Wastewater samples taken during 2020 show that methamphetamine (ice) use plunged in Australia during the first COVID-19 lockdown while cannabis use spiked, according to a new study led by the University of South Australia.

Western Australia recorded the largest drop in ice loads, falling more than 50 per cent between April and June 2020, attributed to border closures restricting imports of the popular drug. Cannabis is largely produced locally so national supplies were still plentiful, and wastewater samples reflected this, with all states except the Northern Territory showing large increases in cannabis use.

Researchers from UniSA, The University of Queensland and University of Adelaide collaborated on the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Wastewater samples are taken every two months from 20 treatment plants across Australia, covering approximately half the population, and tested for methamphetamine (ice), MDMA (ecstasy), cocaine, cannabis and alcohol. Samples collected before the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2016 - December 2019) were compared with those taken between February and June 2020 when Australia went into a national lockdown.

According to the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System, approximately half of Australia's cocaine users stopped using the party drug – or cut down drastically – during the lockdown when global supply lines were disrupted. This was reflected in the wastewater loads but once restrictions were eased, cocaine use returned to pre-pandemic levels. A similar pattern was seen with ecstasy use.

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If you are looking to buy CBD (cannabidiol) oils, it is extremely important that you dig deep to find the latest and accurate information about high-quality CBD oils. This is because CBD oils now are an industry in themselves and there are always bad apples who look to profit off of customers by scamming or misleading them into buying inferior products.

The worst part is that it is not always easy for interested CBD oil buyers to find out which CBD products and brands are supported by trustworthy claims. New merchants and brands are flooding the market with the growth in popularity of CBD oil. It is no surprise that each one of them claims to be dealing in the best cbd oils and of the highest quality. However, along with the cbd industry, online selling became very popular in short time. The good thing is that you can blindly trust authority cbd oils review websites and choose your best cbd oil from the list.

How To Identify High-Quality CBD Oils?

CBD Oil is an extract taken from cannabis plants. It is important to note here that CBD, though present in marijuana too, is primarily extracted from agricultural hemp for medicinal purposes. It is for the simple reason that these cannabis varieties contain minimum Tetrahydrocannabinol (the substance that makes people feel high. This is one point that makes CBD less controversial and more versatile for people.

How is CBD Oil Manufactured?

Unfortunately, there are not many regulations that control the manufacturing process of CBD oils. In other words, different CBD brands make use of different extraction methods for processing CBD oil from hemp.

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The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will continue discussions about allowing West Virginians eligible to use medical marijuana to grow plants.

Board members met last week to continue discussions as well as possible concerns related to access to dispensaries and cost.

Gov. Jim Justice signed the state medical marijuana law in April 2017, which allows patients to use medical cannabis plants and products for medical treatment.

Rusty Williams, a patient advocate for the board, has supported allowing people to grow plants.

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More than 50,000 people registered to get medical marijuana live in one of 29 rural counties that don’t have any medical marijuana dispensaries, according to data provided to CNHI by the Department of Health.

The department provided the information after being ordered to do so by the state Office of Open Records. The Department of Health initially refused to provide the data, saying it wouldn’t release the information in order to avoid violating patient privacy protections built into the state’s Medical Marijuana Law.

The Office of Open Records rejected the department’s arguments in July saying that aggregated data about the medical marijuana program wouldn’t violate any individual patient’s privacy.

“Finding the requested aggregated data to be confidential would lead to an absurd result. Under such a broad reading of confidentiality, information such as the total number of Pennsylvanians using the medical marijuana program would be confidential and disclosure of that figure could result in criminal sanctions. The OOR cannot conclude that this was the General Assembly’s intent,” Kyle Applegate, chief counsel for the Office of Open Records, wrote in the order directing the Department of Health to release the data.

This is the first time the agency has released the information publicly, said Meredith Buettner, executive director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, a trade group representing growers and dispensary operators.

The information has been sought by the cannabis industry group, she said, because the data could help inform their decisions about where to locate dispensaries even as the Department of Health has acknowledged there are large areas of the state under-served by the program.

