hemp Embassy:
This is Jamie Rickcord from the Ananda Clinic in Byron, Ananda clinic, correct?
First time he’s talked to the Medican.
I’m so appreciative you’ve come over really appreciate it. And he’s also going to touch on something else, which I think got a massive future.
We’ve got to save the planet, don’t we?
Which is is using psychedelic drugs or psilocybin mushrooms or MDMA.
He’s also started looking at that and working with that.
And there’s a massive future in that. He’ll talk to you about it as well as cannabis.
Thanks, Dr. Jamie Rickcord.
The Endocannabinoid System’s role in mental health
Yes, so John covered a lot of what I’m going to talk about, but we’ll go over it again and I have a slightly different
perspective on it these days.
This talk is called Endocannabinoid Medicine a Gateway to Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy is my little poke at the system that has spent the last 50 years telling us that cannabis is a gateway drug to harder drugs.
Which is bollocks, isn’t it?
The truth is that trauma, emotional trauma, and poor mental health are a gateway to harder drugs.
And until we start addressing that, we’re not going to get anywhere.
So where’s this going?
I’m going to talk about a new way of thinking, which all of this is, and I’m going to talk about the endocannabinoid system’s role in mental health and how we can use it to treat mental health anxiety, PTSD.
And how I actually believe that we have more separation now, you know, cannabinoids, psychedelics, the truth is that these are all-natural plant-based medicines that nature gave us for our healing and humans
ignored that and banned them.
And the simple truth is that two plants that can two plants, one plant and a fungus that can grow in all of our gardens has the capacity to fix 99 percent of chronic health conditions.
And we need to start looking harder at that.
When original harmony was lost, laws were created.
We don’t need to say much more.
So I think what I’ve learnt and what we’re all learning is that we need to change the way we think and we need to act quickly.
Does nature contain all of the answers that we’re seeking?
These medicines, plant-based medicines, psychedelic medicines, cannabinoid medicines.
What do they teach us about human suffering?
Does nature contain all of the answers that we’re seeking?
What I think about that, especially with humans, until we can design these and build these, we shouldn’t be doubting that nature has all the answers because humans can’t build these because we fix them either.
So to feel that nature doesn’t have the answers is a fallacy.
Trauma is the leading cause of suffering in our society and our cannabinoids and tryptamines nature’s keys to healing our consciousness in our communities.
Now you’ve heard about the endocannabinoid system and how the cannabis plant contains potent medicine for that endocannabinoid system.
We have a tryptamine system as well that’s the serotonin system and a naturally occurring tryptamines psilocybin, DMT, are potent medicines on that system.
And I think as this moves forward, we’ll stop separating them and we’ll actually see them as a bigger whole of the human body, which I’ll touch on later.
And as John said and I say and will continue to say, this is about regulation, homeostasis, balance and presence.
That’s a healthy human.
This is Carl Jung and I read one of his books recently called The Undiscovered Self, and he gave me a piece of learning that really helped me kind of justify how I approach this now.
You heard John talk about using a terpene on a child’s sore tooth and how he saw that work and he decided to keep doing it.
Maybe not a medical model.
If you haven’t got a double-blind randomised controlled trial, you wouldn’t say there’s enough evidence.
And what Carl Jung talked about his knowledge versus understanding.
So understanding of a fellow human or understanding of ourselves means that we need to leave theory behind.
Understanding the individual requires what he called a lèse majesté, just as French for a crime against the king, for putting the king down, or telling the system that it’s wrong.
And that’s what we’re doing here.
This is a lèse majesté because we are saying that the system is wrong and we need change.
Each person is unique. Each person has a different treatment process with cannabinoids, and each individual requires individual care.
Each person who comes through my office or any other doctor’s office is not a statistic and not an alphabet letter.
But the current medical model treats those people as a statistic.
You tick these boxes, I’ll give you an SSRI for depression, which I’ll talk about later as well.
So I think part of this change is providing individual care and understanding that each person is individual.
And so his question was, can we understand the individual and the statistic?
It’s just a nice way of getting around this kind of very medically pharmaceutical, double-blind trial way of approaching people.
