psychedelics Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 7, 2020
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4min3310

Despite the continuing opportunities for the cannabis industry, many companies have decided that they don’t want to miss out on the emergence of the mushroom industry. The latest entry to the psilocybin race is CannaGlobal Wellness.

This company is a combination of CannaGlobal, Sansero Life Sciences, and Rise Wellness. The new company said it will focus on psilocybin and other natural compounds to promote emotional, mental, and physical wellness. The company believes that its assembled team of cannabis executives will prove to be a winner in the increasingly crowded space for psilocybin, which is still an illegal substance.

The Team

The company listed the following executives for CannaGlobal Wellness: Lorne Gertner, co-founder of Tokyo Smoke, Cannasat Therapeutics (now Cynapsus Therapeutics), and PharmaCan Capital (now The Cronos Group), will serve as Chairman. Leveraging his vast experience and extensive network in the global cannabis and wellness industries, he founded CannaGlobal to pursue the advancement of cannabis and global wellbeing. Steve Sadoff, co-founder of Sansero, will serve as CEO. Mr. Sadoff has 15 years of experience developing, launching, and growing brands and products within highly regulated environments including nutraceuticals, natural health, and cannabis.

Irie Selkirk will continue to lead Rise Wellness, leveraging her extensive experience as a retailer, patient support expert, and as an educator, facilitator, and leader in the cannabis and psychedelics industries. Dr. Darryl Hudson, Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Genetics, will take on the role of Chief Science Officer, bringing with him a deep understanding and unparalleled expertise in the areas of plant molecular biology, neuroscience, and genetics in cannabis and psychedelics.

“This is a major step forward for mental health in Canada and around the world,” said Gertner. “Psilocybin is proven to have real benefits for treating serious conditions that affect millions of people, and we are excited to be on the cutting edge of helping people improve their lives and making the world a better place, which I am passionate about and have spent the majority of my life pursuing.”

CannaGlobal Strategy

CannaGlobal Wellness said it will bring together Sansero’s science team and capabilities in the development of novel formulations and intellectual property in psilocybin-based treatments, Rise Wellness’ delivery of immersive healing experiences, and CannaGlobal’s network of natural wellness pioneers. The synergies created by this merger will enable the company to offer an extensive and scalable menu of wellness solutions in the short term, while also accelerating the development and commercialization of psilocybin-based neurotherapeutics.

“Three hundred million people worldwide suffer from depression, and one out of 13 people have an anxiety disorder,” Sadoff said. “Without effective treatment, these illnesses can be debilitating, and even life-threatening. But current treatments aren’t universally tolerated and always effective. Our formulations have indicated that psilocybin when combined with natural molecules and world-class immersive healing environments, offers a superior alternative to single-molecule drugs that merely suppress symptoms. This merger gives us the infrastructure and network to bring new, game-changing, neurotherapies to market with maximum efficiency.”


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJuly 6, 2020
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5min4920

Medical cannabis legalization is a fait accompli in thirty-three states and counting and eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana, suggesting a brighter horizon for other restricted plant medicines as well. Enter psychedelic mushrooms, otherwise known as Psilocybe spp., and Susan Chapelle, co-CEO of the newly-launched Havn Life, a company dedicated to developing a range of standardized, quality-controlled psilocybin products to be used by researchers.

Chapelle (whose bio includes being the first female steel rigger in North America, a two-time elected politician, and boasts years spent lobbying for health policy change), launched Havn Life as part of a larger mission to build evidence-informed natural healthcare products that help people manage their own healthcare. 

Developing a reliable, safe, standardized supply of psilocybin, which does not currently exist, is a central part of this broader vision. “A concern that all companies must grapple with as we look to the future of psychedelic medicines is the future of the supply chain,” Chappelle explains. “Havn Life is developing two labs in the South Campus of The University of British Columbia (UBC), where we will develop methodology for growing and extracting Psilocybe spp. These compounds will be available to academics studying psychedelics until policy becomes informed by evidence, and the market opens up to these compounds as approved medication.” But Susan Chapelle and her team do not intend to stop there, she states. “Havn Life is diversified and looking at other psychoactive compounds for use in Natural Health products to get to market using evidence-informed formulations derived from fungus and plants.”

Havn Life’s supply development won’t only benefit their own bottom line, however. “Havn Life is developing a reliable and safe supply chain of psychedelic compounds,” Chapelle says, “an essential component that will enable other companies to move to human clinical trials.” When I asked about the ways in which Havn Life is navigating the regulatory landscape as part of this endeavor, Chapelle informed me that “psilocybin is currently scheduled as a restricted compound by most governments. It is a controlled compound in Canada; however, both animal and human trials can be conducted through an application process to Health Canada. There is still a hangover effect from the ‘war on drugs,’ but ultimately the regulators must absorb the evidence from five decades of clinical research, most of which is peer-reviewed and published.”