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The MS Society is taking a stand on the lack of access to medical cannabis in the UK.

A report released by the MS Society states that not nearly enough medical cannabis patients have been able to obtain medical cannabis through the National Health Service (NHS), despite research and firsthand accounts of its effectiveness as a medicine for MS patients.

The MS Society is taking a stand on the lack of progress and access to cannabis in the UK, especially since medical cannabis has been legal there for almost three years. The organization has created the #ApprovedButDenied campaign to bring attention to the lack of proper access, in addition to a 30-page report filled with data regarding MS patients in the UK.

“Sativex, a cannabis-based spray, was approved in England in 2019 for use in moderate to severe spasticity when other treatments haven’t worked,” the organization wrote on its website. “Despite this, many people with MS are still being denied access to Sativex, because their local health bodies, called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), are not prescribing it. This has resulted in an unacceptable postcode lottery, with Sativex only funded in 49 out of 106 CCGs. This must change—everyone with MS deserves access to effective treatments.” 

The organization’s report states that Sativex is only supported by 49 out of 106 CCGs. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that 4,800 people are currently eligible for a four-week Sativex trial to see if the medicine works for them, but only 630 people had access to Sativex in May 2021 (which is the most current data that was available at the time the report was written).

MS Society’s Policy Manager Fredi Cavander-Attwood expressed her disappointment at the lack of progress for MS patients in England. “It’s completely unacceptable that two years after receiving NICE approval, Sativex is only available in 49 out of 106 health areas in England,” Cavander-Attwood stated. “MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, and getting the treatment you need shouldn’t be a game of chance.”

#ApprovedButDenied

The #ApprovedButDenied campaign also puts a spotlight on the unfair status of the “postcode lottery” that determines which MS patients can gain access to medical cannabis. Some people are being forced to choose between living in pain or paying up to £500 per month for a prescription to Sativex (under the NHS, it costs £300). Cavander-Attwood says that often enough, patients are resorting to buying medicine on the black market.

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Colorado is at the center of the nation’s cannabidiol boom, producing much of the nation’s hemp and serving as home to many CBD sellers.

Inside a nondescript office building in Englewood, a deafening alarm stops a team of workers in lab coats and hair nets. It’s a sensor alerting staff to a potential problem with the product, tiny bottles of cannabidiol moving along a conveyor belt at a swift pace. 

The vials are headed to a fulfillment warehouse where they’ll be shipped on to online consumers across the U.S. and quality is critical as the already multibillion-dollar demand for CBD grows.

This time, the alarm is only a test of one of the many quality safeguards Balanced Health Botanicals has put in place to make sure its CBD products are the liquid gold that customers demand. CEO Chase Terwillinger thinks that every CBD producer should be required by the Food and Drug Administration to follow the same strict protocols and implement tracking in case a recall is needed.

But the federal agency has so far declined to regulate the manufacturing practices for CBD products, which are touted as being able to do everything from calm people and pets to alleviate pain. Congress legalized hemp production through the 2018 Farm Bill, prompting an explosion in cannabidiol’s popularity.

CBD industry leaders are worried that cannabidiol products could be contaminated by toxic heavy metals, inconsistent in strength and potentially have bad interactions with other supplements or drugs consumers are taking. 

“People are making this in their garage,” Terwillinger said. “It’s just not safe for the consumer, and yet the consumer believes that it’s a safe product.”


In the span of 10 months, sales statewide have grown from about $350,000 to $91.36 million

ST. LOUIS — Medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri in 2018. Since then, the cannabis industry has quickly established itself to meet the needs of patients who have been approved to use medical marijuana. As of July 31, at least 33,000 patients in St. Louis were granted medical marijuana licenses.

Sales of the product officially started in October 2020. In the span of 10 months, sales statewide have grown from about $350,000 to $91.36 million, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, a 26,000% growth.

Cultivating facilities, manufacturing facilities and dispensaries are scrambling to cash in on the huge demand. As of July, 59 cultivation facilities have been licensed in Missouri, with 13 in the St. Louis area.

