UK watchdogs recently gave the green light to researchers exploring the potential medical properties of psychedelics. The approval will allow researchers to study dimethyltryptamine (DMT) as a potential treatment for depression.

Psychedelics have recently been gaining popularity among individuals seeking unique spiritual experiences. They have also attracted the medical community’s attention, thus rise of studies that aim to establish whether psychedelics have medical properties. The approved study will be among the first official studies exploring the potential medical benefits of psychedelics. The trial will first test the drug’s effects on healthy individuals before expanding to the second phase where depression patients will receive DMT.

A UK-based pharmaceutical company known as Small Pharma will run the study. Carol Routledge, the company’s Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer stated that DMT breaks down the brain’s ruminative thought processes. She also believes that the psychedelic can undo any psychological damage caused by depression. Routledge also added that the drug’s potential therapeutic benefits might extend to other mental health conditions such as OCD and PTSD.

The trial approval might signify the first step in the right direction

DMT and other psychedelics are considered illegal in many countries and one faces jail time for several years if you are caught in possession of the drug. However, if clinical trials were to prove that psychedelics have medicinal properties, then it might pave the way for regulatory revision, which might, in turn, allow psychedelics into the mainstream.

The approved clinical trial will allow researchers to identify the lowest dose level that can provoke a psychedelic experience. Healthy dose determination will allow researchers to administer the drug in healthy doses to the study patients especially for patients suffering from depression. The information will be vital for recommending healthy doses in the future if regulators will allow commercial use of DMT for medicinal or recreational purposes.

DMT is ideal for the study because its psychedelic effects are intense but they take a short time to wear off. The other most common psychedelic is called psilocybin is commonly found in magic mushrooms las longer-lasting effects that may go on all day. The researchers also plan to evaluate the patients after the psychedelic effects wear off.

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