What if you could take a small pill and over the course of one day change your mind? What if a special cup of tea will allow you to break old patterns and find new creative solutions? What if I told you that a perfect storm is brewing around psychedelics?
For the past few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about how psychedelics can have a positive impact on the world. Many people around the world (e.g. 20% of Americans between 30-34) have used them to have a great time or to work on serious issues.
Let me first define psychedelics. Where I say psychedelics I’m referring both to ‘classical’ psychedelics like LSD, peyote (mescaline), and magic mushrooms/truffles (psilocybin) and to a wider net of substances that alter your consciousness (ketamine, MDMA).
In this blog, I will take you through 1) the latest developments, 2) what Blossom will do, and 3) what my plan is.
Please do reach out to me at email@example.com if you want to be involved/get in touch.
Psychedelics are HOT
Research into mental disorders and consciousness
Since the year 2000, research into psychedelics has seen a large resurgence. Most of this research is focussed on helping people with mental disorders (e.g. depression, PTSD, OCD, anorexia). Although much good research had been done in the 1950-60s, the new standards that have evolved over the last 70 years (i.e. double-blind, placebo-controlled) are giving more credence to the scientific exploration of psychedelics.
Two reasons stand out to me for why this research is valuable. The first is the size of the problem it could tackle. Currently, more than 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression (WHO). It’s estimated that for 10-30% the current treatments don’t work (and for many outside industrialized countries there isn’t even a treatment option). Psilocybin and (es)ketamine are now in clinical trials and look promising in relieving some of the burdens of this terrible disease. A similar story is developing for MDMA and the treatment of PTSD.
The second reason is the light that it could shed on our consciousness. Philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists now get to work together to learn better how our brain works. The insights from this work can again help us learn how to live a good and (mentally) healthy life.
Legality and decriminalization
The research into psychedelics didn’t stop because psychologists weren’t finding any new leads, it was the blanket ban of them as a reaction to the counter-culture that stopped research in its tracks. Still today, the approval of research with psychedelics is expensive and it can cost researchers between $7.000-$10.000 per gram of psilocybin.
This is slowly changing and companies are sprouting to provide psilocybin to both researchers and the general public. Several cities in the US have decriminalized magic mushrooms and some countries like The Netherlands and Portugal have similar lenient laws/enforcement.
Time for Business
Money is flowing into psychedelics as if it’s the new cannabis (which has many parallels in the legal journey it has taken). Research institutes are being funded to the tune of $17 million (Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research).
You can go to an esketamine clinic (some are popping up in the US), go on a psilocybin trip (The Netherlands, Central/South America), or go to a more underground and find a guide for almost any psychedelic. And also here it’s expected that many millions will flow into establishing a thriving industry.
Too Early to Draw Conclusions
I should make some final cautionary notes. Much of the research that has been done has been in small groups, under very strict and encouraging circumstances. Time will tell if the results hold up with larger sample sizes and outside the university setting. The legal framework is moving in the right direction, but this also is no guarantee that this will continue to do so. And the entrepreneurs who are jumping on this opportunity may be doing so without the same caution and care researchers have taken.
What is Blossom?
Blossom is providing a psychedelics research database and analysis for researchers, practitioners, and students.
With Blossom, I want to investigate psychedelics and share the lessons to improve our collective knowledge and share the adoption of psychedelics for therapeutic and self-development uses.
This will be done via 1) the analysis of available research, book, people, and companies, and 2) original reporting and commentary about psychedelics.
Subsequently, I will also be pursuing other opportunities that arise from this work. Examples of this are the work on psychedelics explainer videos, therapy/clinic directory, and a psychedelics treatment protocol.
What is My Plan?
I can’t do this alone, so the first step is to find others who are interested in this field and want to investigate it together. So again, please do reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be involved/get in touch.
My plan is to further build out the site and find out which way people would be open to supporting it. I’ve started with an option for a paying membership to get unlimited access (for €20 per month or €200 per year). You can become a member here.
I also plan to regularly blog about my experience building out the business and keep you informed on the progress. In the future, you can find all these posts here.
Transparency is one of the core values and to this effect I plan to also report the income that is being made here. Of the revenue the site brings in, I (or we) will donate 10% to MAPS.
This concludes my introductory post about Blossom. I hope that you’ve found it inspiring and that you contact me if you want to join forces.
As a bonus you can read some of the further ideas I have:
These are all early-stage, but seem like good ideas to follow-up/prototype:
- Psychedelics Protocol (how to be a good guide, make specialized for different uses)
- Psychedelics Therapies/Directory (where to find a guide/retreat/clinic)
- More psychedelics book reviews (with affiliate links)
- A personal psychedelics practice for self-development (see first idea here)
- Psychedelics animated explainer videos (on YouTube, link back to website)
And this is the planning for the blogs/updates:
- 2/3x per week updates on the Monthly News
- 1x per month update on Blossom
- 2x per month analysis of psychedelics research (original article)
- 1x per month summary of psychedelics research* (which new papers are there)
- 1x per month analysis of psychedelics industry
*I also plan to expand the database to cover most important papers (100+ in 2020)
And finally, some hypotheses about the financial outcomes:
- By the end of 2020, there will be 500 members
- I will find another (part-time) contributor before the end of May (who shares in the membership revenue)
- By the end of 2020, the psychedelics protocol (see above) will be downloaded more than 100 times
- By the end of 2020, the psychedelic therapies directory will be live (but not paid for yet)