Rachel Anderson and James Franzo – Creating Practice using Kratom and other Botanicals

In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview Rachel Anderson and James Franzo, founders of the EDELIC Center for Ethnobotanicals. In the show, they talk about the benefits of creating a healing practice using botanicals such as Kratom and the need to decriminalize all plants.

3 Key Points:

  1. EDELIC is a non-profit in Eugene, Oregon that began as a public lending library that has grown to a community of information, events, and conservatory of psychoactive botanicals.
  2. Kratom can sometimes get a bad rep, commonly thought of as an opioid. But Kratom is not an opioid, it just affects the opioid receptors in the brain, respiration never changes, and it’s actually in the same category as the coffee family, so it gives a boost of energy.
  3. There is not an economic incentive that puts the botanical research on the same level as synthetic research.  At EDELIC, the goal is to create scientific evidence that validates citizen-led research, authentic scientific information, and create a scientifically valid, open science and praxis oriented, non-commodified access pathway, to and from the direct human & botanicals/fungi relationship while protecting the bounty emerging from therein.

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Show Notes


  • EDELIC is a non-profit in Eugene Oregon that has been operating for 4 years
    • They started as a public lending library
    • They put on a weekly discussion group and host events
    • What started as a library, grew to a conservatory to protect plants, and now includes research


  • They have 15-16 psychoactive species, such as Salvia, Kratom, San-Pedro, etc.
    • Volunteers are able to help out in the garden
  • They are interested in growing the conservatory to have different climates that cater to each individual plant


  • They have done both a CBD event and Kratom event, and have brought the plants from the conservatory
  • The events that they have been holding are based on community desire for more information on those plants


  • Kratom has the potential to prevent deaths in the opioid crisis with less initial stigma than ibogaine, psilocybin, etc
  • The symptoms of withdrawal from Kratom are similar to withdrawal from coffee
  • Kratom is a plant and the benefits can be harnessed along with a practice
    • when habits are formed, a person doesn’t need to have a dependency on the Kratom
    • Kyle mentions that creating a practice is a foreign concept to some people, they think their healing comes solely from the substance and not the practice
  • The best way to take it is in tea form, and let all the intelligence centers of the body take the medicine in
    • James says he hears news and TED Talks on Kratom tinctures and extracts, and he thinks that leans Kratom toward that abusive behavior again
    • Using it continuously and re-upping on the go makes it less of a practice
    • “In all cases, were encouraging folks to focus on the whole botanical, letting the intelligence of the body to form the relationship with the plant will keep you safer than going in the other direction” – James
  • The goal is to use the Kratom to take away the pain to a point where the individual has more energy and to say, “what can I do to improve my health in this moment?”
    • That may look less like taking 100% of the pain away and taking it away just enough to have the energy to create a practice of healing without the reliance on another substance
  • Its generally safe, it has a predictable response in individuals, and it is legal
  • Kratom is not an opioid, it just effects the opioid receptors in the brain, respiration never changes, and its in the same category as the coffee family, so it gives a boost of energy
  • “Botanicals, integration practice, and realizing our internal intelligence centers can really influence and inform our decision making process” – James
  • Kratom can be tested, and there are industry standards similar to how cannabis is tested
    • Kratom is highly unregulated and you are taking a risk when not testing it for quality

Decriminalize Nature

  • In 1994, the World Trade Organization introduced this piece of legislation that says in US Patent Law, minor scientific alterations to natural botanical plants can be patented
  • Patent law protects scientific adaptations to botanicals, and therefore, the US claimed that third world countries owe us royalties for agricultural products
    • In Canada, they said to patent an indigenous plant is to steal from the third world country, and i n that case, the US owes other countries over 300 million and in pharmaceuticals, billions
    • That is why in the US, there is an urge to make money on synthetic versions of these plants
    • There is not an economic incentive that puts the botanical research on the same level as the synthetic research
  • The WTO does not recognize technology or innovations by farmers, artisans or grassroots innovators that happen in a grassroots setup
  • There are churches that are recognized at the federal level, they cant conduct research, but they have access to provide these plants
  • “We are hoping to create scientific evidence that validates citizen-led research, authentic scientific information, and create a scientifically valid, open science and praxis oriented, non-commodified access pathway, to and from the direct human & botanicals/fungi relationship while protecting the bounty emerging from therein. – James
  • Rachel notes that all funding so far has been from volunteers and donors
  • “I am strongly for decriminalizing nature, it protects the indigenous, it protects nature, there is no reason someone should be criminalized for using plants” – Rachel
  • There is a unique interplay between the laws at the local, state and federal level

Final Thoughts

  • There is a need for people to come together, a need to not feel alone, a need to share
  • If anyone is interested in starting a non-profit, Rachel and James are willing to help



Email: team@ecfes.org

About Rachel Anderson

Rachel’s focus is on somatic therapies and the healthy integration of plant practices. She has successfully fund-raised, planned and organized public events, hosted intentional integration practices with ethnobotanicals, created artwork, designed integration journals, met with the 4J school board to discuss drug awareness education in classrooms. Rachel brings power, stability, and genuine strength and determination to ECfES and acts as an original steward for the original ECfES vision.

