Hello and welcome back for the final issue of the year.

2021 proved to be a monumental year for the psychedelic sector. We saw more psychedelic research than ever before, and the medicines became widely accepted by the public and mainstream media (we like to think that we helped with that 😉).

In this special issue, we’ll review this year’s top advancements, scientific breakthroughs, and legislation changes that have moved the psychedelic revolution forward.

Whether you’ve been following along since Issue 1 or you’re brand new to the Daily Mushroom Community – thank you for joining us 🧡 We are so grateful that we can use this platform to give psychedelic medicine the attention it deserves. 

We’ll see you in the New Year with an exciting announcement!

Don’t miss a Daily Mushroom Podcast!

 In 2021, we heard stories from:

  • The first Canadian to receive legal psilocybin therapy
  • CEOs of major psychedelic companies
  • The founder of a ketamine-assisted group therapy workshop
  • A veteran who cured his pain and PTSD with a (wild) DMT trip
  • And many more amazing guests

Listen now on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple ⬇️

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MDMA was found to be an extremely promising PTSD treatment

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) conducted the first-ever Phase 3 trial for psychedelic-assisted therapy – and the results were incredible.

Patients with chronic PTSD (many battling the condition for over 20 years) finally found relief after three sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy.

Of the 46 patients, two-thirds no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis and 88% experienced a clinically significant reduction in symptoms after the sessions 👏

Researchers explain that MDMA reduces activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain associated with fear response, allowing patients to process trauma in therapy without becoming overwhelmed.

MAPS expects that MDMA therapy will become FDA-approved in 2023. The non-profit has begun patient enrollment for a second study of similar nature, so stay tuned for the results.

Psilocybin out-performed a leading antidepressant…

A study conducted by Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London suggests that psilocybin is more effective than antidepressants – and with fewer side effects.

Patients with mild-to-severe depression were given either a daily dose of escitalopram (aka Lexapro) or two doses of psilocybin. 

In the psilocybin group:

  • 70% saw at least a 50% reduction in depression scores, with an average decrease of 8.0 points
  • 57% were in remission at week 6, meaning they no longer qualified for a depression diagnosis
  • Patients were more likely to report improvements in the ability to feel compassion, pleasure, and intense emotion
  • No patient requested to stop dosing
  • The most common adverse event was headache

In the escitalopram group:

  • 48% saw at least a 50% reduction in depression scores, with an average decrease of 6.0 points
  • 28% were in remission from depression at week 6
  • Patients were more likely to experience anxiety, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, and reduced emotional responsiveness
  • 4 patients stopped dosing and 1 halved their dose due to adverse side effects 

…and became widely accepted as viable treatment

These magazine covers say it all – just look how far we’ve come!

Research revealed that psychedelics help the brain grow

Yale researchers discovered that psilocybin regrows and strengthens neuronal connections that can be lost due to depression or chronic stress.

Two months later, Algernon Pharmaceuticals (AGN) found that DMT was even more effective at growing neuronal connections, even at sub-hallucinogenic doses 🤯

The formation of new connections could explain why psychedelics are so effective at altering negative thought patterns and fostering positive behaviour change!

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Psychedelic research received gov’t funding for first time in 50 years

When the War on Drugs was declared in the 70s, the US federal government stopped funding psychedelic research. 

Things changed this September, when Johns Hopkins researcher Dr. Matthew W. Johnson received a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to conduct a psilocybin study on tobacco addiction.

So far, his research has suggested that psilocybin is more than twice as effective at treating addiction than nicotine patches.  

The Canadian government also began funding psilocybin research, with a grant given to MYND Life Sciences (MYND) to study depression and neuroinflammation.

Canada expanded access to psilocybin therapy 🇨🇦

Earlier this month, three Canadians gained legal exemptions to access psilocybin therapy to treat mental health conditions. This marked an exciting turning point by expanding access to the treatment beyond end-of-life care.

DMT was fast-tracked in the UK 🇬🇧

In October, Small Pharma’s DMT program for depression was found to be so promising that it was granted an Innovation Passport Designation from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The designation will give Small Pharma access to specialist advice to expedite the drug development process and facilitate patient access to the treatment.

Once approved, DMT could make psychedelic therapy more accessible and affordable because the trip takes just 20 minutes, yet produces long lasting effects!

Microdosing took the world by storm 💊

We saw an explosion of microdosing research this year, including the largest psychedelic study to date, which revealed that microdosers exhibit lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress than non-microdosers. Many other intriguing studies have been initiated such as:

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Companies around the world jumped on the psychedelic bandwagon

With more and more research confirming the incredible healing power of psychedelics, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen a tremendous amount of capital invested in the sector this year. 

At the beginning of the year, there were just a handful of publicly-traded psychedelic companies.  Now, there are over 70 public companies working to bring psychedelic medicines to market – some valued at over $1 billion! 🚀

The first-ever psychedelic indexes were launched

In 2021, it became easier than ever to diversify your psychedelic portfolio 🤑

In January, Horizons ETFs Management debuted PSYK on Toronto’s NEO exchange, becoming the first exchange traded fund for psychedelic stocks.

Later in the year, two more ETFs were introduced on US exchanges – Definace ETFs’ PSY, a passive fund, and AdvisorShares’ PSIL, an actively managed fund.

Private investments reached record highs

Private investments in psychedelic companies reached $595M across 45 deals this November —  that’s an increase of 66% from last year and 625% higher than in 2019 📈

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We saw widespread drug reform across both red and blue states…

More big wins:

  • Texas and Connecticut passed bills to study the therapeutic potential of psilocybin.
  • New Jersey successfully reduced the criminal penalties for possession of psilocybin.
  • The DEA increased production quotas for psilocybin, psilocin, MDMA, and DMT for both 2021 and 2022, allowing more research to be conducted.

We saw widespread drug reform across both red and blue states…

Legislation was filed to decriminalize psychedelics in:

Legislation was filed to promote psychedelic research or legalize therapeutic use in: