If you’ve ever heard about ketamine, you may have heard it described as a psychedelic drug. But is it really? Let’s look at what psychedelics are and how ketamine fits into the equation.
What is a Psychedelic?
Psychedelics are substances (both natural and synthetic) that produce altered states of consciousness, often with intense visual and auditory changes. Commonly known psychedelics include LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, mescaline, peyote, and DMT. These drugs are used primarily for spiritual exploration or recreational purposes. It is important to note that psychedelics are minimally addictive and pose little to no risk when consumed in safe doses.
Is Ketamine a Psychedelic?
In short—yes! Despite being more commonly associated with anesthesia due to its use in medical settings, ketamine has powerful psychedelic properties when taken in higher doses. Ketamine produces out-of-body experiences (OBEs) with intense visual changes, such as light trails, vivid colors, and shapes shifting rapidly across one's field of vision. It also has strong dissociative effects, which can cause feelings of detachment from physical reality and self-awareness. The effects usually last about 1-2 hours but can be longer depending on the dose taken.
Ketamine also has potential therapeutic benefits that make it an attractive option for those seeking relief from various mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, addiction disorders, and more. Many people find that after taking high doses of ketamine several times over the course of a few weeks or months, they experience lasting mental health improvements even after stopping use altogether. This makes ketamine a promising alternative treatment for those who don’t respond well to conventional therapies like antidepressants or psychotherapy alone.
Ketamine is considered a psychedelic drug when taken in higher doses than those used in medical settings. When taken responsibly under supervision by an experienced provider, it can provide powerful therapeutic benefits while maintaining its unique psychedelic qualities that many users find enjoyable and spiritually enlightening. With all this said, however—it's important to remember that psychedelics can be dangerous if not used correctly, so please do your research before experimenting with any substance! Happy tripping!