Psychedelics are a group of drugs that enable users to see and feel things that aren’t there, and some people use them for religious or spiritual reasons. But, they can also be dangerous and addictive if not used properly – many of them are illegal in the U.S. However, recent studies show that some psychedelics could have potential medical benefits for mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Here’s everything you need to know about psychedelics – their characteristics, benefits, and risks. Educating yourself on these drugs will help you make a more informed decision about trying them out.
Brief History of Psychedelics
Psychedelics are a group of drugs that can change a person’s perception, mood, and even way of thought. They often make people see and hear things that aren’t there and feel happy. LSD, psilocybin (which is discovered in “magic mushrooms”), and mescaline are all well-known psychedelics (found in peyote cactus).
Psychedelics have been used for hundreds of years, and there is proof that these were used in traditional religions and therapies in many different cultures worldwide. In the 1950s and 1960s, people in the Western world became more interested in psychedelics, and many tried them for spiritual, artistic, and recreational reasons.
Fears about the safety and legality of these substances, as well as reports of their misuse and harmful effects, led to a crackdown on their usage and research in the 1970s. In the past several years, there has been a renewed interest in studying the possible medical benefits of some psychedelics. This has led to some countries loosening their laws against their use.
What Are the Types of Psychedelics?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that there are two main types of psychedelics: classic hallucinogens and dissociative drugs.
Some examples of classic hallucinogens are:
- LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) – Lysergic acid, present in a fungus that develops on wheat, is used to make it.
- Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine) – This is the primary active component of “magic mushrooms,” a diverse group of fungi found in tropical and subtropical regions of Mexico, South America, and the United States.
- Peyote (mescaline) – The little cactus known as peyote is indigenous to Mexico and the southern United States. It might also be made of synthetic materials. Although it is restricted as a Schedule I narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), it is used in some Native American sacred rites. It has mescaline, which can lead to euphoria, changed body image, and hallucinations.
- DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine) – Several plant species, including Phalaris, Delosperma, Acacia, Mimosa, and the leaves of citrus plants, contain the potent chemical DMT. Ayahuasca, also known as hoasca, aya, or yagé, is a natural plant substance that can be used to brew tea. DMT is also available as a white powdered synthetic substance that can be smoked.
- 251-NBOMe – Neuroscientists first created a synthetic drug called 251-NBOMe. It shares characteristics with LSD and MDMA. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, is a commonly used psychoactive substance. But 251-NBOMe is more potent than MDMA and LSD combined.
It’s worth noting that the use of some of these substances is illegal in many countries, and there are potential risks and side effects associated with their use.
How Are Psychedelics Used?
Psychedelics have been revered for their spiritual and mystical connotations in many civilizations since ancient times. Most users ingest or inhale LSD, magic mushrooms, Mescaline, or DMT. Fresh mushrooms, cooked mushrooms, and mushroom “tea” are the most common ways to enjoy this versatile food.
On rare occasions, they may be snuffed out alongside tobacco or cannabis. Consumption of mescaline often involves oral administration. You can mix the powder from peyote buttons with tobacco or cannabis to smoke. You can drink by chewing on a button or soaking one in water.
The most popular ways to consume NBOMe are sublingually, buccally, and nasally, as swallowing renders most forms inert. Many people who experiment with psychedelics do so only on rare occasions, spaced out perhaps a few weeks or months apart.
What Are the Effects of Psychedelics?
It’s essential to recognize that no drug use is entirely safe and every drug involves certain risks. Therefore, it is crucial to be cautious when using any substance.
Psychedelics can have varying effects on people, depending on factors such as body size, health, previous experience, concurrent drug use, dosage, the potency of the drug, and the environment in which it is used. The effects of psychedelics can last for hours and vary depending on the type of psychedelic taken.
Some common effects of psychedelics include euphoria, relaxation, altered perception such as seeing or hearing things that are not real, confusion, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, blurred vision, clumsiness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, hyperventilation, vomiting, sweating, chills, numbness.
Effect on the Mood and Environment
The effects of psychoactive drugs on an individual’s mental state can be influenced by their “set” and “setting.” Set refers to a person’s mindset, previous experiences with the drug, and expectations regarding its effects. For instance, a person feeling stressed or anxious before taking a psychedelic drug may be more likely to have an unpleasant experience, also known as a “bad trip.”
