In defence of the decriminalisation of drug possession in the UK

Authors Alex Stevens, Niamh Eastwood and Kirstie Douse Published March 24, 2024 Abstract In this review article, we develop the case for the decriminalisation of drug possession in the UK by describing our ‘modest proposal’ to repeal the relevant sections of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and its advantages. We defend this proposal against  …


Childhood trauma, challenging experiences, and post traumatic growth in ayahuasca use

Authors Ksenia Cassidy, CJ Healy, Eva Henje and Wendy D’Andrea Published March 20, 2024 Abstract Challenging experiences in ayahuasca use, childhood trauma, and posttraumatic growth have not been investigated systematically. This study aimed to explore whether a self-reported history of childhood trauma was associated with challenging experiences during acute ayahuasca effects and whether such challenging  …


Participation in an indigenous Amazonian-led ayahuasca retreat associated with increases in nature relatedness – a pilot study

Authors Simon GD Ruffell, Sam Gandy, WaiFung Tsang, Rono Lopez, Nathan O’Rourke, Arsalan Akhtar, Nige Netzband, Jack Hollingdale, Daniel Perkins and Jerome Sarris Published February 28, 2024 Abstract Indigenous Amazonian shamanic ayahuasca practice is embedded in a nature-based context and is employed as an ecological mediating agent and in collective environmental decision-making processes by some  …


A history of the European Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy (EPT) 1964–1974

Authors Torsten Passie Published February 22, 2024 Abstract The emergence of a so-called psychedelic renaissance has been proposed to characterize the revival of research into (psycho-)therapies using psychedelic drugs. In Europe, the most widespread approach employed in the 1960s and 1970s that involved the use of drugs like LSD and psilocybin as an adjunct to  …


Will the war on vaping result in more harm?

Key take-home messages: The disposable vape ban is intended to curb youth vaping, addressing the increasing use of vaping among youth in 2022 and 2023. There is a concern that the ban may have unintended and disastrous consequences on people who have successfully quit, or who are transitioning to quit smoking by using disposable vapes.  …


Teaching Children about Vaping

Written by Hannah Dawes  In a world of misinformation, what can we teachers do? What should we do? How to capture the strained attention of a young audience and give them something useful? TikTok makes for gripping viewing. One video shows stock footage of a coffin being lowered into the ground. My friend died of  …


Minorities’ diminished psychedelic returns: Cardio-metabolic health

Authors Sean Matthew Viña Published January 9, 2024 Abstract Although there is a growing support for the protective factor of psychedelics to improve mental and physical health, these effects may differ across racial and ethnic groups. Race differences remain a critically understudied gap in psychedelic literature. Recent empirical research into Minority Diminished Psychedelic Returns suggests  …


How much do you know about medical cannabis?

In November we brought over 200 patients together in London (and many more online) for the second UK Patient Conference, hosted by Drug Science and Medcan Family Foundation, with support from the Cannabis Industry Council. The event took place as part of Medical Cannabis Awareness Week, which marked five years since the landmark law change  …


Results from Long COVID trial published

We are delighted to share the news that the results from the Long COVID trial have been published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Access Publication Long COVID, a condition characterised by persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection, presents a significant challenge for both patients and healthcare providers. You can read our published review  …


Was ketamine the cause of Matthew Perry’s death?

By Prof David Nutt The death of Matthew Perry from a combination of ketamine and drowning is a sad loss of an exceptional talent. Understandably his fans and the public at large are looking to see how it might have been avoided. Some are blaming ketamine and resurrecting calls for more severe controls on its  …


Patients with a terminal diagnosis want to access psilocybin in the UK

“I want to live as well as I can, for as long as I can. Because my life may end early but I’m not dead yet!”  In a report published today, patients set out their case for Compassionate Access to Psilocybin in the UK calling for the UK government to redraw its rules around psilocybin  …


