OPEN Foundation

The Subjective Effects of Psychedelics May Not Be Necessary for Their Enduring Therapeutic Effects

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email


Psychedelics represent one of the most promising classes of experimental medicines for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders due to their ability to promote neural plasticity and produce both rapid and sustained therapeutic effects following a single administration. Conventional wisdom holds that peak mystical experiences induced by psychedelics are a critical component of their therapeutic mechanisms of action, though evidence supporting that claim is largely correlational. Here, I present data suggesting that the subjective effects induced by psychedelics may not be necessary to produce long-lasting changes in mood and behavior. Understanding the role of subjective effects in the therapeutic mechanisms of psychedelics will have important implications for both basic neuroscience and for increasing patient access to the next generation of medicines developed as a result of psychedelic research.

Olson D. E. (2020). The Subjective Effects of Psychedelics May Not Be Necessary for Their Enduring Therapeutic Effects. ACS pharmacology & translational science, 4(2), 563–567.

Link to full text

OPEN Foundation

Join ICPR 2022 Online!

ICPR features world-leading experts from many academic disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, ethnobotany, and philosophy who come together to give a scientific conference for academics, therapists, researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and members of the public. Get your ICPR 2022 livestream ticket today and use the code OPENLIVE30 at checkout for a €30 discount.

Learn More


Subscribe to our new OPEN-Minded newsletter to stay in the loop, hear about our events, and become a part of a community dedicated to advancing psychedelics.

By clicking subscribe, I confirm to receive emails from the OPEN Foundation and agree with its privacy policy.