Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy research grant


The Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research  Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction is funding three clinical trials to study the therapeutic efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.

This research investment will provide evidence to better understand the health benefits and harms of unapproved drugs like psilocybin. This research is made possible via the Government of Canada’s Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS). The CDSS is a comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based approach to addressing drug and substance policy, including innovative approaches to treatment and harm reduction.

Research projects

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in some species of mushrooms. The research will study the use of psilocybin, in combination with psychotherapy, to treat specific mental health and substance use disorders. The three clinical trials will examine psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat: (1) alcohol use disorder, (2) treatment-resistant depression, and (3) end-of-life psychological distress in advanced-stage cancer patients:

Project title Principal Investigator Research Institution Project Amount
Psilocybin-assisted Existential, Attachment and Relational (PEARL) therapy for patients with advanced cancer: A randomized controlled trial Sarah Hales University of Toronto $928,643
Mechanisms supporting psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat alcohol use disorder Leah Mayo University of Calgary $1,000,000
Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression: A randomized phase II clinical trial comparing one versus two psychedelic doses of psilocybin Joshua Rosenblat University of Toronto $1,000,000

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