Research Finds That Psychedelics Users Are More Connected to Nature

November 2, 2022 12:34:24

We are currently in the midst of a major psychedelics renaissance. Decades after the United States outlawed the production, purchase and consumption of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA, states are loosening their psychedelic policies and allowing for more research into these mind-altering drugs.

Furthermore, a growing number of people are using psychedelics for recreational and medical purposes, with a recent study finding that around 28% of Americans have used LSD, MDMA, ketamine, DMT, mescaline, salvia or psilocybin.

A new study has now found that individuals who consume hallucinogenic drugs such as psilocybin tend to be more connected to nature and the environment. They are also more aware of climate change and its long-term effects compared to people who don’t use psychedelics, the study revealed, and this may encourage them to take part in pro-environmental behavior.

Researchers from the University of Innsbruck and the University of Zurich sought to determine the relationship between consuming psychedelics and being more connected to nature. They carried out an international study culminating in the publication of their findings in the “Drug Science, Policy, and Law” journal.

This isn’t the first time researchers have sought to understand the relationship between psychedelics and connectedness to nature. Previous surveys and studies have found that people who consume psychedelics exhibit more connectedness to nature. However, those previous reports mostly relied on self-reports from study participants, raising the question of psychological bias and impacting their authenticity.

This recent study looked to overcome these weaknesses by issuing participants with a knowledge-based test. The study involved a total of 641 participants from across the world describing their psychedelic use and providing researchers with data on three main variables: their connection to nature, concerns about climate change and their knowledge of climate-change issues.

The researchers found that psychedelics use, especially psilocybin, directly predicted objective knowledge of climate change and was associated with increased nature-relatedness.

The researchers determined the participant’s objective knowledge of global climate change by quizzing them on issues such as different kinds of greenhouse gases and the difference between weather and climate. The study noted that while nature-relatedness could result in positive physical and mental outcomes, it was also associated with an increased risk of stress and depression. This is because people become more aware of environmental damage in their surrounding as they become more aware of and connected to nature.

Psychedelic use can be a predictor for climate change concerns, the new study found, with the researchers explaining that as people become more connected to nature due to psychedelic use, they feel a heightened need to protect the environment.

They also suggested that future studies on the matter should try to understand how psychedelics work to determine how they cause connectedness to nature. This information would add onto what entities such as Field Trip Health Ltd. (OTC: FTHWF) (TSX: FTHW) are already making available with regards to documenting the potential ways in which psychedelics impact the body and mind.

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