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
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
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
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.
Psychedelics and Traditional Jungle Medicines as a Novel Approach to Autoimmune Conditions
Caitlin Thompson AB7-8
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.
Getting it Right: the Path from Faith to Fact
Burke Files, DDP, CACM CC220
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
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 as a catalyst for an autonomic nervous system reboot
Anny Ortiz AB7-8
MDMA Expanded Access – a conversation for practitioners
Kate Hawke CC220
11:00 AM – 12:20 PM
The Persistence of Memory: Oneirogenic Plant Medicines, Personal Identity and
the Dream State
Kenneth Proefrock, NMD CC150/160
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
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.
Botanical Archetypes: Plants in our Garden
Chloe Bee, RH Garden
A journey into living botanical whispers. Each plant has a language, a unique vibration, a message, and a mystery. Meet the wise plants of the SCNM garden and tune in with your own style of alternative learning abilities
Theatrical Performance: It’s a Beautiful Wound
Rich Orloff CC220
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)
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)
Moderator: Bia Labate, PhD.
Panel: Mamma Senchina, Belinda Eriacho, 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. This points us to the question: what is the role of spiritual experience in healing? How are psychedelics used in a religious or ceremonial context?
Food That Is Out Of This Universe: An Introduction to CBD 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.
3:00 PM – 3:50 PM
Cannabis as a Treatment for PTSD
Sue Sisley, MD CC150/160
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.
Ketamine: A New Way to Change Your Mind
Sam Ko, MD, MBA, FACEP AB7-8
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.
4:00 PM – 4:50 PM
Panel: Entheogens as a Treatment for Addiction
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?
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.
5:00 PM – 5:50 PM
Entheogenic Botanicals: An Overview within Naturopathic Medicine
Paul Saunders, Ph.D, ND, DHANP, CCH CC150/160
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 then 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 AB7/8
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.
6:00 PM – 6:50 PM
Healing Racial Trauma with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
Jamilah George, M. Div. AB7/8
“Ibogaine Works”: An anthropological analysis of the effectiveness of psychedelic based drug treatment
Shana Harris, Ph.D. CC150/160
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