Psychedelics and PTSD

Psychedelics and ptsd is one of the 'psychedelics and ...' topics that we're currently making a page for. At this moment you can find all papers (in our database) on this topic below.

Research Papers Compared Measured Researchers Gaps Companies

State of Research


Quality of Conclusions


Data Points

TBD Papers studying this directly
TBD Companies working on this

Make Blossom Sustainable

Blossom is free to use and will always be.

Supporting Blossom makes this possible. When you support Blossom for €20/month, you get access to our downloadable files, influence over the direction of our 'psychedelics and ...' pages, and future projects.

Our vision is that psychedelics can be used worldwide to better the lives of as many as 450 million people who suffer from mental health problems. Our information hopes to make that vision come to life just a little faster.

PTSD Research

Here will be a narrative, readable, summary of the research.


In our literature study we came across the following studies of note. Browse the meta, review, commentary articles for an overview. Check out the individual studies for specific experiments and observations.

The potential use of N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA) assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of eating disorders comorbid with PTSD

2020 | Brewerton, T. D., Lafrance, A., Mithoefer, M. C.

This hypothesis paper (2020) makes the case for treating eating disorders (EDs) comorbid with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Can MDMA Play a Role in the Treatment of Substance Abuse?

2013 | Jerome, L., Schuster, S., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This review (2013) evaluates the potential of MDMA to treat substance abuse and dependence. The authors provide evidence that MDMA may have potential as a treatment for these morbidities, but also highlight that classical psychedelics have a better risk:benefit ratio.

Breakthrough for trauma treatment: safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy compared to paroxetine and sertraline

2019 | Doblin, R., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This review (2019) details the potential superiority of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD compared to the conventional treatment options paroxetine and sertraline.

Efficacy of Psychoactive Drugs for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review of MDMA, Ketamine, LSD and Psilocybin

2020 | Forbes, D., Gibson, K., Varker, T., Watson, L.

This review (9 studies) investigated the therapeutic potential of MDMA, ketamine, LSD, and psilocybin as a therapeutic agent for PTSD. However, only studies concerning ketamine and MDMA were found and included in the review, and it is suggested that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy holds moderate promise.

A review of emerging therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses

2020 | Chi, T., Gold, J. A.

This review (2020) presents modern human studies into psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ayahuasca in the treatment of various psychiatric illnesses, including treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety, and substance use disorders. Safety and efficacy data are also presented, from both human and animal studies.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD: are memory reconsolidation and fear extinction underlying mechanisms?

2018 | Feduccia, A. A., Mithoefer, M. C.

This review (2018) suggests how memory reconsolidation and fear extinction may play a significant role in the potent therapeutic effects of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD.

The Emerging Role of Psilocybin and MDMA in the Treatment of Mental Illness

2020 | Cha, D. S., Chen-Li, D., El-Halabi, S., Gill, B., Gill, H., Ho, R., Lee, Y., Lipsitz, O., Majeed, A., Mansur, R. B., McIntyre, R. S., Nasri, F., Rodrigues, N. B., Rosenblat, J. D.

This narrative review (2020) evaluates the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and MDMA for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. The review explains the need for effective mental health treatments and highlights the lack of dose-response studies in placebo-controlled settings with a real-world clinical population.

Reviewing the potential of psychedelics for the treatment of PTSD

2020 | Bostoen, T., Breeksema, J. J., Krediet, E., Passie, T., van Schagen, A., Vermetten, E.

This review (2020) discusses the potential of MDMA, ketamine, classical psychedelics, and cannabinoids as potential treatments for PTSD.

A comparison of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to non-assisted psychotherapy in treatment-resistant PTSD: A systematic review and meta-analysis

2020 | Duffy, J. M. N., Illingworth, B. J. G., Jelen, L. A., Lambarth, A. T., Lewis, D. J., Rucker, J.

This systematic review and meta-analysis (2020) of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, found that over four RCT's (n=67), PTSD scores (CAPS-IV) were lower in the 75mg and 125mg groups (not 100mg), and depression scores (BDI) only in the 75mg group.

The cost-effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD

2020 | Doblin, R., Kahn, J. G., Marseille, E., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This study (2020) on the costs (and benefits) of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD finds it to be more cost-effective than other treatments. It's based on the data from six double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II trials (n=105) done by MAPS.

