Recreational drug use is a phenomenon that has been around for a very long time and will continue for as long as there are recreational drugs to take. While some people may not understand the need to take these substances, others recognize that shrooms, LSD, and even hallucinogenic cactuses help meet a person’s needs. Because of this, some authorities believe that the best way to help recreational drug users is to help them take these drugs safely.
Countries like Portugal, Switzerland, and even some states in the US have chosen to decriminalize certain recreational drugs. This decriminalization is to help users at least take these drugs carefully and recognize that these substances do have some use in health and wellness.
This may be the best alternative for helping these people with their recreational use until a better understanding of these drugs is achieved. Given all of that, which of the psychoactive recreational substances are the safest drugs to use?
What qualifies a Psychoactive drug as safe?
Before you go and learn which psychedelics are the safest drugs, knowing the criteria used to classify them would be good. The rankings of the safest recreational drug are based on the drug with the least number of hospital visits due to intake.
These are based on two studies, with the first one being a 2017 study done by the Global Drug Survey. This study ranked drug safety based on the number of hospital visits due to the drug, which was then tabulated into a drug safety chart.
The second basis of the rankings used will be the Global Drug Survey done in 2020, which looked at the safest recreational drug of that year. The same criteria were used in this study: the number of emergency medical treatments done for each kind of drug. Results were once again tabulated into a safest drugs chart.
The three with the least drug-related hospital visits and admissions from 2017 were taken and used for this list. These drugs were cross-referenced with the 2020 study to see if there were any changes in safety.
The Top 3 Psychoactive Drugs from Safe to Risky
Based on the two studies, the three safest psychoactive drugs are magic mushrooms, cannabis, and LSD. The following gives a brief description of the drug, reasons for use, and how it is used safely.
Magic mushrooms were ranked one of the safest psychedelic drugs, with only 0.6% of its users seeking emergency medical treatment in 2020.
Also known as shrooms, they are given their “magical” properties by psilocybin. This substance is the psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms and is what helps induce its hallmark hallucinogenic effects.
Throughout history, mushrooms have been used to help people reach an altered state of mind described as a spiritual experience.
To this day, the majority of its users consume magic mushrooms for their ability to bring people a spiritual experience. Aside from this, most users state that they use it for their wellbeing. This may have some bearing, as current research has shown its ability to help treat some psychiatric conditions.
Science continues to study magic mushrooms for their potential to help revolutionize mental health treatments.
While there is still the risk of adverse side effects, such as a shroom hangover, psilocybin users take precautions to keep their trips as safe as possible. For example, knowing which mushrooms to take ensures that people see that kind of trip they’ll get into.
This also provides that poisonous mushrooms are not accepted by mistake. Aside from this, people also have their trips under supervision, preferably with more experience with trips. Planning trips in advance is another common practice to help ensure safety and logistical concerns are given the appropriate attention.
Second to psilocybin in the safest drugs to get high with is cannabis. This substance had only 0.6% of its users seeking emergency medical attention in 2017 and only 0.7% in 2020.
Also known as weed or pot, cannabis’s main psychoactive ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While this isn’t strictly a psychedelic drug, it may still induce an altered state of consciousness in some users. Together with this modified state would be feelings of intense joy, relaxation, and decreased inhibition. This is the signature “high” almost all cannabis-derived drugs and their derivatives have.
Whether it’s to be smoked, consumed orally through edibles, in teas, or any of its other forms, cannabis is taken for several reasons. Some people take it to unwind, relax, and have a good time.
This usually reflects the reasons for its recreational use. There are also medical benefits for which people take cannabis. This drug, for example, is also an anxiolytic that can help with anxiety disorders and PTSD. It’s also being studied and used for its pain management properties. Cannabis can also help stimulate one’s appetite, as studies have seen in cancer patients.
There are many medical benefits that this drug has, and it is currently being studied so this can be understood more.
Cannabis users also do take some precautions when taking this substance. For example, some would choose to use it during a time of day when it is safest and most appropriate for them. Others also choose to space out their usage of it or control how much they consume. This is to ensure they don’t build a tolerance to it or don’t consume too much.
LSD ( Acid)
The third safest psychedelic as of the 2017 study was LSD, which had only 1.0% of its users require emergency medical attention after consuming it. It stayed at 1.0% in the later 2020 study.
Commonly known as acid, lysergic acid diethylamide is another popular and most widely used psychedelic drug. Much like psilocybin, this is a hallucinogen. Acid can also put you in an altered state of consciousness, where sensory perceptions can be altered or distorted as well.
Acid can be taken in smaller, more frequent doses or in larger doses ranging from 100 to 200 micrograms. Whatever the dosage, its mind-altering effects can be observed.
People report using this substance for their health and wellness, usually in the recreational context. But there have also been medical benefits that are currently being studied with LSD use. So far, studies have shown that LSD has the potential to help treat depression and alcoholism. Further studies are yet to be done to understand this drug and its therapeutic potential completely.
In terms of safety precautions when taking this drug, they are similar to the precautions taken for magic mushrooms. Trips are usually planned so everything is accounted for, such as location and environment.
People also report having a company watch over them, such as people who do not plan on tripping. Trips are also spaced out so that there is more time for mental recovery after a trip.
What’s Your Take Away?
While these drugs have one of the lowest numbers of hospital visits, calling them safe drugs to try or the healthiest drugs wouldn’t be appropriate. As with any other drug, the use of these substances aren’t without risk.
There is still the risk of overdosing with these drugs. While an overdose may not necessarily mean you could die, many adverse effects could come with the overdose. A “bad trip” or a “bad high” are just some of the adverse effects.
Taking these drugs without the appropriate knowledge, not in the right environment, and without the right people can still pose a risk. Furthermore, as these drugs are still being studied, they are not wholly understood and should not be used without caution.
Aside from this, there is also the issue of whether these are legal to use or not. While illegal drug use is not condoned, it is recognized that these are safe drugs to try only in the proper context and setting. Despite this, it would be more appropriate to call them the least harmful drugs to use.