Chapelle is unfazed regarding other potential obstacles to realizing her team’s vision for Havn Life. “The amount of collective knowledge and the fact that we are all trailblazers that have worked in nascent industries such as cannabis, technology, and formulations is such an incredible benefit. We have an ability to look at obstacles as challenges to be solved.” With the partnership with the University of British Columbia firmly in place and a diverse team of dedicated professionals, Havn Life’s mission appears anything but impossible. “Civilization has been enjoying mushrooms in both cultural ceremonies and for recreational purposes for eternity,” Chapelle asserts. “Access to a safe, properly dosed, standardized drug supply is long overdue.”

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 2, 2020
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5min4400

The star of the quickly growing plant-based medicine field is currently the mushroom – specifically, the psilocybin mushroom. It’s being touted as a treatment for drug-resistant depression and addiction. Clinics are being discussed as places to administer doses of psilocybin, but it seems the non-medical use has been brushed under the rug. A new study explores the case for non-medical psilocybin.

The results published by Psychopharmacology (2020) and led by Carbonaro, T.M., Johnson, M.W. & Griffiths, R.R. studied the subjective features of the psilocybin experience that may account for its self-administration by humans. The test was a double-blind comparison of psilocybin and dextromethorphan (DXM).

Study Results

The researchers were determined to figure out why people wanted to take psilocybin for non-medical uses more than they wanted to take DXM. The study consisted of a single, acute oral dose of psilocybin (10, 20, 30 mg/70 kg), DXM (400 mg/70 kg), and placebo were administered under double-blind conditions to 20 healthy participants with histories of hallucinogen use.

According to the researchers, high doses of both drugs produced similar time courses and increases in participant ratings of peak overall drug effect strength. Nine subjective effect domains are proposed to be related to the reinforcing effects of psilocybin: liking, visual effects, positive mood, insight, positive social effects, increased awareness of beauty (both visual and music), awe/amazement, meaningfulness, and mystical experience.

For most ratings, (1) psilocybin and DXM both produced effects significantly greater than placebo; (2) psilocybin showed dose-related increases; 3, DXM was never significantly higher than psilocybin; (4) the two highest psilocybin doses were significantly greater than DXM. These differences were consistent with two measures of desire to take the drug condition again.

Supported By Other Mystical Measurements

The nine subjective effect domains that psilocybin users experience has been supported by other studies. It was validated in an article published in 2015 by Johns Hopkins Researchers. The researchers took a 30-item revised Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ30) that was previously developed within an online survey of mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin-containing mushrooms. The rated experiences occurred on average eight years before completion of the questionnaire. Their work validates the MEQ30 using data from experimental studies with controlled doses of psilocybin.

The article read as follows: Data were pooled and analyzed from five laboratory experiments in which participants (n=184) received a moderate to high oral dose of psilocybin (at least 20 mg/70 kg). Results of confirmatory factor analysis demonstrate the reliability and internal validity of the MEQ30. Structural equation models demonstrate the external and convergent validity of the MEQ30 by showing that latent variable scores on the MEQ30 positively predict persisting change in attitudes, behavior, and well-being attributed to experiences with psilocybin while controlling for the contribution of the participant-rated intensity of drug effects.

These findings support the use of the MEQ30 as an efficient measure of individual mystical experiences. A method to score a “complete mystical experience” that was used in previous versions of the mystical experience questionnaire is validated in the MEQ30, and a stand-alone version of the MEQ30 is provided for use in future research.

Final Thoughts

Like marijuana legalization, the case for medical use will no doubt push forward the argument for decriminalization and legalization. It is far easier to convince lawmakers of a medical case for legislation versus a mystical experience argument. However, the industry would be remiss to dismiss the non-medical use for psilocybin.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJune 15, 2020
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5min2130

Mydecine (MYCO.CN) (NLBIF) is quickly upping its fungi authority. The mycology-focused company has signed an agreement with Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API), a translational commercial drug institute at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Mydecine is a fungi and mushroom cultivator/product development company offering unique research and expertise in their field. Their partnership with API will quickly upgrade their value and already existing knowledge in the mycology arena. API is a sea of experts in this field, and the collaboration will provide the company with the ability to fast track its product development. The experts are knowledgeable in areas like pharmaceutical analysis, discovery, drug action, clinical development, and formulation. The Faculty of Pharmacy of Pharmaceutical Sciences consistently ranks in the top 15 for research citations (essentially the strength of the research) by international QS rankings in pharmacy and pharmacology. In addition, Mydecine will be able to utilize further talent and research capabilities by accessing API’s collaborating institute, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. 

