Researchers Have Designed a Sensor to Detect Psychedelics That Aren’t Hallucinogenic

Researchers have come up with a way to determine if a molecule can induce hallucinations, without testing it on animals or people. Evidence from prior research has suggested that psychedelic compounds could be used to manage psychiatric conditions such as PTSD. Scientists are therefore looking for ways to retain the beneficial properties of psychedelic drugs but get rid of their hallucinogenic side effects, which can make treatment more challenging.

At the moment, it isn’t possible to forecast whether a drug can give rise to hallucinations before researchers carry out tests on people or animals.

University of California chemical neuroscientist David Olson stated that this impedes drug discovery. This is why a team of researchers led by Lin Tian, a neuroscientist, and Olson developed a fluorescent sensor that can forecast if a molecule is hallucinogenic. The sensor is based on the structure of a brain receptor that’s usually targeted by psychedelic substances.

The study’s findings were reported in the “Nature” journal.

Studies have demonstrated that some psychedelic substances can alleviate the symptoms of different mental conditions, including severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction, by assisting the brain in creating new connections between neurons.

Additionally, clinical trials have been trying to utilize MDMA, commonly referred to as ecstasy. and psilocybin, which is found in magic mushrooms, to treat different psychiatric disorders. However, the hallucinogenic properties psychedelics possess make them hard to administer, as these effects can cause difficult experiences, and recipients need constant supervision while under treatment.

Research has found that psychedelic substances can induce hallucinations when they interact with brain receptors that usually bind to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences an individual’s mood.

Olson notes, however, that not every molecule that binds to serotonin receptors gives rise to hallucinations. The sensor his team designed is based on the 5-HT2AR serotonin receptor, which changes its shape once a molecule binds itself to it. Researchers found the hallucinations were determined by the degree to which this particular receptor changed.

In order to find out whether the sensor could be used to forecast the hallucinogenic properties of a molecule, the researchers also screened 83 compounds that have psychedelic profiles. Olson reveals that they found that the sensor predicted the hallucinogenic potential of each molecule reliably.

Stanford University’s Robert Malenka, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, noted that the sensor technology was still a long way from separating psychedelic drugs from their hallucinogenic side effects.

Be that as it may, many companies, including Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF), are looking to commercialize psychedelic medicines that are intended to be administered in a clinical setting only. In this way, the trained medical personnel overseeing the process can ensure that no avoidable harm is occasioned to the patients receiving the medicine.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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