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Former good article nominee Hallucinogen was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
May 25, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed


I have moved a lot of older discussion into the archives. I have, reluctantly, left in most of the discussion about the use of the word "hallucinogen", because it still seems to be ongoing.Sjeng 16:19, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

NPOV dispute (old)[edit]

Before responding to this discussion, see the newer NPOV dispute section further below.

I am sorry for coming late to the discussion, but I must say that it seems an error to remain stuck with "hallucinogen" as a working term. It IS pejorative, it is misleading, and worst of all, it feeds into drug war propaganda. It is as if we were trying to write a balanced article on same-sex love and decided that we had to use the terms "sodomy" and "sodomite." --Haiduc 22:57, 20 June 2004 (UTC)

Ok, but the problems with entheogen and psychedelic are just as bad, if not worse. "Hallucinogenic drug" is the term most commonly used in the closest thing there is to neutral publications on the subject, i.e. the scientific literature. This is usually even the case in scientific articles with apparently approving tones. What would you propose as an alternative? Rkundalini 11:38, 21 June 2004 (UTC)
Why do you say that those two options are just as bad?--Haiduc 02:47, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
There is a bit of discussion in each of those entries as to why the terms have been criticized. Basically, "entheogen" has not-necessarily-appropriate associations with god and religion, while "psychedelic", although originally fine, acquired a lot of irrelevant baggage and misuse in the 60s. Personally I advocate reclaiming the use of the word psychedelic so I guess I would agree with you if you wanted to replace "hallucinogenic drug" with this term, but others may disagree due to the inappropriate meanings it has acquired. Also, what about scopolamine-like things, dissociatives, Salvia divinorum, and other hallucinogens that are arguably not psychedelics in the classic sense of the word? Rkundalini 15:16, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Interesting, your take on "entheogen." As an atheist, do drugs jkids!!! I should have picked up on that a long time ago. Frankly I do like "psychedelic," I like the etymology and I like the historical connotations. I also think that "psychoactive" and "psychotropic" are valid choices and can stand in as synonyms. "Hallucinogen" on the other hand is both a misnomer and misleading, diverting the attention away from what is really a halluccination. As for the substances you have mentioned, I do not know enough about them to pass judgement, and I would encourage retaining the term for those substances whose effects do fall within that category. The true psychedelics do not, or, if they do, so do alcohol, cocaine and opium.--Haiduc 02:24, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hallucinogens, psychedelics, and entheogens are not synonymous. I believe that there should be different articles on all three, which there are, and when overlap occurs, the information should be placed under hallucinogen. Both of the other articles link to Hallucinogen so that should not be a major problem. On the whole I do not have many qualms with this article, but I would propose that "dissociative hallucinogens" should not be refered to as such. An encounter of this category in most literature that I have read would indicate that it would be better known as "dissociative anaesthetics". The drugs in this category, (Nitrous Oxide, Ketamine, PCP, and DXM, + more) may be known by some for their hallucinogen-like status, and should not be removed, but they should be recategorized and a note should be put that their hallucinogenic properties are questionable. They are as related to hallucinogens as alcohol or cocaine, and since those are not mentioned (even though there might be reason for them to be mentioned in a similar context), there is no reason to categorize the disassociative analgesics as hallucinogens. Heroin has created plenty of hallucinations, but is not categorized as a hallucinogenic drug because it better fits another category. The same goes for these 'dissociatives'. One idea would be to list all the drugs that fit under the more technical categorization of hallucinogenic drug first, and then on a seperate list, place all drugs that have the quality of being hallucinogenic. Please post your thoughts. Thank You. Flying Hamster 21:56, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
As an addendum to my previous post, I will post this link. ATCCS. This is the official categorization system of the WikiProject on Drugs, as can be seen here. This is the standard that is being used (although unfortunately not strictly followed) for the organization of drugs on Wikipedia. There is no particular category of drug in this system that refers to hallucinogenic drugs. They are instead organized much more specifically. I would suggest that an emphasis be placed on the hallucination as being a quality of a drug, not its category. Flying Hamster 22:58, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Please see my reply at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Drugs/Categorization --Rkundalini 06:31, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

NPOV dispute[edit]

Quoting from the article:

Of all the terms created, "hallucinogen", meaning roughly "generating delusions and false notions"

Given that there exists some difference of opinion on whether all so-called "hallucinogens" generate delusions or genuine "entheogenic" experiences, some more neutral term ought to be used, with the hallucinogen label placed into proper context rather than used directly. Whig 05:29, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately no such term exists at this time besides hallucinogen. The word psychedelic does not apply to deliriants, and although some may claim that some of the dissociatives should be considered psychedelics, that would leave us without a term to describe the substances currently categorized as psychedelics (I supposed we could have pure psychedelics and dissociative psychedelics, but that just adds more complication). Entheogen can refer to almost any drug as long as it has a traditional spiritual use (including possibly wine and tobacco). What we need is a completely different scientific term... but what? Technically psychedelic meaning "mind-manifesting" would be an appropriate term, but I already explained one problem with that (the other problem being its strong ties to art, music and 60's counterculture). Ideally we need a linguist to propose a new term that means "consciousness altering". Anyone good with Latin or Greek? ;) Actually, after a bit of thought... if an antipsychotic is a drug used to treat psychotic episodes (btw, antipsychotic drugs tend to work as an antidote to some psychedelics), maybe the term we are looking for is psychotic (drug). I've found references to the term psychotogen and psychotogenic used to describe the effects of PCP and Ketamine... but again, we need the term to literally mean a substance which alters consciousness to a degree such that one is able to view reality from a different point of view. In the meantime we're stuck with hallucinogen as it is the term accepted by both psychiatry (i.e. the American psychiatric diagnostic manual) and legal scheduling (Controlled Substances Act). --Thoric 20:54, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To claim that we're stuck with "hallucinogen" because it is in use by certain scientists and by certain legal texts is akin to claiming that, in talking about same-sex love, we are stuck with "sodomy." The suggestion that we follow the "psycho-" (as in "psychotomimetic," already tried early on) root is worse. "Psychedelic" is perfectly usable, and if there is some confusion attached to it, well, there is a lot more confusion attached to "hallucinogen." Are we going to project western constructs here on all the native peoples who use these substances to access other mind states and claim that they are "hallucinating." That itself would be some kind of hallucination. Which is precisely the problem with using this unfortunate and misleading term. If we are to err, I suggest we err on the side of accuracy and neutrality, and from an etymological point of view, "mind manifesting" is a lot more precise, descriptive and non-judgemental than "delusional." Haiduc 23:28, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We're not stuck with "hallucinogenic", we just need an alternative, and psychedelic already has too much meaning attached to it, and as I mentioned, drugs like Ketamine and PCP or deliriants like datura and deadly nightshade are not considered to be "psychedelic". I'm on yuor side... I agree we need a better term... I just don't agree that psychedelic is an adequate blanket term for everything that is currently considered a hallucinogen. How about 'psychotropic? --Thoric 19:10, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I used to not mind "psychotropic," but I have come to believe that it is too general. After all, is not alcohol a psychotropic too, and coffee, and sedatives? The LSD aticle has an interesting solution, it does not just use one term, but combines "hallucinogen" and "psychedelic" as they both describe an aspect of the drug. So, how about "Hallucinogens and Psychedelics"? We should not try to shove all these drugs under a single label, and, short of inventing a new term (which we are not empowered to do here) I cannot escape the conclusion the "psychedelic" is the best of a compromised or inaccurate bunch. The problem here is that we are fighting cultural confusion but our weapons must also come from that sphere of confusion. Haiduc 04:39, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Then we might as well make the title, "Psychedelics, Dissociatives and Deliriants", as we need to differentiate between the dissociative drugs (PCP, DXM, Ketamine, nitrous oxide, amanita muscaria, salvia D.) the psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, etc) and the deliriants (atropine and scopolamine alkaloid containing plants, antihistamines, etc). --Thoric 17:05, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me. We would have to have an intro that ties them all together and then distinguishes the three categories from each other, and then have three mini-articles on each of the sub-topics. Would you mind roughing it out, as I do not have much familiarity with the second or the third categories? Haiduc 02:26, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I want to add my strong support to this proposal, and propose moving the current article as suggested. Whig 03:44, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Do you consider cannabis a psychedelic? What about MDMA? What we need is word to refer to the same (or similar) substances that entheogen refers to ;) Ah well... here goes... --Thoric 21:58, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Was not MDMA placed with "empathogens?" As for cannabis, not really. I think we should use the restricted meaning of the term, else we'll be including wine and tobacco pretty soon. Haiduc 11:42, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Empathogens are a subsection under psychedelics, so maybe they apply to some degree, but not in the traditional sense. The same sort of goes for THC, as at high doses it can apparently cause psychedelic effects, and it certainly has a synergistic effect with the classic psychedelics, and almost has a stronger social connection to the "psychedelic era" than LSD. --Thoric 14:03, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I have often considered "hallucinogen" and "psychedelic" to be interchangeable words, though they are misnomers. "Psychotomimetic" seems reasonable to me, as the effects of these drugs are to mimic (to varying degrees) some aspects of psychoses. With respect to the comment about differentiating between "pure psychedelics" and "dissociative psychedelics", it may be easier to use the terms "classical hallucinogens" and "dissociative hallucinogens", respectively. On the other hand, terms like "serotnergic hallucinogens" and "NMDA antagonist hallucinogens" can be a good way of eliminating controversy. I also think that differentiating betweeen deleriants (or "anticholinergic hallucinogens"?) is a good. -- I suppose what we need to ask ourselves is, 'What should the basis of classification be?' It seems to me that anyone willing to differentiate psychedelic / hallucinogen into the three subgroups of psychedelics (eg. LSD, mescaline, etc.), dissociatives and delerients wishes to empasize the qualitative differences between experiences. This will largely be problematic if we're using the terms "hallucinogen" and "psychedelic" as the first is a misnomer and the second is a word full of connotations. I also dislike the term "entheogen" for its mystical and religious implications. Personally, I really do think that psychotomimetic is a good choice as is psychotropic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:29, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Brain damage[edit]

