The Rotation: Vol. 17
Psychedelics Without the Trip, Ghost Drops New Sub-Brand Platform, and Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Drama
Psychedelics Without the Trip?
An opinion piece in the New York Times examines whether hallucinations are the key to the effectiveness of psychedelics, which has become a growing debate amongst researchers.
- Psychedelic therapy is not necessarily an easy or convenient treatment option, involving several sessions, intense experiences, and high costs, not to mention the recent reports of clinician malpractice.
- Some scientists are working to develop molecules based on psychedelics, with the goal of providing the therapeutic benefits of the drugs but without the hallucinations.
- The argument is that it’s the effect on the brain that give psychedelics their therapeutic benefits, as opposed to the alteration in consciousness that occurs.
- Other researchers are skeptical, suggesting that something will be lost by “decoupling the drugs’ therapeutic benefits from their existential or mystical qualities” and will likely not lead to the long-term benefits being reported by patients.
Whether a psychedelic experience is needed or not to achieve the desired therapeutic benefits of psychedelics is still largely unknown and we agree that it’s a hypothesis worth exploring. Furthermore, this type of drug would be more scalable, marketable, and likely much more accessible to patients. However, we are also weary of the prospect of removing the experience of a non-ordinary state of consciousness from psychedelic treatment, which may lead to a deeper misunderstanding of how psychedelic therapy actually works. It seems wrong to attempt and strip psychedelics for their parts by removing the psychedelic trip entirely and in turn reducing the effects of psychedelics to purely biological mechanisms of action.
Ghost Drops Launches New Legacy Brand Platform “The League”
Ghost Drops announced the launch of their new collective aimed at bringing legacy cannabis brands into the legal market.
- The League brand platform will allow Ghost Drops to develop other legacy brands and propel them to the forefront of the legal cannabis industry.
- This new platform is part of Ghost Drops core business strategy, which is to convert legacy consumers to the legal market
- The first sub-brand to be announced is Hasho, from legacy persona Mike “Hasho” Imposimato, with the first release being Hasho’s GMO, expected to hit the the Ontario market first in August and available in 3.5g bags and 1g pre-rolls.
This is another great step forward for Ghost Drops and the cannabis industry in Canada in general. Converting cannabis consumers to the legal market is essential for a thriving industry and we were super impressed with the first few releases by Ghost Drops, most notably the First Class Funk and Z-Splitter. It’s great to see that they are sharing the love and looking to put other brands on, as the market is still lacking consistent high-quality dried flower options and consumers are always looking for something fresh and new.
Social Media Influencer and Renowned Cannabis Scientists Feud Sparks Controversy
A detailed article covering the recent spat between a renowned cannabis scientist and popular social media influencer was published on MIT Technology Review.
- Alice Moon, a long-time online cannabis influencer started experiencing digestive issues in 2018, leading a gastrointestinal specialist to diagnose her with Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), a rare disorder that causes nausea and vomiting. This diagnosis eventually led Moon to stop using cannabis entirely.
- Dr. Russo, interested in CHS, hypothesized that a genetic mutation may be responsible for the rare disorder, and collaborated with the genetic testing company Endocanna Health to launch a genetic study comparing the genomes of a large group of CHS patients with the genomes of a control group of cannabis users who hadn’t developed CHS.
- Moon became actively involved in an online community dedicated to people suffering from CHS and Russo was looking to tap into that network to recruit participants for the study.
- Unfortunately, due to objections related to the language of the study, as well as questions surrounding the partnership with Endocanna Health, Moon eventually disavowed the study, leading to Russo claiming that Moon’s harsh critique led to low enrollment in the study.
The complexities of this feud, and the heated debate surrounding CHS are covered in detail in the article. The article itself has drawn controversy, with many criticizing the language used throughout with its frequent use of “stoner” and “pothead”. Regardless of where you stand in the debate, it’s certainly difficult to look away from this clash of seemingly opposing worlds coming together, for better or for worse. Although it appears that Dr. Russo was operating in good faith, it’s unfortunate that this fight is detracting from the much-needed research on this rare disorder.