Decrypting the cryptomarkets: Trends over a decade of the Dark Web drug trade

Authors Harjeev Kour Sudan, Andy Man Yeung Tai, Jane Kim and Reinhard Michael Krausz Published November 19, 2023 Introduction The Dark Web is a subsection of the Internet only accessible through specific search engines, making it impossible to trace users. Due to extensive anonymity, the drug trade on the Dark Web makes regulation complicated. We  …


Can ayahuasca reduce inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity? A pilot study

Authors WaiFung Tsang, Simon GD Ruffell, Nigel Netzband, Angelina Jong, James Rucker, Quinton Deeley and Jack Hollingdale Published November 16, 2023 Background The potential benefits of ayahuasca on mental health conditions are well documented. This pilot study is the first to explore whether there is an association with ayahuasca use and reductions in inattention, hyperactivity  …


The impact of over the counter and prescription medication misuse on friends and family

Authors Rosalind Gittins, Roya Vaziri, and Ian Maidment Published November 16, 2023 Introduction Over the counter and prescription-only medication misuse is of concern. Little is known about the impact on friends/family who provide individuals with support. It is important to increase understanding to identify how substance misuse services (SMS) and others can better meet their  …


Today’s ban on 'laughing gas' is wrong - Prof David Nutt

The government’s ban on nitrous oxide comes into force today (Wednesday 8th November, 2023) and possession of the drug is now a criminal act in the United Kingdom. Drug Science’s founder, Professor David Nutt, says: “We believe the ban is wrong. It is completely disproportionate to nitrous oxide’s harms. It will place a new burden  …


Mike Roberts – Medical Cannabis Patient Story

The UK Patient Conference is being held in central London and online, Friday 3 November 2023. It brings together patients, industry, healthcare professionals, charities and members of the public to discuss current issues in the medical cannabis space. Everyone is welcome. Buy a ticket from £5 In the lead up to the event, we are  …


We have launched our new consultancy arm

Founded in 2010 by the neuropsychopharmacologist Professor David Nutt, independent research charity Drug Science is the leading organisation of its kind in the UK — we built a renowned international reputation as thought leaders, particularly around the study of cannabis and psychedelics. Today, we launch Drug Science Consultancy, to provide research advice and consultancy services  …


Sophie Gorman – Medical Cannabis Patient Story

The UK Patient Conference is being held in central London and online, Friday 3 November 2023. It brings together patients, industry, healthcare professionals, charities and members of the public to discuss current issues in the medical cannabis space. Everyone is welcome. Buy a ticket from £5 In the lead up to the event, we are  …


Drug Science Consultancy provides research advice and consultancy services to businesses, governments and other stakeholders on all drug related areas, with particular emphasis on the emerging cannabis and psychedelic medicine markets.

We are a separate, commercially oriented trading arm of the Drug Science charity, and all profits are returned to the charity to support its charitable objectives.

Our Expertise

We have extensive experience across a range of scientific disciplines and research and development approaches. Our team includes experts in epidemiology, quantitative and qualitative methods, pharmacology, neuroscience and neuroimaging, as well as clinical trial design. In addition, we understand the regulatory landscape for cannabis and psychedelics, and we can provide guidance on navigating these complex bureaucratic processes.

Drug Science Consultancy is committed to providing the highest quality research advice and consultancy services. We work with our clients to ensure that their research is well-designed, ethical, and compliant with all relevant regulations. We also provide regular updates on progress and make ourselves available to answer questions.

Collaborations

We are working together with a trusted group of Contract Research Organisations and have established partnerships with the leading academic institutions in the UK as well as a range of external experts globally.

What We Offer

Project Management

Conducting Research

Clinical Trial Development

Communications and Marketing

Our Experts

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Drug Science, David is the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, at Imperial College London. One of the world’s leading researchers on drugs, David continues to fight for evidence-based drug policies.

Mike is Chief Medical Officer at Drug Science, a consultant neurologist, as well as Founder Chair of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, Chair of the Cannabis Industry Council and Chair of Maple Tree Med Can Consultancy. A global medical cannabis expert, Mike has dedicated his career to the development of neurological rehabilitation and medical cannabis treatments and education.

