Body of Wonder Podcast

Episode #20 How Psychedelics Will Change the Future of Mental Health Treatment with Ronan Levy

Psychedelics, such as ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD have been tightly controlled and highly debated substances for decades, but after several years of clinical trials, the FDA has recently awarded both MDMA and psilocybin, when used in conjunction with psychotherapy, with breakthrough status for the research of challenging mental health disorders, like PTSD.

The breakthrough status designation means that the FDA will expedite the review of the research. Mental health advocates are keen to open these treatments to a wider demographic of patients. And, it’s important to note that there’s been a long tradition of psychedelic use as a healing practice among cultures across the world.

So, is modern society ready to embrace psychedelics? Newly passed local laws show that it’s becoming more widely accepted. Legal access to psilocybin is already available in parts of the US and Canada.

Joining us on this episode is Ronan Levy, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Field Trip Psychedelics a new company that is treating patients who have mental health diagnoses with ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Together, Dr. Weil, Dr. Maizes, and Levy discuss important aspects of psychedelic treatment. Dr. Weil defines psychedelic-assisted therapy and how it works. Dr. Maizes raises the questions, “What should be considered when applying these treatments?” and “When will it be made available to patients?” Levy describes the current regulations and laws around the substances in the US and Canada, the treatment protocols at his clinic, and what the future holds for patients seeking psychedelic-assisted therapy.   

Please note, the show will not advise, diagnose, or treat medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider for questions regarding your health.

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Victoria Maizes: Hi, Andy.

Dr. Weil: Hi Victoria.

Victoria Maizes: So I have noticed that when you open your lectures to questions from the audience, as you are, uh, often want to do one of the questions that almost always comes up these days is psychedelics.

Dr. Weil: Absolutely true. And that's true. No matter what subject I've been lecturing about, whether it's nutrition, healthy aging, integrative medicine, people are curious about psychedelics, and they're also curious, uh, how they can access them legally.

Victoria Maizes: So our next guest, uh, actually has been building a company to do just that, to make available in Canada, where he began and now in the United States, uh, legal access to psychedelic medicines

Dr. Weil: And Ronan levy is one of the major players in this new space of psychedelic therapy and developing clinics, uh, where this can be done.

Victoria Maizes: Well, let's get him on.

Dr. Weil: Okay.

Victoria Maizes: Ronan Levvy is the co-founder of Field Trips Psychedelics, which is a new kind of mental wellness company that blends legal psychedelic, enhanced therapy, mindfulness, and self-care with psychotherapy sessions. He is a partner at Grassfed Ventures of venture capital and advisory firm focused on the cannabis and biotech industries and a member of the board of directors for Trait Bio-sciences Inc, a leading biotech company in the hemp and cannabis industries. Ronan started his career as a lawyer, practicing corporate and securities law, and holds a JD from the university of Toronto. Welcome Ronan.

Ronan Levvy: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Victoria Maizes: Well, we're delighted to have you and I'm going to start by asking Andy to define psychedelic-assisted therapy for our listeners.

Dr. Weil: Well, this is a form of psychotherapy, particularly intended for patients with anxiety disorders and depression, uh, especially forms of depression that have been resistant to conventional methods and it involves guided trips with psychedelics. I think the ones that have been particularly looked at have been psilocybin, mushrooms, uh, LSD, MDMA, which is a slightly different category.

There's tremendous interest in using this as a more effective kind of intervention than conventional medications. And, uh, everyone is waiting to see how soon these substances will be made available to practitioners for this use.

Victoria Maizes: Thanks, Andy Ronan, anything you want to add?

