Meet the influential, innovative, and disruptive women making waves in the psychedelic movement, from research to drug policy reform.

It may seem like the psychedelics industry is a boy's club, with unmistakable mainstream figures like Paul Stamets, Terrance McKenna, Albert Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Rick Doblin, Michael Pollan... well, you get the gist. But dig a little deeper and you'll be met with a wealth of female luminaries shaping the psychedelics industry. And it makes sense. Female wisdom is nurturing, interconnected, and expansive—just like mushrooms.

Now psychedelics and plant medicines are attracting more attention and research than ever before, offering new possibilities for growth, healing, and transformation. In this dynamic and evolving field, more women than ever are leading the way with their wisdom and expertise.

The women featured here are part of a wave of innovators, disruptors, and change-makers who are shaping the psychedelic and plant medicine movements with their diverse roles and perspectives. They include activists, artists, therapists, journalists, researchers, scientists, philosophers, healers, social critics, and educators.

Some of these women are well-known, while others are working quietly behind the scenes. Join us as we discover the exciting and inspiring future of a flourishing psychedelic community.

This is an ongoing project, not a final list.

We at My Supply Co. welcome your feedback and suggestions on who else you think should be included here, so that we can keep expanding and updating this list together."

1. Marina Sabina.

10 Badass Women Shaping The Future of Psychedelics | Culture | My Supply Co.

María Sabina was a Mazatec sabia, or wise woman, who lived in a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico. She was known for her healing ceremonies with psilocybin mushrooms, which she called “the little saints”. She was the first to share these mushrooms with Westerners, such as R. Gordon Wasson, who published an article about his experience with her in 1957. This sparked a wave of interest and curiosity in psychedelics, and attracted many visitors to her town, including celebrities, artists, and researchers. However, this also caused problems for her and her community, as they faced persecution, exploitation, and loss of their sacred traditions. María Sabina died in 1985, but her legacy lives on as a symbol of the psychedelic movement and a source of inspiration for many.

2. Valentina Wasson.

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This pioneer's story is a cautionary tale.

Valentina Wasson was a Russian-American pediatrician and ethnomycologist who co-authored several books and articles on the cultural and historical aspects of mushrooms with her husband Gordon Wasson. She was also a pioneer of psychedelic research, as she was the first Westerner to consume psilocybin mushrooms with the Mazatec shaman Maria Sabina in 1955, and wrote about her experience in a magazine article. She also suggested that psilocybin could be used to treat various conditions, such as addiction and mental disorders. She died in 1958, but her work and legacy influenced many people in the psychedelic movement.

However, her work came at a cost.

While likely well-intentioned, she had directly exposed María Sabina and her sacred practice to the public, attracting a deluge of disrespectful, intrusive, and exploitative visitors to her village. As mentioned above, María Sabina herself faced persecution, harassment, and loss of her traditional culture as a result of this exposure. She also felt that the mushrooms lost their power and sacredness after being used by so many foreigners for recreational or spiritual purposes, rather than for healing the sick.

Valentina Wasson, along with her husband Gordon Wasson, who published the article, were responsible for ruining María Sabina’s life by exposing her to the world without her consent or understanding of the consequences.

Others might argue that Valentina Wasson, and other psychedelic enthusiasts who followed her, were genuinely interested in learning from María Sabina and her culture, and that they helped to spread awareness and appreciation of the mushrooms and their potential benefits. They might also point out that Valentina Wasson died in 1958, only three years after her encounter with María Sabina, and that she had little control over what happened afterward.

What's important now is how we use this piece of history to inform and honour our relationships with these plants and the cultures that they are sacred to.

Read: The Colourful History of Cannabis: From Prohibition to Legalization

3. Amanda Feilding.

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Amanda Feilding is a pioneer in the field of psychedelic research and drug policy reform. She founded the Beckley Foundation, which conducts scientific studies on the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain and cognition, and advocates for policy reform and evidence-based alternatives to the prohibition of drugs. She has been involved in many groundbreaking studies on the effects of psychedelics on the brain, cognition, and well-being, and has advocated for the medical and legal use of these substances for over 50 years.

The hole truth?

In addition to psychedelic research and policy, Amanda Feilding has also experimented with trepanning, a practice of drilling a hole in the skull to alter consciousness.