A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

2020 | Bathje, G. J., Chwyl, C., Davis, A. K., Lancelotta, R., Luoma, J. B.

This meta-analysis of nine placebo-controlled trials (n=211) showed a very large effect size (g=1.21) of treatment on four mental health conditions (PTSD, end-of-life anxiety, depression, social anxiety among autistic adults).

The Potential Dangers of Using MDMA for Psychotherapy

2014| Parrott, A. C.

This review (2014) examines both the negative and positive aspects of using MDMA for psychotherapy, with specific regard to its neurohormonal profile, the effects of serotonergic depletion, and neurotoxicity of repeated usage. The most critical issues are related to the release of difficult feelings and memories and the lack of control thereof due to heightened environmental sensitivity, as well as the risk that negative mood states predominating the phase of neurochemical recovery amongst certain individuals.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder After a Psychedelic Experience, a Case Report

2020| Hassan, A. N., Le Foll, B., Rubin-Kahana, D. S.

This study (2020) presents a case report of a man who developed PTSD after an experience with LSD and DMT.

Posttraumatic Growth After MDMA‐Assisted Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

2020| Belser, A. B., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Gorman, I., Hamilton, S., Hennigan, C., Jerome, L., Shechet, B., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This study (n=60) pooled participants from three Phase 2 clinical studies using MDMA (75-125 mg) for PTSD and found that posttraumatic growth (PTG) may be a promising new mechanism of action.

Perceived benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy beyond symptom reduction: qualitative follow-up study of a clinical trial for individuals with treatment-resistant PTSD

2019| Barone, W., Beck, J., Mitsunaga-Whitten, M., Perl, P.

This long-term follow-up study (n=24) applied qualitative interviews, an interpretative phenomenological analysis, and quantitative questionnaires to assess the perceived benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, following a two-year period after the completion of a Phase II clinical trial. Participant depictions of their experience before, during, and in the year after the treatment provide a rich context that demonstrates how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can impact important areas of functioning as well as the overall quality of life, regardless of changes to PTSD symptoms.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Repeated Ketamine Administration for Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

2021| Bevilacqua, L., Brallier, J., Charney, D. S., Collins, A. B., Collins, K. A., Corniquel, M. A., Costi, S., Feder, A., Glasgow, A. M., Govindarajulu, U., Horn, S. R., Jha, M. K., Kautz, M., Murrough, J. W., Peitrzak, R. H., Rutter, S. B.

This first double-blind (active) placebo-controlled study (n=30) of repeated ketamine (6x, 35mg/70kg) infusions found it to be effective as a treatment for PTSD (67% clinical response), but this response faded (on average) within a month.

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans, firefighters, and police officers: a randomised, double-blind, dose-response, phase 2 clinical trial

2018| Doblin, R., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Hamilton, S., Holland, J., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C., Mithoefer, A. T., Wagner, M. T., Wymer, J., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This Phase II clinical trial (n=26) finds that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (75-125 mg) led to significant and sustained decreases in PTSD (CAPS-IV) scores as compared to an active placebo (30 mg).

Durability of improvement in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and absence of harmful effects or drug dependency after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy: a prospective long-term follow-up study

2012| Doblin, R., Jerome, L., Martin, S. F., Michel, Y., Mithoefer, M. C., Mithoefer, A. T., Wagner, M. T., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This study presents follow-up data (17-74 months; n=19) on a trial using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD and found that most participants had maintained their therapeutic benefit over time.

Therapeutic effect of increased openness: investigating mechanism of action in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy

2017| Doblin, R., Jerome, L., MacAulay, R. K., Mithoefer, M. C., Mithoefer, A. T., Wagner, M. T., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This follow-up study (n=20) finds that Openness (but not Neuroticism) plays a moderating role in the relationship between PTSD reduction following MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment.

MDMA-facilitated cognitive-behavioural conjoint therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: an uncontrolled trial

2020| Doblin, R., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Jerome, L., Liebman, R. E., Mithoefer, M. C., Mithoefer, A. T., Monson, C. M., Wagner, A. C., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This open-label study (n=12, 6 couples) describes the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of MDMA in combination with cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy (CBCT) where one half of the couple was battling with PTSD.

