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A new study found that cannabis may enhance the mystical experience of psychedelics.
According to researchers at Imperial College London, their new study found that using psychedelics with marijuana can intensify the psychedelic experience. They conducted a study between 321 people who described different aspects of their “trip” or “psychedelic experience” and whether they used cannabis or not.
The researchers found that when marijuana was consumed alongside one other substance between psilocybin, LSD, DMT, ayahuasca, or mescaline, the effects increased the trip’s intensity depending on the dosage. The study published last week in the journal of Psychopharmacology states that using cannabis with psychedelics was “associated with higher scores of mystical-type experience, ego-dissolution, and visual alterations.”
But in a general statement, the more cannabis one used resulted in a more intense psychedelic effect. However, the study noted that some exceptions to this trend were the “challenging aspects of the psychedelic experience” like fear, grief, and insanity.
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Interestingly, those who used lower doses of marijuana paired with a psychedelic substance described less challenging experiences, whereas those who used higher doses of cannabis experienced the noted challenges above. Researchers asked participants to take a series of surveys seven days prior and one day after a planned psychedelic experience.
The surveys asked participants a variety of questions regarding mystical experiences, emotional breakthroughs, and ego dissolution. After conducting the surveys, the study found that with the high rates of cannabis use paired with psychedelic substances, there were many suggestions for “harm reduction” and “therapeutic use.” The researchers did consider that the therapeutically desired psychological effects “associated with psychedelics may, in theory, be enhanced” when used with cannabis.
They also noted that there are certain limitations to a study that examines subjective survey data. Since the researchers weren’t able to observe the participants directly, there is some uncertainty within the accuracy of dosages and “timing of administration” that was reported by participants.
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However, the authors were happy to share that the initial data they complied is a good starting point for future studies. They wrote that some individuals may be using cannabis to change the effects or experiences offered by a psychedelic trip, similar to how many cannabis users use the plant to self-medicate for “psychiatric symptoms.”
The study concluded that future controlled research must be conducted to fully understand the interactions between cannabis and psychedelics regarding their overall psychological effects on the user. That said, this study is the first of many that look into the effects present when using cannabis and psychedelics simultaneously.