The History of Psychedelics (Part 1 of 2)
Due to their counterculture connotations and rigid legal status, psychedelics were once considered a highly stigmatized topic.
Over the last decade however, a steady stream of groundbreaking research has proven that these powerful substances have the potential to safely treat a wide range of diseases.
Today, attitudes toward the industry have changed, and capital is flowing—resulting in a market that analysts predict could eventually be worth $100 billion.
The graphic above from Tryp Therapeutics is the first in a two-part series that explores how psychedelics have evolved over the last 6,000 years.
From Ancient Antidote to Breakthrough Medicine
Before we dive into the history of psychedelics, it’s important to understand what they are and how they work.
Psychedelics are drugs that alter cognitive processes and produce hallucinogenic effects. Broadly speaking, there are two categories that psychedelic substances fall into: entheogens, and synthetic drugs. Entheogenic psychedelics are derived from plants, while synthetic psychedelics are created in a laboratory.
Here are some of the most well known psychedelic substances explained:
Certain psychedelics work by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain which produces psychoactive effects. Research suggests that when this happens, the structure of the brain changes—such as the number of connections between neutrons. This means that psychedelics could have the potential to rewire or repair circuits in the brain, hence their reputation for having healing powers.
While the science behind these mind-altering plants is only now beginning to become clear, they have in fact been used in rituals and ceremonies for thousands of years.
As a result, psychedelic substances have been hugely influential in shaping certain cultures and religions dating back to 4,000 BC. These cultures, particularly in the Americas, learned how to utilize psychoactive plants and mushrooms for medicinal purposes or to reach an altered state of consciousness.
|4000 BC||First cave paintings of psilocybin||Europe, North Africa|
|3780-3660 BC||Evidence of ceremonial use of peyote by indigenous cultures||North and South America|
|1300-1521 AD||Evidence of the Aztecs consuming mushrooms which they referred to as the “flesh of the Gods”.||Central America|
|1500 AD||Catholic texts refer to peyote use as “witchcraft”.||Europe
With that being said, evidence of how psychedelics were used in ancient times is often anecdotal, and therefore widely debated.
The Prohibition Era
In the 1800s, scientists and psychiatrists began discovering new kinds of drugs such as psilocybin and subsequently became advocates of psychedelic medicine. Unfortunately, uncontrolled drug use for recreational purposes led to governments across the world debating their legal status, and clamping down on restrictions.
|1897||Arthur Heffter isolates mescaline from the peyote cactus for the first time.||Germany|
|1901||Jean Dybowsky and Edouard Landrin isolate ibogaine.||France|
|1912||Anton Kollisch created MDMA as a by-product while trying to synthesize another substance.||Germany|
|1938||Albert Hofmann synthesizes LSD.||Switzerland
|1958||Albert Hofmann discovers psilocybin.||Switzerland
|1962||Calvin Stevens synthesizes ketamine.||U.S.|
|1966||California criminalizes the possession, sale, and manufacture of LSD.||U.S.
|1968||Staggers-Dodd bill passes, making possession of psilocybin and other psychedelic substances illegal. ||U.S.
|1971||The UN publishes the Convention on Psychotropic Substances stating that psychedelics including LSD, DMT, and MDMA are now controlled substances.||Global
|1971||The U.S. Controlled Substances Act comes into effect, moving most major psychedelic drugs to Schedule I status. ||U.S.|
|1971||UK passes Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, placing controls on most known psychedelics.||UK|
Within decades, the recreational use of psychedelics undermined promising medical discoveries, and put the future of the industry into question, eventually triggering the War on Drugs.
An Industry, Reborn
With these strict legal changes around the world, the psychedelics industry became largely inactive. But today, an explosion of unprecedented research findings surrounding the therapeutic potential of psychedelics has triggered many countries to reassess their decision to criminalize.
Now, the industry is back, and bigger than ever before. In Part 2 of The History of Psychedelics, we’ll dive into The Psychedelics Renaissance the industry is currently experiencing and discuss the exciting future of this promising sector.
Visualizing the Evolution of the Global Meat Market
The global meat market will be worth $1.8 trillion by 2040, but how much of that will plant-based alternatives and cultured meat command?
The Evolution of the Global Meat Market
In the last decade, there has been an undeniable shift in consumers’ preferences when it comes to eating meat.
This is partly due to the wide availability of meat replacement options combined with growing awareness of their health benefits and lower impact on the environment compared to conventional meat.
In this infographic from CULT Food Science (CSE: CULT), we examine how meat consumption is expected to evolve over the next two decades. Let’s dive in.
Taking a Bite out of Meat’s Market Share
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive turning point for the meat industry, and it will continue to evolve dramatically over the next 20 years. Taking inflation into account, the global meat market is expected to grow overall by roughly 3% by 2040 as a result of population growth.
However, as consumption shifts, conventional meat supply is expected to decline by more than 33% according to Kearney. These products will be replaced by innovative meat alternatives, some of which have yet to hit the mass market.
