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The Real Promise of LSD, MDMA and Mushrooms for Medical Science SPONSOR: MOTA Ventures $MOTA.ca $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $SHRM.ca $RVV.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 11:47 AM on Monday, August 10th, 2020

SPONSOR: Mota Ventures Corp is an established natural health products company focused in the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. Through their powerful eCommerce business, Mota is a leading direct-to-consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products throughout the United States and Europe. Click Here for More Info

  • Psychedelic science is making a comeback.

Scientific publications, therapeutic breakthroughs and cultural endorsements suggest that the historical reputation of psychedelics — such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline (from the peyote cactus) and psilocybin (mushrooms) — as dangerous or inherently risky have unfairly overshadowed a more optimistic interpretation. Recent publications, like Michael Pollan’s How to Change your Mind, showcase the creative and potentially therapeutic benefits that psychedelics have to offer — for mental health challenges like depression and addiction, in palliative care settings and for personal development. 

Erika Dyck

Major scientific journals have published articles showing evidence-based reasons for supporting research in psychedelic studies. These include evidence that pscilocybin significantly reduces anxiety in patients with life-threatening illnesses like cancer, that MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetaminecan; also known as ecstasy) improves outcomes for people suffering from PTSD and that psychedelics can produce sustained feelings of openness that are both therapeutic and personally enriching

Other researchers are investigating the traditional uses of plant medicines, such as ayahuasca, and exploring the neurological and psychotherapeutic benefits of combining Indigenous knowledge with modern medicine.

I am a medical historian, exploring why we now think that psychedelics may have a valuable role to play in human psychology, and why over 50 years ago, during the heyday of psychedelic research, we rejected that hypothesis. What has changed? What did we miss before? Is this merely a flashback?

Healing trauma, anxiety, depression

In 1957, the word psychedelic officially entered the English lexicon, introduced by British-trained and Canadian-based psychiatrist Humphry Osmond

Osmond studied mescaline from the peyote cactus, synthesized by German scientists in the 1930s, and LSD, a laboratory-produced substance created by Albert Hofmann at Sandoz in Switzerland. During the 1950s and into the 1960s, more than 1,000 scientific articles appeared as researchers around the world interrogated the potential of these psychedelics for healing addictions and trauma.

But, by the end of the 1960s, most legitimate psychedelic research ground to a halt. Some of the research had been deemed unethical, namely mind-control experiments conducted under the auspices of the CIA. Other researchers had been discredited for either unethical or self-aggrandizing use of psychedelics, or both.

Timothy Leary was perhaps the most notorious character in that regard. Having been dismissed from Harvard University, he launched a recreational career as a self-appointed apostle of psychedelic living. 
Drug regulators struggled to balance a desire for scientific research with a growing appetite for recreational use, and some argued abuse, of psychedelics.

In the popular media, these drugs came to symbolize hedonism and violence. In the United States, the government sponsored films aimed at scaring viewers about the long-term and even deadly consequences of taking LSD. Scientists were hard-pressed to maintain their credibility as popular attitudes began to shift.

Now that interpretation is beginning to change.

https://news.usask.ca/articles/research/2018/the-real-promise-of-lsd,-mdma-and-mushrooms-for-medical-science.php

Psychedelics Are Making a Wild Comeback – Let’s Not Eff It Up SPONSOR: MOTA Ventures $MOTA.ca $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca $CGRW

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 1:22 PM on Friday, July 24th, 2020

SPONSOR: Mota Ventures Corp is an established natural health products company focused in the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. Through their powerful eCommerce business, Mota is a leading direct-to-consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products throughout the United States and Europe. Click Here for More Info

  • The consciousness-raising power of psychedelics are tripping up science once again – hopefully, we’re not headed for a refried version of legal weed

Timothy Leary must be rolling in his grave. Or maybe he’s just smiling to himself. We’d have to take a trip back in time to know for sure what the Harvard psychologist (and the granddaddy of the “psychedelic revolution”) would have to say about the “renaissance” in psychedelics we’re witnessing today, more than 50 years after he encouraged a whole generation to “turn on, tune in, drop out.” 

Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, research projects funded by billionaire tycoons and Silicon Valley bros micro-dosing magic mushrooms to boost productivity, the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics – psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and DMT (ayahuasca), you name it – are shaking up science again. 

The revolution Leary was talking about has seemingly returned full circle. These days you can’t go online without reading about another celebrity lending his name (it’s mostly men) to the promise of an exploding market in mind-altering drugs promising a cure for everything from depression to PTSD and addiction. Everyone seems to be looking for an angle on the next big thing. 

But like cannabis, psychedelics has its own dirty chapter steeped in the war on drugs. It’s a little known part of the counterculture revolution that seems another world away today. Indeed, psychedelics have long been thought of as something to be feared. 

Hopefully, we’re not headed for a refried version of legal weed where venture capitalists with listings on world stock exchanges are hell-bent on turning substances that could be the key to personal growth, into a commodity. 

That would be a shame because psychedelics not only have a proven track record in a myriad of therapies. They also have the power to make us more empathetic and deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world. To live, as Leary would say, on the astral plane.

If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s the importance of our connection to one another.

“People are feeling an increasing disconnection from themselves and from the world. The COVID crisis has exacerbated the situation, bringing issues around the meaning of life to the fore. How can we recover what’s known from the religious and wisdom traditions and mesh those with the best practices in cognitive psychology to achieve self-transcendence is part of a big revolution that’s happening in psychology and science right now. It’s starting to give us new ideas about practices and processes that we can align with psychedelic experiences. Do mystical experiences increase people’s sense of meaning in life? It seems like a fairly obvious question. But nobody was asking it. ”

John Vervaeke, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto.

War on psychedelics

It’s worth remembering in the current euphoria around psychedelics, that Leary went to jail (and often) for his LSD advocacy, at one point, labelled “the most dangerous man in America” by U.S. president Richard Nixon. 

Eventually, he would be sprung from a California prison by the Weather Underground – which was considered a domestic terrorism threat by the U.S. government – before ending up a fugitive from justice in Algeria and his eventual re-arrest in the United States some two decades later. 

