Potential Benefits Of Psychedelics Beyond Mental Health
The benefits of psychedelic medicines for improving mental health conditions have been validated time and time again through recent scientific research. While psychedelics have been proven to be highly effective in the treatment of mental health conditions, enhancing creativity, self-perception, and improved overall well-being, there have been no widespread studies of their impact on the human body beyond brain chemistry. A recent article by Psychedelic Review shed light on this overlooked area. "Taking information from surveys, scientists have observed that people who reported having used a classic psychedelic had lower odds of having a heart condition and/or cancer. Data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2005–2014) showed that psychedelic users (especially of tryptamine compounds) had a decreased chance of developing hypertension." The article goes on to highlight the opportunity for studying the role of psychedelics on serotonin receptors beyond the brain. "Looking closer at the distribution of the serotonin receptors throughout the body, almost all subtypes are expressed outside the brain in a wide spectrum of peripheral tissues. More than that, they perform quite leading roles in the gut microbiome and bowel motility, cardiovascular function, respiratory drive, ejaculatory latency, and bladder control. Given the remarkably similar structures between classic psychedelics and endogenous serotonin, it is likely that they are also able to bind these receptors with reasonable affinity anywhere within the human body."... When it comes to the Sigma-1 receptors (a target for the compound DMT, for example), they are conserved evolutionary and expressed in the cells from all human organs.15 With well-described functions in the endocrine system, nervous system, heart, lung, kidney, liver, intestines, and immune system, this receptor is probably a mainstay of psychedelic action in humans. Even dopamine receptors, which are among the ‘brainiest’ of psychedelic targets, are present in the gastrointestinal tract and possibly blood vessels and lungs."