Discontinuation of medications classified as reuptake inhibitors affects treatment response of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy

2020| Feduccia, A. A., Holland, J., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C.

A pooled analysis of participants (n=50) in Phase II MDMA-trials for PTSD found that recent tapering off SSRIs may reduce treatment response (CAPS-IV score).

The effect of acutely administered MDMA on subjective and BOLD-fMRI responses to favourite and worst autobiographical memories

2014| Bloomfield, M., Bolstridge, M., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Curran, H. V., De Meer, I., Erritzoe, D., Feilding, A., Ferguson, B., Kaelen, M., Moran, R. J., Newbould, R. D., Nutt, D. J., Stewart, L., Tanner, M., Wall, M. B., Williams, T. M.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects fMRI study (n=19) investigated the effect of MDMA on the recollection of favorite and worst autobiographical memories (AMs). Positive memories were rated as more positive and negative memories as less negative after MDMA use. Several brain regions were found to be active during AM recollection and related to memory valance.

Acute subjective effects in LSD- and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy

2020| Gasser, P., Liechti, M. E., Oehen, P., Schmid, Y.

This open-label study (n=18) of group-therapy with LSD and MDMA aimed to describe the characteristics, treatment indicators, and acute effects on patients. The study makes a comparison with data from other (earlier) studies on the MEQ and ASC.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD: study design and rationale for phase 3 trials based on pooled analysis of six phase 2 randomized controlled trials

2019| Doblin, R., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Hamilton, S., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C., Mithoefer, A. T., Wagner, M. T., Walsh, Z., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This largest double-blind, placebo-controlled study to date (2019) on MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD finds significant improvements (Cohen's d=0.8) and no significant adverse effects. This study is on the pooled (n=105) data of MAPS' phase II FDA trials.

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized phase 2 controlled trial

2018| Doblin, R., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Giron, S. G., Grigsby, J., Hamilton, S., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C., Ot’alora G, M., Poulter, B., Van Derveer, III, J. W., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This double-blind, between-subjects study (n=28) on the treatment of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared the effectiveness of two higher (100-125mg) with one lower dose (40mg) of MDMA in combination with psychotherapy. One month after two sessions, the higher doses of MDMA showed the largest reduction on a PTSD Scale. At the 12-month follow-up, PTSD symptoms remained lower than baseline with 75% of the participants not meeting PTSD criteria.

The safety and efficacy of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study

2010| Doblin, R., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C., Mithoefer, A. T., Wagner, M. T.

This first placebo-controlled study (n=20) showed that 83% of participants in the active treatment group didn't qualify for PTSD anymore (CAPS score). This study was the one that highlighted the promise of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

Psychedelic Treatment for Trauma-Related Psychological and Cognitive Impairment Among US Special Operations Forces Veterans

2020| Amoroso, T., Averill, L. A., Barsuglia, J. P., Davis, A. K., Sepeda, N. D.

This survey study (n=51) found very large effects on mental health for special forces veterans after ibogaine and 5-MeO-DMT treatment.

Long-term Follow-Up Outcomes of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for Treatment of PTSD: A Longitudinal Pooled Analysis of Six Phase 2 Trials

2020| Doblin, R., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Hamilton, S., Jerome, L., Mithoefer, M. C., Wang, J. B., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy showed a very large effect (d=1.58, 56% no longer met PTSD criteria) which improved at 12-months follow-up (d=0.43, 67%).

A randomized, controlled pilot study of MDMA (±3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)- assisted psychotherapy for treatment of resistant, chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

2012| Oehen, P., Schnyder, U., Traber, R., Widmer, V.

Three doses of MDMA (125mg) showed the most promise in this pilot study (n=12) of MDMA psychotherapy for PTSD. The CAPS score (PTSD measure) was just shy of significance, self-reported improvement was significant.


This section compares the research with psychedelics to other therapies, medicines, or treatments.


This section highlights the various measures used and their use in research.


Who are the top researches in this area, the ones who have done the groundbreaking research.


What do we not know at this time? Where are the gaps in our knowledge and are we closing it?


The companies that are actively engaged in researching this topic or (planning to) provide therapy focussed on this topic.

Outside Academia

This section highlights everything done outside of academia, from popular press to books and non academic research.