Are psychedelics next to treat depression and PTSD?

Pyschedelics for treating PTSD - blog hero image

Current research indicates that when dosage and administration are appropriately managed, recreational psychedelics such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), sometimes referred to as “Molly,” and psilocybin, sometimes referred to as “Shrooms,” are producing positive results. Is the use of psychedelics a viable strategy in the fight against depression and PTSD given the growing global nature of the issue and the lack of new antidepressant classes in the last thirty years?, buy psychedelics for depression colorado here.

Why does mental health matter? A growing problem and opportunity of psychedelics for depression

The foundation of a strong and prosperous economy is a healthy population. However, over 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and 284 million are thought to have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is commonly recognized that mental illness has an adverse effect on an individual’s capacity to work and can severely restrict their involvement in the labor force.Since PTSD remission rates range from 20 to 30 percent, a growing number of people are seeking treatment for depression, which is actually the primary cause of disability globally.

Consequently, one could argue that it is imperative to address the growing mental health crisis. Adolescents and young adults now experience much higher rates of mental illness than they did in the past.

The status quo: Treatment resistance with current anti-depressants of psychedelics for depression

More than thirty years have passed without the development of a new class of antidepressant drugs. For many years, Prozac and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been the mainstay of the antidepressant drug market. A crucial hormone called serotonin stabilizes our mood, feelings, and happiness by activating serotonin receptors in specific brain regions (Figure 1).

In order to raise the amount of serotonin at the synapses, the SSRI medications block the reuptake of serotonin (5-HT) at the neuronal synapses (Figure 1). However, after receiving these prescriptions for many years, a large number of patients have developed treatment resistance to these drugs, which is creating a significant demand for alternative forms of treatment. Is using psychedelics one of those methods?

serotonin molecule and synapse blocker diagram
Figure 1. Serotonin chemical structure (left) and how SSRI drugs work in blocking the reuptake of serotonin at the neuronal synapse (right).

Promising results in early clinical trials of psychedelics for depression

Since 1990, there has been a surge in interest in psychedelic drugs among researchers because of the advancements in neuroimaging technology, which have made it possible to connect these drugs to real outcomes in an experimental setting. These medications belong to a class of hallucinogenic substances that bind to certain neurotransmitter receptors to produce their neurological effects (receptors sensing chemical signals between neurons). Following consumption, they alter perception, mood, and cognitive function and have the potential to induce a “psychedelic trip,” which is a delusional state of mind. These medications are made of synthetic or naturally occurring organic chemical compounds.

Psychedelic drugs are seeing a resurgence in popularity due to the growing awareness of mental health issues and the current state of insufficient treatments:

  • Psilocybin (shrooms) for the treatment of drug-resistant depression in phase 2 trials
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for the treatment of major depressive disorder in phase 2 trials
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) a key ingredient in the drug commonly known as ecstasy or molly, for the treatment of PTSD patients in phase 3 trials.

Mushrooming potential of  psychedelics for depression

Its chemical structure is very similar to serotonin, which enables it to act as a serotonin receptor agonist. After being consumed, psilocybin is converted into the active drug form of psilocin (Figure 2). Just the locations of the hydroxyl and methyl groups distinguish the structures from one another (Figure 3). Psilocybin causes profound delusions, including both visual and auditory hallucinations, over a few hours after consumption, shop here.

Large, quick, and long-lasting antidepressant effects were observed in patients with major depressive disorder receiving psilocybin-assisted therapy, according to results from a randomized clinical trial. For major depressive disorder, psilocybin is currently being studied in phase 2 clinical trials. Furthermore, there have been encouraging results in treating alcohol and nicotine addiction in a number of pilot studies involving psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.

Dephosphorylation of psilocybin
Figure 2. Conversion of psilocybin to psilocin (active form) by dephosphorylation


Structure comparison of psilocin and serotonin, psychedelics for depression
Figure 3. A comparison of the chemical structures between psilocin and serotonin. The differences are labeled with colors in blue and pink.

