The acute psychedelic experience is often defined as an altered state of consciousness. In the treatment of mental disorders, psychedelic substances can achieve long-term beneficial effects in the patients, but the acute experience may not always be desired. The possibility of eliminating the acute psychedelic effects while preserving long-term outcomes was explored by Cameron et al. In their study, the administration of tabernanthalog, a non-psychoactive analog to ibogaine, led to similar structural neural plasticity (something seen with other psychedelics too, e.g., Ly et al., 2018 or Barrett et al., 2020), reduction in addiction-like behavior, and antidepressant-like effects in mice. This phenomenon still needs to be explored in humans, but it suggested that analogs to psychedelic substances could offer therapeutic value without the acute effect and lower to no toxicity.
Cameron, L.P., Tombari, R.J., Lu, J., Pell, A.J., Hurley, Z.Q., Ehinger, Y., Vargas, M.V., McCarroll, M.N., Taylor, J.C., Myers-Turnbull, D., Liu, T., Yaghoobi, B., Laskowski, L.J., Anderson, E.I., Zhang, G., Viswanathan, J., Brown, B.M., Tjia, M., Dunlap, L.E., Rabow, Z.T., et al. (2021) A non-hallucinogenic psychedelic analogue with therapeutic potential. Nature, 589(7842):474–479