Psychedelic Experience Not Necessary for Individuals to Benefit from Psilocybin’s Antidepressant Effects

May 5, 2021 13:05:37

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine have demonstrated that psilocybin can act an as antidepressant even if a psychedelic experience doesn’t occur. Psilocybin is the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms. The findings propose that psychedelic substances work in different ways within the brain. It is therefore possible to confer the drug’s antidepressant benefits without the need of therapy sessions.

A variety of psilocybin that has less of or no psychedelic effect could help lower the cost of therapy and ease restrictions on individuals who receive therapy, which would make the beneficial effects of psilocybin better available to those in need. Individuals who suffer from psychotic disorders or have a family history of these disorders are advised to refrain from partaking in psychedelics.

Psychedelic clinical trials that have been conducted to date include individuals who have received psilocybin under a guide’s care; the guide reassures them and helps keep them calm throughout the experience. This is mainly because psilocybin, along with other psychedelics, may cause intense spiritual and emotional encounters and hallucinations as well as change perception of space and time.

Scientists in the psychedelic field have for long credited the efficacy of psilocybin to the heightened psychedelic experience it induces.

The study was led by Natalie Hesselgrave, an UMSOM MD/PhD student with Professor Scott Thompson of the UMSOM physiology department as its senior author. The researchers utilized a mouse model of depression for this study during which the mice were subjected to stress for some hours each day for a two to three-week period. As they couldn’t measure the moods of mice, the researchers measured their ability to strive for rewards.

This was based off of the fact that individuals who are depressed have lost the feeling of deriving pleasure from rewarding events. The fact led researchers to the discovery that stressed mice preferred plain water over sugar water. However, a day after one dose of the psilocybin was administered, the stressed mice regained their interest in sugary water, which showed that the psychedelic revived the pleasure response in mice.

Psilocybin is known to turn on and bind to serotonin receptors, including the 2A serotonin receptor, which has been known to cause the psychedelic response. Thompson noted that the study’s findings demonstrated that this receptor’s activation wasn’t necessary for a mouse to receive antidepressant benefits but added that a similar experiment needed to be done with human subjects afflicted by depression.

Many companies are poised to capitalize on the growing awareness about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. A case in point is Pure Extracts Technologies Inc. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF), which has extensive experience in the cannabis extracts segment, and this capability can make the company a leader on matters of extracting or commercializing therapeutic products from psychedelics.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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