Study: Tripping might not be required for psychedelic therapy

Two different studies provide further evidence of the efficacy of psychedelics in treating depression.

Photo: agsandrew / Adobe Stock
  • A phase 2 clinical trial by Imperial College London found psilocybin to be as effective at treating depression as escitalopram, a commonly prescribed antidepressant.
  • A different study by the University of Maryland showed that blocking the hallucinogenic effects of magic mushrooms in mice did not reduce the antidepressant effect.
  • Combined, these studies could lead to new ways of applying psychedelics to patient populations that don't want to trip.
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Chemists modify hallucinogen to treat depression and addiction

A new study explores the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic drug ibogaine, which has been used in Africa for centuries.

Credit: David S. Soriano / Wikimedia Commons
  • For decades, people have reported that the psychedelic drug ibogaine seems to rid addicts of their cravings for drugs.
  • In a new study, researchers created a variant of ibogaine that's less toxic and doesn't cause hallucinations.
  • The results showed that the variant seemed to significantly lower depression and drug relapse rates in tests on mice.
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New analysis claims the FDA rushed ketamine's approval for depression treatment

Clinical trials by Janssen Pharmaceuticals showed troubling results.

"Depression, Edinburgh" by Ninian Reid/Flickr
  • A new analysis in The British Journal of Psychiatry claims the FDA approval process for ketamine was rushed.
  • Only one of three clinical trials showed efficacy, while the discontinuation trial produced troubling outcomes.
  • Ketamine's side effects include anxiety, poor appetite, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, rage, and craving.
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The DMT ‘elves’ people meet while tripping

Why do so many people encounter these 'elves' after smoking large doses of DMT?

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  • DMT is arguably the most powerful psychedelic drug on the planet, capable of producing intense hallucinations.
  • Researchers recently surveyed more than 2,000 DMT users about their encounters with 'entities' while tripping, finding that respondents often considered these strange encounters to be positive and meaningful.
  • The majority of respondents believed the beings they encountered were not hallucinations.
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Should politicians, en masse, do 'shrooms?

Just for giggles, would it be a good idea to have our leaders take shrooms?

Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Image. Edit by BigThink
  • The idea of mass ingestion of psychedelics to drive people to environmental activism has been put forward lately, inspiring much debate.
  • Suppose we gave it to people with power instead. It seems like it would be more effective.
  • While psychedelics can offer some benefits, they won't necessarily be the right ones to get the job done.
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