- Trip, a new app that guides users through psychedelic drug experiences and other consciousness-expanding exercises, started leting more users in for early testing Wednesday.
- The app is the side project of Field Trip, a Toronto-based startup that aims to facilitate the use of psychelic drugs for medical treatment.
- The app records user’s moods and emotions during their psychedlic travels, letting them see their moods and thoughts over time like a psychotropic Fitbit.
- Field Trip cofounder Ronan Levy emphasized the app is not meant to take the place of qualified medical treatment, but to act as harm reduction for people experimenting with mind-altering substances to escape the isolation of COVID-19.
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Like so many other things this year, Burning Man’s physical event was forcibly canceled by COVID-19.
But the festival’s famously free-spirited antics will continue virtually through the weekend in the Multiverse, a series of digital experiences replicating the festival in pixelated form.
For those who signed up early enough, some digital festival goers may get to try out Trip, a new app designed to help users experience psychedelic drugs and any other consciousness-expanding experience more responsibly. The app started letting more users on its waitlist in Wednesday after a period of extended testing.
Trip is a side project of Field Trip, a Canadian startup that aims to mainstream the medical use of psychedelic substances like psilocybin by opening clinics in cities like Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. Field Trip cofounder Ronan Levy characterized the app as harm reduction; with people stuck in their homes, they’re more likely than ever to use drugs.
“If people are going to go and use LSD, which is still very much scheduled and a very powerful molecule, they could do it by themselves with no support, no guidance, no information,” Levy told Business Insider. “Or they can do it using tools developed by a team of doctors, psychologists, and therapists.”
The app’s interface is simple and vibrant. A colorful landscape of a yellow sun hanging over purple mountains and a vast body of water greets users upon opening the app. The app asks users to take a quick breath and record their mood and goals before they start their trip.
Levy emphasized the app can be used for mental exercises like meditation as well as substances. That’s clear when users are asked to identify what kind of “trip” they’re taking. Users are given a series of emojis to pick from, including a mushroom, a person in a yoga pose, and a pill capsule.
After a few more notes and selections, users begin their journey over a blue river flowing towards a setting sun, the sky pink above. At any time they can pause the experience to record voice memos.
“We want to really make it easy for people to record their experience,” Levy said. “Like, ‘Oh, I just saw my grandfather for the first time, on his deathbed. It really touched me.’ We want people to be able to document that.”
The scene is scored by AI-generated music tracks courtesy of Lucid, a Toronto company that makes music designed to relieve mental stress.
After the trip is over, users are once again asked to record their mood and emotions, replicating the journaling techniques Field Trip applies in its clinical treatments. Users can view stats about the length of their trips and a chart showing how their moods have changed over time, almost like a psychotropic Fitbit.
The app is not meant to replace the clinical treatment Field Trip specializes in. Rather, Levy said, it’s meant to be like tripping with a friend who knows what they’re doing.
“We’re not suggesting that it replaces anybody,” Levy said, “but for people who are going it alone with psychedelic experiences or consciousness expanding experiences, it’s a great tool to make sure that you’re informed.”