Psychedelic Experiences: UCL Leads First-Ever Brain Imaging Study In Retreat Participants

Public psychedelics practitioner training program F.I.V.E. is set to collaborate with Tandava Retreats and University College London (UCL) on what will be the first-ever EEG brain imaging study of 5-MeO-DMT done in retreat center participants.

While the psychoactive compound traditionally derives from the Sonoran Desert toad Bufo alvarius, Tandava Retreats uses synthetic 5-MeO-DMT in support of species conservation and sourcing sustainability.

“We have found the experience of synthetic 5-MeO-DMT to be identical in nature to the toad secretion, which is important to note during the rise in popularity of this medicine," Tandava CEO Joel Brierre said. "Not only is synthetic safer and more effective to use with participants, but it has the repeatable consistency and precision dosage needed for proper research to be done.”

Among other inquiries, the study collaborators are trying to unveil questions regarding 5-MeO-DMT’s mechanism of action in general and in particular within naturalistic settings as opposed to medical/clinical ones, and how it could be better served to retreat participants.

In order to understand the effects of the substance on mental health and well-being, it is necessary to look at the actual contexts in which it is used, according to the study’s PI Jeremy Skipper. This will make it possible to understand whether individual differences in brain responses are associated with the different meanings people make of their experiences.

“We hope to contribute not only to a better scientific understanding of how 5-MeO-DMT works in the brain, but also to enabling individualized approaches that maximize the efficacy of 5-MeO-DMT therapies and retreats,” Skipper said.

The study will also be coordinated by Brierre, who is also F.I.V.E. CEO, as well as F.I.V.E. president Victoria Wueschner. It aims to gather both quantitative and qualitative data from participants at Tandava to assess changes in wellbeing, beliefs, and personality.

The “Uncovering the neural and subjective effects of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine” study expects to count with the participation of 32 people engaged in ceremonial 5-MeO-DMT practices at Tandava Retreats in Tepoztlán, Mexico, through spontaneous neural imagery using electroencephalography (EEG) both before and during the psychoactive experience.

The study costs about $108.437 (£89,205), out of which a UK-based charity has already donated $40.898 (£33,645). Further, Tandava is matching the funds to be raised and will donate retreat and integration costs for 15 out of 30 study participants. Crowdfunding is available for those willing to support the study.

Photo courtesy of Tandava Retreats.

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Posted In: CannabisNewsPsychedelicsFinancingManagementGlobalMarkets5-MeO-DMTF.I.V.E.Psychedelic RetreatsTandava RetreatsUniversity College London
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