From the revision current as of this writing:

"No connection has been made between psychedelic drugs and brain damage; however, high doses over time of some dissociatives and deliriants have been shown to cause Olney's lesions in animals, and have been suspected to occur in humans."

I seem to recall reading somewhere that chronic MDMA abuse produces lesions (perhaps only confirmed in animals).

A google search ({}) turns up reports of lesions in animals.-- 14:38, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

MDMA is not a psychedelic drug, so it does not relate to brain damage for psychedelics, it was confirmed in animals, I'm guessing because they are smaller than us, usually weigh less unless we are testing big animals, but if it's lets say rabbits or rats, then yes i'm sure there small body was have lesions.Jaguirre91019 (talk) 17:31, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Stub Sorting[edit]

I don't agree with the categorisation of certain articles.

For instance:

Those are just article stubs I created, but I disagree with the idea of tobacco being listed as a psychedelic! I wish my tobacco was psychedelic - though it is just plain not. It's misleading at best. I suggest that these categorisations for certain articles be removed or a new category created. Celardore 20:16, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Where is tobacco/nicotine categorized as a psychedelic? Entheogen, yes due to aboriginal spiritual use, psychoactive, yes due to its stimulant effects, but psychedelic, no. --Thoric 22:48, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Causing mental illness[edit]

I had not heard of psychedelics causing free radical related brain damage. Can we get a citation on this? --Thoric 00:55, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

The concept of psychedelics damaging DNA was refuted long ago. DNA naturally degrades over time as we age. There is no concrete evidence that psychedelics accelerate this. --Thoric 16:18, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I modified this section to indicate that free radical concerns are only true of psychedelics with amphetamine-like actions (releasing neurotransmitters). I believe this sort of MDMA-like toxicity is what the statement is intended to refer to. However, the section still needs references to this and an actual discussion of the possibility that hallucinogens may increase risk of mental illness. --Mattbagg 15:09, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Anything which increases metabolism (including, but certainly not limited to stimulant-type drugs) technically accelerates aging, and therefore increases the rate of DNA damage, among other age related illnesses. Anything which causes stress (including exercise, sex, eating, stimulants, worrying, anxiety) increases metabolism. Fortunately the human body counteracts this to some degree by trying to force some much needed relaxation and recuperation following the stressful event. In the case of psychedelics, there is generally a strong and rapid (but temporary) tolerance curve that prevents the effectiveness of repeated dosages. The problem with amphetamines (especially methamphetamine with its long duration) is that the body has little in its arsenal to counteract the effects, and the result is a great deal of stress on the body, and the ability to delay (or even circumvent) the natural recuperation process -- the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. --Thoric 14:40, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I must object to what this part of the article is suggesting. Fist of all, not to start complaining again about the definition of hallucinogen/psychedelic, MDMA is an empathogen or entactogen and not a hallucinogen. Second of all MDMA is relatively unique in its mode of action. Amphetamine like psychedelics do NOT cause release of neurotransmitters. They are as well 5TM2A receptor agonist. I would argue that there are more amphetamine like psychedelics acting like this than there are acting on neutransmitor release. The DOX and TMA-X families being quite big and maybe even the 2-CX family should be considered an amphetamine like psychedelic considering the fact that they are phenethylamines (same family as amphetamine) and quite similar in structure. By this I don’t meat that we should ignore MDMA, and its dangers, but we should differentiate between amphetamine like psychedelics and MDMA. Secondly i don’t see any mention of mental illness under the section "Psychedelics and mental illnesses in long-term users". Why isn’t there any mention of psychedelics being a catalytic factor for triggering acute psychosis or latent schizophrenia, with the mention of course of the fact that any cataclysmic life event could be a triggering factor. I think this article is misleading when it implies that hallucinogens may cause Parkinson's disease, senility, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's. This statement applies only to very few of the ”hallucinogens”(yes I mean MDMA) and NOT to most hallucinogens. Just to make this clear: there is no evidence that LSD, psilocybin etc cause the above mentioned diseases and implying with fancy words about free radicals that they do is WRONG and unscientific (or rather pseudoscientific). The way that part about free radicals is writen, being long and elaborate, could make the reader forget that we are talking about a FRACTION of the total psychedelics and therefore give the illusion (no pun intended) that all psychedelics cause free radicals. --Tatahereiam 14:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Tatahereiam. "Amphetamine like psychedelics do NOT cause release of neurotransmitters." Nonsense. Flat out nonsense. "[Amphetamines] are as well 5TH-2A> receptor agonist" Jones and Kauer found that amphetamine activates serotonin receptors and based on the other research articles I've seen, it doesn't appear that anyone is certain that amphetamines are 5HT-2A agonists or agonists of other serotonin receptors. Amphetamines may inhibit reuptake of serotonin or their action may be indirect. I would argue that there are more amphetamine like psychedelics acting like this than there are acting on neutransmitor release. As 5HT-2A agonists? Even if there are, it's irrelevant. The definition of hallucinogen doesn't depend on the affinity for certain neuroreceptors of the activity of a given ligand at that receptor. References (1) Sulzer D, Sonders MS, Poulsen NW, Galli A. (2005) Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release by amphetamines: A review. Prog Neurobiol. 75: 406 - 433. (2) Rothman RB, Baumann MH, Dersch CM, Romero DV, Rice KC, Carroll FI, Partilla JS. (2001) Amphetamine-type central nervous system stimulants release norepinephrine more potently than they release dopamine and serotonin. (3) Joens S, Kauer JA. (1999) Amphetamine Depresses Excitatory Synaptic Transmission via Serotonin Receptors in the Ventral Tegmental Area. J Neurosci. 19: 9780 - 9787. Synapse. 39: 32 - 41.AlkaloidMan (talk) 00:52, 25 October 2010 (UTC)AlkaloidMan

Article approaching "good" status[edit]