The partnership allows the company to commence fungal discovery investigations immediately with varietal mushrooms and their extracts, including scheduled substances. Mydecine is GMP and Health Canada eligible, able to conduct R&D, and perform clinical trials. This allows the company to launch research and work that will take others in their field years to achieve. Research and development are set to begin with a significant focus on extracting, analyzing, determining the effects from various compounds of fungi, and researching dosage forms. This is likely to position the company as a leader in the space for years to come. 

Mydecine entered a two-year contract with API and will be paying a total $1,099,345 in year one and $1,136,249 in year two ending February 1, 2022, with year three and beyond being a right of refusal to either party. 

“We see this agreement as a core component of our work as a company,” says Mydedine CEO Josh Bartch “the API team at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences gives us the ability to rocket our product development ahead by years, providing the know-how, facilities, and licenses to quickly establish Mydecine as a leader in naturally sourced therapies for a wide variety of indications. The research division also provides a phenomenal synergy with our other recent acquisitions, giving us a dedicated team to explore myco-inspired treatments particularly for areas of high need such as mental health.”

“Back to the fungal future,” Dr. Neal Davies , Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences “Pharmaceutical activity of fungal metabolites have been known for at least 15 centuries and contemporary research has discovered some novel molecule leads for unique mycological medications for nature-inspired treatments in the new millennium. This bodes very well for the program developing promising treatments.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Mydecine,” says API CEO , Andrew MacIsaac , “we see their focus as one of growing importance and high potential that will serve them well. By developing a world-class R&D program that discovers potential new lead compounds, synergistic effects, and increased therapeutic indications for mushroom-derived products, Mydecine will stand out in this burgeoning sector.”


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 29, 2020
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7min5530

Specialty life science company Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (CSE: RVV) has said that it will investigate novel oral dosage forms of psilocybin, such as oral dissolvable thin films or tablets, based on its wholly-owned patent-pending psilocybin formulations and its exclusive licensed drug delivery technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

“We are expanding our psilocybin-based pharmaceutical portfolio with unique oral dosage and drug delivery forms that will target and have the potential to treat diseases and disorders currently not investigated with psychedelic compounds,” said Michael Frank, Revive’s, Chief Executive Officer. “We are combining our robust intellectual property portfolio in both psychedelic formulations and our drug delivery technology which is unique within the industry, and leveraging our research partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to establish a specialty portfolio of psilocybin-based pharmaceuticals that we can advance to clinical trials and partnerships with other life sciences companies.”

The company said in a statement that through initial evaluations with its research team, it has found there are several unique parallels between the company’s intellectual property portfolio of psilocybin-based formulations and delivery mechanism and the drug delivery technology, which is comprised of tannin-chitosan composites that have been studied with cannabidiol in the past.  Revive said it intends to research both delivery mechanisms in parallel as each provides its own unique qualities such as the potential of rapid onset of action and time-release compositions.

New Interest in Psilocybin

Psilocybin is being viewed as a treatment for several conditions including drug-resistant depression. Studies have been performed to illustrate the efficacy of psilocybin for this specific purpose. One completed study found that psilocybin produced substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer. The study was published in 2016, and wrote that “At 6-month follow-up, these changes were sustained, with about 80% of participants continuing to show clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety. Participants attributed improvements in attitudes about life/self, mood, relationships, and spirituality to the high-dose experience, with >80% endorsing moderately or greater increased well-being/life satisfaction.”

According to the World Health Organization, almost 350 million people worldwide were affected by depression in 2016. Common antidepressant drugs help maintain the balance of various hormones and chemicals in the brain, which assists in the treatment of depression.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that the percentage of people above the age of 12 years using antidepressants in the U.S. rose to 12.7% in 2011-2014. According to MedGadget, the antidepressant drug market was valued at $13.69 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $15.88 billion by 2025. The CDC said that in the U.S., antidepressants were the most commonly prescribed drugs in 2013 and from over 16 million long term users, around 70% are female.

Psilocin Acquisition

In March, Revive completed its acquisition of Psilocin Pharma Corp., a specialty psychedelic sciences company focused on the development of Psilocybin-based therapeutics for significant unmet medical needs including rare and orphan indications. Psilocin developed patent-pending formulation and production solutions for the active compound Psilocybin.  The process encompassed with its intellectual property cover methods of production of Psilocybin-based formulations.

