Saturday, February 9
7:00 AM – 9:30 AM
SCNM Community Commons Lobby
8:00 AM – 8:50 AM
DMT, An Endogenous Substance Of Revelation
Nicholas V. Cozzi, Ph.D. CC150/160 (CE Credit)
N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally-occurring indole compound which, when ingested, produces an intense mystical state with colorful visions, transcendence of time and space, changes in body image and sensations, feelings of unity, and intense mood changes. Because of these effects, DMT has been used for spiritual and other purposes for many centuries. DMT occurs in hundreds of plants around the world, including Psychotria viridis, a plant used to prepare the mind-altering sacramental tea known as ayahuasca or yagé. Besides occurring in plants, DMT is present in trace amounts in humans and other mammals, where it is biosynthesized by the enzyme indolethylamine-N-methyltransferase. Its role in human consciousness remains the subject of discussion. This presentation will review the discovery, key advances, and recent findings in the neuropharmacology of DMT.
Healing Deeper: Personal & Professional Insights into the Clinical Potential of Iboga and Ayahuasca for Substance Use Disorder Treatment
Andrew Assini, MA, LAC, LCADC AB7-8 (CE Credit)
In this presentation, Andrew J. Assini, will share about his experiences with Iboga and Ayahuasca as part of his own personal journey of recovery, as well as insights into their clinical potential for the treatment of substance use disorder.
9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Walking in A Sacred Manner: Respectfully Learning from Indigenous Medicine Ways
Ronan Hallowell, EdD CC150/160 (CE Credit)
In this session we will examine issues related cultural appropriation and respectful intercultural sharing and exchange when learning from indigenous medicine traditions. Ronan will first discuss his more than twenty years of study in the Lakota Sun Dance tradition guided by four ways of respect as described by Dale Stover: “(1) respect for live traditions, (2) respect for the sacredness of place, (3) respect for communally lived meanings, and (4) respect for cosmic kinship.” He will then relate insights from this inquiry to his study of traditional Amazonian plant medicine and will comment on current issues in ayahuasca tourism.
Psychoactive Plant-Fungus-Toad Medicines and the Law
Brad A. Bartlett, J.D. & Sean T. McAllister, Esq. AB7/8
Given the growing interest in psychoactive plant-fungus-toad medicines, it’s important to understand the legal status of these substances in the U.S. and what the implications are for their use, possession and distribution. For example, can licensed therapists prescribe cannabis or psilocybin? Are there 1st Amendment protections for conducting or participating in an ayahuasca or toad ceremony? And who qualifies as a legitimate member of the Native American Church under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which protects ceremonial use of peyote for Church members? These and other questions will be addressed.
Getting it Right: the Path from Faith to Fact
Burke Files, DDP, CACM CC230
There exist strong and ingrained biases exist against the use of psychotropic substances. Natural substances not engineered by science but harvested from nature are especially suspect. The enthusiast must temper claims and mainstream medicine will have to learn to listen. There is strong anecdotal evidence that many of these substances are effective and efficacious. The science behind the claims, however, is still lacking in both quantity and quality. We will discuss the current state of research, significant hurdles that must be overcome, the possibility of “offshoring the research” to address the hurdles, and the absolute necessity of a team approach to the research (collaborate or fail). We must avoid the Ignaz Semmelweiss trap and embrace the dedication of Thomas Adeoye Lambo of blending science and tradition to heal.
10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Ayahuasca Shamanism: Illuminating the Interface between Biology, Emotion and Spirituality
Joe Tafur, MD CC150/160 (CE Credit)
Drawing from his first hand experience at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual, a traditional healing center near Iquitos, in the Peruvian Amazon; Dr. Tafur will review the role of spiritual and emotional healing in modern healthcare. He will discuss how emotional trauma contributes to medical illness, and how spiritual healing techniques can lead to improvements in the mind-body. Ayahuasca shamanism and other psychedelic assisted therapies may be effective (in some cases) because of their ability to induce relevant changes in epigenetic imprints associated with emotional trauma stored in the psychoneuroendocrine immunologic network, which Dr. Tafur theorizes is the physiologic manifestation of the emotional body.
5-MeO-DMT: A Therapeutic Tool of Great Potential and Great Controversy.
Anny Ortiz AB7-8 (CE Credit)
5-MeO-DMT is a naturally occurring tryptamine molecule with potent psychedelic effects. It is known to be present in various plant species, and uniquely, in the parotid glands of a toad endemic to the Sonoran desert: Incilius Alvarius. Starting in 2012 the use of 5-MeO-DMT extracted from Incilius Alvarius has become unprecedently popular and given way to a host of ethical and ecological concerns. Alongside these ethical and ecological concerns, interesting findings regarding the potential clinical application of this psychedelic substance have begun to emerge in the scientific literature. Although no clinical trials of 5-MeO-DMT exist to date, a recent epidemiological survey on the patterns of 5-MeO-DMT use conducted by Alan Davis, PhD and his research team, showed that a large number of respondents reported improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) after exposure to 5-MeO DMT. In this presentation, I will share personal observations and anecdotal reports from my experience working with 5-MeO-DMT within the context of an ibogaine treatment protocol for substance use disorders, as well as present empirical findings from a research project I recently completed utilizing a subset of the data generated by the above mentioned survey. I will also address some of the ethical and ecological concerns that have become palpable and can not continue to be ignored.
Psychedelic Systems of the Future
Mike Margolies CC230
Thanks to the new wave of research, psychedelics are poised to soon have legal medical use. MDMA- and psilocybin-assisted therapy are entering their final trials with “breakthrough therapy” designation by the FDA. But many questions remain about the future of psychedelics in medicine, and beyond. How do we ensure that psychedelic therapy is accessible and responsibly administered? What is the potential impact of these new therapies on established systems of mental health, and vice versa? MAPS is pioneering a new model for a pharmaceutical company, where MDMA will be sold by a a Public Benefit Corporation, which is wholly owned by the nonprofit. How might this model transform the pharmaceutical industry? What do the systems tangibly look like that support risk reduction and benefit maximization for exploring psychedelics in contexts other than medical, including betterment of well people, spiritual growth, and “recreational”? How do we create a model for psychedelic use that is grounded in human rights? Join us for a conversation exploring these questions and envisioning psychedelic systems of the future.
11:00 AM – 12:20 PM
The Persistence of Memory: Oneirogenic Plant Medicines, Personal Identity and
the Dream State
Kenneth Proefrock, NMD CC150/160 (CE/CME Credit)
Universally, the dream state has been recognized as a way to potentially understand the mystery of life, and to come to a deeper awareness of who we are in the lives that we live. The term “oneirogenic” refers to practices that stimulate the formation of dreams, and, worldwide, there is a long history of employing botanical preparations in order to produce or to enhance the divinatory nature of dreams. Botanical agents may be used to shift the body’s ecology to a place that is more conducive for sleep to happen spontaneously. Some of the plants discussed include Piper methysticum, Withania somniferum, Saraca indica, Bacopa monniere, Calea zacatechichi, Valeriana spp., Nardostachys grandiflora, and Hyoscyamus niger. This presentation also explores the historical use and clinical applications of Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric mushroom, a true oneirogenic agent with which humans have had a long relationship.
Chacruna: Public Education about Psychedelic Plant Medicines
Bia Labate Ph.D AB7-8 (CE Credit)
This presentation will give an overview of the activities of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. Chacruna educates the public and creates cultural understanding and legitimacy regarding psychedelic plant medicines so that they may cease to be stigmatized and outlawed. Chacruna also promotes a bridge between the world of plant medicines and the emergent field of psychedelic science, between “traditional ceremonial use” and clinical and therapeutic settings, bringing the knowledge and perspectives of the social sciences to health care professionals and practitioners of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Finally, Chacruna fosters cultural and political reflections on the field of psychedelic science and facilitate conversations about controversial topics that have been simmering on the sidelines as psychedelics go mainstream.
Theatrical Performance: It’s a Beautiful Wound
Rich Orloff CC230
It’s a Beautiful Wound, written and performed by Rich Orloff, is the true story of Rich’s adventures in underground therapy using MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms. These sessions propel Rich beyond his ego and defenses, into a journey that both challenges his perceptions and reveals possibilities he never before considered. Inspired by the autobiographical monologues of Spalding Gray, It’s a Beautiful Wound takes the audience through the experience of psychedelic-assisted therapy in an honest, amusing, and deeply compelling way. “Very moving and wonderfully uplifting. It’s a Beautiful Wound gave me my favorite experience, which is laughter through tears. I love that people will learn about psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in this entertaining and provocative way.” – Julie Holland, editor of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide
12:20 PM – 1:30 PM
Lunch and Exhibit Break
1:30 PM – 2:50 PM
How Veterans are Overcoming PTSD & Transforming Negative Drug Stigmas using Psychedelics
Jesse Gould AB7-8 (1:30 PM – 1:55 PM)
Ayahuasca and other psychedelic based therapies are revolutionizing the mental health field, but research and advancement are still severely restricted due to deeply ingrained stigmas. While organizations like MAPS are making great strides forward, they constantly have to fight major headwinds which has impeded progress. In the meantime, the veteran community is suffering from a suicide epidemic. While the government drags its feet, PTSD is claiming thousands of veteran lives prematurely. Psychedelics can be part of the solution, but public perception must first change. Jesse Gould, Founder of the Heroic Hearts Project, will discuss how military veterans can help break the stigma around these substances. By aligning the veteran cause with the psychedelic cause, they are working to change minds and create advocates for this important research. Their discussion will also review current evidence about the efficacy of these therapies for treating PTSD along with insight on how a future psychedelic veteran clinic may operate.
