Neurons to Nirvana

Welcome to Neurons to Nirvana, a platform for creative forces who embrace the unconventional in the quest for artistry, humanity, innovation, health, and healing of the mind and soul.

Advancements in Psychedelic Research with Dr. Markus Roggen

November 30th, 2021

In this episode, Tom sits down with chemist Dr. Markus Roggen of Delic Labs to talk about his journey to help cannabis and psilocybin processors and researchers optimize their processes, make better products and uncover better data about psychedelics. Dr. Roggen and Tom discuss many of the different research projects that he has been involved in and the insights that he and his teams have been able to gain about extraction science, harvesting psychedelic mushrooms, and cannabinoid chemistry. Finally, we discuss some of the work that Delic Labs is doing with psychedelics and the role of pharma over recreation in the efforts to measure and advance the psychedelic-wellness industry.

Dr. Markus Roggen is President and Chief Scientific Officer of Delic Labs, a licensed cannabis and psilocybin research laboratory focused on extraction optimization, analytical testing, and process development in Canada. Delic Labs was initially founded as Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures by Dr. Roggen and Prof. Dr. Glenn Sammis in 2018, and rebranded after the sale to Delic Corp.

Dr. Roggen received his M/Sci degree from Imperial College, London, UK in 2008. He then pursued his graduate degree in organic chemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ), where he received his PhD in 2012. Dr. Roggen was awarded a DAAD postdoctoral fellowship to pursue further training in physical organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla in 2013-2014. He then entered the cannabis industry in 2014 and since has held executive positions in analytical and production companies. His research into process optimization and analytical methods has been recognized with a number of awards, ElSohly Award of the American Chemical Society, Cannabis Scientist Power List 2020 & 2021, and 40 under 40 by Marijuana Venture Magazine among others. Dr. Roggen is also a trusted advisor and mentor to multiple startups, startup accelerators and organizations. 

Learn more about Delic Labs at: 

Starting Points of San Pedro Cactus

November 19th, 2021

Continuing his healing journey in South America, Tom offers a very personal recounting of his experiences in a San Pedro ceremony. San Pedro cactus, also known as huachuma (wa-choo’-ma), is a tall, fast-growing cactus that contains the psychedelic compound mescaline – and has been used for its powerful medicinal properties by South American peoples for thousands of years. The primary psychoactive compound is mescaline, considered a classical psychedelic because it causes physiological impacts that can leave a person in an altered state for hours. In recent decades Westerners have begun traveling to South America to participate in authentic and legal San Pedro ceremonies. Joined again by Adam Stammers, who is both a helper and participant in the San Pedro ceremony, you can hear common themes and differences in the San Pedro experience from the Ayahuasca ceremony.

Journey with Mother Aya

November 11th, 2021

Ayahuasca, known as the vine of the soul, is a plant native to the Amazon region, brewed from a jungle vine into a tea, and has been used by shamans for centuries in healing ceremonies. Tom shares his very personal journey with Mother Aya when traveling to South America. Ayahuasca is a ceremonial experience. A shaman is a vital difference between recreation and medicine. When someone says they “drink Ayahuasca,” it inherently means to drink in ceremony. This episode is a two-sided account of Tom’s ceremonial Ayahuasca experience. You will hear a personal account of visions, nightmares, and fears that unfolded and ultimately the sense of wonderment, enlightenment and self-love. Tom is joined by Adam Stammers, one of the retreat helpers from Bristol, England, who assisted the shaman and the participants throughout the entire ceremony. Adam’s perspective and insight may help the listener frame how an Ayahuasca ceremony can appear from an outsider’s point of view.

Stories from the Stage with Joey Sommerville and Peter Stroud

November 1st, 2021

Kindred spirits and newly found friends, Joey Sommerville (also known as Papa J, trumpeter extraordinaire) and Peter Stroud (legendary guitarist) sit down with Tom. Each artist offers their perspective on creativity, mortality, and friendship —all the while celebrating the power of music to heal and augment the human experience. Hear Peter’s uncanny connections to getting the gigs with Pete Droge, Sheryl Crow, and Don Henley and listen to the lyrics inspired by a parting friend, Ike Stubblefield, in Joey’s developing new single, See You on the Other Side.

Peter Stroud is Sheryl Crow’s guitarist of 22 years and serves as her Music Director. He has also toured or recorded with Don Henley, Sarah McLachlan, Stevie Nicks, Shawn Mullins, Pete Droge, and founded his own band, Big Hat. Outside of performance, Peter is a co-founding partner with Artistory, a company offering deep-dive metrics data for the music industry and fan engagement through social media. He formerly co-founded 65amps, a manufacturer of high-end “boutique” guitar amplifiers.

Papa J has solidified his place in music history, transforming his sound and genre over the years. An iconic contemporary jazz trumpet player, Joey was hearing another kind of music in his head, a “New Sound” informed by years of performing with blues legends and jam band superstars, including BB King protégé Big Joe Burrell and mega band Phish. Papa J has collaborated with celebrated artists, including Earl Klugh, Marion Meadows, Jeff Bradshaw, Bob Baldwin and he has four solo albums. Joey is an active community servant, including serving on the Board of Directors of the How Big is Your Dream Foundation, an Atlanta based charity that provides music education programs to students in underserved communities.

Song Credits:

Might As Well Be You, 2019, Written and Performed by Joey Sommerville, Produced by Joey Sommerville and Martin Guigui

Airplane Mode, 2021, Written by John Stamp, Performed by John Stamp featuring Peter Stroud

A Feather in the Breeze, 2012, Performed by Big Hat

A Prayer for Peace, 2002, Performed by Joey Sommerville, Produced by Sojo Music Inc.

Covered by an Underground Umbrella, 2021, Written by Kevin Kinney, Performed by Peter Stroud (Guitar), Ike Stubblefield (Hammond B-3), Robert Kearns (Bass) and Fred Eltringham (Drums), Mixed by Nick Didia

Colors and Shapes of Ike Stubblefield

October 18th, 2021

We lost one of the most diverse musicians on June 20, 2021. Ike Stubblefield was a master of the Hammond B-3 organ, Grammy award winner, and a driving force in the Atlanta music scene. The number of people Ike performed with during his career is mind-blowing:  Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Eric Clapton, BB King, The Temptations, Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, Jerry Garcia, Greg Allman, Colonel Bruce Hampton, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, and the list goes on! Before the pandemic, our host, Tom Hartridge, had a rare opportunity to sit down with Ike and discuss his amazing career. Hear this never released interview.

The Genesis of Neurons to Nirvana

October 15th, 2021

Host Tom Hartridge discusses what this podcast truly means. Hear why a thirst for knowledge and a passion for the unconventional has led him to talk with musicians, scientists, comedians and politicians, giving a voice to non-traditional ways to exist and thrive. From uplifting stories of how others have overcome their own trials and tribulations to discoveries in science, technological innovation and artistry, Tom describes the genesis of Neurons to Nirvana and what a listener can expect from this podcast.



[00:06] Where Tom’s vision for the podcast originated from

[06:49] A voice for creative forces

[08:28] Key influences

[11:40] Why now?



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