CU Denver Unveils Psychedelic Research Center

The University of Colorado Denver recently launched the CU Denver Center for Psychedelic Research. This center is focused on improving the quality of life of individuals by conducting research on the potential benefits psychedelics may possess in the treatment of various mental, neurological, emotional and other health conditions as well as their possible use in the management of chronic, debilitating illnesses such as cancer.

Professor Jim Grigsby, executive director and the center’s chief science officer, revealed that a national study was going on and the center was also planning a number of other studies. Grigsby, who teaches psychology at CU Denver, added that there was so much promise in this field of research and center officials were in talks with potential collaborators in the state.

The new center, located in the downtown campus on CU Denver, will conduct research on the impact of the use of psychedelics on the society as well as the economy. Studies in these areas will include research on how the new law in the state shall be applied, as well as the public health and ethical implications. Personnel at the center are also tasked with developing a structured educational curriculum to train individuals who would like to administer psychedelics in clinical settings.

In addition, the center plans to conduct research on the therapeutic mechanisms and effectiveness of these substances as therapies for various conditions, in collaboration with researchers on the CU Boulder and Anschutz campuses.

Scientists started investigating classic psychedelics for therapeutic use decades ago. However, this changed in the 1970s when the war on drugs ground research to a halt.

This has changed in the recent past, with the federal government even going as far as to provide funding for research. Additionally, some jurisdictions are considering enacting or have already enacted legislations decriminalizing psychedelic substances.

In 2022, voters in the state of Colorado approved Proposition 122, which decriminalized some fungal and plant-based psychedelic drugs. The measure also directed that the state establish regulations governing the use of these substances in controlled clinical settings to individuals aged 21 years and older. The protocols are set to go into effect this year.

Grigsby is also a coprincipal researcher of one of the country’s biggest studies on psilocybin’s therapeutic use in patients on end-of-life care. In his statement, he explained that preliminary studies suggested that psychedelics could enhance or induce neurogenesis and neural plasticity in some parts of the brain.

Psychedelics are said to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which may make them effective as treatments for neurological conditions, including some neurodegenerative illnesses. Several companies, including Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ), are racing to study how this therapeutic potential can be harnessed to take the management of various diseases to a whole new level.

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