Toward an Ethos in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Veronika Gold, MA, LMFT & Eric Sienknecht, PsyD AB7-8
(2:00 PM – 2:50 PM) (CE Credit)
Ketamine, classified as a dissociative anesthetic, has shown promise in providing rapid and robust relief from depression and has been a focus of significant clinical research and media interest in recent years. When used in a safe and supportive setting, ketamine also has the potential to elicit profound transpersonal experiences and non-ordinary states of consciousness and is currently the only psychedelic substance that can legally be prescribed and administered in a clinical setting. We will discuss our clinical protocols and experiences in our ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) practice of using ketamine to treat depression and other chronic psychological conditions including anxiety and PTSD, and provide case examples to illustrate how this unique form of psychotherapy has been effective. There is a growing body of evidence that this unique approach is not only extremely safe and effective, but can produce real and lasting changes in the mood, perceptions, and behaviors of patients suffering due to mental health issues.
Panel: Psychedelics as Sacrament
CC150/160 (1:30 PM-2:50 PM) (CE Credit)
Moderator: Bia Labate, PhD.
Panel: Belinda Eriacho, Naomi Tsosie, Joe Tafur, MD, Matthew Kent & Annie Zapf
Description: While Western society regards psychedelic medicine as a novel approach to healing, many indigenous cultures have a long history of using psychedelic plant medicines for spiritual and healing purposes. What is the role of ceremony and spiritual experience in healing? How are psychedelics used in a religious or ceremonial context?
Food That Is Out Of This Universe: An Introduction to Hemp Infusions
Payton Curry, Teaching Kitchen
Join an Exploratory Chef in the teaching kitchen and gain access to formulation techniques that will allow you to build trust in the medicinal kitchen. This educational demonstration will display the structures and techniques that can be used to safely and properly integrate cannabinoids into food.
Drumming Sounds Workshop
Andrew Ecker and Monica Patton, Garden
Join drum circle facilitators Andrew and Monica for an experience with music and ceremony in a fun, judgement-free environment. If you have not explored music as a wellness and ceremonial practice, this is great opportunity to learn from one of the most seasoned drum circle communities in the nation. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to participate. Drums and instruments provided or bring your own, all ages welcome.
3:00 PM – 3:50 PM
Cannabis as a Treatment for PTSD
Sue Sisley, MD CC150/160 (CE/CME Credit)
Dr. Sue Sisley is the Principal Investigator for the first randomized controlled crossover clinical trial in the United States testing the therapeutic potential of marijuana for PTSD. This study is supported by a number of sources, including research in lab animals, fMRI imaging in humans, and anecdotal reports from countless health practitioners and patients. Additionally, clinical research in Israel evaluating medical marijuana as treatment for PTSD has been promising. MAPS’ study will test four strains of smoked marijuana, each containing different concentrations of active cannabinoids, in two three-week stages, as a pharmacological agent to manage PTSD symptoms among 76 American war veterans. This study is a collaboration between Dr. Sue Sisley MD, and researchers from University of Colorado and University of Pennsylvania.
Route and Roots of Cacao: Entheogenic potential of Chocolate and its relatives.
