Cannabis Science & Technology - June 2022

Cannabis Science & Technology - June 2022

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Page 20 of 31 | Psychedelics: New Frontiers in Alternative Medicine 21 The therapeutic role of psychedelics goes back thousands of years and more recently to the 1950s and 1960s, but new research and the application of the principles of microdosing have created renewed interest in the power of psychedelics. In the age of modern medicine and pharmaco-therapies for all types of psychiatric disorders it has become widely known over the last 50 years that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) do not help everyone. In addition, some disorders are treatment-resistant to current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapies. In 2019, the FDA approved the drug Spravato (ketamine) for use in treating depression; this approval was a catalyst to revisiting psychedelics as a therapy for a variety of psychiatric disorders. Psilocybin Therapy for PTSD and Depression B Y J A M E S S C H WA R T Z T WO OF THE most common diagnoses that show response to psychedelic therapy are depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Be- cause of the similarities in the way that the brain stores emotional experiences we will consider both diagno- ses in parallel when it comes to the effects of how psychedelic therapy works. Trauma is coded in the brain by the amygdala and then the frontal lobes before various parts of the experi- ence are encoded across many areas of the brain. But it is the amygdala that responds to, defines, and regulates emotion, as well as associated feelings of sadness, joy, or pain with the memory as it is stored. Image credit: Iarygin Andrii/ feature

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