March 30th, 2007

Chris Keeley

10 Zen Monkeys — Prescription Ecstasy and Other Pipe Dreams

10 Zen Monkeys — Prescription Ecstasy and Other Pipe Dreams

Have you ever walked into a pharmacy with a prescription for Acid and Ecstasy? You will.


RU Sirius interviews psychedelic researcher

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 daily basis…

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)