Early outcomes showed of LSD

LSD can be discovered in and extracted from mushrooms, just like psilocybin. But Dr. Albert Hofmann, a scientist from Switzerland, was the first to chemically synthesize it in 1938. Between 1950 and 1970, a lot of research was done on the psychological effects of LSD. Throughout that time, a number of publications described positive behavioral and personality changes in patients suffering from a range of mental illnesses. It was also noted that patients with advanced cancer may experience less pain, anxiety, and depression when taking LSD in conjunction with appropriate companionship during its administration.Because LSD and serotonin have similar structures, both drugs primarily function as serotonin receptor agonists (Figure 4). Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the connections between receptor activation and the ensuing impairment in cognition and induction of hallucinations. Still.
Chemical structure of LSD
Figure 4. The chemical structure of LSD


MDMA moves beyond raves of psychedelics for depression

A synthetic psychedelic substance is MDMA (Figure 5). It’s been a common party drug used at nightclubs. The main way that MDMA works to increase serotonin released into synapses is by acting as an indirect serotonergic agonist. In order to enhance and facilitate the release of serotonin, it also interacts with serotonin transporters and storage vesicles. The amount of serotonin available in the synapses can rise significantly as a result of this process. In animal models, MDMA has been demonstrated to improve fear memory extinction, regulate fear memory reconsolidation, and support social behavior.What’s more, a research team at Johns Hopkins recently found that it has therapeutic value and may have a mechanism for treating PTSD patients. The group found that MDMA was display.
Chemical structure of MDMA psychedelics for depression
Figure 5. The chemical structure of MDMA

Progress, but more work required

Even with recent advancements, there are still certain obstacles to overcome before psychedelics can be used to treat mental health conditions. First off, a lot of these substances are illegal schedule 1 substances outside of Oregon. Second, there is a great chance that both patients and healthcare professionals will abuse, neglect, or misuse highly controlled substances. And lastly, there are risks related to your physical health. Occasionally, a small percentage of patients may have a moderate rise in heart rate and blood pressure or have a “bad trip,” which is defined as an acute state of anxiety and confusion.

Long-term or frequent use of psychedelic drugs may result in tolerance, even though they do not have the same negative effects on withdrawal or dependency as opioids or cannabis substances do. It is suggested that psychedelic substances .

Classic Psychedelics for the Treatment of Depressive Disorders: An Update for Psychiatrists in Training.


In recent years, media and medical professionals have paid close attention to psychedelics as therapeutic agents. The evidence supporting the use of psychedelics in the treatment of major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression is updated for psychiatric trainees by the authors. Psilocybin, ayahuasca, lysergic acid diethylamide, and N,N-dimethyltryptamine are among the traditional, serotonergic psychedelics that have shown promise in numerous contemporary clinical trials for the treatment of depressive disorders. Larger, double-blinded trials should be used in future clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of psychedelics and clarify severe adverse effects, psychedelics for depression online.

Recent years have seen a rise in interest in psychedelics among academics and the general public. Much of this attention has been drawn by reports of their numerous advantages for mood and overall health; recent research published in highly regarded journals, shop here.

psychedelics for depression Science Primer

The serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A (also known as 5-HT2A) receptor is typically modulated by the serotonergic (“classic”) psychedelics (7). Psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide, ayahuasca, 5-methoxy-N,N-DMT, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and mescaline are the most well-known substances in this class. There is continuous discussion about whether 5-HT2A receptor activity is necessary for a therapeutic effect, despite the fact that this receptor has been linked to the “mystical effects” of psychedelics (8). Nevertheless, some research indicates that alternative pharmacological pathways—such as altered default mode network function, heightened amygdala sensitivity, and reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines—might be accountable (9). On the other hand, because they do not function at the 5-HT2A receptor, “nonclassic” psychedelics like ketamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine are not covered in this article..


Researchers saw immediate and long-lasting antidepressant effects in 24 patients with major depressive disorder in a 2021 randomized controlled trial when they administered moderate-dose (20 mg/70 kg) to high-dose (30 mg/70 kg) psilocybin (2). There was no statistically significant difference in the GRID-Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (GRID-HAM-D) scores of participants in the delayed treatment control group between the baseline and one and four weeks following the session. At weeks 1 and 4, over 70% of individuals in the psilocybin group experienced a clinically significant reduction (>50%) in their GRID-HAM-D scores (lower scores indicate less severe symptoms), with over 50% of them achieving remission. Comparable antidepressant effects were found in a reexamination conducted in 2022, which included a 12-month follow-up and had a sustained response rate of 75% and remission rate, click here for more on psychedelics for depression and other mental breakdowns.

Ayahuasca and N,N-DMT

Ayahuasca is a herbal beverage from South America that contains inhibitors of monoamine oxidase and DMT. The administration of ayahuasca to 17 participants with recurrent major depressive disorder and an average baseline mean HAM-D score of 19.24 was the subject of an uncontrolled open-label trial in 2016. The results showed that a single dose of ayahuasca produced a statistically significant decrease in the HAM-D score to 7.56 at day 21 (lower scores signal less severe symptoms) (15).

