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The way that we choose to use molecules can change the effects, outcomes, risks, and rewards. It is undeniable that in general the safest, “healthiest” option based on scientific literature thus far would be to completely abstain from any drug use. But this is completely unrealistic for a significant population so it is pointless to preach it (as well as a gross devaluation of our traditional, ancestral connection to molecules created by divine medicines).
Instead of guilting and shaming a vulnerable population into further isolation, we should be educating ourselves as a community on how to cultivate mindfulness, intention, and dose practices that encourage a safer use (a reduction of harm). As both a pharmaceutical scientist and a member of the cannabis/psychedelics/natural products community, I feel strongly about communicating the knowledge I’ve gained through 8 years of academic research, 4 years of industry research, and 18 years of self-experimentation.
Dr. Miyabe Shields, PhD is a queer, neurodivergent, stoner scientist and an avid psychonaut.
“Cannabis saved my life and continues to save my life to this day; psychedelics made me grateful for it.”
After cannabis positively changed their ability to relate to others at the age of 15, Miyabe dedicated their life to understanding the inner workings of the neurodivergent brain on drugs. Miyabe went from academic research in pharmaceutical sciences specializing in drug discovery in the endocannabinoid system to rare extract and formulation research in the cannabis industry, embracing the thrill of pushing scientific boundaries. But due to other boundaries, Miyabe found themself to be incompatible with both academic and industrial research settings. Now a beginner farmer immersing themself in urban agriculture as a community health initiative, Miyabe aims to facilitate change through creating authentic, accessible scientific education content, protocols, and experiences that lower barriers to health equity.
Miyabe is currently a farmhand and natural medicines program officer at Maitland Mountain Farm who after completing The River Course in early 2023 led by Dr. Joe Tafur, MD has completely realigned the intention of their research and life. The spiritual significance of our connection with natural medicines should not be underestimated in regards to its contribution to the therapeutic value of the molecules it produces. And the prohibition of the safe and reasonable exploration of this connection is an infringement on a primal human freedom and an evolutionarily ancient pillar of our health and wellness as individuals and as a community.
My first PI (the “Principal Investigator” is the “Big Boss” of research laboratories, in charge of all research direction of everyone else in their lab) was Dr. Bruce D. Hammock, PhD at UC Davis. Shortly after meeting me, he suggested