Esteban Yepes, AB7-8
What is that in chocolate that we love so much? What mysteries are hidden within that colorful pod? The pharmacological and biochemical complexity of Theobroma cacao makes it a unique, bittersweet medicine carrier. While all other sacred plants of the Americas were eradicated and demonized during the colonial era, Cacao snuck into European culture as an indulgence, a dessert, and a succulent elixir. Cacao went from being “the black almonds of Cristobal Colon” to a fasting polemic of ecclesiastical protocols in the Vatican. Cacao and its ritual use are blooming in a 21st century revival as a cultural phenomenon called “Cacao ceremony,” a strange ritual fusion that is crossing borders across the world and has been gaining strength since the mid-90s when it began to be re-popularized in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The history of Cacao is being re-written right now. There is no doubt that the legacy of Chocolate is the result of a Mesoamerican technology inherited by the ancient Nahuas, Olmecas, Mayans and Aztecs. However the latest genetic and archaeological findings confirm what until a few years ago was a rumor or a mere hypothesis: that Cacao and its botanical brothers, the theobromas, all come from from the amazonian south American jungles. There in the midst of this immense network of jungly rivers, diverse indigenous traditions use this family of plants as catalysts of Andean-Amazonian ethnobotanical medicine. Come and dare to be part of the most recent and sparkling chapter in the bittersweet saga of the planet’s favorite food: CHOCOLATE.
Psychedelics and Traditional Jungle Medicines as a Novel Approach to Autoimmune Conditions
Caitlin Thompson CC230
With an epidemic rising in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions and a resurgence of interest in psychedelic medicines, it seems inevitable that the two fields will soon intertwine. Pharmacological and anecdotal evidence suggests that psychedelic compounds may have useful implications in the treatment of chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Emerging research is beginning to highlight the immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory effects of these compounds, as well as their effect on vagal nerve tone, the microbiome and psychological traumas that initiate autoimmune mechanisms in the body. Psychedelics address both psychospiritual and physiological elements of disease, providing a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing. This talk will thoroughly present existing evidence that psychedelics have potential to provide great relief in this area of medicine covering a broad range of relevant observed effects.
4:00 PM – 4:50 PM
Panel: Entheogens as a Treatment for Addiction
CC150/160 (CE Credit)
Moderator: Natalie Metz, ND
Panel: Andrew Assini MA, Anny Ortiz, Shana Harris, Ph.D Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D
Description: Much of the first wave of psychedelic research focused on the potential therapeutic use for addiction, especially the use of LSD in the treatment of alcoholism. What is the current state of research regarding psychedelics and addiction? What do we currently know about the mechanisms underlying this therapeutic action? How can psychedelics fit into a future treatment model for addiction?
Ketamine: A New Way to Change Your Mind
Sam Ko, MD, MBA, FACEP AB7-8 (CE/CME Credit)
Depression, anxiety, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are more and more common in today’s world, with estimates of 33% of the US population suffering from one of these disorders. There are a variety of treatments available for depression, anxiety, and PTSD, ranging from traditional psychotherapy to prescription mood stabilizers, and SSRIs. However, many people find that these treatments are not providing adequate relief. In the last 18 years, studies are showing positive results for a treatment using ketamine infusions in treatment-resistant mood disorders. Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthesia drug that is used daily in hospitals and emergency rooms across the country. This presentation will expand upon physicians’ understanding of the off-label use of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
When Kware’epa Tricked Yuku: A Natural and Cultural History, and Conservation of the Sonoran Desert Toad
Robert A. Villa CC230
The discovery of 5-meo-DMT in the toad Incilius alvarius (=Bufo alvarius) in 1967 led to a following of entheogen users that is growing since a guide (1984) and recent films (2012 and 2017) outlining the extraction and use of this substance from the skin of I. alvarius. Misconceptions, ethno-herpetology, threats, and conservation of I. alvarius are presented related to its exploitation for psychedelic use.
5:00 PM – 5:50 PM
Entheogenic Botanicals: An Overview within Naturopathic Medicine
Paul Saunders, Ph.D, ND, DHANP, CCH AB7/8 (CE Credit)
Botanical medicines in diverse forms are one of the principal therapeutic modalities of naturopathic medicine. Ancient practitioners of the medical arts through the Eclectic physicians used numerous botanicals in appropriate doses to achieve clinical outcomes. Examples of herbs that are classified as entheogenic include Cannabis ssp., Datura stramonium, Veratrum spp., Hyoscyamus niger, Passiflora incarnata, Piper methysticum, Artemisia absinthium, Atropa belladonna, Coffea arabica, Theobroma cacao, Humulus lupulus, Hypericum perforatum, Lactuca virosa, Lobelia inflata, Nepeta cataria, Nicotiana tabacum, Papaver somniferum, Pausinystalia yohimbe, Turnera diffusa, Valeriana officinalis, and others. This review will explore the constituents that make them entheogenic and how some of these plants have been and are used therapeutically in naturopathic medicine.
