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Gwella: raising acceptance of psychedelics through education

Gwella is providing educational resources on psychedelics with an aim to remove the stigma surrounding use of the compounds.



Gwella: providing tools for psychedelic education

Peter Reitano, CEO of Gwella, speaks to Psychedelic Health about the company’s mission to provide education on psychedelics and raise acceptance of the compounds beyond mental health applications.

Reitano co-founded Gwella, which is dedicated to advocating for access to diverse plant medicines, after working for a number of years in the cannabis industry.

The company has evolved into a platform that provides a variety of tools, products and educational content to help people use psychedelic substances in a safe, effective and responsible way outside of the pharmaceutical system.

See also  Where can I find training for psychedelic therapy?

Reitano commented: “It’s our belief that there’s a lot more to these substances than helping sick people. We think there are a lot of use cases for people wanting to improve their lives or have profound, life-changing experiences or enhance their creativity.

“Our mission has always been to normalise the usage for personal wellness or for fun – there’s a lot of people who use these things instead of drinking for example. Sometimes it’s okay to have fun with these natural, very low-risk substances.

“People are already using them, so how do we improve the outcomes? We want to help people have better experiences.”

Scientifically formulated products

Gwella has generated over CAD$1 million in revenue in its first year and has received financial backing from the likes of the Palo Santo fund, the Conscious Fund and Vine Ventures, amongst others.

So far, the company has launched two products – its scientifically formulated ‘Mojo’ gummies and a set of intention cards to support people with integration of their experiences.

“With Mojo we aimed to replicate the effects of a low or microdose of psilocybin without any psilocybin,” said Reitano. “So, we are legally producing the same results using other plants and botanicals.

See also  Study identifies safe, low dose of psilocybin for first time

“We spent two years with our science team making it, testing and trying it out. We started selling it in October last year, and have now sold over 500,000 gummies.

“There is a lot of interest in and traction for a product like this that essentially helps people improve their mood, productivity and flow, and provides a bit more energy and focus without any toxic side effects that things like energy drinks have.”

The product, formulated by Gwella’s Chief Scientific Officer, Daniel Sanders, an expert in genetics and biotechnology, uses a stack of over 12 different bioactives that Reitano says work together synergistically, including natural stimulants and natural caffeine, mood stabilisers and nootropics.

“Sanders came up with the formulation ten years ago,” explained Reitano. “We use a very powerful, very specific strain of mushroom called Cordyceps sinensis (CS-4) – the most potent form of cordyceps on the market – which is the primary stimulant. We also use ingredients such as ginger to settle the stomach and Lion’s Mane to help with the brain and cognitive function.

“So, we use a variety of natural herbs, roots and botanicals stacked together.”

Gwella: raising acceptance of psychedelics through education

The right to consciousness

Reitano believes that the psychedelic wellness market will grow in the years to come, and Gwella’s aim is to sell real microdoses underneath the same brand.

Highlighting that scaling psychedelics as a medicine into healthcare systems will come with costs, Reitano says that people may benefit from these substances outside of this setting.

“The wellness market is going to be much bigger, because that is generally how people have historically encountered these substances,” said Reitano.

“I do think psychedelics as medicine will become increasingly important and will serve a very important role. However, I’m not sure that within the next 10 years we will see an enormous market in the UK, for example.

“These substances can be used on either side and there’s value to either one. I hope people can respect people’s decision if they want to go either route. I think the thing that underscores all of this is that we should have the right to experiment with our own consciousness as an adult, and nobody has the right to tell me that I can’t take a natural substance and have an experience.

“This is part of human history. We’ve been using these substances for a long time – the ancient Greeks in Eleusis, for example. This is part of our inheritance.”

Gwella: raising acceptance of psychedelics through education

Gwella CEO, Peter Reitano

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Markets & Industry

Psychedelic therapy programmes launch to address heartbreak, burnout and more



Psychedelic therapy programmes launch to address heartbreak, burnout and more

Mindbloom has launched its new Mastermind Series of psychedelic programmes for overcoming heartbreak, burnout and other unique mental health challenges. 

Led by and developed with leading experts in the field, each programme combines specialised teachings with ketamine therapy.

All programmes will include six ketamine therapy sessions focusing on a specific mental health issue, expert-led audio, video, and written content for preparation, treatment, and integration, practical tools such as meditation, one-on-one coaching and group integration sessions.

See also  Psychedelics for frontline workers, palliative care and eating disorders

The first programme in the Series is ‘Recovering from Rejection and Failure’, led by Dr Guy Winch who is a leading authority on emotional health, and a best-selling author and TED speaker whose talks have received over 30 million views.

Winch’s programme focuses on healing and preventing emotional injuries that people suffer in their personal, professional and romantic lives.

Mindbloom CEO and Founder Dylan Beynon stated: “More than 100 studies and 20 plus years of clinical use show that ketamine therapy may be the most transformational mental health treatment available today.

“In the face of epidemics of mental illness, addiction, and loneliness, we’re thrilled to offer our clients access to top experts across a range of issues – and to pair their expertise with our best-in-class ketamine therapy honed over hundreds of thousands of treatment sessions.”

“Emotional wounds like rejection and failure can be even more devastating than physical wounds, yet we don’t give them the same time and attention,” added Dr Winch.

“I’m thrilled to combine my techniques for emotional first aid with ketamine therapy, which has been shown to increase neuroplasticity and help build emotional resilience.”

