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Mental Health Professionals Consider Cannabis as Psychedelic Therapy Treatment

Psychiatrists say the herb could be beneficial in the treatment of mental illness.

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Although marijuana is not classified a psychedelic drug, some mental health professionals believe this should change.

During a recent conference in London on the science of psychedelics, Julie Holland, who operates a private psychiatric practice in New York, said there is evidence that marijuana leads to “dishabituation” -- a mental morph, of sorts, that allows the user to respond to old things as thought they were new again. She told those in attendance that the process “can be very helpful in psychiatry,” according to a report from Business Insider.

Researchers have been working for years to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for the mentally ill. Some studies have shown that the use of psilocybin, LSD and other substances with a hallucinogenic effect can be extremely beneficial in the treatment of conditions ranging from severe anxiety to deep depression.

However, Holland, who is presently part of a study sponsored by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to examine the effects of marijuana on patients with PTSD, says the psychedelic aspect of the cannabis plant never seems to get the credit it likely deserves.

But until the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) finally takes some action toward removing cannabis from the confines of its Schedule I classification, it will remain difficult for the psychiatric community to conduct the type of research needed to determine just how effective the herb can be.

A recent report from the Cannifornian indicates that the DEA still has not taken any of the steps it promised last year to help facilitate marijuana research. Although 25 potential growers have submitted applications, the agency has yet to give any organization other than the University of Mississippi the power to grow research marijuana.

Interestingly, it was just earlier this year that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a massive study concluding that marijuana was undoubtedly effective in treating a variety of conditions. However, the study authors said it was absolutely crucial for the federal government to loosen some of the restrictions on this plant in order for scientists to unlock its true potential.