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Let me start the tale with the introduction of the word hallucinogen. It is basically a drug that causes hallucinations. Hallucinogens are a general group of pharmacological agents that can be divided into three broad categories: psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. These classes of psychoactive drugs have in common that they can cause subjective changes in perception, thought, emotion and consciousness which cause an apparent experience of virtual reality. Unlike other psychoactive drugs, such as stimulants and opioids, these drugs do not merely amplify familiar states of mind, but rather induce experiences that are qualitatively different from those of ordinary consciousness. These experiences are often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, dreams, or insanity. Humans have been ingesting mind-altering substances for a very long time. Hallucinogen-huffing bowls 2,500 years old have been found on islands in the Lesser Antilles, and traditional cultures from the Americas to Africa use hallucinogenic substances for spiritual purposes.

Here are some notable substances that send the mind tripping.

REMEMBER THIS IS ONLY FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES.
  • LSD
Credit: Public domain
LSD is commonly known as "acid," but its scientific name is a mouthful: lysergic acid diethylamide. The drug was first synthesized in 1938 from a chemical called ergotamine. Ergotamine, in turn, is produced by a grain fungus that grows on rye. LSD was originally produced by a pharmaceutical company under the name Delysid, but it got a bad reputation in the 1950s when the CIA decided to research its effects on mind control. The test subjects of the CIA project MKULTRA proved very difficult to control and many started taking the drug for fun.
  • Ayahuasca
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Ayahuasca is a hallucinatory mixture of Amazonian infusions centered on the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. The brew has long been used by native South American tribes for spiritual rituals and healing, and like other hallucinogens, ayahuasca often triggers very intense emotional experiences (vomiting is also common). Some researchers are investigating the uses of this hallucinogen as therapy for mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Peyote
Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Peyote is a cactus that gets its hallucinatory power from mescaline. Like most hallucinogens, mescaline binds to serotonin receptors in the brain, producing heightened sensations and kaleidoscopic visions. Native groups in Mexico have used peyote in ceremonies for thousands of years, and other mescaline-producing cacti have long been used by South American tribes for their rituals. Peyote has been the subject of many a court battle because of its role in religious practice; currently, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon allow some peyote possession, but only if linked to religious ceremonies, according to Arizona's Peyote Way Church of God.
  • 'Magic' Mushrooms
Credit: Cactu, Wikipedia
The "magic" ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms is psilocybin, a compound that breaks down into psilocin in the body. Psilocin bonds to serotonin receptors all over the brain, and can cause hallucinations as well as synesthesia, or the mixture of two senses. Synthetic psilocybin is now under study as a potential treatment for anxiety, depression and addiction.
  • PCP
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Best known by its street name, "angel dust," PCP stands for phencyclidine. The drug blocks receptors in the brain for the neurotransmitter glutamate. It's more dangerous than other hallucinogens, with schizophrenia-like symptoms and nasty side effects. Those side effects are why PCP has no medical uses. The drug was tested as an anesthetic in the 1950s and used briefly to knock out animals during veterinary surgeries. But by the 1960s, PCP had hit the streets and was being used as a recreation drug, famous for the feelings of euphoria and invincibility it bestowed on the user. Unfortunately, a side effect of all that euphoria is sometimes truly destructive behavior, including users trying to jump out of windows or otherwise self-mutilating. Not to mention that high enough doses can cause convulsions.
  • Ibogaine
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Derived from the African iboga plant, ibogaine is another hallucinogen with a long history of tribal use. More recently, the drug has shown promise in treating addiction, although mostly in Mexico and Europe where ibogaine treatment is not prohibited as it is in the U.S. The drug can cause heart rhythm problems, and vomiting is a common side effect
  • Salvia Divinorum
Credit: Public domain
Salvia divinorum, also known as seer's or diviner's sage, grows in the cloud forest of Oaxaca, Mexico. The native Mazatec people have long used tea made out of the leaves in spiritual ceremonies, but the plant can also be smoked or chewed for its hallucinogenic effects.Salvia is not currently a controlled substance, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, but it is under consideration to be made illegal and placed in the same drug class as marijuana.
  • Ecstasy
Credit: Public domain
Ecstasy, "E" or "X" are the street names for MDMA, or 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The drug acts on serotonin in the brain, causing feelings of euphoria, energy and distortions of perception. It can also nudge body temperatures up, raising the risk of heat stroke. MDMA was first synthesized by a chemist looking for substances to stop bleeding in 1912. It was popular at raves and nightclubs and among those who liked their music psychedelic. Today, ecstasy is still a common street drug, but researchers are investigating whether MDMA could be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer-related anxiety.

Source : www.livescience.com
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