Psychedelic use cases are continually being discovered, giving early investors the opportunity to invest.
For thousands of years, cultures around the world have used psychedelics for their positive health benefits. However, because psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin (the chemical contained in magic mushrooms) are classified as Schedule I drug Under the US Controlled Substances Act, manufacture, distribution, and possession remain illegal in the US.
Being part of the Schedule I list has also meant that research on the medicinal benefits of psychedelics in therapeutic settings has been scant. Despite still being illegal at the federal level, regulations have been gradually loosened over the last few years, which has allowed for more clinical research across the country.
Like cannabis, psychedelic use cases are continually being discovered, giving early investors the opportunity to invest in a fledgling industry that appears capable of meeting the global demand for innovative health treatments. mental.
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Shifting perception: lessons learned from the cannabis industry
In 2019, The Center for Psychedelic Research and Consciousness was established at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the first research center in the US dedicated to studying the therapeutic effects of psychedelics. Since then, psychedelics such as psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA, and LSD have been investigated as options for treating a wide range of mental health problems.
As a result of the growing scientific consensus on the positive health impacts of psychedelics, jurisdictions across the country have begun to loosen regulations that restrict access to this group of drugs. In November 2020, Oregon became the first state in the country to decriminalize psilocybin and legalize possession for therapeutic use. Prior to that, the cities of Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz also decriminalized psilocybin possession between 2019 and 2020.
Legislative changes continue to occur at the state level rather than the federal level, which means that there are many parallels between the movement for cannabis legalization and the more recent push for psychedelic legalization. States began legalizing cannabis as early as 1996, when California became the first state to legalize it for medical use. This was followed by the 2012 decisions in Washington and Colorado to fully legalize cannabis for recreational use.
In the following years there was a domino effect, with a total of 17 states now allowing the recreational use of cannabis. With Oregon at the forefront of psychedelics, it is likely that a similar pattern could lead to other states opening up to legalization in the next few years.
Another sign that the psychedelic industry is following in the footsteps of the cannabis industry is the fact that many psychedelic companies have management teams with experience in the cannabis industry. One of the first psychedelic companies to go public was MindMed (NASDAQ:MNMD), a company that previously Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) CEO Bruce Linton serves as a Director of the Board.
MindMed has attracted significant attention from retail and institutional investors for its experimental therapies to treat anxiety, opioid withdrawal, and ADHD. Havn Life Sciences (CSE:PORT), another major player in the psychedelic space, also has connections to the cannabis industry. Former CEO of Canadian cannabis producer Aphria, Vic Neufeld, joined the company in 2020 as a director. With executive teams that successfully navigated the complex political and regulatory landscape in both Canada and the US at the helm, these companies are well positioned to act quickly should there be any change in the status of psychedelics as a substance. controlled.
The case for sustainable health and wellness
The catalyst most likely to move the needle on legalization is the development of concrete evidence regarding the medicinal benefits of psychedelics. Early research has shown significant positive impacts of psychedelic use in improving mental health.
According to Yale research, psychedelic users reported feeling more socially connected and in better mood. Study participants noted that the effect lasted for days after the initial effects of the drugs wears off. On another New York University study, the researchers found that the positive impacts of psilocybin, including reducing depression and anxiety, lasted for up to five years after initial treatment.
Perhaps the most groundbreaking results come from research conducted by the Center for Consciousness and Psychedelic Research at Johns Hopkins University. A initial study consisting of 51 cancer patients revealed that 79 percent of patients who received higher doses of psilocybin for six months reported a significant drop in depression and anxiety.
Other Study of 24 patients Completed by the center, which sought to analyze the effects of psilocybin in major depressive disorder, it resulted in 17 patients experiencing a decrease in their depression just one month after treatment. Additionally, of those 17 patients, 14 said they no longer suffered from depression.
Similary research involving long-term smokers taking psilocybin to combat nicotine addiction produced similar results. In that study, 60 percent of the participants said they had quit smoking 16 months after starting treatment.
According to Matthew Johnson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the center, psilocybin is an effective treatment for these conditions because of the way it activates “serotonin 2a receptors” in the brain, which are closely related to mental health.