The more present we are, the healthier we are – Dr Jamie Rickcord
Now, this guy is one of my heroes, he’s called Claudio Naranjo. He’s a Chilean psychiatrist and psychotherapist who was really one of Stanislav Groff’s kind of contemporaries.
Working with plant medicines himself in his practice defines health as being in the present moment.
The more present we are, the healthier we are.
He described all of what we’re here to talk about and learn about as dangerous wisdom.
And the wisdom that the patriarchal mind or the kind of patriarchal society we live in doesn’t doesn’t
want us to have, he describes intergenerational trauma as frustrated love and that we’re passing that on generation after generation. And the seven cures for human suffering, wisdom, stillness, empathic love, devotion, submission,
self-awareness, and attention.
And he’s entirely correct, and these medicines, plant-based medicines tryptamine-based medicines,this is what they offer us, really.
My belief is breaking this cycle of suffering both within ourselves and within our societies.
The Fear Cascade
Now, this first image here is called the fear cascade.
And this is what happens to our nervous system as we respond to threat, and dangerous situations.
So down at zero, this would be, you know, some zebras on the plains eating grass.
Everything’s fine. They’re relaxed.
And the wind passes through the grass and there’s a rustle and they all look up and they look around thinking there’s a lion or someone with a gun.
When they realise there isn’t they settle back down and they start eating the grass again.
An hour or so later, the same thing happens and they look up and there are some lions up on the crest.
They’re relaxed, but they’re not totally relaxed because there are some lions.
Now we can stay at stage one, humans can stay at stage one, and you can spend an entire lifetime at stage one slightly aroused.
But not too aroused, you know, but still with some trauma as that.
As the lions come and chase them, they move further up the kind of fear Cascade. Adrenaline kicks in and they
start running to get away.
They’re trying to save themselves.
Then there comes an overwhelming point.
Now, this is when one of these zebras has been caught. And at that point, there’s an enormous release of endorphins.
We have endocannabinoids and we have endo-opiates, endorphins.
And at that point, our system’s flooded with opiate-like, chemicals, which help us dissociate from the fact we’re about to be eaten.
Now, in modern medicine, we treat most pain and many physical pain problems with opiates.
But opiates are a response to trauma.
So we’re taking traumatised people and giving them more of the drug that keeps them in a traumatised state.
When you come back down to zero on the other side, this is where anandamide lives.
So when we’re present, connected, and homeostatic then anandamide is flushing our system so that the cannabinoids bring us back to zero and the opiates keep us pushed over in this kind of overwhelm.
And if we start thinking about addiction, children who grow up in really traumatic environments, who spend their entire lives dissociated from their reality because it’s too hard to be in, they leave home and they have to maintain that traumatic dissociation from reality because they don’t know how to live in reality.
And they have to come all the way back down this fear cascade so they become addicts.
So, you know, back to where I started about these gateway drugs, it’s trauma that is resulting in people becoming addicts.
It’s got nothing to do with Cannabis.
The image on the left of the back pain, I don’t know how many of you in the room have had back pain, but it’s awful.
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed that when we’re in pain, we stay stuck, we hobble around.
We can’t do anything.
And then to treat it, they give us opiates, which keep us stuck.
And when I give my patients cannabinoids, which I do every day now, it’s not just pain relief.
They stand up straight. They start walking properly.
So they engage in a kind of healing response innate in the human body.
And I think that’s something that as this all moves forward, we need to really focus on which I’ll touch on in a minute, is our bodies have the ability to heal.
The endocannabinoid system is our healing system.
And in some ways, it’s a bit of a shame they called it the endocannabinoid system because of the stigma around this plant.
As I work with cannabinoids, I try not to think about the plant too much.
I try to get my patients not to think about the plant, but more about the effect that some chemicals from that plant,
some compounds from that plant have on their body, which is to return regulation and homeostasis.
Now, if you think that every single creature living creature on planet Earth has a spot and any creature with a spinal cord has an endocannabinoid system, it’s ubiquitous.
The dinosaurs had endocannabinoid systems.
They’ve had a look at the kind of genetics of the endocannabinoid system across species, and they’re virtually identical, which means ours is exactly the same as a cat, as a dolphin, as a monkey.
They’re all the same.
There’s very little genetic diversity, which means that this system was perfected in the time of the dinosaurs, and out of the primordial soup comes vertebrates and then the cannabinoid system and a plant that’s full of medicine for that vertebrate system.