In a statement, the company noted that Psilocin has also developed formulations to date which include the Hydroxy Line.  The line will include PSY-0.1 -Capsules- PSY-0.2 -Sublingual Spray- PSY-0.3 -Gel Cap- PSY-0.4/0.5 -Effervescent Tablets-and PSY-0.6 -Breath Strips.  The precisely dosed formulations will work with both natural and synthetically derived Psilocybin which will be targeted for clinical research and subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approval in the treatment of depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, bulimia and anorexia nervosa, and a number of other diseases.  Psilocin’s range of products have been engineered to work synergistically with the body’s own natural pathways of absorption while offering a contemporary approach to consumption

Best Delivery Method

Revive believes that the most optimal delivery method to deliver psilocybin will be in the form of both an oral dissolvable tablet and an oral thin film strip, commonly recognized as a ‘Breath Strip’.  The company said that it is preparing its formulation development plans to pursue clinical studies for indications currently not being evaluated with psilocybin.

The company reported that it has key provisional patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that cover methods of production of psilocybin-based formulations, including sublingual sprays, effervescent tablets, hard-shell capsules, sublingual and transmucosal delivery systems (i.e. gum drops, oral strips, dosing pens). In addition to those patent applications, Revive has a patent-pending portfolio that includes Psilocybin extraction and crystallization methodologies.

The delivery technology is a natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, and biocompatible composite that combines a tannin material, which is derived from a plant group having antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and wound healing properties, and a chitosan material, which is derived from the crustacean group having blood-clotting and antimicrobial properties. The delivery technology has a rapid onset of action and controlled or sustained release potential capabilities and may allow combining multiple extracts from mushrooms in one formulation.

Revive is also exploring the use of Bucillamine for the potential treatment of infectious diseases, with an initial focus on severe influenza strains including COVID-19.


Video StaffVideo StaffFebruary 5, 2020

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The Green Market Report hosted its first conference on Psychedelic Investing in New York City on January 24. This panel was titled “Business Strategy For Psychedelic Companies.

Journalist Jeremy Berke of Business Insider moderated this panel featuring Atai Life Sciences, which is a global biotech company that was created to address those suffering from mental health disorders. It has created a portfolio including Compass Pathways which uses Psilocybin as its lead compound. The company’s CEO Florian Brand will talk about how they have chosen the companies they have added to their platform and the promising uses of these innovative treatments. He is joined by Shlomi Raz, the founder of Eleusis, a clinical-stage life science company dedicated to unlocking the therapeutic potential of serotonin 2A receptor agonists, commonly referred to as psychedelics, through the mitigation and management of psychoactivity and Dr. Terry Kelly, the CEO of Perception Neurosciences. Thank you for watching the Green Market Report! Subscribe to our channel – it’s Free!


StaffStaffJanuary 7, 2020
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4min7060

New York City – January 7, 2010 /AxisWire/ The Green Market Summit is introducing a half-day event hosted by the industry’s premier financial news organization, the Green Market Report, on the emerging trend of psychedelics and the opportunities available to investors. The Economics of Psychedelics Investing will offer a program on the opportunities in Alternative Plant Investments, the quickly emerging industry of psychedelic medicines and the companies looking to capitalize on it. The event will take place on January 24, 2020 from 1pm to 5pm located at 54 West 40th St., New York ,NY. 

Research has shown psilocybin to help relieve symptoms for people who experience cluster headaches, treat addiction, and could be an alternative to typical depression treatments in the general population. According to the 2017 Global Drug Survey, mushrooms are the safest recreational drug to use. This event will educate curious investors as to the opportunities in this industry in its earliest stages.

There is a great deal of curiosity around treatments using mushrooms for various mental health conditions and the companies that are capitalizing on this emerging sector. We wanted to present some of the leading companies in this new field and give investors a chance to hear from several in one Summit.” Debra Borchardt, Co-founder and CEO of Green Market Media. 

Attendees will hear from companies like Atai Life Sciences, MindMed, Field Trip Ventures and KCSA Strategic Communications. Topics will cover the parallels between the cannabis industry and psychedelics, micro-dosing and building a strategy around this promising new science. After the event, attendees and key industry leaders will be welcomed to enjoy a Cocktail hour sponsored by Mattio Communications. 

The Green Market Summit brings together the most respected companies, brands, and executives, yielding the most experience and knowledge available in the industry. This forum helps network the most powerful operators, the most up-to-date information and the best practices to facilitate the exchange of valuable data and market developments to improve investment decision making and business strategy.