Canada has its own history with psychedelics. And while it’s not as colourful as the U.S., the drugs are just as tightly regulated – if not more. 

There are efforts afoot to relax laws around psilocybin use. And a number of court challenges seeking the use of psychedelics for medical purposes. A grey market in psilocybin is also being allowed to thrive online. More Canadians are microdosing. (See article below).

But as with the first steps towards legal weed, the federal government seems intent on looking the other way – or leaving it up to the courts to decide.

The federal health minister, for example,  has the power to grant exemptions for the use of psychedelics in studies and has done so. 

But the government continues to refuse to grant exemptions for the use of psychedelics on compassionate grounds for individuals facing end-of-life illness.

There’s still huge stigma around psychedelics. And while the opioid crisis rages – another area where psychedelics have shown success as a treatment – the feds seem reluctant to act.

This week, BC Premier John Horgan wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to formally ask that all drugs be decriminalized to “support people to access the services they need.” The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is also calling for the decriminalization of simple possession of illicit drugs without success. The group has also recommended the formation of a national task force to look into drug policy reform. This would seem like an opportune time.

“ There were more than 1,000 experiments that were published back in the 50s on the use of psychedelics. They were thought of as the hot new drug in psychiatry. Then the research stopped, it wasn’t necessarily because it was determined that the use of psychedelics was an unfruitful approach. It was more the political constraints. We’re seeing a rebound in these therapies because there is funding and more laxness around laws prohibiting research. But some of that may also have to do with the fact that, even though there are useful pharmacological interventions, they have serious limitations. The field of psychiatry has been in a bit of a frozen place where improvements in treatment for mental health have been quite minor and slow.”

Richard Zeifman, PhD student in clinical psychology, Ryerson University.

Fear of flying

While weed was saddled with the shame of reefer madness, psychedelics were drugs to be feared, liable to make you think you can fly, maybe even jump out a window. They were right about the flying part. 

The paradox is that psychedelics were being used successfully in psychology and psychiatry and to treat depression and alcoholism as far back as the 1950s. Their use was also leading to discoveries in the treatment of schizophrenia and suicidality. In fact, recent research shows that psychedelics suppress activity in the part of your brain responsible for fear.

The power of psychedelics to contribute to our personal growth, as Leary advocated, has been slower to take hold. That’s something for us hippies.

But cognitive scientists are again exploring how psychedelics can help “restore meaning and help us find wisdom in life,” says University of Toronto assistant psychology professor John Vervaeke.

The revival in psychedelics,” Vervaeke says, “is part of a larger set of issues that are happening in response to a crisis of meaning in society at large.

“There are all kinds of symptoms of this [crisis of meaning] – from the crisis in addiction to depression to increases in loneliness, suicide and the retreat of people into virtual worlds.” 

Psychedelics, says Vervaeke, “help block out the noise. Our relevance filter is not always tracking the truth properly.”

“ I hadn’t had any experience with psychedelics. Actually, I was very afraid of psychedelics which is interesting considering I was using a lot of very harmful street drugs. I was struggling for about 10 years with addiction and depression and anxiety. Then I heard about a clinical trial to treat addiction using psilocybin here in Vancouver. It was pretty serendipitous. I was feeling pretty desperate. I was willing to try anything. I found a lot of self-compassion and self-love using psilocybin. But I was still physically addicted to opioids. So that’s when we turned to Ibogaine, which really helped me with my detox. There was also a psycho-spiritual component. It’s really ineffable the experience you have on psychedelics. It was a very profound experience that allowed me to look at myself and the world very differently. My mindset completely changed. It helped me get through a lot of the mental illness I was struggling with on top of the addiction. It’s something I continue to do periodically. I don’t have to, but it’s something I choose to do because I find it meaningful and helpful on my path to recovery and personal development. It’s not a cure-all. It’s a tool. ” 

Adrianne, recovering opioid addict, subject of the documentary Dosed.

Spiritual mission

Ancient civilizations have known “the truth”  about the healing power of plant-based intoxicants for millennia. Native tribes of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest have been using peyote and psilocybin magic mushrooms in spiritual ceremonies since before first contact. For them, psychedelics were used as part of cleansing rituals, an idea Western culture looked down on or ignored.

When U.S. banker R. Gordon Wasson, the vice-president of J.P. Morgan & Company, became acquainted with shaman Maria Sabina and travelled to Oaxaca in 1956 to take part in a “holy communion” where “mushrooms were first adored and then consumed,” he wrote about it for Life Magazine. What he didn’t write about is that he took along a CIA agent for the ride. U.S. intelligence was apparently interested in developing a truth serum. They may have been onto something.

But Wasson’s hosts believed the mystical experiences brought on by the use of psychedelics (sometimes in heavy doses) led to transformational change in our perception of the universe that stayed with us long after the high faded. 

Clinical psychologists are discovering the same today. The effects of psychedelics like MDMA and psilocybin to treat PTSD can last for up to a year after just one therapy session, says Richard Zeifman, a PhD student in clinical psychology at Ryerson University, who has been tracking a number of research experiments in the area. 

We haven’t quite figured out the chemistry, but it has to do with psychedelics messing with the part of our brain repsonsible for fear.

“From a theoretical perspective, we know that some of the classic symptoms of PTSD are a tendency to want to avoid negative emotions or thoughts or memories related to a traumatic experience,” says Zeifman. “What MDMA and psilocybin do is create feelings of warmth and connectedness and reduce the extent to which people feel fear. It makes it tolerable enough for people to sit with their emotions.” 

“We have a medical focus with our dispensary. But the therapeutic aspects of psychedelics and the spiritual are intertwined. They are really part and parcel of the same thing – you don’t have to be sick to get a medical benefit. Experiments on psychedelics have been going on for decades. But its medicinal aspects are just starting to come above ground. We’re seeing a societal shift with psychedelics similar to cannabis. Where once cannabis users were looked upon as hedonists, we now understand that cannabis is useful medicine. We’re going to see the same thing with not only psilocybin, but LSD and MDMA as well. We’re already starting to see therapeutic safe spaces open up where people can take macro doses and have those experiences. There are incredible benefits to be gathered from this. They’re also easier to grow than cannabis. I suspect more Canadians are going to be growing their own mushrooms.”

