The Psychedelic Journey of Ricky Williams

Former NFL star Ricky Williams joins us on Episode 1 of the "Beyond the Trip" podcast.

Former NFL running back Ricky Williams credits cannabis for getting him through his senior year at the University of Texas – a year in which he rushed for more than 300 yards in back-to-back games and won the Heisman Trophy.

Likewise, Williams turned to cannabis when he found himself “in a lot of funks” while playing in the NFL.

“It helped me find a way out – find answers, find solutions and fix problems,” says Williams, who rushed for more than 10,000 yards during his 12-year NFL career.

Still, it’s taken him a while to fully overcome the cultural conditioning of “just say no.”

“Growing up, you might have come across the term ‘plant medicine’ if you were into anthropology or you were studying native-American culture,” Williams says. “When I was growing up, it was called ‘drugs.’ So part of my journey is the transformation of the concept that was given to me about drugs – adding the word ‘plant’ and adding the word ‘medicine.’”

Even with a cascade of U.S. states legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use in recent years, Williams has found that there’s still a stigma surrounding cannabis that’s preventing it from being fully embraced as a plant medicine that can help people connect with their deeper selves and bring their lives into balance, among other things.

But that’s not the case for psychedelics, which are riding a wave of renewed interest and enthusiasm – backed by an ever-growing body of clinical data and research. The FDA could approve MDMA as soon as August. Meanwhile, the potential for psychedelics to break the cycle of opioid dependance and provide relief to veterans suffering from PTSD has captivated the attention of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Listen to “Beyond the Trip Ep 1 Ricky Williams” on Spreaker.

For Williams, who launched a cannabis brand called Highsman in 2021, legal psychedelics was the next logical frontier for his budding business. Highsman’s tag line – “sparking greatness” – emphasizes the need to find inner peace and enlightenment before we can manifest the greatness within ourselves, as Williams explains it.

Hence Psilo Sessions by Highsman – Williams’s end-zone dive into psychedelic therapy.

“When I saw this opportunity open up, I was like, ‘This is the deeper message behind everything that we’re trying to do – getting people to tune in to their deeper selves and make an attempt to live in more alignment with this self,” Williams tells Psychedelic Medical News. “We found that most of, it not all of, the psychedelics, with the right kind of guidance, can facilitate that process like few things can. So I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to expand and extend this message and offer a legal, safe alternative for people who haven’t been able to find help anywhere else.”

Ricky Williams was kind enough to join us on a Zoom call to talk about Psilo Sessions, which offers “guided psychedelic journeys of self-discovery and perspective-altering moments” (in the words of a Highsman press release). His new psychedelic-therapy center in Salem, Oregon, opened its doors in late March, and has a grand opening planned for May 2.

But Williams goes much deeper than that, opening up about his own psychedelic journey and his quest for enlightenment and spiritual healing through various plant medicines.

As this was a Zoom call, there are a few “Max Headroom” glitches – we apologize in advance. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting conversation with a very interesting guy who – as he aptly puts it – has “been through a lot.” We hope you enjoy it.