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Feilding's contributions to psychedelics include:

  • She has been a pioneer in psychedelic research since the 1960s, when she was inspired by her own experiences with LSD and other substances.
  • She has founded and directed the Beckley Foundation, which has conducted and supported some of the most groundbreaking studies on the effects of psychedelics on the brain, cognition, and mental health.
  • She has collaborated with leading scientists and institutions around the world, such as Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Oxford.
  • She has contributed to over 50 peer-reviewed publications and books on psychedelic science and drug policy reform.
  • She has advocated for evidence-based alternatives to the prohibition of drugs, and has influenced the opinions of policy-makers, presidents, and Nobel laureates.

4. Ann Shulgin.

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Ann Shulgin was a therapist and a countercultural figure who explored the use of psychedelic drugs for anxiety and other disorders. She collaborated with her husband, Alexander Shulgin, in creating, testing, and documenting hundreds of psychedelic compounds in their home laboratory, including MDMA, 2C-B, DOM, 2C-E, 2C-T-7. She also co-authored two influential books, PiHKAL and TiHKAL, that described their experiences and insights with these substances.

She also contributed to the research and exploration of these substances, and shared her personal and therapeutic experiences with them. She is regarded as a pioneer of psychedelic medicine, a role model for women in the field, and is a respected member of the psychiatric community.

Shulgin's contributions to psychedelics include:

  • Some of the psychedelics created by Ann and Alexander Shulgin include MDMA, 2C-B, DOM, 2C-E, 2C-T-7.
  • She was a therapist who used psychedelic medicines to treat anxiety and other disorders in her clients, and developed methods of working with these materials, incorporating concepts from Jungian psychoanalysis.
  • She was a countercultural figure who challenged the legal and social norms around psychedelic drugs, and advocated for their responsible and beneficial use.
  • She was a respected member of the psychiatric community, and contributed to the advancement of psychedelic science and medicine.

5. Kathleen Harrison.

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An ethnobotanist, teacher, and writer who has studied the relationship between plants, people, and culture for over five decades. She co-founded Botanical Dimensions with Terence McKenna in 1985, a non-profit organization that preserves and documents ethnobotanical plants and knowledge. She has also conducted extensive fieldwork in Latin America, where she learned from indigenous healers and shamans. She is also a teacher, author, and speaker who shares her insights and expertise on psychedelic science and medicine.

Harrison's contributions to psychedelics include:

  • Collecting and documenting over 3,000 specimens of medicinal and shamanic plants.
  • She is a teacher, author, and speaker who shares her insights and expertise on psychedelic science and medicine, and has taught courses on ethnobotany, ayahuasca, mushrooms, and cannabis.

6. Rosalind Watts.

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Rosalind Watts is a clinical psychologist and the clinical lead of the Psilocybin for Depression research at Imperial College London, one of the largest and most rigorous trials of psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression. She has conducted and published several studies on the effects of psilocybin on depression, anxiety, and connectedness. She is also the co-founder of ACER Integration, a global online community that provides support and guidance for psychedelic integration. She is a teacher, author, and speaker who advocates for psychedelic science and medicine.

Read: The Truth About Mushrooms & Meds: Are They Safe to Mix?

She has developed and tested a novel therapeutic approach that combines psilocybin with psychological support, and has reported remarkable results in terms of safety and efficacy.

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Watts' contributions to psychedelics include:

  • She has pioneered the recognition and study of connectedness as a key aspect of psychedelic integration, and developed the Watts Connectedness Scale to measure it.
  • She has compared the efficacy of psilocybin and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants in treating depression, and found that psilocybin was more effective and had fewer side effects.
  • She has co-founded ACER Integration, a global online community that provides support and guidance for psychedelic integration, based on a 13-month process that fosters deeper connection to the self, others, and nature16.
  • She has taught courses on psychedelic science and medicine, works with Usona Institute and Synthesis Retreat, and has spoken at various events and platforms, such as TEDx, London Real, and To The Best Of Our Knowledge.

7. Zoe Helene.

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Zoe Helene is the founder of Cosmic Sister, a global environmental network that supports women in the psychedelic and cannabis movements. She coined the term “psychedelic feminism” to describe the use of sacred plants and fungi for women’s healing, empowerment, and self-liberation. She is also a speaker, author, and advocate for psychedelic science, policy reform, and environmental protection.

She is an environmentalist, cultural activist, and multimedia artist who promotes the use of psychedelics and plant medicines for healing, empowerment, and social justice. She also created the Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance and the Psychedelic Feminism educational initiatives, which highlight the contributions and perspectives of women in the field.

