10 Zen Monkeys
has a highly informative interview
with Jag Davies from MAPS
(Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies). Davies runs
through all the latest information on legal psychedelic studies and
experimentation. (Those Monkeys also toss out some
really funny stoner jokes.) The interview, covering pot, ecstasy, psilocybin,
ibogaine, ketamine, and LSD, ran first on the RU Sirius Show.
RU: So a while back, MAPS got approval for a study
in MDMA (ecstasy) assisted psychotherapy. Where are we at with that?
JAG: It's almost over. They've treated 15 out of 20
patients. It's very slow. There are lots of pre-conditions for the
study because it's such a controversial substance. But the results
are ridiculous. Their CAPS score—(CAPS is the Clinician Administered
PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] Scale) is about five times
higher than in treating chronic treatment-resistant patients with
Zoloft... And there are a whole other slew of studies that are sort
of copying this one that we're doing in a bunch of other places like
Switzerland, and Israel, just to be sure.
JEFF: So does it look like MDMA is going to become
something that's used pharmaceutically?
JAG: After careful analysis, we decided that MDMA is
probably the most likely of any psychedelic drug to get approved.
First of all, it has a very gentle sort of pharmacological profile.
But the other reason is… because it was so demonized by the
government in the 1980s and 1990s, there has been hundreds of
millions of dollars of research done into its risks. So they've done
all the work for us!
RU: You mentioned a comparison to Zoloft, the
implication being that MDMA could be an effective anti-depressant.
JAG: The difference is that MDMA is not used on a
JEFF: What kind of dosage did they use? Was it
comparable to a street hit?
JAG: Actually, it's a bit larger than a street hit.
It's 125 milligrams pure. And then we actually got approval about
halfway through the study to make a couple of changes. One of them
was to take a booster dose, basically, although we call it a
"supplemental" dose. They take another 60 milligrams about an hour
and half into it.
JEFF: You're not calling it "a bump"? (laughter)