Dana Larsen, founder, The Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary.

The Doors Of Perception

When English psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the term psychedelics at a 1957 meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences (from the Greek psyche, which means “mind,” and delos “to reveal,”), he was already successfully using LSD in the treatment of alcoholism and schizophrenia, including in one very well known study in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. 

By the time Aldous Huxley published The Doors Of Perception in 1950 on his experiment with mescaline, scientists were unlocking the secrets behind the hallucinogenic effects of psychedelics – and they were mind blowing.

Turns out the human body’s natural adrenaline also has a similar chemical composition to mescaline and shares some of the biochemistry of LSD.

“In other words,” Huxley wrote, “each one of us may be capable of manufacturing a chemical, minute doses of which are known to cause profound changes in consciousness.” 

The discovery gave rise to the notion that the human brain actually works as a “reducing valve” blocking out all but information that is practically useful to us. Psychedelics, the theory goes, act as a “bypass,” giving us the ability to think more clearly about things other than the junk of self-deception and ego that typically get in the way of the realizations of our true selves. Huxley referred to this state as the “Mind at Large” in which “is revealed the glory, the infinite value and meaningfulness of naked existence.” 

Psychedelics as a spiritual mission is an idea Huxley shared with Leary. The two would become founding members of the Harvard Psilocybin Project. The program conducted a number of experiments, including on reducing rates of recidivism among prison inmates. But its focus was more so on exploring and achieving a “profound religious state.” 

The project attracted widespread attention, including of the unwanted variety by government authorities. Soon LSD and psilocybin would be added to the Schedule 1 list of prohibited substances along with mescaline and peyote and the research into many promising fields would stop.

More than half a century later, psychedelics are experiencing a resurgence and being touted as part of a new “renaissance” in scientific research. Hopefully, we’re able to embrace the higher spiritual cause this time around.  

SOURCE: https://nowtoronto.com/news/psychedelics-drugs-mircrodosing-canada

Mota Ventures $MOTA.ca Announces European Expansion Through Joint Venture Agreement with Franchise Cannabis $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca $CGRW

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 8:21 AM on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Mota Ventures Corp. (CSE:MOTA)(FSE:1WZ)(OTC PINK:PEMTF) (the “Company” or “Mota Ventures“) is pleased to announce it has entered into a binding agreement (the “Transaction Agreement“) dated July 21, 2020, with Franchise Cannabis Corp. (“Franchise“) to form a joint venture in Europe (“European JV“) to sell and market Franchise-manufactured CBD, hemp and cosmetic products in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom (the “JV Territory“). Sales of the custom manufactured products will be sold online utilizing the Company’s eCommerce infrastructure.

Franchise is a leading European-focused cannabis and pharmaceutical distribution company based in Germany with two Good Distribution Practices (GDP) certified distribution facilities, exporting to over 18 countries and currently serving a network of over 1,500 pharmacies within Germany for medical cannabis sales.

“We are very excited to expand our eCommerce opportunities in Europe, as this has long been one of our strategic goals. Having a strong partner like Franchise to ensure consumers are provided with quality products is critical to success in the European market. Franchise is well positioned in Europe and has an established operating history in the cannabis industry. We believe this strategic joint venture will accelerate the expansion of our health and wellness platform in Europe.” stated Ryan Hoggan, CEO of Mota Ventures.

Pursuant to the Transaction Agreement, Franchise has agreed to make a $500,000 equity investment into the Company through a private placement subscription of $0.28 per unit (“Units“). Each Unit will consist of one (1) common share of Mota Ventures (each, a “Share“) and one (1) Share purchase warrant (each, a “Warrant“), with each Warrant entitling the holder to purchase one additional Share (each, a “Warrant Share“) at a price of $0.38 per Warrant Share for a period of twenty-four (24) months from their date of issue. Mota Ventures will then make a $360,000 equity investment into the European JV, which will be used to develop the business operations of the European JV, including the initial funds to launch the Franchise products in Europe using the Company’s eCommerce expertise. The private placement Shares will be subject to a four-month-and-one-day statutory hold period in accordance with applicable securities laws.

The parties’ respective ownership interests in the European JV will be 50/50. Franchise will manage procurement and fulfillment of customer orders from its European manufacturing facilities. Mota Ventures will provide marketing and eCommerce operations infrastructure in the JV Territory. The parties will determine the appropriate products to launch sales and marketing initiatives and will provide further details in the coming weeks. The establishment of the European JV is subject to Franchise making the $500,000 investment in Mota Ventures and Mota purchasing a 50% interest in the European JV for $360,000.

“Ryan and his team are extremely smart and hard-working. They are unbelievable at launching new product lines into the market, and given our European presence and market knowledge, the Franchise and Mota Venture teams complement one another well. I have been a director and strategic shareholder of another eCommerce focused cannabis business that reached a billion-dollar market capitalization and I can attest that the Mota team is at a whole different level. We’re very excited to launch into Europe and we expect the joint venture to be a great success.” stated Clifford Starke, CEO of Franchise.

As Clifford Starke is a director of the Company, he abstained from voting on the resolutions approving the Transaction Agreement and declared his interests in Franchise to the board.

About Mota Ventures Corp.

Mota Ventures is an established natural health products and eCommerce technology company focusing on the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. The Company has a strong presence in both North America and Europe. In the United States, Mota Ventures offers a CBD hemp-oil product line derived from hemp grown and formulated in the US through its Nature’s Exclusive brand. Within Europe, the Company’s Verrian operations are currently conducting clinical studies utilizing proprietary products for the treatment of opiate addiction. The highly skilled Verrian team also manages Mota Ventures’ 110,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Radebeul, Germany. In addition, Mota Ventures’ Sativida brand of award winning 100% organic CBD oils and cosmetics are sold throughout Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The Company is also seeking to acquire additional revenue-producing natural health product brands and operations in both Europe and North America with the goal of establishing an international distribution network utilizing its eCommerce technology platform.

