For 50 years, psychedelic researchers have been battling a public relations crisis of epic proportions, but the tides are changing! Whether you are a veteran advocate, or just showed up to the party, you should be breaking out the champagne to celebrate the start of a new age for psychedelic medicines.
The media has been flooded with information about psychedelics for weeks now. From Netflix to The White House– everyone has been talking about the promising benefits of compounds such as LSD, Psilocybin, DMT, MDMA, and Mescaline for mental health.
A New Public Image
On July 12th, Netflix released How To Change Your Mind. It has people buzzing about the once taboo topic of psychedelic compounds.
How To Change Your Mind is a docu-series starring Michael Pollan– the journalist and author who wrote the book that it is based on. The book was published in 2018 and quickly became a sensation. It hit the New York Times #1 best seller list and was named one of the ten best books of 2018. The success of his book cemented Pollan’s place as a leader of the psychedelic movement.
Over four episodes, Michael Pollan covers the history and uses of LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, and Mescaline. He talks to experts and people who have been able to overcome OCD, PTSD, and addiction using psychotropic medicines. He discusses the start of psychedelic research, its fall from public grace, and its recent re-emergence.
On the same day that the series was released, American Rapper, Wiz Khalifa, took to Jimmy Kimmel to talk about the launch of his new psilocybin brand– Mistercaps. He is working with the Canadian company, Red Light Holland, to tap into the legal market that the Netherlands offer. Once laws in the US change, he intends to bring his brand to the states.
This positive publicity is crucial for the performance and success of psychedelic companies. For a long time, these drugs have been labeled as dangerous substances that destroy lives. Thanks to a few key players, like Michael Pollan and Rick Doblin (founder of the Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS), that view is changing.
Trends are Shifting
Google Trends has shown a significant increase in interest surrounding psychedelics and psychedelic stocks. The term “psychedelics” has seen a 44% increase in the past two weeks and “psychedelic drug” has hit an all-time high. There is no doubt that public interest in these once-taboo medical treatments is starting to pick up, and Michael Pollan’s work has helped it along.
A handful of topics surrounding psychedelics have seen breakthroughs in google trends this week. That means that the keyword or topic has had a massive rise in popularity. We have seen this trend with dozens of topics since the release of How To Change Your Mind. Some of the notable ones include– best psychedelic stocks, decriminalization, psychedelic clinical trails near me, and psilocybin mushrooms.
All this good publicity is drastically increasing the number of people interested in seeking psychedelic treatments and investing in the companies that are providing them. However, ultimately it will be up to the lawmakers to allow these treatments to enter the market.
And on that note… More good news!
Psychedelics in the Senate?
A Netflix show and an increase in search trends are great. However, without big changes in legislation, these treatments will never reach the masses. Fortunately, public officials are talking about it too!
Last week, Senators Cory Booker (D) and Rand Paul (R) introduced a bill to help terminally ill patients get access to schedule 1 drugs that have made it through phase 1 of clinical trials.
Donald Trump signed into law the “Right To Try” Act during his presidency, but the DEA has continued to block doctors from prescribing psilocybin and MDMA treatments to their patients.
This bill, if passed, would give states the right to decide whether or not they want to allow access to their citizens.
Breakthrough psychedelic treatments are catching the attention of politicians, and even the white house is talking about it. On July 26th, The Intercept released a copy of a letter that was written by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, to representative Madeleine Dean. The letter discussed the possibility of putting together a task force to monitor bringing MDMA and Psilocybin treatments to market within the next 24 months.
Lawmakers are preparing to bring psychedelic treatments to the market. So, if the Psychedelic PR crisis is coming to an end, what does that mean for investors?
A Good Sign for Investors
Since July 12th, interest in the companies that are developing psychedelic treatments has seen a positive upturn, and so have their stocks.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps off on some spiritual quest in the Amazon Jungle, you know that 2022 has not been a great year for the stock market. Psychedelic stocks are no exception. They’ve taken a steep dive this year. The Psychedelic Invest Index has seen a steady decrease since February of 2021. This past May, the Index hit its lowest point ever.
On the day that How To Change Your Mind was released, the index began a turn for the better. It hit its highest numbers since April, ending the trading day on July 20th at 33.15.
Is all this good press the cause of a significant shift in the psychedelic stock market? No, not entirely. But, the increase of media surrounding psychedelic treatment does give investors more confidence in the long-term trajectory of the industry.
Many investors remain wary of investing in psychedelic companies because many of the compounds that are being researched and developed remain schedule 1 drugs– meaning that the federal government recognizes no acceptable medical use.
As Pollan talks about in the documentary, these laws stem back to the ’60s and ’70s, when president Nixon waged an all-out war against psychedelics. But, if trends continue, the companies that are currently working on patents for psychedelic compounds are going to see significant growth.
Before the war on drugs, psilocybin and LSD were showing promising results in treating mental health patients. Doctors and researchers were hopeful that these compounds would change psychotherapy for the better. By the 80s these studies were all but a fond memory. Until now, that is.
It is difficult to judge which companies are going to succeed and which will fail. It takes a significant amount of money to get a drug to market, and not all are going to succeed. It is clear, however, that the research and development of psychedelic compounds as treatment for mental health disorders is here to stay. There is a long way to go before psychedelics become a widely accepted treatment, but it is safe to say that the decades-long PR crisis has come to an end.