This page has been made possible with the help of Martin Beddeleem of Société Psychédélique Française.
In the 1950s and 1960s, plenty of psychedelic research took place in France. Today, however, all psychedelics are classified as illegal in France. In some cases, ketamine can be prescribed to treat PTSD and depression.
Psychedelics in France: A Brief History
Roger Heim is one of the most well-known French contributors to the world of psychedelics. Heim was a botanist that specialized in mycology and famously studied alongside R. Gordon Wasson in Mexico in the 1950s. While in Mexico, Heim collected and identified many species of psilocybe mushrooms. Upon his return to France, Heim was the first person to cultivate psychedelic mushrooms in the lab. Thanks to his work, Albert Hoffman was later able to isolate and identify psilocybin and psilocin from these mushrooms at Sandoz Labs.
In 1958, the world’s first clinical trials with psilocybin took place at the Sainte-Anne hospital in Paris and were led by Professor Jean Delay. A case study investigating the use of psilocybin in a woman with anorexia and comorbid depression by this research group was recently translated to English.
Psychedelics in France Today
Clinical research with psychedelics in France is yet to reach the heights that we are seeing in other countries. At present, Luc Mallet is leading a promising study at the Institut du Cerveau. This trial, known as AdelyLSD, is exploring the effects of LSD on alcohol dependence in 210 participants from addiction centres across France. Another researcher of note is Mickaêl Naasila of Université Picardie-Jules Verne who participated in the pan-European project, PsiAlc, that explored the inhibitory effects of psilocybin on alcohol consumption in rats.
There are also a number of researchers exploring psychedelics in France through the lens of anthropology and sociology. Some researchers of note are Zoë Dubus, Élise Grandgeorge, Vincent Verroust and the late Martin Fortier.
The Société Psychédélique Française (French Psychedelic Society) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to disseminating information on psychedelics throughout French society and culture. The organisation was founded by a group of like-minded French researchers in 2017 and provides important information on psychedelic publications, opinion pieces and the running of events in order to increase the probability of a wider cultural acceptance of psychedelics, and finally, clinical research on psychedelics in France.
The Société Psychédélique de Lyon (founded in 2020) is another non-profit organisation dedicated to publicizing the recent research on psychedelics, providing safe spaces for reasonable conversations around psychedelics, and doing community work in line with risk reduction.
The forum Psychoactif is also a valuable resource for researchers and people who use psychedelics.
Explore more info with a membership (any level)
🧑 Which companies & people work with psychedelics in France
🔬 Trails & conferences taking place in France
📈 In-depth psychedelic reports (Sprout & Tree)