About Green Market Report:

The Green Market Report (GMR) is headquartered in the Financial District of New York City with an office in Los Angeles. GMR is poised to be the center for trustworthy business, financial and economic news, and intelligence. The site offers coverage on financial matters including news briefs on business, cultivation, and extraction, cannabis company stock prices, and wholesale cannabis pricing. For more information, please visit www.greenmarketreport.com or email info@greenmarketreport.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @GreenMarketRpt.

Media Inquiries

Cynthia Salarizadeh

Green Market Media 

Cynthia@salarmediagroup.com 

(856) 425-6160

 


Anne-Marie FischerAnne-Marie FischerJanuary 6, 2020
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10min16321

The world is hurting right now, and many are feeling the pain of a planet in destruction. We’re dealing with climate change (and climate change denial), forest fires are ravaging homes and destroying nature around the world, and we all know that Mother Nature sure likes to toss a giant natural disaster in there from time to time. Humans have both lost control of and lost touch with their natural environment. 

It’s time to get back to nature, and psychedelics may be what get us there. 

Researchers in London, UK, investigated the association between psychedelic use and a concept they termed “nature relatedness,” or one’s level of self-identification and subjective sense of connectedness with nature. 

The study entitled “From Egoism to Ecoism: Psychedelics Increase Nature Relatedness in a State-Mediated and Context-Dependent Manner was published in December 2019 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study was conducted at the Centre for Psychedelic Research’s Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College in London, UK, and was led by Hannes Kettner and Sam Gandy. 

While the study wasn’t restricted to one psychedelic, the researchers looked at the “healing and divination purposes” for which substances like DMT, LSD, psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”), mescaline, ayahuasca, iboga, and salvia are used, hypothesizing that the use of these substances, especially in the long term, are strongly correlated to nature relatedness or that feeling of being “one” with our natural environment. The researchers cite “ego-dissolution” as one of the catalysts of this connection between psychedelics and nature relatedness and further hypothesize “a positive effect of natural settings on psychological outcomes following psychedelic use.”

The Methodology

The researchers conducted their study through an online survey, asking people who planned to use psychedelics in the near future to complete a survey. The beginning 634 participants received baseline assessments looking at demographics, psychological well-being via the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, a nature relatedness scale, and the amount of lifetime psychedelic use. 

One day after the psychedelic experience, participants were asked to complete surveys that looked at some pretty incredible things about the human experience. These measures included a mystical experience questionnaire, which assessed positive mood, perceived transcendence of time and space, a sense of ineffability, and mystical feelings as key components of mystical-type peak experiences; the ego-dissolution inventory, measuring acute disintegration of the sense of self; and the challenging experience questionnaire, which includes items about fear, grief, physical distress, insanity, isolation, death, and paranoia. The audio-visual effects of the psychedelics were also measured to understand the extent to which the substance altered sight and perception.  Participants were asked to identify whether their psychedelic experience took place in nature, with an additional item measuring to what extent access to nature was perceived to have influenced the overall quality of the experience.

The participants also were invited to complete surveys two and four weeks after the psychedelic experience, and then two years after that, for the researchers to understand the longitudinal effects of nature relatedness. Sixty-four participants participated in the two-year follow-up. 

Psychedelics Increase Nature Relatedness

“Our primary hypothesis of increased nature relatedness following a psychedelic experience was confirmed,” concluded the researchers in the Discussion section of the study; the researchers “providing the first empirical evidence for a causative role of psychedelic use in the enhancement of nature relatedness in a large sample of healthy participants.” 

Across all participants, psychedelics proved to have a strong effect on nature relatedness, with this sentiment being elevated directly post-use and promoting a prolonged appreciation for nature in the two-year follow-up. 

Why Is This Important?

We all know that taking time to be in nature is part of a healthy lifestyle. You can’t deny that taking time to feel the sun on your face, breathe in the smells of nature, and sit still in the quietness of solace stimulates serotonin and makes you feel simply incredible. However, not enough of us take time to connect – truly connect – to our natural environment as a method of healing and self-discovery.

As the authors note, previous researchers have argued that “experiences in natural settings can foster an empathic connection to nature and the humble positioning of one’s self within it, which is less likely to apply to man-made environments.” The authors note that previous accounts of psychedelics in nature represent the opportunity to find “profound levels of identification or merging with the natural world.” 

Other researchers have uncovered that those who use psychedelics within a natural setting experience “dissolution of boundaries and awe-inducing feelings of unity with nature during peak psychedelic effects.” The authors have also observed that even one experience with psychedelics can produce an “enduring” change in one’s perception of nature.

