We have huge admiration for scientists who step outside the box and are brave enough to ask research questions that others may think are widely unrealistic and too scared to propose.
One such question that Prof Nutt, The Beckley Foundation and their team asked is “Can Magic Mushrooms Treat Depression?” What a research question and what an eyebrow raiser!! Or perhaps you may like Dr Ede Frecska question “Can DMT save lives” or Dr Velasco and Dr Sepulveda question “Can cannabis help fight cancer?”…We are impressed by their bravery to ask these questions and we are intrigued by the answers they find!
Magic Mushrooms and Depression
We learnt a lot more about this research at the recent LSD research backers seminar hosted by the Beckley Foundation. Mendal Kaelen, a research fellow at Imperial College spoke about his research on psilocybin, music therapy and depression. The idea of treating depression with magic mushrooms I’m sure for many conjures up images of people laughing high on a drug, however the mechanism of action of the therapy is quite different to this.
Yes, the therapeutic effect stems from how the drug alters consciousness but it is not the hysterical laughter that magic mushrooms are associated with that elevates the depression. It goes much deeper than that. The proposed mechanism relates to a rewiring of the brain whereby the drug enables the patient to see whatever is troubling them from a new perspective giving them a renewed vision on how to tackle their troubles.
Mendel’s research is also looking at the influence of music, he has already found that certain melodies in combination with magic mushrooms lead to an enhanced emotional response which has the potential to be therapeutically valuable, however there is still a way to go before magic mushrooms in combination with particular sound tracks can be prescribed to the millions of people globally suffering from depression.
Could DMT save lives?
Now this is another very bold question. DMT is even more underground than LSD in the world of psychedelic drugs, many people have never even heard of it whilst others may have heard of it through learning about ayahuasca and Amazonian spiritual retreats. Dr Ede Frecska has posed the question “Can DMT play a protective role in the brain”? Considering this drug is illegal for recreational use and is a schedule 1 drug, therefore classed as having no medicinal use, if his theory is correct it could be huge!
Ede’s theory is that the DMT acts as a powerful anti-oxidant that the brain can utilise when under stress. There is research to suggest that DMT may play a role in birth and death. It is proposed that it can be made in the lungs and rapidly transported to the brain when needed. There are also parallels between the psychedelic experiences people have when they take DMT recreationally and the visions people experience when they are close to death. Whether this is coincidence or not, Ede’s research will soon find out! You can support his research here.
Can Cannabis Effectively Fight Glioma
Other scientists we are working with who is breaking the mould are Madrid scientists Dr Guillermo Velasco and Dr Juan Sepulveda. The Madrid team were the scientist to discover the anti cancer activities of cannabinoids. By chance, they decided to see what happened if they added cannabinoids to cancer cells and they found that they were effective at fighting Glioma Initiating Cells which are responsible for one of the most aggressive types of brain tumour, Glioma.
We are not sure if the huge amount of hype around cannabis and cancer stems from this research or whether it happened independently. Regardless of how it happened, we really want to get to the bottom of it. Two people close to us are using cannabis oil to treat their cancer in conjunction with other therapies. It is unfortunate that they not only have to break the law to receive this treatment, they also cannot legally be monitored or receive medical advice on the most effective dose to take. Simply because no clinical trials have been completed. Also, at a price of around £50 this is not cheap and cannot be claimed from the NHS.
We are however, raising funds for a clinical trial for cannabis and cancer. We have given it a long timeline as there is a lot of money to raise and we hope that by promoting the campaign over a long period we may just get there!