Ronan Levvy: The definition of psychedelic is, and the sort of pointing towards is, is one that's kind of loose in the ever-evolving, you know, there's the classic psychedelics, which are psilocybin, LSD, which typically target the 5-HT2A, a serotonin receptor. Ketamine is being used as a psychedelic, that's what we're using in our clinics, even though it's not classically. So MDMA is not classically a psychedelic, but gets lumped into it. And our perspective is that anything that quiets the ego that slows the ego, the slows, the default mode network and opens people up to the effects of a psychotherapy, uh, that typically follow psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is a psychedelic because if you think about the origins of the word “psychedelic” meaning my manifesting or bringing to light, um, you know, there's a lot of ways to get there. Psychedelics just happen to be psychedelic drugs. I will say for purposes of clarity just happened to be a particularly efficient way to, to step into an altered state of consciousness that helps people tap into you know, if you're doing it in a therapeutic context, maybe some of the traumas or experiences of our past that, that stay with us and affect us in a negative way. Uh, or if you're doing it just for explorations to tap into a different level of awareness about the world, the universe, everything that's going on.

Dr. Weil: However, can I add that if you look at it from a chemical point of view, there are two main families of true psychedelics, uh, the indels, uh, and the, the substituted fenethylline.

Categories, that's a different kind of substance, uh, cannabis does not fall into those categories. And in addition to the natural and synthetic true psychedelics, a lot of people now are experimenting with analogs of psychedelics and trying to come up with variations of these molecules that may be legal and that may have beneficial effects.

Uh, so that's another trend that I think we'll see. I would say that at the moment, ketamine is kind of a placeholder. And would you agree with that Ronan? I mean, are a lot of the clinics that are opening are using that because that's what is now available to clinicians.

Ronan Levvy: That's absolutely right. And, and we're seeing great results with ketamine used it as a psychedelic, notwithstanding your commentary. That's not conventional one, but people have similar type experiences in terms of having an altered state of consciousness and are able to see things from a different perspective.

But no, absolutely Field Trip was born with a view to using anything that comes to legal or approved ketamine was a great place to start because we can help people. Now we can start to build their business and all that kind of stuff, but it really it's not a stepping stone because I think it will continue to be used in our practice even when we have access to the full suite of psychedelics, assuming we have access to the full suite of psychedelics. Um, but it will probably be of much lesser significance.

Victoria Maizes: So maybe we'll talk a little bit now about the status of psychedelics, uh, in the United States. Um, there is this movement, um, to, uh, do two things.

One is decriminalize and another is, uh, legalize. So, uh, in Denver, um, in May of 2019, uh, it was the first city in the United States that decriminalized psilocybin. And that's also happened now in Oakland and in Santa Cruz, California, and as well as Washington DC. Um, and that's obviously a step in a certain direction, but then you have the state of Oregon, which actually has moved forward to legalize psychedelics with the Oregon Psilocybin  Service Act, which is going to create a board to make recommendations about the safety and efficacy of psilocybin for treating mental health conditions.

Ronan Levvy: Yep.

Dr. Weil: And Ronan you're based in Canada. What do you see happening there? My impression is that Canada is ahead of the U.S in this movement.

Ronan Levvy: Uh, you know, I, I like to say that what typically happens is States like California and Colorado, and maybe Oregon tend to be first movers in socially progressive causes like legalizing cannabis, legalizing psychedelics, same-sex marriage, all that kind of stuff. And then candidate comes along and does it on a coherent federal level. So everyone in Canada gets it. And then the U.S slowly starts to catch up on a state by state basis. Um, you know the, the laws and regulations in Canada are pretty much the same as in the U S right now. And I'd actually clarify, there's kind of three categories. There's decriminalization, there's legalization, and then there's regulatory approval, um, because legalization and regulatory approval, aren't exactly the same thing. Depending on the context, the latter being, if the FDA approves the use of psilocybin for the treatments of major depression or treatment resistant depression that's not necessarily legalization. That's still very much be a controlled substance subject to all sorts of restrictions. Whereas legalization looks a lot more like cannabis. At least that's how I distinguish them in my head. What we're seeing in Canada, uh, is I think a fairly progressive attitude, uh, from the government, the minister of health has now granted I think about 20 section 56 exemptions, which is a unique feature in Canadian constitutional law, uh, in the controlled substances, controlled drugs and substances act, which basically enables the minister of health to ignore existing laws and that controlled drugs and substances act and give permission to people to access certain drugs.

And so it's been used in the context of clinical trials it's been used in the context of, uh, religious purposes. So there's a few churches that have been granted permission to use i Ayahuasca as part of their religious ceremonies. But most recently it's been granted to people with end of life distress, uh, who wants to access psilocybin -assisted therapies. And on the back of that, there's actually been a move to reschedule suicide and an MDMA, not for purposes of legalization, but to make them available through something called a Special Access Program, which conceptually is very similar to the right to try in the U S you have to apply to a specialized board, would give you permission to access this.

So this becomes a more administrative ad process, and then a section 56, which is more political and deciding the minister of health and herself. Um, other than that, I think state by state. Isn't jurisdiction by jurisdiction. Also kind of a result of how the federal governments and the state governments work.

I think the U S is actually more advanced because you have Oregon legalized and you have all of these cities, decriminalizing, uh, access to psychedelics. but I think broad-based, we also have, and people don't talk about this and I don't know why maybe Canadians are just a little too modest, but, um, you know, the government gave a mandate to the crown prosecutors so the equivalent of district attorneys in the U S to not prosecute small, small possession of drugs or psychedelics. Now, the government has actually introduced legislation, uh, to, to mandate that, that the penalties associated with possession of small amounts of drugs would not be criminal. Um, so very similar to what's happening in the city by city basis but again, Across Canada. And that would be a federal consideration. So it apply all across Canada.

Dr. Weil: As you know, there are a couple of institutions that now have educational programs to train, um, psychedelic guides.

I think we need a lot more of them though, and make sure that they're well-trained I think the first prerequisite is that the therapist has to be personally experienced with the psychedelic States.

 

Ronan Levvy: Yeah, it's, it's a, it's an interesting debate and conversation about what the qualifications are in the first place. I think that's probably some of the hardest work that the people in Oregon are, have to kind of have to confront whether you have to be a doctor, a PhD you know, as a, as a psychotherapist is a licensed psychotherapist sufficient, or is there some other training program that is going to be implemented for our part what we're doing within Field Trip is a few things one is because we are trying to build a large network of specialized locations for psychedelic assisted therapy. You know, most of the therapists we're hiring do come with some training, whether it's through the California Institute of Integral Studies, whether they're studied with MAPS or USONA, which is another nonprofit in the US that provides training.

And we're also enabling access to training within our clinics for the therapist that works here, uh, on a broad scale basis, it is an important consideration

But how you produce enough qualified therapists given the vulnerability that happens when someone is under the experience of the psychedelic it's to ensure safety and quality and consistency of the therapeutic experiences is one of the big challenges that we as an industry or as a sector.

Victoria Maizes: I mean we hear about bad trips and, uh, the potential risk about bad trips.

And I think the, uh, the goal and part of having a therapist there is that if that is the direction someone's going, there's someone to kind of help put them back together. Uh, ego dissolution may have profound, wonderful meanings in some Buddhists training and terrible meanings in some psychiatric definitional ways.

So, um, how much experience does that therapist need to have? And, Andy, you talk a lot about set and setting. How critical is it to have a setting that can manage the so-called bad trip?

Dr. Weil: Well, I think it's all important, you know, I think the experiences are so dependent on, on set and setting, you know, what, it's the drug, the dosage, the route of administration, but then the expectations of the person, uh, which are very much shaped by the expectations of the therapist and the physical social environment in which the substances used. So I think a great deal of attention has to be paid to that. Uh, and as you know, Victoria, I'm very interested in using these substances and in physical medicine, as well as psychiatric medicine.

And I think there's just tremendous potential to help people deal with chronic illness of all sorts by, um, giving them the experience

And that really requires the skillful guidance of somebody who knows how to direct these effects in the right direction.

Ronan Levvy: It's just kind of add that, um, you know, Andy, you touched on you believe that's important that every book, every therapy. I just have some firsthand experience with psychedelic experiences.

