Psychedelics Pioneer Creates Alcohol Substitute With No Toxicity

Psychedelics Pioneer Creates Alcohol Substitute With No Toxicity

In 2009, David Nutt was dismissed from his role as England’s chief drug adviser when he claimed LSD and MDMA were less dangerous than alcohol. Though it’s surely a nuanced argument, Nutt was referring to the relative toxicity between the substances – a fact overshadowed by the cultural stigma surrounding them. And now he’s trying to take that conviction to market with an alcohol substitute called Alcarelle, which gives users the buzz without the horribly toxic side effects.

“The industry knows alcohol is a toxic substance,” said Nutt in an interview with the Guardian. “If it were discovered today, it would be illegal as a foodstuff. The safe limit of alcohol, if you apply food standards criteria, would be one glass of wine a year.”

This hasn’t slowed the consumption of alcohol as the trillion-dollar global industry continues to flourish. Meanwhile, alcohol is attributed to nearly 6 percent of all deaths globally every year – that’s about 3.3 million people killed from alcohol-related issues.

While Nutt’s career is marked by his many breakthroughs studying the psychologically therapeutic effects of psychedelics – and earning him the lengthy title of neuropsychopharmacologist – he’s had his idea for an alcohol alternative on the back burner for decades.

Ever since he began studying alcohol antidotes that reversed the drug’s inebriating effects, Nutt realized that GABA receptors in the brain could be targeted to produce intoxication, while avoiding the elements that damage the liver and other vital organs. And now he believes the market is primed for a release of his product as the extent of alcohol’s adverse effects have become more widely understood.

He also believes the Silicon Valley doctrine of creating “disruptive” technologies has set the stage for his product to infiltrate the behemoth that is the alcohol industry.

In fact, he says he believes the industry will be receptive to his product as major liquor, wine, and beer brands are already investing in alternatives such as cannabis, at the behest of their customers; notably the newer generations that have access to more data and are more health conscientious.

david nutt

David Nutt via independent.co.uk

But instead of trying to convince alcohol producers to revamp their entire process, Nutt says Alcarelle could simply be added to existing product, while the alcohol content is synthesized out or the product not distilled at all.

Nutt has identified the serotonin, dopamine and GABA receptors in the brain that alcohol works across and says he can individually target disparate receptors to achieve desired effects.

Not only could Alcarelle vary in the level of intoxication it induces, but it can also deliver a “capped” drunkenness where, after a certain point, you won’t get any drunker no matter how much you imbibe.

Nutt is currently working on acquiring $26 million in funding to have it properly tested and approved by the appropriate government regulatory agencies, before taking it to market. He already has one investor who provided the seed funding to get the product off the ground.

For now, only a handful of people, mostly he and his colleagues, have had the pleasure of trying his drug, and all are in concurrence that it’s as effective, if not more pleasant than alcohol. If it truly evades liver damage and a hangover, he may have an incredibly desirable compound on his hands. And coming from a man who owns a bar of his own and intends to one day sell Alcarelle at his establishment, it all sounds pretty promising.

 

For more on research conducted in Nutt’s field check out Gaia’s original series Psychedelica:

Psychedelic Society


Study Shows Microdosing Psilocybin Boosts Mood, Mental Health

Study Shows Microdosing Psilocybin Boosts Mood, Mental Health

A new study provides the most compelling evidence to date on the impressive mental health benefits of microdosing psilocybin.

While there has been an ever-increasing number of studies showing the efficacy of treatment of mental health disorders with psychedelics, there has been relatively little research on the practice of microdosing. 

Microdosing, or repeatedly taking small, barely perceptible amounts of psychedelics, has been exponentially increasing in popularity, with a wide range of people reporting a multitude of improvements to their psychological wellbeing.

The latest scientific study to look at the effects of microdosing was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia, as well as other leaders in the fields of psychology and mycology. The study followed 953 people who used small, repeated doses of psilocybin for about 30 days, as well as a control group who did not microdose.

While the exact dosages of psylocibin that participants self-administered varied somewhat, they were all low enough to not impact daily functioning.

Over a one-month period, participants took these psylocibin microdoses three to five times per week and were asked to complete a number of assessments through a smartphone app that tracked their mental health symptoms, mood, and measures of cognition. The findings definitively showed that the microdosing participants demonstrated greater improvements in mood and mental health than those in the non-microdosing control group.

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