About James Franzo

A 20-year journey of self-education (using what has now become a large part of the lending library we operate) inspired James to launch ECFES. Additionally, gaining experience working in the field of chemical dependency treatment and social services contributed further to his disenfranchisement with current policy and treatment modalities, and attracted him further to evidence-based approaches to drug policy reform and the mental health field in general. Specifically, potent ethnobotanical plants and mind/body methodologies for integrating them. James is also an honorably discharged military veteran, who served for six years. James has been the website content developer @ ECFES, library archivist, team builder, and steward of the original vision for ECFES, an ethnobotanical/psychedelic/entheogenic healing center under one roof.

Naropa is doing DMT Research. You can contribute!!

Naropa University

Psychedelics Today is sharing this research project from Naropa in hopes that some with adequate experience may contribute! Below is a message and invitation from the Naropa University team.


We are a team of researchers from Naropa University investigating the effects of N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (N, N-DMT), an illegal substance.

We are inviting you to participate and/or promote our survey about DMT through your individual connections, your group’s email list, and social media platforms. This is an anonymous questionnaire to gather preliminary data about the potential risks and benefits associated with taking DMT. The data that we collect will ultimately be used to create a protocol for extended state DMT research.

Responses will benefit those who choose to use DMT in the future, as well as help the scientific community to obtain more information about a sparsely researched topic.

To participate in this survey, please click on the following link:   https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_245uviVxh3H7aV7 and you will be directed to a consent form. If you agree to the consent by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the screen, you will be directed to the beginning of the survey.
If you know people who might be willing to participate, please forward this email to your contacts, or share the link on your social media and/or website.

  • Anyone who has ever used DMT in any setting is welcomed to reply.
  • This survey should take about an hour to complete. Participants can choose to stop responding at any time and may return at their convenience.
  • Participants can use their phone, tablet, or computer to respond.
  • There are no compensations or incentives provided.
  • Responses will not be connected to any identifying information.

If you have any questions, or experience any difficulties accessing the link or completing the survey, please contact Dr. Carla J. Clements ( drcjclements@msn.com) or Dr. Travis Cox ( tcox@naropa.edu).

We appreciate your support.

Dr. Carla J. Clements, BCPC LPC
Dr. Travis Cox, Ecopsychology Professor Naropa University
Andrew Linares, Registered Psychotherapist
Rosario Vergara, Registered Psychotherapist
Mozelle E. DeLong, Registered Psychotherapist. 

Seal of Naropa University

Tep – Drug Education and Festival Safety

In this episode, Joe interviews Tep, a chemical engineer and educated, psychedelic enthusiast. They dive into rich conversation regarding drug use education and creating a cohesive meaning among recreational, medical and therapeutic substance use.

3 Key Points:

  1. There is a disconnect between drug education and drug use. There are a lot of people who use drugs, but not a lot of people who are educated on how to use them.
  2. There is a huge advantage of isolating the property of the drug when using them for therapy. For example, using isolated psilocybin vs mushrooms.
  3. Learning on site at festivals and music events may not be super successful, drug education and harm reduction may look more like preparation.

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Show Notes

About Tep

  • Tep listens to all sorts of music, whether that’s rave style with lights, or jam bands, or a music festival with camping, or even rap and jazz
    • There is a whole spectrum of drug use in the music environment
  • She points out that some people are very mindful of what and how much they are taking, and other people are just taking anything they can find, and sometimes a lot or too much
    • She started to talk to people at festivals and realized that people really didn’t know about the benefits and power of psychedelics
    • There definitely is a place for harm reduction education at festivals

Drug Use Assistance Groups

  • Joe brings up the Zendo project and other initiatives that help people who are having a difficult drug experience to walk them out of it
  • Some festival ‘families’ go around and have missions to hydrate people or make sure people are having a good time
    • They aren’t staff or paid to do it or anything but they do it for the good of the whole


  • Learning on site may not be super successful, most festival goers have an agenda for adventure and music and not for learning at a booth or speaker
    • Drug education and harm reduction may look more like preparation
  • Tep mentions Diplo doesn’t allow any drug use at his shows, alcohol is the only allowed substance
    • Tep thinks that he probably doesn’t know that alcohol is far worse than psychedelics and other drugs

Theraputic Use

  • When someone goes and has a vacation, they have certain chemicals released in their mind, it is still therapeutic, even if it’s not a psychedelic experience
  • “Not only can psychedelics be fun, they can also be therapeutic.” – Tep
  • Tep started going to camping style festivals and started hanging out with a crowd of people 10 years older than her, where their drug use was mature and mindful and safe
    • Then when she would hang around her younger friend group again, she realized how unsafe and unmindful their drug use was
    • It led her to be more active in wanting to educate everyone on how to use drugs properly

Exotic Compounds

  • Shulgin’s magical half dozen includes 2CB, 2CT2, and others
  • Tep mentions preference of truffles over mushrooms
  • Her and Joe bring up the decrease in potency of most drugs with exposure to moisture and time and other variables

Compound Isolation

  • There is a huge advantage of isolating the property of the drug when using them for therapy
    • For example, using isolated psilocybin vs mushrooms
  • The therapy is just as important as the substance
  • There is a way to find information in this community without getting a degree in it

About Tep

Tep is a chemical engineer who had an interest in modern psychedelic research. She is passionate about the EDM and music culture and finding new ways to educate drug users on harm reduction and drug use education.