Summary: A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology explores whether cannabis can be classified as a psychedelic substance. The research indicates that high doses of THC in cannabis may elicit psychedelic effects, though these are not always consistent.
Cannabis Exhibits Psychedelic Effects Under Certain Conditions
While cannabis is known to be psychoactive and psychotropic, affecting users’ minds and perceptions, its classification as a psychedelic is not straightforward. The study, titled “The psychedelic effects of cannabis: A review of the literature,” examines this question. It notes that while contemporary literature generally does not consider cannabis a psychedelic, it can induce altered states of consciousness, especially at high THC doses.
The study’s relevance is highlighted in the context of the psychedelic renaissance, where substances like psilocybin and MDMA are used therapeutically. Cannabis, potentially accessible legally, could serve a similar purpose. The term “psychedelic” typically refers to drugs that trigger non-ordinary mental states or a broader expansion of consciousness. Cannabis can alter cognition, mood, and thinking but doesn’t consistently lead to the same experiences as LSD or psilocybin.
Researchers reviewed past literature on cannabis and psychedelics, focusing on cannabis’s ability to cause perceptual changes, aversiveness, and mystical experiences associated with classic psychedelics. They found instances of cannabis-induced dissociative states, auditory and visual hallucinations, and other effects akin to classic psychedelics. Surveys included in the review showed a significant percentage of cannabis users experiencing minor to major perceptual effects.
The study suggests that high-THC cannabis might elicit psychedelic effects, influenced by how THC and CBD interact with 5-HT2A receptors, serotonin receptors in the central nervous system. High doses of THC activate these receptors, while CBD has the opposite effect. However, the THC dose needed for mystical experiences might be higher than commonly used.
Researchers recommend further studies, including randomized, controlled trials in psychedelic-supportive settings, to explore THC-dominant cannabis’s potential to produce psychedelic-like effects.
Why It Matters: This research opens up new possibilities for cannabis in therapeutic settings, particularly in the realm of psychedelic therapy. Understanding cannabis’s psychedelic properties could lead to innovative treatments for mental health conditions.
Source: High Times
And we would like to know what are the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis’s psychedelic properties?
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