Mystical Experiences on 5-Meo-DMT & Psilocybin

Dr Dean Wright

The Griffith Lab of Johns Hopkins, are one of the driving forces behind the current Psychedelic Renaissance. Their initial studies looked at how psilocybin can occasion Mystical Experiences. Mystical experiences are characterised by four primary domains, including: 

  1. A sense of unity or profundity
  2. positive mood 
  3. transcendence of time/space
  4. ineffability 

Having a mystical experience seems to be essential for the therapeutic effects of psychedelics.

This interesting new study compares the intensity of Mystical Experiences occasioned by low,  moderate and high dose psilocybin with venom from the Bufo Alvarius Toad. The primary active ingredient of Bufo venom is 5-Meo-DMT. 

When smoked, bufo vemon produces a short, intense psychedelic experience, lasting approximately 20 minutes. The intensity of the mystical experience occasioned by bufo venom was larger than both low and moderate doses of psilocybin.

However, high dose psilocybin and bufo venom saw no difference in levels of Mystical Experience. A high dose psilocybin in this case represents approximately 3.5-7g of dried P. Cubensis mushrooms.

Many self reported experiences denote 5-Meo-DMT as their strongest, most profound experience. This study supports that self-report data.

Furthermore, given the short duration of its effects, 5-meo-DMT may be a more efficient therapeutic tool than psilocybin.

Comparison of psilocybin and 5-MeO-DMT groups on the Mystical Experiences Questionnaire (MEQ30). 5-MeO-DMT results from current study and psilocybin ratings from the Griffiths et al., 2011 dose-related effects study. No significant differences are observed between the 5-MeO-DMT and 30 mg/70 kg Psilocybin group. Significant differences are observed between the 5-MeO-DMT and 20 mg/70 kg group. p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01. The 10 mg/70 kg, 5 mg/70 kg, and 0 mg placebo groups from Griffiths et al. (2011) are plotted for visual reference and were not statistically compared.

The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience

Dr Dean Wright

The previous two posts (one and two) sought to identify how the Set of the person influences the psychedelic experience. The current study seeks to understand how the ‘drug‘ affects the psychedelic experience.

The authors use the bounty of knowledge available from Erowid. They seek to help establish how different psychedelics influence the subjective effects of the experience.

They compare a variety of tryptamine and phenethylamine psychedelics on their chemical structure and ‘binding affinity‘ with various receptors. Binding affinities refer to how well a drug binds to and activates a receptor. They then map these binding affinities with the subjective effects reported by user reports on Erowid.

Psychedelics and Connectedness

Dr Dean Wright

A study from 2017 performed a thematic analysis of patients’ experiences of using psilocybin in a therapeutic context.

Within the people who experienced the largest therapeutic effect, the theme of “connection” or “connectedness” was prevalent.. This could be further broken down into connection with the self, others, and the world.

It makes sense that connection is so important if we think about how pervasive a sense of disconnection is in a variety of mental illnesses.

As described in our previous post, the current study has taken data from the psychedelic experiences survey. It is the first to show longitudinally, that there is an increase in both “social connection” and “well being” 2 weeks after taking psychedelics. This data will continue to be compiled over the coming year.

I love that through collaboration and connection in the psychedelic community, this research is able to flourish <3

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