What Psychedelic Clinical Trials Are Currently Underway?

In 1990, Rick Strassman, MD, a professor at the University of New Mexico, became the first scientist in 20 years to receive government approval to carry out psychedelic research.1 Since then, an increasing number of researchers throughout the United States have ventured into this area of study to determine the impact that these substances have on mental health and other conditions. Some of these studies – particularly those testing psilocybin and MDMA – have gone as far as Phase 3 trials, putting these substances on track for federal approval in the near future.2, 3 In a letter from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse wrote that the US Food and Drug Administration could approve psilocybin for the treatment of depression and MDMA for the treatment of PTSD by 2024. Some experts have speculated that approval of that psilocybin could come by the close of 2023

As of December 2022, 66 clinical trials were underway in the United States involving MDMA, psilocybin, and DMT – of which almost 75 percent (47) were devoted to studying the impact that these substances have on a variety of mental and behavioral health conditions. For example, several trials involving MDMA are examining its potential to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety. Additional studies involving psilocybin are looking into its impact on individuals struggling with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance dependence, among others. Another 46 trials were studying ketamine’s impact on conditions like OCD, alcohol dependence, anxiety in pancreatic cancer patients, major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression. 

Many of these trials are recruiting or are preparing to recruit participants. More information about them and who to contact can be found at clinicaltrials.gov.



1. UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (2022). DMT. https://psychedelics.berkeley.edu/substance/dmt/

2. Lawrence, A (2022, October 12). Compass Pathways Announces Phase 3 Pivotal Program Design for COMP360 in Treatment Resistant Depression at Capital Markets Day. GlobeNewswire. https://www.globenewswire.com/

3. MAPS (2021, May 3). MAPS’ Phase 3 Trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD Achieves Successful Results for Patients with Severe, Chronic PTSD. https://maps.org/