Psychedelics are a hallucinogenic class of psychoactive drug whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness (known as psychedelic experiences or “trips” ) via serotonin 2A receptor agonism. This causes specific psychological, visual and auditory changes, and often a substantially altered state of consciousness. “Classical” psychedelic drugs include mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT.
What you need to know about Psychedelics
Most psychedelic drugs fall into one of the three families of chemical compounds: tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides. These chemicals all activate serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, which modulate the activity of key circuits in the brain involved with sensory perception and cognition, however the exact nature of how psychedelics induce changes in perception and cognition through the 5-HT2A receptor is still unknown.
The psychedelic experience is often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as those experienced in meditation, mystical experiences, and near-death experiences. The phenomenon of ego dissolution is often described as a key feature of the psychedelic experience.
Many psychedelic drugs are illegal worldwide under the UN conventions, occasionally excepting use in a religious or research context. Despite these controls, recreational use of psychedelics is common. Legal barriers have made the scientific study of psychedelics more difficult. Research has been conducted, however, and studies show that psychedelics are physiologically safe and do not lead to addiction.
Studies conducted using psilocybin in a psychotherapeutic setting reveal that psychedelic drugs may assist with treating depression and alcohol addiction, and possibly also nicotine addiction. Although further research is needed, existing results are showing that psychedelics may be useful for treating certain forms of psychopathology.
Types of Psychedelics
Magic Mushroom: psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, are a polyphyletic, informal group of fungi that contain psilocybin and psilocin.
LSD: (Lysergic acid diethylamide, a.k.a. acid) is made from a substance found in ergot, which is a fungus that infects rye.
Psilocin is a naturally occurring substance found in psilocybin mushrooms and is found in many parts of the world.
Mescaline is derived from the Mexican peyote and San Pedro cactus and produces similar effects to LSD.
DMT: (Dimethyltryptamine) is structurally similar to psilocin, an alkaloid found in psilocybin mushrooms. It can be synthesised in the laboratory but is also a naturally occurring component of several plants.
DOM: is a member of the DOx family of compounds which are known for their high potency, long duration, and mixture of psychedelic and stimulant effects.
2C-B: (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) is a psychedelic drug first synthesised in 1974. 2C-B is considered both a psychedelic and a mild entactogenic. ‘Entactogen’ means ‘touching within’ and is a term used by psychiatrists to classify MDMA and related drugs.
Peyote( Mecaline): (Lophophora williamsii) is the most well-known and potent psychedelic cactus, although the smallest and slowest growing. Instead of growing upward to form a column, it grows as ‘buttons’ low to the ground. It has been used by Native Americans for over 5000 years.
MDMA (Molly/Ecsatsy): 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy or molly, is a psychoactive drug primarily used for recreational purposes. The desired effects include altered sensations, increased energy, empathy, as well as pleasure. When taken by mouth, effects begin in 30 to 45 minutes and last 3 to 6 hours
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Ayahuasca, iowaska, or yagé, is an entheogenic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and other ingredients. The brew is used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin and is known by a number of different names.
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4-Acetoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (also known as 4-AcO-DMT, 4-Acetoxy-DMT, O-Acetylpsilocin, and psilacetin) is a novel psychedelic substance of the tryptamine class. It is chemically similar to psilocybin, the active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms). It belongs to a group known as the substituted tryptamines which act by stimulating serotonin receptorsin the brain.
The synthesis of 4-AcO-DMT was first reported in 1963 by Albert Hofmann and Franz Troxler. However, its properties were not examined and no further studies were carried out. A 1999 paper by David E. Nichols suggested it as a useful alternative to psilocybin for pharmacological research. Reports of human use began to surface following its appearance on the online research chemical market in the 2010s.
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5-MeO-DMT is a psychedelic of the tryptamine class. It is found in a wide variety of plant species, and at least one psychoactive toad species, the Sonora Desert toad. Like its close relatives DMT and bufotenin, it has been used as an entheogen in South America
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Changa is a DMT-infused smoking blend. Extracts from DMT-containing plants are combined with a blend of different herbs. And ayahuasca vine and/or leaf to create a mix that is 20–50% DMT, akin to a smokeable ayahuasca.
Changa was created by Australian Julian Palmer in 2003-2004 and named when he ‘asked’ for a moniker for the drug during an Ayahuasca session.
The substance became highly popular in Australia in the mid 2000s, but its widespread introduction outside of Australia appears to be dated to the Boom Festival in Portugal in 2008 where many of the first online accounts of its use outside of Australia occur.
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3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug primarily used as a recreational drug. The desired effects include altered sensations and increased energy, empathy, and pleasure. When taken by mouth, effects begin after 30–45 minutes and last 3–6 hours.
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3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug primarily used as a recreational drug. The desired effects include altered sensations and increased energy, empathy, and pleasure. When taken by mouth, effects begin after 30–45 minutes and last 3–6 hours