Helene's contributions to psychedelics include:

  • She created and popularized the concept of psychedelic feminism, which has become a widely used hashtag and a sub-genre of eco-feminism.
  • She founded Cosmic Sister, which offers educational advocacy grants and awards to support female thought leaders and emerging voices in the psychedelic field, and promotes diversity, inclusion, and representation.
  • She has presented talks and workshops at various psychedelic events and platforms, such as The Emerald Cup, Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, MAPS Canada, World Psychedelic Day, and TEDx.
  • She has written and contributed to several publications and books on psychedelic science and medicine, such as How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World, Psyched: Seven Cutting-Edge Psychedelics Changing the World, and Infinite Perception: The Power of Psychedelics for Global Transformation.
  • She has traveled the world with her husband, ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, as part of the Medicine Hunter team, promoting sustainable medicinal plant trade, cultural preservation, and environmental sustainability.

8. Monnica Williams.

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Dr. Monnica T. Williams is a clinical psychologist, professor, and researcher who specializes in the treatment of trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities, and is the co-founder of the Chacruna Institute’s Racial Equity and Access Committee, which aims to increase the diversity and inclusion of people of color in the psychedelic community.

As the director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut, she conducts clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, with a focus on racial trauma and marginalized populations. There, she supervises and trains clinicians in evidence-based treatments.

Williams' contributions to psychedelics include:

  • She is a principal investigator in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
  • She is a certified trainer in psychedelic-assisted therapies and research and has trained therapists for MAPS and the Usona Institute.
  • She is an editor of the book Psychedelic Therapy: A 12-Session Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Protocol for Transforming Trauma Rooted in Racism, which provides a culturally informed and trauma-focused approach to psychedelic therapy for people of color.
  • She is a leading expert on the impact of racism and discrimination on mental health, and advocates for the inclusion and diversity of marginalized groups in psychedelic research and practice.

9. Bia Labate.

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Bia Labate is a cultural anthropologist, public speaker, and author who has published several books and articles on the social, cultural, and political aspects of psychedelics and plant medicines. A San Francisco-based queer Brazilian anthropologist with a PhD in social anthropology, she is the founder and executive director of the Chacruna Institute, a non-profit organization that produces high-quality research and education on psychedelics and fosters dialogue between academia, policy, and practice.

She is also co-founder of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund, which provides legal support and advocacy for people who use ayahuasca around the world, and a public education and culture specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is also a visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and an advisor for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition.

Labate's contributions to psychedelics include:

  • She is a co-founder and editor of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP), a network of researchers and academics dedicated to the study of psychoactive substances, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion.
  • She is an author, co-author, and co-editor of more than 30 books, journals, and articles on topics such as ayahuasca, peyote, cannabis, drug policy, harm reduction, and human rights.
  • She is a certified trainer in psychedelic-assisted therapies and research, and has trained therapists for the Synaptic Institute, a non-profit medical research organization that conducts clinical trials of psilocybin for major depressive disorder.
  • She is a leading advocate for the inclusion and diversity of marginalized groups in psychedelic research and practice, especially people of color, LGBTQIA+, and indigenous communities. She has organized and participated in various events, panels, and publications that address the issues of racism, sexism, colonialism, and cultural appropriation in the psychedelic movement.

10. Kayla Breelove.

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Kayla Breelove, a clinical traumatologist and licensed counseling therapist, specializes in racial trauma, adverse childhood experiences, vicarious trauma, nutritional psychology, and psychedelic-assisted therapy. She is the founder and clinical supervisor of Breelove Wellness, a cultural and trauma-informed clinic and online platform serving individuals and communities. Kayla holds the distinction of being the first Black Board Member at MAPS Canada, serving on its Board of Directors.

Kayla has been recognized for her leadership and innovation in mental health and wellness, and has been honoured with the Top 100 Black Women in Canada Award, is recipient of Coralus 2023 Venture, and was recently the VIVE-business Champion award, for her work in Gender Equality.

Breelove's contributions to psychedelics include:

  • Being a board member of MAPS Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to researching and educating about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
  • A Psychedelic Assisted Therapy (PAT) Provider, having provided preparation and integration services to individuals seeking guidance in their healing journey.
  • A consultant and trainer for healthcare providers in the integration of plant medicines, including cannabis and psilocybin.
  • An advocate for Ancestral ways of knowing, specifically within the Black and Indigenous communities where Kayla works with various groups and communities in reclaiming their traditional ways and embracing modern approaches to reclaiming these plan medicines, specifically cannabis and psilocybin.

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