On this page, you will find curated, high-quality resources about all the classic psychedelics.
We include both Third Wave resources and external resources specific to our mission of changing the cultural conversation around psychedelic use.
If you find any of these resources to be helpful, we ask that you consider a small donation to our Patreon page.
OUR ULTIMATE GUIDES TO PSYCHEDELICS
Below you will find our Ultimate Guides for all major psychedelics. These are comprehensive, long-form guides about various aspects of each major psychedelic, including the history, pharmacology, effects, research, and myths.
If you find these guides helpful, please share them with friends and family. When having conversations about psychedelics, science and research plays a critical role in dispelling commonly held beliefs about the negative repercussions of these substances.
WHAT IS LSD?
LSD, or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, is a psychedelic drug of the ergoline family. It is best known for its use during the counter-culture of the 1960s and has been demonized by the political establishment as a result.
In 1938, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist, synthesized LSD in his laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland. He discovered its hallucinogenic effects in 1943.
During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was used in a wide range of psychotherapeutic studies. It proved tremendously helpful in dealing with issues like alcoholism, autism, creative problem solving, and general psychotherapy.
But because of figures like Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey, LSD became a widely abused drug, and, thus, was prohibited by the federal government in 1968.
(Read more about the history of LSD)
With the recent resurgence in popularity of psychedelics, LSD is being re-examined as a substance with positive potential.
Many users claim taking LSD was a transformative experience because of the perspective-shifting understandings while under the influence.
The Good and Bad:
One of our goals is to help you understand both the pros and cons of LSD use. While LSD can be a tremendous force for positive change, it is critical to use it in a responsible manner. Most experts recommend a low to moderate dose for the first time.
It is also critically important to pay attention to set and setting (your mindset and the environment in which you trip) when taking any psychedelic.
WHAT IS IBOGAINE?
Ibogaine comes from the Iboga plant, a shrub that grows in West Africa, most notably Gabon. It is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance, often used to help treat drug addiction, specifically opioid addictions.
In 1864, the first description of Iboga was published by the Western world – but it wasn’t until 1901 that Ibogaine was crystallized from the Iboga root. Before being used to treat opioid dependence, Ibogaine was sold in pill form under the name of ‘Lambarene’ in France to help with fatigue, depression, and recovery from infectious disease.
In 1962, Howard Lotsof began administering Ibogaine to a total of 19 individuals, including 7 with opioid dependence. All 7 reported a blunting of the acute withdrawal symptoms normally associated with opiate withdrawal.
However, because of its psychedelic nature, Ibogaine was declared a Schedule 1 substance in the late 1960s. Ever since, it has been illegal to obtain and use in the United States.
But when something is as effective as Ibogaine in treating a normally harrowing withdrawal period, it will be used. For that reason, alternative treatment centers began popping up around the world, including in places like Mexico and Brazil.
In the past twenty years, Ibogaine has become increasingly accepted as an effective treatment for opioid addiction. It is considered, by many, to be the most intense psychedelic experience, as the onset can last as long as 24 hours. Unfortunately, the Iboga plant is in grave danger of going extinct due to over-cultivation.
Currently, the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA) leads the way for advocacy and ibogaine-therapy related resources.
WHAT ARE MAGIC MUSHROOMS?
Magic Mushrooms are an entheogenic substance from the genuses psilocybe, panaeolus, and copelandia.
There are dozens of specific types of magic mushrooms but they all share one commonality: they all include the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin.
The effects of ingesting magic mushrooms is similar to LSD. However, users report a more ‘natural, holistic’ feeling when on magic mushrooms. They also report a shorter total trip time.
In the early 1950s, Gordon Wasson, at that time Vice President of J.P. Morgan discovered the magic mushroom in a Mazatec community in Oaxaca, Mexico. He wrote an article entitled, “Seeking the Magic Mushroom,” published in Life Magazine in 1957 about his experience in taking the magic mushroom with a local shaman, Maria Sabina.
This article brought knowledge of the existence of the magic mushroom to Westerners for the first time. In fact, this article was one of the first ‘initiators’ of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.
In today’s generation, small amounts of magic mushrooms are slowly becoming recognized for the immense benefits, especially in aiding smoking cessation, depression, and ADHD.
WHAT IS PEYOTE?
Peyote is a type of cactus, indigenous to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Mescaline, a psychoactive alkaloid, induces the classic psychedelic state associated with the consumption of peyote.
WHAT IS DMT?
