Psychedelics Resources

A Psychedelic Glossary

Active placebo: A type of placebo used in drug trials to fool the volunteer into thinking he has received the psychoactive drug being tested. In the psilocybin trials, researchers have used niacin, which produces a tingling sensation, and methylphenidate (Ritalin), which is a stimulant.

Ayahuasca: A psychedelic tea made from a combinationof plants native to the Amazon basin, typically Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis (or chacruna), and used sacramentally by indigenous peoples of South America.

The chacruna plant contains the psychedelic compound DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine), but it is deactivated by digestive enzymes unless it is ingested with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor such as Banisteriopsis. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of the Brazil-based UDV Church to use ayahuasca as a sacrament.

The Beckley Foundation: The organization established by Amanda Feilding in England in 1998 to support research into psychedelics and advocate internationally for the reform of drug laws. The organization is named for Feilding’s ancestral estate in Oxfordshire.

See full psychedelic glossary »

Further Reading and Viewing


The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys – James Fadiman

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encouters with Addiction – Gabor Mate

Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream – Jay Stevens

Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus – Erika Dyck

The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem – Andrew Weil

More Books »

Films and Videos

A New Understanding: The science of Psilocybin — A documentary exploring the use of psilocybin to treat of end-of-life anxiety in cancer patients.

Terence McKenna discusses the stoned ape theory

A Conversation on LSD – In a video from the late 1970s, Al Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Humphry Osmond, Sidney Cohen and others reflect on LSD’s heyday

Paul Stamets: 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World

More Videos »

Documents, Articles & Artifacts

Some notes on risk — What do we know about the risks of psychedelics?

Al Hubbard’s FBI file

Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past – Betty Grover Eisner’s unpublished memoir about her role in developing psychedelic therapy

Psychedelic Timeline – A detailed timeline of the history of psychedelics from 5000 BCE to today.

LSD, Insight or Insanity – Transcript of excerpts from hearings of the Subcommittee
on the Executive Reorganization of the Senate Committee on Government Operations [concerning federal research and regulation of LSD-25] May 24, 1966

The Brutal Mirror: What an ayahuasca retreat showed me about my life —A Vox writer’s first-person account

How to Get Involved

Clinical Trials

Research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is underway at a number of institutions. Here are some resources for those interested in serving as a volunteer:

MAPS keeps a page for people interested in participating in research using psychedelics, MDMA and marijuana. is a database of clinical studies maintained by the National Institutes of Health. Search for studies involving psilocybin, MDMA or other substances.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research is accepting volunteers for a number of trials including the use of psychedelics in smoking cessation, depression and among religious professionals.

The University of California, San Francisco, Psilocybin-assisted Group Therapy for Demoralization in Long-term AIDS Survivors trial is accepting volunteers.

New York University’s Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin Treatment of Alcohol Dependence is accepting volunteers.

The Usona Institute is sponsoring multi-site trials of psilocybin as a treatment for major depressive disorder. Find more information here.

New York University’s Cancer Anxiety Study is not currently accepting volunteers.

Guides and Therapists

While I cannot recommend therapists or guides, you may find your way into these communities through meetup groups, holotropic breathwork practitioners and by attending conferences organized by MAPS and similar organizations. Many therapists can help you to process or integrate past psychedelic experiences. MAPS has a good list here. And Psychedelics Today has published useful and thoughtful advice for those seeking psychedelic guides, substances and therapy.

A number of legal psychedelic retreats are held across the world each year. These include The Psychedelic Society’s Psychedelic Experience Retreats, the Synthesis Retreat, and the New Moon Psychedelic Retreats, all held in the Netherlands, and the Atman Retreat in Jamaica. This information is not an endorsement; we urge you to do your own research!

Ketamine-Assisted Therapy

In recent years, ketamine—a legal anesthetic that can cause hallucinatory experiences—has shown promise as a treatment for depression. Large-scale studies of its effectiveness have not yet been published, but a number of clinics and therapists are using ketamine to treat depression, both in conjunction with psychotherapy or on its own. To learn more, read this recent WIRED article on ketamine treatment or consult this list of ketamine therapy providers.

Psychedelics Societies

There are also more than 100 psychedelic societies and groups in the U.S. and across the world. A psychedelic society is a local group that meets regularly to provide peer education about the psychedelic experience. Psychedelics may be currently illegal in most places but talking about them openly is not. Psychedelic societies vary widely in format based on community needs and desires. They may host documentary viewings, book clubs, visiting speakers, group discussions, or more. Meetings may be large or relatively small, held frequently or only on special occasions. Typically, events tend towards the topical, exploring some aspect of science, history, therapeutic value, or culture surrounding psychedelics. They are community groups convened to fill a lacuna in society at large: a public place to discuss and share information about psychedelics. Many societies incorporate storytelling into their meetings to reduce stigma surrounding psychedelic use and to share wisdom.  Solicitation or distribution of illegal substances is not welcome at psychedelic society events.

Psychedelic societies are by nature open to the public but can be expected to be organized and attended by people with personal experience with psychedelic substances, or at minimum a healthy curiosity about the subject. People’s experiences with psychedelics may have been recent or occurred many years previous. The powerful nature of the psychedelic experience is sufficient to leave a clear impression regardless of when it happened. However, psychedelic societies typically do not welcome individuals under the influence of psychedelics at their meetings.

Here is a long list of  psychedelic societies in the U.S. and across the world.

Forums Includes experience reports, discussion of spirituality, ecology, healing, and recovery by means of the vine are collected here. A place to learn from members of ayahuasca churches, as well as a few foreign language channels.

Bluelight: A 20 year old online harm reduction forum that fosters open and factual discussion of drugs and provides support for those seeking recovery from addiction.

DMT Nexus: A hub for underground psychedelic research on botanical sources of tryptamines and other psychedelic compounds.

5Hive: A newer forum devoted specifically to 5-MeO-DMT — synthetic, botanical or toad-derived.

Mycotopia: All things mycological — discussions of edible, wild, and psychoactive fungi.

The Shroomery: A forum  devoted to cultivating psilocybin-containing mushrooms and sharing trip reports.

TRIPSIT: A 24/7 online harm reduction resource.  Users can chat instantly with someone about their drug experience, or questions they may have about about the safe(r) use of a wide variety of controlled substances.


The book How to Change Your Mind and this website relate the author’s investigative reporting on and related self-experimentation with, psilocybin mushrooms, the drug lysergic acid diethylamide (or, as it is more commonly known, LSD, and the drug 5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine (more commonly known as 5-MeO-DMT or The Toad). It is a criminal offense in the United States and in many other countries, punishable by imprisonment and/or fines, to manufacture, possess, or supply LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and/or the drug 5-MeO-DMT, except in connection with government-sanctioned research. You should therefore understand that this book and website are intended to convey the author’s experiences and to provide an understanding of the background and current state of research into these substances. They are not intended to encourage you to break the law and no attempt should be made to use these substances for any purpose except in a legally-sanctioned clinical trial. The author and the publisher expressly disclaim any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, that is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the contents of the book or this website.

As you explore the subjects in this book, consider taking steps to protect your privacy. You may want to start by downloading the Tor Browser, familiarizing yourself with the work of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, and using Signal to encrypt telephone and text conversations.