Strongest Psychedelic Known to Man Now Being Used in Clinical Trials
The world’s first regulated clinical trial of DMT clears the way for Earth’s most powerful psychoactive drug to join the psychedelic therapy revolution.
DMT, or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, is a highly potent hallucinogen that naturally occurs in many plant species, including in one of the plant ingredients of ayahuasca. It can also be synthetically produced in a laboratory.
DMT is known for inducing intense metaphysical trips, which are reportedly similar to near-death experiences. Having been used underground in the west for decades, it is now attracting the interest of pharmaceutical companies and scientists looking to investigate its potential mental health benefits.
“DMT is actually the most powerful psychedelic on Earth that we’re aware of, and what makes it special and different from other psychedelics is that it’s endogenous, which means it’s produced within our own bodies. It’s also produced in nearly every ecosystem on Earth — it’s everywhere, it’s all around us – which is also kind of leading to what is really unique about it, the extent of a DMT experience, it’s at most 20 minutes,” Waxenberg said.
While there is a wide range of phenomena experienced during a DMT trip, there are some fascinating common hallmarks.
“This alternate reality experience, or this experience that people will call ‘realer than real.’ It’s a reality similar to our own, but completely different,” Waxenberg said. “Some of the elements within that would be the entity encounters, which is very common for people; intense geometric, hyperbolic shapes; and out-of-body, traveling to the center of the universe; ego-dissolution, ego death; these are really common experiences under it.”
While advocates have been reporting profound healing benefits for decades, there have not been any clinical studies on DMT due to its status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, until now.
Canadian pharmaceutical company small pharma recently completed the first clinical trial of DMT-assisted therapy. The trial was Phase 1, meaning it established the safety and feasibility of studying the psychedelic in this way.
Small pharma is now moving into Phase 2 trials involving patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Practitioners like Waxenberg have high hopes that the studies will bear out DMT’s great potential for addressing psychological issues.
“If somebody has an ego death, or somebody leaves their body, there’s this feeling of expansiveness that comes with that; a feeling of not feeling trapped in your life. So, if you’re in depression, or anxiety, or thought-loop patterns, or anything like this, often that’s the benefit — to break yourself out of those cycles, to break yourself out of those loops or thought patterns. In the dying process, people who are getting terminal diagnoses, that’s where the most benefit can come because it’s an instantaneous removal of the ego and out of your body to go into that space; experiences that take them right into what they believe the afterlife process will be or what they believe the death process will be — and really watching that be nourishing and supportive of, ‘Ok, this is maybe something I can actually go toward,’” Waxenberg said.
“Also, it’s going to have really big benefits toward treatment-resistant depression. Like ketamine, it’s this out-of-body experience that alone can help reset the nervous system, reset what your baseline is of happiness or wellness, it can get totally reset just like that.”
Many in the psychedelic therapy world will be watching closely for the results of the coming DMT-assisted therapy trials.
“My hope is to just keep opening the door wider and wider, as we bring more and more people into the space, more and more people into the conversation to see what these substances can do. And really within this meta-crisis, we find ourselves in culturally, I think DMT is an answer to a lot of those questions; how can we really see a different angle to the problems that we face?”
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.