Spending time in nature and its benefits for health have been studied for years, with meta-analyses pooling data from almost 150 studies, looking at 290 million participants, showing that time in nature can have significant physical health benefits, including reduced risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth and reductions in stress, high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

In addition to these physical benefits, exposure to nature also produces incredible mental health benefits, including increases directed-attention abilities, increased attentional capacity and positive emotions, and the ability to reflect on a life problem. Nature exposure has been associated with decreased anxiety, decreased stress, a decrease in rumination, increased vitality, psychological restoration, and enhanced prosocial orientation. 

Researcher Conclusions

The researchers conclude that their data “imply a reliable and robust positive association between psychedelic use and nature relatedness” with the correlation between psychedelics use and nature relatedness getting stronger with continued use among nature experience. 

The observed increase in nature relatedness correlated with increases in psychological wellbeing, which remained significantly elevated two years after the psychedelic experience. The researchers finally conclude that “these findings point to the potential of psychedelics to induce enduring positive changes in the way humans relate to their natural environments.”

The Way Forward with Psychedelics

The psychedelics industry, as we know it, is relatively new, and some insiders of the psychedelic movement credit cannabis as what paved the way for psychedelics to gain momentum.

Green Market Report has been following the psychedelics movement closely, eagerly watching our friends in psychedelics make amazing strides. Late last year, we reported on Field Trip Ventures, co-founded by cannabis industry veteran Ronan Levy, which announced that they’d be opening a psychedelics research center in Jamaica. We also reported on Orthogonal Thinker, who had announced a capital raise of $4 million to help bring psilocybin to more people. 

We are yet to see a projected worth of the emergent psychedelics industry, but if the buzz is any indication, this new industry is one to get in on while it’s just beginning to take hold. 

Green Market Report is also hosting its first conference titled “The Economics of Psychedelic Investing” on January 24, 2020, in New York City. For more information and to buy tickets go to https://www.greenmarketsummit.com/2020/psychedelic/.

 


Anne-Marie FischerAnne-Marie FischerNovember 12, 2019
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“If cannabis has been significant, psilocybin will have much more of a therapeutic impact,” said Toronto-based cannabis-turned-psychedelics entrepreneur Ronan Levy, when Green Market Report caught up with him to talk about the future of research on psychedelics. 

Field Trip Ventures, the world’s first integrated company in legal psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, announced last month that it has developed a strategic partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Mona, Jamaica to create the world’s first legal research and cultivation facility dedicated to psilocybin-producing mushrooms. 

One of five co-founders, Ronan Levy, who has found significant success in the cannabis industry, predicts that what will be uncovered about psychedelics at the UWI research facility will be a “paradigm shift in the treatment of mental health.”

What’s Going Down in Jamaica

The partnership will involve Field Trip Natural Products Limited (Field Trip’s Jamaican subsidiary) constructing, funding, and operating a state-of-the-art research and cultivation facility on UWI’s Mona campus. UWI will lease to Field Trip Ventures the land for building the facility, while Field Trip Ventures will provide leading biology, mycology and chemistry researchers to assist Field Trip’s research and cultivation efforts.

Jamaica is an ideal location in which to study the effects of psychedelics, specifically psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”). In Jamaica, psilocybin has never been made illegal, and it remains legal to sell, possess, transport and cultivate. “The legal status of psilocybin in Jamaica enables broader clinical research,” says Levy. Most important is the ability to “get approvals to work with organic psilocybin”. 

Most of the research on psilocybin until now, Levy notes, has been limited to synthetic molecules due to the legal status of psilocybin across the world. Working with organic molecules derived from psilocybin in Jamaica will allow research to be uncovered on how psilocybin, and its precursor molecule psilocin, actually affect humans, especially in light of recent movements towards decriminalization and legalization of psilocybin in Colorado and California. 

The government in Jamaica is supportive of this partnership, as the Minister of Health, Christopher Tufton, is a vocal advocate for this research, and puts the mental health of the people of his country as his primary objective. 

A Best in Class Partnership

UWI has long been known within academic communities as a forward-thinking research and education center. The focus of the UWI Facility will be broad-ranging, from genetics, breeding and cultivation work on the 180+ plus species of psilocybin-producing mushrooms, to developing methods and analysis for extractions and formulations, to identification of novel molecules for drug development purposes. Research at the Facility will be led by Rupika Delgoda, Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology & Pharmacognosy and Director of the Natural Products Institute at UWI, who holds a doctorate from Oxford University (UK) in Pharmacology. “It was an immediate synergy,” said Levy, noting that the partnership brought together “a well-equipped team of scientists” to provide a turnkey solution to legal psychedelics research through the research facility.