Generally. I agree. It, I think it's wise, but I don't think it's an absolute prerequisite, you know, Erwin Perlman who's the gentleman I work with, um, and have worked with for personal growth therapy and meditation. For many years, he doesn't have firsthand experience in terms of psychedelics, but he definitely has the jenesequa, I don't even know how to describe it, but I would feel perfectly comfortable having a him stitch together my ego after a hard experience. Um, uh, but you know, generally speaking, I think it is capable of doing things that, you know, makes them unique and special. So generally speaking, I agree with you. It's just not an absolute requirement in my mind.

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Victoria Maizes: So Ronan and the clinics, um, where you're operating, does the therapist say something to create a positive expectation? I mean, do they say we're going to now administer the ketamine and you can expect to feel free of all struggle. You will find yourself reorganizing how you see the world in ways that are incredibly positive.

Do they, do they suggest things like that?

Ronan Levvy: It really is therapist by therapist. I mean, that's the hard thing and I mean, every person undergoing treatments and every, is there a unique person with unique experiences and unique perspective. So we really try to empower the therapists. We're hearing that these Field Trips to bring a lot of their own discretion to the vehicle experience that being said, we also try to create a framework to offer consistency of experience. So everyone has roughly the same, uh, experience within the Field Trip by and large. We do spend a lot of time, even outside of the immediate therapeutic appointments, helping people get prepared.

So we've built a tool called Portal, um, which contains an incredibly robust amount of information so people can read it, watch videos and prepare through meditations and factor. When we mentioned before has prepared meditations to help people just get into the right mindset and be prepared. Uh, and none of the therapist, obviously there will be conversations and appointments with a therapist before you're actually able to go the first ketamine experience.

Um, but what they say in those, those experiences, what they say in those first, uh, meetings and sessions specific to their therapist. So there's, there's no common answer I can give that.

Dr. Weil: Do you want to tell us something about the app that you developed? Because that looked terrific to me.

Ronan Levvy: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Yeah, absolutely. So. Within Field Trip there's a few things that we're, we're doing. One is we're opening up the field trip health centers across North America and actually indirect as well, really trying to create beautiful settings. As Andy pointed on to the sentence setting is an important aspect of a therapeutic experience so we were, we are investing heavily in and making sure people have a positive set by doing the work in advance, as well as having a beautiful setting in place that's very comfortable, bright and warm feels safe. So they're in a good mindset when they undergo their experience. But we realized also that there were going to be many people experimenting with psychedelics and other forms of consciousness, expansion that warrants in our clinics that don't necessarily have a diagnosis at DSM diagnosis. Um, and they would be doing it without a lot of guidance or structure or information. And so we realized there's a unique opportunity to take a lot of what we had built for our in-clinic experience and put it into a digital tool in a simplified way. So if people are out exploring and experimenting on their own, they have a process and tools to make sure they have the best experience possible.

And so within Field Trip, we help people, uh, do some intention setting and preparation. Uh, we provide music that has been specifically tailored and constructed to take people through a, an emotional journey to try and match their intention was also now introduced meditation to help people go deeper. Or if they're experiencing hard trips you know, come out of that hard trip if they don't have a therapist or, um, guide with them, uh, as well as, uh, structured reflection questions. So you can begin the process of the integration, you know, that's, that's where a lot of the magic so to speak happens within psychedelic therapies, you have these intense, transformative psychedelic experiences, but without doing the work afterwards to really take those understandings and the awareness that comes out of it and turn it into your life and make it part of your attitude, your mindset, your, your ego, a lot of those benefits can dissipate.

So starting the work of reflection. Trying to understand what happened, what it meant to you and how you can take those experiences forward is a key component of what we're doing within Trip as well, to be very beautiful, you know, where there's a lot of pushback initially being a who wants their phone during a psychedelic experience.

And certainly, we're the first advocate that's much better to have a qualified, trained person with you, uh, for a psychedelic experience, but in the absence of that better to have some sort of tool that is responsive and effective, so you can have as good experience as possible,

Victoria Maizes: Ronan, you were involved in the national legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada.