I believe that this article is approaching the status of a "good" article. Unfortunately it is sorely lacking in citing sources (most of which is text that I wrote, so I guess I have to do some attributing). I think that with some references and minor cleanup, we can request the article be peer reviewed for qualifying as a "good" article (at least). --Thoric 15:55, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

True. One problem i've seen alot (i corrected most on this page but if i didnt catch it please fix it) is that people are using Psychoactive drug and Psychedelic drug incorrectly. Psychoactive drugs are a very general category, whereas Psychedelics refer more to non-addictive drugs and hallucinogens such as LSD or Psilocin. --Neur0X 20:27, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Your "correction" was in err. Please re-read the original paragraph you "corrected". It was not using the terms incorrectly. This article is not specifically limited to psychedelic drugs, but also includes dissociatives and deliriants -- a grouping also referred to legally as hallucinogens. The leading paragraph was describing that these drugs differ from other non-hallucinogenic psychoactive drugs. --Thoric 21:18, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

NPOV, Second Paragraph[edit]

While this article is well-researched, it also shows a bias of being a bit "pro drug-culture". I don't believe Wikipedia should start trying to tell people a word that is consistantly used by the scientific community is the "wrong" term, especially since I've never seen any argument in any scientific journal stating either Hallucinogen is the "wrong" term and "psychedelic" is a correct term. At the very least I would like Wikipedia to consider examining this article and perhaps restoring the term "Hallucinogen" proper to the directory.

You'd think such bold statements would be backed up with a persona, rather than anonymous accusations. Hallucinogen has repeated been labeled as an inappropriate term by the scientific community, and there are quite a number of references published by people well respected in the scientific community stating such, and if you really had any clue whatsoever what you were talking about, you would know that the term "psychedelic" originated from the scientific community, and not "pro-drug culture". --Thoric 17:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Care to make Citations? The original posting makes a lot of sense, and the second paragraph appears to be "weasel words". I can see how people would detect a group bias, based on the "wiki project" with the Mushroom surrounded by rainbow colors. Don't get me wrong, I dislike the propaganda that anti-drug people have portrayed sometimes, but considering how much argument has gone on regarding the term "psychedelic" in these talk pages, I'm not sure it suits as a replacement term. The term Hallucinogenic still is defined in both Scientific and Legal literature, so it is still a valid reference and the definition should be defined as such, not sent to another article. Perhaps some of the NPOV specialists should come in. I wouldn't want either the DEA perspective or Erowid perspective to create a bias in the article.
Please read this and this above. I'm not sure what needs to be said here, this has been discussed several times already. this and the WikiProject Psychedelics, Dissociatives and Deliriants talk page in general also cover this. the current terminology was selected as being as npov as possible. --heah 02:56, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I think my major objection, other than the awkward title for this topic, is this sentence. "The term [hallucinogen] is attracting increasing criticism, however, for being ethnocentric, dependent upon too broad a definition of hallucination, and implying that certain symptoms that are actually only associated with some substances are applicable to all of them." Can any of you cite sources for this? If you can't, it's either original research or a weasel word. Are there verifiable sources that the term "hallucinogen" is being replaced by "psychedelic", in the medical and scientific community? For instance, does Albert Hoffman now call LSD a psychedelic instead of a hallucinogen, and critize the use of the latter term? Do psychologists and psychiatric associations do this? Is law enforcement or government reclassifying the term? That's kind of what I think should be examined.
Also, Having an article consisting of three seperate types of drugs is somewhat awkward--the term hallucinogen effectively is a superset defining all three. I don't think a Wikipedia article should judge the term used to describe something. Wikipedia has articles on words and terms considered offensive to some without resorting to redirects or retitles. The first note above talks about the term "being prejorative". That might be true, but Wikipedia should not be the tool to change the language. By those terms, you would redirect "sodomy" to "anal sex" or "nigger" to "African American". It would be wrong in those cases, it's likely wrong here.
I guess all I'm asking is for maybe a more neutral set of eyes to see if this is acceptable or not. Perhaps somebody handling the chemistry, biology, medical, or pharma projects, if they exist.
but "nigger" is not about "african americans", and "sodomy" is not about "anal sex"! Unless you're suggesting that we make an article called "hallucinogen" about hallucinogen being a pejorative term, i don't see your point. Secondly, stating that the proper standards for judgment is the scientific community or the law enforcement community is, in itself, a violation of the NPOV policy, which is not about being objective, and is not a majority pov policy. it is a neutral point of view policy. The current title was chosen as using the most neutral terminolgy that we could find. third--cites will be forthcoming for that sentence. like i said, give it a little while . . . --heah 03:46, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I've never heard of 'hallucinogen' being a wrong or prejorative term, as well as I've read multiple books which use hallucinogen as a simple term to describe a drug as having Open or Closed Eye Visuals or in general perceptive and sensory disruptions. gives a rather helpful bit of input, maybe it could be used/cited as a reference? I really think that simply butchering this article with various templates is going to help. Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding the situation, and if so then someone would be so kind to give me a more specific explanation?--Neur0X .talk 04:34, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm suggesting we use the most common name instead of an awkward label. I was responding to the topic way above that stated that the word hallucinogen should not be used. The term is still the most commonly used version of the word, and if you review the naming convention guidelines, it makes the most sense to continue to use it. The standards of judgement should be the general public. Until I've seen this article, I have never seen any argument stating that this term was "prejudicial" , and I think it's an extremely minority viewpoint. At the very least, that second paragraph really needs some sources if you want to justify the name change.
I think we should take a look at these guidelines.

Wikipedia:Naming_conflict#How_to_make_a_choice_among_controversial_names 16:05, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree that the article name should be hallucinogen. The current name is monstrous without any need. The term "hallucinogen" is widely used in the (scientific) literature and is definitely not a pejorative term. Cacycle 03:52, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Previous Move Request[edit]

It was requested that this article be renamed but the procedure outlined at WP:RM#How to request a page move did not appear to be followed, and consensus could not be determined. Please request a move again with proper procedure if there is still a desire for the page to be moved. Thank you for time! -- tariqabjotu 04:15, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Adding LSD to drinks (last paragraph of Legal Status)[edit]

The notion that LSD can be added to drinks is highly questionable. If you look at the LSD article where it describes its chemical properties, it states, "Furthermore, chlorine destroys LSD molecules on contact; even though chlorinated tap water typically contains only a slight amount of chlorine, because a typical LSD solution only contains an infinitesimal amount of LSD, dissolving LSD in tap water is likely to completely eliminate the substance.[8]" So I think it should be maintained that the situation described in this article is highly variable.

The feasibility of "slipping LSD into a drink" has little to do with that being used as a scare tactic. The vast majority of what the government says or has said about various illegal drugs has been based on nonsense. That said, not all drinks contain significant quantities of tap water, and there have been plenty of instances whereby drinks, and entire bowls of punch have been dosed with LSD. --Thoric 16:11, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Shulgin writes, in TIHKAL book II section 26: "Oh yes, and often overlooked, there may be only an infinitesimal amount of chlorine in treated tap water, but then there is only an infinitesimal amount of LSD in a typical LSD solution. And since chlorine will destroy LSD on contact, the dissolving of LSD in tap water is not appropriate." I think what he is trying to say here is not that tap water destroys LSD on contact, but that pure (gaseous) chlorine destroys LSD on contact, and thus tap water is a bad storage medium for LSD at least in the long run if it contains even a little chlorine. A misreading of Shulgin's statement, or similar statements by others, is probably what gave rise to the idea that dissolving LSD in drinks for a short time before consumption would be a big deal. Also, there is indeed next to no chlorine in most commercially available soft drinks and juices, so presumably orange juice would not kill the LSD dissolved in it as fast as tap water would. (Note that chloride is not a problem!) Stories involving LSD dissolved in liquids that have been much repeated in print include the use by the merry pranksters of orange juice, kool-aid, venison stew and suchlike, but I cannot right now recall any authors that I'd think of as outright credible who have said much explicitly about this...Sjeng 00:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I would like to see experimental data backing up Shulgin's claims, instead of mere guesswork. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

third paragraph horrors[edit]

The third paragraph needs serious editing.