So we banned it, obviously, and actually, we banned it very recently.
And one of the things I see more and more with people is this idea of an endocannabinoid deficiency.
I grew up near a town in the U.K. called Hemel Hempstead, which is Anglo-Saxon for Heavenly hemp fields.
So the whole region I grew up in was hemp fields hundreds and hundreds of years ago now, these fields had farmers and those farmers, there were generations of hemp farmers who cannabinoids would have been in their life, in their food, and in the animals that they ate, in the oils, in their clothes.
So it makes sense that there’s possibly this kind of ancestral and genetic relationship to this plant that when we took it away .. when they took it away, a lot of people start getting sick.
And I think that’s what’s happening today.
And the bottom picture here, which I’ll talk about again a little bit, is an image of someone’s brain after they’ve had a dose of psilocybin.
This is a functional MRI, MRI scan.
Now, the one on the left with fewer obvious lines is a placebo.
So they didn’t have any psilocybin.
And the one on the right is somebody’s brain after they’ve been given a dose. You can see all these new
networks that have opened up.
Allowing people to break out of rigid thought patterns that are keeping them stuck.
So they can introduce change into their lives, so this slide is really pointing out that we get stuck in these modes
of suffering, we can’t get out of it.
And these naturally occurring compounds in many plants are actually the tools that will break us out of those cycles of suffering.
Anandamide is the most, really the most important part of all of this.
And I really started to believe this, that the plant is a wonderful plant and it does all these wonderful things, it’s medicine, bio-fuel, construction, material, clothing, food.
But its key action in the human body is to boost the levels of anandamide.
CB1 and CB2 receptors
We have CB1 and CB2 receptors that occur throughout our body.
CB1 central nervous system, the green ones, CB2, mostly in the periphery and our immune system.
When they discovered it, this is a fascinating fact, the American government paid Professor Mechoulam and his team to find evidence that THC was absolutely deadly.
They wanted evidence that they could wipe the plant off the face of the planet.
They sent them off to do the research.
And they came back a couple of years later and said, yeah, we’ve discovered this thing called the Endocannabinoid System. Sorry.
Therefore, proving they didn’t need to be eradicated.
And as John discussed, that system is ubiquitous.
It’s throughout our body. It’s everywhere.
It’s the master conductor of the orchestra.
And you can just read there that it’s involved in everything.
And we’ve had a very myopic view in medicine for the last 50 or 100 years about how we treat things.
And actually, if we take a step back and look at this kind of global system and we can use cannabinoids and tryptamines for that, we’ll start to get somewhere.
So this is a concept of a thermostat.
You will know what a thermostat is. John touched on it as well.
We turn the heat up when it’s cold and we turn the heat down when it’s too warm.
And that’s basically how the system works in our body.
We have neurons in the brain, there’s Gaba and glutamate, excitatory ones, inhibitory, and as the endocannabinoid system kicks in, if there’s too much excitation, it slows it down.
And if there’s too much inhibition, it allows it to speed up.
So finding the balance really.
Endocannabinoids and anandamide, 2-AG, what this slide is showing is that actually, they work differently to most neurotransmitters.
Most neurotransmitters in the conduction hit the synapse.
The transmitter is released, depolarises the postsynaptic membrane and then the signals continued.
But endocannabinoids actually work backward.
So when that postsynaptic membrane is depolarised, anandamide and 2-AG released from there, and then they affect the presynaptic neuron to downgrade its transmission.
So if it’s excitatory it’s less transmission and if it’s inhibitory it backs off inhibition and it’s mind boggling.
How does CBD work?
So this is a great image of how CBD works.
And I really like this slide because it is complicated as it looks.
Actually, it’s quite simple.
So we have lots of different receptors that CBD can work on.
And it’s its primary job is to boost the levels of anandamide so it blocks the enzymes that break down that endocannabinoid.
So much like SSRI work, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, they work to try and increase the amount of serotonin in the synapse rather than having it broken down.
And that’s the kind of monoamine theory of depression which. is probably not quite right, but that’s how they work, and CBD works in exactly the same way as an SSRI, it boosts the amount of anandamide that’s in the synapse doesn’t have so much of an intrinsic effect, CB1 and CB2 receptors.
