MindMed develops an 'off switch' to stop LSD trips during therapy

The idea of psychotherapy that takes place while the client is on a psychedelic substance is growing in popularity, with a number of trials in the US exploring the potential use of these compounds to help sufferers heal from conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The potential for experiencing a 'bad trip' always exists, though, and that's where MindMed's latest development comes in.

Though a positive psychedelic trip can be beneficial for the person experiencing it, the opposite is also true: a 'bad trip' can be very damaging, potentially retraumatizing the person and setting their progress back considerably. At this point in time, benzodiazepines are the only medication that can terminate a trip, but this takes time and isn't an ideal solution.

In an announcement last week, MindMed said that it has developed an 'LSD neutralizer' that can shorten and stop these psychedelic trips. The neutralizer was developed specifically for use during psychedelic-assistant psychotherapy sessions, according to the company, which has filed a patent for its tech in the US.

MindMed says that it will take further development, but that its tech could potentially serve as an 'off switch' for LSD trips. The company anticipates that its development could one day be incorporated as part of psychedelic therapy sessions. Company co-founder and co-CEO JR Rahn said:

The innovative and original work of the Liechti Laboratory is a treasure trove of novel data on LSD. We are just at the beginning of several significant discoveries that have the potential to further the application of psychedelics as therapeutic medicines. If developed, these discoveries will benefit both patients and therapists working in the psychedelic medicine space.