Despite the “munchies” that cannabis can seem to cause, the evidence has shown that the cannabis community tends to be less obese than the general population. For those of us that continue to battle with maintaining a healthy wait, maybe psychedelics could potentially unlock the answer. While there is currently a lack of human data on the issue, there has been promising results from research on lab rats, and we can expect more studies to be conducted on a whole host of health issues, as psychedelic medicine follows a similar path as medicinal cannabis. Clive Ward Able, MD, a trained physician and pharmacist, discussed his research into the use of psychedelic compounds to treat obesity and optimize human health with Pharmacy Times:
“’The idea is that this has to come from the patient. If the patient wants help for it, this will be able to help them get to a place where they really want to be,’ Ward Able said. ‘But I’m not talking about every single obese patient, because there are a lot of obese patients who are happy the way they are, and they don’t necessarily want to lose weight. But there’s a large component of those, such as in depressed patients, who have certain triggers that get them to overeat or not to exercise, etc.’
Ward Able noted that the target of obesity treatment is not necessarily to bring every patient under a body mass index of 25. Instead, this treatment can hopefully allow patients to get to a healthier weight and maintain it, with an added sense of wellbeing that they may desire after losing weight.
“’This is where I think psychedelics can add to what is being done now,’ Ward Able said. ‘Psychotherapies are being used for the treatment of obesity or weight management, but people tend to fall back into their old behaviors again, although they do work. What I’m calling drug enhanced psychotherapy or psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy adds another facet to that psychotherapy, which should be able to instill much longer lasting positive behaviors, such as an improved diet, whether that’s quantity or quality, or within expenditure of energy, such as increasing your amount of exercise.’”
As Dr. Ward states, psychedelics could be a key to maintaining a healthy weight by helping patients deal with underlying issues such as depression, that are causing unhealthy life choices. With obesity impacting over 42% of American adults and over 8% experiencing depression, millions of people battling mental health issues and the corresponding weight gain, could benefit from psychedelics. With therapeutic psilocybin treatments less than two years away in Oregon thanks to the passage of Measure 109, we will soon have an abundance of evidence about the benefits of “magic mushrooms” and as the Measure 110 drug decriminalization law helps end the stigma around the use of all psychedelics, we will only see more research into how many of these psychoactive substances can help a variety of conditions. Stay tuned, as it is an exciting time for psychedelic medicine.
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