A recent study published in Scientific Reports suggests that low doses of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, may help alleviate the negative effects associated with psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin.
The study focused on the co-administration of MDMA with LSD or psilocybin, also known as "candy flipping" and "hippy flipping," respectively.
The study conducted was focused on understanding the potential benefits of combining MDMA with psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin. These substances have gained attention in recent years for their therapeutic potential in treating mental health disorders. Psilocybin and LSD, when used in conjunction with psychotherapy, have shown promising results in the treatment of psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
One of the concerns associated with their use is the possibility of having challenging psychological experiences, commonly referred to as "bad trips." Reports have suggested that MDMA's empathogenic and euphoric effects may help mitigate these negative experiences. This led researchers to investigate whether combining MDMA with psychedelics like LSD or psilocybin could alter the nature of the psychedelic experience.
The study involved two online surveys targeting individuals planning to use psychedelic substances in naturalistic settings. Participants had to be at least 18 years old and fluent in English. The final sample included 698 individuals, with 342 reporting LSD use and 356 reporting psilocybin use. 27 of these individuals co-used MDMA with psilocybin or LSD.
Participants completed surveys before and after their psychedelic experiences, which collected information on demographics, personal and psychiatric history, details about their planned psychedelic use, and the specific context of their use. The effects of the psychedelic experience were measured using various questionnaires.
The results showed that participants who co-used a low dose of MDMA with psilocybin or LSD reported significantly lower levels of challenging experiences compared to those who used psilocybin or LSD alone. They experienced reductions in grief and fear, as well as higher levels of positive experiences like self-compassion, love, and gratitude.
Interestingly, this positive effect was not observed with medium to high doses of MDMA, and there were no significant differences in mystical-type experiences or feelings of compassion between the groups.
It's important to note that the study had limitations, including its observational design and reliance on self-reported data. The sample size, particularly for those who co-used MDMA, was small, and the study did not control for the exact dosage of MDMA.
Therefore, the study does not provide strong conclusions about the effects of combining MDMA with psilocybin or LSD. Further research is needed to determine the safety and potential benefits of this combination.