Levy notes that the facility will also focus on other molecules with therapeutic interest and values for psychedelics assisted psychotherapy, with best in class practices to enhance the psychotherapy process, and in essence to “suspend the ego”, as Levy describes it. The facility will start looking at ketamine as well while also integrating practices like meditation and breathwork into the psychotherapy sessions. 

A Look at the Growing Psychedelics Movement

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard that more people are beginning to turn to psychedelics, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, to manage mental health. Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, or PAP, involves the professionally supervised use of ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin, LSD and ibogaine as part of psychotherapy programs. Clinical results so far are showing safety and efficacy, even for “treatment-resistant” conditions, which is why firms like Field Trip Ventures, and Orthogonal Thinker, who we covered earlier this season, are working so hard to spring the psychedelics movement forward. 

Earlier this fall it was announced that John’s Hopkin’s opened the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Researchers intend to focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health. Upcoming studies will determine the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa and alcohol use in people with major depression. 

Field Trip intends to build on the existing and current work that is happening within the psychedelics and psilocybin movement. “Although psilocybin, as a molecule, has been well-studied, there is great opportunity to create impact by developing a better understanding of the fungi that produce psilocybin and other tryptamines.  This is why we are so pleased to be partnering with UWI, a leading global academic institution, in building this facility in Jamaica,” said Mujeeb Jafferi, Field Trip’s President.

Standing on the Shoulders of Cannabis

Working in cannabis, and building a number of successful companies and partnerships, is what Ronan Levy sees as his biggest strength of what he and many of his partners bring to the Field Trip and psychedelics table. 

“I wanted to ensure that I was able to provide a thoughtful and prudent approach to cannabis medicine,” said Levy of his first successful companies Canadian Cannabis Clinics and CanvasRX (co-founded with Field Trip co-founders Joseph del Moral, Hannan Fleiman, and Dr. Ryan Yermus), which have served over 100,000 Canadians in the medical cannabis system. After CanvasRX was sold to Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB) in 2016, Levy served as Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Affairs for Aurora. Holding a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Levy saw a natural next step in getting back to entrepreneurship with the psychedelics movement starting to take off. 

Much like the cannabis industry’s maturity, Levy sees the same maturity happening within psychedelics in the way that we’ve been able to classify components of the cannabis plant. Because of what the cannabis industry has done for understanding psychoactive compounds, psychedelics have an excellent benchmark to start off, with Levy noting now “the caliber is higher than cannabis was five years ago.”

Levy is taking his experience in what he refers to as “stigmatized medicine” into this paradigm shift that could have a significant impact on health care in the future.

Because the status of psilocybin still remains illegal across the world, it’s difficult to determine the potential market worth of legal psychedelics. Psychedelic Science Review noted that “any drug with the potential to address a $48 billion cost to employers due to treatment-resistant depression and $249 billion alcohol-associated cost to society, also has the potential to make a momentous impact in the marketplace.”

“We’re getting excitement from conventional pharmaceuticals and Big Pharma,” says Levy.

Green Market Report continues to keep a keen eye on the developing psychedelics industry and looks forward to covering important movements in this promising movement. 

 


Anne-Marie FischerAnne-Marie FischerOctober 15, 2019
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When David Nikzad first moved to Hawaii in the early 2000s as a proud and confident member of the cannabis industry, he met a shaman who changed his trajectory forever. “Go back to the land,” said the shaman, “We are all children of the land.”

And that is exactly what David Nikzad did.

Using the land of the Hawaiian Islands as his plant-medicine laboratory, Nikzad went on a journey of discovery by spending time with plant-healers, shamans, plant growers, and people in Hawaii who had been using the medicines of the earth through hundreds of years of tradition. “On the Hawaiian Islands, people make ‘brews’ from the almost 2000 botanicals that can be found in the region,” he describes. 

During this journey of discovery, Nikzad found psilocybin, beginning on the path that would eventually lead to him becoming founder of Orthogonal Thinker, a biotech holdings company that now has a goal to bring psilocybin to the world, one microdose at a time.

The Growing Interests in Psilocybin 

Psilocybin can be found in over 100 mushroom species, but is most commonly found in Psilocybe cubensis, or what has become widely known as “magic mushrooms”. When psilocybin is ingested, it’s broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects. Psilocin is also the precursor molecule of psilocybin. 

The psychedelics movement is moving forward, albeit slowly, with emergent research supporting the therapeutic properties of psilocybin and psilocin, especially among treatment-resistant depression and other mental health issues. 

At present, it is illegal to sell products with psilocybin or psilocin, but just this past year, Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California decriminalized the possession of products containing these compounds. “I believe that people will have access to these medicines by 2020,” says Nikzad, “There are emergent initiatives going on behind the scenes. This is a global movement.”