About Franchise Cannabis Corp.

Franchise is a leading cannabis company in Europe, holding the first import and distribution license in Germany, Europe’s largest market, and is one of the largest exporters of prescription pharmaceutical products in the European Union delivering to over 18 countries. Franchise has cultivation operations globally and the company’s genetics division has won 18 Cannabis Cups and is a pioneer in product development.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MOTA VENTURES CORP.
Ryan Hoggan

Chief Executive Officer

For further information, readers are encouraged to contact Joel Shacker, President at +604.423.4733 or by email at [email protected] or www.motaventuresco.com

For more information on Franchise, please visit the company website at: www.franchisecannabis.com or email the company at [email protected]

The Power of Psychedelics SPONSOR: MOTA Ventures $MOTA.ca $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca $CGRW

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 9:40 AM on Monday, July 13th, 2020

SPONSOR: Mota Ventures Corp is an established natural health products company focused in the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. Through their powerful eCommerce business, Mota is a leading direct-to-consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products throughout the United States and Europe. Click Here for More Info

In 2012, I had my first psychedelic experiences, as a subject in a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit. I was given two doses of psilocybin spaced a month apart to treat my cancer-related depression.

During one session, deep within the world the drug evoked, I found myself inside a steel industrial space. Women were bent over long tables, working. I became aware of my animosity towards my two living siblings. A woman seated at the end of a table wearing a net cap and white clothes, turned and handed me a tall Dixie cup.

“You can put that in here,” she said. The cup filled itself with my bilious, sibling-directed feelings. “We’ll put it over there.” She turned and placed the cup matter-of-factly on a table at the back of the room. Then she went back to her tasks.

Whenever I speak with her, Mary Cosimano, the director of guide/facilitator services at Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, mentions the women in the chamber and the cup. My experience struck a chord. For me, the women in the chamber have become a transcendent metaphor for emotional healing.

“I’ve thought about having a necklace made, with the cup, as a momento,” she said the last time I saw her at a conference. “Have you thought about it?”

Prior to their 1971 prohibition, psilocybin and LSD were administered to approximately 40,000 patients, among them people with terminal cancer, alcoholics and those suffering from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The results of the early clinical studies were promising, and more recent research has been as well.

The treatment certainly helped me. Eight years after my sessions, researchers continue to prove the same point again and again in an ongoing effort to turn psychedelic drug therapy into FDA-sanctioned medical treatment. This can’t happen soon enough.

“Psychopharmacology as a field had stalled. Many patients don’t respond to conventional treatment with SSRIs,” says Charles Grob, M.D., professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral Sciences at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and the first modern clinical researcher to treat advanced-stage cancer patients suffering from depression and anxiety with psychedelics.

There is little hard evidence to show that long-term psychotherapy is effective in treating mental illness, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And there’s the cost, which fewer and fewer insurers underwrite and ordinary people can’t afford.

The failure of the psychotherapeutic process is located at its epicenter: the power disparity in the therapeutic dyad. Merely walking through the consulting room door, the patient subordinates herself to the therapist, who, by virtue of a title, is presumed to know more about her than she does herself. Transference and countertransferance—offspring of Freudian psychoanalysis—are cogs in the same moribund engine. The field will not change until the therapeutic relationship as it has been structured since the 19th century disappears.

Psychedelic drug therapy subverts the timeworn patriarchal hierarchy by creating an atmosphere of cooperation and trust rather than competition and domination. Or, to state it more bluntly, what women do in structured settings rather than what men do; women create cooperatives, men create hierarchies.

The treatment space is furnished like a lounge, with couches, chairs and table lamps. A music track plays. Two trained guides, one male, one female, are seated close by, ready to help if the emotional path becomes difficult. Guides are not therapists; instead they serve as trusted companions along a perilous, transformative spiritual journey. The sessions are led by the subject herself, by her feelings and perceptions throughout the experience and the way she processes them afterward.

“The drug is a skeleton key which unlocks an interior door to places we don’t generally have access to,” says psychologist William A. Richards, one of the researchers who successfully treated patients with hallucinogens in the 1960s and early 1970s. “It’s a therapeutic accelerant.”

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is rapidly proving effective in treating PTSD. MDMA is an “entactogen”: it touches within in a way talking does not. Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist in Charleston, S.C., who has worked with military personnel and first responders, conducted a phase II clinical trial using MDMA to treat PTSD.

“[Treatment is] not just revisiting the traumatic experiences,” he said. “It’s a process of affirming a different experience on all levels, including in the body.”

During MDMA sessions, subjects become more emotionally flexible and able to stay the course while exploring difficult memories. Many experience an enduring change in their response to emotional triggers. Clinicians hope to see MDMA approved by the FDA for PTSD treatment as early as 2022.

Treatment with psychedelic drugs represents a paradigm shift in the approach to mental health. For me, the change in the field is embodied by the presence of the busy women along my journey. The women treated my feelings as matters of fact, not to be avoided, reviled or fled from, but so obvious and ordinary they could be poured into a Dixie cup and set aside.

The success of the cancer studies has led to investigational treatment for patients suffering from intractable depression, early-stage Alzheimer’s, anorexia nervosa and smoking addiction. Within a few years, the patriarchal therapeutic model could be a thing of the past, supplanted by short-term guided treatment with psychoactive drugs.

SOURCE:https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-power-of-psychedelics/

Mota Ventures $MOTA.ca Reports $7.65m Revenue in Q1 2020 $SHRM $RVV $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 8:07 AM on Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / July 8, 2020 / Mota Ventures Corp. (CSE:MOTA)(FSE:1WZ1)(OTC PINK:PEMTF) (the “Company“) is pleased to announce its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2020. All financial information in this press release is reported in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise indicated. The press release is intended to be read in conjunction with the Company’s unaudited Condensed Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2020, which are filed under the Company’s profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com), and also available on the Company’s website.

