Psychedelics For Asthma Could Bring Big Benefits
More studies continue to determine whether psychedelics can lead to better treatment against human issues. From mental health problems to chronic pain, research has shown these alternative drugs could be useful. But could psychedelics for asthma relief be something that helps those with the condition? Research claims yes, so here’s what we know thus far.
A Little Bit About Asthma
Before diving into how psychedelics for asthmas could be beneficial, we further explain this respiratory condition. After all, it remains one of the biggest medical issues people are facing today.
Asthma is a chronic condition that swells and narrows the airways, while sometimes also producing extra mucus. This creates difficulties breathing and it may trigger wheezing, shortness of breath, and even coughing.
Most people with asthma live without any major problems. However, there is a growing number of people whose symptoms are getting worse. This is due to environmental changes, pollution, stress, allergies, and other uncontrollable sources. Asthma isn’t curable, so successfully managing the symptoms and monitoring for any changes that might occur over time is critical.
The actual cause of asthma is still unknown. However, researchers agree that exposure to pollutants and other toxic substances in the environment often attribute to the problem. So, too, do genetics.
Current “treatment” involves learning triggers and deciphering how to manage symptoms. The four categories for asthma are classified below:
- Mild intermittent
- Mild persistent
- Moderate persistent
- Severe Persistent
Medication that reduces swelling and inflammation often help those with asthma. The more common solution is an inhaler, which opens the lungs to help improve breathing patterns.
Another treatment is a bronchial thermoplasty, which involves heating the insides of the airways. This is done with an electrode, which reduces the smooth muscle and limits their ability to tighten.
Using Psychedelics For Asthma
Psychedelics have been a controversial topic of discussion for quite some time, with some praising their potential benefits. Of course, others blatantly ignore them and label them as only hallucinogenic drugs. Still, some of their effects cannot be dismissed, and anti-inflammatory properties are one of them. And research into psychedelic therapy has yielded some exciting results.
This is why the connection between asthma and psychedelics have led scientists to start investigating. The hope is that these drugs can serve as a better solution than the current, long-term options available.
A 2008 research showed “extraordinarily potent” anti-inflammatory effects in the psychedelic peyote. Additional studies confirmed their capacity to lower inflammation in diseases such as atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, retinal disease, and asthma.
The connection to asthma is found in the activation of the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor. This alleviates airway inflammation and, therefore, could potentially help in managing asthma symptoms.
A company called Eleusis, founded in 2014, hopes to unlock psychedelics’ anti-inflammatory properties. Conducting a study screening 21 psychedelics that targeted the serotonin receptor 5-HT2A, Eleusis found that specific structural characteristics of one class of psychedelic (2C-H) allowed them to control the inflammatory response. This all occurred without producing any hallucinogenic effects.
Likewise, Charles D. Nichols, Ph.D, a professor of pharmacology at Louisiana State University, confirms that this class of psychedelics are potent anti-inflammatories. He adds that the core structure of these is to produce such results without behavioral or hallucinogenic effects.
In the 21 screened psychedelics, some (such as LSD), didn’t produce potent anti-inflammatory effects, despite being super-potent psychedelics. These results prove why further testing is necessary to determine which psychedelics activate which receptors in the human body. Once known, these could potentially help treat a variety of different illnesses.
Psychedelics are controversial, therefore, this type of research has been scarce. Limited studies have produced positive results, so scientists are looking for ways to dive deeper into the world of psychedelics.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is tackling the issue of the high rate of mental illness amongst active duty military personnel. They’ve recently publicly acknowledged the potential of sub-perceptual psychedelics for chronic depression and PTSD. Psychedelics could be a game changer for mental health.
Similarly, Compass Pathways is conducting a large-scale clinical development program of psilocybin therapy. This also includes a Phase IIb study for treatment-resistant depression.
Companies like these are on the right path to proving how psychedelics can help treat and prevent specific medical conditions. More research may also help drop the negative stigma blanketing them.
Legal systems begin to loosen up restrictions, and more studies are forthcoming. This opens up a world of possibilities, and should help prove the value of psychedelics in treating specific medical conditions.
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Synergy Medical Center – Bradenton, Florida
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