Psychedelic therapy involving psilocybin could be more affordable to patients in the not so distant future.
Vancouver researchers appear to have discovered a cost-effective way to produce psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in psychedelic mushrooms. This could in turn make the psychedelic treatment of certain mental health conditions more financially accessible.
The current cost of lab-produced psilocybin is between $7,000- $10,000 a gram, according to Johns Hopkins University. This makes it challenging to obtain in the context of medical and academic research.
But scientists at Vancouver’s Core One Labs, led by Dr. Robert Hancock, have discovered a new process that could bring the cost down to $100 a gram by the end of 2022.
In a release, Hancock said the discovery is a game changer, which will allow for fast, stable, and affordable psilocybin production.
Using genetically-optimized bacteria, psilocybin is produced through a fermentation process, making for easier production of the compound in lab-controlled conditions.
Hancock and his team are working with global partners to advance psychedelic-derived treatments for mental health disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
A survey by Nanos Research, which was shared by the Canadian Psychedelic Association, shows that the majority of Canadians —82 percent— support the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy, while 78 percent would support a government that legalized the same.
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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call, text, or chat the National Suicide Prevention Line at 988 or +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Important FDA Safety Information
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:
- Allergic to ketamine
- Symptoms of psychosis or mania
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- CHF or other serious heart problem
- Severe breathing problem
- History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
- History of hyperthyroidism
- Other serious medical illness
- Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant
Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.
- In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
- Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
- Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom® clinician before proceeding with treatment.
- The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.
To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:
- Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
- Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
- Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
- Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety