After decades of prohibition, Canada is finally opening the door to psychedelic research. Canada banned psychedelics nearly 50 years ago, outlawing the production and use of psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, the main psychoactive agent in magic mushrooms, and making it nearly impossible to research these drugs. However, the winds have been shifting in favor of psychedelics in recent years as more people have begun using them to address mental health conditions including (PTSD) and major depressive disorder.
A Toronto-based company has now received Canada’s first-ever federal government funding to run a study on the impact of psilocybin on depression. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) recently announced that it has received a federal grant from the government to study how psilocybin can be used to treat depression without expressing the typical psychedelic effects.
The upcoming study will be funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research. CAMH researchers will use the grant to determine if it is possible to use psilocybin treatments for depression and whether the compound’s psychoactive effects were necessary for it to be effective.
In a press release, lead investigator Dr. Ishrat Husain acknowledged that there has been increased interest and scientific research in the use of psychedelics to treat mental conditions as well as addiction. He said that previous clinical trials have suggested that when combined with intensive psychotherapy, psychedelics can produce “sustained antidepressant effects” in people who are afflicted with severe depression. However, as a result of the psychoactive side effects associated with consuming psychedelics, treatment often involves costly and time-consuming support for the patients.
The upcoming study will involve 60 adults who have had depression for at least three years and haven’t been responsive to conventional treatments. One-third of these adults (chosen at random) will receive a full psilocybin dose alongside a blocker that will prevent the drug from expressing its psychoactive effects. The second group of 20 will receive psilocybin and a placebo while the third group will receive both the placebo and the blocker.
The company’s news release noted that as is the standard in the relatively new field of psychedelic research, all 60 study participants will also go through 12 hours of psychotherapy.
If researchers from CAMH find that psilocybin can be as effective against depression even without the psychoactive effects, it will be possible to develop more practical and affordable psilocybin treatment programs.
These federally funded studies could go a long way toward collaborating some of the findings upon which companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) have based their psychedelic drug-development programs.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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