Psychedelics are drugs that alter the way your body functions.
They can produce solid and intense emotional responses, either positive or negative depending on the person.
If you’re considering psychedelics as an option for yourself, there are some things you should know before taking them.
The risks of psychedelics vary widely depending on how they are taken, so make sure you research what substances are in your system before ingesting them.
What are psychedelics?
Psychedelics are among some of our oldest medicine.
Civilizations from across ancient history – including those in modern-day Africa, China, South America, and North America-have turned to them when looking for an answer on how to heal their bodies emotionally or spiritually while also elevating their minds.
Psychedelics are a class of psychoactive substances
Psychedelics affect senses. They can change a person’s:
- Sense of time
They can also cause:
- Hear things
- See things
Many psychedelics occur naturally, like in seeds, trees, leaves, fungi, and vines, and some are produced in a lab. The most used psychedelics are:
- LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)
- It was made from a substance found in ergot, which is a fungus that infects rye.
- Synthetic psychedelics
- Magic mushrooms (psilocybin)
- Psilocybin is a naturally occurring substance found in mushrooms.
- Peyote (mescaline)
- Mescaline comes from a cactus called peyote.
How are psychedelics used?
Psychedelics like LSD, mushrooms, and DMT have been utilized by cultures worldwide to explore consciousness since the beginning of time. Therefore, it is no surprise that psychedelics should be taken seriously because they come with healing potential for mental illness and addiction and dangers such as the increased risk of psychosis if not approached intelligently.
Sometimes psychedelics will be mixed with tobacco or cannabis and smoked. Psychedelics are primarily consumed in a liquid under the tongue, seeped into a tea, or made into a soup. Here are some other ways psychedelics are consumed:
- LSD – usually LSD is turned into a liquid and then dried onto stamp size little papers placed on the tongue to be absorbed. You can also get the liquid form and place it straight on the tongue or in the eyes.
- Magic Mushrooms (psilocybin) are gathered and can be ingested either in raw form or dried and turned into soup or tea. There is also synthetic psilocybin that comes in the form of capsules filled with powder.
- Peyote (mescaline) is a cactus that is cut, dried, and chewed. Another way to consume peyote is to prepare a water infusion.
Psychedelics can last several hours and vary widely depending on what form you took, but the most common effects are:
- A Feeling of euphoria
- Sense of wellbeing and relaxation
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Trouble concentrating
- Blurry vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Breathing fast
- Chills or sweating
What are the risks with psychedelics?
Compared to most drugs, psychedelics are safe if they are done infrequently and in a safe and controlled setting.
One of the most prevalent tales about psychedelics is that taking them may make you go crazy for good (not just a bad trip).
This myth was born from the fear, and smear campaign levied against psychedelics in the 70s and 80s. It was easy for most people to believe because of the antagonistic socio-political climate the War on Drugs created.
Numerous studies have been done on psychedelics that do not harm the brain under regular use.
However, if you have an undiagnosed mental disorder or a strong genetic predisposition to mental disorders, psychedelics could trigger it.
Psychedelics affect everyone differently. The type of effects relies heavily on the following factors:
- Overall health
- If it’s the first time or not
- If it’s mixed with other drugs at the same time
- The amount consumed
- The strength of the drug
Sometimes, bad trips are experienced by first-time users who took too much or consumed a high dose.
Bad trips are incredibly frightening and disturbing hallucinations that can lead to extreme panic and unpredictable behavior. Therefore, most people recommend that whenever you do a psychedelic, you do it with someone who will not be under the influence so that they can be there to help calm you and keep you from hurting yourself.
The most common long-term psychedelic effects. The flashbacks will consist of bits of things remembered from when you were under the influence. It can occur days, weeks, months, and even years later and be visual and last a minute or more.
Flashbacks can be triggered using other drugs, stress, fatigue, or physical exercise.
Which could be a pleasant experience, but it could also leave you with feelings of anxiety.
Mixing with other drugs
Just like mixing alcoholic beverages at the same time, mixing drugs will often lead you to experience adverse effects.
Mixing a psychedelic with other drugs or alcohol, or medicine (prescription or over the counter) can lead to unpredictable outcomes.
Mixing a psychedelic with other stimulant drugs can increase heart rate and place the body under extreme stress. Your anxiety level will also increase, causing an even more potentially dangerous situation.
Mixing a psychedelic with depressants like alcohol will negatively affect your coordination and increase the chances of vomiting.
Microdosing is the action of taking tiny amounts of a drug regularly over some time.
There have been reports that when you microdose for many months, it could cause unwanted physiological side effects.
Taking any substance over a long period, no matter how harmless it could cause significant unwanted changes in your body.
When microdosing MDMA’s, studies have found it can lead to heart defects.
However, short-term microdosing has been shown to cause damage. Therefore, if you decide you want to try it, it is recommended that you use it no longer than 90 days and spread out your microdosing throughout the year.
If you have a pre-existing heart condition, it’s best to stay away from microdosing altogether.
Psychedelics can be an incredible experience when used responsibly.
They have been shown to help people with depression and anxiety. They are among some of the oldest medicines in history. In addition, there is a small but growing body of evidence showing that psychedelics may have benefits for addiction treatment.
The risks associated with using these substances come into play when not controlled or taken too often or in big doses.
If you’re considering taking them recreationally, do your research first to know what effects it will produce on your brain chemistry and how much risk you are willing to take.