Psychedelics company Mind Med knows what people worry about. Horror stories about users who suffered bad acid trips and walk out of the window are always floating around. Even if that’s rare. Even though medical practitioners and experienced guides can keep it safe.
Keeping the psychedelic experience safe is a big concern to MindMed because the company is building a business with psychedelic medicine at the core. It is currently conducting clinical research trials for the use of LSD and MDMA to treat ADHD. The company’s future depends on doing that right. It just signed a big multi-year contract with the Swiss company Liechti Lab to work on formulas.
“We are just at the beginning of several significant discoveries that have the potential to further the application of psychedelics as therapeutic medicines.”
Liechti and MindMed aren’t just turning people on, though; they’re turning them off too. Or trying. Liechti, working with MindMed, has filed a patent for a neutralizer technology that can be used during an LSD trip to make the session shorter and the effects less intense.
There’s a bigger problem limiting LSD for therapy than the popular horror stories. Those effects are easily managed with a therapist or trained guide in the room. If they even happen.
It’s the issue of how long there is a “therapist in the room” that is a stumbling block to using psychedelics in a medical setting. LSD trips can last 8-12 hours. That makes it impossible for a psychiatrist or psychologist to book their usual 8-20 patients per day.
Liechti’s new product would be able to abort LSD effects within 20-30 minutes. Neither MindMed nor Liechti is willing to give much detail about what’s in this new product. “We have a planned program exploring the use of a range of compounds to be used to treat negative acute experiences with hallucinogens to increase their clinical safe use,” was all the Liechti would reveal to a reporter for New Atlas in an email. “Classically, such treatments included benzodiazepines or haloperidol. Ketanserin has so far been used to investigate the mechanism of action of psychedelic substances.” But this product is not those things.
JR Rahn, co-CEO of MindMed says, “We are just at the beginning of several significant discoveries that have the potential to further the application of psychedelics as therapeutic medicines.” In addition to ways to shorten a trip, the company is also running trials on microdosing. Microdosing has won accolades from some highly vocal users, but in the medical community is still skeptical. MindMed hopes its work with change that attitude.
There’s an irony here. Even though psychedelics are illegal, except in FDA-approved clinical research trials like the ones MindMed is conducting, they’re widely available on the street. Amateurs can get the drugs and turn on, but they currently have no access to anything that would help them turn off.