Psychedelics: 7 Types & Their Effects

November 21, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life

Psychedelics are hallucinogenic, psychoactive substances that alter your mood, cognitive functions, and perceptions. Psychedelics have many medicinal uses because they produce mind-altering states similar to those people experience in meditation.

Psychedelics have powerful medical effects on the body that can help treat many difficulties, including mental illness and mental health struggles. Let’s go more in-depth on psychedelics today, including what they do, what types there are, and their most common medicinal applications.

What Are Psychedelics?

A psychedelic is a hallucinogenic drug that produces altered states of consciousness. If you take a psychedelic, you will likely experience psychological, visual, and auditory changes along with a different state of mind.

A psychedelic experience can lead to a greatly enhanced state of mind. These experiences are known to feel meditative, out of body, and kaleidoscopic.

The use of psychedelics alters your senses such that you think differently, feel emotions differently, and sense time passing in a different way.

What Are the Types of Psychedelics?

A wide variety of natural and synthetic psychedelics exist. Natural psychedelics derive from trees, vines, fungi, leaves, and plants in nature. Synthetic psychedelics derive from laboratories and often come in powder or tablet form.

Let’s look at some of the most common psychedelics below.


LSD stands for lysergic acid diethylamide and is a synthetic psychedelic derived from a fungus that grows on rye. LSD is a classic psychedelic and one of the strongest psychedelic drugs. It can bring euphoria, visual distortions, hallucinations, paranoia, and enhanced creativity.

LSD can feel intense, and trips often last around 12 hours.


Mescaline is a natural psychedelic derived from cacti species, including the Mexican peyote and San Pedro cacti. Mescaline is the active chemical in these cacti that produces psychedelic effects very similar to the effects of LSD.

Although mescaline trips can last a long time, the effects are generally far weaker than those of LSD or magic mushrooms.


Psilocybin is a substance that is present in over 180 different types of mushrooms in many different areas all over the world. Psilocybin mushrooms are also commonly known as magic mushrooms.

The effects of psilocybin are similar to LSD, but the effects do not last as long and are not as strong.


DMT stands for dimethyltryptamine and comes from the bark and nuts of certain Central and South American plants. DMT is also often synthesized in a laboratory, even though it is naturally occurring.

DMT psychedelic trips are shorter when compared to other psychedelics but produce many of the same effects, such as euphoria, visual distortions, and hallucinations.  


PCP, or phencyclidine, is a synthetic psychedelic originally developed as a surgical drug for anesthesia purposes. It can alter your sensory perception, mood, and thought patterns to produce euphoria and a sense of calmness.

PCP can lead you to experience detachment from your feelings, body distortion, depersonalization, and sometimes even mood swings and agitation.


NBOMs, also known as N-Bombs, have a strong visual component but typically do not produce as many mental, meditative, or spiritual feelings.

NBOM is a strong psychedelic that can produce hallucinations, vibrant color enhancement, and even visual distortion. They can bring euphoria, dissociation, depersonalization, and time distortion.


Although ketamine is not technically a psychedelic, you will often hear people refer to this substance as psychedelic because it does produce a different aspect of your consciousness.

Ketamine produces neurobiological effects, including a sense of floating and weightlessness. It has the ability to create vibrant imagery, valuable insights, and spiritual experiences.

Ketamine is a non-traditional psychedelic because it is shorter-acting, lasting about two hours on average, and is more predictable than LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, or other psychedelic drugs. Instead, the neurobiological effects of ketamine in the brain can promote healing.

A psychedelic state is simply a different aspect of your consciousness. These states can allow you to explore your thoughts from a new perspective. With ketamine treatment from Nue Life, you can find meaning and insight that supports you in your healing process.

Nue Life ketamine therapy is a remarkable and innovative form of treatment for those who haven’t found success with other methods. Nue Life offers ketamine in the form of a simple pill that you can take right at home with virtual supervision.

How Do Psychedelics Affect the Body?

Psychedelics affect your body in many ways. Here is a closer look at the impact of psychedelics on your bodily processes.


