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Newsletter June 2023

Amsterdam Wellness Insider

Welcome to your go-to source for all things wellness-related. In this newsletter, we explore the fascinating world of wellness and alternative medicine, with a special focus on psychedelics, CBD, nootropics, and functional mushrooms.


Whether you're a curious newcomer or a seasoned veteran, you'll find something of interest in each issue of the Amsterdam Wellness Insider. So sit back, relax, and join us on this exciting journey into the cutting-edge world of wellness.


The When Nature Calls Team


Stressed and Anxious? Could CBD Help? 


Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions worldwide, affecting millions of people each year. While traditional anxiety medications can be effective, they often come with side effects and may not work for everyone. As a result, many people are turning to alternative treatments like CBD oil. But can CBD oil really help with anxiety? In this article, we'll explore the science behind CBD oil and its potential effects on anxiety.


What is CBD Oil?

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another well-known compound found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a "high." Instead, CBD is believed to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate a variety of bodily functions, including mood, sleep, and appetite.


How CBD Works in the Body

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors, enzymes, and neurotransmitters that helps regulate various bodily functions. The ECS is involved in the regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, pain, and immune function, among other things.


CBD interacts with the ECS in several ways. First, it inhibits the enzyme FAAH, which breaks down anandamide, an endocannabinoid that helps regulate mood and reduce anxiety. By inhibiting FAAH, CBD may increase levels of anandamide in the brain, leading to anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects.


Second, CBD can also interact with serotonin receptors in the brain, which are involved in the regulation of mood, anxiety, and depression. By modulating serotonin activity, CBD may help reduce anxiety symptoms.


Research on CBD and Anxiety

Several scientific studies have explored the effects of CBD on anxiety, and the results have been promising. In a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal, researchers gave 72 adults with anxiety and sleep disorders either CBD or a placebo for a month. Those who received CBD reported significantly reduced anxiety levels and improved sleep quality compared to the placebo group.


Another study published in 2015 in Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may have potential as a treatment for a range of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors of the study concluded that CBD appears to be a safe, well-tolerated treatment option for anxiety disorders.

In addition to these studies, a 2020 review of the literature published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that CBD may have therapeutic potential for a range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. The authors of the review noted that CBD appears to have a good safety profile and may be a well-tolerated treatment option for anxiety disorders


CBD vs. Traditional Anxiety Medications

While traditional anxiety medications like benzodiazepines and antidepressants can be effective they often come with side effects and may not work for everyone. CBD, on the other hand, appears to have few side effects and may be a well-tolerated treatment option for anxiety.

CBD does not appear to produce the same level of sedation and cognitive impairment as benzodiazepines, which can make it a safer option for people who need to be alert and focused during the day. Additionally, CBD does not appear to be addictive, which is a concern with benzodiazepines.


The Conclusion?

In conclusion, CBD oil may hold promise as a treatment option for anxiety disorders. Its ability to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system and modulate serotonin activity may lead to anxiolytic effects.

Scientific studies have shown that CBD can reduce anxiety levels and improve sleep quality in people with anxiety and sleep disorders. CBD also appears to have a good safety profile, with few side effects and low risk of addiction. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential of CBD for anxiety treatment, and it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD. Overall, CBD oil offers a potentially valuable alternative to traditional anxiety medications for those who may not benefit from or tolerate traditional treatments.



Could psilocybin therapy be the breakthough for treatment-resistant depression?


A recently published article suggests that psilocybin may be a potential treatment for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The study found that a single dose of psilocybin, administered alongside psychological support from trained therapists, resulted in significant improvements in both clinician-rated and patient-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, positive affect, negative affect, functionality of life, and cognitive function. The antidepressant effects of psilocybin were rapid-acting and sustained over a 12-week period.

These findings suggest that psilocybin could be a promising new treatment option for individuals with TRD. who often struggle to find effective treatments with conventional antidepressants. While these are promising results, there are limitations that should be considered. The trial lacked an active comparison group, making it difficult to draw conclusions. Additionally, the study could not assess the significance of the reported differences, and the population was not fully representative of real-world patient groups. These limitations indicate further research is needed to replicate and expand upon the findings reported in this trial.


The reality of what it means for Australia to be one of the first countries in the world to officially recognise MDMA and psilocybin as medicines?



"we've got no data on long term outcomes at all, so that worries me a lot"

Swinburne University cognitive neuropsychologist Susan Rossell (quoted above) recently launched Australia's biggest research trial examining the use of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. This study aims to assess how effective the substance is and how long the effects last. For many this approval and recognition of psilocybin has been long awaited after growing positive findings from the literature.

Researchers involved in this trial do stress however that the majority of findings we have now come from small scale studies with not always representative populations, hence the need for their large-scale real-world trial. The data this trial will bring is crucial to expand our current understanding of the effectiveness and sustainability of real-world treatment regimens for psilocybin assisted neuropsychology


Does Lion's mane live up to the hype?