We sat down with John Pennington, CEO of cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and retail company Proper Brands, to understand the industry as it stands today.

For readers who may not be familiar with the cannabis industry, give us a primer. You’ve got cultivators, (which are) the farmers that are growing the actual plant flower. Manufacturers are taking that plant byproduct and converting that into different SKUs of medicine or products. And then you've got retail.

How competitive is the industry? (The industry is) new and it's fast-paced and it's growing. You have more and more people who are getting educated and comfortable consuming cannabis every day. That's the beauty and the excitement of this. It really is a magical medicine that can help in dozens and dozens and dozens of ways. And the patient base is growing every day. Missouri has showcased that it's a real market. At one point we were seeing 3,000 to 4,000 new patients a day. It's still growing every week, and it should continue to have that trajectory. Naturally, this all starts with the plant — you can't create medicine and products without cultivators who are producing cannabis. And the demand is going to continue to grow, and ultimately the cultivators and the manufacturers will continue to support this growth.

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James Thomas’ hips began to bother him three or four years after he had joint replacement surgery. He turned to medical marijuana and is still testing out the right formulation.

In 2018, the Wolf administration endorsed cannabis as a treatment for opioid use disorder, despite an absence of research and concerns from experts that it could give patients false hope — or actively harm them.

Psychedelics could provide just the right push to overcome addiction patterns like smoking.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But researchers think psychedelics have a unique ability to unlock patterns in the brain that lead to addiction—notably nicotine addiction.

Mydecine Innovations Group announced on August 18 it has signed a five-year research agreement with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine, to study the efficacy of psychedelic formulations for smoking cessation.

While Mydecine Innovations Group is not disclosing the types of psychedelics to be used in the study, researchers have already explored psilocybin for the treatment of addiction and ketamine for the treatment of addiction, for starters.

“We are excited to expand on the current work we are conducting with Dr. Matt Johnson and his team at JHU in regards to smoking cessation to include numerous other projects over the next five years,” Mydecine CEO Josh Bartch stated in a press release. “The researchers at JHU have proven their incredible depth of knowledge in the field.”

Research to be led by Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Matthew W. Johnson, Ph. D. While research into psychedelics for medical purposes is young, the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit has extensive experience conducting clinical research related to therapeutic use of psychedelics.  

“The long-term potential of this research agreement is captivating for us here at Mydecine,” said Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Mydecine, Rob Roscow. “It demonstrates our commitment to advancing psychedelic medicine by exploring multiple molecules and medicines for a variety of indications.”

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What do the latest studies show for marijuana for lung cancer patients?

Lung cancer is the second most prevalent cancer affecting both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2021 alone there were around 235,760 new lung cancer cases and the year isn’t even over yet.

It is the leading cause of death among men and women, despite the fact that cases continue to reduce because more people quit smoking cigarettes each year – the number one preventable risk factor for lung cancer.

But given how common lung cancer is, can cannabis help? Considering how cannabis has already been widely used for helping treat other forms of cancer, much is still unknown about its efficacy for cancer. Additionally, many people still lack awareness surrounding the cannabis plant because most people think that you can only smoke it – which doesn’t make sense if you already have a disease afflicting your lungs.

So what to the experts have to say about medical marijuana use for lung cancer?

According to Dr. Junella Chin, an integrative cannabis physician treating both adults and children in New York: “When you take plant-based cannabis, marijuana, you’re decreasing inflammation, and you’re relieving pain at the same time.” She adds that humans already have a natural endocannabinoid system but when there is chronic pain, the body’s own pain relievers aren’t enough.

“So when we utilize phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant, we are actually replenishing our body’s own cannabinoid system. By doing so, it helps us deal with pain and inflammation much more effectively,” she tells SurvivorNet.

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Studies show a connection between mental illness and marijuana use, but it’s one that’s complex.

