Natasja with Maria Carvalho on Psychedelic Emergency Services, Adult Cannabis Regulations and Harm Reduction

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, I am launching a special series called, “Women in Psychedelics.” This podcast series does an amazing job of telling the stories of five fascinating women who are currently making an impact within the psychedelic and plant healing movement.

My intention for this series is to further amplify female voices within this space. I am driven by bringing to the forefront untold stories, exclusive content, and inspiration. This month to me is about offering and celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and sometimes the unseen achievements of women in this psychedelic renaissance. 

For part one of Women in Psychedelics”  I have invited a Portuguese sister,  Maria Carvalho Ph.D.; MsC; Clinical Psychologist; Assistant Professor; Founding Member of the Kosmicare Association.

Maria Carvalho was born in Porto, Portugal, in 1976. She got an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Porto in 1999, finished an MSc in psychology in the field of addictions in 2004, and got her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Porto in 2015. She is currently an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the Catholic University of Porto, where she’s been lecturing since 2005. She has been a clinical psychologist accredited by the Portuguese Bar of Psychologists since 2016. She is Vice-President of the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research and Service (, and she has coordinated Project Kosmicare at the Boom Festival since 2010. She is a founding member of the Kosmicare Association, an NGO that advocates for full-spectrum evidence-based harm reduction and psycare in recreational environments. She is currently involved in projects concerning nightlife and sexual violence, the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca, and adult cannabis regulation.

In this episode, Maria Carvalho discusses:

  • Maria’s personal journey why she studied psychology and her journey towards psychedelics
  • Portuguese Drugs Law – drugs are decriminalized and drug testing is legal
  • Adult Cannabis Regulations
  • Therapeutic potential of psychedelics
  • Maria’s own healing from trauma and depression through her Ayahuasca journey
  • There is a before and after a psychedelic experience
  • Her role at ICEERS (Ethnobotanical Education Research and Service)
  • Kosmic care, Maps, and Zendo project their interconnected collaborations
  • The unique care and drug education that is needed at festivals
  • Inner-city drop-in for service, intervention, and integration that is needed in major cities, like the Kosmic care in Lisbon 
  • Harm reduction 


Documentary of Ben founder Iceers

Kosmic care and MAPS

Kosmicare accepts donations here.

Maria’s Handles:



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