Are Psychedelics the Next Big Thing in Medical SR&ED?
Following the legalization of cannabis across the country, research into its uses and benefits has skyrocketed. Another benefit of this action is the acceptance of other drugs as potential treatment methods. Recently, there has been a spark in the community with increasing interest in psychedelics for mental health. Yes, you heard that right.
In 2020, multiple non-profits and companies worked with Health Canada to open the door for use of psilocybin and other psychedelic therapies. If you’re unfamiliar with psilocybin, you might know it by the name “magic mushrooms”. This drug actually occurs in a range of fungi, and has been seen to provide long standing relief for patients dealing with depression and anxiety. This work with Health Canada opened up four Canadians to exemptions which allowed them to test the drug. These four individuals were all facing terminal diseases and suffering from end-of-life anxiety. They reported life altering perceptions and easing anxiety even 6 months later.
Psychedelics are not new medicine to Canada – Indigenous people have used them for millenia. But Western researchers just began diving into their possibilities in the early 1900’s. Following anti drug laws in the 60s, this research halted. We might be seeing a new era reemerge now, with public opinion shifting to be more accepting.
Numinus Wellness Inc.
Numinus is looking into psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with the goal of transforming the mental health landscape. They have been developing a safe, evidence-based approach to psychedelic therapy. Through their production, research, and clinic care, Numinus is at the forefront of this industry. Their model does not intend to manage symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, or other mental health issues – they intend to treat them. So what exactly are they doing?
Numinus is broken into segments. Numinus Bioscience is a lab-based research component, developing formulations and methods for therapeutics. They are focused on creating high-yield, safe production of various psychedelics. Numinus Health is focused on the clinical trials to determine efficacy of the treatment. They want to determine the best course of treatment for different conditions – for instance, how many doses? How strong should those doses be? Is it different depending on the condition?
Numinus is not alone. Different clinical trials and research are popping up with the use of ketamine, MDMA, and other psychedelics. As of now, Health Canada has limited the approval for these trials, but the numbers are certainly on the rise. I expect we will be seeing SR&ED claims for psychedelic research popping up soon, while Canada continues to explore new avenues for improving mental health.