OCT 30, 2016 07:22 AM PDT

The Case for Legalizing LSD

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms are often associated with recreational use or abuse. But recent studies suggest perhaps the drugs can be used to counter the debilitating effects of addiction, anxiety, and depression. Perhaps it's time more scientists revisit the medical value in these once ill-reputed drugs.

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide, or acid) is a compound that induces altered perceptions and awareness. Likewise, psilocybin is a compound in some mushrooms that can induce euphoria and heightened sensory perceptions. While the psychedelic effects of these drugs are well-known, studies suggest the same effects may lead to curbed symptoms for patients with mental disorders. For example, some studies have shown that psilocybin can reduce addiction to smoking and even alcohol. Other studies show the psychedelic drugs reduce anxiety, particularly in cancer patients.

Some researchers believe the drugs activate new or otherwise hidden connections in the brain, which facilitate the patients to overcome their psychological and emotional challenges. Indeed, the brain on LSD is many times more activated than a brain without LSD. But it's certain that more work needs to be done to fully understand and reap the medical value of these drugs.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 22, 2018
Videos
SEP 22, 2018
Did a Vampire Facial Expose Patients to Bloodborne Disease?
It seems there is no shortage of unusual beauty rituals; vampire facials may fall into that category....
SEP 30, 2018
Microbiology
SEP 30, 2018
These Microscopic Things Elude Our Eyes Every Day
We take much of what we can see for granted, but if your eyes had the observational power of a microscope, you’d probably look at the world very diff...
OCT 04, 2018
Videos
OCT 04, 2018
Cannabis and Its Fight Against Cancer
Cannabis is known to treat nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Most recent studies have revealed that THC and other cannabinoids are able to slow...
OCT 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
OCT 07, 2018
The Myth Behind Being Double-Jointed
Every so often, you might come across the occasional show-off that flexes their bodies in unusual ways and claims to be “double-jointed.” But i...
OCT 09, 2018
Videos
OCT 09, 2018
Take-out doesn't have to be this way
I love take-out just as much as the next person, but there's something that gets to me every time I order in: the amount of single-use waste that comes...
OCT 13, 2018
Videos
OCT 13, 2018
Why you shouldn't give a baby water
Did you know that babies shouldn't drink water before they are at least six months old? That's because, while human adults are composed of 55-60% w...
Loading Comments...