A Biotech Startup Won a Patent to Combine Elements of Weed and Psychedelics
It’s based on the theory that the benefits of psychedelic plants and fungi come from a combination of chemicals working together
Whether aiming to enhance spiritual growth or brighten the music at Lollapalooza, people have been combining cannabis and psilocybin “magic” mushrooms recreationally for ages. But a small biotech startup called CaaMTech Inc. just became the first to patent the idea.
The patent covers a whole range of cannabinoids — chemical compounds produced by marijuana plants, such as THC or CBD — mixed with a bevy of chemicals related to psilocybin mushrooms. It details myriad formulations, including dried powder, pills, gummies, and edibles, with a blanket of proposed applications for psychological disorders. The company, based in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, hopes investors will want to license these formulations, which each combine a cannabinoid with a psilocybin derivative, either to treat mental health or entertain a yet-to-exist recreational market. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the patent in mid-January.
“The single drug will often behave differently than combinations of the drugs,” CaaMTech CEO and co-founder Andrew Chadeayne, PhD, told Future Human. “You get to fill in sort of the spectrum of different things.”
Separately, both cannabis and psilocybin are being explored by researchers to treat mental health disorders. A 2020 review in BMC Psychiatry examined 13 studies using cannabinoids to treat mental health disorders and found “encouraging, albeit embryonic, evidence for medicinal cannabis in the treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders,” including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, based on the limited data and few well-designed clinical trials available, the evidence was “too weak” to recommend giving cannabis to patients. The evidence for psilocybin and mental health is stronger. A meta-analysis in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs published in January 2020 underlined the large effect size and few side effects of psilocybin for end-of-life anxiety and depression.