“There is also a massive increase in communication through the brain [after the treatment] in areas that normally do not communicate, ”added Johnson.
For many, psychedelic treatments provide an alternative solution, one that can effectively treat the root cause of mental illness, rather than providing temporary relief. Psychiatrist Amanda Itzkoff, MD, who offers ketamine infusions at her Manhattan clinic, strongly believes in the health and wellness benefits of psychedelic treatments.
“It does not eliminate external pressures. But when you have someone with severe depression, who has given up, then there is real promise in this treatment. ” said Itzkoff, “By breaking the cycle of negative thinking, even temporarily, you show someone that it is possible to feel differently.”
A new kind of treatment: psychedelic withdrawal
While psychedelics are still illegal in most places in the US, there are still several options that potential patients interested in psychedelic therapy can take advantage of. One of them is a psychedelic retreat, which takes people to jurisdictions where the use of psychedelics is not penalized to take advantage of mental health and wellness benefits.
Psychedelic-focused venture capital firm Energia is actively exploring opportunities in this exact segment of the industry. According to CEO Marik Hazan, psychedelic retreats provide patients with a measurable experience that is tailored to their interests.
“I think most of the industry right now is more focused on these deep experiences,” Hazan said.
The publicly traded company at the forefront of these personalized experiences is Silo Welfare (CSE: SILO). Silo Wellness facilitates psychedelic retreats in Oregon, as well as on the tropical island of Jamaica. These retreats, which are 100 percent legal, allow people to participate in a guided journey through a transformative healing process. Silo Wellness has carefully selected experiences to ensure that the experiences are inclusive and can be enjoyed by all. From their women’s retreat to their 5-MeO-DMT retreat, individuals are invited to enter a safe environment where they can embark on a journey of self-exploration. Psilocybin and Ketamine are used as part of these recalls and 5-MeO-DMT will be served at the recalls starting in August 2021.
Private companies like Kaivalya Kollectiv and Behold Retreats also specialize in psychedelic retreats. Kaivalya Kollectiv currently has locations in Mexico and Costa Rica and even formed a partnership with Silo Wellness, giving them access to safe 5-MeO-DMT treatments.
“When used correctly, 5-MeO-DMT can be one of the most powerful tools known to man, allowing participants a brief but intense mystical experience,” said Joël Brierre, founder and CEO of Kaivalya Kollectiv. “We are excited to partner with fellow psychedelic industry pioneers like Silo welfare in expanding the resources and tools available to help people on their journeys toward greater enlightenment and better self-realization. “
In therapeutic settings, psychedelics are generally taken under the supervision of professionals who ensure that the experience is comfortable and meaningful. Silo Wellness is unique in that it is one of the only publicly traded companies with a business model that focuses on recalls and drug management rather than strictly producing them. In contrast to the company’s underdeveloped drugs that undergo expensive and time-consuming clinical trials, Silo Wellness has developed a model that is generating revenue today rather than years into the future.
The opportunity: invest in treatments designed to combat the growing mental health crisis
The investment opportunity in the psychedelic market is very promising. Having controlled and regulated access to psilocybin and other psychedelics will allow the positive medical benefits to be fully realized. As acceptance among investors and the general public continues to grow, more patients are likely to seek this type of treatment for a wide range of mental health problems.
Estimates show that the psychedelic market will grow to $ 10.75 billion by 2027. Many investors are eager for another opportunity similar to the substantial gains found in the cannabis sector, which saw publicly traded companies surge at a time when legalization efforts in various states were in full swing. The domino effect seen in cannabis legalization is likely to be mimicked in the psychedelic sector, and state-by-state legislative changes are likely just around the corner.
Meanwhile, companies like Silo Wellness have taken advantage of the current environment by creating a business model that can generate sustainable income today and scale to meet increased demand should legalization be on the horizon.
As public perception of controlled substances continues to improve, new research is conducted, and the ongoing mental health crisis continues to worsen, the psychedelic industry could be poised for significant growth as new consumers turn to new forms. treatment to combat the mental health crisis.