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Is Weed a Psychedelic: What Science has to Say

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There is no doubt that the cannabis industry is perhaps of the fastest growing industry in the world. Cannabis consumers, growers, and enthusiasts are going mad with innovations and discoveries that involve the use of cannabis both or recreational and medical use.

Businessmen and entrepreneurs have also seen a promising future in cannabis investment. Medical researchers have never stopped exploring the advantages and disadvantages of cannabis and one hot topic of discussion is, is weed psychedelic?

The common knowledge that we get when we talk about weed or marijuana is that it is associated with the “high”. It is often associated with changes in psychological behavior and motor skills. Some people that the high from cannabis can lead to lazy behaviors, stoney, or couch-lock state. Unfortunately, there are negative stigmas attached to the use of marijuana or cannabis and one of the hot debate right now is if cannabis or weed has psychedelic effects.

What is Marijuana?              

Before we further discuss if marijuana is psychedelic, let us know first what a weed or marijuana is. Marijuana is called by many names. It is known as pot, cannabis, weed, herb grass, ganja, Mary Jane, and many more.

Marijuana or cannabis is composed of over a hundred of cannabinoids. Among these hundreds of cannabinoids, there are two major components. The Cannabidiol or CBD and the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

The chemical called Cannabidiol is the substance that is associated with the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Though previous researches have proven the medical benefits of marijuana, ongoing researchers are still being undertaken to explore further how cannabis can contribute to the treatment of numerous medical condition.

Another important component in cannabis is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. To make it easy to understand, the THC is the one responsible for the high you get from smoking or ingesting the weed. It is responsible for the mind-altering effects like making you happy, cheerful, or the boost in energy or creativity. The THC is responsible for the intoxicating effects that most people are after both recreationally and medically. Now the hot topic is: is weed psychedelic?

What is Psychedelic? 

The term psychedelic is associated with a mental state of intensified sensory perception which is accompanied by constant perceptual distortion and accompanied by hallucinations and feelings of euphoria.

The term was first used by Dr. Humphry Osmond, a British doctor in 1957. He is one of the many doctors who used psychedelics like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for the study of schizophrenia and addiction recovery. The world psychedelic came from two Greek words., “psyche” meaning the “mind” and “delos” meaning “manifesting.” Thus, the word “Psychedelic” means, “mind-manifesting”.

Is weed psychedelic?

With the legalization of marijuana, many are now given access to use it either for medical or recreational use. Many are also becoming curious about how is it beneficial, what are the advantages and disadvantages of weed, and more importantly how it affects the body. Now a hot topic is knowing if weed is psychedelic.

As mentioned earlier the THC component of marijuana produces the high. It is a compound in cannabis that interacts with the dopamine which allows you to feel ecstatic and euphoric. So is weed a psychedelic, the answer is NO.

What does science say?

Psychedelic and cannabis can both produce mind-altering effects that can alter mood and behavior. But science will tell us that they both work differently in our bodies. Though they may seem similar, they affect the body in different ways. 

Psychedelics such as LSD, DMT, and psilocybin are all types of tryptamines that are naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the body that produces serotonin and dopamine which is the reward center in our brain. 

On the other hand, weed or cannabis is comprised of THC that provides the high. Like psychedelics, it also interacts with the dopamine which allows you to experience feelings of euphoria, ecstasy, and happiness. It can uplift the mood and boost creativity. But unlike psychedelics, cannabis also interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system which helps maintain the body’s sense of balance or homeostasis to be able to obtain a state of equilibrium.

Recent studies revealed that psychedelic drugs result in a high level of activity in the DMN which is associated with psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. Researchers believe that learning how to deactivate DMN is beneficial for people who are suffering from mental disorders. These studies conducted on psychedelics also revealed its defining characteristic which is the jumbling of the five senses or synthesia or powerful visual images.

Cannabis consumers have also reported similar effects of weed that they have experienced. They reported visual changes like enhancement of colors, music, or melody. Even in the high dosage of cannabis, it will not produce similar results like psychedelics.

Though weed or marijuana is not considered as psychedelic, some doctors, psychiatrists for instant acknowledge the benefits of cannabis in the treatment of medical disorders. According to Julie Holland, a psychiatrist in New York, some cannabis effects are also psychedelic in nature. In a conference in London on the science of psychedelics, she shared that marijuana or cannabis is very helpful in psychiatry in what they refer to as dehabituation.

In conclusion and to answer the question, is weed a psychedelic, the answer is a big no. Though cannabis has components that can alleviate the mood, set you in a euphoria, just like psychedelics do, it is still not classified as psychedelics. Cannabis has a class of its own according to the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I substance. 

Psychedelic or not, weed or cannabis has its unique effects. As more studies are being conducted in exploring the benefits of this weed, it unfolds many more advantages that were never known before. This makes cannabis in demand now especially as it has been legalized in more than 30 states for medical use and 11 states for recreational use. There is no stopping the booming industry of cannabis. The future looks brighter for this weed that has been around for many years and now opening doors for many possibilities.

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