On the other hand, setting refers to the physical and social environment where the person takes the drug, such as whether it’s familiar or unknown, whether they’re indoors or outdoors, the type of music, and the lighting. Using psychedelics in a calm, comfortable, and friendly environment can lead to a positive experience, while being in a crowded and noisy place can contribute to a negative experience.
To lessen the risk of a bad trip, having a positive state of mind, trusted companions, and a safe environment before taking psychedelics is best.
Bad Trips and Flashbacks
Experiencing frightening and disturbing hallucinations known as a “bad trip” can occur when taking large amounts or a potent batch of psychedelics. It may result in panic and unpredictable behaviour, such as attempting suicide or running across a road.
The most frequent long-term effect of psychedelic use is a “flashback,” a re-experiencing of the drug that may happen days, weeks, months, or even years later. Flashbacks can be triggered by other drugs, stress, fatigue, or physical exercise and can range from pleasant to anxiety-inducing, typically lasting for a few minutes and being predominantly visual.
Can You Mix Psychedelics With Other Drugs?
When it comes to combining psychedelics with other drugs, such as alcohol, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medicines, the results are usually uncertain. Taking psychedelics and stimulants can intensify the stimulant’s impact, increasing the heart rate and putting the body under severe stress.
Stimulants can also exacerbate anxiety, leading to an unpleasant experience. Additionally, mixing psychedelics with benzodiazepines can raise anxiety levels, cause sadness, and increase the heart rate.
Mixing psychedelics with other drugs is generally not recommended, as the effects can be unpredictable and potentially harmful. Mixing psychedelics with certain medications can increase the risk of negative experiences. If you are considering taking psychedelics, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional and avoid using them in combination with other substances.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Psychedelics?
Researchers have discovered various potential medical advantages of psychedelics, such as managing chronic pain, cluster headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, substance use disorders, and psychological distress associated with life-threatening illnesses.
Anxiety and Depression
Regarding anxiety and depression, an animal study published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2022 suggests that repeated doses of LSD over time may help reduce symptoms of stress-related anxiety and depression.
In terms of LSD’s effects on humans, a study published in Psychopharmacology in 2018 discovered that individuals who took LSD while participating in psychotherapy sessions reported elevated feelings of happiness, trust, and empathy. It resulted in positive social effects and increased altruism.
Furthermore, in 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved esketamine, a medication closely related to ketamine, for treating severe depression in individuals who did not benefit from other treatments.
A 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials published in Biomedicines suggest that psilocybin may be beneficial in treating depression and anxiety linked explicitly to life-threatening illnesses.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Concerning OCD, the authors of a 2017 study that investigated the therapeutic effects of psilocybin stated that additional research is necessary to verify whether this particular psychedelic can be beneficial for OCD.
This is after a small 2009 study found that all of its participants’ OCD symptoms decreased with psilocybin. The 2017 study observed that participants experienced symptom reduction, regardless of the dose taken, and questioned whether a placebo effect influenced the outcomes.
Migraine and Cluster Headaches
In a 2017 qualitative study published in the Harm Reduction Journal, researchers examined how alternative treatments, including psychedelics, could benefit people with migraine and cluster headaches. Individuals who used these substances reported that psilocybin, LSD, and similar psychedelics effectively prevented and treated migraine and cluster headaches.
A 2018 review revealed that early studies explored classic psychedelics’ effectiveness in the 1950s to 1970s but were eventually discontinued. Nevertheless, the evidence from that time shows that these substances can effectively treat alcoholism, especially LSD.
Also, a 2020 systematic review found additional evidence to support this therapeutic use. While this research presents hopeful evidence for using psychedelics to treat various health conditions, further well-designed clinical trials are necessary to help medical regulatory agencies decide about authorizing psychedelics as medical treatments.
How to Choose the Right Psychedelics For You
When selecting a psychedelic substance, the decision is multi-faceted. With numerous choices accessible, several factors must be considered, such as determining the optimal substance for your unique mind and body, deciding on the appropriate dosage, and interacting with these substances safely.
