Artificial intelligence (AI) is being hailed as a game changer in the field of psychedelics, with researchers indicating that these psychoactive substances have the potential to be used as treatments for mental health issues. For decades, psychedelics have been stigmatized as dangerous and illegal drugs, with scientific research into their benefits coming to a halt in the 1970s after President Nixon of the US began the war on drugs. However, the tide is slowly changing, and several institutions have been granted licenses for psychedelic research.
One of the ways in which AI is helping the field of psychedelics is by discovering molecules that provide the most benefit without the risks. Enveric Biosciences is a biotech company based in the United States that utilizes artificial intelligence to develop therapies for mental health and cancer, using molecules derived from cannabinoids and psychedelics. The CEO, Joseph Tucker, states that the extensive research on the human brain over the recent past has placed us in a favorable position for creating new therapies.
He believes that therapy for cancer-related distress using a psychedelic agent is one of the most promising areas where benefits can be observed. He also adds that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is another area of high need, where a psychedelic with reduced visual and auditory hallucinations could have a significant impact.
Another way in which AI is helping the field of psychedelics is by mapping the brain to identify which areas are responsible for the therapeutic benefits. A study published in May 2022 highlights important findings relating to brain activity while experiencing the effects of psychedelics.
Using AI, the team was able to map various regions of the brain responsible for the enhanced states that psychedelic users often experience. By analyzing over 6,000 written accounts of psychedelic experiences, the team was able to identify new connections and patterns that support existing theories about the ways in which psychedelics work in the brain.
Overall, it’s exciting to see the potential that AI has in the field of psychedelics and mental health research. However, it’s important to note that research in this field is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of using psychedelics as a form of therapy. Nonetheless, it’s encouraging to see progress being made in understanding these substances and their potential for helping people suffering from mental health issues.