Weekly Psychedelic News – Week 6, 2023

Last week saw a lot of talk about the legalization of psychedelics and new research uncovering small but significant discoveries in the field.

Virginia and Hawaii have advanced legislation aimed at decriminalizing psychedelics

The Virginia state senate has approved a piece of legislation that will change the classification of psilocybin from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. This bill will also establish a “Virginia Psilocybin Advisory Board” to research and plan the use of psilocybin as a therapeutic option. The bill received a significant amount of support when it passed through the Education and Health Committee last week.

Virginia Senate session bill no: 932 screenshot

The Virginia Psilocybin Advisory Board will be created to create a comprehensive strategy for providing access to psilocybin therapy and to keep track of federal laws, regulations, and policies related to psilocybin. The board must submit a yearly report to the Governor and the General Assembly detailing their progress and suggestions by December 1st. Additionally, the bill changes the classification of psilocybin under the Drug Control Act from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III controlled substance.

Virginia Senate session bill no: 932 summary

With the progress being made in the legalization of psychedelics, there is growing optimism that other states will follow suit.

The recent study was done to see if there was a connection between using certain drugs (MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, peyote, and mescaline) and having trouble in social situations. The results showed that taking MDMA/ecstasy was linked with fewer problems in social situations, while taking mescaline made it easier to deal with strangers. However, taking LSD was linked with more problems in social situations.

This study can’t prove that the drugs caused the changes in social difficulties, but it’s a start for future studies to see if these drugs can help with social functioning and to understand the possible risks. The goal of the study is to help people who have trouble in social situations due to mental health problems.

Psilocybin Therapy Increases Music-Evoked Emotion in Depression Patients: Study

The study aimed to examine the effect of psilocybin therapy on the emotional response to music in patients with treatment-resistant depression. 19 patients received a low and a high dose of psilocybin, and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans before and after treatment, while listening to music and without. Results showed an increase in music-evoked emotion following psilocybin therapy, which was linked to reduced symptoms of anhedonia (lack of pleasure in activities).

The study found a decrease in functional connectivity between the nucleus accumbens (a brain region involved in musical reward) and areas similar to the default mode network during music listening after treatment. These findings support the idea of psychedelics enhancing musical pleasure and provide new insight into the related brain mechanisms.

Brain functional connectivity changes music and psilocybin
Image source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Seed-based FC analysis with the bilateral NAc seed (purple, for illustration purposes only), showing significantly less FC post-treatment (blue) versus pre-treatment during music listening versus no music listening. Decreased NAc FC is evident within areas resembling the DMN. Cluster correction was applied to all images with a threshold of p < 0.05, Z >βˆ’2.3. Left side represents left hemisphere. FC: functional connectivity; DMN: default mode network; NAc: nucleus accumbens.

Psychedelic Market Update – February 6 – February 10, 2023

TickerCurrent PriceWeek To DateYear to Date
$AWKN0.6288%106.67%
$MYND0.0740%75.00%
$CMND48.11%26.58%
$GHRS10.037.50%3.19%
$PHRM0.2055.13%215.38%
$ATAI1.75-6.42%-34%
$ENVB2.64-8.33%26.92
$PSYB0.055-21.43%57%

$AWKN The Toronto based pharmaceutical had an eventful week. Earlier in the week Awakn Life Sciences announced that it was granted Fast Track Designation from Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as part of the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP) for its proprietary ketamine-assisted therapy for the treatment of Severe Alcohol Use Disorder. 

On Thursday they announed the initiation of a feasibility study of MDMA leveraging Catalent’s proprietary Zydis ODT fast dissolve technology which helped the stock climb further to closing the week at 62 cents with 88% gains.

MYND Life Sciences Inc. ($MYND) a biopharmaceutical research and development company creating innovated and precision medicines for patients with relentless neurological diseases, announced the sale of Leasehold Tenant Improvements and Health Canada Cannabis License for $1,000,000. The sale will provide the Company access to capital to fund future growth initiatives. MYND will utilize the capital from the sale to explore pharmaceutical partnerships and licensing opportunities that will contribute to the Company’s growth over the next 12 months. The news gave investors some confidence which resulted in 40% increase in the stock price.

This week an article was published by Simply Wall ST analyzing the financial health of $GHRS. The company’s balance sheet as of September 22, 2022 shows $257MM cash balance and zero debt. The company’s spending last year was $23MM which means that even if they continue to not generate any revenue, they can survive multiple years. The stock gained 7.50% to close the week at 10.03.

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