The Truth About Psychedelics

Should psychedelics be legal?
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You might be hearing about states and countries legalizing psychedelics. In 2020, Oregon became the first US state to decriminalize psilocybin and legalize it for therapeutic use. In 2022, Colorado followed suit. Researchers have recently been touting the benefits of psychedelics for health conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, cancer-related distress, and the list goes on. However – like cannabis – psilocybin is still illegal under US federal law.

Given that ongoing fight, you might have questions. I know I do. Are psychedelics the next weed? Is that a good thing? Are psychedelics dangerous? Do they actually have scientific benefits? How do psychedelics work? In this episode of Huge If True, we find out.

Thank you to Dr. Ben Rein, neuroscience researcher and consultant on this episode. If you enjoy Huge If True, you’ll love Dr. Rein’s videos on TikTok!

00:00 The big debate about psychedelics
02:16 What are psychedelics?
03:35 What do psychedelics do?
05:47 The history of psychedelics
06:46 The War on Drugs
09:09 New research on psychedelics
10:05 How do psychedelics work?
11:09 Psychedelics for PTSD and depression
12:21 Are psychedelics legal?
14:10 Why psychedelics are huge if true
15:15 What is Huge If True?

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Cleo Abram is an Emmy-nominated independent video journalist. On her show, Huge If True, Cleo explores complex technology topics with rigor and optimism, helping her audience understand the world around them and see positive futures they can help build. Before going independent, Cleo was a video producer for Vox. She wrote and directed the Coding and Diamonds episodes of Vox’s Netflix show, Explained. She produced videos for Vox’s popular YouTube channel, was the host and senior producer of Vox’s first ever daily show, Answered, and was co-host and producer of Vox’s YouTube Originals show, Glad You Asked.

Additional reading and watching:
– Psychedelic Legalization & Decriminalization Tracker:
– The Accidental Discovery of LSD, The Atlantic:
– Psilocybin effects in patients with life-threatening cancer, Journal of Psychopharmacology:
– MDMA effects on PTSD, Nature:
– Psilocybin fMRI-measured brain mechanisms, Scientific Reports:
– The real risks of psychedelics, explained by an expert | Dr. Matthew Johnson:
– The “heroic dose” of psychedelics, according to Johns Hopkins | Dr. Matthew Johnson
– How psychedelics work, explained in under 6 minutes | Matthew Johnson
– Ayahuasca, by VSauce
– Expert Answers Psychedelics Questions From Twitter (ft. Michael Pollan) | Tech Support | WIRED
– The Therapy Part of Psychedelic Therapy Is a Mess, Wired:


Gear I use:
Camera: Sony A7SIII
Lens: Sony 16–35 mm F2.8 GM and 35mm prime
Audio: Sennheiser SK AVX

Music: Musicbed and Tom Fox

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A: Na.

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