First Quarter 2020 Key Highlights include:

  • The Company acquired online cannabidiol (CBD) product distributor Nature’s Exclusive from Unified Funding, LLC.
  • Agreement finalized with Sativida OU (Estonia) and Sativida OU’s subsidiary, VIDA BCN LABS S.L (collectively, “Sativida”) to acquire Sativida in stages.
  • The Company acquired the intellectual property and trade names of Sativida in Spain, which will be licensed back in exchange for a royalty associated with gross revenues generated by Sativida.
  • The Company entered into a Licensing and Royalty Agreement with Phenome One Corporation (“Phenome”) for the right to cultivate, harvest, process and sell a selection of cultivars from Phenome’s genetic library, and the Company was granted unlimited access to a Phenome’s proprietary nutrient intellectual property (IP) and catalogue.
  • The Company entered into a Joint Venture with BevCanna Enterprises Inc (“BevCanna”) to distribute BevCanna branded beverage products infused with hemp-derived CBD in the European market.
  • Consolidated Q1 2020 gross revenue was $7.65 million, with cost of goods sold of $7.05 million, resulting in gross profits of $605,150. Operating and other operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2020 were $5.24 million.
  • The Company raised $1.72 million through share subscriptions received for the issuance of units at $0.28 and received $309,000 in proceeds from the exercise of warrants.
  • The Company ended Q1 2020 with $2.1 million in cash.

Management Commentary

In the midst of evolving challenges resulting from the global novel coronavirus outbreak, the Company realigned priorities to include focus on the health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers. The way our team adapted and performed was exceptional. I am also pleased to announce that, despite the unprecedented uncertainties resulting from the coronavirus, our operations and supply chains performed without interruption, and the Company achieved targets in line with expectations. In order to capitalize on the global market, we recognize the need to be flexible and proactive in addressing market trends. For the second quarter our objectives are to yield increased revenues and higher gross margins. Due to the initial cost of customer acquisition, transitioning more customers into our monthly subscription will significantly increase margins.” stated Ryan Hoggan CEO of the Company.

About Mota Ventures Corp.

Mota Ventures is an established natural health products and eCommerce technology company focusing on the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. The company has a strong presence in both North America and Europe. In the United States, Mota Ventures offers a CBD hemp-oil product line derived from hemp grown and formulated in the US through its Nature’s Exclusive brand. Within Europe, the company’s Verrian operations is currently conducting clinical studies utilizing proprietary products for the treatment of opiate addiction. The highly skilled Verrian team also manages Mota Ventures’ 110,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Radebeul, Germany. In addition, Mota Ventures’ Sativida brand of award winning 100% organic CBD oils and cosmetics are sold throughout Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The company is also seeking to acquire additional revenue-producing natural health product brands and operations in both Europe and North America with the goal of establishing an international distribution network utilizing its eCommerce technology platform.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MOTA VENTURES CORP.

Ryan Hoggan

Chief Executive Officer

For further information, readers are encouraged to contact Joel Shacker, President at +604.423.4733 or by email at [email protected] or www.motaventuresco.com

Military Invests $27M To Develop New Class Of Psychedelics Drugs SPONSOR: MOTA Ventures $MOTA.ca $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca $CGRW

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 4:05 PM on Thursday, June 25th, 2020

SPONSOR: Mota Ventures Corp is an established natural health products company focused in the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. Through their powerful eCommerce business, Mota is a leading direct-to-consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products throughout the United States and Europe. Click Here for More Info

The successful use of controlled substances such as ketamine and psilocybin mushrooms to treat mental health issues like depression and anxiety has ushered in a new era of interest in psychedelic drugs. But for researchers and clinicians eager to expand such therapies, an obvious question remains: Does treatment with psychedelics necessarily require a psychedelic experience?

An international research team hopes to answer that question by researching and developing a new class of drugs that offers the same fast-acting mental health benefits as traditional psychedelics without the disorienting, sometimes uncomfortable effects of a full-blown trip. Funded by $26.9 million from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a new project announced this month “aims to create new medications to effectively and rapidly treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse without major side effects,” according to a University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine press release.

“Although drugs like ketamine and potentially psilocybin have rapid antidepressant actions, their hallucinogenic, addictive, and disorienting side effects make their clinical use limited,” said Brian L. Roth, a professor of pharmacology at UNC School of Medicine and the research project’s leader. “Our team has developed innovative methods and technologies to overcome these limitations with the goal of creating better medications to treat these neuropsychiatric conditions.”

Research into the possible therapeutic effects of currently illicit drugs such as ketamine, psilocybin, MDMA and others has expanded tremendously during the past decade. Nonprofit groups such as the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies have led the way, with university researchers and drugmakers entering the mix more recently.

In September of last year, Johns Hopkins University announced the launch of the nation’s first-ever psychedelic research center, a $17-million project to study the use of psychedelics to treat conditions such as opioid use disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Government interest in psychedelic drugs has also grown. Also in September, DARPA, a federal agency that exists to support the development of emerging technologies for use by the U.S. military, announced its Focused Pharma program, meant to develop drugs “that work quickly and deliver lasting remedies for conditions such as chronic depression and post-traumatic stress.”

While that DARPA announcement didn’t mention specific substances or even use the word “psychedelics,” it referred to “certain Schedule 1 controlled drugs that engage serotonin receptors” and that have “significant side effects, including hallucination.”

The press release for the new DARPA-funded project, lead by Roth at UNC, mentions ketamine and psilocybin specifically. The team will use both biological modeling and sophisticated computational approaches in an effort to design fast-acting drugs inspired by psychedelics but free from what researchers call “disabling side effects.”

“Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse affect large segments of the population,” Roth said. “Rapidly acting drugs with antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-addictive potential devoid of disabling side effects do not exist, not even as experimental compounds for use in animals. Creating such compounds would change the way we treat millions of people around the world suffering from these serious and life-threatening conditions.”

