Bad or good trip? Glutamate plays a big role
Neurotransmitters and psychedelics
At trip therapy, we have been going beyond therapeutic tripping for years. Based on a neurotransmitter test and intake, our clients receive advice on how to get neurotransmitters more balanced through diet, supplements and exercise. A recent study now shows for the first time in history that the level of glutamate in the hippocampus plays an important role in whether the psychedelic trip is experienced as a good or bad trip. A high level of glutamate has a strong correlation with a negative psychedelic experience A good preparation in terms of balancing the neurotransmitters is thus not for nothing.
Read the entire scientific study on psilocybin and glutamate here
Glutamate and GABA
Thus, a lowered glutamate concentration in the hippocampus results in a more positive psychedelic experience. Increasing the neurotransmitter GABA lowers the glutamate concentration in the brain. This mechanism also works the other way around. Persons with low GABA have more glutamate and thus more anxiety-related symptoms and more chance of a bad trip anyway. Increasing GABA and thus decreasing glutamate is recommended for some people and can be done with supplements.
Read more about GABA and increasing this neurotransmitter here
Eating less Glutamate?
Glutamate is an amino acid, a building block of protein, so you get it when you eat protein. Glutamate is used by our intestines as an energy source, and the glutamate that does enter the bloodstream has great difficulty crossing the blood-brain barrier. So cutting down on glutamate and MSG (E621) has a very limited impact, although you might want to avoid MSG because of other negative effects. Glutamate, ironically, is also the building block of GABA, which actually lowers glutamate activity in the brain. So eating less glutamate makes no sense. Increasing GABA, on the other hand, does.
Set and setting are important
Set and setting, by the way, are also very decisive for the effect of the psychedelic trip. Yet it is fascinating that actually everything counts when it comes to how we feel and how the psychedelic trip is experienced. Actually, there is nothing that can be left out and that simple substances like glutamate and GABA have so much influence on our emotions and consciousness. Are you also now asking yourself the question “who am I?” when even these factors play a role in your mood and the choices you make?
We are happy to help
It’s our passion to understand the links between psychology and health through a biochemical way and help people. It is different from what the standard approach in psychology entails, as we are much more than just our psyche and therefore we want to take a holistic approach to maximize results. Would you also like to try the holistic approach we offer through triptherapy? We are here to help you.
Read more about the process in trip therapy here
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