Psilocybin Mushrooms: The Missing Ingredient for Improving Psychological Issues

February 04, 2020 -

It’s only a matter of time before we see broader legalization of psilocybin magic mushrooms.

Thanks in part to its psychological benefits.

For example, a one-time, single dose of the drug combined with therapy helped improve the emotional wellbeing of cancer patients for up to five years, say researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, as highlighted by Science Focus. In fact, in a 2016 study, it was found that psilocybin helped produce immediate, substantial, and sustained improvements in anxiety and depression.

Six months after that study, 60% to 80% of study participants saw significant reductions in anxiety or depression, distress, and overall quality of life. Five years later, more than 70% of the participants said the therapy resulted in long-term positive life changes for them.

“Adding to evidence dating back as early as the 1950s, our findings strongly suggest that psilocybin therapy is a promising means of improving the emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being of patients with life-threatening cancer,” said lead researcher Stephen Ross. “This approach has the potential to produce a paradigm shift in the psychological and existential care of patients with cancer, especially those with terminal illness.”

As excitement builds, it’s opening a range of opportunity for companies that have already established launching cannabis products including The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS)(OTC:BOSQF), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:OGI)(TSXV:OGI), Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE:IIPR), GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH), and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB).

The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS)(OTCQB:BOSQF) BREAKING NEWSThe Yield Growth Corp.  announced its subsidiary Flourish Mushroom Labs has appointed leading patent lawyer, Charles Boulakia, to its advisory board. Charles has over 20 years of experience in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in a variety of industries including: biotechnology, chemistry, biofuel, oil and gas and pharmaceuticals.

"Our plan is to develop proprietary processes for the cultivation, extraction and processing of psilocybin magic mushrooms, and also develop data through trials about dosages and uses of psilocybin for therapeutic use," said Penny White, CEO of Flourish Mushroom Labs and The Yield Growth Corp. "Charles' expertise will be an enormous asset as we develop our intellectual property strategy. He will also be instrumental in our efforts to scientifically prove certain therapeutic benefits of magic mushrooms."

Charles is a partner of Ridout & Maybee LLP in the firm’s Toronto office, and in addition to designing and filing patent applications, Charles provides his clients with IP due diligence, validity, and freedom to operate opinions. He also drafts and negotiates license agreements and advises on food and drug regulatory law, including product labelling and advertising. Charles is Vice-Chair of the AIPPI Standing Committee on Pharma and Biotechnology and the Treasurer of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science. He provides pro bono advice on IP law for the Law and Business Clinic at Ryerson University, volunteers on the selection committee for the Norman Esch Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award and is a mentor at the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery.

Flourish Mushroom Labs has filed a U.S. provisional patent application in the United States for the invention relating to methods of using psychedelic mushrooms for weight loss. Flourish Mushroom Labs’ pending patent seeks to protect the invention that administration of psilocin and/or psilocybin results in overall weight loss in individuals by reducing food cravings, counteracting compulsive overeating, and aiding in improving quality of diet by altering food choices. The patent pending covers the use of microdose administration of psilocin/psilocybin to have the additional weight loss effect of increasing metabolism, which, combined with a decrease in food cravings or compulsive overeating, or altering food choices to less calorie dense foods, could result in substantial and beneficial weight loss. The Flourish Mushroom Labs pending patent also covers the use of psilocin/psilocybin in treatment or regulation of diabetes, and regulation of blood glucose and to reduce susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and other illnesses associated with obesity.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:OGI)(TSXV:OGI) announced products from its premium adult recreational Edison Cannabis Co. brand have been awarded top honours in the consumer-driven Leafly Readers Choice Awards. The Company’s Edison Cannabis Co. products took first-place position in four key product categories: Top THC-Dominant Flower, Top Pre-Roll, Top THC Oil and Top CBD Oil. “These products, chosen the finest in Canada by those who know cannabis best, are validation for all the hard work, thought and dedication applied to the development of the Edison Cannabis Co. brand and the quality of its products,” said Greg Engel, CEO, Organigram. “We’re incredibly proud of our teams and thank those who support our work. A special thanks to the team at Leafly for this celebration of cannabis in Canada.”

Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE:IIPR) announced that it closed on a sale-leaseback transaction with Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTI) (CSE: GTII; OTCQX: GTBIF) for its licensed cannabis processing facility in Toledo, Ohio. The purchase price for the property was $2.9 million (excluding transaction costs). GTI is also expected to make certain improvements to the property, for which IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to $4.3 million. Assuming full reimbursement for such improvements, IIP’s total investment in the property will be $7.2 million. This sale-leaseback transaction mark IIP’s second acquisition and lease with GTI, with a prior sale-leaseback transaction for GTI’s licensed medical cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Pennsylvania completed in November.

GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) announced that it has submitted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Epidiolex (cannabidiol) oral solution, CV. The sNDA seeks to expand the Epidiolex label to include the treatment of seizures associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic condition. Epidiolex is currently approved in the U.S. to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome and has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for the treatment of TSC. "The submission of this sNDA for Epidiolex is an important step towards the prospect of offering a new treatment option for those patients with TSC who battle difficult-to-treat seizures," said CEO, Justin Gover. "Having already obtained approval for Epdiolex in the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome, this submission is based on positive Phase 3 data showing that Epidiolex reduced TSC-associated seizures, which include both focal and generalized seizures types. We look forward to working with the FDA toward an expected approval later this year."

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) received European Union Good Manufacturing Practice certification. EU GMP certification is granted to companies whose production facilities demonstrate a high degree of quality and consistency in their manufacturing procedures and is a requirement for the export of medical cannabis products into most European markets. In addition, Aurora is pleased to announce it has received all necessary approvals from local regulators in Germany for sales of its medical cannabis products, following a temporary sales suspension on certain products in December 2019. Aurora will fulfill existing sales orders from inventory currently held in Germany, ensuring local patients will have immediate access to medicine from their preferred pharmacy.  "Aurora is leading the development of medical markets across Europe and around the world," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. "The EU GMP certification of our River facility further validates our strategy focused on purpose-built facilities, designed and constructed exclusively for the production of high-quality, pharmaceutical grade cannabis. I congratulate our team on successfully working with regulators and licensing bodies to ensure Aurora's facilities and products are in accordance with local and international standards that will allow for greater access to the highest quality medical cannabis products to patients who need them."

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