At DARPA, Dr. Tristan McClure-Begley, Focused Pharma’s program manager, said last fall that the agency’s interest in developing such drugs is due to the country’s large number of veterans with PTSD and other mental health conditions.

“It is research we need to undertake given the scale of the mental health crisis our veterans face,” he said in September, “and if it works, the payoff is a completely new, safe, and effective therapeutic option that transforms complex and previously intractable mental conditions into something more acutely treatable.”

Along with Roth at UNC Chapel Hill, the newly announced research project includes members Georgios Skiniotis and Ron Dror of Stanford University, Jian Jin of Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, Brian Shoichet and Nevan Krogan of University of California at San Francisco and William Wetsel of Duke University.

SOURCE: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/military-invests-27m-to-develop-new-class-of-psychedelics-inspired-drugs/

Medical Psilocybin and the Emerging “Functional” Mushrooms Market SPONSOR: MOTA Ventures $MOTA.ca $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca $CGRW

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 2:08 PM on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

SPONSOR: Mota Ventures Corp is an established natural health products company focused in the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. Through their powerful eCommerce business, Mota is a leading direct-to-consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products throughout the United States and Europe. Click Here for More Info

  • The remedial potential of psilocybin has helped open the doors to a new world of potential treatments and psychedelic therapies.

Psilocybin and a number of similar psychoactive compounds have begun to show potential as medical therapies. 

Psychedelic therapies including psilocybin, MDMA and other psychoactive compounds are slowly beginning to show medical potential as therapies designed to treat mental health concerns. Following the developmental model that saw cannabis rise from an illicit narcotic to a recognized form of medicine in a growing number of jurisdictions around the world, these psychedelic therapies may have the potential to provide significant medical benefits, especially for those suffering from mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction issues or other ailments.

Psychedelic treatments, including psilocybin, gaining medical acceptance

In North America, a number of leading medical and academic institutions have already begun to explore the potential of psychedelic therapies. For example, in 2017 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted its “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” to MDMA for the treatment of PTSD. In 2019, 15 sites enrolled subjects in an FDA-regulated Phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

According to MAPS, the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation is intended for drugs that may have the potential to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates the drugs could demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies. Like the US FDA, Health Canada has embraced the medical potential of psychedelic therapies. The Canadian regulatory authority has provided psychedelic therapy company Numinus (TSXV:NUMI) with an updated licence under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act to allow Numinus researchers to standardize the extraction of psilocybin from mushrooms.

Under the company’s existing licence, Numinus is authorized to test, possess, buy and sell MDMA, psilocybin, psilocin, DMT and mescaline. Moving forward, the company intends to pursue the potential benefits of psychedelic therapies through the research, development and distribution of these substances. “We are excited about the future of psychedelics, and our focus will solely be on its therapeutic use,” said Numinus CEO Payton Nyquvest. “Psychedelics will only move forward in a therapeutic and research context, where the application of these substances will only happen in safe, controlled treatment environments. Numinus has these pieces in place today.”

In order to bolster the company’s research and development plans, Numinus has signed a pair of medical experts in Dr. Evan Wood and Dr. Gabor Maté. Dr. Wood, a substance abuse expert with over 20 years of experience, is the Chief Medical Officer at Numinus, while Dr. Gabor Maté, a prominent physician and mental health advocate, is expected to inform the Numinus Clinical Advisory Council as a member. “Dr. Wood and Dr. Gabor Maté offer exceptional insights into the challenges of mental health and substance abuse, which complements our goals and mission at Numinus,” said Nyquvest.

Research and investment in psilocybin

The initial progress made in the world of psychedelic therapies has begun to reflect many of the early steps made by the cannabis industry on the path to acceptance. Across North America, the regulation of cannabis for strictly medical uses has often predated legal recreational use.

Recognizing the parallels in these emerging industries, a number of companies in the psychedelic therapy space are working with experts from the cannabis industry in order to educate the public and develop safe and consistent treatment options. There are many similarities between the medical cannabis market and the emerging medical psychedelic market; however, the nature of psychedelics involves a much more stringent set of regulations in order to ensure patients receive a treatment tailored to their unique condition. By working with regulators like Health Canada, companies such as Numinus have an opportunity to support the emerging field of psychedelic-assisted therapy and research by establishing safe and standardized dosages and delivery methods.

Future psychedelic therapy research

The challenging nature of mental health conditions such as PTSD, addiction, depression, anxiety and many others has caused neuroscientists to consider new therapies as well. In 2019 John Hopkins Medicine announced the launch of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, a research facility focused on the study of compounds including LSD and psilocybin as a means of treating a variety of mental health concerns including anorexia, addiction and depression.

With US$17 million in funding, the center is working to move the field of psychedelic therapies forward while targeting a number of specific conditions. “It’s been hand-to-mouth in this field, and now we have the core funding and infrastructure to really advance psychedelic science in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said Roland Griffiths, the director of the center at Johns Hopkins. “The one that’s crying out to be done is for opiate-use disorder, and we also plan to look at that.”

Takeaway

Leading health authorities in both Canada and the United States have recognized the potential medical benefits of a number of psychedelic compounds. Through medical licensing agreements and research partnerships, both public and private institutions are slowly beginning to pinpoint the medical conditions that could most benefit from psychedelic therapies. As this research continues to improve our medical understanding of psychedelics, there is potential for new therapies to emerge with direct applications for a number of mental health concerns.

SOURCE: https://investingnews.com/innspired/medical-psilocybin-mushroom-market/

Mota Ventures and Sweet Earth Holdings Announce Exclusive Letter of Intent for the Sale of CBD Canine Products $SHRM $RVV $N $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 8:28 AM on Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – June 22, 2020) – Sweet Earth Holdings Corp. (CSE: SE) (FSE: 1KZ1) (“Sweet Earth“) and Mota Ventures Corp. (CSE: MOTA) (FSE: 1WZ1) (OTC Pink: PEMTF) (“Mota“) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a letter of intent (the “LOI“) under which Sweet Earth will become the exclusive dog treat provider to Mota’s eCommerce direct consumer brand, Nature’s Exclusive.