And I'm just curious, what parallel do you see if any, between cannabis and psychedelics.

Ronan Levvy: You know, on first blush certainly when I learned about what was happening with psychedelics, this nascent Renaissance, that's still a very nascent right now, a few years ago the immediate parallels seem to obvious, but they're more superficial you know, these are both stigmatized medicines. These were both, uh, drugs that were medicines, depending on however you want to define it that were largely made illegal and stigmatized, probably based more on political agenda than scientific fact, um, that has had a Renaissance recently. and that similarly require a new infrastructure. You know, we're not really equipped right now, or we weren't at least a few years ago to help bring cannabis medicine to the forefront because there weren't, you know, the clinics or the physicians or the medical professionals who are really capable of helping people use cannabis medicine as effective as possible.

And certainly there wasn't the infrastructure it's like cultivates a high quality safe, tested cannabis um, for the number of people who would be consuming it. Uh, and so similarly with psychedelics, we're doing the same thing. We're, we're trying to build the spaces where people can come to have the proper oversight and medical care and ethnic psychedelic setting.

We're also doing the work from both a cultivation and drug development perspective to help create safe access to these molecules you need that infrastructure, but the biggest difference, um, I guess there's two big differences that I see first is that I expect psychedelics to come as you think about it from a business perspective, as a service, you're not going to most likely go out and be able to buy mushrooms or LSD and take it home and have an experience.

What you'll be able to do is find a qualified professional to take you through a psychedelic experience. So it's going to be more service oriented than product oriented as, as cannabis is. And the other big consideration is that by and large cannabis is not curative in many respects it helps people manage symptoms.

Certainly it can be curative, but the evidence seems to suggest that cannabis is mostly. Uh, symptom helps with symptomology, you know, and helps with your pain and it helps with your anxiety, but it doesn't necessarily help it help get at the underlying causes with psychedelics, particularly as it pertains to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety and PTSD, the evidence seems to suggest, and at least my understanding of the mechanism of action is that it helps you address the underlying causes.

So you're not just dealing with the symptoms of being depressed, but you're actually healing the traumas and doing the works that may have caused you in parts, you become depressed in the first place. Um, and so I think the potential of psychedelics, uh, to have a positive impact on people's lives is actually quite greater because it feels like it, it creates a stepping stone, such that you don't necessarily need to access psychedelics to deal with your mental health conditions, you may choose to, but you can sort of start to step away. Andy I'd be curious to know your thoughts on it.

Dr. Weil: I agree with that. I think that's very well put that a Kenton episode is something that people tend to use regularly to control symptoms and with psychedelic therapy, there's at least a possibility which can be very good of, of getting to the root of a problem and changing it.

Victoria Maizes: And that of course is part of our goal and integrative medicine is can we get to the root and can we therefore, um, pull that root out, so to speak so that someone can heal yet, uh, Ronan, you alluded to the stigma of psychedelics and there does seem to be, uh, maybe from years of social messaging, negative social messaging.

What do we do about the stigma?

Ronan Levvy: Tony, uh, one of our advisors recently said, uh, and I apologize some plagiarism their line, but it's so good. You said, um, I grew up thinking McDonald's was food and mushrooms were drugs. I thought that was quite accurate. Um, you know, the stigma around psychedelics is something that doesn't cause me a lot of heart burn to be quite honest.

When we started in the cannabis industry, the stigma around cannabis, particularly in the medical community was so severe. We launched at a medical conference and doctors. Uh, at the conference, when they're walking down the aisle, not only didn't engage with us at our booth, uh, which said medical marijuana starts here.

They actually give us a wide burst that they would intentionally walk far away from us. They wanted nothing to do with us. And within about two years, we had gone from a pariah to being one of the most popular booths, um, at the conference because. What had happened is in the intervening two years, we had focused on doing really good high-quality medicine and really good results and the medical community and the areas where we were operating, saw their patients, having positive experiences and getting better, and the quality of their life improved and that triggered their curiosity.