Let's take a Closer Look at this Brain-Booster Lion's Mane mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus, which has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its health benefits. Recently, it has gained popularity in the health industry, with many claiming it can boost brain health and cognitive functioning. But is there any truth to these claims? In this article, we'll take a closer look at the science behind Lion's Mane and its potential benefits for the brain.


The Science Behind Lion's Mane and the Brain

Lion's Mane is a type of mushroom that contains several bioactive compounds that are thought to benefit brain health. One of these compounds is erinacines, which are thought to promote nerve growth factor (NGF) production in the brain. NGF is a protein that plays a crucial role in the growth and survival of nerve cells, making it essential for cognitive functioning.

Several studies have looked at the effects of Lion's Mane on the brain. One study found that mice given Lion's Mane extract showed improved cognitive functioning and memory retention compared to control mice. Another study found that Lion's Mane extract improved cognitive function in elderly Japanese adults with mild cognitive impairment.


Potential Benefits of Lion's Mane for Brain Health


  • Improved Cognitive Functioning

The ability to think clearly and retain information is essential for a healthy brain. Several studies have found that Lion's Mane can improve cognitive functioning in both animals and humans. One study found that giving rats a daily dose of Lion's Mane extract improved their ability to learn and retain information. Another study found that elderly Japanese adults with mild cognitive impairment who took Lion's Mane extract for 16 weeks showed improvements in cognitive functioning compared to those who took a placebo.


  • Neuroprotection

As we age, our brains are at an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. However, several studies have found that Lion's Mane may offer neuroprotection against these diseases. One study found that mice given Lion's Mane extract showed reduced amyloid beta plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease. Another study found that Lion's Mane extract protected against Parkinson's disease in rats by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.


  • Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation in the brain can lead to a variety of neurological disorders, including depression and anxiety.

Several studies have found that Lion's Mane can reduce inflammation in the brain, potentially offering protection against these disorders. One study found that mice given Lion's Mane extract showed reduced inflammation in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory. Another study found that Lion's Mane extract reduced anxiety and depression-like behaviours in mice, potentially through its anti-inflammatory properties


The Conclusion?

Lion's Mane mushroom has gained popularity in the health industry, with many claiming it can boost brain health and cognitive functioning. While more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of Lion's Mane, the current scientific evidence is promising. Studies have found that it can improve cognitive functioning, offer neuroprotection against neurodegenerative diseases, reduce inflammation in the brain, support the immune system, and benefit digestive health.

It's crucial to choose high-quality Lion's Mane supplements or consume fresh Lion's Mane mushrooms, as lower-quality supplements may not contain the bioactive compounds needed to provide the potential benefits. Check out our high quality lion's mane here.

Furthermore, It's important to note that while Lion's Mane may offer potential benefits for brain health, it's not a magic cure-all. It's essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep, to support brain health. It is always advised to consult a medical professional before adding any supplement to your diet.

In summary, Lion's Mane mushroom may be a promising natural supplement to support brain health and cognitive functioning. Its potential benefits include improved cognitive functioning, neuroprotection against neurodegenerative diseases, reduced inflammation in the brain, immune system support, and digestive health benefits.




Bonus: Podcasts we loved this month

We've compiled a diverse selection, covering scientific research, and interviews with wellness experts and practitioners. Discover something inspiring, challenging, or educational among our picks.



In this podcast, Dr. James Fadiman discusses the current research, benefits, safety, dosage, set, setting, and history of microdosing magic mushrooms. They also talk about the different camps of microdosers and the pros and cons of sub-perceptual and above-perceptual microdosing. Additionally, they cover topics such as how to create better clinical trials, storage and extraction methods, potency, and other compounds in mushrooms. The podcast concludes with a discussion on the future of microdosing psilocybin.


Dr. Tom Volk, a renowned mushroom expert, discusses mushrooms, psilocybin, fungal enthusiasts, pathogens, and medicinal therapies with Alie ward. This encore podcast episode celebrates Dr. Volk's life and work, who passed away on November 28, 2022.


A Vital Psychedelic Conversation with Bennet Zelner, a Vital instructor, and Giles Hayward, a Vital student and Co-Founder of Woven Science. They discuss the benefits of feeling more connected to our communities and how psychedelics can disrupt broken systems. Hayward shares his experience with the program and how it aligns with the concept of regenerative economics.


This podcast covers a survey conducted from 2019-2020. The survey found the majority of the 2,296 respondents with psychiatric conditions reported improvement in their condition following the consumption of kratom. Recently published by the American Psychological Association, the survey was authored by five past Kratom Science Podcast guest Drs. Oliver Grundmann.


podcast hosted by Life-hack master Tim Ferriss gives an intimate look into the darker moments in his life, his Stoic philosophy and his new passion for psychedelics.