It does have an intrinsic effect at the 5HT1A receptor.
Now that’s a serotonin receptor.
So that’s part of the tryptamine system that I was talking about.
And it has a direct effect on anxiety by stimulating that receptor, the TRPV1 V2 at the bottom.
These are basically pain receptors.
So CBD alters the transmission of cations anions across that membrane.
And that’s especially important for the treatment of pain.
It works on adenosine.
And then the PPARY gamma receptor is called the orphan receptor.
So we don’t really know what it does.
But CBD has quite a potent effect at that receptor as well.
Now, all of this is done, it’s kind of a lock in a key is the basic science.
So THC has a direct effect on the CB1 receptor, the key it unlocks it has an action.
Doesn’t work so directly on CB1 and (CB) 2 receptors, CBD changes the CB1 receptor and that actually will affect
how THC interacts with it.
And a lot of, you know, real time experiment some of my patients have told me about when they use flowers,
they can vaporise the THC flower and they overcook it and they get anxious even though thair pain goes away and then they vaporise the CBD flower and that takes the anxiety away and kind of decreases the effect of that THCon their anxiety, whilst it is very effective for pain.
CBD has a potent effect on how THC works and THC, you know, a nice analogy I use is that, see, you’ve got a car
in the paddock, right?
And you’ve got to get it out of the paddock and you’ve got to get it going.
And in order to do that, you need to jump start it.
Now, the engine in that car, we’re going to call that the endocannabinoid system and the number of people required to get that car out of the paddock and onto the road and moving with the momentum.
That depends on the number of that depends on the paddock, how deep it is, how muddy it is, what the road’s like,
it’s individual for situation and CBD, the muscle that gets that car momentum now THC, has intrinsic effects.
THC is dropping the clutch.
That’s what starts the engine going.
Getting the balance right
And when you get that balance right, that’s when the endocannabinoid system kicks in and starts to regulate and starts to treat pain and anxiety and return us into the present moment.
This is very similar to the slide that John showed you which really is the kind of emotional brain, you know, we’ve got the amygdala, the caudate nucleus, this kind of reptilian brain.
Human consciousness is a result of having a prefrontal cortex and over a few million years as we evolved from this kind of primates into human beings, our prefrontal cortex is what did that and gave us consciousness.
Nature kind of made a mistake with that one because it was giving human consciousness that started to cause lots of problems, both on the planet but also within us.
Because, you know, most animals, when they go through traumatic experiences, you’ll see them shake.
They discharge, the traumatic event, whereas humans lost that ability with the development of a prefrontal cortex.
So we have this reptilian brain that can really go into override and that’s, you know, that’s happening to a lot of people on the planet.
So that operating from that place, that place of trauma, that place of feeling that they’re bad, not good enough, unlovable, and the prefrontal cortex is that place of expansion and the interconnectedness of all things in presence..
So a lot of these medicines, cannabinoids especially, help tone down that reptilian brain and allow people to feel less triggered if any of you have used cannabinoids for the treatment of trauma.
You’ll know that space if you’re triggered by suddenly … sometime before the reaction comes … we can spend many years and talk therapy being told to count to ten…
But when the red mist comes down, there’s no counting to 10.
We fire like a reptile, whereas cannabinoids, start creating some space in those reactions as do tryptamines.
Augmenting the Endocannabinoid System
CBD is antithetic, so it reduces anxiety and it does that through anandamide and directly acting on the 5HT1 receptor. Augmenting the endocannabinoid system is really what can treat PTSD and sort of habitual stress responses.
It’s not really a cure, though, and that’s where a lot of these newer medicines are really fascinating.
Now, the endocannabinoid system has a major role.
In balancing the kind of hypothalamic-pituitary access. Everyone in this room at some point has felt that they have adrenal fatigue, you know, just really overtired and stuffed and burnt out.
Constant stress in our lives puts this axis out so that the adrenals just keep going, they just keep producing adrenaline.
When that adrenaline goes,we fall in a heap.
Now, that’s because the endocannabinoid systems out and it’s not balancing that system.