Cannabis is recommended for individuals new to mind-altering substances, as it is the gentlest psychedelic discussed in this guide. According to the shamanic perspective, cannabis is considered an “ally plant,” while other plant-based substances are called “teacher plants.”
Ketamine is highly regarded in psychotherapy for its potential to treat severe and treatment-resistant depression. Additionally, it is the only drug on this list, besides cannabis, that can be legally administered in a therapeutic setting. As a result, it is a popular option for individuals who prefer traditional psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Psilocybin is a breakthrough therapy by the FDA and has shown significant potential in treating treatment-resistant depression, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, OCD, and substance abuse. It is also used for general healing, wellness, and self-actualization.
For those seeking a long and intense psychedelic experience with visual hallucinations, LSD may be suitable, although natural, plant-based substances are recommended for overall wellness.
Ayahuasca has been shown to produce long-term changes in users, including reductions in depression and grief, increased self-transcendence and quality of life, and enhanced mindfulness. It has also been studied as a potential therapeutic option for addiction and other mental health ailments.
DMT is ideal for those seeking a brief but powerful psychedelic experience and is seen as a means to recall the frequency of oneness and divine connection.
How to Lessen the Risks of Taking Psychedelics
When considering using psychedelics, it’s crucial to remember that their strength and effects can be challenging to anticipate, and potency can differ between batches. Individuals with a family history or pre-existing mental health conditions should refrain from using them.
Taking psychedelics in a familiar environment with trustworthy companions may help mitigate unpleasant emotional effects. Sitting down and taking deep, regular breaths may be beneficial to counteract anxiety.
Using psychedelics can be more dangerous if combined with other substances, notably stimulants like crystal methamphetamine or ecstasy while driving or operating heavy machinery or in situations requiring judgment and motor coordination. It’s also unsafe to take them alone if medical assistance is necessary or if the person has mental health issues.
Most psychedelics quickly produce tolerance, necessitating larger doses for the same effect, and some individuals may become psychologically dependent. However, physical dependence on psychedelics is unlikely, and there are no withdrawal symptoms, even after prolonged use.
For your part, you have to do what’s possible to get the best and safest psychedelic experience. To lessen the possibility of an adverse reaction, it’s best to start with a modest dose and gradually increase it if desired. Also, you can feel more at ease and less in danger when taking psychedelics if you do so in a safe and comfortable place. Getting a reliable “babysitter” will help, too – having a sober, trusted friend or family member there can make you feel more at ease.
Do not combine substances. The risk of adverse consequences from psychedelics is amplified when used w
ith other substances, such as alcohol or prescription medicines.
To get the most out of the session and lessen the chance of having a negative experience, it’s best to go into it with an overly-optimistic and open frame of mind. Think about the potential downsides and upsides: Before deciding whether or not to experiment with psychedelics, it’s necessary to look at the pros and cons in light of your situation and objectives.
Involvement with a qualified expert who can help you through the experience and answer your questions is essential if you consider utilizing psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.
Astral Agency is Your Reliable Source of Quality Shrooms, DMT, and Other Psychedelics
Astral Agency is an online mail-order dispensary that provides Canadians with quality shrooms, DMT, and other psychedelics. We use a third-party testing facility, and the results are posted in the photo gallery of each of our products. We use a special machine called an FTIR spectrometer to test your sample and immunoassay test strips that check for potent substances like fentanyl or benzodiazepines. Some branded products do their testing and come sealed, so we don’t test those.
Psychedelics change how the brain works by binding to specific receptors, leading to mood, perception, and thinking changes. This results in an altered state of consciousness, where people experience things differently.
Psychedelics also help different brain parts communicate better, leading to new ideas and ways of thinking. This is why people feel more creative and open-minded when they take psychedelics.
As a result, you might feel panicked and like you want the experience to end, but the drug’s aftereffects could linger for a while. Excessive drug use, utilizing it in an awkward or foreign situation, or having unaddressed emotional difficulties are all potential causes of a bad trip.
When psychedelics are used safely and responsibly, unpleasant experiences can be prevented or mitigated. You should seek help from a reliable friend or medical professional if you have a poor trip.