The part of the brain that psychedelics influence most is the temporal lobe, which is responsible for processing sensory stimuli, understanding language, retaining visual memories, and processing and retaining emotions.

Psychedelics positively influence hormonal changes in the brain to stimulate the production of more “feel-good” chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, to give you a sense of euphoria.

Psychedelics interrupt communications between your brain and spinal cord and interfere with neurotransmitters. For example, some psychedelic drugs have chemical structures that mimic neurotransmitters involved with sensory and emotional responses.

LSD and psilocybin have chemical structures very similar to serotonin, and because these drugs look so similar to serotonin, the brain allows them to go through serotonin pathways to produce euphoria with an altered mood and perception of reality.  

Ketamine binds to the NMDA receptor and releases a glutamate surge. This, in turn, releases growth factors, like BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which help make new synaptic connections and pave healthier thought patterns in the brain.


Psychedelics can affect a number of bodily symptoms, including body temperature, hunger, sleep, muscle control, and pain. They can produce side effects such as an elevated heart rate, nausea, dizziness, dilated pupils, excess sweating, and loss of appetite.

You might experience a flushed face, sensitivity to light, sensory synesthesia, and visual hallucinations if you experience the bodily effects of psychedelics.


Psychedelics can also positively affect your mood and emotion, strengthening connections between neurotransmitters to help you sustain a positive mental attitude. Mental health struggles can weaken neural connections in the brain over time.

Depression decreases the number of synapses in the brain. Fortunately, ketamine treatment from Nue Life can help restore and establish positive neural connections and improve your mood.

How Are Psychedelics Used in Medicine?

Psychedelics can be applied to medicine for their therapeutic potential to help treat mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They yield positive subjective effects that place you in an altered creative and insightful state to shape you in a profound and positive way towards healing.

To date, ketamine is actually the only legal psychedelic for mental health treatment, however. It has such a long history of clinical use in hospital settings, so there is a large amount of psychedelic research on how ketamine impacts the human body.

Ketamine produces profound and rapid antidepressant effects in one to four hours. It works differently than traditional antidepressants and is often effective when SSRIs fail, so is a great option not only for major depressive disorder but also for treatment-resistant depression.

Ketamine’s rapid-acting antidepressant effects are widely considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in psychiatry in the last two decades.

People can feel relief within 24 to 72 hours after their first treatment, compared to three to six weeks with conventional antidepressants. Moreover, ketamine is not only effective for depression but can also help manage other mental health struggles such as PTSD and anxiety.

The Bottom Line

Psychedelics are psychoactive substances that alter your mood, emotions, cognitive functioning, and perceptions. Psychedelic compounds have powerful medical effects on the body, and have many medicinal uses because they produce mind-altering therapeutic effects similar to what people experience in meditation that can help improve mood and well-being and provide deeper insight and reflection.

There are many different types of psychedelic substances, such as LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, PCP, NBOM, and ketamine. They all produce similar altered states of mind that can yield euphoria, sensory enhancement, and spiritual feelings.

However, while some psychedelics can cause negative effects, including visual distortions, paranoia, anger, nervousness, agitation, and depersonalization, ketamine is a non-traditional psychedelic that lacks many of these unpleasant side effects.

To date, ketamine is the only legally approved psychedelic for medicinal treatment purposes.

Ketamine can help you treat or manage your depression and is faster-acting than many antidepressants — it also lacks the uncomfortable side effects that antidepressant prescription medications can carry. You can also use ketamine to help manage other mental health struggles, including anxiety and depression, for example.  

Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment, which means that what happens before and after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with each of our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain and help you discover the insights that lead to true healing.


Psychedelics | Pharmacological Reviews

Psychedelics as Medicines: An Emerging New Paradigm – Nichols – 2017 – Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics | Wiley Online Library

The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders | Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Hallucinogens in Mental Health: Preclinical and Clinical Studies on LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, and Ketamine | Journal of Neuroscience

N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an Endogenous Hallucinogen: Past, Present, and Future Research to Determine Its Role and Function | Frontiers in Neuroscience

Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Aspects of Peyote and Mescaline: Clinical and Forensic Repercussions | PMC

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