Michael is Chief Research Officer at Drug Science and has previously worked as an academic researcher in mental health and drug science in Australia, the US and UK. He is an epidemiologist and research methodologist and has extensive experience running studies including cross-sectional studies, prospective observational studies of general population and clinic samples, genetically informed and real world data.

Long standing Head of Research and currently CEO of Drug Science, Anne is a Chartered Psychologist, with extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative drug research, especially medical cannabis and medical psychedelics. Anne holds honorary senior positions at both King’s College London and Imperial College London.

Hannah is Senior Researcher at Drug Science. Hannah’s experience ranges across biochemistry, neuroscience, pre-clinical and  clinical research, and she has led research on medical cannabis and psychedelics.

Rayyan is a Senior Researcher at Drug Science, and postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College London. He has led clinical and neuroscience research in the field of  psychopharmacology, and offers extensive experience in clinical trials, as well as biomedical, psychedelic and cannabis science.

Alkyoni is Research Officer at Drug Science, where she is instrumental in data collection and analysis of Project Twenty21 (T21), the UK’s first medical cannabis registry. She is  experienced in large scale project management, stakeholder communications as well as protocol development.

Head of Operations at Drug Science, James is our legal and regulatory consultant with experience in the UK, Canada, Australia, USA, Israel and various EU member states. James contributed to the development of the world’s largest psychedelic Real World Evidence project that utilises medical psilocybin products and is able to advise on law and regulatory pathways.

Mags is our Head of Projects and Communications with extensive marketing and project management experience from the corporate advertising sector. She works across all aspects of the business; managing strategic communications, curating educational events for various sectors, as well as being a main point of liaison with key partners and stakeholders.

Why Choose Drug Science Consultancy?

We are global thought leaders in medical cannabis and medical psychedelics research and committed to providing the highest quality research advice and consultancy services. We work with our clients to ensure that their research is well-designed, ethical, and compliant with all relevant regulations. We also provide regular updates on our progress and make ourselves available to answer questions.

Contact Us

Please reach out and get in touch if you represent a company that wants to conduct scientific research. 

We will not answer medical cannabis patient queries, please send these to twenty21@drugscience.org.uk

Consultancy contact form

From prohibited to prescribed: The rescheduling of MDMA and psilocybin in Australia

Authors Octavian Dixon Ritchie, Cameron N Donley and Gabrielle Dixon Ritchie Published September 6, 2023 Background On February 3, 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, announced that on July 1, 2023, the psychedelics 3′4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin will be medically accessible and regulated for psychiatric use in  …


Racial and religious motives for drug criminalization

Authors Petter Grahl Johnstad Published September 6, 2023 Abstract The world has a long-standing system of drug control intended to suppress the use of a range of psychoactive drugs on the basis that such use is very harmful both to the users themselves and to their social surroundings. This perception of harmfulness has a long  …


MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with adolescents suffering from PTSD: Do or don’t? a qualitative study with youth, parents, and clinicians

Authors Anoek S Van Vugt, Josjan Zijlmans, Ramon Lindauer and Levi Van Dam Published September 1, 2023 Background PTSD in adolescence causes much suffering and has substantial health-care costs. Many patients with severe PTSD do not respond to psychotherapy or continue to have symptoms despite trauma-focused psychotherapies and psychopharmacological treatment. A recent alternative in the  …


Perceived barriers to access to hepatitis C for people who inject drugs in Morocco: A qualitative explorative study

Authors Zakaria Belrhiti and Fatima Zohra Serghini Published September 1, 2023 Background Worldwide, approximately there are 15.6 million people who inject drugs. Recently, a rising prevalence of hepatitis C virus among the people who inject drugs community (8.2 million, 40 to 80% of people who inject drugs) urged governments to implement targeted preventive and structural  …