MDMA may not cause comedowns, according to new study

If you’ve ever been to a nightclub or festival, there’s a chance you may have encountered MDMA. But when the party is over, those who’ve taken MDMA report a dip in their mood, more commonly known as a ‘comedown’.

According to Drugswise, a comedown is “used to describe the two or three day after-effects from taking ecstasy.” Because the drug affects the chemicals in the brain – notably, the feel-good hormone serotonin – during a comedown “these chemicals fall to levels that can make the user feel anxious, depressed, paranoid, tired and experience dizzy spells.”

But a new study is throwing doubt on everything previously thought to be true about comedowns, finding that “comedowns might be more related to the context that individuals take recreational MDMA in rather than due to MDMA itself.” The research also looked at how MDMA could be used to actually help with mental health issues.

Sharing the findings in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the experts behind the study point out that a number of factors can play regarding whether or not users experience a comedown, as well as the severity of one if they do.

These factors include drugs being cut by suppliers, drugs being combined with alcohol or other substances, and doses of the drug being varied. On top of that, the surroundings in which users take drugs like MDMA can have an impact as well, with the study noting that nightlife settings where dehydration, overheating and lack of sleep are commonplace, may “lead to impairments in cognition and mood in the following days.”

However, it’s also certainly worth noting that the small size of the study (eight men and six women) mean the findings are far from being robust and that a lot more research is needed before scientists can say anything for sure about the after effects of MDMA.