It is helpful that the paragraph recognizes that "hallucinations of various kinds are only one of many effects produced" by the (overbroad) array of substances referred to by this article.

However, there are basic errors. For example: it has long been recognized, by virtually every student who has studied the topic, that pharmacology has a relatively small role in the content of 'hallucinogenic experience.' Thus, the statement that "The nature of the hallucinations produced is dependent on the specific compound" is misleading. While certain kinds of visual effects, such as "tracers" or afterimages are quite common, these do not qualify as "hallucinations."

This brings up another problem. Following the link to "hallucination," one quickly learns the basic distiction between "hallucinations" and "illusions" in the literature. And in fact, "hallucinations" in the sense given in the link ("a sensory perception experienced in the absence of an external stimulus") are extremely rare with the vast majority of the drugs covered by this article. The paragraph therefore introduces a major confusion in a prominent spot in the article.

(As others have suggested, probably "deliriants" and "dissociatives" should have their own articles, as their modes of action and effects are so different from the so-called "classic hallucinogens," and the supposed common thread of "causing hallucinations" so untenable, that they should be considered separately.)

The third sentence of the paragraph also needs to be revised. As Cheryl Pellerin discovered in researching her 1998 book, "Trips: How Hallucinogens Work in Your Brain," leading neuroscientists don't (didn't then) really know how they produce their more interesting effects, except that it has something to do with modulation of certain neurotransmitters. Thus, the air of authority with which the sentence declares that "psychedelics reduce the filters in the brain causing sensory overload which is often manifested in visual and audial distortion" produces an empty sensation of explanation. This old "reducing valve" theory, adapted to hallucinogens (if memory serves) by Aldous Huxley from Henri Bergson's more general theory of mind, is literary speculation, and hardly the authoritative scientific explanation it pretends to be here. "Distortion" is also an unfortunate choice of words, since it would seem to preclude the intensification of apperception that can sometimes occur.

Please, people, reconsider splitting this article so that a really useful treatment of drugs like DMT, LSD, psilocybin, etc. can be undertaken. Such a treatment needs to include critical examination (i.e., history) of the tendency to group these substances together and to want to make of them a natural category. There is a lot of good material here, but also some serious problems.

--Mdmeyer 04:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

You obviously didn't take too good a read over this article, as you would plainly see that this is a summary article with links to three separate sub-articles (one for Psychedelics, one for Dissociatives and one for Deliriants). The "reducing valve" theory is still one of the best primary descriptions of the psychedelic experience. No amount of science about the specifics of which neurotransmitters are effected and speculation about how that may have an effect on consciousness is going to do much good as even to date, modern brain chemistry cannot explain consciousness itself. Subjective descriptions are still exceedingly valuable in documenting that which chemistry cannot properly explain. Of course we can document the details of what science has most recently found within the psychedelic drug article, and some of that has already been done. The most up to date studies on psychedelics have basically helped identify the regions of the brain that regulate habituation and a sense of novelty. --Thoric 16:11, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I did read the page, and saw the links to the separate articles. The problem is that the page is effectively titled "hallucinogens" (since it redirects searches for this term), and what you're calling psychedelics should not be grouped with substances like nightshade and datura. What do these drugs have in common with LSD, DMT, psilocybin?

They have been grouped as such by large government bodies, and by the legal system. This article actually seeks to set the record straight, and if that is not quite clear, then maybe this article needs some adjustment and clarity. The only thing that deliriants (datura) have in common with psychedelics (LSD) is that both can cause a strong altered perception of reality, and hence have inherent associated risks. In that respect they do have more in common with each other than say with cocaine or heroin. --Thoric 20:52, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Here, the basis for the grouping seems to be the notion of "hallucination," the broader first sentence notwithstanding. And psychedelics rarely cause hallucinations. This has important implications, since people who lack personal experience with them will be encouraged by this article to continue grouping all these substances together, thinking that mushrooms cause people to misperceive physical reality, and so on.

Again, please re-read the first few paragraphs of the article. This article seeks to divide those which are currently labeled as "hallucinogens" into three distinct groups -- psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants. --Thoric 20:52, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I repeat my criticism that the second sentence of the third paragraph ("The nature of the hallucinations produced is dependent on the specific compound.") is misleading because it completely neglects the role of the so-called "set and setting," and because it strongly implies that psychedelics, as well as the other drugs referred to, cause hallucinations as a main feature of their action. This is false.

Agreed, and the third paragraph should be altered to emphasize this properly... although it should be noted that some people have certainly experienced hallucinations from psychedelics at high dosages. --Thoric 20:52, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

There's no problem with literary speculation, nor with descriptions of subjective experience. But here these are masqueraded as authoritative explanations of 'how hallucinogens work,' rather than (correctly) identified as notions with particular histories and specific contextual niches. If the 'reducing valve' is "one of the best" theories, what are the others? The language here doesn't admit of other ideas. --Mdmeyer 04:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Again I don't think you even read the article. The first three paragraphs explain how "hallucinogen" isn't a very good term to group these substances, yet this is still the legal classification. The third paragraph specifically states (or was supposed to state) that very few of these substances cause actual hallucinations, and briefly summarizes the differences between the three categories. I, as well as many others believe the summaries of each subcategory presented here to be among the most accurate to date, and that they can be stated with some authority as they reflect a summary of decades of research by numerous researchers. I don't see how you feel that these are simply "notions" any more than the entire body of psychology is. In fact the realm of the effects of psychoactives on consciousness belongs far more to psychology than to neurochemistry. Far too much is lost to reduce the wonder of the human brain simply to a few glands excreting chemicals. It is entirely for this reason that neurochemistry has accomplished very little in this area. --Thoric 20:52, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I did some rewriting.[edit]

It seems that this page has suffered from the sort of the rambling style that is inevitable with lots of small edits, even though most of the information in it is correct. I rewrote some of the sections that I thought were most obviously devoid of a guiding framework in the hope of adding a bit more structure to them. I think this is necessary if we are to produce something that is a truly accessible introduction to somebody who is entirely uninformed about the subject, and not just a warehouse of random facts. Feel free to mess with it, though. Sjeng 00:25, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Categorization dispite[edit]

Thoric and I have an ongoing debate as to the definition of "psychedelic." We've done research and cited sources so that other people can come and a consensus can be reached as to whether the definition of "psychedelic" is too stringent. Please participate in this discussion. Jolb 17:38, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Crazy POV statements (or a philosophical faux pas?)[edit]

Where did all these crazy POV statements appear from, and why has nobody noticed? We can't just label Osmond's views as preposterous without citing someone specific having that opinion. Clean this crap up or I will just revert the relevant sections to how they were before. --Thoric 07:12, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you are referring to this:
The word "psychedelic" was coined by Humphrey Osmond and has the rather mysterious but at least somewhat value-neutral meaning of of "mind manifesting". Its use is often associated with the notion, preposterous in contemporary mainstream culture, that the psychedelic experience might be desirable or even beneficial.
The phrase explains concisely why the word "psychedelic" is considered suspect by the establishment. In effect, it summarizes the following argument: (1) In mainstream culture, the idea that the psychedelic experience might be desirable or beneficial is considered preposterous; (2) The word "psychedelic" is often associated with the view that the psychedelic experience is desirable or beneficial; (3) This is why the word "psychedelic" is often considered suspect. I'm not saying at all that Osmond's views are preposterous, objectively, but that they are preposterous in mainstream culture. To me, this is shorthand for saying that they are considered preposterous in mainstream culture.
My writing style may be cryptic, and I edit Wikipedia partially because I want to practice writing, so I'm glad that I got some feedback. In particular, I realized that what I wrote has an other possible interpretation, namely that the view referred to is, rightly, objectively, preposterous in mainstream culture, yet possibly acceptible in other cultures. I did not catch that error, because that interpretation only makes sense to a cultural relativist, which I decidedly am not. I so often read books that assume away the option of cultural relativism on the first page that I just didn't think of it. So yes, I guess my edit reflects my non-cultural-relativist POV, but not a "crazy" POV by any means. Just the POV of somebody who thinks that there is such a thing as truth that transcends culture, and therefore the only meaning of "A is preposterous in culture B" must be that it is widely considered as such. Sorry. Sjeng 17:50, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Looking back it seems I was a little harsh and hasty. I was assuming that you were putting your POV into the article thst Osmond's views were preposterous. As I misunderstood this, others will as well, so we definitely need to correct that... Sorry for snapping ;) --Thoric 00:32, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


