Awakn’s Dr. Ben Sessa: Ketamine Assisted Therapy Providing “Breakthrough, Transformative Experience”

On this newest Trade To Black Podcast, TDR Founder Shadd Dales and lead financial writer Benjamin A. Smith spoke with Dr. Ben Sessa, Chief Researcher of Psychedelic Medicine at Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN)(OTCMKTS: AWKNF). Dr. Sessa elucidated on a variety of topics including the healing prowess of ketamine assisted therapy, ketamine’s rightful classification as a psychedelic drug, Awakn’s upcoming Phase 3 trial in the NHS system and more.

On the subject of ketamine itself, many people do not realize that the substance is the only approved psychedelic compound approved in conjunction with assisted therapy. Ketamine, including its salts, isomers and salts of isomers, is classified as a Schedule III non-narcotic substance under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. While most of the acclaimed psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, are classified as Schedule I narcotics.

Although Schedule III drugs still carry the risk of substance use disorder, it is considered less risky than than Schedule I/II drugs, and medical providers can prescribe them for illnesses, injuries, and mental illness. 

And while there is some debate on whether ketamine should be classified as a ‘psychedelic’ as it does not primarily act on 5-HT receptors, Dr. Sessa believes the substance deserves such a designation:

Benjamin A. Smith: In your opinion, should it (ketamine) be considered a psychedelic medicine or something different?

Dr. Ben Sessa: Yes, so that’s a good question Ben. I think the taxonomy of psychedelics is an interesting subject. If you’re going to be really purest about it, you would use the word ‘psychedelic’ with a capital ‘P’ to refer to what we call the tryptamine or serotonergic psychedelics: LSD, psilocybin, LSD and mescaline. But, I would say if we define psychedelics as a drug which enhances psychotherapy by allowing access to repressed memories and feelings through an altered state of consciousness, that opens the door to many other compounds… we give ketamine to people at high dose—trust me, they have a psychedelic experience… we give ketamine to people at high dose—trust me, they have a psychedelic experience.

Dr. Ben Sessa, Chief Researcher of Psychedelic Medicine at Awakn Life Sciences

Although ketamine is a glutamatergic modulator and not a psychedelic substance in the classic sense, Dr. Sessa considers it a psychedelic due of its mind-altering characteristics. Thus, he consider pure THC (without the balancing CBD), salvia divinorum (a high efficacy kappa-opioid agonist) to be among the non-classic psychedelic that could also fit the description.

As ketamine produces hallucinations in users, it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. Recreationally, a “Special K” trip is touted as better than that of LSD or PCP because its hallucinatory effects are relatively short in duration, lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes as opposed to several hours.

Dr. Sessa addresses the use of psychedelics in the U.K. rave scene and how in a sense, it helped influence the industry as it is today.

Click on the embedded link to view the full interview with Awakn’s Chief Researcher of Psychedelic Medicine, Dr. Ben Sessa, in his own words.


In accordance with an executed agreement between The Dales Report and Awakn Life Sciences, The Dales Report is engaged with the aforementioned on a current 4-month contract and has received 125,000 common shares for services rendered included in the agreement, with the purpose of publicly disseminating information pertaining to Awakn Life Sciences via The Dales Report’s media assets, encompassing its website, diverse social media platforms, and YouTube channel. Compensation for The Dales Report services involves the receipt of a predefined monetary consideration, which may, on certain occasions, encompass ordinary shares in instances where monetary compensation was not obtained. In such instances where share compensation was received, The Dales Report hereby asserts the right to engage in the acquisition or disposition of such shares subsequent to the conclusion of the aforementioned contractual period, in compliance with provincial, state, and federal securities regulations. Please refer to the “Disclosures” section below, which is to be interpreted in conjunction with this disclaimer .

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