Psychedelics can make your brain grow more cells but they are no magic solution

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulMar 02, 2023 | 14:05

Psychedelics can make your brain grow more cells but they are no magic solution

It’s high time (pun intended) the world wakes up towards the limitless therapeutic possibilities of psychedelics. The latest research from Science has found that psychedelics can reverse brain atrophy and promote cellular growth in the brain.

Psychedelic therapy has been gaining attention as a potential treatment for various mental ailments, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The recent study published in Science highlights the ability of certain psychedelic compounds like DMT and psilocybin to enter brain cells and promote the regrowth of dendrites, which are responsible for receiving signals from other brain cells.


This breakthrough offers insight into the mechanisms behind the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. By fostering the regrowth of dendrites, these compounds can help reverse the damage done to brain cells and restore their proper function. This has important implications for the treatment of various mental illnesses, as many of them have been linked to damaged dendrites and atrophied brain cells.

The brain has cells called neurons that communicate with each other through special branches called dendrites. Damage to these cells and dendrites can cause various brain disorders. Psychedelics like DMT and psilocybin have been found to help regrow these dendrites, which could be helpful in treating mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

Scientists have found that psychedelics activate a certain protein in brain cells called the 5-HT2A receptor. This protein is also stimulated by serotonin, which is a chemical that affects mood. However, serotonin alone cannot regrow neurons, and it cannot enter cells easily.

Further experiments showed that most of these receptors are inside the brain cells, and once serotonin was able to get inside, it led to growth and antidepressant effects in mice. Psychedelics were also able to prompt the regrowth of dendrites in cell cultures.


In contrast to traditional antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can take a long time to start working, psychedelics may offer a faster and more effective solution. SSRIs work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, which can thicken dendrites over time. However, the regrowth of dendrites with psychedelics appears to be more direct and immediate.

This is good news because traditional antidepressants can take a long time to work, but psychedelic therapy has the potential to work faster and more effectively. It's important to continue studying these compounds to see if they can help more people struggling with mental health conditions.

It's important to note that psychedelic therapy is not a silver bullet for mental health issues. The effects of these compounds can vary widely depending on the individual and the context in which they are used. Psychedelic therapy should always be administered by a trained professional in a safe and controlled setting.

Despite the potential benefits of psychedelic therapy, there are still many questions that need to be answered. Future research should focus on understanding how these compounds work inside cells to foster the regrowth of brain cells and what effect these changes have on brain function. Researchers must also study the long-term effects of psychedelic therapy to ensure its safety and efficacy as a treatment for mental illness.


Psychedelics have been the subject of taboo and misconception for decades, largely due to their association with counterculture movements and recreational use. However, recent scientific research has revealed the therapeutic potential of psychedelics in treating various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Despite this, the stigma surrounding psychedelics remains, hindering progress in the field of mental health.

Breaking taboos surrounding psychedelics is crucial for several reasons. It is essential to understand that psychedelics are not inherently dangerous substances. The fear and stigma associated with psychedelics have been based on little scientific evidence and largely driven by moral panic.

Dismantling these misconceptions surrounding psychedelics can help individuals struggling with mental health disorders access potentially life-changing treatments. Psychedelic therapy has shown promising results in clinical trials, with many participants reporting significant improvements in symptoms even after a single session. However, the stigma associated with psychedelics means that many people are reluctant to try this type of therapy.

Addressing the stigma surrounding psychedelics can help shift the conversation around mental health and treatments. By acknowledging the potential of psychedelics in treating mental health disorders, we can move away from the traditional model of relying on medication as the primary treatment for mental illness. This could lead to a more holistic approach to mental health, with a greater focus on therapy and alternative treatments.

The stigma and taboo surrounding psychedelics have hindered research and made it difficult for researchers to obtain funding and conduct studies. Many scientists have faced ridicule and backlash for their work on psychedelics, which has slowed down progress and prevented valuable research from being conducted.

The public perception of psychedelics can impact their legal status and accessibility. Currently, most psychedelics are classified as Schedule I substances in the US, which means they are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medical value. This classification has made it difficult for researchers to conduct studies and has limited access to these substances for those who could potentially benefit from them. However, if public opinion shifts towards recognizing the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, it could lead to changes in laws and regulations that would make these substances more accessible for those who need them.

This latest study offers exciting new insights into the potential of psychedelic therapy for combating various mental ailments. While there is still much research to be done, the future of psychedelic therapy looks as promising as ever.

Last updated: March 02, 2023 | 14:05
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