Sweet Earth is a complete vertically integrated “farm to shelf” company that is a member of the US Hemp Association and is Leaping Bunny Certified, while Mota is a direct to consumer provider of a wide range of CBD products in the United States and Europe. The two companies (the “Partners“) expect to sell Sweet Earth’s award-winning products, beginning with CBD dog treats and paw and nose balm, through Mota’s consumer brand, Nature’s Exclusive, which is sold in the United States. Mota has initially selected Sweet Earth’s popular Beef and Cheddar Potato CDB Dog Treats to be sold under the Nature’s Exclusive brand.

Figure 1: Sweet Earth’s Beef & Cheddar Potato CDB Dog Treats

To view an enhanced version of Figure 1, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/3581/58280_08f27db6c4877b62_003full.jpg

Source: www.sweetearthcbd.com

Sweet Earth’s Dog Treats are Certified Organic and Leaping Bunny Certified1.

Each organic treat is fortified with Vitamin E as a natural preservative.

Packaging will be customized to the specifications of the Nature’s Exclusive brand.

According to Dogs Naturally2, research shows that CDB dog treats are effective dog supplements for:

  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive issues
  • Neurological disorders (such as seizures and epilepsy)
  • Blood disorders

According to Today’s Veterinary Business, the U.S. pet treat market reached US$6.7 billion in 2019, with CBD, the largest growth component3 within the pet treat sector. The journal’s research also provides insight into key trends in a sector that has continued to grow at an average 3% CAGR.

  • Online sales of pet snacks have rapidly grown from 0% to 13%. A catalyst of eCommerce’s rapid market expansion is attributed to the platform’s ability to educate consumers on products prior to purchase.
  • Dog owners are increasingly focused on quality snacks that are produced locally, as highlighted by the decrease in sales of import treats. Made in the USA4 has become a key factor in consumer purchasing.
  • 11% of dog owners have purchased dog supplements or treats containing CBD or hemp; however, as highlighted in Figure 2, the segment is far outpacing the overall growth of the pet snack and supplement sector.



Figure 2: Estimated Size and Growth of US CBD Pet Market

To view an enhanced version of Figure 2, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/3581/58280_08f27db6c4877b62_004full.jpg

Brightfield Group5 estimates the US CDB pet market will increase from less than US$100 million in 2018 to approximately US$1.8 billion in 2023.

The 104% CAGR highlights a product with rapid expansion and penetration into the growing pet snack sector.

Global Market Insight predicts that the Dog Food and Snacks market will surpass US$75.0 billion by 2025 and increase to a CAGR of 4%

Hall of Fame Quarterback and Brand Ambassador to Sweet Earth, Warren Moon, commented, “I think the Partners will make a great team. Both come to the table with value-added capabilities and similar visions of providing high-quality products to discerning consumers.” Sweet Earth President, Amrik Virk commented, “this is a great opportunity for Sweet Earth to team with Mota, which has grown 110% YOY, and recently announced sales of C$5.1 million for the month of May.”

Readers are cautioned that the LOI does not set out the final terms for the collaboration between the Partners. The establishment of the sales partnership remains subject to the negotiation of definitive documentation between the Partners.

About Sweet Earth

Sweet Earth is a vertically integrated “farm to shelf” hemp grower with a farm in Applegate, Oregon, that maintains a full line of hemp and CBD products for the US and global market. Its products combine CBD with herbal and organic ingredients, all of which are selected for their beneficial properties to soothe, rejuvenate, and reduce inflammation. In addition to high-end finished products, Sweet Earth prides itself on sustainability by minimizing the use of plastics in both production and packaging.

Sweet Earth’s in-house genetics team has been working on its own proprietary hemp strain. This strain has been grown in its indoor greenhouse resulting in high yielding CBD rich flower. Sweet Earth looks forward to planting this new strain outdoors for the 2020 season. Sweet Earth products are sold on its website: www.sweetearthcbd.com.

About Mota Ventures Corp.

Mota Ventures is an established e-Commerce, direct to consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products including CBD and psychedelic medicine products in the United States and Europe. In the United States, the company sells a CBD hemp-oil formulation derived from hemp grown and formulated in the US through its Nature’s Exclusive brand. Within Europe, its Sativida brand of award winning 100% organic CBD oils and cosmetics are sold throughout Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In Germany, Verrian currently produces natural psilocybin extract capsules under the PSI GEN and PSI GEN+ brand. Mota Ventures is also seeking to acquire additional revenue producing CBD brands and operations in both Europe and North America, with the goal of establishing an international distribution network for CBD products. Low cost production, coupled with international, direct to customer sales channels will provide the foundation for the success of Mota Ventures.

On behalf of Mota Ventures Corp. 

Ryan Hoggan
Chief Executive Officer

For more information visit:
www.motaventuresco.com
or contact:

Joel Shacker
[email protected]
(604) 423-4733

On behalf of Sweet Earth Holdings Corp.

Amrik Virk
Director

For more information visit:
www.sweetearthcbd.com or contact:

Amrik Virk
[email protected]
(778) 385-1213

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Mota Ventures $MOTA.ca Appoints Roger C. Clinton as Member of Advisory Board to Verrian GmbH, Its Psilocybin Research Subsidiary $SHRM $RVV $N $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 9:16 AM on Monday, June 15th, 2020

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA / ACCESSWIRE / June 15, 2020 / Mota Ventures Corp. (CSE:MOTA)(FSE:1WZ1)(OTC PINK:PEMTF) (the “Company“) is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger C. Clinton, to the Advisory Board for its wholly owned subsidiary, Verrian GmbH. Clinton is active within the addiction treatment and specifically opiate addiction research sector, seeking to bring attention to the issue and enhance promising treatment options using psychedelics in conjunction with behavioral therapy through his global network.

“I’m honored to be working with the team at Mota in a patient first approach. We believe the work that we’re doing can be transformative in people’s lives as they work daily to overcome addiction,” said Roger Clinton.

