Numinus is a Vancouver-based health company, who has received the greenlight from Health Canada to use MDMA-assisted therapy (also known as ecstasy) in order to treat 20 people with PTSD.
This is not unprecedented as research regarding the health benefits of MDMA has been on the rise. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has conducted previous studies with a higher than 50% success rate, and they’re sponsoring Niminus’ study. More than half the people in the study ended up no longer being diagnosed with PTSD two months after going through three MDMA-assisted therapy sessions.
The only way to legally use MDMA is under supervision and approval for medical and scientific purposes, as it is still an illegal substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
“We’re providing safety data and efficacy data to Health Canada that’s going to help support the eventual regulatory approval of this medication,” said Dr. Devon Christie, medical and therapeutic services director at Numinus (CBC News).
Christie and others working on this trial hope to build on what is already known about MDMA-assisted therapy and how it can be safely delivered in “real-world setting” with best practices in place.
MAPS is sponsoring other similar trials and studies in MDMA-assisted therapy for disorders other than PTSD, such as eating disorders etc. They hope to get approval and regulate using MDMA for its health benefits in the US and Canada within 2-3 years.