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Study Links Ayahuasca’s Ceremonial Use to Decline in Neuroticism

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A new study has found evidence suggesting that the use of ayahuasca in ceremonies can cause a substantial decrease in neuroticism. Neuroticism is a personality trait that has been linked to anxiety and depression. Ayahuasca, on the other hand, is a brew that has been used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazonian basin and Brazil for centuries. It contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors and DMT, a potent psychedelic substance. Prior studies have discovered evidence proposing that the consumption of ayahuasca has psychological benefits.

Brandon Weiss, an Imperial College London research associate and author of the new study, stated that the researchers looked into the potential changes in an individual’s personality caused by the psychedelic brew. The study was based on the five-factor personality model, which centers on five broad characteristics, including agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness and extraversion.

Weiss explained that personality was useful because it could help understand how people behaviorally and psychologically change after an experience with psychedelics. He noted that the model the researchers used for their study picked up any changes to personality.

For their research, the scientists recruited more than 200 participants from different ayahuasca retreat centers across Central and South America. On the first day of the retreat, each participant was asked to complete an array of questionnaires, which included a personality evaluation. This was followed up with other questionnaires at the end of their retreat, then three months after.

In addition to this, every participant was asked to provide contact information of close significant others who were also asked some questions about the participant’s personality. The researchers discovered that the use of ayahuasca in ceremonies was linked to lasting changes in the self-reported personalities of participants.

In an interview, Weiss explained that the biggest changes they observed were in openness and neuroticism, noting that these changes were still observed three months after the psychedelic ceremony.

The research had a few limitations, the primary one being the lack of a placebo control condition.  This absence led the researchers to include some validity controls, such as evaluations of prior psychedelic experiences and expected changes in personality, in a bid to offset the limitation.

In their report, the researchers note that it’s possible that attending a therapeutic retreat in a foreign country may have in itself induced positive personality changes. This is supported by prior research which found that individuals reported reductions in depression, anxiety and stress after taking part in an ayahuasca ceremony, regardless of whether they’d received a dose of the psychedelic brew or a placebo.

The study’s findings were published in the “Scientific Reports” journal.

As the body of scientific research in support of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics grows, there is renewed hope that psychedelics entities such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) are on the verge of revolutionizing how psychiatric disorders are treated.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN

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