And they want to have more understanding. Um, and so that's why I think there was, you know, a slow, but building shifts towards cannabis. With psychedelics, we're operating from a much better platform. First of all, I think cannabis has changed a lot of the attitudes and those wild, strongly held beliefs, or at least have softened if not changed towards stigmatized medicines.

But more importantly, there's a, just a great body of evidence of much more persuasive body of evidence around psychedelic therapies. And there ever has been for cannabis, both from the work and Harvard and all the academic institutions in the fifties and sixties, there were incredible amount of papers written about LSD back then.

And then in this modern Renaissance, we see it coming from institutions like Johns Hopkins and New York University and Imperial college. And it's being led by the scientists and the doctors and the physicians and the psychiatrists and the therapists who are really causing recurrent Renaissance, whereas with cannabis, uh, the, the shifted attitudes was driven much more at a political grassroots level, less the medical community, less the scientific community, more the advocacy level, it's really the medical community and the scientific community that's getting to this excitement.

So, uh, the stigma I think, is going to change quickly.  I'm a big believer that stigmas don't survive in the face of evidence. And there's more and more evidence, uh, becomes established psilocybin MDMA and LSD, and even new molecules that we're developing go through the clinical trials and ultimately hopefully become approved medicines by the FDA and health Canada. There'll be no debate as to the stigma around them, because it will be validated that many of the ones held both the surround, the dangers and addictiveness of psychedelics will be largely debunked. And you can just put points your objective data for it.

Dr. Weil: And I would add that the cultural perceptions of psychedelics are changing very fast in a positive direction.

There was just a, I think, you know, a Vogue magazine had a cover story, uh, touting the benefits of psychedelic therapy, that's mainstream. And you know, I see this happen all over it right now. Very, very quick change.

Ronan Levvy: It's interesting too I kind of got the sense, you know, my, my mom is a boomer and my business partners, parents, they're all Boomers uh, of the post-war generation.

Uh, and you know, they were always pretty strict and disciplined on drinking as bad drugs are bad. Drinking is bad, but it's okay within a degree. And as soon as cannabis became accessible from a medical perspective, my mom was one of the first people to put up her hands I want to try it. And that was psychedelics as well.

So I think there's a, there's a very evolving attitude, especially in my parents' generation, um, which, which is nice to see.

Victoria Maizes: Well, I want to also talk about in the United States, uh, we have a lot of trauma related to COVID-19. Um, we're recording this during the pandemic and, the physicians in training the residents and also the hospitalists and the intensivists are experiencing the death of so many patients in some cases are experiencing the need to really decide who gets what level of care.

Uh, and I, I think that, uh, the trauma, um, that healthcare experience, health care providers, the nurses, um, respiratory therapists are experiencing is, um, uh, a unique experience to this generation and one can imagine that maybe one of the ways in which this generation will heal will be widespread legal availability of psychedelic medicines to help with their PTSD.

Ronan Levvy: Uh, absolutely. I'm, I'm not a believer and silver bullets, but I do believe in silver linings do believe that there are many silver linings to come out of this global pandemic and no way to diminish the trauma and tragedy of so many people being sick and dying again, having to live through this, but I think its going to change attitudes.

I think it's going to force people to come to grips with a lot of things, both in terms of what we just experienced in terms of the social dynamics and um, healthcare system and politics, business finance, and not on all of these considerations, but um, as Erwin described it to me, the pandemic is a great pause, you know, at the ER in the early days of the pandemic we were all forced to sit at home and confront a lot of the fears that we have to face, whether it's fears around mortality, whether it's anxiety around money and security, uh, of your financial state, whether it's social isolation and friendships and what meaning, what relationships have meaning to you.

You couldn't avoid these experiences at the beginning of the pandemic. And it was a great opportunity because many people couldn't work during that time to go inward and reflect. And I think out of this, uh, we are destined to experience a great Renaissance, uh, in many respects. One of the areas I'm particularly excited about is that I think we're going to see integrative medicine come to the forefront, right?

