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Scientists investigated the effects of mind-altering drugs, leading to research concerning the effects of mixing weed with psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, or ayahuasca.
The researchers published their work in the journal Psychopharmacology. The authors said that weed boosts the mystical experiences caused by serotonergic psychedelics, a class of drugs that affects consciousness by stimulating serotonin receptors in the brain.
“We discovered evidence of more powerful mystical-type, visual experiences, and ego dissolution in combination with marijuana use,” they wrote. They add that this effect is connected to the amount of weed consumed.
To do their research, the researchers surveyed 320 volunteers about their use of psychedelics, where 39% said to have taken cannabis at the same time as the serotonergic psychedelic, with most of them using either psilocybin or LSD.
After looking at volunteers’ descriptions of their Mystical Experience Questionnaire, the scientists noted a dose-dependent connection between weed use and average scores for those experiences.
Results also showed that smoking marijuana influences the possibility of having a bad trip, which the researchers describe as a “troubling experience.”
The statistics showed that small doses of weed reduced the likelihood of suffering such a terrible psychedelic experience, while large amounts increased the chances.
This was particularly true for certain parts of these bad trips. For example, those who mixed psychedelics with small amounts of weed had much lower scores on the “insanity” and “fear” subcategories than those who didn’t use weed. Although, the use of significant doses of marijuana seemed to increase both uncomfortable aspects.
According to the researchers, this could be evidence of the opposing effects of weed, with small doses aiding in relieving psychological suffering while big doses enhance the bad trips.
Furthermore, it was noted that different strains of marijuana have different amounts of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. However, given that the scientists didn’t study the chemical composition of the weed used by each volunteer, it is difficult to conclude the data.
The researchers said the ability of marijuana to enhance psychedelic experiences “could be because weed itself creates subjective effects similar to some of the psychedelic effects, like euphoria, changes in hyper-associative, perception of time, thinking, and intensification of sensory perception.”
Additionally, even though THC mainly acts on cannabinoid receptors, the researchers show other studies which have proved that THC might interact with serotonin receptors, which interfere with the psychedelics’ activity.