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Study Reveals Why LSD Trips are So Long and How it Can Treat Depression & Schizophrenia

For decades, scientific exploration into the realm of psychedelic drugs has been strictly forbidden by the US government. However, recently, as a result of constant pressure from civil rights groups, scientists are finally getting the opportunity to see what these drugs are all about. LSD has been a primary focus of recent research, and study after study has shown that this substance has many beneficial uses.

One recent study conducted by a team of researchers from The University of North Carolina, Stanford University and the University of California has shown that LSD could be used to treat schizophrenia and depression.

The researchers used a process known as crystallography, in which atomic and molecular structure of certain interactions are studied. Specifically, the researchers were able to discover how LSD molecules interact with the serotonin receptors in our brain.

Professor Bryan Roth, one of the lead researchers on the team described how the process was used.

“There are different levels of understanding for how drugs like LSD work. The most fundamental level is to find out how the drug binds to a receptor on a cell. The only way to do that is to solve the structure. And to do that, you need X-ray crystallography, the gold standard,” Roth said.

“Once LSD gets in the receptor, a lid comes over the LSD, so it’s basically trapped in the receptor and can’t get out. LSD takes a really long time to get on the receptor, and then once it gets on, it doesn’t get off,” he added.

Roth specializes in schizophrenia research and was inspired to start this study after noticing that patients who he dealt with had reported their first schizophrenic break while taking acid.

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“They were never the same again. Although this is rare, it has been reported. People also report flashbacks and LSD is an extremely potent drug. So for those reasons, along with its potential as part of therapeutic treatment, LSD is scientifically interesting,” Roth said.

Professor Ron Dror, another researcher, explained how he used computer imaging to find out how the drug interacts with the brain.

“There is a headache drug that binds to the same receptor as LSD. The two drugs bind in the same receptor pocket, but the shape of that binding pocket is different when one drug or the other is bound. We used computer simulations to help explain why the two drugs favor different binding pocket shapes,” Dr. Dror said.

“It has long been observed that LSD trips are long. The simulations helped explain why the receptor holds onto LSD for so long despite the fact that they have such a dynamic connection,” he added.

The researchers hope to develop a drug that could interact with serotonin receptors the same way, which could revolutionize treatment for people with depression and schizophrenia.

Another recent study from the University of Cardiff showed that LSD actually unlocks portions of the brain that are not usually used.

This study follows several others which have also found enormous therapeutic benefits possible with psychedelics. However, the persistent negative stigma surrounding even cannabis makes changes to drug policy for psychedelics — regardless of how many people could be helped — doubtful at best.

  • David Daisy May Boldock

    Great drug if used right. I had a brilliant book called: LSD The Problem Solving Psychedelic by P.G. Stafford and B.H. Golightly. Some fantastic health benefits from it.
    Worth a read if you can get hold of a copy.

  • IceTrey

    What is really interesting is microdosing.

  • Kyle Pinson

    Promising article until I read, “The researchers hope to develop a drug that could interact with serotonin receptors the same way, which could revolutionize treatment for people with depression and schizophrenia.”

    Yeah, you already have a drug and it is called LSD. The obsession with separating the benefits from the actual trip experience is why substances like LSD are viewed similarly to peyote, DMT, psilocybin and even marijuana. Has it ever been supposed that the trip is the therapy?

    • Kweden

      Sorry, but the article clearly states that lsd causes schizophrenia. And all the studies from the 40’s to the 80’s confirms this. “reported their first schizophrenic break while taking acid.”
      and just after that it states they never returned.

      • Cortez

        It doesn’t actually state anywhere that LSD causes schizophrenia, clearly or otherwise. It does suggest, however, that LSD may have acted as a catalyst for schizophrenic episodes. While the two thoughts may sound similar they are two very different statements.

