In this week’s Psychedelic news roundup, we explore the myriad challenges facing psychedelic medicine. Other news includes a new study exploring the efficacy of psychedelics like LSD for stuttering, and an interesting CBD study.

Exploring Psychedelics’ Impact on Stuttering: Insights from Social Media

Psychedelic Insights from Social Media

NYU details how researchers are looking into the potential therapeutic effects of psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD on stuttering, driven by anecdotal evidence from users on Reddit. This exploration is rooted in the similarities between stuttering and conditions like anxiety and PTSD, which have shown responsiveness to psychedelic treatments. The study, led by Eric S. Jackson from NYU Steinhardt, and published in the Journal of Fluency Disorders, scrutinizes discussions on Reddit spanning a decade to understand how individuals with stuttering perceive the impact of these substances on their speech and overall well-being.

The study categorized the personal accounts into positive, negative, and neutral impacts, with a striking majority reporting positive changes. These benefits were not just limited to reduced stuttering but also extended to emotional and behavioral improvements. For instance, one user attributed psilocybin to enhanced fluency and personal growth. Despite these promising narratives, the researchers identified a need for rigorous scientific evaluation to validate these claims, suggesting that controlled clinical trials could provide a clearer picture of psychedelics’ efficacy in treating stuttering.

The research highlights a significant interest in the stuttering community for alternative treatments that address more than just the physical aspects of the disorder. By analyzing firsthand accounts, the study sheds light on the multifaceted benefits that users experience, encompassing emotional relief and cognitive enhancements. However, the study also acknowledges the limitations inherent in self-reported data from uncontrolled environments, emphasizing the importance of structured research to understand the potential risks and benefits fully.

By establishing a preliminary link between psychedelic use and symptom alleviation, the researchers advocate for more detailed studies that could potentially lead to novel treatments.(1)

Emerging Efficacy of CBD in Treating Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders

Emerging Efficacy of CBD

Marijuana Moment details a recent study published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry that highlights cannabidiol’s (CBD’s) effectiveness in treating anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Conducted by researchers from Asha Hospital, Leiutis Pharmaceuticals LLP in India, and Biophore Pharma Inc. in New Jersey, the study was industry-backed and indicated that an oral solution of CBD could significantly improve symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and its associated conditions over a 12-week period.

The clinical trial involved participants who were divided into two groups: one receiving CBD and the other a placebo. Remarkable improvements were observed in the CBD group, with participants experiencing a noticeable decrease in anxiety scores from the second week onwards. By contrast, the placebo group saw no significant change in their anxiety levels throughout the study. This difference was measured using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scale, highlighting the potential of CBD as a therapeutic option.

Furthermore, the study explored the safety and tolerability of CBD, noting that there were no serious adverse events or withdrawal anxieties associated with its use. This point underlines CBD’s potential as a safe treatment alternative for anxiety disorders and its related symptoms, without the harsh side effects often associated with conventional medication. However, the study’s authors urge further research to explore CBD’s full potential and its application in treating other psychiatric disorders.(2)

Ayahuasca Increases Gratitude and Connection to Nature

Ayahuasca Increases Gratitude

A recent study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and reported on by PsyPost found that participants of ayahuasca retreats reported significant increases in gratitude and appreciation of nature following their experiences. Conducted at the Soltara Healing Center in Costa Rica, the research highlights the profound impact that ayahuasca, a traditional psychoactive brew, can have on individuals’ psychological well-being and their connection to the environment.

The study involved 65 participants who stayed at the retreat center for several nights, engaging in multiple ayahuasca ceremonies led by indigenous Shipibo healers from Peru. The research measured participants’ levels of gratitude, connection to nature, and appreciation of nature before and after the retreat using validated psychological scales. Results indicated a significant increase in these measures, especially among those who reported stronger mystical experiences and feelings of awe during the ceremonies. This suggests that the profound experiences induced by ayahuasca could lead to lasting positive changes in individuals’ attitudes toward themselves and the natural world.

The study’s findings should be approached with caution due to its limitations, including the lack of a control group and the participants’ self-selection. Despite these issues, the research adds valuable insights into the potential psychological benefits of ayahuasca, supporting the need for further scientific exploration into its effects on mental health and environmental attitudes.(3)

Emerging Therapies: The Promise and Challenges of Psychoactive Drug Use in Mental Health Treatment

psychoactive drugs for mental health treatment

As reported by CBS News, psychoactive drugs such as MDMA and ketamine are on the brink of revolutionizing mental health treatment, with the FDA poised to make significant decisions regarding their use. These substances, which have shown potential in treating severe depression and PTSD, are being reconsidered for medical approval due to a renaissance in research and increasing investor interest.

Despite promising clinical trial results, the path to widespread adoption of these therapies is fraught with hurdles. Concerns about the integrity of trial data, particularly with MDMA, have surfaced, casting doubts on the objectivity and reliability of the research. This skepticism was intensified by an independent review committee report, prompting an upcoming FDA panel review to scrutinize the data further. These challenges underscore the complexity of assessing psychoactive drugs within traditional clinical frameworks, as their profound effects often render blind testing ineffective.

The controversy surrounding Lykos Therapeutics’ clinical trials, where patient handling issues were highlighted, illustrates the delicate balance required in administering these powerful treatments. Ensuring these therapies are effective and safe is paramount, demanding stringent oversight from bodies like the FDA.(4)

This material is not intended as a replacement or substitute for any legal or medical advice. Always consult a medical professional about your health needs. Psychedelics are widely illegal in the United States, and readers should always be informed about local, state, and federal regulations regarding psychedelics or other drugs.

  1. Communications, N. W. (n.d.). Can Psychedelics Help Stutterers? Retrieved May 29, 2024, from 
  2. Adlin, B. (2024, May 29). CBD Is Effective In Treating Anxiety, Depression And Poor Sleep, Study Finds. Marijuana Moment. 
  3. Hedrih, V. (2024, May 28). Ayahuasca retreat participants report greater gratitude and nature appreciation after the experience, study finds. PsyPost – Psychology News. 
  4. Megli, D. (2024, May 28). Psychoactive drugs like ketamine and MDMA are having a moment. The FDA will soon weigh in. – CBS News.