New Study: MDMA Reduces Fear
1 min

New Study: MDMA Reduces Fear

1 min
According to new research, MDMA could help us overcome the fear created by traumatic events, further bolstering the idea that MDMA can be a useful therapeutic tool.

MDMA is currently the party drug as far as many club goers are concerned. In fact, it has been synonymous with the club scene for quite a few decades now. Yet the potential of MDMA goes far beyond this. Research is showing that MDMA can be a very effective tool when used in as part of therapy for treating such ailments as PTSD. Just recently, research has just been published outlining how MDMA can dramatically reduce conditioned fear, opening up a potential way to help people struggling to manage such a problem.


Basically, conditional fear is a negative emotional response to a stimulus that the subject has learnt to fear. For example, a fear of traveling in a car after having previously been in a car crash, or a fear of going to a particular place after something particularly traumatic happened there.

While some conditioned fears are reasonable, avoidable, and manageable in modern life, some can be crippling, preventing a normal standard of living.


In the research, which was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, investigators set out to observe the effects of MDMA on the amygdala in mice – a part of the brain associated with memory and fear. By training mice to fear a noise by administering a mild shock at the same time, scientists were able to test their fear response.

A couple of days later, some of the mice were injected with MDMA. All of the mice were then made to listen to the fear-inducing noise, and were timed to see how long it took them to get over it, and the fear effect to become “extinct” – as in when the mice stopped freezing when the noise was played. It was found that the mice given MDMA were significantly quicker at losing their fear of the noise.

Although only at animal stages in testing, it shows the profound effect MDMA can have on the brain – mice have very similar physiologies to humans. It is another piece of the puzzle, and is sure to inspire more research into and yield potential therapeutic applications.



Written by: Josh
Writer, psychonaut and cannabis aficionado, Josh is Zamnesia’s in-house expert. He spends his days nestled out in the countryside, delving into the hidden depths of all things psychoactive in nature.

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Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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