(de) Entheogens and their effects on recreational use – Elena Fountoglou


The purpose of this study was to understand the differences and similarities between the substances LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, MDMA and cannabis in terms of sensory perception and transpersonal experiences. 879 subjects were recruited using an internationally available online questionnaire. 17.9% of the participants were female and 81.5% were male. Most subjects (89.1%) were no older than 35 years and more than half of the sample (59%) had a higher than average socioeconomic status. The study revealed major differences between major psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ayahuasca, and mescaline) and minor psychedelics (MDMA and cannabis), both in sensory perception and transpersonal experiences. However, it was also possible to discover central themes of psychedelic experience, which are common to all the substances studied here. Furthermore, the Grof system of transpersonal experiences was subjected to an empirical review. This allowed these categories to be classified into eight new major categories.

The results show that it is possible to differentiate the psychoactive substances discussed here on the basis of their impact spectra, in the areas of sensory perception and transpersonal experiences. This knowledge can be used as a guide for indications and contraindications of these substances in the context of therapeutic research or in recreational settings.