The use of marijuana has many scientifically proven health benefits. These can be as simple as helping users relax or as complex as managing chronic pain or stimulating appetite. There’s a lot we don’t know about marijuana, especially when discussing its negative side effects; aside from red eyes and the occasional bout of paranoia, can the use of the plant worsen conditions like mental illness?

There’s not a lot of evidence or scientific research out there, but some studies have found links between marijuana use and some mental health conditions, such as depression and even psychosis.

Studies have shown that people who smoke large amounts of marijuana on a daily basis are five times more likely to develop psychosis than others, with there being an influence on the age in which marijuana is first consumed and the individual’s genetic vulnerabilities.

Photo by kilarov zaneit via Unsplash

While these studies aren’t very useful for regular marijuana consumers, they do show a connection between marijuana use and mental health illnesses, although the existing link does not imply that one causes the other. While marijuana may sporadically cause hallucinations and paranoia, these effects fade once the drug wears off.

Little Evidence Exists That Marijuana Alleviates Mental Health Symptoms, Review Finds

 

Finding out your furry friend has cancer is no fun. However, these CBD oils for dogs with cancer can make them a little more comfortable.

Cancer is a disease that can cause plenty of pain, discomfort, and anguish in animals, and that’s just the disease itself. That doesn’t take into account the long hours of treatments and the various side effects cancer can produce in both dogs and humans.

Ultimately, cancer is one of the biggest threats to humans and dogs, but there’s a naturally occurring compound that is extracted from a plant that can provide all-natural, effective relief from even the worst cancer or cancer treatment symptoms: CBD oil.
CBD oil is a natural compound found in a certain strain of Cannabis called hemp. Hemp is used to make paper, biofuel, and hundreds of other useful items, but CBD is where the plant really shines. Cannabidiol is one of hundreds of cannabinoids in Cannabis, and offers some amazing benefits to pets and humans alike.

How CBD helps with canine cancer

Cancer can produce some pretty awful symptoms, and cancer treatments certainly don’t help with the pain and discomfort. Canine cancer causes pain, inflammation, appetite loss, and general exhaustion in dogs, but CBD can help.

CBD stimulates the dog’s natural endocannabinoid system, which is a part of the nervous system specifically designed to accept cannabinoids such as CBD. This system helps regulate things like appetite, sleep patterns, body temperature, pain response, and immune responses. That’s why CBD is so effective—it goes right to the source of the symptoms and provides long-lasting relief naturally.

What you should look for in CBD pet oil

Even for all its effectiveness at addressing cancer symptoms, CBD oil isn’t perfect. It still exists in a competitive market, which means there are good brands and there are…well, not great brands. Here’s a checklist of what to look for in your CBD pet oil and the brands you shop with:

Honest packaging and marketingNatural ingredientsOrganic or USA-grown hempLab testingTransparencyGood reputation

Is CBD oil harmful to pets?

So far, there is no evidence to suggest that CBD is in any way harmful to humans or pets. Some users experience mild side effects like drowsiness and appetite increases, but overall, there aren’t any negative, long-lasting side effects from using CBD oils.

1. Verma Farms Salmon-Flavored CBD Oil 300mg

Verma Farms Salmon-Flavored CBD Oil is one of the best CBD oils for dogs with cancer.

Texas’ medical marijuana is best known for being one of the most restrictive in the county, limiting its medicinal relief to fewer than 6,000 and only to those with neurological disorders or terminal cancer.

However, a new law that passed during the Legislature -effective September 1st– will now allow people with PTSD and cancer patients to use low doses of THC cannabis, as part of the Texas Compassionate Use Program.

This new law will also increase the previous THC cap in medical marijuana to 1%, which experts say it’s still a pretty small quantity.

“Because [the program] was so narrow for so long, many patients were forced to go to the neighboring states around Texas that have robust medical programs to gain access to the plant,” said Jax Finkel, the executive director of Texas’ chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

“And in fact, many patients have had to actually leave the state permanently for access — medical refugees,” Finkel added.

