Go to podcast
by Matthew Hicks
Integrative Psychiatry Review

001 - The (Re)Emerging Field of Psychedelic Psychiatry


Donate HerePresented at the International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine - 2019


  • Psychotomimetic: Outdated term used to describe substances that mimic psychosis
  • Hallucinogen: A substance that generates hallucinations (does not accurately describe psychedelic experience)
  • Psychedelic: an experience in which the mind (soul) is fully manifested
  • Entheogen: a psychedelic substance specifically used for spiritual practice
  • Microdosing: the practice of using sub-psychedelic doses (5-25% of a full dose) for enhancement of mood, creativity, and energy


  • These substances enhance sensory experiences and opens one to new ways of being in the present moment
  • Intention makes the experience what it is
  • We refer to this as Set and Setting
  • Mindset: what is your present mental and emotional state? What do you want from this experience?
  • Setting: Where are you? Do you feel safe? Supported?
  • Harm reduction is a safer approach than prohibition


  • Tryptamines
  • LSD
  • Psilocybin
  • DMT (ayahuasca)


  • Cancer related anxiety and depression
  • Treatment-resistant depression
  • Addiction
  • In smoking cessation clinical trial at 12 month follow up 67% of participants were abstinent (compare to varenicline at <31%)
  • Migraines and cluster headaches
  • PTSD
  • “the betterment of well people” 
  • It is also enhancing our neurobiological understanding of consciousness


  • 25-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or “acid”
  • A synthetic product of lysergic acid, which is naturally occurring in the parasitic rye fungus, Claviceps purpurea
  • An ergoline tryptamine with a rigid structure
  • Very potent with only 75-150 µg p.o. to illicit a psychedelic effect
  • Peaf effect in 1-2.5 hours
  • Total duration is 8-12 hours
  • 〖5-HT〗_2A and 〖5-HT〗_1A Agonist
  • Also interacts with dopamine and glutamate pathways


Magic Mushrooms


  • “Vine of the sould”
  • A shamanic tradition originating in the Amazon region of South America
  • A tea brewed from the vine of Banisteriopsis caapi  which contains β-carbolines which act as monoamine oxidase type-A inhibitors, and the leaves from the bush Psychotria viridis which is rich in dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • DMT can be smoked or intravenously injected for a 10-20 minute psychedelic experience, but it is not orally active. The MAO-I allows the DMT to reach the brain where it agonizes 〖5-HT〗_2A receptors producing a 4-6 hour experience.
  • When asked how they knew to combine these two plants, the indigenous people will say that the plants themselves guided them
  • The practice of ceremonially ingesting ayahuasca is protected as a religious sacrament in many parts of the world
  • Nausea and vomiting are common


  • 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
  • Not a classic psychedelic because it does not produce vivid mystical experiences
  • Classified as an entactogen or empathogen
  • WARNING: Most classes of antidepressants lower the effects of MDMA and increase the risk of serotonin syndrome
  • Affects Alpha-2 receptors impairing thermoregulation, but also enhancing relaxation
  • Causes a release of oxytocin

    Support the show



by Matthew Hicks