Chacruna Institute is a registered California 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are a volunteer-led organization run by a team of experts and enthusiasts who give their time freely to bring education and cultural understanding about psychedelic plant medicines to a wider audience. We promote a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science and envisage a world where plant medicines and other psychedelics are preserved, protected, and valued as part of our cultural identity and integrated into our social, legal and health care systems. Help us to achieve our mission! Please consider becoming a monthly donor so that your impact spans the entire year. Support of any frequency or amount helps the cause.
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This article explores the idea of the psychedelic experience as a “double-edged sword” in the way that although spiritual revelations and insights can aid in bettering mental health, these revelations and insights can also lead to further damaging the psychology of an individual. The authors explore potential causes and solutions to this dilemma.
Through this narrative fictional account, Andrew Penn offers a literary image of underground pharmaceutical practice by telling the story of the SSRI circles of 1985 in New York City. He compares this with the growing popularity of psychedelics in the mainstream and excitement for clinical trials while at the same time underground practice still exists.
In this article, Filipe Ribeiro covers the conservation challenges surrounding kambô. The kambô frog’s secretions are used in traditional practice among several Indigenous peoples in the southwest Amazon. With the growing global demand for kambô, some have suggested that the Indigenous approach to collecting the frog’s secretions is harmful to the frog. Ribeiro urges the West to not rush to hasty and superficial judgments regarding traditional practices.
Jasmine Virdi interviews Jahlani Niaah, Rastafari scholar and community member, about the little-known and often misunderstood Rastafari movement. Within the psychedelic renaissance, the sacramental use of ganja by Rastafari is often overlooked. In this interview, Niaah provides a historical overview of the origins of the Rastafari movement, explaining certain key elements of Rastafari praxis, and about the sacramental use of ganja among the Rastafari.
Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists Dr.’s Ben Malcolm and Kelan Thomas recently published a review article discussing the risks of serotonin syndrome with various serotonergic psychedelics, either alone or in combination with serotonergic antidepressants. In this article, the authors offer a short summary of their main findings.
The rise in popularity of peyote has unfortunately led to overharvesting which consequently poses a great risk for the future of the species. With the increasing need to protect peyote, synthetic mescaline may offer an alternative gateway into this experience that is bereft of issues regarding sustainability. This article summarizes the chemical composition and production of synthetic mescaline.
Jasmine Virdi interviews Regina Célia de Oliveira, a Brazilian biologist and professor at Brasília University, specializing in the study of Banisteriopsis caapi and other plants that make up the ayahuasca brew. In this article, Regina shares about the different varieties of the B. caapi vine, the deeply sophisticated knowledge of traditional peoples about these vines, and the importance of protecting these plant species amidst ongoing ecological destruction in the Amazon Rainfor-est.
This is a community alert about the seizures of sacred plants and arrests by law enforcement that have been increasing across the US, most of which have been in religious and ceremonial settings of indigenous peoples. Chacruna is taking action to provide free education, resources, and support of other organizations who are also advocating for the protection of sacred plants.
On August 25, 2020, a proposal presented in Colombia’s Congress to regulate coca and its derivatives, including cocaine, made history. This article dispels the equation of coca and cocaine; highlights the sacredness of the plant to Indigenous Americas; analyzes the underlying questions of the legislative proposal; and discusses the new economic models and regulation of coca.
One of the psychoactive mushrooms described by Gordon Wasson in LIFE magazine (1957) is today an endangered species. This article describes how mycologists located the fungus Conocybe siligeneoides in the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca (Mexico).
Mexico is currently debating ritual and traditional uses, as well as non-Indigenous and therapeutic uses of entheogens. During the past year, two legal reform proposals have been introduced to Mexico’s drug policy reform landscape. One of which is focused on the reclassification of psilocybin mushrooms and peyote, and the second is a request for legal consumption of the same sacred plants. This article describes the initiatives’ intentions, analyzes the proposals’ impact on the landscape for drug reform, and highlights the importance of a multicultural and human rights perspective, especially for the protection of Indigenous peoples’ rights.
There is incredible potential for the psychedelic renaissance to rehabilitate and revitalize the concept of love in psychotherapy and in our culture more broadly. Studying the emergence of love in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, from medicine-induced experiences of love, to the importance of the felt sense of love between therapist and client, is a means of bridging the divide between the discourse of therapy and the experience of this powerful healing energy.
Chacruna Institute's Patenting the Sacred series is related to Chacruna’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative of the Americas, and aims to educate and promote critical thinking in the field of psychedelics by bringing together experts in intellectual property, law, medicine, anthropology, sacred plants, and Indigenous worldview to deepen public discourse on critical issues that impact all of us inside the psychedelic renaissance. The next forum is titled “Indigenous Worldview, Property, and Extractivism in the Psychedelic Renaissance" and will stream on October 27th.