Increased 2-AG in the limbic system. Balances or habituate, the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, stressful stimuli,
the chronic stress decreases the endocannabinoid system’s ability to regulate that axis and the ECS dysregulation and stress may lead to a hypothalamic-pituitary, hyperactivity and the development of depression or PTSD.
The endocannabinoid system recruits noradrenergic signalling in regulating the stress response, and I talked earlier
on this monoamine theory of depression that we’re depressed because we have low levels of serotonin.
And I think for some forms of depression, that’s not true.
I think that when you spent your whole life and overwhelmed and stressed, the natural response is to then fall into
depression because it’s become too much.
It is how an ECS dysregulation is causing depression and something I’ve observed in my practice a lot is when we start to rebalance how these symptoms start to slowly go away.
And this is a major mechanism for how that’s happening.
These are the sort of chemicals, receptors, agonists, enzymes that are really important in the endocannabinoid system.
It has an unrealistic anti-anxiety and anti-depression role.
And by treating the endocannabinoid system globally, I think we’re far more likely to have successful outcomes
for mental health patients.
And this is where the augmented psychotherapy comes in because these medicines help regulate and they help tone down that sort of stressful response and treat our mental health, but they might not treat the core traumas that have.
That has put people in that place and if we get to the next slide, please, this is where I think, psychedelics, especially psilocybin, can be very helpful.
This is a very new theory, but an emerging theory that psilocybin will reset the endocannabinoid system as well.
So psilocybin works on a receptor called the 5HD2A receptor, now that’s that the psychedelic receptor that’s in our cortex and that’s the agonism of that receptors psilocybin, DMT.
That’s what causes the psychedelic experience.
Now, when those receptors are firing, there’s an increase in serotonin in the brain and that increased serotonin in the brain actually will reset anandamide levels, so that last point, psilocybin flips serotonins roll and drive CB1 to anandamide rather than dopamine.
Now dopamine is far more associated with that kind of endorphin opiate response.
And anandamide is the bliss and the presence and the regulation.
So I think we’ll find in the next few years that the psychedelic medicines are actually putting us back down to zero
on that fear cascade through up regulating anandamide and the Endocannabinoid System.
And the other thing that I find most fascinating about all this. There’s a molecule of serotonin and there’s a molecule of psilocin. Psilocin is the active part of psilocybin we ingested psilocybin, it gets changed in our livers and then it goes to the brain to have its action on the 5HT2A receptor.
And that’s what that molecule looks like. They look remarkably similar to me.
Now we give people SSRI and all these other medicines to to to improve the amount of serotonin in our brain.
And it seems quite silly that we banned a mushroom that’s full of a compound that is basically nature’s version of serotonin.
You hear about people micro dosing a lot.
And as much as it’s still illegal, the logic is in front of you.
That’s why it works .
My son’s three, and I think by the time he’s 20, he’s going to say so Papa did did they ban the cannabis plant for 100 years?
And I say, yes, mate they did.
And, did they ban psychedelic medicine for 750 years?
I say, yes, mate, they did.
And you drive around in cars fuelled by fossil fuels?
And I say, yes, mate, and you’ll say we were fucking barbarians, won’t you?
So ECS is balanced regulation and homeostasis.
And we can augment the plant-based medicines that do not just include the cannabis plant but include the funguses as well.
Cannabinoids as curative treatments
Now, the last section of this talk is a bit more controversial.
And it’s my little dig at the system that I am part of.
It’s really about how we can use cannabinoids to prepare people for what are essentially curative treatments.
The early research that’s been done abroad and it’s beginning in Australia, when MDMA has been used in the course of psychotherapy, there’s 80 percent remission when psilocybin is used to treat generalised depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, there’s 80 percent remission.
And that’s after three months with three doses of a compound with some nice people in the room.
What’s interesting, though, is that the drugs we currently use to treat depression, anxiety, block that process.
These are some studies from the States.
Now, what that showing is that people who are using SSRI eyes before they underwent psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy did not respond as well to the people who didn’t use SSRI.
We’re using medicines that don’t work.
And not only do they not work, but they also block the only things that do work, which are all illegal.
75 percent of people who didn’t use an SSRI and underwent psychedelic assisted therapy with MDMA went into remission.
Those who were using an SSRI, only 36 percent of them went into remission.
