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An Introduction to the Psychedelic Renaissance

40% of American adults report struggling with mental health or substance abuse disorders. Psychedelics may provide solutions to the global mental health and wellbeing crisis.

After decades of repression, psychedelic research is thriving.

Promising research has already resulted in FDA Breakthrough Therapy designations for psilocybin-assisted therapies aimed at treating depression, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Research on other ‘psychedelics’, including MDMA and LSD, is picking up pace with research centres at prestigious institutions—including Johns Hopkins and Imperial College London—driving a new wave of psychedelic research.

Decriminalisation and legalisation campaigns are succeeding.

In 2020 the U.S. state of Oregon voted to decriminalise psychedelics and legalise Psilocybin Therapy. Washington, D.C., home of the White House, also decriminalised psychedelics, with many other states and localities poised to follow suit and nascent discussions at the federal level. Canada’s Health Minister has granted exemptions to allow access to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, setting precedent for future efforts to expand access.

Significant clinical trial milestones on the horizon.

In a Phase 3 MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD trial that published in 2021, 88% of participants responded to the treatment. The trial’s sponsor, MAPS, expects to submit a New Drug Application to the FDA this year, with a potential approval in 2024.. Multiple trials of psilocybin for depression are in Phase 2, with one Phase 3 program underway, and are indicating preliminary safety and efficacy.

Psychedelics have the potential to address depression anxiety addiction PTSD chronic pain

Welcome to the Psychedelic Renaissance.

The Psychedelic Renaissance in Context

Today’s psychedelic renaissance benefits from a rich legacy of psychedelic research and usage dating back to pre-historic times.

The extensive psychedelic research and experimentation of the 1950s and ’60s represents a significant endowment, with today’s researchers taking up the torch.


Albert Hofmann intentionally ingests LSD, experiencing the effects while cycling home. “Bicycle Day” is coined.

mid 1960s – 1971

Psychedelics criminalised, with Nixon declaring a War on Drugs in 1971 and a UN Convention following suit.

~10,000 BCE

Psychedelic iconography, such as mushrooms, appear in etched murals dating 10,000 BCE.

1950s and ’60s

Fertile decades for psychedelics research and experimentation, particularly in the U.S.

21st Century

Psychedelic renaissance emerges, with a return to human studies of psychedelics and decriminalisation campaigns.

Our Latest Analysis

Psychedelic Bulletin #146: Numinus Drops Lab, Consolidates Clinics; Study Suggests DMT Safe and Effective Alongside SSRI; Preprint Calls Intracellular Theory of Psychedelic-induced Neuroplasticity Into Question; A Cole Memo for Psychedelics?

This week: we look at Numinus’ latest efforts to rain in burn; Small Pharma’s small study suggests its DMT candidate is safe and effective in those on an SSRI; lawmakers propose Act that would prevent feds from intervening in states where psilocybin laws are liberalised; and lots more…

Psychedelic Bulletin #145: MAPS’ Second Phase 3 Study Published; EMA’s New Draft Guideline on Depression Drug Dev Includes Psychedelics; California’s Decrim. Bill Goes to Governor

This week: we look at EMA’s updated draft Guideline for depression therapeutics, which includes a section on psychedelics; California’s Governor is set to decide the fate of a state-wide decrim. bill, SB-58; MAPS published its second Phase 3 study; and lots more…

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin #3: August 2023

Five of six subcommittees plus the full Natural Medicine Advisory Board (NMAB) met in August. Harm Reduction and Public Safety did not meet and was dissolved by the full NMAB on August 18th. Updates from each subcommittee that met, as well as the Natural Medicine Advisory Board, are shared in this Issue.

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