“Plant medicine” is a term that has risen in popularity for Western cultures in the past decade. The term is often misused as a general description for non-pharmacological based therapies–meaning it lumps together plants, fungi, chemical and even animal-based therapies (think kambo). It is also colloquially related to psychedelics. This correlation is so prevalent, that many people think Cacao is a type of psychedelic plant medicine. To clarify, it is not. Cacao is a non-psychedelic plant that can support integration after psychedelic experiences. Meet Lana Pribic, the founder of Modern Psychedelics, a podcast and community aimed to bridge the spirituality and science surrounding psychedelia. Here, Lana talks to us about her work and how Cacao has helped her integrate her experiences with plants, fungi, and other modern therapies.
Tell me about your journey with psychedelics? How did you come upon them? How long have you been working with them?
I first experienced psychedelics in my "party girl" days. I used to love going to raves and dancing to house music all. night. long. Of course to do this, it helps to have some help via stimulants.
One September, my friends and I went to a small music festival which is often described as a really intimate Burning Man vibe. I had some mushrooms and the space we were in allowed me to go deeper than I ever had. I had a "mystical experience" while looking at the night sky and connecting to the cosmos. Since then, my relationship with psychedelics changed from something that helps me dance all night, to something that helps me go inward and realize my own infinity.
In 2019, I was going through a difficult time of my life trying to piece myself back together after a heartbreak. I went through a LOT of therapy and reached a point where I was up against a wall with my progress. I felt a need to go deeper but I didn't know how to, and my therapist wasn't about to facilitate that. That was when I was called to Mother Ayahuasca. For about two years, I have been sitting with ayahuasca on a regular basis. I went to her to heal a broken heart, and I have received blessings beyond my wildest dreams. I sit with mushrooms as well, but I would say that ayahuasca is definitely my medicine. While I rarely go out and dance all night anymore, I recognize the importance that time in my life played in getting me to where I am.
What are the greatest benefits and drawbacks to integrating psychedelics into your life?
There are two benefits that I would highlight. First, the deep healing that I have received from simply being able to see the world and my life from a different perspective. Second, ayahuasca and mushrooms have cracked open the sense of my own eternal nature. Sitting in ceremony, the universal and spiritual truths I had only ever read about in books somehow became visceral experiences that solidified inside of me as undeniably true.
It is tempting to say that there are no drawbacks, especially in this current conversation about psychedelics. However, I would say that the biggest drawback for me has been that I changed very much, very quickly. While I do see change and growth as inherently positive, the effects of it can be a challenge to navigate. The growth that I have experienced from intentional and ceremonial use of psychedelic medicine has been profound, and I can firmly say that I live my life now "on the path". My devotion has shifted so drastically–in a short amount of time–that it can be challenging to connect with the people around me and the world in which I live. I often feel like I am not from this world because a lot of it no longer feels in alignment with me any longer. Still, I wouldn't change a thing because this medicine path is only bringing me closer to my true essence, which is love. The challenge of "going back to the matrix" is something I am really working through right now, and one has to be prepared for these vast changes.
You're exploring other plant allies–tell me about your experience with Cacao.
As someone who loves ceremony, Cacao has been a way for me to bring ceremony into my life every day. Cacao has such a loving, nurturing and giving spirit. It's supportive and gentle. Drinking Cacao in place of coffee has been supportive and nurturing to my value of holistic living. Coffee was something that drained me, whereas cacao is giving. The ritual of preparing and drinking Cacao is a highlight of my day, every day.
How has Cacao assisted with any preparation or integration of the deeper work you're doing?
As I mentioned, Cacao has been a way for me to bring ceremony into my life every day. This ritual brings me into a place for mindfulness and gratitude. It reminds me every day of how many beautiful and medicinal gifts we are given from the Earth Mother. It's supportive and gentle, and it makes me so happy. I prepare the drink with intention, which allows me to mindfully begin my day.
Have you noticed a difference in your emotional well-being since integrating Cacao?
I quit coffee in June 2021 and I have been replacing it with Cacao every morning. I can honestly say that I don't think I will ever regularly drink coffee anymore. I find Cacao to be much gentler, whereas coffee cracks out my nervous system and leaves me feeling dehydrated all day long. I find that I feel more emotionally balanced while drinking Cacao.
How do you prepare yours?
2-3 taplespoons Cacao
1-2 tablespoons dark maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
2000mg Reishi mushrooms (optional)
1/3 hot water
2/3 almond or oat milk
First, I place the dry ingredients + maple into my mug. Second, I pulse all of this with water, using a handheld frother. Lastly, I slowly pour in the milk while continuing to froth.
On the best of days, I say a prayer of gratitude to the tonic before I enjoy it while reading a book.
Would you recommend Cacao to someone who is microdosing?
I think that microdosing is very intuitive practice and great way to get to know yourself and your limits. If someone feels called to drink Cacao while microdosing, I think they should go for it! Personally, I would do it; however, I am not microdosing at the moment. I think Cacao and mushrooms have great synergy, and I can imagine that the heart opening experience of cacao would only become enhanced with microdosing.
Recommended: Integrate your psychedelic realizations with our Air Blend–pure cacao blended with cardamom and rose to foster inner communication.
Name: Lana Pribic
Title: Founder of Modern Psychedelics
Website + Social: @modernpsychedelics @lanapribic www.modernpsychedelics.net
Lana Pribic is the founder of the podcast and community Modern Psychedelics. She is currently studying to become a Certified Professional Coach, and will soon be offering psychedelic integration coaching for people navigating spiritual and personal growth. Lana's mission with Modern Psychedelics is to hold space for divine ancient wisdom in today’s conversation about psychedelics, plant medicine, and healing. Lana is devoted to the path of the plant teacher Ayahuasca, and loves to spend time in ceremony, nature and reading books. She is always designing a life in which she can live in alignment with her values, which include holism, conscious connection, growth, integrity and beauty.