Take the 2-minute tour ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Hallucinogens (psilocybin, LSD and others) are often regarded as risky substances, therefore they are banned in most places.

Are there ways of using these substances that can be beneficial?
Or in other words can a hallucination, or a set of hallucinations, have a positive value?

share|improve this question
MDMA was known as "Empathy" before it became "Ecstasy" (I can't find a reference for the original name, but the history of it is on the Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDMA) –  Chuck Sherrington Aug 19 '13 at 21:08
I removed the second part of this question as it seemed to me and others that it was a separate question. –  Josh Gitlin Aug 19 '13 at 21:17
@Aidis: apparently it may have helped create Apple and seen in the movie Jobs.... –  Greg McNulty Aug 20 '13 at 0:21

1 Answer 1

Hallucinogens play an important psycho-social role in many societies. Thier positive impact seem to be primarily religious. However they do play an important role in the lab inducing a state similar to psychosis. They also play a limited role in psychiatry. Psychedelic psychotherapy as the name suggested is the combination of hallucinogens with a form of psychotherapy. It is not widely practiced. Research into cannabidiol a cannabis constituent with anti-psychotic properties instead of the typical high anxiety and psychosis symptoms has been published. Eli Lilly tried to make a drug based on these glutamate receptors interactions called LY2140023. It was shown to be ineffective by itself. Many hallucinogens are used for alternative primary purpose like benadryl and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.