Psychedelics are a subset of hallucinogenic drugs whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness via serotonin 2A receptor agonism. This causes specific psychological, visual and auditory changes, and often a substantially altered state of consciousness.
Major Psychedelic drugs
This causes specific psychological, visual and auditory changes, and often a substantially altered state of consciousness. The “Classical” psychedelics, the psychedelics with the largest scientific and cultural influence, are mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT.
Most psychedelic drugs fall into one of the three families of chemical compounds: tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides. These chemicals all bind to 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 via the 5-HT2A receptor is still unknown, although reduced default mode network activity is likely a primary mechanism of action. 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.
history of psychedelic
The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή (psyche, “soul, mind”) and δηλοῦν (deloun, “to manifest”), hence “mind manifesting”, the implication being that psychedelics can develop unused potentials of the human mind. The word was coined in 1956 by British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond; the term was loathed by American ethnobotanist Richard Schultes but championed by American psychologist Timothy Leary.