Stay up-to-date with the latest in the world of psychedelics with our weekly news roundup for week 21 of 2023. Read about the latest research, policy updates, and industry developments in the rapidly growing field of psychedelic science.
California Senate Passes Bill to Legalize Psychedelics
In a significant development, the California Senate has successfully passed a bill that legalizes the possession of natural psychedelics. With a vote of 21-16, the Senate approved the bill, known as SB 58, paving the way for its consideration and debate in the General Assembly.
SB 58 specifically focuses on legalizing certain quantities of natural psychedelics, namely psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline. The bill’s scope encompasses personal or facilitated use, encompassing activities such as possession, preparation, obtaining, transfer, and transportation of these substances.
An important distinction between this bill and previous attempts lies in the exclusion of synthetic substances. While substances like LSD and MDMA were not included in SB 58, the bill’s proponents strategically focused on natural plant entheogens, increasing the likelihood of its successful passage through the Senate.
Under the provisions of the bill, individuals would be allowed to possess the following amounts of psychedelics: up to two grams of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), fifteen grams of ibogaine, two grams of psilocybin (or four ounces of a plant or fungi containing psilocybin), and two grams of psilocyn (or four ounces of a plant or fungi containing psilocyn).
- Two grams of dimethyltryptamine, otherwise known as DMT.
- Fifteen grams of ibogaine.
- Two grams of psilocybin or four ounces of a plant or fungi containing psilocybin.
- Two grams of psilocyn or four ounces of a plant or fungi containing psilocyn.
Cybin Initiates First-in-Human Dosing of CYB004 in Phase 1 Clinical Trial
Cybin, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to transforming mental healthcare through the development of novel psychedelic-based treatment options, has announced a significant milestone in its ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial. The first participants in the trial have been successfully dosed with CYB004, resulting in robust psychedelic effects observed as early as two minutes after administration, reaching their peak at around thirteen minutes. Importantly, no safety concerns were reported among these initial participants.
“The first-in-human dosing of CYB004 represents an enormous step forward in the clinical advancement of our program evaluating this innovative compound for the potential treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” said Doug Drysdale
Part C of the Phase 1 CYB004-E trial follows a crossover study design, evaluating IV bolus and infusion regimens of CYB004 in up to two cohorts. Data from Part C, combined with the completed Part B portion of the Phase 1 study, are expected to generate a comprehensive PK/PD model. This model will play a crucial role in determining the optimal dosing and formulation for future clinical trials of CYB004. Cybin anticipates that topline data from the Phase 1 trial will be available in the third quarter of 2023, providing valuable insights into the compound’s potential as a therapeutic option.
Human brain effects of DMT assessed via EEG-fMRI
A recent study on the effects of DMT, a powerful psychedelic compound, has revealed significant findings about its impact on brain connectivity and consciousness. The study found that DMT decreased within-network connectivity in most brain networks, except for the salience network and limbic network. Notably, DMT increased global functional connectivity in the salience network, frontoparietal network, and default-mode network, indicating enhanced communication between different brain regions.
These results are important because they challenge the prevailing belief that DMT primarily acts on the 5-HT2A receptor. Instead, the study found that DMT’s effects were prominent in brain regions with dense expression of these receptors, which are associated with higher cognitive functions such as language and semantic processing. This suggests that psychedelics can influence fundamental aspects of brain structure and alter the human experience of consciousness.
Reduced RSN integrity and segregation and increased GFC with DMT. (A) Analysis of within-network sRSFC or integrity (parameter estimates and Fisher Z values) for DMT (red) versus placebo (blue) shows significant reductions in integrity for 5 of 7 networks, and increases in global functional connectivity (GFC) in 3 of 7 networks (FDR correction, P < 0.05). (B) Decreased between-network segregation was especially pronounced for the FP/DMN/SAL or TOP networks and other networks (*P < 0.05, FDR corrected). (C) Increases in GFC were especially pronounced for regions associated with the TOP of the human brain’s principal gradient (P < 0.05, FDR corrected). See SI Appendix, Figs. S2 and S3 for complementary analysis without motion confounds and SI Appendix, Fig. S5 for analysis using global signal regression. (D) Networks used for analyses (sRSFC = static resting-state functional connectivity; networks; VIS = visual; SM = somatomotor; DAN = dorsal attentional; SAL = ventral attentional/salience; LIM = limbic; FP = frontoparietal; DMN = default mode; TOP = transmodal association pole).
The study also highlighted the global effects of psychedelics on the brain, indicating a lack of regulation in the transmodal association cortex pole (TOP), a region involved in abstract semantic representations and prolonged information processing. While there appeared to be reduced communication between low-level sensorimotor modules, this effect occurred after the primary impact on the TOP.
Furthermore, the researchers discussed the role of the 5-HT2A receptors in the expansion of the human cortex. Evidence suggests that these receptors play a crucial role in cortical expansion during early brain development by increasing the proliferation of basal progenitor cells. As the human brain is characterized by a greater abundance of cortical neurons, particularly in the top layer of the cortex, which also has a high concentration of 5-HT2A receptors, it is speculated that these receptors may have contributed to the expansion of the human cortex. Activation of these receptors has been associated with increased synaptic growth, influencing brain development and learning.
Overall, this study sheds light on the complex effects of DMT on brain connectivity and offers insights into the potential mechanisms underlying its profound psychedelic experiences. These findings have implications for our understanding of consciousness and may pave the way for future research on psychedelic compounds and their therapeutic applications.