Psychedelics

Psychedelics are a hallucinogenic class of psychoactive drug whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness and psychedelic experiences via serotonin 2A receptor agonism. This causes specific psychological, visual and auditory changes, and often a substantially altered state of consciousness.

There are a couple of psychedelic products. this include;

1) LSD

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), commonly referred to as acid, was one of the first psychedelic drugs to be commonly used. LSD causes the user to have strong alterations in perception, including thoughts, vision, and hearing

2) DMT

DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a molecule that occurs naturally in many plants and animals. When abused, isolated DMT is capable of producing one of the strongest hallucinogenic effects of all psychedelics.

In sufficient doses, DMT will typically cause the user to be completely removed from reality. This can then lead the user to enter a complete hallucinogenic state. While the high typically lasts fifteen minutes, users often report it feeling like much longer periods of time have elapsed. This is due to the intensity of the drug. DMT is typically smoked, but can be snorted or injected as well.

The drug has a long history of use in South America, and is currently still used by various religious groups. (3)

3) Salvia divinorum

Salvia divinorum is a mint plant indigenous to Mexico that has hallucinogenic properties when abused. For centuries, it has been used as a healing and divining tool (4). Salvia is typically smoked and produces effects for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Salvia gained popularity in the United States due to being unregulated for a long period of time (5).

Salvia is still commonly available at smoke and head shops around the country. It was not until 2002 that researchers had discovered that Salvia divinorum acts at the kappa opiate receptor site, where much of human perception is regulated (4).

4) Psychedelic Mushrooms

Psychedelic mushrooms, commonly referred to as ‘shrooms, are currently one of the most popular powerful psychedelic drugs today. These mushrooms evolved various different psychedelic compounds as a defense mechanism against potential predators.

According to the EMCDDA, the compound responsible for the effect of “magic mushrooms” is psilocybin, a schedule-I controlled substance (5). After the gut ingests the psilocybin, it is converted into psilocyn. In some cases, users can enter an altered state for several days (6).

Humans have likely been ingesting them since prehistoric times for their effects. The effects typically last around six hours and can include both visual and auditory hallucinations. These mushrooms provide their effects by activating serotonin receptors in the brain, usually in the prefrontal cortex.