These are all meta analysis, this is the gold standard for research.
Looking at all the research that’s been done and drawing conclusions from it, the statisticians say that that has power.
So the first guys I did a meta-analysis of forty-seven studies, this is to treat depression.
There was no clinically significant benefit in the treatment of depression using SSRI.
Severe depression may benefit 2010 meta-analysis, again, SSRI has had no effect in mild to moderate depression,
but a small benefit in severe.
Nice guidelines, anti-depressants have no benefit over placebo in mild depression.
In this next trial, four thousand participants SSRI lead to remission in four percent of people.
This is long-term use, this takes weeks for them to kick in daily dosing, with lots of side effects.
When we use psilocybin, 80 percent of people go into remission after three doses.
The last one, 21 antidepressants, 522 trials, SSRI is more effective than placebo in severe depression.
That’s it … now every day people tell me there’s no evidence for cannabinoids.
Every day, hundreds of doctors in this country are prescribing SSRI for mild depression and anxiety, and they’re the ones telling me there’s no evidence for what I’m doing yet.
There’s lots of evidence to say what they’re doing doesn’t even work, but they still do it.
Not only do they not work, but there’s also a diagnosis in the DSM, which is serotonin withdrawal syndrome.
So we’re giving people medicines that don’t fix their depression and give them another psychiatric disorder that
didn’t exist before we gave them SSRI.
And complex PTSD is not even a recognised diagnosis in that book.
Now, this is a bit more science about this tryptamine system.
We’ve got that kind of reptilian brain in blue and this is where SSRIs have their action.
And then we’ve got the 5HT2A receptor in the cortex, and this is where the tryptamine, so psilocybin will have its action.
There’s a lot more of them which goes back to that slide with the image of the placebo and the post that the psilocybin dose, the functional MRI scan is a lot more starts to happen in the human brain when these medicines are used as more signalling, there’s more entropy and more energy.
And the result of that is to decrease rigid thinking. Increased sensitivity to the environment and facilitate an emotional release and then that results in depression and decreasing and well-being improving.
Now there’s a great book which if you haven’t read it, you should read it.
It’s called How to Change Your Mind by a guy called Michael Pollan.
And the best analogy I’ve ever read for this is he’s about the use of psilocybin that if you go skiing and that, you know, there’s been no snow for weeks and it’s really average, you’re obliged to go through the ruts of other skiers to get down the mountain.
And that’s the only way you’re going to get down.
And then there’s a fresh dump of snow and you can take any route down that mountain you like.
And and it’s more fun than any other time.
So the psilocybin is that fresh dump of snow that allows people to take different routes around their thoughts so
they can change their thought processes.
And that done in the course of psychotherapy is what leads to remission.
This is a complex slide that basically says that standard medications affect these treatments.
And then this was this is really confirming that all of these major institutions around the world have proved
that what we’re doing doesn’t work and actually stops these plant-based medicines from working properly.
This is the last one, actually, so most of this talk has been around new ways of thinking and using new physiological targets to treat trauma.
They’re not new, they’ve been there since we were apes.
But we’re now realising that we should be using what nature’s already given us to treat humans and why that’s such a leap.
Still, it’s mind boggling to me.
Can we use cannabinoids to improve these psychedelic therapies as they come in?
I don’t think there’s any doubt.
And is ECS regulation a foundation for using these medicines?
And actually ECS regulation is a foundation for human health, and without it, nothing we do is going to return people
back to well-being and the present moment.
Questions and Answers
I get to ask the first question because I got the mic,
doctor, sorry, how do we contact you?
Ahh, how you contact me?
Ananda Clinic .. on the bottom three, that’s my clinic.
anandaclinics.com.au – Dr Jamie Rickcord
When can psilocybin be prescribed in Australia
OK, and then very last question before hand over to our esteemed audiences are
when can psilocybin be prescribed?
When? We can’t at the moment because it’s illegal.
Well, we’re working on it … the TGA is submission went into the TGA earlier this year and their interim response was to not reschedule MDMA and psilocybin at the moment.
Their reasons for that were they were … I can’t tell you how frustrating their responses were.
But basically, they’re speaking from the stigma still that, you know, these compounds have been abused and they caused psychosis and you’ll give birth to Frogs’ this kind of silly stuff.