DMT – short for N,N-Dimethyltryptamine – is a naturally occurring chemical found in all living organisms. When extracted from certain plant sources, the crystallized form is combined with some sort of herb (cannabis or otherwise) and smoked. The effect is instantaneous.
DMT is colloquially called the ‘Businessman’s Trip’ because of its short duration – often as short as 10 minutes. Those who smoke DMT in its crystallized form report comparatively odd experiences relative to the classic psychedelics, including ‘blasting off’ into white space, and having contact with alien-like entities.
Nick Sand first synthesized DMT freebase (the smokable form of DMT) in the 1960s. Before the discovery of freebase DMT, it could only be injected, an onerous process. By discovering freebase DMT, Sand opened the doors for accessibility to this previously mysterious chemical.
DMT, like LSD and Psilocybin, was declared a Schedule 1 drug in the 1960s.
Along with many other classic psychedelics in this Third Wave of Psychedelic Use, smokable DMT has seen a resurgence in interest, especially in Australia. According to a study in 2013, DMT has the largest amount of new users, compared to other psychedelics. Research estimates suggest that 8.9% of people have tried DMT at some point in their life.
WHAT IS AYAHUASCA?
Ayahuasca has caught the attention of many Westerners over the past years for its abilities to heal many of the mental health ailments brought on by living in a materialist-driven, superficial culture.
Indigenous to the Amazonian region in South America, Ayahuasca is an entheogenic blend made of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf.
It has been traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies by indigenous shamans in the Amazon. Only in the past 15-20 years has it become well-known to Westerners, who now participate in both above-the-ground ceremonies (through the UDV church) and sub-culture ceremonies (most notably in the USA, where the UDV still has not obtained the right to administer ayahuasca in a traditional ceremony).
The history of Ayahuasca is as old as the Amazon itself. However, it attained its current level of celebrity from four influential cultural figures: Richard Evans Schultes, William Burroughs, and the McKenna brothers.
Burroughs wrote about ayahuasca in the Yage Letters, published in the late 1950s; the McKenna brothers wrote extensively about ayahuasca in True Hallucinations, published in the 1980s.
Both were informed by Richard Evans Schultes, considered by many to be the father of modern ethnobotany, for his study of indigenous people’s uses of entheogenic plants, including ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca is the most legitimate psychedelic used today, largely due to its legal protection in both the Amazonian countries, and in many Western countries (because of the religious protections of the UDV)
Although DMT – the active psychedelic in Ayahuasca – is considered a Schedule 1 drug (hilarious because DMT exists in every living thing on Earth), when consumed in the ayahuasca brew, it is considered to be a vessel to a higher spiritual calling.
Recent research has also proven ayahuasca to help with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and many other Western-model mental ailments.
WHAT IS MDMA?
MDMA, short for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is a psychoactive substance first invented in 1912. Unlike all of the above substances, MDMA is not a traditional psychedelic. It does not cause any typical psychedelic effects. Instead, it is an enactogen, which are substances that produce experiences of emotional communion, oneness, relatedness, and emotional openness.
It is also commonly referred to as Ecstasy, though this is when pure MDMA is pressed with another type of substance, often an upper.
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE THIRD WAVE
The Psychedelia Podcast takes a fresh look at the world of psychedelics, listening to the stories of people both in the psychedelic fringe and in mainstream society. We want to share how psychedelics are impacting the lives of people from all walks of life,
By revealing and unraveling the vast range of psychedelic experiences, we plan to explore various aspects of psychedelia, including:
The history of psychedelics
The role of psychedelic community
Medicalization of psychedelic substances
Drug policy work specific to psychedelics
Using psychedelics as tools for myriad purposes
Our overall mission at The Third Wave is to change the cultural understanding of psychedelic use. We will do that by exploring the spaces psychedelics have reached in various lives.
RECENT BLOG POSTS
Since Dr James Fadiman introduced the concept of microdosing to the mainstream psychedelic community in 2011, its popularity has blossomed. Inevitably, it drew media attention too. Here we’ve selected several articles in major news outlets that have investigated...
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Autism is a distressing social disorder that can be severely debilitating for both sufferers and parents. Current treatments are varied and often ineffective. As with many other mental health conditions, autism could potentially be treated with psychedelic therapy....
curated external resources
Below you will find high-quality external resources that are in line with our mission at The Third Wave to change the cultural understanding of psychedelics.
Psychedelic Science 2017
April 19, 2017 – April 24, 2017
September 29, 2017 – September 30, 2017
International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine and the European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research
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