The Story Behind Orthogonal Thinker

“I grew up being told I had every mental disorder possible,” said Nikzad when Green Market Report asked him to describe his journey into Orthogonal Thinker. “About 11 years ago, I found myself somewhat depressed with the business world and I began understanding that everything about making money was wrong. Through that process, we started working on a personal fund that was focused on investing in a frequency of energy, which always came down to the founder.”

When he made the move to Hawaii and began meeting with shamans and what he calls “master formulators” of plant medicines, this is when he discovered psilocybin. With his personal investment fund that he’d developed with his business partner, he focused on “incubating plant-medicine companies that used whole-plant products to heal people”. 

“In our 10-year journey, we’ve discerned and identified a ‘nano-super compound’, psilocybin. This is something that can be taken in a microdose, and through Orthological Thinker, we created a product where the effects are not overwhelming, and that is clean. It’s a product that everyone can take.”

Taking a Giant Leap Forward 

Orthogonal Thinker announced last month that it raised $2.5 million in capital. This funding completes approximately $4 million in seed capital raised to date, with more funding coming in.

Orthogonal will use this financing to support the distribution and development of new products across its family of companies, including subsidiaries EI.ventures and Maui Raw. EI.ventures is a formulations company that holds the intellectual property rights for plant-based psychoactive compounds. Maui Raw is a clean-food CPG company committed to delivering non-GMO raw food products. Over the last 10 years, Orthogonal has acquired and developed products supporting new food, technology, and scientific advancements in plant medicine to elevate and empower humanity. 

The choice of partnerships demonstrates that Nikzad is just as empowered by non-psychoactive plant-based compounds for their nutritional properties, as he is the psychoactive ones for their effects. “Nutritional alkaloids need to effortlessly get into our daily diet,” he says. Orthogonal Thinker’s co-founder Michelle Valentin is a food scientist with a background in clean-label foods, taking the approach of food being medicine. 

“Our products are 99% clean label,” says Nikzad, “We look at everything as a delivery system.” Valentin believes that gut health is at the core of food science, with the gut bacteria rebooting in our systems every 9 hours. The products, which are delivered in water-soluble pouches, have been formulated with gut bacteria to promote this process. 

Brining ohana to the Vision 

Orthogonal Thinker’s goal is to make plant-based products that “aid in mental thought and intellectual expansion” accessible to everyone, with a business model that supports providing a three-milligram microdose of the product Psilly for $1. This model is based on the Hawaiian word ohana which to Nikzad means family and friends and never leaving anyone behind. 

“We know this product is very inexpensive to make the way we make it,” says Nikzad, “We understand that with clinical trials and production at a medical-grade, we would still make money, and people would have access.” 

This selfless quality is what makes Orthogonal Thinker stand out. The company is dedicated to open-source IP sharing to ensure that the benefits of psilocin are widespread. “We are in the process of patenting everything we are working on to distribute everything we have to the world,” says Nikzad, “We partner with the best of the best to share IP and information.” Nikzad notes that he has received vast interest from other countries in his work. 

The team that Nikzad has built is critical not only to the financing of the project but also to advancing the movement of psychedelics across the U.S. and the world. “There is an overflow of people who want to work with us. It’s been very humbling,” says Nikzad of the group of investors that includes cryptocurrency investors, venture capitalists, pro athletes, and even one Olympic athlete.  “All our investors have a story too,” he adds.

“Our team is made up of people who have been in the FDA space for 30 years, doctors, chemists, lawyers, and people who once had ‘human jobs’ and are now living their dharma, their purpose in life,” Nikzad adds that it’s important to him that everyone who invests in or works for Orthogonal Thinker has a relationship with plant-medicine and their products. 

“A New Standard of Pharma”

When Green Market Report asked Nikzad whether the cannabis movement has set the stage for the success of the psychedelics movement, he said, “In some regards, cannabis has been a gateway, but has taught us what not to do, and where to shift. We focus on compliance and medical efficacy.”

Nikzad describes what Orthogonal Thinker is doing as the “new standard of pharma”, seeing a future where physicians will be confident in prescribing products like Psilly to their patients. “These are beautiful medicines that are plant-based,” he says, “These are not synthetic products or ‘designer drugs’ this is all about plant medicine nutraceuticals where you’re getting the benefits of whole plant alkaloids.” 

A daily microdoser himself, Nikzad believes wholeheartedly in the benefits of psilocin for health and wellbeing, “This product is in my bloodstream and it makes me operate from a place of empathy, with an open heart and mind.”: a lot more of what the world could use these days. 

 



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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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