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Study Suggests Psychedelics Trigger Psychological Strengths in Users

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A recent influx in psychedelic research has revealed that hallucinogenic drugs have the potential to treat a wide variety of mental health disorders. Even though most jurisdictions still outlaw the production and sale of psychedelics, looser psychedelic laws have made it possible for researchers to study the potential benefits and risks of psychedelic use.

This research has shown that psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and LSD can offer long-term relief against various mental disorders with minimal side effects.

As most psychedelic research is still in its infancy, researchers across the country are working to fully understand the effects of psychedelics and the underlying mechanisms that allow them to deliver their benefits.

A recent study now suggests that using psychedelics can trigger specific psychological strengths and improve users’ mental well-being. The study’s findings indicate that the occurrence of self-transcendent experiences after taking psychedelics can be used to predict whether psychedelic use will have positive effects.

The researchers behind the study were driven to conduct their research by the resurgence in scientific interest in classic psychedelics such as ayahuasca, psilocybin, mescaline and LSD. Dubbed the “psychedelic renaissance,” the research has shown that these psychedelics can be effective against conditions such as treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and eating disorders.

With up to 10% of Americans (32 million) reporting long-term use of psychedelics, plenty of people may already be gaining the potential psychological benefits of psychedelic use.

Mascal Lab at UC Davis and study coauthor Trey Basher explained that since only a small portion of psychedelic experiences occur in a clinical setting, the medical and scientific communities don’t know a lot about the effectiveness of applying psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Although past research has shown that classic psychedelics can deliver long-lasting personality changes, most of these results were in clinically controlled settings. The researchers wanted to gain a better understanding of how psychedelic use affects the general population.

Stockton University professor and study coauthor Marcello Spinella noted that recent research has provided promising results on the efficacy of psychedelics in mental health treatment. He added that psychedelics may even be helping people in ways we still don’t understand, referencing the potential psychological benefits of psychedelic use.

His research team ran a series of three studies and used undergraduate students to recruit participants via social media and email in exchange for course credit. They found an association between psychedelic use, increased psychological strengths and reduced levels of maladaptive psychological traits. Psychedelic use resulted in higher levels of gratitude, mindfulness, self-transcendence, awe and kindness, along with reduced levels of negative traits such as envy, hate and greed.

This study adds onto the data being availed by numerous startups such as Field Trip Health Ltd. (OTC: FTHWF) (TSX: FTHW) regarding the possibilities that psychedelics have in treating mental health issues and improving people’s well-being in general.

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