The Path to Legitimacy: How MAPS is Making MDMA into a Medicine for PTSD
Brad Burge, MA CC150/160 (CE/CME Credit)
Psychedelic science is here to stay, and the path to legitimacy for psychedelic medicine is clearer than ever. Brad Burge, Director of Strategic of Communications for the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), will review the cutting edge of psychedelic research, with a focus on MAPS’ now-ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials intended to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He’ll share what lies ahead for the field of psychedelic therapy, from Expanded Access treatment centers to professional therapist training, and show how cultural attitudes are evolving worldwide about the benefits of psychedelics as scientific, therapeutic, spiritual, and creative tools.
Follow the Medicine to Heal Humanity
Ron Interpreter Garden
“Azeeh Be’th Shith Hozho Dooh – With the spirit of the medicine, I exemplify Universal Beauty in my Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit” is a Navajo affirmation that articulates the essence of Peyote’s healing that promotes accountability through self-determination and ensures an empowered attitude to take action. Narrated in the context of his personal life journey, Ron Interpreter demonstrates an integrative approach to Native American healing practices and traditions in the context of relationship to four constructs—namely, spirituality (Creator, Mother Earth, Great Father); community (family, clan, tribe/nation); environment (daily life, nature, balance); and self (inner passions and peace, thoughts, and values). The audience will learn about a personalized multi-dimensional approach to “self-care” that aligns with the Peyote hermeneutic wellness practice of human existence with the spiritual realm. Ron provides an introduction to the shamanic and healing energy treatments that bridge the Ancestral healing elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air with contemporary forms of holistic therapies such as Aromatherapy, Sound Healing, Hypnotherapy, Guided Meditation, and Nutrition.
6:00 PM – 6:50 PM
Healing Racial Trauma with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Call to Expand the Psychedelic Narrative
Jamilah George, M. Div. AB7/8 (CE Credit)
Higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are experienced by many ethnic minorities due, in part, to experiences of racism. However, ethnic minorities also experience particular challenges with accessing treatment and as such, often go without it. As a co-therapist on the only Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) sponsored site focusing on race-based trauma and the experiences of people of color, Jamilah will share some of her personal experiences, and the unique challenges and barriers experienced by her site, along with the strengths and promise of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD among people of color. She will also highlight some of the work of indigenous people, ethnic and racial minorities, women, and other disenfranchised groups who are often unsupported or highlighted in the mainstream narrative of psychedelic medicine. The psychedelic movement owes much of its success to the history of indigenous healing practices and marginalized groups. As such, we will aim to view our work with a more expansive and inclusive perspective to honor the work of all contributors to the movement; especially those who came before us.
“Ibogaine Works”: An anthropological analysis of the effectiveness of psychedelic based drug treatment
Shana Harris, Ph.D. CC150/160 (CE Credit)
Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance extracted from a plant native to Central Africa called Tabernanthe iboga. Those who ingest this psychedelic substance experience a dream state while still awake and often have visions that can last up to 24 hours. For nearly a century, scientists and health professionals have examined the properties and therapeutic potential of ibogaine, including for drug treatment. In fact, ibogaine has become known as an “addiction interrupter” because of its ability to reduce or eliminate drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms after one dose, particularly opiates. It is simultaneously used as a tool for self- reflection and introspection that allows one to better understand their addiction and the path out of it. Thus, ibogaine advocates argue that it works by addressing both the physical and psycho- spiritual dimensions of addiction, treating both its sources and its symptoms. But what does it actually mean that ibogaine “works”? This talk will engage this complicated question by investigating the claim of both ibogaine patients and providers that this substance is “effective” for treating drug addiction. Based on ongoing anthropological research at ibogaine treatment centers in Baja California, Mexico, this talk discusses the multitude of factors that contribute to this claim as well as the difficulty of claiming effectiveness in the context of drug treatment, a field where the very definition of “effectiveness” is continuously contested and ever shifting. The aim of this talk, therefore, is not to suggest that ibogaine is “ineffective” in treating drug addiction, but rather to illustrate that the way in which this psychedelic-based treatment “works” is perhaps more ambiguous and subjective than generally perceived.
Mike Margolies CC230
The recent boom in psychedelic science has inspired so many of us. Yet while the data are important, it’s stories that change hearts and minds. Join us as conference speakers and attendees come out of the psychedelic closet and share personal accounts of deeply meaningful experiences with psychedelics. Hear everything from tales of transformation to trips of terror. And maybe step up to the mic to share one of your own.