People are starting to really accepted. I mean, the science is there, but it's continuing to merge, but I think from an attitude perspective, people start to see how much your outlook, your perspective, your emotional health, your physical health, and vice versa. And I actually foresee a future where the whole medical system starts to shift where your healthcare or your mental health care, your emotional health care practitioner becomes your primary triage point, because they're going to have such a much deeper understanding of who you are as a person.

And if they have a background in medicine as well, they'll be able to more, I think, effective triage you through the system. So you can start working on your mental, emotional health. You know, we know it has such a significant impact on your physical health and, and what gets expressed and your genetics and your epigenetics, and then everything kind of flows from there…how you eat, what exercise you do, what meditation is mental health practice. But to me, it starts up here and then it starts to flow down. I don't know that's the future, but I definitely see a possibility where that, that becomes our future. I think it's really exciting and really wonderful.

Victoria Maizes: Well, interestingly enough, uh, we have greater demand for our training programs during this time of the pandemic than ever before and we train the whole array of health care providers, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and so on and so forth. So I agree. The future may be a much greater availability of integrative medicine.

Ronan Levvy: Absolutely one of the things that excites me on a similar vein is most people accept that it's good to be proactive about your physical health. It's good to go to the gym. We, we accept that helps us live longer and be healthier and be stronger and be happier. We don't all go to the gym and we don't have all have great exercise routines, but we accept it to be true. I don't think that way about her mental and emotional health.

We're very reactive. We do it when we're depressed. We do it when we're anxious, we do it when times are tough, but I think psychedelics are going to be the platform that even if it doesn't result in a total inversion of our healthcare system, it's at least going to result in a scenario where people start to think proactively about their mental health that they're going to see it's something that's worth pursuing. Even when times are good. Um, because by and large, even though most people have not, most people have, but it's certainly possible to have a hard trip or a bad trip on psychedelics. Most of the experiences are pretty positive. People enjoy that and they find them very meaningful.

Um, and so all of a sudden, talking about your emotions, talking about your traumas, going through these experiences, there's no longer going to be looked at something to be, you know, uh, afraid of or shy about. Like we talk about right now, there's a big effort to make a mental health at the forefront. You know, those efforts are laudable, but I think psychedelics are going to leapfrog in terms of impact because, you know, I always use the example of like a 27 year old person in the Midwest of the us who probably feels in many ways culturally shunted aside, right? In some ways the world has passed them by the, the great industrial revolution that led to the us and like all the manufacturers on the side. And when you walk around, you can, at least in my experience kind of probably feel a kind of malaise and depression or what's my future.

Uh, and if we can get that person, that version of the Midwest, that, you know, 30 year old Midwestern male to start talking about his emotions and his traumas and his childhood experiences, we can reach that audience, which seems like the farthest audience away from talking about this kind of stuff.

I think this world would be a much better place, much more compassionate, much more aware place, much more thoughtful place. And that's why I'm so excited. Everything that's happening right now. Well,

Victoria Maizes: I just have to add that since psychedelics are not broadly available at this time for that person who feels stuck unhappy, there is a really wonderful book called Spontaneous Happiness that addresses many of the ways in which someone can do all of the things from their diet to their physical activity, to playing with a pet, to bringing flowers into their home that may lead to greater sense of happiness and meaning and purpose. Um, and so psychedelics, I, I think, are going to be a wonderful addition to the repertoire and are going to be helpful to many people. There are lots of steps perhaps before that.

Ronan Levvy: A hundred percent. I just think it's one of those things that a lot of people will be able to get behind and be excited about.

You know, and, and that's why I think it's going to be a great trigger for in a positive way for a great culture awareness and awaking.

Dr. Weil: Well, we wish you great success, Ronan, and I look forward to seeing your clinics becoming available to a lot of people in North America. I think that will be a very good change.

Ronan Levvy: Thank you for having me. It's it's, it's really nice to see both of you again, and I appreciate the opportunity to talk about this and I look forward to many more conversations in the future.

 


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