Additional Mastermind programmes will be released in the coming months, including: Getting Unstuck, by Dr Elizabeth Lombardo; Beating Burnout, by Dr Shauna Shapiro; and Coping with Cravings, by Dr Jud Brewer

“Americans are struggling with heartbreak, burnout, and other challenges every day, and they’re looking for new tools to address them,” said Mindbloom’s Medical Director Dr Leonardo Vando.

“I’m grateful to these experts for providing Mindbloom’s clients with the unique practices and insights they’ve cultivated during their distinguished careers, to help them overcome the biggest obstacles in their lives.”

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Mychedelica launches to revolutionise psychedelic medicine



Mychedelica launches to revolutionise psychedelic medicine

A new company specialising in psychedelic medicine – mychedelica – is offering a comprehensive suite of services to support the advancement of this transformative field. 

With a team of experienced medical writers and research support specialists, mychedelica is committed to providing the highest quality services to researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies working in the psychedelic medicine space.

Psychedelic medicine is rapidly gaining recognition for its potential to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the field is still in its early stages of development, and there is a critical need for high-quality medical writing and research support services to facilitate its progress.

CEO of mychedelica, Bilal Bham, commented: “We are thrilled to launch mychedelica and contribute to the advancement of psychedelic medicine.

“Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality services to researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies working in this groundbreaking field.”

mychedelica provides a comprehensive range of services, including:

Medical writing: Experienced medical writers will craft clinical trial protocols, regulatory submissions, and peer-reviewed publications, ensuring that research findings are communicated clearly and effectively.

Funding research support: Experts in grant writing and fundraising strategies will assist researchers in securing funding for their psychedelic medicine studies.

Regulatory consulting: mychedelica’s team of regulatory experts will navigate the complex regulatory landscape surrounding psychedelic medicine, ensuring that clinical trials and products comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

With its commitment to quality and innovation, mychedelica is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of psychedelic medicine. The company’s services will empower researchers to conduct rigorous clinical trials, clinicians to provide effective treatments, and pharmaceutical companies to develop safe and effective psychedelic medicines.

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Short Wave Pharma: innovating eating disorder care with psychedelics



Short Wave Pharma: innovating eating disorder care psychedelics

Psychedelic Health speaks to Short Wave Pharma CEO Rivki Stern about the company’s plans to innovate eating disorder care through psychedelics and its recent acquisition by Psych Capital.

Short Wave Pharma was recently acquired by global investment firm Psych Capital. The companies are on a mission to transform mental health care, focusing on innovative approaches and treatments, including psychedelics, which are increasingly gaining acceptability as clinical research results accumulate.

Short Wave Pharma’s clinical programmes are particularly focused on Anorexia nervosa – a complex mental health condition with one of the highest fatality rates. Despite the condition being associated with high rates of suicide, it is a hugely underserved area of mental health, with no FDA-approved pharmacological drug, and a high rate of chronicity. 

See also  Psych Capital completes acquisition of Short Wave Pharma

The company has developed a novel delivery method and drug combination specifically designed to address the requirements of this vulnerable population. Short Wave focuses on methods of delivery that will be effective for Anorexia, which is a metabolic disease as well as a mental health condition. Its unique buccal film delivery method is intended to affect the brain while bypassing the liver and gut degradation through mucoadhesive absorption.

“Our goal is to alleviate, solve, and treat mental health conditions. It’s a dire need in our global society, and it’s constantly on the rise,” commented Stern. “Eating disorders are a very good example of that and we have seen a very alarming growth since COVID. 

“What drew our attention to psychedelics is that they have the potential to address very complex mental health diseases and have been designated by FDA as breakthrough medicine for life-threatening conditions.

“Because there are no current solutions, we must harness very innovative approaches and potential solutions. That’s why we started working with psychedelics which may be difficult because they are not regulated, but we don’t shy away from challenges.”

The company’s drug is based on psilocybin and another API which together utilise an expanded mechanism of action and a therapeutic effect superior to psilocybin alone, impacting more than one group of receptors in the brain. 

The delivery method is sensitive to the patients’ needs – who may not want to swallow or be injected – and is known for its high bioavailability. 

“By mucosal absorption, we are speeding the onset of the medicine and amplifying the impact which will help tackle the patients’ metabolic challenges and improve acceptance,” says Stern. 

The drug product and delivery method are currently in preparation for Phase 1 clinical studies, and in its current preclinical studies, the company is validating its delivery and expanded mechanisms of action. So far, initial safety results are positive, with a further, more in-depth toxicity study taking place. 

Psych Capital – which is a public investment and awareness platform for mental health, and has a portfolio of innovative companies – has supported Short Wave Pharma’s IP-driven approach to eating disorder care through its recent acquisition of the company.

Short Wave and Psych Capital say they are aligned in their missions to innovate mental healthcare and deliver transformative care in areas of high unmet need.

Stern commented: “We all share a passion for innovation and together have decades of experience in evaluating investments as well as scaling up R&D projects and start-ups in life sciences. 

“We have a shared commitment to alleviate the suffering from mental health. Every one of us has experienced the frustration and challenges of dealing with mental health issues.

“Together, we’re going to put this commitment into action, by bringing forth innovative solutions and developments and getting them through the first stages of development, from discovery through to early phases of clinical study. 

“With psychedelics components, this is extra challenging because of their status as scheduled drugs within a still evolving regulatory framework, which adds uncertainty to the drug development process. 

“Short Wave Pharma has operational expertise in early-stage drug development which will bring extra value to the group’s projects as they develop through our funnel and grow into promising candidates for mental healthcare.  

“We want to identify the gems, guide them through clinical development, and create the right network to attract the right partners for further development and commercialisation.”

Short Wave Pharma is planning to enter its treatment into clinical studies in 2024.

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