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Unlimited Sciences Announces Groundbreaking New Study to Observe Ayahuasca’s Effects on Trauma

Unlimited Sciences, a psychedelic research nonprofit, today announces a seminal new observation research study that will measure the potential healing…



Unlimited Sciences, a psychedelic research nonprofit, today announces a seminal new observation research study that will measure the potential healing effects of ayahuasca on individuals with past experiences of trauma. The study, beginning this summer, will engage mostly female immigrants and refugees seeking remedial therapy through the powerful psychoactive brew, which has been identified as a candidate for the treatment of trauma. To fund the groundbreaking endeavor, Unlimited Sciences kicked off a GoFundMe campaign to raise the necessary $50,000 to conduct the study.

“Despite robust reports and significant historical roots recognizing the vast therapeutic potential of ayahuasca, the psychoactive alkaloid present in ayahuasca, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), is a Schedule I controlled substance classified as having ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,’” said  “As a result, there has been little research conducted on ayahuasca.Current therapeutic options may be insufficient to meet the increasing needs of a growing number of individuals presenting with symptoms of trauma. Alternative treatment options are desperately needed, and ayahuasca has been identified as a candidate therapy for the treatment of trauma.”

Matthew X. Lowe, Ph.D., Research Director at Unlimited Sciences and principal investigator for the study

Ayahuasca produces powerful experiences that have been likened to intense psychotherapy, indicating its therapeutic potential for treating trauma and its resulting mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). High numbers of refugees and immigrants endure complex and multilayered forms of distress, including physical and sexual violence, persecution, experiences of war and torture, life-threatening situations and tense journeys before and during the process of migration. The mind-altering psychedelic effects produced by ayahuasca can have lasting and severe long-term mental health consequences, yet few studies have examined the impact of trauma experienced after migration.

“DMT is a particularly intriguing psychedelic. The visual vividness and depth of immersion produced by high doses of the substance seems to be on a scale above what is reported with more widely studied psychedelics such as psilocybin or ‘magic mushrooms,’” “It’s hard to capture and communicate what it is like for people experiencing DMT but likening it to dreaming while awake or a near-death experience is useful.”

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, co-principal investigator on the study and Founding Director of The Neuroscape Psychedelics Division

Donations raised through the GoFundMe campaign will help pay for expenses related to key research personnel, equipment, institutional review board and other direct costs such as materials and publication expenses. Unlimited Sciences was invited to observe the ceremony and study health outcomes related to the event, and is solely focused on observational research which does not include organization, facilitating the ceremony, or administering ayahuasca to participants. Unlimited Sciences is aware of the risk psychedelic substances can pose to vulnerable individuals or individuals predisposed to mental health conditions, and does not endorse the use of ayahuasca outside of clinical settings. Unlimited Sciences will eventually publish the study’s results and share them with the general public in the interest of advancing scientific understanding of both the risks and benefits of using ayahuasca for therapeutic purposes. To learn more about Unlimited Sciences and real-world psychedelic research, please visit

About Unlimited Sciences

Unlimited Sciences is a psychedelic research nonprofit that uses the power of data to serve the community, educate the public, and inform common-sense practices and policies regarding psychedelic use. At Unlimited Sciences, we are focused on driving psychedelic research forward, and our goal is to capture observational data in real-world settings and share these results with the public. It’s estimated that over 30 million people have used some form of psychedelics in the U.S. alone. Our goal is to access this knowledge, mitigate harm and reduce stigma through education.

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