Psychedelia in the Modern Age

Psychedelics in the Modern Age

Psychedelics have a long-standing history globally and are present in many cultures. Psychedelics can affect all senses: sight, taste, feel; they can even alter our perception of time and reality. They can also inhibit hallucinations, which can cause the user to see/experience distortions in their own reality. Ayahuasca – a tropical vine that’s found in the Amazon region – was first utilized by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin in ceremony, or spiritual medicine practices. Ayahuasca is still being utilized today. Modern retreats featuring Ayahuasca are typically guided by an indigenous shaman and allow the users a chance to connect with themselves and nature through plant medicine. According to the Ayahuasca Foundation’s website, “An Ayahuasca retreat is an opportunity to work closely with an indigenous shaman through a guided journey into another dimension. The natural healing power of ayahuasca and other medicinal plants help ayahuasca retreat participants to reconnect to nature and to their true selves.” 

Another popular, and still utilized psychedelic is psilocybin, or more commonly referenced, shrooms, or magic mushrooms. Psilocybin is actually a psychoactive compound that’s present in over 75 variations of mushrooms. Nearly 6,000 years ago (prior to the Spanish colonization of the Americas) the indigeous peoples of Mesoamerica (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Northern Costa Rica) utilized psilocybin for religious, and divination purposes. The Aztecs and Mazatec peoples also cited their healing, and therapeutic benefits. Fast forward a few millennia, modern users of psilocybin, or shrooms, enjoy its reputed pleasant high, and often revolutionary self-experiences. Psilocybin also has a plethora of health benefits; research published by John Hopkins University in 2022 indicated that magic mushrooms were effective in treating symptoms of depression, and nicotine and alcohol addictions. “Psilocybin not only produces significant and immediate effects, it also has a long duration, which suggests that it may be a uniquely useful new treatment for depression. Compared to standard antidepressants, which must be taken for long stretches of time, psilocybin has the potential to enduringly relieve the symptoms of depression with one or two treatments.” [Roland Griffiths, P.h.D.¹] The Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research is the leading front-runner in psilocybin research; their goal is to map the molecular structure of psilocybin to better understand its wellness and therapeutic benefits. In reference to mental illness, they’re hoping to develop treatment for cognitive/behavioral disorders that are tailored to each individual and their specific needs.

Psychoactivity in Cannabis

We just learned about psilocybin – a psychoactive compound that’s present in psychedelic, or magic mushrooms. This compound can cause alterations in perception like sight, taste, or smell; it can potentially induce hallucinations, too. For millennia, psychedelics – like shrooms and cannabis – have been utilized for spiritual, or self-discovery. They are also said to be used therapeutically, or as medicine to treat a variety of ailments. 

One of the primary psychoactive components of cannabis is a cannabinoid called delta 9 THC.  Cannabinoids, which occur naturally in plants and our bodies, are responsible for the effects it can produce! The way our endocannabinoid system and receptors process cannabis will also have an impact on its effects – to learn more about your endocannabinoid system, click here: Our seasoned stonies are probably familiar with the term delta 9 THC, but we’re going to break it down for you so it’s easier for everyone to unpack!

 THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the primary cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant! Users of THC claim its effects can be mild in nature, or somewhat extreme – from a pleasant elevation in sensory perception, all the way up to a trip amongst the stars; similar in effect to psilocybin! There are many different types of THC and they all vary wildly in potency. To learn more about delta 9 THC (along with a handy-dandy buyers’ guide) click here: 

Combining the Two: Getting High on Cannabis and Shrooms

Firstly, if you happen to be a user of either shrooms or cannabis, practicing mindfulness and safety cannot be stressed enough. If you happen to be combining the two, there are a few additional things you’ll want to consider: 

    1. Consumptive method: smokeables or inhalants can provide an almost immediate, euphoric high that is palatable to the user. Edibles, which are processed by the liver and take time to reach full effect, are often strong, and a more intense experience for the user. You’ll want to keep your consumptive method in mind while trying both substances simultaneously. It’s better to start small and continue gradually as opposed to consuming all at once. 
    2. Micro dosingYou’ll want to start small, and gradually ease into this one, Campers! Especially if you’re new to either shrooms or cannabis. We always recommend waiting 30 minutes – 1 hour between microdoses to fully gauge its effect, and potency. (Remember doling out spices with grandma? She would say, “you can always add, but never takeaway!” Same concept!) 
    3. Strains: Most cannabis products are categorized by one of the following strains: sativa, indica, or hybrid. Sativa’s are generally more uplifting, and euphoric. Users looking to truly elevate their experience, look no further than sativa! Indica’s promote relaxation and are great for winding down after a long day. Hybrids are generally an even blend of the two, but it’s important to take a look at your product to check the ratios! 
    4. Synergy: Users of shrooms claim that if you utilize cannabis at the beginning of a psilocybin-induced high, its effects will balance out, producing a more calming effect. If cannabis is taken toward the end of a psilocybin-induced high, it’s said to intensify its effects, creating a more psychedelic-like experience.  

The synergistic effects of combining psilocybin and cannabis can be a wild, and euphoric experience for the user. Depending on your desired experience, either can be enjoyed on their own, or combined to maximize their full potential of effects! Be cautious, Campers: make sure you’re in a calm, safe space with people you trust. Be mindful of HOW you’re micro dosing, and the amount! Once you get a good feel of how your body’s going to react to it, you can gradually increase your dose until the desired effects are met. 

We’d love to hear about your experiences below! Feel free to leave a comment and share with the rest of the community. (: 


  1. Psilocybin treatment for major depression effective for up to a year for most patients, study shows. Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom. (2022, February 15). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from 
  2. Ercolano, A. (2022, February 25). Johns Hopkins Center for psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from 
  3. Effects of psilocybin therapy on personality structure. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from 
  4. Ercolano, A. (2022, February 25). Johns Hopkins Center for psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from

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