Research has found that psychedelics possess therapeutic benefits that can be used to manage various mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Until recently, most studies conducted on these substances had been small scale. The Global Ayahuasca Project, which focused on ayahuasca, is the largest cross-sectional study on the use of ayahuasca to date.
Ayahuasca is a pan-Amazonian (South American) psychedelic brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, which is utilized in ceremonial spiritual medicine as well as socially.
The study, which was carried out between 2017–2020, found a connection between improvements in the symptoms of disorders such as depression and the use of ayahuasca. Its findings were reported in the “Journal of Affective Disorders Reports” in April of this year.
For the study, the researchers recruited more than 11,000 participants. Of this number, almost 8,000 reported that they suffered from symptoms of anxiety or depression before the substance was administered. The researchers utilized various methods to evaluate the subjective experience of each participant during and after the experience, as well as the mental health outcomes of each one of them. The study’s results demonstrate tremendous improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression in more than 90% of the participants who suffered from both disorders.
The presence of a large sample size enabled the researchers to draw various conclusions about the ayahuasca experiences that corresponded with significant improvements, noting that individuals who had undergone profound mystical experiences were more likely to see greater improvements. Greater insights into an individual’s personal relationships also corresponded strongly with improvements, which suggests a cognitive pathway through which the substance may alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In their report, the researchers stated that approximately 4% and 3% of participants who suffered from anxiety and depression respectively, reported that their symptoms worsened, adding that feelings of hopelessness, depression, being on edge, nervous, lonely or disconnection were used as predictors of worsening symptoms.
The team also noted that the study had some limitations, the primary one being its cross-sectional nature, which meant that the researchers couldn’t accurately confirm the presence of a causal relationship. The unreliability of affective, historical self-reporting was also another limitation of the study.
All in all, the research proposes an important association between improved symptoms of individuals who suffer from anxiety and depression and the use of ayahuasca. The researchers assert that understanding the social, emotional and cognitive pathways by which psychedelics such as ayahuasca work is critical.
The quest to understand these substances and how they can be safely used as therapeutics has led numerous companies, including Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF), to conduct various research and development activities, many of which have progressed to the stage of clinical trials.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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