Researchers combine cannabis and psilocybin for medical treatments

The combination of cannabinoids and psilocybin in a single formula for the treatment of physical and mental health problems has taken one step closer to reality, as described in a product patent of a leading cannabinoid laboratory, CaaMTech.

CaaMTech, based in Issaquah, Washington, less than 20 miles southeast of Seattle, is analyzing how the two substances interact with each other and the specific physical and mental health outcomes that can be expected.

Their purified psilocybin-cannabinoid product is in the early stages of development right now.

This patent development is coming at a time when there is more genetic information about both cannabis and psilocybin, opening the door to exploring other ways these two substances could work together and perhaps be combined into new commercial products.

For example, cannabis combined with psilocybin was found to reduce breast cancer tumors in the specific case of a 49-year-old woman.

That finding led the researchers to conclude that “factual and anecdotal evidence has been reported of the therapeutic effect of cannabinoids and psychedelics in both reducing tumor growth and helping as palliative medicine to treat pain and psychological distress associated with cancer.” and chemotherapy”.

Researchers now say they can imagine a unique solution to serious mental health problems and inflammation that uses the properties of both, possibly by mixing psilocybin with a minor cannabinoid such as cannabichromene (CBC), which is one of the more abundant cannabinoids. in the plant.

“This can definitely be done,” said Charlie Bowman, president and CEO of Canadian cannabis company Hexo Corp. MJBizDaily.

“CBC is hard to grow, it’s hard to synthesize, so it’s expensive,” he added.

“If I take just a little bit of CBC and combine it with psilocybin mushrooms, I will be able to get a different price point which will open it up to more customers and consumers.

“So you can put the CBC in a water-soluble form, and then put it with the mushrooms. You could actually consume it as a tea.”

Daniel McQueen, the author of “Psychedelic Cannabis” and executive director of the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness in Boulder, Colorado, is doing cannabis-assisted psychedelic therapy at the organization that involves facilitating individual experiences of psychedelic cannabis and ketamine with medical supervision, guided meditation sessions, individual coaching, classes and community support.

He agreed that a psilocybin-cannabis pill, or combined compound, is “totally doable.”

“But we can induce psychedelic states with cannabis without other psychedelics,” he said MJBizDaily.

“We work with cannabis as a psychedelic on a regular basis for the same reasons that people take psilocybin and other medicines.

“So imagine a three-hour DMT-level psychedelic experience with the emotional support of MDMA and the ability to maintain your sense of agency (control over actions and their consequences),” McQueen added, referring to the drug hallucinogenic dimethyltryptamine.

“This is what we are experimenting with psychedelic cannabis.”

Various obstacles

There are serious obstacles to creating a combined compound.

Cannabinoids and psychedelics act on different receptors in the brain.

Cannabinoids such as THC mainly bind to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor; The CBC mainly binds to the CB2 receptor.

Psychedelics such as psilocybin bind primarily to serotonin 5-HT2A receptors.

But there has been research showing that the cannabinoid CBD can bind to serotonin, and that when serotonin is joined to a CB2 cannabinoid receptor, the resulting combination can do things that neither receptor can do on its own.

For example, according to a 2022 study by Spanish scientists investigating ischemia (a condition that causes disruption of blood flow) in newborn piglets, the neuroprotective effects were caused by a serotonin receptor activated by CBD.

“In fact, the major neuroprotective effects of CBD are thought to be related to the activation of the 5-HT1A receptor (which is one of the three serotonin receptors that psilocybin binds to),” the study found.

Tumors, Brain Lesions and PTSD

Encouraged by the potential of the combined compound, the medical cannabis community is increasingly excited.

For example, cannabis combined with psychedelics has been found to significantly reduce tumors in breast cancer.

Another work at the University of Miami is looking into combining CBD and psilocybin in a pill for the treatment of traumatic brain injury and PTSD.

And new research based on survey responses suggests that cannabis combined with psychedelics helps with psychedelic-assisted therapy, citing a potential overlap in receptor targets.

“The therapeutically desirable psychological effects associated with psychedelics may, in theory, be enhanced by the concomitant use of cannabis,” according to the Center for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London.

“Cannabis itself induces subjective effects that are similar to some effects of psychedelics, such as euphoria, changes in time perception, heightened sensory perception, and hyper-associative thinking,” Imperial researchers concluded from responses to a survey of 321 participants from 40 countries.

“While the molecular basis of the synergistic effects between cannabis and psychedelics was not explored in the present study, the results obtained suggest its existence.”

Although serotonergic psychedelics and cannabis have seemingly different modes of action, the Imperial researchers reported, ‘recent studies have brought to attention a potential degree of overlap in the receptor targets of both of these drug classes’.

Similarities between cannabis and psychedelics

Other research is exploring options for cannabis and psychedelics mimicking each other.

For example, some recently discovered cannabinoids do, in fact, offer a higher and more psychedelic high, which could be used for psychedelic-assisted therapy without other psychedelics.

The controversial and potentially dangerous THC-O is one example.

THC-O, also known as THC acetate ester, is a relatively new, “synthetic cannabinoid” created via chemical synthesis that packs a heady punch.

According to Forbes, consumers report that THC-O causes more spiritual or psychedelic psychoactivity than other cannabinoids.

Another recently discovered cannabinoid is THCP.

Researchers say it could be up to 33 times stronger than THC and could be the secret sauce in some cannabis strains.

What it will do to humans – whether it could be stronger than a psychedelic and, therefore, could replace a psychedelic as a therapeutic – is not known at this point.

“In our opinion, this compound should be included in the list of main phytocannabinoids to be determined for a correct evaluation of the pharmacological effect of cannabis extracts administered to patients,” concluded a 2019 study conducted by a group of Italian researchers.

“Indeed, we believe that the discovery of an extremely potent THC-like phytocannabinoid may shed light on several pharmacological effects not solely attributable to delta-9 THC.

“The presence of this new phytocannabinoid could explain the pharmacological properties of some cannabis varieties that are difficult to explain by the presence of delta-9 THC alone.”

And there are psychedelics where the hallucinatory effect is engineered, essentially becoming non-psychedelic antidepressants.

A research team led by Dr. Bryan Roth, a professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, has developed a new compound that targets the same brain cell target as psychedelic drugs in mice, triggering a long-lasting antidepressant action without psychedelic effects.

“The goal is to create a drug that is not psychedelic but has the therapeutic actions of psychedelics,” Roth said. MJBizDaily.

Roth is skeptical of a psychedelic/cannabis combination.

“What cannabis does is lower the activity of neurons, basically, throughout the brain,” Roth said.

“What psychedelics do is increase neuronal activity in a particular type of neuron in the brain. So the effects are completely different.”

The bottom line is that researchers like Roth are still working to find better solutions to work on mental health issues, whatever substance they involve.

“We’re starting to get reports now that after six months to a year, in many patients, the effect (in psilocybin-assisted therapy) tends to wear off, and maybe they need to take psilocybin again or not,” Roth said. .

“We just don’t know.”

He said researchers are still trying to understand how psychedelic drugs work in the brain.

Roth noted in a March 2022 article that he co-wrote that nearly 60 companies have been formed to explore opportunities for psychedelics to treat different diseases, despite uncertainty about which aspects of 5-HT2A receptor activity in the central nervous system are responsible for the therapeutic effects. .

“It’s still pretty mysterious about what the hell is going on,” she said.

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