The process has begun and a lot of us went back and said, well, hold on a minute, hold on.
Let’s just look at this.
So there’s another plant. It’s called Papaver somniferum, It’s the opium poppy and the straight version, heroin.
Yet there are legally prescribable versions of opiates that are used every day in our society.
And when we prescribe them, we don’t think about using heroin.
We give our children dexamphetamine for ADHD and we don’t think about ice.
So why on earth do we have to think about bad things happening to people when they take too much MDMA at a party to block us from using them in a safe and therapeutic environment?
We’re still waiting for the response.
The reality is it will probably be next year or the year after that.
They actually reschedule them, but they will reschedule them.
And it is going to happen.
To what extent, the fear cascade was really amplified with the pandamic?
Wonderful presentation, doctor,
Thanks so much, I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of everybody here and say that.
Look, just going back a little bit to the beginning of your talk, you talked about the fear and the fear cascade.
What I’m really interested in and I’m kind of trying to express this in a way that is not offensive as possible.
With this cut, we’ve just been going through.
Yes, I know there was a threat, but it seems to me and I’d like to hear feedback from you on this one, to what extent, the fear cascade was really amplified?
So that comes from a chap called Porgies who wrote a book called The Polyvagal Theory.
And his theory is that we regulate each other, so in a therapeutic process if the therapist is regulated, there’s an unspoken element to bringing regulation to their client.
When we have small babies, we regulate the nervous systems. We settle them down.
We teach them what calm is and when we’re in trauma, individually or collectively, we stop that regulation and we start moving through the fear cascade.
And I think covid, you know, the day the world stopped was a good example of collective fear and dysregulation.
And I think, you know, was just another trauma on top of all the others, isn’t it?
And we the solutions to that are this.
And this needs to start happening on a fairly enormous scale to have a sort of paradigm shift in our consciousness.
But, yeah, we are we live in a society where trauma is endemic and it comes at us and everywhere, you know, TV, radio news, people who work for, you know, first responders, you know, is everywhere.
And that’s the problem.
And I think part of this movement, cannabinoids, psychedelics, is really that, you know, that paradigm shift back to nature.
You know, we’re full of receptors that these natural compounds work on.
That is a connection to nature, and we’re being denied it on a daily basis by draconian drug laws that were made by, you know, I won’t say it, but.
Oh, yeah, let me reiterate, awesome talk, I think, enjoyed it.
I guess I have a few questions. I guess the first is, other than how to change your mind, do you have any other reading recommendations?
Mm. yeah, a good one is that fella, Claudio Naranjo, he wrote a book called The Revolution We Expected,
which is about this really.
We need to have a major shift in our society and we need to get away from this patriarchal system that is just very
toxic and telling us all what to do.
And we need to sort of trust more and ourselves and each other, which is where I started as well with that quote when the original harmony was lost, laws were created, you know, laws for people with trauma, I think.
And if we can treat that, maybe we can all get on a bit better.
I guess the second one is just about this psilocybin study that did you know and what kind of numbers they used with patients or, um, like kind of what the population like what the group is like that they did that study on.
They’ve done lots of them.
OK, people with depression, severe treatment, resistant depression, that was the criteria.
They kind of like Australia, the US?
The US and the UK, Israel, they’ve just started in Australia.
St Vincent’s in Melbourne is doing a study on psilocybin for end of life anxiety.
The government finally said that people who were dying could psilocybin, which is nice of them.
There’s one another one starting in Melbourne for anxiety.
I keep bashing the system, but they released they’ve announced 15 million dollars to do for the fund
for research into psychedelics.
And that does make the Australian government the first in the world to actually put money up to test this stuff.
So, there are some good people.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on ayahuasca, DMT
Thank you, Doctor, for I’d love to hear your thoughts on ayahuasca, DMT.
Well, it’s a tryptamine, so, there’s research happening into DMT as well all over the world
That’s the most difficult one, because it’s very much a sort of ceremonial setting.
And whether we like it or not, this is going to happen in a sort of clinical model, and I think some of some natural compounds, it will be harder for them to fit into that clinical model.
But I hope in time and it might take 20 years, but I hope one day that, if we can grow a vine in your garden, why should you be banned from doing something with it?
