Are Psychedelics the Natural Next Step?

Psychedelics are making their presence in the alternative-medicine world and changing the medicinal landscape. They’re becoming increasingly accepted, legally & societally, and offer promise as a therapeutic option for a number of physical and emotional ailments. In fact, they make a perfect complement to the cannabis industry as a highly regulated, medicinal and recreational offering to counter pharmaceuticals.

Misinform No More

Just like with cannabis, media has treated psychedelics like a scary, unknown, and even dangerous topic. Movies like Reefer Madness provided a pre-judged, notorious reputation for the recreational use of most plant-based drugs. Once cannabis and psychedelics were included in The Controlled Substances Act of 1971, it took away the chance for decades of research. This allowed the spread of their made-up dangers, like killing brain cells or lapsing into psychotic episodes.

Today, governments and society’s attitudes towards alternative medicine are shifting. Increases in research are being called for, and more and more states are decriminalizing, if not legalizing, alternative means of care. Research facilities are seeking ground-breaking remedies to psychological ailments like PTSD, depression, and anxiety with promising success. The results of these research trials allow state legislative officials to build cases for decriminalization. This path is what enabled Oregon and now Colorado to pass measures to enable the clinics to treat with psychedelics, similar to how cannabis was legalized.

Additionally, we are getting first-hand accounts of therapeutic relief through hundreds of anecdotal reports on sub-thread social sites like Reddit or Quora. The commentators in these subs provide helpful advice and detailed descriptions of their healing success. The minimal side effects counter the historical claims which frightened the public. Accounts of addiction recovery are prevalent, with little need to repeat dosing and with quick results so far.

A Complement to the Cannabis Industry

Legal cannabis use spread across the country over 26 years, with California starting medical marijuana in 1996. But now, after so many years, we have evidence of cannabis’s positive effects, low-adverse reactions, and breadth of healing implications from migraines to anxiety.

Psychedelics are similar in that they target the central nervous system, leaving the user feeling an overall body change, primarily positive, in mental and emotional ailments. And like cannabis, psychedelics have little to no dependence potential.

With the combination of psychedelics’ psychotherapeutic remedies and cannabis’s residual healing properties, people may be on the path to having total control over their pain management and options when it comes to treating physical and mental conditions. As much as cannabis has been normalized, let’s bring this same shift to psychedelics. As the therapeutic benefits become increasingly well-known, an industry will follow in much the same manner as it did for cannabis.

What’s next?

For professionals, this will allow those in the cannabis industry to expand their already-established cannabis treatment programs with these new therapies, or to bring their emerging market expertise into this new space. For businesses, this could mean the opening of medical and recreational programs or the natural next step in product offerings.

Bottom line:  Psychedelics are worth watching as this new industry takes shape.

*Photo courtesy of Dustin Hoxworth at Fat Nugs Magazine