Psychedelics and Safety

Psychedelics and safety 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.

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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.

Safety 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.

Are Psychedelics Something New in Teaching Psychopharmacology?

2020 | Aggarwal, R., Balon, R., Beresin, E. V., Brenner, A. M., Coverdale, J., Guerrero, A. P. S., Louie, A. K., Morreale, M. K.

This editorial paper aims to inform the attitude of medical health professionals towards psychedelics, with regard to evaluating their therapeutic potential in accordance with a rigorous application of the scientific method, while taking social, historical, political, and cultural factors that have influenced their legal status and the discontinuation of prior research.

Flashbacks and HPPD: A Clinical-oriented Concise Review

2014 | Bor, O., Goodman, C., Lerner, A. G., Rudinski, D.

This review (2014) examines the etiology of flashbacks or Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), which represents a cluster of recurrent visual disturbances which have been reported to persist after the acute phase of psychedelic, such as LSD. The authors delineate HPPD type I. disorder that entails short-term, non-distressing, benign, and reversible state accompanied by a pleasant affect, and type II: disorder which entails long-term, distressing, pervasive, either slowly reversible or irreversible, non-benign state accompanied by an unpleasant affect. Although the prevalence of HPPD remains understudied, the authors review a large variety of medications that may alleviate the symptoms of this condition.

How MDMAs Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics Drive Desired Effects and Harms

2014 | White, C. M.

This review (2014) looks at the desired effects and the possible harms that MDMA can elicit. One could argue that the review in unjustly harsh and implies negative effects not commonly experienced.

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.

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.

Mania following use of ibogaine: A case series

2015| Koek, R. J., Kopelowicz, A., Marta, C. J., Ryan, W. C.

This case report (n=3) examines patients who developed manic symptoms and diagnosed with Bipolar-I disorder in response to ibogaine use. None of the patients had a prior diagnosis or family history of bipolar disorder, but all of them were poly-drug users or recovering from addiction. Manic symptoms which often included grand delusions that lasted up to two weeks after using ibogaine.

Optimal dosing for psilocybin pharmacotherapy: Considering weight-adjusted and fixed dosing approaches

2021| Barrett, F. S., Carbonaro, T. M., Garcia-Romeu, A., Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W.

This analysis of psilocybin dosages given in 10 previous studies (n=288) found no effect of weight, nor gender, on the effects (acute or long-term) of the dosage (20-30mg) of psilocybin used. The authors recommend a fixed dosing approach going forward to simplify dosing regimes.

A qualitative descriptive analysis of effects of psychedelic phenethylamines and tryptamine

2020| Acosta, P., Palamar, J. J.

This qualitative interview study (n=39) found that within this group about 2/3rds had used 2C drugs (38,5% 2C-B) and compared 2C-B to LSD and MDMA effects, it also compared favorably to other 2C drugs. 4-Aco-DMT was described as mimicking psilocybin.

Switch to mania after ayahuasca consumption in a man with bipolar disorder: a case report

2015| Smith, J. M., Szmulewicz, A. G., Valerio, M. P.

This case report describes the clinical profile of a man from Argentina with a family history of bipolar disorder who participated in a four-day Ayahuasca ceremony that led to the eruption of a hypomanic episode two days after, consisting of mystical and paranoid delusional ideas, auditory hallucinations, racing thoughts, disorganized behavior, elevated energy, and manic euphoria. Given that the remission of psychotic symptoms was immediately followed by an onset of depressive symptoms, the authors theorize that antidepressant effects of harmine may have occasioned the manic shift of his bipolar disorder.

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.

Self-Experimentations with Psychedelics Among Mental Health Professionals: LSD in the Former Czechoslovakia

2014| Csémy, L., Winkler, P.

This qualitative study (n=22) conducted a structured interview assessing the attitudes towards psychedelic self-experimentation amongst mental health professionals who took LSD (25-1000μg/70kg) legally between the years 1952–1974 in former Czechoslovakia. Most of the respondents reported positive effects in the domain of self-awareness and/or in their didactic ability to comprehend the world of mentally ill patients. None of the respondents reported any long-term negative effect of their self-experimentation.

Psilocybin dose-dependently causes delayed, transient headaches in healthy volunteers

2012| Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., Sewell, R. A.

This study (n=18) found that psilocybin frequently caused mild to moderate delayed and transient headaches in healthy volunteers in a dose-dependent manner.

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.

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.


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.