Cannabis Industry

Psychedelics Need To Be Treated Differently From Cannabis


So, let’s say you’re a cannabis dispensary, smoke shop, head shop, whathaveyou. You’ve been selling cannabis products in all their forms and doing well so far. But then you start seeing a bunch of other legal drug products come out. There’s kratom, there’s different kinds of Amanita mushrooms, and now Mimosa root bark is making the rounds. Well, why not stock them too? One edible gummy in a shiny foil bag is just like another, right?

Or say you’re a cannabis cultivator, extractor, or manufacturer. But now your competitor has taken to offering mushroom gummies as well as cannabis – so you have to branch out into this market too, to stay competitive. But after all, you’re just selling active ingredients found in plants – what’s so different about mushrooms?

Even from the consumer point of view, it’s almost easy to walk into a cannabis dispensary and buy mushrooms or something else by mistake. We’re seeing different concoctions like “Amanita and CBD” or “Lion’s Mane and HHC.” It’s like all drugs were suddenly just different flavors of pop coming out of the same dispenser.

If you came for answers to any of the above, we’re here to help…

Psychedelics Are a Completely Different Effect From Cannabis

Even though cannabis is defined as a “psychedelic,” it has an effect completely unlike the other drugs we commonly consider psychedelics. By “psychedelics” we mean:

  • * various species of shroom
  • * synthesized drugs like LSD or Ecstasy
  • * other psychedelic plants like peyote or mimosa root bark

Cannabis works on the endocannbinoid system. Psychedelics do not interact with the endocannabinoid system, but instead work on things like GABA and serotonin receptors.

Psychedelics Are Much Heavier Than Cannabis

The chief difference with psychedelics is that their effects are far more intense. Cannabis is a milder drug overall.

With cannabis, the effects are lighter. Even if you’re concentrating THCA and dabbing live rosin, the most you will get with cannabis is very, very stoned. But you are still functional for the most part. Foggy and laid out on the couch like a scarecrow, yes, but you’re still grounded in reality. True, there are hundreds of individual cannabinoids that have different shades of effect, but they are all found in cannabis, so they all still feel like some kind of cannabis.

Psychedelics do much more than cannabis. Their effects can include time distortion, hallucinations, mood swings, altered perceptions, dissociation, and mental confusion. Their effects last up to 24 hours, with lingering effects into 48 hours. Getting stoned is a fleeting diversion. Taking psychedelics is a commitment. Coming down from psychedelics feels like coming home from a 2-week vacation.

Psychedelics are powerful! They are amazing to experience, but they’re hardly a quick party drug the way cannabis is. A trip on shrooms is an adventure every time, never quite the same experience twice. Nobody just pops shrooms after coming home from work, at least not if they’re planning to go to bed six hours later.

Just to hammer in how much heavier psychedelics are than cannabis, people experiencing psychedelics routinely report religious experiences, including a sensation of meeting God himself. Let that sink in. Weed is good, but I never hear it compared to an audience with El Supremo.

Psychedelics Have More Varied Effects

Between the various psychedelics – Psilocybin, Amanita, Mescaline, DMT, whatever – there are whole spectrums of effects. Some psychedelics leave you with a giddy euphoria and lots of energy, but without much distortion. Some psychedelics hit with powerful visual and audial effects, distorting the world around you and leaving you disoriented. Some come on fast and some slow. Some take forever to come down from. There can be nasty side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, too.

On top of that, everybody is different. Some people trip at 3MG; some people need to eat grams of the stuff to feel the effects. Then every trip is different, even for the same person on the same drug. Trips on psychedelics may be silly and goofy, or serious and brooding, or even awe-inspiring and disruptive. A psychedelic trip often works like a “therapist in a pill,” unpacking your deepest hidden baggage or revealing your greatest insecurity. For creators, psychedelics are an avenue to tap into their deepest mental reservoirs and inspire uncommon ideas.

What I’m trying to say here is, psychedelics are not always a party. Psychedelics are more about religious visions or life-altering revelations or meditative insights. People describe trips in terms of “feeling one with the universe” and such. It’s even possible to have a bad experience, triggering anxiety or paranoia. This is the reason why psychedelic veterans emphasize the importance of “set and setting

” to ensure the most pleasant possible trip.

I view it this way: “Party drugs” like alcohol and cannabis are there when you want to “turn off your brain.” Psychedelics are the thinking person’s drug. It’s about that mind expansion and altered consciousness.

Psychedelics Can Have Far More Varied Potency

The last big difference between cannabis and the psychedelics is that psychedelics have a challenge with potency control. You can have the same batch of mushrooms, this one has 5% of the active psychedelic while this other one has 30%.

Conversely, cannabis is fairly predictable given the parent strain. Take a cutting from a plant and grow that into a new bush, and it will have near-exact the same potency as its parent.

Mushrooms are much less consistent. They are, after all, fungi, with completely different biology. We may have to figure out either how to get the mushrooms to stay consistent in dosage, or extract the active ingredients so we have more accurate dosing.

Psychedelics Should Be Marketed Differently

Things to be aware of when producing, packaging, or marketing psychedelic drugs:

  • * Psychedelics are not for everyone
  • * The customer needs full transparency of ingredients, including dosage
  • * Psychedelics need to be treated with a bit more gravity and respect
  • * The “trippy hippy” aesthetic and copy-writing attitude is unhelpful
  • * Instead, we need mature, open, objective communication about drugs and their effects
  • * Everyone’s mileage will vary, so be realistic about that
  • * People can’t just stay dosed all day every day like they do with cannabis

Just like medical cannabis users, some people do turn to psychedelics for therapeutic reasons. In some corners, psychedelics are treated as an integral part of seeking spiritual enlightenment or other goals of personal self-improvement. There is ongoing research which is probing possible use of psychedelics as treatments for depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and even an aid to quit smoking.

Psychedelics are a powerful class of psychoactive substances which have exciting and intriguing potential. If you have a legal psychedelic, you already have a hit, but you have to market it right. You can’t just call it a “party in a bag.” For every known psychedelic drug in the legalized drugs market, there are fans of that drug and those curious to seek it out. Help them find your product with clear communication and pragmatic presentation, and you’ll attract the most customers. They may be druggies, but they’ll find it refreshing when you treat them like adults.

Readers, how do you think psychedelics should be handled differently from cannabis? Sound off your weighty opinion here or in our forum.


Penguin Pete

Freelance author and researcher for twenty years, a career spanning two-thirds the age of the World Wide Web itself. Passionate about finding the truth and informing the public. Investigative research for the purpose of consumer awareness. Avid cannabis enthusiast and geek of many talents and interests.

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Penguin Pete

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