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The state Medical Marijuana Advisory Board voted Tuesday to reject five requests to add to the list of conditions that qualify people for medical marijuana, even while board members acknowledged that, in several cases, patients with the conditions could benefit from using medical cannabis.

The board rejected bids to allow medical marijuana to be used to treat traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, Hepatitis C, chronic insomnia that isn’t responding to other treatments and major depressive disorder that isn’t responding to other treatments.

Pennsylvania’s 367,925 active medical marijuana patients have all been diagnosed as having one or more of 23 serious medical conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anxiety disorder, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and opioid use disorder and chronic pain.

Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said board members were concerned the applications for traumatic brain injury, hepatitis and Hepatitis C were overly broad and would have allowed people to qualify for medical marijuana cards in cases that would be inappropriate. The board was concerned that juveniles could qualify for medical marijuana if they suffered acute traumatic brain injuries. Johnson said there is evidence that medical marijuana could benefit patients suffering from chronic hepatitis and chronic Hepatitis C, but that board members felt it would be inappropriate to allow medical marijuana for people who’d had acute cases of hepatitis.

A move to amend the applications by the board was stymied by the board’s own policies.

Under the board’s existing policies, board members don’t have the option to amend an application submitted to them – the board must either refer the proposed new condition to one of its subcommittees to recommend the change or the board can notify the applicants to resubmit the request with the changes sought by the board, said Carol Mowery, assistant legal counsel for the Department of Health.

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These days, there are numerous reasons why you should be cutting back on your alcohol consumption.

For one, we’ve long known that it causes several illnesses including heart disease and cancer and two, with the pandemic, alcohol can compromise your immune system. During the pandemic, so many people took up the habit of drinking at home, during Zoom parties, and these so-called “quarantinis” can have a majorly negative impact on our health – at a time when we need it more than ever.

Excessive consumption of booze can turn around our lives for the worse. It can cause domestic abuse problems, and affect our families as well as personal relationships. However, a tip over the edge can turn a booze lover into a full-fledged alcoholic, which is already advanced abuse of alcohol.

If you’re having a hard time cutting back on your drinks, new research supports the hypothesis that cannabis can help – in more ways than one.

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Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation has broken ground on a nearly 100,000-square-foot cannabis cultivation and processing site in Bastrop, a half hour east of Austin.

The company, one of three approved to legally grow weed in Texas, is building the $8 million facility to keep up with patient demand as the state expands its so-called compassionate use program to include people with PTSD and those with all stages of cancer. That program expansion goes into effect September 1.

TOCC expects to finish construction on the growing operation in the second quarter of 2022. It will serve patients with an on-site dispensary as well as through pick-up locations in cities including San Antonio.

"This new facility will bolster our production capabilities and enable us to not only reach more Texans, but also create, develop and distribute new medical cannabis products that meet the diverse needs of qualifying patients," TOCC Chief Executive Officer Morris Denton said.

As of May, Texas' medical marijuana program — one of the most restrictive in the nation — served fewer than 6,000 people. However, the expansion passed during the most recent session of the Texas Legislature is expected to greatly increase that number. More than 100,000 Texans have cancer, for example, according to state estimates.

While cannabis advocates praised the expansion of the program, they still maintain that the allowable levels of THC are too low to make a difference for some patients. The 1% THC cap allowed under the law is considerably lower than what's legal for medicinal use in other states.

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Legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level recently proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and a group of Senate Democrats is long overdue. While it aims to fix injustices done to communities of color that have been most harmed by the war on drugs, it excludes one very important demographic: patients.

The bill is presented as “comprehensive” cannabis reform. It makes cannabis legal in the United States for recreational use and has many provisions for expanding the cannabis industry. It also adds taxes that provide revenue to the federal government and stipulates that some of the money collected be used to enhance the lives of communities that have been most hurt by the failed war on drugs.

Leaving out patient care overlooks the largest group of people who will or may be affected by this new law.

