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- This Week in Psychedelics
This Week in Psychedelics
[4-min read] Results are in for Cybin’s deuterated psilocybin drug.
Welcome to Tricycle Day. We’ll tell you what you should know about psychedelics. But we’ll never tell you what to think about them. 🤝
Here’s what we got this week.
Next-gen psilocybin trial results 🍄
Ukraine wants MDMA 💊
Psychedelic conference roundup 🎤
Merry mushroom solstice 🎅🏻
FROM OUR SPONSORS
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It’s called ibogaine, and biohackers like Ferriss and Rogan are using it to achieve peak performance.
Why? It stays in their system for 3 months of boosted neuroplasticity.
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They don’t call it “Miracle Grow for the brain” for nothing.
Painkillers: Psychedelics may be better than opioids at relieving certain types of chronic pain.
Aya, deconstructed: A first-in-human trial explored pill and spray formulations of DMT and harmine, the active compounds in ayahuasca.
Bottoms up: Intense mystical experiences led to reduced alcohol use in a recent survey.
A new classic: Gilgamesh has completed a Phase 1 study of its novel 5-HT2A receptor agonist.
Brain stains: Scientists have mapped how ketamine impacts the brain’s dopamine system.
Tick tock: Arizona may lose its $5 million for psilocybin research if it isn’t spent soon.
One love: A Jamaican Senator is pushing to standardize the national psilocybin industry.
Our way or the turnpike: Activists concerned about a psychedelic ballot initiative in Mass have proposed major changes.
It’s complicated: Here’s why Oregon’s legal psilocybin market is so expensive.
Teamwork makes the dream work: Psychedelic drug development collabs have 5x’ed since 2019.
Psychedelic tourism: 80% of Oregon’s psilocybin services clients are coming from out of state.
Cure what ails ya: Mindbloom is launching ketamine programs tailored for heartbreak and burnout.
Genetic cultivation: Optimi Health has created eight new strains of magic mushrooms.
Dream job? MAPS is hiring a social media manager and creator.
Just for fun
Natural selection: Why did plants and fungi evolve to produce psychedelic chemicals?
Home grown: Your house plant might be psychedelic.
Meme of the week: Networking events in the psychedelic industry be like…
THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
High-tech psilocybin beats depression
Some say magic mushrooms are an alien biotechnology. If that’s true, then what happens when we earthlings try to re-engineer it?
Extraterrestrial origins aside, the psychedelic drug development company Cybin thinks psilocybin can be improved. This week, they shared new results from a clinical study on their next-gen version, codenamed CYB003.
First, let’s back up. CYB003 is a synthetic analog of psilocybin that’s been “deuterated.” Without nerding out too hard, that basically means they swapped out some hydrogen atoms for a heavier form at the molecular level. Cybin claims their modified compound offers some important advantages over natural psilocybin.
⚡ It’s shorter acting with faster onset.
👥 You see a more consistent response across patients.
🤏 It takes a lower dose to achieve similar effects.
🤑 It’s proprietary and patent protected. (Okay, they didn’t say that part out loud, but we know they’re thinking it.)
This week’s announcement backs up those claims with cold, hard data. In a Phase 2 clinical trial, people with major depressive disorder (MDD) who took CYB003 got better fast.
☝️ A single dose worked well. 53% had responded at 3 weeks after one dose. (i.e., their depression scores were cut in half or better.)
✌️ A second dose worked even better. 79% were in complete remission at 6 weeks after two doses. (Only 20% got there from the first dose alone.)
So in this case, two is better than one. But sometimes, less is more. Within the same study, Cybin also tested a larger dose (16 mg vs 12 mg). Interestingly, the smaller dose outperformed the larger one.
Despite Cybin’s excitement, the stock dropped on the news. Apparently, investors like heroic doses? Or maybe they’re just not fans of tampering with alien tech.
Give peace MDMA a chance
We’ve seen the lifesaving potential of MDMA with our own vets at home. So why shouldn’t it work overseas, in a country that’s currently under attack? Last week in a European Parliament meeting, Ukrainian MP Dmytro Gurin asked for the EU’s support in turning his country into a center for research on psychedelics and trauma.
Gurin makes a solid case. With the ongoing Russian invasion, Ukraine’s health ministry estimates that 57% of the population is at risk of developing PTSD. And spinning up an MDMA trial in Ukraine wouldn’t even require rewriting the laws; they’d just need a decree from the Cabinet of ministers. President Zelenskyy seems to be supportive, too.
Given the sheer volume of traumatized Ukrainians, Gurin’s other request is that MDMA-assisted therapy be made afirst-line treatment for PTSD, rather than saving it as a last resort. There’s just one problem. Ukraine only has 13 psychedelic-assisted therapists and would need 300 to treat everyone. If the US is still sending humanitarian aid, maybe it’s time to swap the ammo for MDMA and the gunmen for guides?
It’s conference szn, bb
Whew boy, it’s been a busy few weeks for those on the psychedelic conference circuit. If you’re new to the scene, these events are typically pitched as opportunities for activists, entrepreneurs, researchers, policymakers, and passionate consumers to come together around a shared mission to help the world heal with psychedelics. In the past month alone, we’ve had three of ‘em.
In early November, Wonderland drew a crowd to Miami for three days of content on psychedelics, as well as longevity and mental health more broadly. Speakers included Bryan Johnson, the guy who spends $1 million a year to reverse his biological clock. Last week, reMind Media hosted their second-annual Psychedelics Business Forum, as an opening act to the company’s larger cannabis event, MJBizCon. (We attended, and it was a blast.) Finally, this weekend, Horizons Northwest took over the Portland Art Museum for a three-day deep dive on the state of psychedelic science and policy. Naturally, there was a special focus on Oregon, where a state-regulated model for psilocybin therapy is being tested in real time.
The bottom line? Psychedelic enthusiasts are clearly craving a sense of connection and belonging. At some point, we’re just gonna have to buy a chunk of land, build a commune, and live happily ever after in a cult utopia.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
That’s all for today, Cyclists! Whenever you’re ready, here’s how we can help you.
ONE CYCLIST’S REVIEW
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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. The use, possession, and distribution of psychedelic drugs are illegal in most countries and may result in criminal prosecution.