I have found two interesting articles about the nomenclature of these drugs: Neurophile: Question of terminology, Blinkbits: hallucinogens. Perhaps it would be appropriate to use the term psychodysleptics? --Eleassar my talk 11:37, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Use it for what? Note that Wikipedia is not supposed to be a forum for reaching consensus on a one true Wikipedian language, but an encyclopedia documenting facts and views about facts existing out there in the real world. If we think that psychodysleptic is a good word to describe something that is not usually so described, we may add a note to the effect that psychodysleptic might be a better term, and why, but I think that's the most you can do. Sjeng 16:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Scientific explanation?[edit]

I've been looking for some sort of scientific explanation on how/why hallucinogens cause hallucinations. I'd understand if the effects of these substances are not fully understood, but the article doesn't even say that. Did I miss something in the article? Eridani 00:57, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

You should probably have a look at the big David Nichols review paper referenced at the end of the article. You are right to observe that these substances are not fully understood, but a lot of what is understood about them on a more technical, psychopharmacological level is summarized in that paper.Sjeng 13:10, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

GA failed[edit]

I have reviewed this article according to the GA criteria and have quick-failed the article due to a lack of inline citations. There are some found throughout the article, but a lot more need to be added due to the amount of information and the length of the article. Go through the article and for every statement you think that may be questioned about its verifiablity, then add an inline citation after it. Once you have addressed this and looked over the other criteria, consider renominating. If you disagree with this review, you can seek an alternate review at Wikipedia:Good article review. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. --Nehrams2020 07:17, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Some of this is due to this article being a bit of an overview, referring to other articles that are supposed to have better citations. In practice, though, the other articles don't have great citations either, and the criticism is probably appropriate ;-) Sjeng 16:10, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Big problem with this article[edit]

In line with the constant disputes Thoric and I have had, I feel that this article is incomplete due to its POV classification of "Psychedelics." The Dissociatives category serves as a catch-all for anything that doesn't qualify as a psychedelic, and therefore drugs like PCP, ketamine, and DXM, which are medically considered "dissociative anesthetics" [1], are grouped with deliriants, salvinorin A, and muscimol.

The "dissociative" group includes all dissociatives, of which the "dissociative anesthetics" are given their own special subgroup. Why are you unable to understand the concept of subgroups? Is it beyond your ability to understand that a tangerine and a lemon are both citrus fruits even though they taste completely different? --Thoric 18:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

A case can be made for those drugs, and I've seen what Thoric has to say, but I believe none of them qualify as true dissociatives--true dissociatives have a definite medical pathway through the NMDA systems. See NMDA receptor antagonist. Since the definition for dissociative anesthesia is clearly synonymous with NMDA receptor antagonism, anticholinergics, kappa-opioid receptor antagonists, and GABA agonists should not qualify as dissociatives.

Please provide a source for your claim that "dissociative anesthesia" is "clearly synonymous" with NMDA receptor antagonism. This, is false. It would be correct to say that dissociative anesthetics are generally NMDA receptor antagonists and that NMDA antagonists generally produce dissociative anaesthesia. The definition for dissociative anesthesia has three criteria: (1) analgesia (2) amnesia and (3) a sensation of detatchment from reality. I would completely agree, however, that anticholinergic deleriants should not be considered dissociatives. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

We aren't talking about "true dissociatives", we're talking about drugs that cause dissociation. --Thoric 18:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Not only is there a medical difference, but the subjective effects of those drugs are completely different from dissociatives. Most obvious to me is muscimol; I've had friends who've tried amanitas, and I was able to talk to them during their trip about their OEVs... obviously that kind of experience is more like classic psychedelics than dissociatives. I suggest we trash Thoric's whole classification since it's based on his disputed chart and start over with a "hallucinogen" article. Jolb 15:32, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to disagree here, but Amanita experiences include both a dizzy inebriated awake experience which is consistently described as very different from psychedelics as well as a dissociative dream-like experience. Potential for delirium is also indicated. Please research things more carefully before making bold incorrect statements! --Thoric 18:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, the experience is different from psychedelics, but dissociative experiences are normally associated with CEVs and incapacitation... Amanita experiences are marked by OEVs, awareness, alertness, and the ability to walk and talk normally--not quite dissociative. Jolb 21:00, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
This is dosage dependent. If you read enough amanita experience reports, you will see that the alert, aware portion is only that -- a portion of the experience. Another major portion is drowsiness, and depending on the person and the dosage, often involves a stage where the user falls into an unrousable sleep. I would not be opposed to placing this closer to the overlap between psychedelics and dissociatives, but from all the experience reports I have read, the most common theme is how markedly different the experience is from psilocybin mushrooms, and also reports of drowsiness, vivid dreams, dissociation and delirium. --Thoric 21:37, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I think our new article should be called "Hallucinogens," and will be less based on this three-pronged organization (which isn't really based on the medical consensus.) Then, each section could explain a different pharmacologic pathway for hallucinations. We could have the following sections:

  • 5-HT2A serotonergic hallucinogens including what's in "psychedelics" here
  • NMDA receptor antagonists including the true dissociatives
  • Anticholinergics including the true deliriants
  • Kappa-opioid receptor agonists, salvinorin A
  • GABA agonists, muscimol and ibotenic acid


Above you complain that all the drugs that are labeled as dissociatives aren't "true dissociatives" (even though they all produce dissociation), yet now you want to label all of these drugs as "hallucinogens", even though a great deal of them do not produce hallucinations whatsoever. Hallucinogen is certainly not the correct label for MDMA. --Thoric 18:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
They produce dissociation? Citations, please.
Here you go: [2]
...there are a number of drugs capable of producing a toxic delirium that features hallucinations. These potent dissociative agents are generally much more dangerous than the psychedelics. Atropine and scopolamine, anticholinergic dissociative agents, are found in a number of plants belonging to the Solanaceae family that grow wild in the States. These include Datura stamonium (Jimson weed), Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), and Mandragora officinarum (mandrake), and Hyoscyamus niger (henbane). Of these, only plants of the genus Datura are native to the United States. Mushrooms of the genus Amanita contain the dissociative agents ibotenic acid, muscimol, and muscazone.

Also, I don't think that MDMA qualifies in any of those categories listed above (nor did I mean to give that impression... it is a serotonin releaser and not a 5-HT2A agonist.) I think MDMA is rightfully classified otherwise. However, I think that MDMA could justifiably be considered a "psychedelic," but "psychedelic" is a controversial term that we shouldn't use as a classification. Jolb 20:57, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

This organization avoids classifications. Even if such classifications are referenced, they're arbitrary, and wikipedia should stick closer to universal truths as opposed to referenced opinions. Jolb 15:47, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Jolb's citations[edit]

I say that dissociative only applies to NMDA receptor antagonists, not muscimol, anticholinergics, or salvinorin-A.

[3] Lists only PCP and ketamine as dissociatives.

[4] Look at Table 3 about halfway down. Anticholinergics are distinct from dissociatives, and dissociatives include only NMDA receptor antagonists.

[5] Not a very good citation, but this book on dissociative dependence only talks about NMDA receptor antagonists, not salvinorin, muscimol, or deliriants.

