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  • 1440 Daily Digest

FDA Guidance on Psychedelics

The US Food and Drug Administration released a draft of guidelines for research into the therapeutic use of psychedelics Friday, initiating a 60-day public comment period. Observers see the move as the latest step toward potentially legitimizing classic psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA, which have long faced cultural and medical stigma.

Psychedelics are powerful, psychoactive compounds that temporarily alter perception, mood, and other cognitive processes, and have been used for millennia for their mind-altering effects (see overview). Synthetic versions sparked popular use in the 1970s, leading to their designation as Schedule 1—or banned—drugs. However, research in recent years suggests medically supervised use can likely treat prevalent mood, anxiety, and substance disorders, prompting both private investment and public legislation to further explore the drugs' medical applications.

Officials released the nonbinding recommendations two days after a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a bill in Congress seeking to require the FDA to produce such a document. Watch how psychedelics affect the human brain here.

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