Select Page

Why Psychedelics Yield Meaningful Experiences

Media Partners, Psychedelic News Wire

This post is presented by our media partner Psychedelic News Wire
View the original article here.

Psychedelics have been subject to intense public and scientific scrutiny in recent years, thanks to claims of their medical efficacy. Countless studies have now found that psychedelics can induce profound mental changes in patients with hard-to-treat mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder, putting psychedelics such as MDMA, LSD and psilocybin on track to becoming approved mental-health treatments.

However, long before scientists began running psychedelic clinical trials, regular and even casual psychedelics users knew one thing about this curious class of drugs: psychedelics could induce meaningful and often life-changing experiences in people who took them recreationally.

More than a century ago, Harvard philosopher William James inhaled nitrous oxide and noted that he felt a “tremendously exciting sense of metaphysical illumination.” The philosopher soon coined the term “noetic quality” of mystical experience to describe the powerful feelings of meaning he felt under the drug’s influence. This term described the feeling of confronting revelations of the highest magnitude and seeing the secret workings of your mind and the world laid bare.

However, due to the elusive quality of these encounters making them incredibly difficult to communicate, modern mainstream psychology has moved away from vague concepts such as noetic quality and adapted more objective and observable variables. More than a century after the Harvard philosopher came up with the term, a landmark paper by the late Roland Griffiths, founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, signaled the return of noetic insights to mainstream psychology, thanks to psychedelics.

According to Griffiths’ study, two-thirds of 30 volunteers who took psilocybin for two months rated the resulting psychedelic trips as among :five most meaningful experiences in their lives.” Subsequent studies that asked the same question found that up to 87% of participants rated their psychedelic experiences very highly, pointing to the exciting possibility that already existing chemicals may be able to help humans in their everlasting search for meaning.

Despite the recent rise in psychedelic-related studies, we still don’t fully understand how psychedelics address poor mental-health symptoms, let alone help people find meaning in their lives.  Given that psychedelic use is intimately tied with socialization and rituality, studies that map out brain regions while under psychedelic influence fail to deliver actionable results in the underlying mechanisms of various psychedelics.

Still, the general understanding is that psychedelics interact with serotonin receptors in the brain to influence functions such as sleep and mood. The brain’s salience network, which helps us determine what matters the most to us, may also play a role in how psychedelics yield meaningful experiences.

Hopefully, the research and development programs being undertaken by a host of psychedelic startups such as atai Life Sciences N.V. (NASDAQ: ATAI) will help to shed more light on how psychedelic substances trigger the therapeutic effects that initial research has shown that they can have.

About PsychedelicNewsWire

PsychedelicNewsWire (“PNW”) is a specialized communications platform with a focus on all aspects of psychedelics and the latest developments and advances in the psychedelics sector. It is one of 60+ brands within the Dynamic Brand Portfolio @ IBN that delivers: (1) access to a vast network of wire solutions via InvestorWire to efficiently and effectively reach a myriad of target markets, demographics and diverse industries; (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ outlets; (3) enhanced press release enhancement to ensure maximum impact; (4) social media distribution via IBN to millions of social media followers; and (5) a full array of tailored corporate communications solutions. With broad reach and a seasoned team of contributing journalists and writers, PNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that want to reach a wide audience of investors, influencers, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, PNW brings its clients unparalleled recognition and brand awareness. PNW is where breaking news, insightful content and actionable information converge.

To receive SMS alerts from PsychedelicNewsWire, text “Groovy” to 888-902-4192 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information, please visit

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the PsychedelicNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by PNW, wherever published or re-published:

San Francisco, CA
415.949.5050 Office

PsychedelicNewsWire is powered by IBN

This post was originally published by our media partner here.