Why Are Psychedelic Therapies Opening the Minds and Wallets of Investors?
After several decades spent idling in neutral, the psychedelics sector is once again shifting gears. Microdosing in Canada has evolved from a niche curiosity into a growing area of interest for domestic and international investors. All spurred by the decriminalization of prescription psilocybin, which has proved a popular alternative to conventional drugs in the treatment of chronic mental health conditions.
But while it may appear as if investors are leaping blindly into the unknown, the psychedelics sector could prove to be a surprisingly safe haven. Prescription psychedelics may be new to the scene, but research into compounds like psilocybin is anything but.
Extensive research into the potential medical benefits of psychedelics began as far back as the mid-20th century. However, the whole thing came to a grinding halt in the 60s, when psychedelics were made illegal.
Today, researchers are finally being granted the freedom they need to put decades of cumulative research to good use. And in doing so, discovering that the potential benefits of psychedelic therapy could be even more extensive than anyone could have guessed.
Inspiring Early Indications
Much of the evidence available with regard to the effectiveness of psychedelics is anecdotal in nature. While most contemporary scientific studies are still in their early stages, millions of people have been using psilocybin on a regular basis for years.
Most studies being carried out into the potential benefits of psilocybin primarily or exclusively concern chronic mental health conditions. Some smaller studies have examined the effects of psilocybin on chronic pain, or the alleviation of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
But what’s proved similar across all studies carried out to date is the positive responses among the majority of participants. Irrespective of the condition or symptom under the microscope, psychedelics have shown to be equally effective or more effective than comparable conventional treatments.
This is particularly true where chronic mental health conditions and substance addiction are concerned. One of the most extensive studies into the effectiveness of psilocybin took place in 2018, involving more than 1,000 participants who self-administered the compound.
Within the group, 57% of participants had a diagnosed mental health condition, of which 39% said they were using psilocybin to alleviate their symptoms. Importantly, 85% of these participants said that they had found conventional medications and approaches to treatment inadequate or wholly ineffective.
Depression was the most common condition among those involved in the study, affecting more than 20% of the participants. 7% were using psychedelics to treat chronic anxiety, while 2% were fighting substance addiction.
Among those interviewed by the researchers, more than 44% said that their mental health had benefited ‘significantly’ by microdosing psilocybin. In addition, more than half of the participants said that they no longer needed to take their conventional antidepressant medications, following the use of psilocybin.
Fewer than 20% of those who took part indicated no discernible change in their symptoms or quality of life. However, just 1% said that taking psychedelics made their symptoms worse or had a negative effect of some kind.
Considering the extensive risk of side effects posed by conventional antidepressants, this makes for highly reassuring reading.
Risks Vs Rewards
To a degree, investors setting their sights on the psychedelics sector are in the same position as those looking to self-medicate with psilocybin. There always are risks to factor in, but the rewards could be huge for those who make strategic, informed and educated decisions.
The potential is huge, particularly given how microdosing psilocybin has not yet been linked with any prolonged or severe side effects. Where a patient does not respond positively to microdosing, the treatment can simply be halted immediately.
This is one of many reasons why more advocates within the scientific and medical communities are voicing their support for psychedelic therapy. The more support the sector gains from influential advocates, the more attractive it becomes to prospective investors.
In addition, the fact that the commercial psychedelics sector is still largely non-existent gives early adopters the opportunity to get in at ground level. As opposed to the commercial cannabis sector, which is already far too extensive and competitive to be of interest to some.
Should it prove true that psychedelic therapy can replace some types of prescription medications, it could turn out to be one of the most lucrative new sectors of recent years. One with the potential to give big pharma a run for its money – something that could play right into the hands of savvy investors.
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