Research into psychedelics has increased significantly in the recent years, as we learn more about their beneficial properties. Before the psychedelic renaissance, trials on the effectiveness of psilocybin were conducted in the 1960s. However, research grinded to a halt following the classification of the drug as a Schedule I substance.
The DEA recently awarded the Ohio State University a license to cultivate hallucinogenic mushrooms for research purposes. This license was awarded to OSU together with a mental health and wellness research and development company focused on psychedelics, Inner State Inc.
This makes Ohio State the first university in the country to receive a license to study these psychedelic mushrooms. The studies will center on the link between psychedelics and mental health treatment, and on how to identify chemicals from different species. Inner State CEO Ashley Walsh stated that this license was a huge milestone for the company and Ohio State as well as the entire psychedelic research field. She added that the company was excited to be working with Ohio State to learn more about the potential of psilocybin mushrooms.
Assistant Professor Alan Davis stated in an email that current studies suggested that psychedelics could help decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues. Davis, who is also the director of the Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education, added that these drugs induced meaningful therapeutic experiences.
Jason Slot, an associate professor of fungal evolutionary genomics at the institution, stated that before this, universities hadn’t been able to cultivate psilocybin mushrooms due to the lack of protocols and procedures for containment and disposal. He further highlighted that this license did not permit the distribution of psilocybin mushrooms and that research also needed to focus on learning more about what psilocybin did for the mushroom as well as other properties these mushrooms possessed that could make them valuable for the development of pharmaceuticals. Slot then added that this would be important in the event that other species were decriminalized.
In his email, Davis also noted that scientists hoped to investigate the use of natural psilocybin in human trials, as opposed to synthetic psilocybin formulations.
It is important to remember that psilocybin mushrooms are still illegal under federal law. Currently, psilocybin is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency defines drugs classified under this particular schedule as substances with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
Ohio State University joins many other entities such as Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ), which are doing their part in advancing our understanding of psychedelics and how these substances can be tapped to manage or treat different health conditions.
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