Previously thought of as a dangerous drug only to be done in secret -- despite being popular during the, as Gammy refers to it, "woowoo era" -- plant medicine is becoming widely seen as a miracle treatment for mental health. On the latest episode of the Facebook Watch series, four guests visit the table to share their personal experiences with psychedelics.
GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons shares his "life-changing" psychedelic journey, investigative journalist Lisa Ling and her husband, oncologist Paul Song, tell how psychedelics helped their marriage, and best-selling author and Harvard professor Michael Pollan breaks down the risks and benefits of these mystical plants.
Gammy, whose only experience with psychedelics was recreational and never "fun," explains that her hesitation with getting reacquainted with the plant medicine is rooted in her previous relationship with Jada's father. "I just know that he did a lot of experimentation with psychedelics and it led him to the path of other drugs that led to his addiction," she explains. "So at the end of the day, that's always in my mind."
"It's all about where you're sitting and why you're doing it," Jada responds. "Every drug that's on the market right now can be abused. You can use it for good too, you can use it recklessly."
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Jada shares that she was introduced to plant medicine 10 years ago to deal with depression and says the treatment "knocked it out," unlike going to therapy and being put on Prozac, "It's not successful for everybody," she says of going the traditional route. "I struggled with depression for so long. And the thing about the plant medicine is it helps you feel better but also solves the problems of how you got there in the first place."
"It was always in my head talking, telling me what I was and what I wasn't," the actor says, sharing that he experienced ego dissolution for the first time -- an ecstatic state in which self-identity is completely lost.
"That was the moment that really changed me. You get to a place where you are blocked by something, whether it's a trauma or your emotions or ego, not being able to express yourself. Psychedelics are a way to tear down that wall and see what is beyond it. Doing it guided with people who are professionals really increases the chances of having that mystical experience."
Since psychedelics are still illegal, it's important to be guided by a professional while taking psychedelics, which the table agrees is the only way some people can feel safe enough to leave themselves in such a vulnerable position. There is the danger of having a psychologically destabilizing experience or, as Lisa explains, a psychotic break while on psychedelics. And with clinical trials underway currently, there are opportunities for people to engage in the experience responsibly.
"Plant medicine completely rehabilitated me from debilitating depression and has changed my life for the better. I came home, I am home. I am really hoping we find a way that African Americans can have access to these plant medicines safely," Jada says, referring to how the psychedelic world in the U.S. has been very white.
"You have to really wanna do it, this is not for play. You have to be willing to confront some hard stuff. It is very healing and it has changed my life," she adds.
Red Table Talkairs exclusively on Facebook Watch. For more of the Emmy Award-winning series, watch the video below.