On June 2nd, Mota announced the $20,000,000 acquisition of Verrian, a European pharmaceutical manufacturer of natural psilocybin extracts. Verrian is focused on psychedelic and cannabis treatments of opiate addiction. Clinton will play a vital role in advising and enhancing the patient perspective as well as helping to shape R&D efforts of our world-renowned addiction medicine experts, resulting in best of breed psychedelic derived treatments for the global marketplace.

Ryan Hoggan, Chief Executive Officer, stated “We’re honored to be working with Roger, an advocate for patient first treatment options. Roger’s work in advocacy for opiate addiction research will enhance MOTA’s research efforts and help to draw attention to our ground-breaking psychedelic research we as we jointly seek new treatments to help patients overcome addiction.”

ABOUT ROGER

Roger Cassidy Clinton is a true multi-hyphenate: singer-songwriter, voice-over artist, actor, author, up-close political observer (quite the understatement) and, arguably, one of the world’s biggest sports enthusiasts. He is also a living, inspiring story of recovery.

Roger, President Bill Clinton’s younger brother, is blessed with a spectacular group of friends from all walks of life, including the “who’s who” in the world of music, entertainment, sports (collegiate and professional) and, of course, politics. Working, associating and performing with people who have attained the highest levels of success in their professions has enabled Roger to forge priceless relationships that will last a lifetime. These relationships have brought him many unique, exciting experiences with more than a few once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Throughout it all, however, Roger has struggled with decades of alcohol and substance abuse that at one point left him clinically dead. Miraculously, medical personnel were able to revive Roger, and he improbably averted tragedy and survived. Through his personal, ongoing journey of recovery from a life complicated by addiction and trauma, Roger is grateful to have gained profound insight that he is privileged to share in order to help spread light and optimism with the world.

This press release is available for investor discussion on the Company’s AGORACOM Discussion Forum, a moderated social media platform that enables civilized discussion and Q&A between Management and Shareholders.

About Mota Ventures Corp.

Mota Ventures is an established eCommerce, direct to consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products including CBD and psychedelic medicine products in the United States and Europe. In the United States, the company sells a CBD hemp-oil formulation derived from hemp grown and formulated in the US through its Nature’s Exclusive brand. Within Europe, its Sativida brand of award winning 100% organic CBD oils and cosmetics are sold throughout Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In Germany, Verrian currently produces natural psilocybin extract capsules under the PSI GEN and PSI GEN+ brand. Mota Ventures is also seeking to acquire additional revenue producing CBD brands and operations in both Europe and North America, with the goal of establishing an international distribution network for CBD products. Low cost production, coupled with international, direct to customer, sales channels will provide the foundation for the success of Mota Ventures.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MOTA VENTURES CORP.

Ryan Hoggan
Chief Executive Officer

For further information, readers are encouraged to contact Joel Shacker, President, at +604.423.4733 or by email at [email protected] or www.motaventuresco.com.

Psilocybin Seems to Turn Down the “Ego Center” in Brain SPONSOR: MOTA Ventures $MOTA.ca $APH.ca $GBLX $PFE $ACG.ca $ACB.ca $WEED.ca $HIP.ca $WMD.ca $CGRW

Posted by AGORACOM-Eric at 9:52 AM on Thursday, June 11th, 2020

SPONSOR: Mota Ventures Corp is an established natural health products company focused in the CBD and psychedelic medicine sectors. Through their powerful eCommerce business, Mota is a leading direct-to-consumer provider of a wide range of natural health products throughout the United States and Europe. Click Here for More Info

In a new study, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers analyzed the brain scans of people after they took psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic (magic) mushrooms, to see what happens in the brain when people are on psychedelics.

The team focused on a part of the brain known as the claustrum, taken from the Latin word for “hidden or shut away.” The claustrum is an extremely thin sheet of neurons deep within the cortex, yet it reaches out to every other region of the brain.

Its true purpose remains “hidden away” as well, with researchers speculating about its functions. For example, Dr. Francis Crick, the British biologist and neuroscientist who proposed the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, believed that the claustrum was the seat of consciousness, responsible for awareness and sense of self.

What is known is that this region contains a large number of receptors targeted by psychedelic drugs such as LSD or psilocybin.

To see what happens in the claustrum when people are on psychedelics, the researchers compared the brain scans of people after they took psilocybin with their scans after taking a placebo.

The scans after psilocybin use showed that the claustrum was less active, meaning the area of the brain believed responsible for setting attention and switching tasks is turned down when on the drug.

The researchers say that this ties in with what people report as typical effects of psychedelic drugs, including feelings of being connected to everything and reduced senses of self or ego.

“Our findings move us one step closer to understanding mechanisms underlying how psilocybin works in the brain,” says Frederick Barrett, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the school’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

“This will hopefully enable us to better understand why it’s an effective therapy for certain psychiatric disorders, which might help us tailor therapies to help people more.”

Because of its deep-rooted location in the brain, the claustrum has been difficult to access and study. Last year, Barrett and his colleagues at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, developed a method to detect brain activity in the claustrum using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

In this study, the researchers used fMRI with 15 people and observed the claustrum brain region after the participants took either psilocybin or a placebo. They found that psilocybin reduced neural activity in the claustrum by 15% to 30%.

This reduced activity also appeared to be linked to the stronger subjective effects of the drug, such as emotional and mystical experiences. The team also found that psilocybin changed the way that the claustrum communicated with brain regions involved in hearing, attention, decision-making and remembering.

With the highly detailed imaging of the claustrum provided by fMRI, the researchers hope to look at this mysterious brain region in people with certain psychiatric disorders such as depression and substance use disorder.

The aim of this research would be to see what roles, if any, the claustrum plays in these conditions. The team also plans to observe the claustrum’s activity when under the influence of other psychedelics, such as salvinorin A, a hallucinogen derived from a Mexican plant.

The findings are published online in the journal NeuroImage.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

https://psychcentral.com/news/2020/06/06/psilocybin-seems-to-turn-down-ego-center-in-brain/157165.html