Psychedelic Therapy with Cannabis

Psychedelic Therapy with Cannabis

Cannabis is currently being explored not only for remedies for various bodily illnesses but also as a medicine for adverse mental conditions. After recreational cannabis became legal in some states in the USA in 2014, a few independent groups began openly exploring the potential of cannabis for treating mental conditions, such as PTSD. Some treatments use high-dose, ‘psychedelic’ cannabis experience to induce mystical experiences for healing. In this blog, we’ll explore this movement. Psychedelic Prohibition The world’s first prohibition of cannabis was in the late 14th century in Egypt (Rosenthal 1971:129), followed by Madagascar in 1787 (Campbell 2012:437), and Rio de Janeiro in 1830 (Bewley-Taylor et al. 2014:6). By 1925, under a UN convention, the use of cannabis became illegal worldwide. Only in December 2021 was cannabis officially rescheduled by the UN as a potential medicine. In a process that began in 1966, apart from a few religious exemptions—such as for the use of peyote by Native Americans in North America—most psychedelic substances were banned globally for not only recreational but also psychotherapeutic use. By 1977, no further scientific studies of psychedelic substances were permitted under international rules. However, small-scale use of LSD for terminally ill patients persisted in a few medical centres in Switzerland and the USA. Psychedelic Therapy Clinical research conducted on the effects of psychedelics began in the 1950s, notably in Saskatchewan, Canada (see Dyck 2008), established that LSD and mescaline could be highly effective in treating alcoholism, depression, trauma and other mental problems. However, prohibition terminated research. The tide began turning around twenty years ago when clinical research on psychedelic substances gradually resumed, and permits for research began to be reissued. There are now active psychedelic research programmes at Imperial College in London, Berkeley UC, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, the Dell Medical School at…

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