- Novel vegan meat replacement: These are meat alternatives products made from plants that resemble the taste and texture of meat.
- Cultured meat: Also referred to as clean, cultivated, or lab grown meats, cultured meat is a genuine meat product that is produced by cultivating animal cells in a controlled environment without the need to harm animals.
Aside from new meat replacements, biotech will also transform adjacent industries like dairy, eggs, and fish.
The Future of Food?
Meat replacements and cultured meat could overtake the conventional meat market, with cultured meats reigning supreme overall with a 41% annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2025 and 2040.
New technologies for cultivating non-animal based protein will provide one-third of the global meat supply due to an increase in commercial competitiveness and consumers becoming more accepting of these kinds of products.
Meanwhile, conventional meat will make up just 40% of all global meat supply by 2040, compared to 90% in 2025. For this very reason, conventional meat producers are investing a significant amount of capital in meat alternative companies so they can avoid disruption.
Invest in the Revolution
The changing tides in the industry have sparked a variety of undeniable opportunities:
- Regulatory approvals: Singapore is the first country to legalize cultured meat for consumers, and many more will no doubt follow behind in the coming years.
- Lower production costs: Cultured meat and dairy have made quantum leaps in reducing production costs.
- Changing consumer ethics: Consumers are demanding a more ethical approach to factory farming and cultured and plant-based alternative products are becoming a more accepted solution.
CULT Food Science (CSE: CULT) is a cutting edge investment platform advancing the future of food. The first-of-its-kind in North America, CULT aims to provide unprecedented exposure to the most innovative start-up, private or early stage lab grown food companies around the world.
Will you be part of the revolution?
Visualizing America’s Electric Vehicle Future
The U.S. is accelerating its transition to electric vehicles but obtaining the minerals and metals required for EVs remains a challenge. In this infographic, we explore America’s transportation future.
Visualizing America’s Electric Vehicle Future
The U.S. is accelerating its transition to electric vehicles (EV) to address climate change. However, obtaining the minerals and metals required for EV batteries remains a challenge.
Then, we look at how this strategy could be fueled by domestic mining and battery recycling.
The All-Electric America
Gasoline-powered cars are one of the biggest sources of carbon pollution driving the climate crisis. As a result, the Biden Administration has set a target for EVs to make up 50% of all new car sales in the U.S. by 2030. Today, fewer than 1% of the country’s 250 million vehicles are electric.
In November 2021, Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which includes:
- Replacing the government’s 650,000 vehicle motor pool with EVs.
- Electrifying 20% of the country’s 500,000 school buses.
- Investing $7.5 billion to build out a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country.
The idea also has popular support. According to a poll, 55% of voters in the U.S. support requiring all new cars sold in their state to be electric starting in 2030.
However, rising EV sales are already driving demand for battery metals such as nickel, lithium, and copper, threatening to trigger a shortage of these key raw materials. So, does the U.S. have the raw materials needed to meet this rising demand?
Currently, the U.S. is import-dependent with large parts of the battery supply chain captured by China. Likewise, some essential metals for EVs are currently extracted from countries that have poor labor standards and high CO2 footprints.
Nickel in the Land of Opportunity
The Biden Administration’s 100-day review of critical supply chains recommended the government should prioritize investing in nickel processing capability.
Today, the only operating nickel mine in the U.S., the Eagle Mine in Michigan, ships its concentrates abroad for refining and is scheduled to close in 2025.
To fill the supply gap, Talon Metals is developing the Tamarack Nickel Project in Minnesota, the only high-grade development-stage nickel mine in the country. Tesla has recently signed an agreement to purchase 75,000 metric tonnes of nickel in concentrate from Tamarack.
Since the development and construction of a mine can take many years, recycling is considered an essential source of raw material for EVs.
The Role of Battery Recycling
Battery recycling could meet up to 30% of nickel and 80% of cobalt usage in electric vehicles by the end of the decade.
The bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill already sets aside $6 billion for developing battery materials processing capacity in the United States.
By 2030, the U.S. alone is projected to have more than 218,000 tonnes of EV battery manufacturing scrap and 313,000 tonnes of end-of-life EV batteries per year, presenting a massive opportunity for recycling. Currently, Li-Cycle, a leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, can process up to 10,000 tonnes of battery material per year—and this capacity is set to grow to up to 30,000 tonnes by the end of 2022.
Li-Cycle also has a hydrometallurgy refinement hub under construction in Rochester, New York, which will process up to the equivalent of 225,000 EV batteries annually into battery-grade lithium, nickel, and cobalt when it is operational in 2023.
America’s Electric Vehicle Future
The auto industry’s future “is electric, and there’s no turning back,” according to President Biden. It’s expected that EV sales in the U.S. will grow from around 500,000 vehicles in 2021 to over 4 million in 2030.
With rising government support and consumers embracing electric vehicles, securing the supply of the materials necessary for the EV revolution will remain a top priority for the country.
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