Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Scientists may have found a way to take the trip out of LSD

Well here’s one way to suck all the fun out of psychedelics.

So far tested only on mice, some scientists have published a report in Nature that details a drug they have created that has all the therapeutical benefits of LSD without the trip.

Essentially, it’s an antidepressant that would “work better, work faster, have fewer side effects, and last longer.”

“We found our compounds had essentially the same antidepressant activity as psychedelic drugs,” Dr. Bryan Roth tells NPR about their discovery.

The research began with a group of scientists simply building a library of 75 million molecules that were included in psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, and a migraine druge ergotamine. After they began seeing the therapeutical benefits of psychedelics, they selected two molecules in their library that were the most potent.

They need to be modified before given to humans, because they increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Personally I’m, at best, skeptical about the future of these molecules. From my understanding, the trip is an integral part of the “rewiring” that is needed to get beyond the constraints of depression and anxiety. It allows you to see the world differently and outside of the narrative you tell yourself. Without that, I can’t imagine the process being anything other than a glorified antidepressant with more dependency and “life-hack” mentalities.

Of course, the accessibility for this kind of drug would be much simpler, considering the lack of need for therapy sessions with guides. That will also reduce the price point significantly. So of course, there are huge upsides to a tripless psychedelic. I just can’t see the destination having anywhere near the same effect without the journey it takes to get there.

Read the article at NPR, and the report at Nature.

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