We’re in the very beginning of an influx of new studies diving into the effects, benefits, and drawbacks of psychedelics, and what better way to start than one exploring the difference between two of our most trips?
As far as a cultural understanding of the comparison of acid and shrooms, there are a couple starting points. LSD is known to be a much longer trip, around 12 hours and even longer depending on dose, and mushrooms stay around 4 to 6. There is also a general feeling around mushrooms that is warmer and earthier compared to LSD’s jagged, synthetic sensation.
However, this study, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, shows that most of this is perhaps caused by our subjective, predicated expectations going into the trips.
28 participants, half of whom have never taken part in a psychedelic experience, were a part of the study. They were given a proportionate dose of either LSD, shrooms, or a placebo, then given another ten days later and asked to identify which was which.
The participants had physiological parameters tracked and were asked to explain the experience.
In terms of the physiological response of each, the LSD and psilocybin experience produced similar numbers in heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and oxytocin.
Despite the difference in lengths of the trips, very few of the participants were able to correctly identify which substance was which. Except, unsurprisingly, the placebo.
We’ve known for a long time that Set and Setting were deeply important to the essence of how a trip will go. Set meaning the feelings you bring into the experience, and setting meaning the location in which you do the activity. This study sheds a larger light on this integral aspect, showing that even the knowledge of which substance you’re taking can completely alter the experience.
Maybe the understanding that you’re ingesting a mushroom that has come from nature is all we need to allow our mind to create warmer, more unified visions of ourselves.
Read the study here.