CANNABIS CULTURE – Numinus Wellness Inc. and Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) have teamed up to petition Health Canada for approval to begin a trial using MDMA to treat PTSD.
If approval is granted, this will be the first trial of its kind on Canadian soil. Numinus’ Vancouver clinic will host the study, beginning with 20 people who experience treatment-resistant symptoms of PTSD.
Numinus physicians, clinicians, and staff will undergo training to deliver treatment using the protocol set forth by MAPS, which has conducted research using MDMA to treat PTSD over the last 20 years.
In the announcement released by Numinus today, Amy Emerson, CEO of MAPS PBC said, “Though this treatment is still investigational, if approval is granted through the regulatory pathway this collaboration will bolster our shared goal of addressing the enormous — and growing — need for improved proven treatments for people suffering from PTSD.”
Payton Nyquvest, CEO of Numinus, remarked, “At Numinus, our mandate is to explore and expand patient access to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies. We are proud to work alongside MAPS in furthering the regulatory landscape for psychedelic-assisted therapies, including MDMA, and setting the stage for the healthcare system of tomorrow.”
The substance most often recognized as the party drug called ecstasy (also known as molly)*, is not intended as a standalone cure for PTSD. MDMA works by increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, which helps the user feel connected and safe.
This gives people who experience PTSD a break from the threatening world they often can’t escape, facilitating a more effective therapy. “It makes the therapy go deeper. It goes faster. It’s much more comfortable,” according to Julie Holland, M.D. in a 2014 interview posted on TheDoctorsTV.com.
Some even claim the substance has prevented them from ending their lives. In a 2018 CBS News interview, former Army sniper Jon Lubecky described MDMA-assisted therapy as, “doing therapy, being hugged by the person you believe loves you the most in the world, while being buried by puppies licking your face.”
*It’s important to distinguish that MDMA and ecstasy are not the same thing. Ecstasy contains MDMA, but it can be contaminated with other dangerous drugs like fentanyl. While this article is not recommending it, if you are considering taking MDMA recreationally, use a kit to confirm purity before ingesting anything you purchase.