An estimated 115 million Americans over age 50 will develop one or more illnesses such as osteoarthritis, anxiety, insomnia, or cancer that are treatable with cannabinoid medicines. Not providing for them in the discussion draft underscores that lawmakers are not paying attention to the needs of patients, the ways in which patients differ from recreational users, and the ways in which a recreational paradigm does not support needed clinical care.

My colleagues and I at the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists, a professional organization dedicated to science-driven education for clinicians and lawmakers on the use of cannabinoid medicines, believe that a medical cannabis paradigm should include four key components, which we shared with Schumer and his colleagues.

First, legislation should decouple medical and recreational cannabis. While legalization of recreational cannabis may address the needs of healthy people, it does not address people’s medical needs. People need competent care based on sound science that is aligned with the same fundamental values that apply in all areas of medicine, including respect for patient choices through informed consent, beneficence through sound medical advice that ensures patients benefit while minimizing harm, issuing exact prescriptions to ensure that patients get the right medicine, and justice by ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and all have the same treatment opportunities.

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As more states are legalizing recreational and medical cannabis across the United States, the cannabis market is growing.

But as more people consume cannabis, potential adverse events to the plant are becoming evident, including cannabis allergy.

What Is Cannabis Allergy?

Some cannabis consumers may suffer from a cannabis allergy, which is a body reaction to the cannabis plant. It has recently become relevant because of recent legalization in the U.S. and Canada.

Although the study on cannabis allergy is still in its infancy, we can outline its most relevant characteristics.

Cannabis sensitization is not so rare. Humans can be allergic to almost anything, and it is even possible to have multiple allergies. People may be exposed to hempseed hidden in foods and drinks. However, they may also suffer from sensitization by inhaling, smoking, touching, and eating cannabis.

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Jazz Pharmaceuticals subsidiary GW Pharmaceuticals has announced it has received approval in the UK for the use of Epidyolex to manage seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).

Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disease causing benign tumours to grow in the brain and on other vital organs. Among its many impacts where the condition is severe are seizures and impaired intellectual development. The seizures are often resistant to conventional therapies.

Usually diagnosed in early childhood, the number of people living with TSC in the UK is estimated between 3,700 and 11,000.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabidiol-based Epidyolex (known as Epidiolex in the USA) is already in use in the UK for seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. In September last year, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved it here for the same indications.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now also approved it for TSC as an adjunct therapy to be used in conjunction with clobazam (a benzodiazepine class medication), for patients two years of age and older.

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The money will boost Beckley Psytech’s research on 5-MeO-DMT and psilocybin for the treatment of depression. (Image: Shutterstock)

Oxford-based startup Beckley Psytech in the United Kingdom announced August 15 that it raised $80 million to ramp up clinical trials and research using a pharmaceutical formulation of ​​5-MeO-DMT (5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), a powerful compound produced endogenously by Sonoran Desert toad venom, to treat depression. 

The Series B financing was initially set at $50 million—but was upgraded to $80 million due to “overwhelming interest” from investors to support accelerating the clinical development of its psychedelic medicine research pipeline.

The financing round is led by Integrated, and the science-focused investor consortium includes Prime Movers Labs, which funds breakthrough scientific startups; Adage Capital Management LP, a Boston based institutional investor; Palo SantoDelphi VCLeafy TunnelNegev Capital; and existing investor Bicycle Day Ventures.

Clinical studies using psilocybin show huge potential to battle treatment-resistant depression, under the guidance of a therapist. But while a psilocybin experience can last five to eight hours, a 5-MeO-DMT session will last just one hour, which could radically reduce the cost of treatment. “Requiring a therapist to sit with a patient for the entire duration of a psilocybin, MDMA or LSD experience which is, say, six to eight to 10 hours long, is going to be resource intensive and expensive,” CEO Cosmo Fielding Mellen told Sifted. 

From Psychedelic Toad Venom to Medical Research

The toad’s psychedelic venom is a natural defense tool, but with limitless potential in medicine. Vice Media’s Hamilton Morris documented the Sonoran Desert toad in detail—calling the toads’ secretion the “most potent psychedelic toad venom on Earth,” which also makes it ideal for medical research.

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