I'll list more later.Jolb 21:16, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Just because a certain list doesn't include certain things does not mean that they are specifically excluded. Also, the anticholinergics are special enough to have their own subcategory, but they still produce dissociation, and have been described (in cited articles) as "potent dissociatives". Why do you think that you spending a few minutes with a search engine is in any way comparable to years worth of research that I have done with numerous texts? I have put a great deal of research into these classifications -- research. I didn't pull them out of my ass. I've been researching these things actively for the past ten years. You start drinking cough syrup last year, and now you are an expert? Please have a little more respect for others. --Thoric 21:43, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Always with the ad hominem attacks...
Anyway, my citations are far more in-line with wikipedia policies than your "great deal of [original] research." You cited anticholinergics, and I'll let that go for now, but what about muscimol? I'm less concerned with salvinorin, but you should provide some more citations there.
I've also cited musimol -- re-read the citation above. My research is not "original", as it is straight from peer-reviewed publications. --Thoric 07:26, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, I feel that "psychedelic" is not a real classification of drugs, and there's no universal scientific definition for it. Its meaning has changed substantially over time since it was coined before the advent of psychopharmacology, and it's taken on a whole new meaning that could apply to: 1) a specific group of 5-HT2A drugs or 2) a broader definition including THC and salvia or 3) any kind of mind-manifesting drug or 4) any kind of visionary state or 5) trippy music/art/movies. Because "psychedelic" is never used consistently, I say that it's less POV to use unequivocal pharmacological classifications... Why shouldn't we scrap that term as a class and use something less POV?
"Psychedelic" does have an inclusivity that is agreed upon by many authoritative experts in the field. While I agree that some have a wider inclusivity, and some have a more narrow one, you will have to agree that the most narrow is #1, and that #2 is fairly conservative and would be acceptable to the majority. --Thoric 07:26, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't know... My guess is that most experts would say #3, and within that, there'd be an argument for what drugs are indeed mind-manifesting. Alternatively, I'd say #1 is the most widespread, since #2 (in the middle of those) seems outdated and arbitrary because we now know that the pharmacology of drugs like THC and Salvinorin are completely different from LSD, the archetype for that kind of "psychedelic" drug. Honestly, Thoric, you must realize that if you consider smoking weed a "psychedelic drug experience," then why isn't smoking opium? I bet that most people would agree that opium (and the opium "nod") is more hallucinatory and mind-manifesting than being stoned (Ask Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote about his visionary opium dreams). Most psychedelics are also entheogens... but not weed. Weed is also euphoric, relaxing, and conducive to watching Beavis and Butthead--not much like LSD, in my opinion.
Opium is not far off from the dissociatives. What separates it is the narrow window of achieving the "nod", the high risk of addiction, as well as the risk of respiratory failure from overdose. "Weed" does not carry the risk of death. --Thoric 08:24, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see now... You're going by the Lester Greenspoon definition? I think that his definition is kind of narrow... It's also just one definition among MANY possible definitions, and I don't think you should favor it over others. Jolb 14:27, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
When you cross reference the narrow definitions with the wide spectrum definitions, the end result is the definition which I am going by. --Thoric 16:16, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I think that qualifies as original research... Jolb 17:38, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Not if I can cite publications which support the same conclusion. --Thoric 19:13, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Well then do so. Show me all the citations that led to this organization. It's a pity it isn't already cited. Jolb 02:32, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
First of all, I have never seen a research or review article that defines psychedelic / hallucinogenic / psychotomimetic as having anything to do with the specific method by which it brings about its effects. The definition clearly implies that the crucial criteria are the effects of those drugs on consciousnes (i.e. that the drugs are hallucinogenic, or mimic psychoses or are 'mind-manifesting'). Discussions of psychedelic drugs in scientific literature often use the serotonergic hallucinogens as their primary examples, but that may have more to do with history (discovery of LSD, invention of the term "psychedelic" and use of these drugs in psychosis research leading to the serotonin model of schizophrenia). Again, I have simply never seen any research or review article say that the definition of "hallucinogen" has anything to do with whether or not it is a 5HT-2A agonist/antagonist. I think the definition of psychedelic / hallucinogen / psychotomimetic (etc.) is, generally: (1) a drug that primarily affects a broad array cognitive and perceptual processes; (2) the drug is not toxic or addictive at doses that can do so (i.e. meet the first criteria); (3) does not cause delerium at doses that can do so (meet the first criteria). This means that any drug that has a wide effect on mental functions (e.g. alters sensory perception, cognition, sense of self, etc.) without necessarily* causing delerium and posing little risk of addiction or toxicity. * - high doses of hallucinogens can cause delerium, delusions, etc. but the distinguishing feature is that a psychedelic can have a broad effect on consciousness while leaving the user relatively lucid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AlkaloidMan (talkcontribs) 23:56, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Seriously, the only reason THC and other drugs that aren't 5-HT2A agonists are considered "psychedelic" is because Humphry Osmond used the term to describe all his favorite drugs years before anybody understood psychopharmacology. I think any neuroscientist would laugh at a group of drugs that consists entirely of serotonergic hallucinogens except for ONE cannaboid receptor agonist and ONE kappa-opioid receptor agonist thrown in. So I'd say #1 is specific enough to not have random drugs thrown in, and #3 is general enough to include most mind-manifesting drugs. #2 is like a European Union that includes Australia. Jolb 07:53, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Humphry Osmond coined the term, therefore I would consider him more authoritative than most. As for salvia, it is not under my psychedelic grouping. I have told you time and time again that it is a dissociative. THC is currently riding the line between psychedelic and dissociative. The only reason that is fell into the "psychedelic" side of things is because of its strong synergism with the serotonergic psychedelics, that its effects rarely involve putting one into an unresponsive stupor, and also its strong association with everything "psychedelic". --Thoric 08:24, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
He did coin the term, but under his definition, a bunch of disparate drugs are "psychedelic." Look at some Osmond quotes from 'A Review of the Clinical Effects of Psychotomimetic Agents:
  • The great William James endured much uncalled-for criticism for suggesting that in some people inhalations of nitrous oxide allowed a psychic disposition that is always potentially present to manifest itself briefly. Has our comparative neglect of these experiences, recognized by James and Bergson as being of great value, rendered psychology stale and savorless?
  • There are such substances as soma, hashish, cohoba, ololiuqui, peyote, the Syrian rue, the caapi vine, the fungus teonanacatl, the two Amanitas, pantherina and muscaria...
  • Methedrine, as I have already indicated, prolongs and reactivates the LSD-25 model. According to a drug addict, Benzedrine in large doses, dissolved in black coffee, is very like mescaline in effect.
So according to Osmond, psychedelic includes: psilocybin, DMT, LSA, mescaline, but also THC, muscimol, nitrous oxide, amphetamine, and methamphetamine. It's clear that his initial papers didn't have a fully-formed view of what a "psychedelic drug" was... That or he was a proponent of the #3 definition. Jolb 14:27, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
While Osmond recognized the potential for psychedelic effect and experience from many substances beyond the original mescaline, LSD and psilocybin, this does not mean that he considered them to all be referred to as "psychedelic drugs". --Thoric 16:13, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I can find no other places where he explained what he considered "psychedelic drugs." I don't think such a list exists aside from the ones I cited. If I'm right on that assumption (that he never made a list), even though he is an authority, he never published anything to support your #2 definition, but my citations point to the #3 definition. Jolb 17:38, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, the association between weed and everything psychedelic seems to me to be more of a historical phenomenon than an actual similarity between the drugs. The only thing psychedelic about weed is that it does at least alter perception a little without the risk of death or serious addiction, something the early hippies sucked into their grand "psychedelic" movement, but the same thing could be said of other drugs like nitrous oxide (which the hippies have latched onto now.) Jolb 14:33, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I consider cannabis to be between the psychedelics and the dissociatives, and only leaning towards psychedelic for the reasons I mentioned. It does have the potential to cause a full blown psychedelic experience in some people when ingesting large doses. --Thoric 16:13, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Alcohol also has the potential to cause full blown psychedelic experiences. So does a knock on the head. So do ketamine, PCP, and DXM.
Correct. I do not personally consider THC (on its own) to be what I would personally call as "psychedelic drug". I would call it either a "fringe psychedelic" or a quasi-psychedelic. It is only based upon consensus that the psychedelic category is where it fit best (as opposed to dissociative or deliriant). --Thoric 19:12, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
My humble opinion is that the cannabis experience is completely unique, but if anything, it is closest to the likes of ecstasy because of enhanced sensations like music euphoria, food tasting delicious, and sensitivity to being touched. Jolb 17:38, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
If we consider MDMA to be psychedelic, then why not cannabis? I feel both MDMA and cannabis to be "fringe" psychedelics. As the term was coined to refer to mescaline-like drugs, such drugs (mescaline, LSD, psilocybin) should be at the heart of the radius. The less similar a drug is to those, the further it should be away from the center, and the more towards another classification it should be. This is why THC is in the middle between psychedelics and dissociatives, and also why MDMA is closer to the stimulants. --Thoric 19:12, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I also have more citations, so, by my count, my argument is winning. Jolb 05:26, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
If I may share a few outside perceptions of this article…I agree with the suggestion that the article should be renamed “hallucinogens” rather than the current “Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants”. I also think it should be merged with Psychedelic drug, which duplicates the subject of this article (all these subclassifications and separate pages seem arbitrary and make the information harder to find). If subcategories are to be used, they should follow mainstream, well-established categorization schemes used by well-respected sources. In referencing the article, an attempt should be made to gauge prevailing opinion versus minority/fringe views (the latter should receive far less weight). Anything that can’t be well-referenced should be scrapped. Also, whose definition(s) of hallucinogen is currently being used in the article as a guide to which drugs should be listed?
The main weakness of this article is that it cites no references. I am surprised that it was even nominated for WP:GA in the absence of citations. It also doesn’t read as balanced and NPOV – more like an essay written from the perspective of recreational drug users and legalization advocates. This bias needs to be toned down considerably. More information from the perspective of the US DEA, government health/research agencies, and legal/regulatory sources would help. Also, a bit more on pharmacological mechanisms of action and the neuropharmacology/neural pathways of drug-induced hallucinations would also be useful. Rhode Island Red 18:23, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I have a question, and may as well pose it here:

