CBD and Psychedelics: Interactions and Research
CBD and Psychedelics: Interactions and Research

For centuries, humans have been relying on the natural world for a variety of medicinal and therapeutic uses. CBD and psychedelics in particular offer not only relaxation but also potential to reduce pain or treat other ailments – something that people have recognized long ago. People across generations continue to explore the benefits of cannabis derivatives such as CBD, seeking relief from numerous physical and mental issues.

Understanding CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many active compounds, referred to as cannabinoids, that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. People extract CBD from the hemp plants’ flowers and mix it with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil, and use it for pain relief, relaxation, and other benefits.

Another active cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, or marijuana, is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is well known for causing the high sensation that is mostly associated with cannabis. However, CBD is not psychoactive and has no mind-altering effect on its users.

People consume CBD in various forms, such as dietary supplements, oils, tinctures, rolls for smoking, and edibles such as cookies and gummies, drinks, and so on. It continues to gain in popularity in the wellness industry as people find various uses for it such as relieving chronic pain, and calming stress and anxiety, etc.

A look at psychedelics

Psychedelics is a broad term that refers to substances that have an effect of altering the moods, consciousness, and perception of their users. Some of the substances classed as psychedelics include psilocybin which is derived from magic mushrooms, LSD, mescaline which comes from peyote cactus, and DMT from ayahuasca.

These substances collectively known as psychedelics have the potential to change the user’s thought processes, emotions, and sensory experiences. Because of their effects, some people use them for recreational purposes, but studies are underway regarding their potential benefits as remedies for mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. But due to the risks that may arise from their use, they should only be used under the supervision of medical specialists.

Medicinal uses of psychedelics

In the past few decades, people have become more interested in the possible therapeutic benefits that psychedelics have. Below are examples of some studies done on the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics:

  • A  2016  study revealed that a single dose of psilocybin could rapidly and permanently reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals with life-threatening cancer.
  •  Studies have shown that MDMA therapy that employs regulated doses of pharmaceutical-grade MDMA together with psychotherapy sessions can assist in the treatment of some psychiatric conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • According to a 2012 study, a single dose of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) combined with psychotherapy can help patients facing alcohol dependence problems reduce their alcohol abuse.
  • One 2017 study found that consuming a single dose of ayahuasca can help to relieve symptoms of depression in those grappling with treatment-resistant depression. 
  • Some studies have shown that psilocybin-assisted therapy could help smokers to stop smoking and abstain from nicotine dependence for up to 12 months.

Therapeutic uses of CBD

Cannabidiol or CBD is extracted om the hemp plant. Hemp is closely related to the marijuana plant, has many health benefits and as earlier stated, it does not cause a high sensation. Some of the medicinal uses of CBD are:

  •   Treating epileptic seizures: In 2018 the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) approved the use of a CBD-based drug (Epidiolex) in the treatment of seizures resulting from two rare forms of epilepsy. The treatment is to be used in patients of at least 2 years.
  •   Dealing with insomnia: Studies have shown promise that CBD can help people deal with insomnia or sleep-related issues like falling asleep, staying asleep, and so on.
  •   Relieving unmanageable pain: Some research indicates that CBD may inhibit neuropathic and inflammatory pain, both of which prove difficult to manage.

Alleviate anxiety and depression: CBD is well known to help calm the mind, and this is probably one of the well-known effects, and why it’s so widely used. For example, one study shows CBD could help to reduce anxiety that comes about when participating in public speaking.

You may also like: Is Marijuana a Psychedelic?

Interactions of CBD and psychedelics

CBD and Psychedelics Interactions
CBD and Psychedelics Interactions

While CBD and psychedelics are among some of the most discussed substances in the health and wellness circles, there are not enough studies and there has been limited research done on their interactions. Given that CBD has a calming effect, and almost produces a sedative effect in users, it can help those who have taken psychedelics return to reality gently from their psychedelic trip.

Besides, CBD is known to help relieve nausea and reduce anxiety, and this makes it a suitable remedy for those undergoing psychedelic therapy because it helps them to relax. The combination of CBD and psilocybin (medicinal mushrooms) is also commonly used because both substances have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and avoid the adverse effects of some prescription drugs.

Hence, even without a complete understanding of the interactions between psychedelics and CBD, or enough research conducted in that area, people have stated using CBD to counteract undesired effects such as anxiety and paranoia caused by those substances.

Latest research about psychedelics and CBD

Because of the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD and psychedelics, some studies have been done about them. One of the latest studies was commenced in the 2020s at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

The study sought to look at the combination of CBD and psilocybin for the treatment and possible prevention of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). If the study finds the two compounds can work well together, that would be a big step forward, and maybe a great relief help to many and especially, military veterans, who very often suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.


All in all, CBD and psychedelics have shown great potential and prompted debate in the health and wellness industry. However, more research is still needed to understand their interactions and effects when used in combination.

It is also crucial to approach the use of these substances, be it alone or in combination, with caution and only use them under the guidance of medical professionals. With time and more research on their interactions, people may develop a better understanding of how CBD and psychedelics can be used safely and effectively to enhance health and life in general.


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