These are natural medicines.
And I think we have a right to be able to use them by nature of being human.
But, yeah, we’re a long way off that.
OK Doctor, just a slightly peripheral question, I still live in a place in southern Queensland where the mushroom,
the psilocybin can be grown.
Why is it that they needed the dung of the cattle to grow?
I was just curious about that.
I think it’s got something to do with the sterilisation and the gut, I think because the spores need a sterile environment.
So I think that’s what provides it.
And then they can pop up when they come out.
But I think one thing that’s worth clarifying at this point is all the studies have been done using synthetic
psilocybin, not not naturally occurring.
And there is that the first problem with this whole movement is that there are a number of companies around the world trying to patent their method to produce GMP.
Medical grade psilocybin, GMP is the standard that medicines have to be in order to be sold in the pharmacy.
To use it clinically they will have to reach a certain grade. And one of the rules is that there’s
no mould in the medicine.
So that presents an obvious issue.
So that’s the kind of the other side of this whole movement is sort of happening globally rather than here yet.
It will be synthetic initially when it happens.
Synthetic as opposed to naturally occurring psilocybin
The issues with synthetic as opposed to naturally occurring psilocybin, that’s a rabbit hole.
If you speak to I’m doing a course at the moment in psychedelic assisted therapies with a charity called Mind Medicine.
We had a lecture from a guy called David Nicholls, who is a pharmacologist in the US.
And he’s the bloke who synthesised all the MDMA that was used in all of the maps, studies into PTSD.
He did that in the 80s.
So this stuff’s been lying around for decades because there’s been no way to use it.
And he thinks that the psilocin the active molecule at that receptor, he that’s what he does.
He doesn’t care whether it’s natural or synthetic.
Flood that receptor, you’ll get change.
Other people vehemently disagree with him because they think there’s this there’s a plant spirit.
There’s something else happening that can’t happen with the synthetic.
A synthetic molecule, you know, and then there’s this other fascinating idea of the entourage effect in a mushroom.
So why different mushrooms? Why do they have different effects on us? Why some stronger, some weaker?
There’s this plant spirit and then there’s the entourage effect, the same as in the cannabis plant.
There’s obviously other compounds in there that are contributing to the effect of of psilocybin or psilocin at the receptor.
And we’ll be arguing about this in 50 years, though, I can tell you it’s not going anywhere.
This depends on your your stance.
Mine is getting people better.
And if 80 percent of people go into remission for depression using synthetic psilocybin than synthetic psilocybin
it will be, the rest is irrelevant because those people are no longer suffering.
SSRIs not as effective if used with psilocybin or cannabis?
And just one quick question.
Um, I really like your comment on SSRIs.
And am I correct in saying that they’re not as effective if used with psilocybin or cannabis?
Because I always thought SSRI’s were, a lot of rubbish, quite frankly.
And I’m sure the psychiatric profession just like you.
Um, there’s some good psychiatrists who were very much on board with all this, so the data from the study showed that SSRI’s blunt the effect of MDMA or psilocybin.
They haven’t looked the other way around.
SSRI will interrupt this process and people will have to come off them before they enter a course of assisted psychotherapy.
When it happens. Cannabis increases your serotonin too.
So it works both ways.
But yeah, the ECS is complex
I don’t have many patients on long term SSRI anymore because most people have discovered what that slide
And then, you know, they can’t connect to their partner, they can’t make love and nauseous, they’ve got headaches
CBD doesn’t block your connexion to your partner, or will give you headaches.
So people are making their own minds up.
And this is the lèse-majesté this is the speaking of the king, because the system is broken, and their own
evidence shows that, too.
But still, there’s no change.
You said the system is broken.
Was that a doctor saying the system’s broken?
Did you hear that?
Anyway, I am with him.
It’s the first time I think he’s talked in Nimbin and you’re going to come to Mardi Gras.
And it was a bit of a surprise in that talk for you, but this is the future.
This is what will save the planet on lots of levels.
You know, us Hippies we had that old saying, we’ve discovered a plant that can save the world.
The only problem is it’s illegal.
But there’s actually a few plants anyway.
Thank you, we hoped you enjoyed this presentation titled Endocannabinoid Medicine by Dr Jamie Rickcord.