"In addition, drugs such as cannabis do not affect serotonin receptors like 'true' psychedelics." Do we have absolute proof that chemicals like THC and Salvinora-A do not in any way affect seretonin receptors? Just because they lack the indole complex shouldn't be an immediate reason to dismiss them. It could even be possible that somewhere in the body, indole-style chemicals could be produced from THC, although, this is highly unlikely.

Hallucinogenic Organisms[edit]

It is stated that "there are no known "true" (NMDA antagonists) plant dissociatives", yet the wikipedia article on NMDA Receptor Antagonists sites ibogaine as one of them. See refrence nubers 29 and 30, here: (talk) 17:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Tobacco used as a deliriant?[edit]

Under "Deliriants" it says that this class of drugs are "a special class of dissociative which are antagonists for the acetylcholine receptors (unlike muscarine and nicotine which are agonists of these receptors)". Then it says that "Native Americans also consumed massive amounts of tobacco during religious ceremonies in order to experience the deliriant effects." This is self-counterdicting. Please explain or edit. Thanks. (talk) 15:58, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

This definitely needs explaining and clarification. While tobacco plays a large role in the shamanic ceremonies of many indigenous groups, it is not clear if tobacco by itself can be responsible for the effects attributed to it. It is known to be used together along with other plants (including others of the nightshade family, as well as in ayahuasca brews). Its inclusion could be to try to balance out some of the negative anticholinergic side effects. I have also heard that the "tobacco" smoked by Native Americans in their ceremonies is a completely different plant than the tobacco normally used for smoking, but I don't have any supporting documentation for this. High doses of nicotine can apparently cause hallucinations, but there are exceedingly few documented reports of these experiences. --Thoric (talk) 16:41, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


why on earth is this article not moved to "Hallucinogens" for goodness sake! —Preceding unsigned comment added by UltraMagnus (talkcontribs) 20:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Because the term "hallucinogen" includes three categories of different drugs with different effects. This article clarifies that fact, without labeling them all with a broad, nonspecific term like "hallucinogen".--Metalhead94 (talk) 10:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Herbal sources[edit]

Under the "Psychedelics" section, it says that herbal sources include psilocybin mushrooms. Shrooms are not herbs, they would be a fungal source, not an herbal source.--Metalhead94 (talk) 10:46, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, I finally stumbled back across this article and did it myself.--Metalhead94 (talk) 01:05, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

On banning and on the medicinal status of H[edit]

"As a result of the growing popularity of LSD and disdain for the hippies with whom it was heavily associated, LSD was banned in the United States in 1967.[7] This greatly reduced the clinical research about LSD, although limited experiments continued to take place, such as by Reese Jones in San Francisco.[8]"

These two sentences strike me as a very uncritical. First it appears that LSD was banned because of its role in the countercultural revolution; indeed the citation provided affirms this point of view, but it is hardly a neutral one.

The second statement is patently absurd: just as the theories about the schizophrenogenic effect of LSD proved false, so did the hopes for its therapeutic effects. Research petered out for lack of results, not because LSD was banned.

On the other hand, and this may be something worth adding, Cannabinoids are approved for pharmacological use in many countries (, despite cannabis being in these very same countries illegal for recreational use. Which disproves the general argument (in my view somewhat implicit in the passage above) that medicinal use of hallucinogens is not ongoing because of their legal status. (talk) 22:35, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Legal status and attitudes[edit]

This whole chapter was deleted on 4th of November 2008 by ip without any comments about it. I think returning this chapter should be discussed. --Ahabvihrea (talk) 18:42, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Agree. I was reading something else and directed to that subsection, only to discover it wasn't there. KalevTait (talk) 15:04, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

hydroxyzine is a deliriant?[edit]

I have taken hydroxyzine and it NEVER made me do anything deliriant-like. It should not be included! YVNP (talk) 23:59, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

It is probably just a question of dosage, a lot of deliriants are routinely administered, but in doses 5-10 times smaller than would be required to make you delirious--UltraMagnus (talk) 06:30, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

stub snorting, I mean, hallucinogens and health[edit]

is the very fact that hallucinogens cause hallucinations cause for them to be detrimental to health or is it just a coincidence that there are no known hallucinogens without negative health effects? Or there are such hallucinogens and which are those? I think these are things the article shall address from the beginning and with data to back it up...Undead Herle King (talk) 13:39, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

This article should be named Hallucinogen[edit]

I tried to do this myself, but it seems I can't do it without an admin.

This page needs to be renamed Hallucinogen. Here are the reasons why.

The word hallucinogen is a valid entry in both Dictionary and Encyclopedia entries. It is mentioned as a subject in many valid sources of information, including the following:

Encyclopedia Britanica:

The Mayo Clinic:

The DEA:

The National Institute of Health:

The World Health Organization

There's a few arguments against using the word from what I see above. But I don't think they merit under close scrutiny. Here's why.

Umbrella terms are still valid terms. If Psychedelics, Disassociatives, and Deleriants are sub-sets of this category, and have their own articles, why does this article name all three? Intellectual Property, for instance, is a combination of Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, and other rights, yet the term is valid and Wikipedia does not rename that article. It does not fit the standard encyclopedia definition. The only other thing I get from reading this is the theory that somehow, the word "hallucinogen" has a negative connotation, but by that standard Wikipedia is meant to be NPOV and not get involved in such battles.