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of single-dose ayahuasca versus placebo in a 2019 parallel-arm double-blind randomized controlled trial, which included 29 participants with TRD. Participants with psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders, or suicidal thoughts were not included. The ayahuasca group’s HAM-D scores changed seven days after treatment, reflecting significant effect sizes (16), get the best quality psychedelics for depression online.

Discussion of psychedelics for depression

Although these few preliminary studies are encouraging, they are still constrained by important design flaws such as expectancy bias, small sample sizes, and inadequate blinding. Larger sample sizes are required for better generalizability and the capacity to track side effects, even though the sample sizes were sufficient to detect statistical differences. Due to the strong subjective effects of psychedelics and expectancy bias from “trip-seeking” individuals, blinding has inherent challenges (11, 14, 18,). Whether blinding is a problem that can be solved is still up for debate. Concerns about blinding and bias may be lessened by the use of an active placebo, a reduction in the promotion of psychedelics in scientific circles and among the general public, and the employment of qualified raters (19). In psychedelic-assisted therapy, shop here.


Using psychedelics to treat depression has become a potentially effective treatment option. The research that are currently available, however, have important limitations. Larger double-blind clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of psychedelics should uncover serious side effects..

Key Points/Clinical Pearls


  • Serotonergic psychedelics, primarily psilocybin, show promise in the treatment of major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression.

  • Despite promising results, modern clinical trials continue to be limited by relatively small samples and other design challenges.

At Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, fourth-year medical students Lawrence Canale, Dhvanit Raval, Preet Chatha, Katie Penn, C. Gabrie Weber, and Catherine Stout are enrolled. Dr. Weleff is a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Center for Behavioral Health, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, as well as an Addiction Psychiatry Fellow at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

 Ketamine vs. Psychedelics for Depression: Exploring the Potential Therapeutic Paths

Ketamine and psychedelics have both come to light as possible game-changers in the hunt for efficacious treatments for depression. We shall examine the parallels, discrepancies, and therapeutic possibilities of these two methods in this blog article. Come along as we examine the intriguing world of ketamine and psychedelics in relation to treating depression.

1. Knowledge Ketamine: Originally created as an anesthetic, ketamine has drawn notice recently for its quick-acting antidepressant properties. We will go over the science of ketamine’s potential as a depression treatment as well as how it functions in the brain and how it acts. We will also discuss the various administration techniques, including nasal spray and intravenous infusion.

2. Depression and Psychedelics:

Psychedelics, which include drugs like LSD and psilocybin, are being researched for their potential as therapeutic treatments for depression. We will go into the intriguing study that indicates psychedelics could provide long-term alleviation of depression symptoms in addition to their capacity to alter thought patterns and foster neuroplasticity. We will also discuss the role that integration, setting, and set play in psychedelic therapy.

3. Comparing the Effects: Although ketamine and psychedelics both have potential benefits for treating depression, their modes of action and length of time for achieving such benefits are different. We will provide a thorough summary of how ketamine and psychedelics may affect people with depression by comparing their acute effects, duration of action, and possible side effects.

4. Risks and Safety:

It’s crucial to take ketamine and psychedelic safety profiles into account. We will talk about the possible drawbacks of both strategies, such as the potential for negative reactions, psychological distress, and the necessity of medical care. It is imperative to emphasize that these therapies must always be carried out in a regulated setting and under the supervision of qualified experts.

5. Legal and Accessibility Considerations: Ketamine and psychedelics may be more or less accessible depending on the location. We will go over the prospects and difficulties in getting these therapies as well as an outline of the present legal environment. We will also discuss the current initiatives to open the door for the controlled and responsible use of these drugs.

6. The Future of Depression Treatment:

Both ketamine and psychedelics are having their potential for treating depression further investigated as research in this area moves forward. We will discuss the prospects for these treatments in the future, including continuing clinical trials, FDA approval, and their eventual integration into the mainstream of mental health care.

Conclusion: Ketamine and psychedelics are intriguing options in the search for novel and potent treatments for depression. Although there may be advantages to both strategies, it is crucial to proceed cautiously and with the assistance of qualified experts. The future of depression treatment contains exciting possibilities as research continues to be conducted, offering hope to individuals who have not yet found relief.

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