Psychedelics are a class of drug whose primary action is to trigger psychedelic experiences via serotonin receptor agonism, causing thought and visual/auditory changes, and altered state of consciousness. Major psychedelic drugs include mescaline, Lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin and DMT. Studies show that psychedelics are physiologically safe and do not lead to addiction. Studies conducted using psilocybin in a psychotheraputic setting reveal that psychedelic drugs may assist with treating depression and alcohol addiction, possibly also nicotine addiction.
Differing with other psychoactive drugs, such as stimulants and opioids, psychedelics tend to qualitatively alter ordinary conscious experience. Whereas stimulants cause energized feelings and opioids produce a relaxed euphoric state, the psychedelic experience is often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, yoga, religious ecstasy, dreaming and even near-death experiences. Most psychedelic drugs fall into one of the three families of chemical compounds: tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides. Although lysergamides are their own group, they are in fact both a tryptamine and a phenethylamine.
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
Synthetic mescaline. Normally biosynthesized from peyote and some other cacti. Mescaline was the first psychedelic compound to be extracted and isolated.
Origin of Term
The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή (psyche, “soul, mind”) and δηλείν (delein, “to manifest”), hence “soul-manifesting”, the implication being that psychedelics can access the soul and develop unused potentials of the human mind. The word was coined in 1956 by British psychiatrist, Humphry Osmond, the spelling loathed by American ethnobotanist, Richard Schultes, but championed by the American psychologist, Timothy Leary.
Aldous Huxley had suggested to Humphry Osmond in 1956 his own coinage phanerothyme (Greek “phaneroein-” visible + Greek “thymos” soul, thus “visible soul”). Recently, the term entheogenic has come into use to denote the use of psychedelic drugs in a religious/spiritual/mystical context…Read More