I strongly urge this article be renamed to the appropriate term, Hallucinogen. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnRTroy (talkcontribs) 23:06, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move per request. I don't see much in the logs to back move protection. A few moves five years ago, and one recent history merge.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:52, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriantsHallucinogen — Umbrella terms are still valid terms. If Psychedelics, Disassociatives, and Deleriants are sub-sets of this category, and have their own articles, why does this article name all three? Intellectual Property, for instance, is a combination of Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, and other rights, yet the term is valid and Wikipedia does not rename that article. It does not fit the standard encyclopedia definition. (talk) 23:54, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I forgot to log in JRT (talk) 23:56, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Support- The current name is rediculously long and awkward. The suggested name is supported by WP:COMMONNAME and also, the current name goes against WP:SINGULAR. --WikiDonn (talk) 04:13, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Makes perfect sense to me. Also per rationale in section above. -- œ 21:34, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Whatever the original reasoning behind the old name, it has no standing against WP:Commonname, especially for such a heavily read article. Looking at the logs, I suggest making this (move = sysop) too. Speciate (talk) 06:06, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Taxonomy and nomenclature[edit]

I did a little rewriting because the article on taxonomy was claiming that the term "psychotomimetic" was obsolete, which is simply false. Articles published this year, in 2010, still use the term psychotomimetic to describe PCP, ketamine, LSD, etc. AlkaloidMan (talk) 11:56, 23 October 2010 (UTC)AlkaloidMan


The third paragraph section on dissociatives really needs some references. Specifically, we really need references for the following claims: DXM/DXO causing respiratory depression, "some deaths (from PCP) have been reported due to the release of myoglobin from ruptured muscle cells;" and "none of the dissociatives have any physically addictive properties, though psychological addiction has been observed." The last one should be easy to back up. BTW, ketamine is only capitalized at the beggining of a sentence. I've noticed that some people capitalized the non-proprietary names of chemicals and drugs, which isn't proper grammar.AlkaloidMan (talk) 00:03, 25 October 2010 (UTC)AlkaloidMan

This article is all over the place[edit]

I would like to point out that "psychedelic" and "hallucinogen" are often used interchangeably. This article made it sound like "psychedelic" only referred to the LSD-like hallucinogens, but that's simply not the case. I can easily find you instances of the word "psychedelic" being applied to cannabinoids, PCP and ketamine. "Hallucinogen" is not really a subcategory of "psychedelic." The terms are considered equivalent.

I'm seeing a lot of straight up nonsense appear in this article.

One person had written that there has been a lot of debate about the descriptions of these drugs, which doesn't say much. There has also been a lot of literature that has attempted to describe psychedelic experiences (and in my opinion, many of the descriptions are excellent).

Another wrote that these drugs are non-toxic. Drugs wouldn't work unless they were toxic (the difference between a useful drug and deadly poison is the dose - also, open up The Plants of the Gods and the authors mention that these drugs are toxic).

I see a lot of subtle hints that remind me that many want to consider dissociate psychedelics different (e.g. someone wrote that "even certain dissociatives" are psychedelic, as though referring to dissociatives as psychedelic is unusual, but it isn't). "Psychedelic" has been used to describe PCP, by scientists and users alike, since at least the 1970s (users compare it to LSD in Siegel, 1978 and I've seen it's visual effects at higher doses compared to LSD a number of times).

PCP was used to "model psychosis" and then in experimental therapy just like other psychedelics (see the work of Brian M Davies done in the 1960s, for examples)

I know that people think if LSD as being the most psychedelic of psychdelics, but that doesn't make the "other" psychedelics unusual or "less" psychedelic. Is a penguin any less of a bird?

Someone confused me by writing: "have an extensive study profile aside from the mortality rates of the drugs"

I'm not really even sure what that's supposed to mean. They've been studied and not just in cases where people have died due to or under the influence of the drug?

Siegel RK. In Petersen RC, Stillman RC (eds). Phencyclidine Abuse: An Appraisal. National Institute on Drug Abuse: Rockville, Maryland, 1978.

We've been through this discussion time and time again. "Psychedelic" was originally coined to describe the effects of mescaline, and while for a time it became a blanket term for any substance that could result in remotely similar effects, as new classifications were established for the other substances, psychedelic remained the only term to describe mescaline-like substances (such as LSD, psilocybin, etc). "Dissociative" much more accurately describes PCP, and THC (unless consumed in very high doses) does not reliably produce anything that could be considered a hallucination. --Thoric (talk) 23:46, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I have the same issue with the language of this article. The key to my understanding is that 'psychedelics' in general refer to LSD or a tryptamine alkaloids such as DMT or those occuring in p.cubensis or the mescaline family of alkaloids. Plants which contain these alkaloids are also correctly referred to as psychedellic. I've never understood 'psychedelic' to correctly refer to substituited phenethylamines, amphetamines, NBOMEs, or any number of other compounds which have 'hallucinogenic psychoactivity'. So a psychedelic may or can be hallucinogenic, but a hallucinogen is not by definition psychedelic in my understanding the terminology. I think we have to forgive scientists for not using perfect language when communicating their findings and not rely on citations where a study has called something like PCP a psychedelic instead of hallucinogenic or more accurately in the case of PCP, dissociative. The language most often used to describe these substances is mostly informal and there is a certain amount of flexibility in how it's used. Again, even in the opening of the article the criteria of L. E. Hollister would no less describe psychedelics.

In the second place, it would be better to focus on the nature of the hallucination, dissociation, and delerium in their respective articles than to trying to reverse engineer the definition of hallucinogen from the effects of a drug. This is what has got us into so much trouble on the serotonin syndrome page, all the definitions got so loose and super inclusive that side effects of any drug that might cause serotonin syndrome are listed as potential symptoms of serotonin syndrome. This is wholly inaccurate editing.

I've just partially rewritten the opening paragraph.

" Unlike other psychoactive drugs, such as stimulants and opioids, these drugs do not merely amplify familiar states of mind, but rather induce experiences that are qualitatively different from those of ordinary consciousness. These experiences are often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, dreams, or insanity." If one is in pain and takes an opioid, being without pain is not native to one's experience (i.e. not your ordinary consciousness) though this is not considered a hallucinogen because a 'hallucination' is actually referring to either the visual aspect of an experience, or how immersing the experience is (how different from before). Of course opioids fit the second definition and not the first. However, amphetamine psychosis is a perfectly valid source of hallucinations, though this is not the primary or intended effect of amphetamines, merely a function of their abuse.

RotogenRay (talk) 04:42, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Psychedelic: a state of expanded/trans- consciousness. Not all psychedelics are hallucinogens. Psychedelic means mind manifesting, dream like. Depending on set and setting, psychedelics can be hallucinatory or they can be more like lucid dreams or directed meditative exploration of both physical and imaginative/mental space. Psychedelic is a state of consciousness.

Hallucinogen: Hallucinogens facilitate perception of phenomena not normally available without the hallucinogenic compound- hallucinations. There is an important difference in the types of these atypical perceptions: some hallucinations are simple "false" sensory perceptions, or they can be psychedelic, mind bending hallucinations. Also some hallucinogenic compounds can be psychedelic at the right does, or they can be mildly felt just as stimulating at lower doses. A hallucinogen is a type of psychoactive material. The terms hallucinogen and psychedelic can not be equivocated. The implication of expanded/trans- consciousness is present in this simple categorization of psychoactives, but to be "correct", not all hallucinogens come with a feeling of expanded/trans- consciousness.

tl;dr: Psychedelic is a state of consciousness. A hallucinogen is a compound.

Also have you ever smoked too much cannabis? It's pretty reliably hallucinogenic at some (frightful) point. (talk) 21:03, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

where does Hallucinogen come from[edit]

where does Hallucinogen come from —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

can this question be clarified? removing if not. This absolutely makes no sense. (talk) 20:17, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Educational assignment[edit]


For more information see User:ScienceMsG

Research Chemicals Section (Remove/Revise?)[edit]

Can we remove or revise the Research Chemicals section of this page? I believe that a section about research chemicals is seemingly obligatory for a page about hallucinogens, but the entire section has not a single citation. I'd love to know how the original text was posted without any sources. Perhaps someone could track down the original contributor, or maybe just add some citations? I scoured the web for any related text but all of it appears to be the original contributor's own creation. Because of this, the section appears to be original research, which is disallowed on Wikipedia. Can we make the section invisible for viewers, but let contributors know it's there until we can actually find some sources? It is against the nature of Wikipedia to spread unjustifiable or possibly untrue information.


Tom — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tdf.tomfischer (talkcontribs) 01:29, 29 May 2015 (UTC)