In addition to cannabinoids, there are multiple other plant medicines and psychoactive molecules which are now being investigated and used as new medicines. In the RM system, we consider new medicines to mean psychedelic or psychoactive state-altering compounds from plants or other sources that can have a profound rapid healing effect. Most of the compounds that fall into this category have been legally prohibited for many decades but are now coming back into mainstream medicine as fast acting therapeutics for many mental health conditions. These compounds are most often used in psychedelic therapy settings using a guided safe setting with a doctor.
Traditionally, these substances have been taken under the guidance of an experienced guide, traditional healer or trained psychotherapist. These compounds offer tremendous hope and potential for treatment of conditions such as treatment resistant depression and other mental health conditions without good western medicine treatments. They also offer potential for self discovery and personal growth (where legally permitted) for those who want to take their wellbeing and resilience to the next level rather than using it for a particular issue or ailment
The emerging research on psychedelic new medicines is the most exciting development in mental health for many decades, since current drug therapies are often ineffective and do not offer a cure for chronic conditions like major depression. Drugs such as SSRIs for example may be helpful for decreasing symptoms in some people but in others they don’t seem to work and even when they do, they merely treat some of the symptoms or turn down the ‘volume’ on symptoms rather than address the root cause or disease. Pyschadelics on the other hand, tend to create faster, more lasting results via multiple brain mechanisms that enhance novel thinking and brain flexibility. These molecules with therapy can help people to recover from trauma and addiction. They can also help heal treatment-resistant depression and provide hope for people with terminal cancer, allowing them to improve their quality of life and mental wellbeing in ways traditional drugs cannot. There is also emerging evidence that psychedelic medicines may work on the brain’s immune system and reduce neuroinflammation.
These biological effects can help explain the science behind the many anecdotal reports of dramatic healing experiences people experience after using these substances in a therapeutic but non doctor or medical setting, often after years of suffering from hard to treat chronic conditions. This is something Dr. Dani has experienced from working with patients who have had such recoveries after seeking out these alternatives and were willing to share their experience often for the first time with a medical doctor.
These molecules include:
- Psilocybin-recently approved by the US FDA as a breakthrough drug for treatment resistant depression, not yet available int he UK outside of a research study
- Ketamine-used already clinically with patients for treatment resistant chronic pain and depression currently in the UK in a medical setting
- MDMA-in clinical trial phase for treatment of PTSD, alcoholism
- Ayahuasca and other traditional plant medicines containing DMT (where legal)-used for personal growth and helping heal from chronic poorly understood conditions, addiction
- DMT and its analogues-currently in early clinical trial phase for depression
- LSD-in clinical research trial phase currently for guided use in depression, anxiety and cluster headache