    • ThomasJefferson


  • ♓Ξ▲ѴƳ Ƙ∆RM∆~Ð∈ßϯ SᏝ▲V∈

    ‘See, I think drugs have done some “good” things for us, I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor; go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, all your cd’s, and all your mp3 and ipod players and burn em’… Because you know what? The musicians who have made all that great music that has enhanced our lives throughout the years … Rrrrrrrrrrrrreal effing high on drugs.’

    ‘Today a young man on psilocybin mushrooms realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death … life is but a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves ..

    So, row-row, row your boat gently and merrily down the stream of infinite consciousness.’

    ‘Now here’s Mr Natural with the stormy weather forecast… “It’s not a war on drugs,.. it’s a war on personal freedom… that’s what it is okay?… Keep that in mind at all times .. Thank you!’

    ‘Learn to abandon the ego before its far too late. Crucify the ego before you pine away ..
    … Prying open the third eye’..


  • Kweden

    there may have been no recent studies that you know of, but lsd was extensively studied from 1940 to 1980. and was in fact distributed to the peace movement in the 70s for the purpose of hopeful brainwashing and mental breakdown. It was probably contaminated, however, why did anyone in the protest movements of the 60’s ever trust an ivy league elitist (timothy leary, et al) that he wasn’t just a plant to screw them over? Because he was pushing a new drug, when the old ones had been banned; people used to just get a prescription for… meth (diet and engery) ludes (anxiety) morphine (pain) and elephant tranquilizer (anger management) oh and don’t forget the muscle relaxants for all the knots cause by too much pain reliever.

  • BobWölfé Jung2, KSC.

    Some VERY appropriate ethnobotanical authors to look into:
    Stanislav Grof, Albert Hoffman, Jonathan Ott, Richard Schultz, R. Gordon (and Valentina P.) Wasson, Alexander (and Ann) Shulgin, Ralph Metzner, Thomas Lyttle, Peter Stafford. Thomas Szasz, Peter T. Furst, Carl A. P. Ruck, Cheryl Pellerin, Dale Pendell, Christian Ratsch, Michael Winkelman, Wade Davis, Robert Forte, Rick Strassman, Stephen Harrod Buhner, Neal M. Goldsmith, Paul Devereux, Solomon Snyder, Timothy Leary, James Fadiman and Terence McKenna.

    Well… at least a damn good start… you can search these authors on Amazon even.

  • r wood

    I guess the word ” long’ is rather relative. An Acid trip will burn out in a matter of hours. That’s more sustained than tooting coke.. but you’re pretty normal the next morning. It takes experience to MANAGE it. It’s hard to drive a car at first. LSD is potent. It is UNWISE to think “more is better” or every “dose” is equal.
    I used to drop… and play CHESS for HOURS. I was quite good on acid. You USE it to FOCUS, you let the pieces TALK.Years ago I was at a party. i’d dropped acid,was in a good space. It was a bit after the big Fischer/Spasky championship and Chess was hot.. so some guy brought his chess board.. was pretty cocky, got a game with a NOVICE.. and won. I do NOT like a RUDE winner.. and so..I said.. I’ll play. I INTENDED to hit HARD. I’d set up a nice fianchetto defense and then BLITZED him. Soon all his moves were forced and I was moving without a pause. bam bam. I gave him a second chance. Then I KNEW he was at best “average” and I was seeing the board well. I opened with king’s Gambit. That’s tricky, you seem to have a rather vulnerable position but can REALLY attack. Problem is you need to take the offensive.. and he could not. He’d move, bam, I moved right away, Soon ALL his moves were forced and the hammer was coming down. The BOARD was so CLEAR it spoke to me. I had control and I used it. I beat him in maybe 5 min.
    I told the novice… I hope you learned stuff, that’s for you,pal.

    I also did some rock climbing on acid ( not recommended for a newbie) and it went well. Rule…..know the source or know the batch. Some…… you want to go half hit. Some… is so mild you can forget you dropped.
    Be in a good head space. It AMPLIFIES things. Out in nature in a good place with good people.. goes well. If the setting is NOT comfortable, if your mindset is screwed up..it can be a bummer.