Videos: Psychedelics in Canada, Now and in the Future

Videos: Psychedelics in Canada, Now and in the Future

October 21, 2021- We successfully held our latest conference on psychedelics in Canada; clinic-inspired and evidence-based discussions from the field of psychedelic medicine.

Our goal was to address various positions by presenting perspectives from academics, clinicians, those in the business and legal sectors, and people with lived experience.

We had a discussion of the latest scientific evidence and the role of psychedelics in a therapeutic setting. We will then encourage a discussion among the public, medical professionals, and other vested interest groups about the future of psychedelics, their procurement, and utilization in Canada.

If you were one of our 500 registrants or simply did not get a chance to join us, we have the video recordings here for you.

Panel 1

We start this panel with an outline of the history of psychedelic compounds complemented by their definitions and classifications by Dr. Sidney Kennedy. Then with Dr. Gregor Hasler we are introduced to the working mechanisms and neuroplasticity, explained from both molecular and cellular (neuro-, dendrito-, and synaptogenesis) points of view and its relation to mental illness and the latest scientific evidence on psychedelics-related neuroplasticity changes. With Dr. Kim Kuypers, we learn about microdosing: definition, practices, history, and findings. Based on anecdotal reports and published papers, we will try to address the question if microdosing works. We finish off this panel with Dr. Guy Goodwin with a discussion on whether we can successfully re-medicalize psychedelics by reviewing the neurobiology of a psilocybin compound, and evidence from healthy volunteers studies and clinical trials. This session was chaired by Dr. Emma Hapke.

Panel 2

In this panel chaired by Dr. Benicio Frey, we start with Dr. James Rucker who presents an overview of scientific evidence on psychedelic-assisted treatment for treatment resistant depression. Dr. Emma Hapke delves into the topic of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD by starting with a brief explanation of working mechanisms of MDMA and its potential benefit for patients suffering from PTSD. We learn that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is currently in phase 3 research trials for FDA approval. Dr. Monnica Williams presents on the problem of racial disparities in Canada the need for social justice. Dr. Williams introduces the concept of racial trauma and the importance of inclusion of people of color in psychedelic research and therapies. Dr. Brian Rush then shares expertise on the use of psychedelics in the treatment of substance use disorders and their current status of clinical research. Alongside, we will talk a little bit about indigenous cultural issues and how to maximize value for indigenous peoples. We will wrap up this panel with Dr. Sarah Hales speaking death-related distress and the potential of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies in the context of end of life care and support.

Panel 3

Dr. Sidney Kennedy chairs this final panel on existing legalizations and entrepreneurial aspects of psychedelic psychiatry. Dr. Michael Verbora gives an outline of scheduling of psychedelics in Canada, exemption process and special access programs, supported by an introduction into a legal psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (with ketamine) and unpublished clinical outcomes data (from Field Trip Health Company). Mr. Paul Lewin then presents the recently proposed regulations that have been proposed to the government by the Canadian Psychedelic Association. Mr. Lewin elaborates how the section 56 exemptions impact the constitutional right to psychedelic use. Finally we are joined by Dr. Edward Sellers and Judy Blumstock from Diamond Therapeutics to review of some of the clinical and pharmacological challenges within the psychedelic research and its application to finalize the conference by an outline of future directions including broadening access for low dose therapeutic compounds.